The above is an annotated graphic of the front and back covers of the pamphlet that was distributed by what I believe to have been Sunni missionaries at Meher Baba’s Samadhi and MPC in Meherabad on the morning Mani’s birthday, 15 Dec 13. The reason I believe them to have been of the Sunni is this passage found on p. 27-28:
The Sunnah (way) of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did, said, or approved of is the second source in Islam. The Sunnah is comprised of hadith (narration), which are reliably transmitted reports by the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) companions of what He said, did, or approved of. Belief in the Sunnah is a basic Islamic belief. …
It is clear to me that the Sunni cannot be something other than those who hold to the Sunna. This is the first time I have encoutered this root. Selma Hassen, who was a Lebanese Druze Muslim appointed as a Sufi Shaik by Meher Baba, and who knew her tradition dead cold, often mentioned the hadith in her teaching of the Muslim culture to Sufism Reoriented, but not the Sunna which the hadith compose. I believe that here we have the basis of the distinction between the majority Sunni Muslims and other Muslim groups such as the Shi’a. – Vishveshwar
Below are some excerpts from this very worthy example of Muslim apologetics which may be of interest. This is the first two introductory sections, and a later section about the Muslim view of Jesus:
I Am Islam
Indeed a religion founded upon truth.
I am often made to look Ugly!!!
It today’s turbulent world, I am often on the front page – mostly for the wrong reason. Islam means peace; yet some politicians, religious leaders and media have found an ideal scapegoat in associating Me with inhumance acts and have taken this peaceful way of life and distorted My ideology for personal and political gains for this reason I am often made to lok ugly.
Islam, a religion of mercy, does not permit terrorism. In the Quran, Allah has said:
God does not forbid you from showing kindness and dealing justly with those who have not fought you about religion and have not driven you out of your homes. God loves just dealers. (Surah al-Mumtahanah; v:8)
Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him [hereinafter often “PBUH”]) used to prohibit soldiers from killing women and children; and he would advise them: “…do not betray, do not be excessive, do not kill a now born child,” and he also said: “Whoever killed a person having a treaty with the Muslims shall not smell the fragrance of paradise, though its fragrance is found for a span of forty years.”
Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy and forgiveness and the vast majority has nothing to do with the violent events some have associated with the Muslims. If an individual Muslim were to commit an act of terrorism, this person would be guilty of violating the laws of Islam.
However with an increasing numbers of Muslims speaking out against this falsehood, the true and peaceful nature of Islam is becoming more evident. Muslims are standing up against terrorism, against persecution and killing of innocent people, and against those who perpetrate injusticed in the name of any faith.
The very word “Islam” means peace. A fifth of the world’s population is reclaiming this peace as their chosen way of life.
The word “Islam is an Arabic word, which means, “Submit to the will of God.” It comes from the same root as the Arabic word “Salam,” which means “peace.” So it means that submission ot the will of GOD in order to acquire peace is called ISLAM…
Now the person, who submits to the will of God, is called a “Muslim” regardless of their race, ethnicity or ethnic background. A Muslim willfully submits, acts and obeys to the will of God, and lives in accordance with the message of the Almighty that is “The Noble Quran.”
Thre are various WILLs of God that one has to obey and the first and the most desired WILL of the Almighty God is… To believe and say,
la ilahaa Muhammed ur-rasoolallah”.
Meaning … There is no god except Allah, and Muhammed is the messenger of Allah. (and the message being “The Noble Quran”)
We assume that we are “Free People” who have no king whatsoever to rule o n us … But wait… here Islam tells you are being ruled by one King “King” and you are a servant who is under the supervision of the king so that he may know who is my best of the servants.
Now there is a list of do’s and don’ts in Islam but here we discuss only the most important issue which impacts the society.
In Isam you are ordered to be obedient to your parents and if they reach their old age don’t even say a word such as “UFF” to them.
In Islam you are ordered to be the best of husbands to your wives and be seekers of truth and justice.
In Islam you are commanded to help by way of charity to your relatives, poor people, travelers, etc. because your wealth and your life is granted by Allah the Merciful to you as a TEST for you that how you spend the same.
