Channel: Bilal Philips
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resume, check the farm and the dates we'll get it we'll get away. We know that right they always come, right it is summer fruit. That means
they should be in summertime.
Why the Christian celebrate the
winter? Well, as I already explained this,
I already pointed out that it has to do with the winter solstice, it has to do with the Saturnalia, you know, the celebration of Saturn. And it has to do also with the celebration of Mithra, the Persian
cold, which was popular in Rome, and Greece at the time, as winter and the arrival of the sun, the beginning of the of the days starting to get longer again, the winter solstice, December. This was a time, which had always been looked at in ancient times amongst the pagans as being a special time. So this was the date that was chosen to because of its appeal in the hearts of the pagans, who Christians were trying to convert, they chose that day
in order to make it more acceptable Christianity more acceptable to the pagans who they were calling
our sisters question
from the Islamic point of view can when can we give gifts to a person anytime.
Anytime you feel a desire to give a gift to give a gift
in terms of their wedding anniversary, she wants to get into wedding anniversary, then you're back into that yearly celebration, which islamically not allowed wedding anniversaries or Muslims out.
So if you wish, for example,
your husband has done something nice. You give him a gift.
You know, you don't have to wait until that time of year man maybe in between that he's done a lot of things you don't like for the end of giving them a really you know
not too nice gift right you know, you give them a gift when you feel good, this is a better time to give
I understand that
getting involved in any Christmas occasion is forbidden.
Now in our case that
that rule is being
and we have subjects like music, occasional arts,
wherein we are obliged to get involved with a Christmas occasion, like parades. For instance,
making this authentic caroling practicing songs in music and also making project like lanterns and
it must be
for this applicational subject. Now it will not
do this one, we are required to pay the debt or even lesser rate.
a question or what can you advise me regarding that?
Okay, what this is telling us, just for those who couldn't really hear too clearly the question, and I think it's probably better to leave that microphone off. The thing is making more noise on
the question of our brother here is under circumstances where a Muslim
young people may be in schools, and the school requires you to do certain courses in art or whatever. And when Christmas time comes around, the art teacher wants you to make pictures of you know, our statues of or whatever of the things which are associated with Christmas. What do we do them because if the child is young person doesn't do this, then they will get less marks or they may get zero and will affect their overall grades. I would say that one.
This should make us think that it is necessary for us to set up our own school.
That's number one. Of course, Realistically speaking of course, we can't decide today we want to get our own school and we have one tomorrow. So it means though we may This is to bring to our minds this
Need the necessity of setting up our own, we still have the practical circumstances of what to do. Given that
I would say that
the child is young person
gets a lower mark,
but maintains their Islamic integrity.
better for young kids to realize to stand up for what they believe it.
I mean, if it means that they're going to be kicked out of the school and being deprived of education altogether, this is another circumstance. Under that circumstances, for survival purposes, they may do as much as is necessary to get through
as much as is necessary, just the minimum necessary to get. But in most cases, I don't think they're going to be thrown out of the school and everything, it's just a matter that the grade in that particular subject will be lower.
But it is better for your child, the young person to feel
that they would prefer to get the lower grades to please God, than to get a higher grade, to please themselves and their family.
better for them to grow up with that kind of conviction. Because what is most important, ultimately, is the pleasure of God.
So I would advise, you know, my son or my daughter, you know, if the teacher requires this, and if you don't do it, you're going to get a lower grade. And you explained to them that you can't do it, because your religion doesn't allow you to do it, you take the lower grade,
you tried to make some kind of other arrangements, if it's possible that they can give something, some alternatives and there may be something in your religion, which is comparable, something which you may do decorating or whatever, and they can accept that as a substitute, then all the much better. And I would suggest to the other parents, you know, you should go to the administration of the school and try to speak on behalf of your child in person
to give them that kind of support, whatever support you can give them. But ultimately, as I said, in the end, it is important that you try to stand your ground as long as as much as you are able.
Yes, is what I said in the very beginning. Pardon?
Yeah, it is a it is a part of Muslim faith. Any Muslim who denies that Jesus was born without a father,
exit from Islam is not considered a Muslim, because it is something stated, in no uncertain terms in the Quran. And for Muslim, they have to believe in what the Quran says personal denied, the Quran leaves Islam. There's a chapter in the Quran, if you get a hold of a English translation chapter called Mary, you know, dedicated to marry the mother of Jesus. Take this chapter, if you'd like to think taking what I'm saying, and take it and read it, you will read about the birth of Jesus, the miraculous birth of Jesus. Not only that, but you will also read that we believe in another miracle concerning Jesus, which even Christians don't
know about, or believe in, was that Jesus spoke as a newborn baby, in defense of his mother, when the people accused her of fornication, or adultery.
