Islam, the Natural Religion

the religion of islam is not one of illusion and fantasy. neither is it a religion which addresses only the individual as such and urges him to rise to perfection. rather, islam is the natural religion, the religion which naturally belongs to all men, individuals as well as groups. it is the religion of truth, of freedom, and of order. as long as it is also the nature of man to fight and to make war, to discipline that nature and to limit this inclination within the narrowest frontier is all that is possible for men to bear and abide by; it is all that humanity can hope to achieve in its struggle toward goodness and perfection. by far the best disciplining of this inclination to war is to limit it to pure defense of one's person, one's faith, one's freedom of opinion, and one's freedom to preach. the greatest wisdom is to regulate the making of war so that all the rights and dignities of man may be respected and observed to the utmost. and this is precisely what islam has sought to do, as we have seen and as we shall have occasion to see later. that is precisely what the qur'an has commanded, as we have seen, and shall have occasion to see in the sequel.

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