Notes and Comments: Religious Tolerance

A personal view on the recent ordination of homosexual bishops in the Anglican church.

In the Holy Qur’an we are told by Allah Verily, We Ourself have sent this Exhortation, and most s u rely We will be its Guardian. (Ch.15:V.10) Muslims believe that the Holy Qur’an is a perfect book because it was Divinely revealed and because Allah has promised to be its Guardian. Whilst the Holy Qur’an has been translated into a variety of languages, there will always be only one Qur’an. So although translations may vary, there is always going to be one original text, which will never change. The significance of this cannot be underestimated. Whenever scholars disagree with one other about an interpretation of any part of the Holy Qur’an, there is always only one source to which they need to refer. This is not the case with other scriptures. Although they may have started out as revelations from God to His prophets, they have, with time, been altered by successive followers. So….. ‘..it is one thing for a book to be revealed and quite another for that book to retain intact its revealed text.’ (Introduction to the Study of the Holy Qur’an, Mirza Bashir-ud Din Mahmud Ahmad). In this month’s edition ,an article on ‘The Divinely Revealed status of the New Testament’, Mir Mahmood Nasir demon- strates that there are many contradictions in the Gospel accounts that prove that the Gospels do not constitute a revelation of God, or that because of human intervention, the original revelation has changed beyond recognition. The lack of a preserved, unchanged source, can add to differences in interpretations of the Word of God. This is particularly acute when there is 2 The Review of Religions – December 2003 Editorial pressure on religious estab- lishments to ‘keep up’ with changes in social mores in order to appease followers. For instance, even something as simple as the Lord’s Prayers has not escaped the hands of innovators and interpolators with the passage of time. Are we to assume that those who uttered their prayers in the past were not heard or the manner in which the prayer is now couched is beyond the recognition of the Being to Whom it is addressed? With innovations can come changes, which may be in complete contradiction to God’s com- mandments. This issue is explored in our Notes and Comments with regard to the recent ordination of homosexual bishops in the Anglican Church. The Promised Messiah( a s ) reminds us that ‘God is the source of eternal happiness and pleasure for man’s life.’ It is Allah Who has also provided a guidance for mankind in the form of the Holy Qur’an about which we are told: And We have sent down to thee the Book to explain everything, and a guidance and a mercy, and glad tidings to those who submit to God. (Ch.16:V.90) Sarah Waseem – UK 3 Editorial The Review of Religions – December 2003 PLEASE NOTE: In this journal, for the ease of non-Muslim readers, ‘(sa)’ or ‘sa’ after the words, ‘Holy P rophet’, or the name ‘Muhammad’, are used. They stand for ‘Salallahu alaihi wassalam’ meaning ‘Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him’. Likewise, the letters ‘(as)’ or ‘as’ after the name of all other p rophets is an abbre v i a t i o n meaning ‘Peace be upon him’ derived from ‘Alaih salato wassalam’ for the respect a Muslim reader utters. Also ru or (ru) for Rahemahullahu Ta ’ a l a m e a n s the Mercy of Allah the Exalted be upon him.