Jesus defended her saying that she was not she was a chaste woman, and that he was a prophet of God and confirm the faith in the one to God.
If the government gives a holiday meaning a day, you don't have to come into work. Today, you don't have to come into work. I mean, you don't have to take that no and say, Okay, this is my opportunity to go and celebrate with them. No, if you choose to do that, then you have entered into celebration, but you're taking that day off, you know, as on the weekend, this is
something which is been given across the board for anybody in the country to take the day off.
I mean, there is to the point is that the you are working and the company or the institution pays you on the basis of the work that you do.
They have chosen to give you some holidays, some days off work.
On which you are paid for
the fact that it coincides with, you know, their pagan practices, that is neither here nor there to you, because you're not taking it. For the sake of the practice. This is part of the contract that you signed, in terms of the work hours, wherever the weekend is, wherever the holidays are.
Or a Christian,
or from a Christian Thomas?
Well, the selling of these decorations, of course, this is prohibited. This is not allowed, you know,
if the celebration of Christmas itself is
an Islamic, it's not allowed in Islam, or really in the true teachings of Jesus, then to be involved in its sale, the sale of the things of the fortress, etc, this is also present. But one thing remember, right point that I think we always tried to raise in talks, which are given here is that we don't judge Islam, by the people, what we see around us, we judge the people, and what we see around us by Islam,
understand, we don't judge Islam, by the people, what people do is say, Well,
people do this. You know, that means that Islam allows it.
We judge the people by Islam, does Islam allow it? No, then the people who are doing it are bad
this is a general principle that we have to stick by, because people sometimes very easily get off into thinking well, because it is done here, or it is done there. Or we've seen this done or people do this, that it means that it is allowable in Islam, but that's not how it works.
is what I mentioned in the beginning. It's an old English word, you know, which was first used in the 11th century, 1000 years after the time of Jesus. In Old English, it was Christ. It was crisp as Matthew
and this which meant Christ, mass, mass, you know, the prayer
in the Catholic Church is called mass from this, putting this together.
Why don't you ask the question?
Do you stop using you turning around? Did you put your hand up?
Did you ask a question before? Okay, I want to take somebody who did not.
You know, I don't think this is really the place to identify these, but there is a you know, religious committee and if people would like to know, some listing of some of the better books to be read, and we could arrange to identify those books for people who need to know them. But surely what you said that it is very important, you know, for new Muslims and Muslims who consider themselves born Muslims
to take whatever opportunity they have wherever they are, to learn more about the religion.
wherever they are, it is important for them to seek out knowledge. Because there is never a time that we have too much knowledge.
We always will be lacking and it's the duty as the Prophet Muhammad Solomon
said, seeking knowledge relevant for, for either an akula Muslim seeking knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim. This is a continuous process until a person dies. never learned enough. So it is important to seek out those people who have knowledge. The law says in the Quran also first degree consolata Allah Muna. Those who know if you don't know, is your duty, and try to get books of course your foundational books are the Quran. And the Sunnah, the books of Hadith statements were in the statements and practices of the prophets have been collected. These are the main two sources of our static knowledge. It's important that we have these and read from these on a daily basis with groups
of people by ourselves, to strengthen our foundation.
for all mankind?
Well, the question was Jesus Christ, a Muslim or a Christian?
I would say Jesus was a Muslim,
Muslim being one who submits his will, or her will, to the will of God. And this is what Jesus spoke of, many times, as he's quoted in the, the New Testament is saying, it's not, as I will, as the Father wills. And so many times he's spoken, taught people, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, you know, always speaking of the will of God and submitting to the will of God. So I would say that Jesus based on that meaning of Islam, that fundamentally means submission to the will of God, that He was a Muslim. And he would not be considered a Christian in the sense that a Christian supposedly means a follower of Christ.
to varying degrees, I would say that Christianity, you know, when we're saying because he said, was he a Christian? Or was he a Muslim?
A Christian, is one who fundamentally follows the teachings of Paul. I mean, if you go back historically, just to look and say, Well, what is Christianity made up of? It is basically the teachings of Paul, it's not the way of Jesus, because for example, Jesus didn't eat pork. Jesus
did not eat pork.
Well as the third is what Jesus taught, right, but whether we can call that Christianity, is Christianity submission to the will of God?
No, I would say Christianity is the teachings of Paul, as he interpreted.
