We seek refugee with Allah.Whenever Allah allows anyone to go astray, none can guide.I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger and His servant.I bear witness that he was trustee in revealing the truth.May Allah bless his glorious family, his companions and those who trace his guidance honestly until the Doom Day.I advise you, brothers, sisters and myself, to fear Allah and be obedient to Him.I warn you and myself not to disobey Him and not to violate His commandmentsso as He says, “whoever does good deeds, it is for his own good.Whoever commits evil, it is for his own bad end.Your God is never to be unfair with you, worshipper.”Dear Muslims, brothers and sisters, Allah the Al-mighty says,“And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation),unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury):but say, “We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you;Our Allah and your Allah is one; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam).” And thus (it is) that We have sent down the Book to thee.So the People of the Book believe therein, as also do some of these (pagan Arabs): and none but Unbelievers reject our signs.And thou wast not (able) to recite a Book before this (Book came), nor art thou (able) to transcribe it with thy right hand: In that case, indeed, would the talkers of vanities have doubted.Nay, here are Signs self-evident in the hearts of those endowed with knowledge: and none but the unjust reject Our Signs.Ye they say: “Why are not Signs sent down to him from his Lord?” Say: “The signs are indeed with Allah.and I am indeed a clear Warner.” And is it not enough for them that we have sent down to thee the Book which is rehearsed to them?Verily, in it is Mercy and a Reminder to those who believe.Say: “Enough is Allah for a witness between me and you: He knows what is in the heavens and on earth.And it is those who believe in vanities and reject Allah, that will perish (in the end).”Brothers and sisters, disputing and arguing is something natural and normal.Therefore, it is necessary that they manage this appropriately.That people refer to techniques and approaches to manage their debates comes in the top priority of human relationships needs.These disputes can be doctrinal, ideological, economic or political.Allah says, ““And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation).”If we to ask a novice Muslim about how to manage the disputes with non-Muslims? Apparently,he would say as most of novice Sheiks and scholars teach people about this.They would incriminate, eliminate, and demonize other non-Muslims.Moreover, they would practice putting others in solitude situations applying on them what they misinterpret from the Holy Quran “To you be your Way, and to me mine.”We do not, they say, care about them and we come across them, will practice and say bad things as I have mentioned earlier.The history of human life remains as a professor in teaching potential and anonymous possibilities.Regarding disputing with non-Muslims, a quick reading to our history gives us a clear vision that what contemporary Muslims do is not what our ancestor Muslims used to.By contrast, they were more accepting and welcoming regardless of the differences in religion and perspectives.It seems clearly that we have not understand the lesson of the history yet.As the famous physicist Albert Einstein once said,” Science is a game on comparison and contrast.”I say that knowledge is a matter of comparing and contrasting.Well, I do not want to go further in introductions.From the time of Prophet Muhammad PBUH, there were a lot of arguments and debates regarding religious issues.One of the most known argument was between Prophet Muhammd and Najran Christian people.The Holy Quran recorded a part of this in Ali-Imran Surah.After prophet Muhammd, his companions complete this honorable track.Imam Shatibi in his Book “Al-I’tisam” [Adherence] had mentioned that Imam Ali discussed Hadith Aliftiraq with the head of Jews in Iraq.Also, he had debated with the bishop.In addition, the companion Khalid Ibn Alwaleed debated with George who was one of the Christians and this debated is written in the books.Moving to Omawee era, Christians were having outstanding positions in the Islamic empire.The most recognizable character of that time was John Aldimashqi and his real name was Mansour Ibn Sirjoun.His grandfather was the governor of Damascus at the Bezant era.His grandfather was the one who surrendered and gave Damascus away to Muslims after debating with them and he was called as a betrayer.I think that Otokhyous called him a betrayer for doctrinal differences.This is not a betrayal but is