Rushdie's 'Satanic Verses': An Islamic Response
Rushdie has sinned, and it is in the nature of man to sin. By attacking Abraham (May the Peace of God be upon him) and Muhammed (May the Peace of God be upon him), two important symbols, or representations, of righteousness, Rushdie has, in fact, attacked God Himself, and His Message. Rushdieís rebellion against God is in the same vein as Satanís rebellion after the creation of Ďmaní was. Therefore, Rushdie is a disciple of Satan - both have attacked the Supreme Authority through evil. There is not doubt that Satan tempted Rushdie - and Rushdie obliged, fell into the trap.
Why does Satan tempt man, and why does man fall victim? When God created the first man, the Prophet Adam (May the Peace of God be upon him), He commanded the Angels to bow down before man. All obeyed except Satan,33 because he was proud. Satan felt jealous of manís high rank and asked God for permission to lead him astray. God allowed such permission for a given time, for the duration of the worldly life, so that He might test mankind, so that man might commit evil (be tempted by Satan) or good (shun Satan).34 Since He is All-Knowing, everything is predestined.35 He is Merciful, and will forgive sin as long as man repents. But those who disbelieve and do not repent are permanently tempted and, as such, their punishment is Hell.36 Those who shun temptation [they may sin but repent and ask for forgiveness, and believe] are rewarded with Paradise.
The extent of Godís Mercy is awesome. Even now, if Rushdie repents asks for His Forgiveness, (and God is All-Knowing) and amends his conduct, he will be forgiven.37 But such repentance must be genuine and not simply to show the world, a false gesture. If he does not, the Hell will be his abode in the Hereafter.
Believing, repentance and amendment are not applicable to only Rushdie - they apply equally to all nonbelievers. Anyone who believes in God and His Prophets and works righteousness is a believer. So it is very easy to transfer from disbelief to belief, the two opposites, and God would till be kind enough to show His Mercy. Why donít all unbelievers become believers?
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