Yes, Islam is following the teachings of Muhammad, which teach that we should submit ourselves to the will of God, whereas Paul does not fall is the one or one of the people one of the first people who call to the worship of Jesus. So the cancelling of the laws which Jesus said He came to confirm, not to break. Paul is the one who cancel these laws. And this is why this is why when they look at the the founder of Christianity, the scholars of the West identifies Paul as the founder of Christianity,
the most significant figure in Christianity,
because when you look at just look at it this way,
Sunday, is the day of worship of Christians
Jesus did not choose Sunday as the day of worship,
Jesus worship on the Sabbath.
Right. And this is why the early Christians, they were called Judeo Christian, because they still maintained the practices of Judaism, which were confirmed by Jesus. But then as Christianity was reinterpreted by Paul, and it was absorbed into the Roman Empire, it became something else. It was no longer what Jesus taught what his early disciples followed, it became something else.
And this is why you have to split when why you have
Catholicism, and Protestantism, I mean, a major splits in approach
is also why you have people praying to Jesus.
The majority of Christians pray to Jesus.
Okay, you pray to God through Jesus, or you pray to Jesus?
No, we don't
know. That is totally prohibited. One who prays to Allah who prays to God, through Mohammed has deviated. This is prohibited in the revelation. The The point is that Jesus is way.
Yeah, I know this is a common misunderstanding. It's good, you brought it up, because people commonly misunderstand thinking that Muslims actually prayed to Mohammed, but this is prohibited.
The Muslim has to pray to God directly as Jesus himself did. Jesus prayed to God, Mohammed, prayed to God, all the prophets prayed to God, and they all taught their followers to pray to God.
I'm not that familiar with the church history to identify the exact point in time where they appear.
Well, as I said, I could not identify the historical point. But you know, the points our brother here is raising is that early Christians, the church as we know it today, I mean, specifically really Catholicism, and what exists within Catholicism, and this is the oldest church. This was not known by the early followers of Jesus.
Well, the identification of saints, this has been something you know, the Roman Catholic Church, really, they're the ones who carried on the tradition of the saints. Pope's, or councils would appoint certain individuals who
either had some
things take place around them circumstances which are unusual or supernatural.
Commonly, many of the saints were what they call the stigmatic, they had you know, at certain times of the year, like around Easter, you know, their blood would appear in the palm of their hands. And so, and they would be identified as being sensitive, some of the reasons why people are chosen as saints. But, you know, many times the saints were fictitious individuals, like the classical case of St. Christopher, St. Christopher, who had been worshipped as the patron saints for travelers, for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years. You know, just back in the 70s, you know, the pope announced that guess what St. Christopher didn't really exist. So please cross him off the list of
saints. You know, this was, so the whole issue of sales is really something of human choosing, you know, for one reason or another, and the saints become intermediaries between the person and God. People praise the saints, and may pray through saints to God or they may pray directly to Saint. No, he listened to people, you know, they're praying to St. Jude or whatever they're praying directly do this for me do that for me, help me find this and that they're praying directly. And when people call on Jesus, most Christians will call on Jesus Himself.
they call it Jesus Christ. They're calling on God, Jesus, they believing that Jesus is God.
Not all but most.
Most in terms of the doctrine most you'll find individual people's you know, you'll find many people from different backgrounds who have rejected the idea that Jesus is God, but according to Christianity in terms of its doctrine, that is a principal
foundation of Christianity and personal does not recognize
Jesus as being not only the Son of God, but as being the third
manifestation of God of the Trinity being God Himself. One rejects that, according to Christian theologians rejects Christianity, they're outside of Christianity.
But I mean, I know that but in spite of that, I know there are many people, I've met many people who consider themselves to be good Christians, etc. And they don't believe that Jesus actually is God.
But as I said, there's always that discrepancy between personal conviction and the actual doctrine of the Church.
And this is why, you know, there's a number of people I know, also, who have left the church because of these type of things, because not been answers for them. The doctrines which are being promoted, are really in fact, you know, against what they feel themselves, both logically as well as, from what they understood from Scripture.
Well, you know, this is the human ability to see things in different ways. You know, that is, nobody's gonna discover that's not even in religion that's in everything. I mean, you work in, in the hospital, you know, even in whatever field you're in, you, you and somebody else may look at this thing and interpreted different ways that mean, that's just human. But when we're coming to the foundations of the faith,
there are some areas where no difference is allowed.
In Islam, there are areas where differences are allowed,
like, how I like to wear my kind of clothes. You know, Islam says that when a man wears garments, that it should not expose his private parts.