a wise management.Concerning John Aldimashiqi, he was given a high-ranking position in the Isalmic state for he is known as his father and grandfather.John wrote a book to disprove Quran and Islam as whole.He considered embracing Islam as heresy.By this, he disbelieved Christian teaching.Any way, a lot of Christian scholars, one of them is the father Sheikho Alyasoo’e, dream of the idea that Ka’ba was one day a church so Muhammad had deviated from the straight route.This unbelievable idea was captured by Dante in his “Devine Comedy,” where he described prophet Muhammad as a unorthodox.Back to John, he was dealing with Islam and Quran as heresy.He said in his book, “If an Arab-Muslim- tells you …..” He is teaching non-Muslims how to disprove Islam.In spite of that, he lived among Muslim in a high-ranking position.Moving to Abbasi era, so-called golden age, there were dozens of dialogues and debate.This signals a wide range of intellectual and religious freedom in preaching.Not only do they debate but also they preached about their non-Islamic teachings.This why we find letters written from a Muslim to a Christian and vice versa.Unlike what we believe nowadays, this was normal to occur.Some Islamist scholars are being asked, “Is it allowed to let non-Muslims to invite others to embrace their convictions and doctrine?Most of these scholars will reply “NO” because it is prohibited to preach about heresy.This does not make sense.The Holy Quran includes abundant examples of debates with disbelievers and atheist.The Quran answers firmly their questions.It is impossible to find a book that is fond of debating with others like the Holy Quran.In the time of Caliphs Almahdi Ibn Almansour and Abu Alhadi and Alrasheed, there was a debate between the caliph and the head of Christians of Iraq called Gatheliq or Catholic.This debate in the Caliph’s palace having twenty-seven questions.Gatheliq maintained a friendly relationship with Alrasheed and Alma’moun.He debated for more than forty years.These debates scientifically are still questionable but denying the matter as whole is impossible.In Alma’moun place, there were many debates.Abdullah Alma’moun was fond of scientific and doctrinal debates.There was a place he established to invite all type of scholars where he ask them to use their minds and logic.He asked scholars not to quote from the Bible, gospel or Quran.Just reasoning is accepted.The history tells us a debate between one of the Muslims and Theodor Abu Qurra.The German orientalist Graff has written a book in 350 pages in the latest century about the works of Theodor Abu Qurra.Theodor Abu Qurra was the bishop of Harran and an intelligent philosopher and theology scholar.He debated with a Muslim author and poet named Kolthoum Ibn Amr Alitabi about his pespictive on Jesus the Christ and about whether he is a part of God.Ibn Alnadeem in his book “Alfehrest” mentioned that Caliph Alma’moun sent to a Manwe man named Yazden Bakht–Bakht in Persian mean slave- to join a debate with the great Mo’tazelee philosopher Abu Alhutheal Al-Allaf.The debate ended with Alallaf confuting him.After that, the Caliph Alma’moun asked Yazden Bakht to embrace Islam or else you will be unwelcomed any more.Yazdan replied,” Ay Caliph, your advice is being listened to and accepted but you are not of the people who force others to embrace a conviction.”He is reminding him of the freedom he offered in intellectuality and religion.The Caliph approved what he said and sent him to a safe place with guards although he is, to some extent, an atheist.Abu Othman AlJahithe in his book “alhayawan” mentioned that Alma’moun argued with a heretic named Abu Ali.Alma’moun confuted him then let him go.These assemblies offered a free atmosphere.This era offers a lot of debate where Christian try to prove that the Bible and Gospel had not foretold about Prophet Muhammad prophecy.In the debate that happened between Almahdi and Gathaleeq, Gathaleeq denied the truth that the Bible and Gospel foretold Muhammad.Moreover, he denied the divinity of the Holy Quran and he defended the Testaments.In spite of that, he lived with dignity in the time of Abbasi Caliphs.This signals how free non-Muslims were to preach about their convictions.Yahya Ibn Adi was a Jacoban Christian philosopher as most of the Cristian in Syria especially in counties.We find Ibn Alnadeem describing only four characters who headed their time in knowledge domains all over the history.Two of them are Abocrat in medicine, Aristotle in philosophy.Yahya once wrote a booklet to disprove what Alkindi, the Arab philosopher, wrote.Alkindi wrote a book that disprove the Christian beliefs.On the other hand, Yahya