Channel: Bilal Philips
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salatu salam ala rasulillah Karim
for Allah and he was Sufi, for many standards in the GLA or Medina.
All praise is due to Allah, may Allah Peace and blessings beyond his last prophet Mohammed, some maliit was seldom, and an all those who follow the past righteousness until the last day.
As you've seen on the programs, the topic of the presentation is what everyone should know about Islam.
There are many things that I want to talk about, which are very important to know about Islam.
Among those important things,
I have chosen
a, an aspect which deals with
the legislation of Islam, the philosophy behind it.
The basis of it,
is that Islam
came to reform human society.
It didn't come to destroy whatever people were doing, and replace it with something totally new.
You will find when you look at the various principles of Islam, that this idea of reformation is fundamental in it.
We find a general statement in the plan, we're in a law speaks of the believers as those who command the good and prohibits evil, but is known in Arabic as an admirable maruf. When nasty and Invoker. Now, this basic concept, commanding the good implies that
not everything people are doing
What they do, which is good, Islam, confirms,
recognizes and encourages,
but where they're involved in corruption, then Islam prohibits what is being done. This is this fundamental principle that you will find in Islamic law.
when the final message of Islam was revealed
in the sixth century, and I say the final message, because this was the message also brought by all of the prophets previously, previously.
Islam is not looked at as being something which showed up for the first time in history, you know, in the sixth century, by the
efforts of Prophet Mohammed Vilas, peace and blessings, the law on him based on revelation, which he had received from God, we do not look at Islam as having begun at that point, Islam began with the first man
who was also made the first Prophet, and that is Adam. And from Adams time, until that of Mohammed, Milan's peace and blessings be on both of them. There were a number of prophets who came in between all of these prophets are considered to be prophets of Islam, the teachings which they brought, were teachings of Islam, because Islam fundamentally means submission, to the will of God. And this is the essence of the religion which was brought by all the prophets, and that religion was one
people in time due to nationalistic reasons or cultural reasons, etc, gave different names to the religion which was brought by the prophet. But the essence of that religion is one, and it is fundamentally submission to the will of God. And this was the word submitted. This is why we say that Islam, when we talk about in the final form,
is a part and parcel of Islam, which was brought by all of the prophets. So, in Islam, in the final form, which appeared in the sixth century, we find that there are certain things which existed amongst the Arabs at the time, when the message came, because although the message is a universal message, and this is something made very clear in the plot, it is not the case that we find where
You know, the prophets who came before like Jesus and Moses Maalox, peace and blessings beyond them, were sent to particular people
in particular places for particular periods of time.
Their later followers tried to universalize the message. However, the message, when we look even in the existing writings which have been attributed to these prophets, we find that these prophets were sent to particular people.
However, when we look in the Koran, we find numerous references, where God says that Mohammed de lamb was sent as a mercy to all mankind.
He was a universal prophet. But even though he was a universal Prophet,
the message has to start someplace.
He received and he had to be born among some people.
So the people whom Allah chose, Raj chose to raise among them the last of his prophets was the Arabs of this region, particularly those in the region of Mecca.
And when the Prophet Mohammed Milan peace and blessings be upon him came with the message of Islam,
there were among the people certain practices, which Islam did not cancel, did not invalidate. And there were some practices which were invalidated. Some people in looking at it
the fact that some of the Arab customs were accepted.
Look, tend to say that Islam is an Arab religion.
Or they may say it favors the practices of the Arabs as a product of Arab culture. However, this is not so
this is not so at all.
Those things which you find that Islam has recognized, confirmed of the practices of the hab, these things were either
practices which are handed down from earlier prophets, as in the case of Hajj.
Hajj was instituted Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca was instituted by Prophet Abraham.
The practices were handed down from the time of Prophet Abraham, to the time of the Arabs, among whom the Prophet Muhammad wa sallam was raised.
Also, we find that there are some practices, which were the result of human intellectual effort, which Islam recognized, because fundamentally Islam and the priests and its principle do not contradict human intellect, they do not contradict reason.
So, those things which people do to their own experiences, have concluded are useful. Islam will recognize them.
And as such, we find for example, certain trade practices, there are methods that they had in, in, in barter, or in business transactions, some of these methods were recognized, because if these methods did not exist,
and they were needed by people, then Islam would legislate them. Because human need is of primary concern in the legislation of laws in Islam.