This is the basic. In other words, it shouldn't be see through
shouldn't be too tight, or too short, too small to expose is private. So now, how I decided to fulfill that commandment is a me I prefer to wear the sky and somebody else wears a shirt. And you know, that's right. That's right, he is welcoming. But now when we come to
there is no variety in terms of God being all knowing
God being different from men, God's attributes being unique to him, man's attributes, unique to man, I
mean, these are areas that don't allow for any difference. If you differ on that, then you break away from Islam.
Prayer five times a day, this is compulsory, this is not something that I drempt up for somebody 10 years ago, 100 years ago dreamt up. This was stated by the prophet that every Muslim is required to pray five times per day, that any Muslim who denies Who says I do not believe that it is compulsory for me to pray five times a day, I have my own interpretations that person has left.
There's no interpretation there, a person may be lazy, they didn't get up for the early morning prayer because they stayed up really late at night or they're too lazy, whatever, that is their own personal practice, and maybe weaknesses variations in personal practice, but in terms of what is required things the cap
2.5% of your surplus wealth, the Muslim must be given to the poor, this doesn't allow for any interpretation is clear.
Now, how you give that 2.5% whether you look at the people in your immediate neighborhood is there anybody who was four or you look at an institution, which you know, is doing something attractive institution and you give it to the institution or however you do it now, this is where the variation is allowed is welcome, you can do it whichever way you feel is most appropriate, but you have to do it.
Fasting in the month of Ramadan,
the 30 days, there is no interpretations that are allowed here. It is compulsory, and every Muslim male and female who is able, long as you are physically able, you know, then you've got to pass and that if you reached out to the age of puberty, under the age of puberty option of a young child if they want to want to join whatever, but as long as you're over the age of puberty, that is compulsory. So I'm saying that in that way in the religion there are certain areas which are very clear, which don't allow for any interpretation which formed the foundation of the religion. When that is applied in the 24 hour daily life of the individuals. There are areas where
To allow for the variations in opinions and preferences in human beings.
And I think, you know, if you look at
the difference in terms of interpretations, right, look in terms of Christianity and the difference in interpretation, what we see what is the result of differences of interpretation, Christianity, in America, every corner you go, and you can find some preacher, there are ministers, he has his own flock, with his interpretation. So you have no end, no end of a religion 1000s of different little sexy, everybody has his own interpretation. And not only that, but you got people claiming their puppets, a bunch of them,
you know, and, and their people following them, you know, people are claiming their gods, you know, Father divided by the divine, but he had over a million people in America believing he was in over Jim Jones, he had 900 of his followers went out to God, and they all committed suicide. I mean, you've got no interpretations, different interpretations, because there is no solid foundation, those differences, reputations leads to splintering. Whereas in Islam, the difference interpretations are limited to a certain area, you're not allowed to have differences in the foundation. Once you go to a difference in the foundation, then you flick off from Islam.
But they don't have their own ministry. They're the head of a little flock, and all the people subscribed to their views.
They've broken up, they're separate from the others. I mean, you may have individuals who may apply something beyond the bounds that is required to be applied or whatever that is individual.
You could say individual practice. And as I said, this might be too little, where a person may not pray as they should pray, or maybe too much in the sense of person going overboard in areas that they shouldn't really be going overboard in. But this is not now a new religion.
The other thing is differences are as I said, they are limited. There are people to say, to judge that that person, either they're not praying, or they're going to some extreme in some action that they're doing. This can be judged, there is a way to judge it. We can bring it back to Quran and Sunnah. And can we identify? Is this correct or incorrect? Whereas when that other preacher, you know, when he sets up His own thing, there's nobody to say who's right or who's wrong. This is his own interpretation.
I'm not saying that you have, but I'm just saying at the same time, what has happened is that you have 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of people who do that. I'm not saying everybody who does that ends up there, but you have, because there are no clear guidelines. Then it also allows for many people to make up their own religion. Rob them in the Philippines, we have new people coming up with new religions every day. They have a new religion, you had this listen to Crystal showed up in one time and thinking in America, you know, you have the you know,
seven days the Mormon, you know, the every, you know.
we've been given the T sign here, which means
okay, but you know, on one hand, you're saying something that never happened. You're contradicting yourself, because on one hand, wait a min brother. On one hand, you're saying that the competitive profits were all convert to Islam.
when we're saying that the person is a convert to Islam, I mean, one thing we have to be careful of, is we don't want to get into here slipping over, over terminologies here. Now, when we say this person is a convert to Islam, were informing the audience, that this person has something unique to themselves something to offer. Okay? What we're saying, what we can say is that this person is a convert to Islam, to imply that this person is in any way inferior to a person who was born in a Muslim family, this is incorrect, but to say this person converted to Islam, or reverted to Islam, you know, our became a Muslim. And this is something I don't think really need to take up so
strongly. I mean, if it is your own personal conception, then don't use it. But at the same time, I would say, Please don't tell other people who you are using it and wish to use it in a positive light, and not in a negative light.
