I was provided with a free copy of “What a Muslim Would Say Book 2”, and “Interfaith Dialogue and Debates” in exchange for an honest review.
Let me begin by verifying that I am not a Muslim. However, since writing a novel (Forbidden, by F. Stone) wherein the setting is the Middle East and most of the characters are Muslim, I have studied the religion of Islam, though I don’t consider myself an authority on the subject. Far from it!
During my studies, many Muslims have been overwhelming generous in their time, kindness, and eager to help me grasp not only the teachings of the prophet Mohammad, but to also understand the culture of Muslims – which varies depending upon many factors (history, country, government).
Understanding Islam can be challenging. Ahmed Lofty Rashed has been inspired to assist both Muslim and non-Muslims understanding of Islam by inviting the public to send questions to https://www.whyislam.org/. He responds to each question providing answers in clear language and refers to corresponding passages in the Koran. His answers are articulate, honest, non-confrontational, and comprehensive. What a Muslim Would Say Book 2 and Interfaith Dialogues and Debates (follow-up to Book 1) are a compilation of this email communication.
Ahmed Lofty Rashed’s intent is to encourage understanding of Islam’s fundamental goal – to promote peace. The difficulty in understanding Islam is due to, in part, criminals who promote themselves as Muslim even while committing terrorism and atrocities which are in contradiction to the teachings of the Koran. The challenge is compounded by the media and political agents’ desire to sway public opinion in a direction that promotes profit and votes – not peace.
After reading Ahmed Rashed’s three books, it occurred to me that to fully understand Islam, one needs to be almost immersed in the faith from birth AND to have a comprehensive knowledge of the historical events during the time of Mohammad. For non-Muslims, it can be a life long study. Scholars of all religions still debate on many of the nuances, the obscure meanings, and wonder at the sacred wisdom declared centuries ago. Much of the text in our holy books are directly connected to the historical events, and to the level of understanding of human behavior and other sciences. For example, the explanation for the Islam’s law against homosexuality was believed that behavior was a choice. We now finally understand it is not a choice. I wonder, would Mohammad receive the same ‘laws’ today from God given our greater understanding of biology, neuroscience, etc.?
For years, many of my friends, my husband, and others have lamented that Muslims seem to be overly passive in expressing outrage with the atrocities wielded by extremist so-called Muslims. In a way, I understood their quiet display, offering only peaceful reflection away from the crowds of frightened non-Muslims. It is with great relief the dialogue has begun between the scholars, between the followers of the religions, and within the faithful in each community. Thank you, Ahmed Lofty Rashed for being brave, wise, and dedicated to peace. Blessings.