Commodore, Royal Saudi Navy (Retired)
Muslims across the world are going through a very difficult phase due to the wrong and un-Islamic actions of a few terrorist groups. These days it has become all the more important for every Muslim to spread the true teachings of Islam so as to present the true face of our religion to the world. In such a situation, a brutal incident that took place in the war-torn Afghanistan came to the fore. According to media reports, a group of thugs held a woman and accused her of desecrating a copy of the Qur’an. They brutally tortured her and set her on fire. Most likely she must have had succumbed to the injuries caused due to the torture long before she was set ablaze. It has been reported that the deceased woman was known for being mentally ill. Sadly, none of the self-appointed custodians of faith who committed the act had reportedly seen the woman desecrating the copy of Qur’an. It all started when a group of women shouted and accused the lady of burning the holy book. Some men outside heard the accusation and within minutes the woman was lying lifeless. Vigilantes, who apparently did not have a proper understanding of the true teachings of Islam, killed her in the most brutal manner. Exactly two years ago, in my article published in the Arab News “Do Muslims really understand Islam?,” I had raised this question. Apparently, many Muslims don’t understand the true spirit of Islam. In the current global situation, it would be difficult to convince non-Muslims after each and every incident that the crime might have been committed in the name of Islam by Muslims but such brutalities have nothing to do with the true teachings of Islam. Of course, how could they believe us? The Internet is replete with videos of horrific acts committed by so-called Muslims against Muslims and non-Muslims. The question is: Who really burned the copy of the Qur’an and who really desecrated it? The Qur’an was revealed to our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through angel Gabriel. It was revealed gradually over a period of more than two decades. The first word that was revealed is read. In the Arab and Muslim world, Qur’an is a book that you will find in every room of every Muslim’s house, classrooms, hotel rooms, automobiles, shops and mosques. As a matter of fact, many non-Muslims across the world also keep a copy of this book to learn about Islam and many non-Muslims have genuine respect for Islam and Muslims. During the past few years, some incidents of Qur’an’s desecration had been reported in the media. In the wake of such incidents, we witnessed riots leading to some deaths in many Muslim countries. We tend to forget one important fact that Muslims are taught that Qur’an is protected by Allah and not by humans. Islam does not encourage Muslims to carry copies of the Qur’an to places where it might be desecrated due to negligence or misunderstandings. But sadly just by looking at the damages done to mosques, schools and houses in the Arab and Muslim world during the so-called Arab Spring or sectarian violence elsewhere, it could be inferred that hundreds of copies of the Qur’an must have been burned by Muslims themselves. Beating and killing a woman without any evidence has nothing to do with respecting the Qur’an. Respecting the book is to understand the true meanings of its contents. The holy book should not only be read thoroughly like a parrot but we should try to absorb the meanings of its verses. We have seen war planes flown by Muslims, armored tanks driven by Muslims, powerful explosives carried by Muslims that damaged mosques, schools, houses and other buildings that are full of copies of the Qur’an in Syria, Libya, Yemen and other Muslim countries. And in the wake of violence in these countries, damage has been done to thousands of copies of the Qur’an. So who really burned and desecrated the Qur’an? If Muslims really read and understand the Qur’an, the Muslim world will be free from sectarian violence, sectarian wars, political chaos, corruption, poverty and killings in the name of Islam. We should bear in mind that the world judges what we do in the name of Islam and not what we say about Islam. Written by Abdulateef Al‐Mulhim. Who really desecrated the Qur’an? reprinted with permission of Arab News and Abdulateef Al‐Mulhim.