Okay, so I'll
turn it over to my brother, Dave, here to finish things off. And thank you.
alaikum, on behalf of the National Guard medical service, thought hospital, in particular, the Religious Affairs Committee of the National Guard, we want to thank all of you to tonight's dialogue. I'm sorry, we have to cut it short. But you know, this is one for two hours, and our brother has to have some rest. I think the main main thing we want to say is that Islam is a religion that is a frame of reference for our brothers and saying, which asks you to think, does it ask you to use your mind.
We say as Muslims, we're all born here with the same purpose, the person with the purpose to worship and submit ourselves to one supreme god. That's the meaning of the word Muslims. And our orientation is Islam. We say anything to offend anyone, we've never meant that. Our main thing was to give you our viewpoint, as my brother said, we don't have the right to change it. Regardless all the differences you may hear in the news media in the West, or now on satellite TV here. Islam is very coherent. And it is very, very consistent. And we hope that you will take the opportunity in the future to come to future meetings like this. We have information from books up here, I think. And we
also have the names of individuals who can help you to find out more information if you're interested. There's no compulsion in religion. There's no compulsion in this. But if you do have an enquiring mind, you're interested in more, we'll try to find you somewhere. As regards what's available now with refreshment and more practical part of the program. We're asking first that the women go out to the hall here, and take their food, and then come back to this room. And when the women are done, then the men have to go out to the hall and take the app to the women. And women would get up now and go to food and men stay here for a little bit.
Okay, and if there are any other questions or issues, there are going to be some television programs on the topic of Christmas and New Year's coming up on Islamic journal. That'd be Tuesday at seven o'clock.
And then there'll be some newspaper articles out daily about these topics. Just so other information sources for you. Thank you again for your time and your patience.
While the ladies go out for the food if the men have any more questions of my brother or anyone and anything,
you can continue.
Invite them to Islam.
This is practical. You know what happens when
publicity inviting to Islam doesn't mean that every time you see them, you tell them you have to be a Muslim, you have to be a Muslim, no, inviting to Islam has many, many different ways. You might invite them over to your house, you might have a movie, you know, which is about Islam, something like this is short, you know, you may go with them on a picnic with some other families and that and use it as an opportunity.
Yeah, you know, your own practice, you're dealing with them in an honest way, in a kind way, and adjust way. I mean, this is all part of our our encompasses all of it. Right? So, I mean, don't feel that the only way that we can express friendship is through joining them in their celebrations and giving them cards and giving them gifts.
their rights is to receive the word of Allah, that is the fundamental right, that is the most important everything else is is inconsequential, whenever right in terms of practicing their own religion, as long as it's not, you know, propagated in society they can make to do it on their own in their homes, or whatever they have that right. But
the write that they have from us, is fundamentally to convey the message of Islam to them. Any of us who does not do that is a sinner. And that's the point that we should be very concerned about, that we find ourselves in circumstances where we are sitting, or we're working with non Muslims, and we are not conveying to them Islam.
that we are all ambassadors of Islam by default, whether or not we like it by our actions, Islam may be judged. Now, to those people from the west who don't know anything about Islam, the only thing they would have, which the basis on is on our actions. But I tell them in retrospect, what if I were Muslim, and you're saying the West, and I watched about Northern Ireland and television, so I assumed that Christianity permits killings, and you know, bombing and naming and all that, no, you know, we're not that it's not that simple not to do that. But fortunately for them, they don't have a frame of reference, because there isn't much information. But when you're in the company, you
know, Westerners have a taboo about talking about details of religion, you don't ask them if they pray directly, because many get upset. But I think the key thing is, by our act, we have to be especially careful in the presence to have appropriate action, and not to
do things wrong, because I said they may have come to the wrong conclusion, not only are we punished for what we did wrong, but for having given them the bad impression of what we have done. But I think the key thing is, every good deed is charity, you can talk a lot about it without using words, which have very negative meanings to the Westerner, the words Muslim and Islam have been slandered in a very negative impression. But you can, you can just by saying, Well, I'm not going to say good morning to you, I'm going to say how are you going to get mad at me about that? You might say the morning is not good, but you can't be upset at me if I say that even a smile can be charity. You can
find ways around introduce some symbolic concepts and make them receptive slowly. It takes a long time. And I think the key thing is, we have to persevere and be careful what we do in their presence.