wrote a booklet to answer Alkindi and prove that Islam is heresy and Christianity is the right path to follow.Also, Yahya answered Ibn Haroun AlMo’tazelee back.All of these took a place in the palaces in front of kings, Caliphs and ministersI think it will take so long to recite all of these debates but you can check more and more in the books.It is noteworthy that we find this huge number of Muslim scholars who attentively and carefully tried all their best to know what others believe and know.It is to hear from them not to read about them.I have read for a western thinker telling that the science of comparative religion finds its root in the Holy Quran.I have said that the holy Quran is full of debates and conversation with non-Muslims.So, anyone who claims that he is in harmony with the Holy Quran should reflect that in real life by debating gently with non-Muslims.Does not the Holy Quran teach us not to speak of things that we do not know about?This is why find Albirooni an encyclopedic intellectual.Some western historian consider him as the greatest scientific scholar through the ages.Albirooni mentioned that he spent more than forty years looking for a Manawi book names “The Book of Secrets”wherever he went with Ibn Sobostokken in his military journeys, he asked the people around where he could find this book.This is a noticeable fondness from an encyclopedic scholar like Albirooni.He told us that once upon the time, a man was carrying a punch of books one of which was “The Book of Secrets.” However, he was disappointed of the book after reading it.The point here is how much time Albirooni spent looking for a book.In our perspective nowadays, Albirooni was looking for atheistic book.He needed to know what the author had said not to listen to what people used to rumor.This is a great spirit, isn’t it? This spirit benefited humanity not just Islamic nation.It introduced to us a new discipline and branch of knowledge which is comparative religions.Albirooni was not the first one in this domain.He was preceded by Abu Muhammad Alnubakhti (died in 205H.).Also, there is a book that hasn’t reached us yet.This book is for an Egyptian scholar called Abu Alqasem Muhammad Ibn Obaid Ibn AlMasbahi.In his book “Wafiyyat AlA’yan”, Ibn Khallikan said,”His book (Almasbahi’s book) reached the utmost degree in religions and worship basis.It consists of three thousands and five hundred papers” so this book can be considered as the comparative religion encyclopedia.Imam Ali Almas’oodi in his book “Altanbih” [Warning] mentioned that he debated with a group of Christians one of them was Abu Zakaraya Donhi in AlKhadra’ church.He said that he included his debates in his comparative religion books such as “Almasa’il Wa Al’lal Fi Almathaheb Wa Almilal” [Issues in Doctrines], “Sir Alhayah” [The Secret of life]and “ Asoul Almakalat Fi Almathahib Wa Aldiyanat” [Basic Article in Doctrines and Religions].So, he wrote three books in this respect.Imam Ibn Hazm (died in 456H.) remains the most distinguished in this respect after he wrote his encyclopedia “Alfisal Fi Alahwa Wa Almilal Wa Alnihal” [Elaboration on Doctrines and creeds].What distinguishes Ibn Hazm from others is that he adopted the descriptive method.Muslim scholar dealt with this domain descriptively with no interruption whether to comment or disprove.In his introduction to his book “Tahkeek Ma Lilhind Min makoula Makboula Fi Alakli Aw Marthoula.” [Investigating Which of Indian Speaking is Logically Accepted or Despicable],Albirooni stated that he is not to disprove their beliefs but to mention them as they are.It was not enough for Ibn Hazm to describe others’ beliefs, he go forward and start to criticize methodically not just ideologically.Ibn Hazm was neither preceded nor followed by anyone in this subject until, as some say, the sixteenth century.Some say until the nineteenth and others say until the twentieth century.The Spanish orientalist Feriet said that Europe had to wait until the twentieth century to write about comparative religion but it surpassed Ibn Hazm’s work in this domain.The famous Spanish orientalist Miguel Asín Palacios 1871-1944 studied Ibn Arabi.Also he translated Ibn Hazm’s “Alfisal Fi Alahwa Wa Almilal Wa Alnihal” [Elaboration on Doctrines and creeds].Miguel Asín Palacios said that Europe had measured up to what Ibn Hazm wrote on comparative religion just in the nineteenth century.Someone asked me “What about Richard Simon and Baruch Spinoza?” Honestly,some say that Richard Simon and Baruch Spinoza in particular had benefitted from Ibn Hazm through Abraham Ibn Azra.Ibn Azra had studied Ibn Hazm’s work carefully.On the other hand, Spinoza knew Ibn Azra’s works.As you see, all of this knowledge came to them through debating and studying.You know what I know and I know what you know.After that, everyone makes his own decision whether to believe in Islam or not.Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error.It is worth mentioning that Muslim pilgrims and scholars found it normal to describe non-Muslim’s temples and chapels thoroughly.This may signal their admiration of these regarding architecture.Ibn Rustah (died in the late of 300H.), a Persian Geographer from Esfahan, described in his book “ Ala’laq Alnnafeesa” two churches.The first is Constantinople church where described it in the eye of a Muslim detainee.It was described in details signaling astonishing and admiration.The second is a Roman church owned by the Pope.He finished the description by extraordinary describing of a church in Badrasan Al-Arab village in Egypt.In that church’s alter there is figure in which there is a copper wick including a typical wick.The church guard pours oil and all of the church light are on.Under the alter, there is a body for a dead saint.After one pulls the dead body, all the light are off.After one moves the body to its place, all the light are on.It seems as a trick.What I want to tell is that the writer mentioned this finding no problem and never commented on or even criticize it.Just description.This signals how Muslims used to have strengthens.Muslims also had intimate relationships with Jews, Christians and Magian.Imam Muslim in his Hadith book mentioned that Prophet Muhammad had a Persian neighbor to refer that he is not a Muslim.This man invited Prophet Muhammad and his wife Iesha to a delicious soup he made.Nowadays, some Muslim Sheikhs tell people that we are not allowed to say Hello to non-Muslims.This is awful.Prophet Muhammad taught us to visit our Jews neighbors.So, is it allowed to visit them and not allowed to say Hello to them???Alshareef Alradi is an eloquent and outstanding poet.He had a friend who he loved very much called Abu Isihaq Ibraheem Ibn Hilal Alsabi’e (Alsabi’e= someone who believe just in God and the Last Day).This Alsabi’e was offered a ministry in the Islamic state but he rejected it for he was ascetic.He was fasting Ramadan with Muslim because he maintained a good relationship with them.In addition, he learned the Holy Quran by heart and quoted it in his letters and writings.When Alsabi’e died, Alshareef Alradi wept him bitterly whenever he remembered him or came across his grave.Years after, he came across his grave and recited a forty-three-line poem.One of the most remarkable elegy that Alshareef Alradi recite in the memory of Alsabi’e was describing his funeral.He said, “Do you know who did the carry on the coffin? The light of the club has turned off.A mountain has fallen apart.Before you died and they buried you, I have never knew that sand can be higher than the mountain.” This thing make someone surprised and astounded for a long time.Anyway, some people blamed Alshareef Alradi because he elegized Alsabi’e.Alshareef Alradi answered them that he elegized Alsabi’e honor.It is wonderful that Aljahithe started a chapter in his book “Alhayawan” mentioning poems that Muslim poets wrote to other Christian, Jews and Magian friends.Aljahethe stated after the poems that some of these poems were delivered as a way of expressing wishes and praises.Then Aljahethe mentioned a piece of poem where a Muslim praised a Jew.He said,” We found honest people among Jews despite their doubtful (distorted) beliefs.I swear that I am honored to have you as a friend.You joint my soul as water is mixed with milk.”More beautifully is what Aljahithe mentioned after that.He mentioned a piece of poem that Ibn Abdal wrote to a Magian who paid his dowry.Ibn Abdal said, “I see in you a sea of generosity.Although you are going to burn in hell, I love you more than I love my uncles and aunts.”I wish that Muslims could learn from these examples of our honorable ancestors.All praise be to Allah the One that accepts repentance from His Servants and forgives sins: and He knows all that ye do.And He listens to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, and gives them increase of His Bounty: but for the Unbelievers their is a terrible Penalty.May Allah teach us more in religion and guide us to the best way.May Allah teach us what benefit us.May Allah make us benefit from what He taught us.May Allah full us with His fear.Dear brothers and sisters, Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin,and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that ye may receive admonition.


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