Understanding Islam:

No doubt when some body writes anything against Islam, the Islamists ask two standard and self defeating questions:

1. Does the writer has scholarly knowledge of Arabic language?

2. Does the writer has scholarly knowledge of other religions?

The reasons given for such questions are that without in-depth knowledge of Arabic language one cannot understand Qur’an, Hadiths and Sunna leading to poor or wrong interpretations of Islam. Moreover without having detailed knowledge about other religions, how can one single out Islam for criticism?

The criticism of Islam, mostly by non-Muslims, and its defense by Islamists have become commonplace after 9/11. The former group has become suspicious about Islam and latter is feeling victim of misinterpretation of their religion.

Looking at the first question mentioned above, the prophet knew only Qureish dialect (not the Arabic language) in which Qur’an was revealed. This dialect is dead since centuries. Even if this is not a strong point, how can we call all non-Arab speaking Muslims as true Muslims? Do all non-Arab speaking Muslims (and even Arab speaking Muslims) have in-depth knowledge of Qureish dialect (Arabic)? Surely not. But if they can understand Islam it becomes clear that one may or may not be a scholar in Arabic language to understand Islam.

Coming to the second question the prophet, though an unlettered person, labeled all non-Islamic religions as false. Surely he did not possess in-depth knowledge of other religions. He possibly had tit bit knowledge of Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism, as is evident in Qur’an. But still he negated all non-Islamic religions and Muslims also believe this even to day. One may take the help of self serving Qur’anic verses to justify this. But there are solid grounds to say that such Qur’anic verses are also highly contentious. Of course, that’s a different area of discussion.

What we should understand now is that the world has not remained static in 7th century Arabia. Today one need not have to spend decades in religious seminary to understand any religion. The easily available body of knowledge from different sources is too big today.

Bengalis are genetically intellectual and they can think.

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