However, I should note that
of the principles which are confirmed
among the practices of the Arabs, and they were, in fact, few,
the vast majority of their practices were not confirmed. They were only a few a small portion, but even that small portion which was confirmed practice, what you find when you look at how they appear in Islam now, is that only the basic principle was recognized.
However, its form was modified.
For example, in the case of marriage,
there are a number of different ways in which they got married.
What Islam did was it recognized one particular form, which
had in it some concern for the rights of women.
It canceled all the other forms which had implied in it
You know, fornication or adultery, because they had a number of different forms of, you know, temporary type marriages and, you know, marriages which, which didn't have any kind of responsibility with it, you know, where children are not held to be responsible are to be the
inheritors of those who are involved in such relationships, etc. These types of marriages were all canceled, and only one particular form was recognized. But even that one form, there were, you know, modifications which were made significant modifications were made to it, to make it truly conform to the standards of
legislation, divine legislation, which would naturally take into account all of human needs.
when we look further, in the legislation of laws in Islam,
we find that there is another fundamental principle there.
And that is of removing difficulty.
You find in a number of places in the Quran, Allah says, Now you can live long enough son in law was a law does not put an obligation or a responsibility on any individual, except according to that individual's ability.
You find in other places, you know, Allah will speak about
that there isn't in the religion, any difficulty.
Allah is not made in the religion, any difficulty.
You find the Prophet Mohammed wa Salaam, when he was sending some of his companions to govern
the area of Yemen, you were sending out even a be solid, and why didn't the gentlemen he told them to
make things easy for the people and do not make it difficult.
So we find this is a fundamental principle in the legislation of Islamic laws, that
the abilities of people are taken into account.
And furthermore, what we find is that there is incorporated in the laws, a concession, which is given for times of extreme difficulty, in that
if one finds oneself in a situation where one's life or one's limb is threatened, then those things which are prohibited to you are temporarily allowed to you.
For example, alcohol, I'm sure you all know is something which is prohibited in Islam.
However, if one finds oneself in a situation
one is starving to death,
there is nothing to drink or eat. And that is on you. And all you can find in front of you, is a bottle of alcohol.
And, of course, it shouldn't have been your bottle of alcohol if you're a Muslim, right? I mean, we're talking about a situation where you might have been traveling with some non Muslims. And you know, your plane crashed or something like this, you're in the desert. And in searching for something you found in the, in the suitcase of the non Muslim, a bottle of alcohol, I mean, you're not supposed to be carrying it yourself, right. So if you found this situation, you here you found this bottle of alcohol, you are starving to death. Islam allows you to drink what is necessary to keep yourself alive.
Even though the drinking of alcohol is prohibited, you are allowed to drink enough to stay alive.
Once you drink beyond that, now becomes in
there is a limit, not to say it's just open for you. Now you're starving, you can do anything you can drink the whole bottle, no, you only drink enough to stay alive.
Anything beyond that now is considered sinful. But this condition is included in all of the Islamic laws where the harm
which was in the prohibited practice, or the prohibited food or drink is limited to yourself.
In these circumstances, you are allowed to do it. However, if the harm goes beyond you,
as in the case
Just this last week, there was an article in the newspaper, wherein a woman was being tried for murder. She was videotaped. Having tied two young men to a tree, these boys were like 16 or 17 years old, they were tied to a tree, she took a gun and shot them in the head. This was on videotape.
she claimed that she killed them to live.
This was her defense, I killed them to live.
Because the person who was videotaping this had threatened, she claimed to kill her. She feared that he would kill her if she didn't kill them. So she killed them to live.
In Islamic law, this is not acceptable.
This is not a defense.
Because the forbidden act now is going beyond yourself. You cannot take the lives of others to survive yourself, you know you're on a raft, there are three or four of you on the raft, you've got no more food.
Islam does allow you to eat human meat. At that time, normally, to eat human flesh is forbidden. If one amongst you on the raft dies,
then you may eat a part of him to live
Only under those circumstances, however, it would not be allowed for you to sit as a group and decide what so and so is the weakest amongst us, so we'll kill him and eat him. No, you can't
do understand where the where the border has to be drawn.
There's a line that has to be drawn there in the case of dire necessity, where you may be allowed to do certain things, which are normally prohibited.
