Worship Places of non-Muslims, Their Rights and Our Obligations

church synagogue and mosque photoThis is the title of a new book by hakeem Tariq Mehmood Chughtai. I have not had a chance to read the book itself. However, excerpts and essays from this book are published in the monthly Ubqari magazine. The author has written this book with tremendous curious inquiry. Examples are taken from the conduct of early Muslims viz a viz non-Muslims. Some parts of the book are also inspired by the writings and findings of Ibn-e-Zeb Bhikaari, who writes a column titled Islam and Tolerance in the monthly Ubqari magazine. Overall the articles are nice and specially thought provoking. In some instance one cannot avoid getting impressed. It is also an attempt to groom Muslims all over the world.
It is specially very nice to read a few examples. I would really like to quote a couple of them about the disposition of early Muslims regarding non-Islam. Perhaps this would help us in developing nice and better traditions for a better prospective future. Following are the examples:

1 Episode 56 – February, 2011

When Hazrat Abu Bakar (RA) sent an army on the expedition of Syria, he addressed the emir of the army: ”You will find a nation which has devoted itself for the worship of Allah (i.e. the Christians). Leave them. I make ten recommendations for you. Do not kill any woman, child, or an old person. Do not cut a fruit bearing tree. Do not ruin a place that is inhabited. Do not slaughter goat or camel without need for eating. Do not burn any oasis. Do not cheat in the property that has been confiscated due to battle. And do not become cowards.
Similarly another example is as follows:

19 Episode 77 – November, 2012

When Ameer-ul-momineen hazrat Umar (RA) went to the church of Kaneesa and the time of prayers approached there, he said to Venice Batareeq, ”I want to offer my prayers.” Batareeq replied, ”Ameer-ul-momineen, you can offer your prayers here.” You (RA) refused to do so. Batareeq went to the church of Constantinople, but you (RA) did not offer your prayers there too. You (RA) offered your prayers outside the church in front of the door. And said to Batareeque that I did not offer the prayers inside the church so that in future Muslims do not capture the church following the logic that Umar (RA) had prayed there. After that you (RA) wrote a letter and gave it to Batareeque. In which it was written, ”Any Muslim cannot pray in the church with Azaan and jamaa (as a group prayer), although he can pray alone.
I find this second example quite impressive. Even if you do not like it, you can refer this to another Muslim you know. Perhaps this might be helpful in some sense. Every little helps!

The cover of the book is quite interesting in itself. It has a mosque, a church, and possibly a synagogue in it, which is a nice symbol of interfaith harmony. The location of Ubqari institute in Lahore is also very interesting. In its neighborhood lies a huge campus of Pakistan’s council of churches. The view from the top of the institute in the morning is very nice. Upon looking around one finds a number of  huge churches surrounding the institute from all around.

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