Page 16


Reviewed by "Abu Abdullah"

Contemporary theology, particularly in South Africa, has always been calling for a theology of compassion alongside the theology for liberation long before September 11. The recent developments in America, Afghanistan, and the Middle East has re-emphasised the need for such theological debate, and a theology that is rooted in praxis.

The classic meaning of theology is an intellectual understanding of the faith [
iman or aqidah]- that is, the effort of human intelligence to comprehend revelation [wahiy] and the vision of faith. Faith in Islam also does not mean only truths to be affirmed, but also an existential stance, an attitude, a commitment to Allah [huquq allah] and to human beings [huquq al-ibad]. Islamic faith is not limited to affirming the existence of Allah [wajib al-wujud]. No, it tells us that Allah have mercy upon us and demands a merciful response. This response is given through mercy for human beings, and that is what we mean by huquq al-ibad (the rights human beings). The Prophet said: "for the merciful people, Allah shall show His mercy upon them. Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in heaven shall show mercy upon you." (Sunan Abu Dawud, kitab al-adab; & Sunan Tirmidhi, Bab al-birr)

In yet another tradition recorded in Muslim's
Sahih he said: "Allah says, 'indeed I have prohibited oppression upon myself, and I have made it unlawful upon you, so do not oppress others'". When we speak about theology, therefore, we are not talking about an abstract and timeless truth, but rather about an existential stance, which tries to understand and see this commitment in the light of the Qur'an and Sunnah.

Harun Yahya's new book,
Islam Denounces Terrorism, pulls no punches is explaining Islam's position regarding violence against innocent citizens. With colourful pictures and illustrations, the book deals with all the major topics in Muslim and non-Muslim relations.  The author, inter alia, covers Islamic moral philosophy, peace and security. He explains how at various points in human history people such as Hitler, Stalin, to name just a few, have used religion as a tool of violence and oppression. I personally remember how the White regime in apartheid South Africa used the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa to promote and legitimise the apartheid system and used the Bible to justify the oppression of the Black majority by a White minority. The policy of discrimination and exclusion was done for the sake of "preserving our Christian values". And yet at the same time there was Desmond Tutu in the black townships of Soweto using the same Bible to promote a

Click Here to Search This Site