We find among the principles in Islamic legislation, the publication, because if we look at
the things which are prohibited,
in comparison to the things which are allowed, the things which are allowed are many,
the things which are prohibited are few,
very few. And when you look again, in the Quran, the final revelation of virtue, man, we see in it, where the law is talking about the prohibited things, he will list them by name.
different foods, animals, which are killed, you know,
by illegal means, which die of themselves so and so. And then after that a law will say, and everything else beyond that is allows you to find when a life permitting things, it is permitted in a general sense, because there's so much, but the prohibited things are specifically listed.
So, we find this as a principle within Islamic law, that the prohibited things are few, whereas the permitted things are many.
We see also, among the principles is that of the realization of human welfare.
Within the revelation of Islamic laws, we find that they came when we look in the time of the Prophet Muhammad wa sallam in a gradual fashion.
Taking into account the situation of the people sent.
When they reach a certain stage where they're able to do to grasp and to understand and to practice, then the final laws were given. For example, in the case of
alcohol, we find that in the initial the initial laws, they were just warning to people telling them above the harm that was there in alcohol.
Whereas in the natural laws, there was complete prohibition. So the laws came in a gradual fashion, we find in the case of sola for example, even Initially, the salon, the requirement for prayer was only twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. And then when it became obligatory on a five times a day basis, it was only two units of prayer at each time. However, after the people now became used to it, then it became was increased to four units, which were residents to unit travelers. So we find this modification is gradual increase taking place in and modification taking place in various
laws which were instituted to take into account human welfare and human need.
For the time which came after the revelation.
We find also that Allah and the prophet will have peace and blessings be upon him, explained the reasons behind the laws.
Which now enables the people after that time to be able to use the laws appropriately.
So, this is how human welfare is taken into account, that by understanding the principles behind the laws, the reasons and the causes, then we are able to apply the laws in the circumstances which are most suited
in where it is most suitable. So, we have for example, in the case
prohibition which the prophets initially made for the companions, his companions and followers from visiting graveyards, he went on to say, later, that you may visit the graveyards now, go and visit them, because they remind you of the next life.
So, it's a principle in Islam, you're encouraged to go to the graveyard for what purpose, you're encouraged fundamentally, to go there to remind yourself, that death is around the corner, that you are going to end up in that situation also. And that you should try to make the best of what time you have in this life to prepare for your death.
So, that encouragement is there.
We also find in the, among the basic principles of Islamic law, is that of the establishment of universal justice. We find throughout the
various rulings in the Quran, that Allah cause the people to establish justice, even if it is against themselves.
Fulfill your commandment.
You know, your trust,
this commandment that throughout the class, we find an example in the time of the Prophet Muhammad wa Salaam, where a woman from a tribe which was a powerful tribe known as alimak Zoo,
this woman stole
and she was caught.
She was brought before the proper Hamza Salim, and she admitted that she had stolen.
Now the tribe feared that the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him would apply the law,
which was the amputation of our hands.
And they didn't want it apply because they felt it would be a shame on the tribe. So they weren't one of the companions of the Prophet, who they knew was beloved to him. He really liked him. His name was Osama bin Zayed. And he was the son of a slave,
a former slave, whom the prophets are Salam at one point had adopted.
Now they went to sama, and asked him to intercede on their behalf to talk to the problem, as I tell them, you know, to try and get him not to apply the law on this woman. So he went and spoke to the Prophet
when he did, so, the Prophet Muhammad SAW it and then became very angry.
And he asked him, Do you dare to intercede in the sixth punishments that are alive?
Then he called the people together.
And he said to them,
that the people before you, the previous nations were destroyed, because when the wealthy the powerful among them stole,
they did not apply the laws to them. But when the weak and the poor among them stolen, they applied the law fully.
went on to say after that, if my own daughter Fatimah stole,
I would not hesitate to cut off her hand.
So you emphasize to the people,
that justice is not something which is for certain segments of the society and not for others, it is universal. And this you find, again, throughout the principles of Islam,
among those principles,
there is a point I should have mentioned in relationship to realization of human welfare. And this one is related to a question which is usually raised in most lectures concerning Islam, and that is concerning plural marriage, or what is called polygamy in Islam, as I mentioned before Islam recognize certain forms of marriage.
