The primary source of information about Islam is Qur’an followed by Hadiths & Sunnah. Further whatever we know about Islam today (not from the Western sources) is a mixture of writings and records of mainly three groups of Muslims, viz: Caliphs, Islamic historians and Islamic scholars.
The core formation of Islam ended with the death of Prophet. Even the core of Islam was confused with the presence of different versions of Qur’an at the time of death of Prophet. Islam’s subsequent shaping was affected by its interpretations by hundreds of Caliphs, historians and scholars taken together (influential personalities). Political and military expansion of Islam along with its share of murders, conspiracies and power struggles also influenced in shaping Islam of today. Those influential personalities obviously had their own interests and agenda in the guise of Islam. Today’s Islam is thus like a broth which had been cooked by too many cooks but Muslims think it to be pure and uncorrupted.
To be fair with Prophet, it can be said that he possibly had no other way to become a leader with out Islam. He also claimed that Islam had taken the then people of Arabia out of so called Jahillia, a statement that can be contested. The Prophet, however, he did not understand that the Qur’anic verses, which he used for achieving his day to day objectives, would be so critically examined by so many people centuries after along with his sayings (Hadiths) and life style (Sunnah).
Such examinations give picture of a Prophet who uttered Qur’anic verses to solve the issues as and when they arose without giving any thought for consistency, humanity, compassion and contradictions. The sayings of Prophet (Hadiths) also mostly lack in spirituality (also authenticity) as Prophet was engaged in wars and his life style (Sunnah) was that of a war lord of the time. He was possibly right for introducing Iman (absolute belief in Allah & Prophet) and hatred towards infidels simply because of the prevailing situation of his time. He can also be forgiven for propagating himself as the best person who ever lived on earth (best & last Prophet) if we empathize with his human anxiety of loosing ground after his death.
Mohammad of course failed to appreciate that ‘nothing is constant’ and ‘change is the law of nature’. However being an unlettered person of 7th century Arabia, one cannot blame him much on that count. But, his much cherished Iman of Islam has compelled the Muslims of later generations to accept Qur’an, Hadiths and Sunnah in letter and spirit. And Islam and un-changeability have become synonymous. A war manual, earthly sayings and male dominated intolerant and hateful life style have become today’s Islam.
Muslims are helpless now. If they want to follow Qur’an, Hadiths and Sunnah in letter and spirit, Islam simply does not fit into the modern pluralistic world of today. If they want to reject or modify some parts of Qur’an, Hadiths and Sunnah, then ‘Iman’ is lost and they cease to be Muslims. In this condition, Islam has produced three main groups of Muslims, i.e., terrorists, escapist and apologists.
Terrorists are hard-core Muslims who are engaged in abolishing all non-Islamic religions from the face of earth through terrorist activities (Jihad). Escapists pick up only the good things of Islam for its defense and keep the eyes shut towards its bad elements. The apologists understand the limitations and futility of Islam and some time say so.
Bangladeshi youths should ponder on these points.