Islam forbids drinking wine and gambling as it is a devils handiworks. It alwo forbids you to eat swine, blood, dead animal and anything which is sacrificed on the name of other than Allah.
Interest (usury) is strictly forbidden in Islam as for those who consume interest Allah has announced a battle with him and Allah is almighty the knower of unseen.
Islam commands to keep away from adultery and fornication and orders men to lower their gaze in front of women and at the same time tells women also to lower their gaze at men and wear “hijab” (a dress which covers the whole body with loose fitting clothes except hands and eyes) so that they can be safe and not molested.
Islam forbids visiting or believing soothsayers and fortune-tellers; magic or witchcraft that may cause a rift between two people or bring them together; beleives in the influence of stars on events and people’s lives; cursing time, because Allah is directing its affairs; and superstition, because this is pessimism.
Islam forbids to kill another person exceept in cases where it is right to do so; to commit suicide; to give false witnesses, to conceal the truth, to utter lies and bad words, cancelling out good deeds by showing off, boasting or reminding others of one’s favor; sitting with hypocrites or immoral people for the purposes of enjoying their company or keeping their company; and invoking the curse or wrath of Allah on one another to hell.
Islam forbids killing one’s children for fear of poverty it saves the infant girls from being buried alive in jest … It protects women’s right to life, the right to learn; the right to earn. It gives them the right ot own and dispose property, the right to inherit, the right to choose a husband for themselves; it protects their right as a wife, as a complete human being. It teaches them to protect themselves from amorality and pride and to protect her husband’s belongings and safeguard it.
The pamphlet goes on with more detailed discussions of orthodox Muslim precepts and beliefs, which I believe to be beyond the interest of a general audience. Suffice it to say here that Muslim ethics do not differ radically from those of followers of major religions in general, allowing for Mohammed’s specific attention to the cultural deficits of the Arab people as he found them. I think the Muslim missionaries who distributed this phamphlet proved their point that Muslims are fundamentally ethical and noble human beings who are well worth knowing and befriending. Towards the end of the pamphlet, there is this section about Muhammed’s teaching about Jesus, which is not widely known, and which I believe will be of interest to readers with a Christian background. Most of this is directly out of al Quran, which I have personally read a number of times:
Muslim respects and reveres Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him, hereinafter “PBUH”). They consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers to mankind. The Quran confirms his virgin birth, and a chapter of the Quran is entitled for Jesus (PBUH) by the name of ‘Maryam’ (Mary):
(Remember) when the angels said: “O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word [“Be”! – and he was! i.e. Isa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah.” He will speak to the people in the cradle and in manhood, and he be one of the righteous.” She said: “O my lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me.” He said, “So (it will be) for Allah creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: “Be! – and it is.” (Surah ali-Imran, v. 45-47)
Jesus (PBUH) was born miraculously at the command of God Almighty, the same command that had brought Adam (PBUH) into bieng wiwth neither a father nor a mother:
Verily, the likeness of Isa (Jesus) beofre Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: “Be!” – and he was.” (Surah ali-Imram, v. 59)
During his prophetic mission, Jesus (PBUH) performed various miracles, Allah tells us that Jesus (PBUH) said:
I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, a figure like that of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s leave; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by Allah’s leave. And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses … ” (Surah ali-Imram, v. 49)
Muslims believe that Jesus (PBUH) was not crucified. It was the plan of Jesus’s (PBUH) enemies to crucify him, but Allah saved him and raised him up to Him. And the likeness of Jesus (PBUH) was put over another man. His enemies took this man and crucified him, thinking that he was Jesus (PBUH). Allah says in the Noble Quran:
And because of their saying (in boast), ‘We killed Messian Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah,” – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them, [the resemblance of Isa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man)], and those that differ therein are full of doubts. They have no certain knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e., Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)]. (Surah an-Nisah, v. 157)
Neither Muhammed nor Jesus came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in one God brought by earlier prophets, but rather to confirm and renew it.