Right and this one is the form which was recognized included this practice of multiple marriage wherein a man may have more than one wife
This forum was not introduced by Islam, it existed amongst the Arabs and Islam recognized it but limited it. I mean, before it was Unlimited, a man could marry who or many wives he wanted. However,
when Islam came, it was limited to the number that Jacob had, which was for
now, some people may argue that a woman
is harmed by men taking another way,
it is something psychologically emotionally painful.
So, why is it this long, we Institute something which will bring about harm to this woman.
what we mentioned as the principle of realization of human welfare,
this principle recognizes certain signs
that the number of women in society is greater than the number of men
for a variety of different reasons.
And these women need to have
relationships with men, because it is a part of their nature. And the only way that the society can remain
just and pure, is that this relationship be confined to marriage.
Now, if one restricts the relationship to monogamy, then it means that there will be a segment of women in the society who cannot get husbands. And they will be forced to, to have to enter into what we call illicit relationships with men, as girlfriends as mistresses, you know, call girls as prostitutes, etc, etc.
This is what they will be forced into recognizing the need of the society as a whole human welfare. It then that despite is some harm to that individual woman. If we do not allow plural marriage, then the harm to the society as a whole will be greater.
So where there is a greater harm and a lesser harm, Islam will prefer to allow the lesser harm to prevent a greater harm. So as Islam, confirmed the principles of plural marriage, to prevent the greater harm, which would happen to the society, in spite of the lesser harm, which happens to the individual woman,
this basically summarizes the position of Islamic law in terms of
reformation of society as opposed to destruction and rebuilding,
as well as the obligations which exist in Islam.
It should also be noted that
all of the principles which have been commanded by God,
or things which have been prohibited by God, these have all been commanded and prohibited for men's benefits.
There is nothing in Islam, which we are commanded to do, which is not beneficial for us.
And there is nothing in Islam, which we are prohibited from doing which is not harmful to us.
laws have human societies benefit in mind,
what is good for us, and what is not good for.
If it were not up to us, to determine what is good for us and what is not good for us, then we will set up laws, which will favor some people over others. This is something we see in the case of human laws, every new government that comes in a chance to some of the laws of the previous government and puts in new laws, because those who come in may come from one segment of the society or another segment, and they are mostly concerned with the things which are beneficial to their segments. So there is this constant struggle which is taking place a replacement of laws with new laws and so on. So, whereas the divinely revealed laws of God, these laws are untouchable.
We do not change them. These laws are beyond human legislation. It is only for their application.
And as I said they take into account human needs. Some of the laws none of the laws go against reasons, human reasons
intellect they don't go against and they're not illogical,
there may be harming them
in the things which are prohibited, which we may not grasp.
Some things are obvious, some things have become obvious. Some things will become obvious.
But the fundamental principle is that they are for human benefit.
This is the fundamental principle behind the legislation of laws. And
so, this point, I think, is also a very important point for us to keep in mind. You know, when looking at Islam, it's something that we all should know about Islam, you know, so that when we are practicing those of us who have become, you know, converts to Islam, we are not practicing Islam on a ritualistic basis, as we are taught you do this, you do this, you don't do this, you don't do this, you do this. No. I mean, you don't just do it like a robot, you know, you program a robot and it just starts doing these things and not doing these things know that you strive to understand.
Because in understanding, then what you have to do has meaning.
And for those of you who are not Muslims who are interested in Islam and have your doubts or questions, etc, you know, you should never feel shy to ask, why is this? or Why is this not? Islam encourages question. As Allah says in the Quran, Allah Allah decree in controllato, alimony should ask those who knows, you know,
Islam encourages questions, what you will find in the other system, other religions,
which, in fact, are deviations from the true teachings of Islam, which was brought by all the prophets, that in these systems, there is much which is illogical.
And which has to be accepted, as they say, on faith.
And as such, you are not allowed to question these things.
Whereas the said in Islam,
the door is open for questioning, and you should question until you are satisfied.
With that, you know, I will stop here now, inshallah, and we can look at any questions that you would like to ask, we will look at the questions which have been written, sent up. And
if people have any questions, which they'd like to just ask directly, they may also put up their hand. So, in the course of answering the written questions, if there are any questions as people would like to ask directly without writing them, they may put up their hand and we can, you know, stop our recognize you after answering certain questions.
You want to raise your hand and that's something though.
Okay, go ahead.
You're asking about Jad?
Well, you know, first and foremost, when we're looking at
questions, we should first look at the questions which are directly related to the topic, right, before going off, you know, into international politics.
