Malaysiakini Letter

Many definitions of those who will enter Paradise

Arbibi Ashoy  |  Published:  |  Modified:

I refer to the letter Islam the natural state of man by Abusabah. As a Muslim, I would like to apologise to all non-Muslims in Malaysia for such an insensitive and offensive point of view. Not only does this mock and degrade non-Muslims, it is not even in line with the teachings of Islam.

The Koran gives many definitions of those who will enter Paradise, examples such as 'those who give orphans their due share (of God's bounty)', 'those who dare speak the truth against an injustice', 'those who sign peace treaties with their enemies and honour them', 'those who do not accuse women of promiscuity', 'those who do not condone excesses' and so on.

In fact, the Koran does not even use the term 'Muslim' to indicate a person who will enter Paradise. Rather it uses the term 'mukmin'. The definition of a 'mukmin' in the Koran is 'a person who does good deeds and who refrains from doing bad deeds'.

Sadly, there is a misconception among some Muslims that they have to defend Islam by banning debates about Islam or arresting fellow Muslims whose ideas about Islam go against typical mainstream teachings.

Somehow these Muslim legislators clamping down on the freedoms of Muslims and non-Muslims alike patronise themselves too much by thinking that God Almighty, despite being omnipotent and omnipresent, is incapable of defending religion and needs assistance.

Those in positions of authority in a multi-cultural country like Malaysia should heed this verse from the Koran:

"O Mankind, We created you from a single pair of male and female and made you into many nations and tribes, that ye may get acquainted with each other, not that ye may despise of each other'. (Koran 49:13)

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