Religions , Islam , Muslim

This is Islam

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This is Islam

By Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri Abyaneh

In the name of God, the All-beneficent, All- merciful

"There are indeed signs in that for a people who apply reason." (The Qur‘an, 16:67)

In 1971 I was eighteen years old. I had just received my high school diploma in Tehran, and I was on my way to Florence, Italy, to study architecture. This was the beginning of my experience with Western thought in its many forms.
One day an Italian classmate asked about my religious views and I responded, with complete candor, "I am Muslim", to which he queried, "Why are you a Muslim?"
And I told him, again with candor: "I am Muslim because in my country and in my family everyone follows the faith of Islam."
After I said this, I thought a great deal about my reply. Had it been logical? After all, if religion, or faith, or one‘s vision of God, is predicated on the family‘s faith, or if it is based on the customs of the majority of the people in one‘s country, then a Jew, a Christian, or a Buddhist also follows these teachings by default, and might just as well believe a cow is sacred or that the secrets of the universe are contained within a clay or a stone idol.
And so we come to the question: "Who or what is God?" If "there is no God but God", does that make Him a singular being? Or is God contained within a trinity, in which case "the father, the son and the holy ghost" are exactly the same as Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva. Or is God implicit in a statue, or in fire or the cult of the Sun? Are these considerations inherent in a family legacy?
Somehow I was not convinced by this. It just has no logic. At that moment I resolved to take up the pursuit of the answer to my own questions, to read and study and find the truth, if such exists. I was perfectly prepared, at that point, to abandon Islam if my research proved its fallibility. I would accept another religion if I felt its teachings were true. I might even discard religion altogether, turn my back on God, become an atheist, declare God nonexistent.
Initially I thought my decision to pursue God in other faiths might be conceived as a "sin" by Islamic standards, until I found that The Qur‘an confirmed my actions.

"When they are told, 'follow what God has sent down,‘ they say, 'We will rather follow what we have found our fathers following.‘ What, even if their fathers neither applied any reason nor were guided?" (The Qur‘an, 2:170)

…give good news to my servants. Who listen to the word and follow the best of it. They are the ones whom God has guided, and it is they who possess intellect. ". (The Qur‘an, 39:17, 18)

The first task was therefore a definition of God. Does God exist or not? Does He appear as He is presented in other religions? Is He a person, a presence, a mystic conviction? Or perhaps He lies beyond the teachings of other faiths. In which case, how was I to find Him?
Studying in Italy, with the Vatican at its center, was an opportunity to come to terms with the Catholic Church. Yet Florence happened to be full of Iranian students in the pursuit of a wide range of political truths. They varied from far left to right and included pro-Chinese Maoists, pro-Soviet Communists, liberals, conservatives, as well as adepts of the broad spectrum of Italian political diversity. Thus I had the opportunity to probe divergent criteria.
And so I continued for two years, but finally I had to be honest with myself. After exploring all the avenues available to me, after interviewing everyone I met, after delving into the widest possible range of pursuits, including every religious, philosophical and political persuasion, I came to the following conclusion: Islam is the true and divine expression of God, and I accept it by conviction, not by tradition.

"Thus does God clarify His signs for you so that you may reflect." (The Qur‘an, 2:219)

Even so, I maintained an open and receptive dialogue with many people, on many subjects, related to intellectual exploration of all kind.
And while I have not had the opportunity to study theology or attend Qur‘anic schools, I have captured my thoughts in this book, in order to share my studies, my reflections and my experiences based on thirty-seven years of research. Thus I dedicate my work to those who like myself believe that the essence of God lies somewhere beyond family traditions or the reigning religious establishment in his country of origin.
I dedicate it as well to the reader who is prepared to apply logic rather than dogma in his thinking, who is able to free himself from preconceived notions of Islam, who is willing to open his mind to faiths other than his own.
I appeal to the reader who is able to contemplate my thoughts beyond the anti-Islamic prejudice of the West. I direct this work to an objective reader whose thinking is not influenced by the media, one who does not assume from the outset, based on fallacious hearsay, that Islam is a backward religion, violent and oppressive, with an intrinsic disregard for human rights, especially the rights of women.
This anti-Islamic propaganda has become particularly harsh in recent years, with the clear intention of damaging the image of one of the three great monotheistic religions and discouraging the public from learning more about Islam, as well as an awareness and understanding of the Muslim world.
My book is therefore intended to open the reader‘s mind, to offer information and analysis, while revealing the essential nature of the high moral and spiritual values of a religion with one and one-half billion followers around the world.
Islam is a vibrant, living force, based on logic and common sense. It is also revealing of justice and reason, with a profound and transparent ideology intended to dignify the vision of God, the prophets, including Jesus and Mary, who play an integral part in the story. One chapter or Surat, as it is called in the Qur‘an, is named Mary. Another chapter, Al Maede ("The Table"), describes the meal served at the Last Supper as originating in Heaven.
Islam is an integral system of mystic as well as pragmatic thought, which proposes realistic solutions in both the life of an individual and his community. With a greater awareness of Islamic precepts, the reader is therefore better equipped to penetrate the reality of the Muslim world.
Considering that fifty-seven countries around the world enjoy a Muslim majority, in addition to large Muslim communities in other countries, mostly in the West, this book is an invaluable tool for students, diplomats or businessmen, among others, having dealings in this vast and varied moral, religious and geographical landscape.
I therefore propose an academic approach to this book, from the point of view of international relations and geopolitics, international commerce and trade, international law, human rights, world history, philosophy, communications and culture, art history, strategic administration, theology, sociology, anthropology, public relations, journalism, travel and tourism, literature, political science, cinematography and documentary filmmaking, diplomacy, gastronomy.
Whoever reads this book will discover the key to better understanding the Islamic world and will find a path to improving relations among cultures, religions and civilizations, especially with Iran.
It will be my great pleasure to hear from you by email and to receive your comments on this book.

Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri Abyaneh
August 2010


To write my recent books about Islam, different person helped me. First of all was Mr. Habellyno Perez Perez (Mustafa Hassan) . With their help I wrote the first book "Islam without distortion" (Islam sin distorsión) in Spanish language (2009). Later I wrote another Book "This is Islam" (Esto es el Islam) in Spanish too, published April 2010.
Mrs. Carroll Miller translated the text in English. She had proposals adding to the book. I found them interesting and I added her arguments to the book. About the notes and references of the Qur‘an and the Bible, as well as the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBD) and from the Shi‘ite Imams (P) I used existing translations as well the annexes with the exception of the annexes of comparison which I wrote by myself and translated by her.
The ladies: Patricia Frias Moreno, Maribel Benitez Gonzalez, Martha Carrasco (Fatimah), Zahra Valadkhani and Tonantzin Martin Carrillo have helped me to prepare the book for its publication in both languages.
The version of the book this is Islam is more complete than the one in Spanish, I have to thank specially my wife, Behjatossadat Shahrtash who helped me a lot with her advices in which they were very useful.
Every time that in my residence a needed the computer and internet for my books, my 13 years old son Mohammad Hussein, resisted because he wanted to play games. I have to give him an apology because sometimes I interrupted his games.
I also thank Mr. Carlos Perzabal Director from the Publishing Company RINO, for the publication of my book, "This is Islam" in Spanish.