On ProgressiveIslam.Org Muslim Hedonist had an interesting post: I don't know what it is about wartime prayers, but something about them makes me shudder.
These are Israeli gunners at prayer near the Lebanese border early today, right beside their artillery piece. When I saw this picture, it reminded me of three pictures I remember seeing in a newspaper during the 1980's, under the title, "Let Us Pray:"
- The first one was of an orthodox Jewish soldier wearing a prayer-shawl and praying with a prayer-book.
- The second was a PLO fighter in sujud (prostration), with his machine-gun propped up on the wall in front of him.
- The third showed a Lebanese member of the Phalangist militia kneeling in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary in a church, his gun lying beside him on the steps.
In a comment Sitaram said Supposedly, Abraham Lincoln once said, "In time of war, we should pray, not that God is on our side, but rather that we are on God's side."
I could not find any reference to that quote from Lincoln, but it is true, and something we should all keep in mind. In terms of the the observations from Muslim Hedonist, the Jewish soldier and the Phalangist militiaman were both hoping that God would see them as being on His (God's) side, and honor their prayers. The PLO fighter in 1980, or the Hezbollah fighter today are following clerics that have hijacked the honorable Islam faith, and perverted it into one seeking to kill anyone they can (Jew, Christian, or even Muslim) to get them more personal power.
Christians, Jews, and Muslims are all "People of the Book" (or ahl al Kitâb) Surat Al 'Imran, 64 (Qur'an 3:64) says "O People of the Book! Let us rally to a common formula to be binding on both us and you: That we worship none but God; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than God."
Surat aal-E-Imran, 3 (Qur'an 3:3) says It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong)
And Surat al-Baqara, 136 (Qur'an 2:136) says Say ye: "We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them.
But the hijackers of Islam disagree. They make a difference between one and another. In fact they are willing to kill not just Christians and Jews, but also other Muslims, and by other Muslims I don't just mean that Sunnis are willing to kill Shia, and vice versa, but they are also willing to kill people of their own sect, if they stand in the way of them getting power.
I hope that the Moderate Muslims are able to deal with these people that have hijacked their faith, because otherwise God (Allah) is going to settle the matter.
As children when we would fight with our brothers and sisters, when our parents yelled out "Settle down in there, or do you want me to come in there" we settled down, because we knew we did not want an angry parent to "come in there" and settle things.
By the same token, I really don't think we want God (Allah) to come down here and settle things.