Missionaries of Islam

The Big Question programme is televised by BBC 1 on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. Two weeks ago it aired a programme about Islam. It invited four Muslims to comment on how non-Muslims in the UK see Islam and what the answers to objections against Islam are.

Apart from one Muslim, Taj Hargay from Oxford, the others had no idea about the Islamic teaching on various topics. We say this not because they presented a different interpretation of Islam from us but because they could not recite any verse of the Holy Quran or hadith to justify what they were saying.

It brings to mind a proposal put to the Promised Messiah that some English speakers should be hired and sent to the West to propagate Islam. He opposed it saying that just knowing English is not enough. If these people don’t have a deep knowledge of Islam they well be unable to propagate it. Therefore, he said it is better to write good literature about Islam and to disseminate that. Of course he was correct but some people say that this means that we do not need missionaries just books which can be distributed. However, this was not what the Promised Messiah was saying. The answer was about a particular kind of person being sent as a missionary, not in general. If this was a general statement of principle why did he ask people like Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali to devote their lives for the sake of propagation?

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