I mean, the basic topics and, of course, I mean, we cannot deny international politics and look at it as something separate from Islam, of course, mass, international politics has its place in Islam. There are principles, these same principles, which I outlined, these principles are also to be applied when looking at international politics. However, we'll try to begin the questions with those things that are more directly related to what we spoke about, and then inshallah we can, you know, go on to the things which are more distant. Okay, so we'll I'm not saying we're not answering your question, but we'll tackle it a little later. Okay. Sharla
was another question. Yes. Okay. Question. I think Islam is a good religion. Also, Christianity is a good religion. So you have your way and I have mine. How can I be sure that Islam is true? Well, this is a question which
every human being ultimately has to decide for himself, whether he is a Muslim or non Muslim.
How can I be sure that what every religion I'm following is, in fact, the correct religion?
Because we see when we look around us, people following no end of religion.
Our brother said that
Christianity is good. I can also say that Buddhism is good. And Hinduism is good. These are the religions that you find all of them have in them commandments to good. If you look
But the basic principles that are there, they're telling people to do good things. And they are prohibiting people from doing evil things. So it's not just Islam and Christianity, all of the religions.
This is why people attach themselves to them, because they have in them principles which are recognized to be good.
So we all have to look at what it is we believe in,
and what others around us may believe in. And be sure, within ourselves, that what we are following is, in fact, the correct path.
How do we know
the way in which we can determine
is actually quite simple.
If we consider
that the purpose of our creation
is the worship of God.
And this is something which we find in all the religions is worship of God, and
the way in which we can determine what in fact, is the correct religion, and what in fact, is the distorted version, because I believe, and Islam teaches that ultimately, prophets were sent to every nation a lot says very clearly in the Quran, when
we sent to every nation on Earth, a messenger of God, and he was alarmist and he was calling the people to worship god alone. And to avoid the worship of false gods.
This is a fact.
So what Islam proposes
is that that basic message that I mentioned, which was shared by all the prophets, that we should worship god alone, and not worship false gods.
This is the criterion by which we may determine the true religion and the false religion.
In the true religion, only God alone is worse.
In the false religion, God's creation is worshipped. This is the way we can determine.
This is the factor which is shared by all folks religious or deviant religions worship God through His creation.
They believe they're worshiping God. But in fact, they're worshiping God's creation.
They have rationalized this in a variety of different ways, because the human mind is capable of giving all kinds of explanation and rationales for what they're doing. But the fact is, that they're worshiping God's creation.
Only in Islam, will you find that God alone is worshipped.
And not in any way through his creation? It is totally prohibited to pray to other than God. In Islam,
praying to other than God is called shoot. And this takes you outside of Islam.
If we go to Christianity,
and you ask, why are you as a Christian worshipping Jesus, amen. The Christian will tell you, those who have rationalized it will tell you I'm not worshipping Jesus demand. But God who became Jesus the man.
But what is the fact? The fact is you're worshipping Jesus the man, you have rationalized it to say God became Jesus the man but still it is the man that you're worshiping.
And this is why even in Christianity you have you know, different
sex and things which you argue about what Jesus all gods,
or what the gods Pac Man or which part of him was God, which part was man.
It becomes a big problem for the philosophers of Christianity.
Where is it in Islam? It's just got
when we go to into Islam, Buddhism, and you ask the people in a Why are you worshiping this statue? The statue which you bought from the
corner store, they will tell you listen, those that are more intellectual amongst them, they will tell you listen, we are not worshipping this statue that you see.
We are worshiping God, who is ever present everywhere, who is present within this statue.
that's who we're worshiping, not to stop you from the physical thing we know we can break it and all these things we know we can make another one. But we're not worshipping the statue It is God who is present within the statue. So here, rationale has been given to their ability
They're worshipping God. But the fact is that they're bowing down and performing acts of worship before a statue.
So when you go through all of the other religions, you'll find that this same principle exists. So if one wants to determine what is the true religion, as I said, it will be the religion wherein only God alone is worshipped.
The false religion will be one in which God's creation is worshipped, What in the name of God,
they were worshipping in the name of God, but it will not be God.
This is our basic simple principle, if applied, we can determine through religion. And this is something which is applicable even to Muslims. Because the process as Islam has spread to various places on the earth,
we find that people have in coming into Islam brought with them some of their cultural practices.
And some of them have been influenced by the people around them. And so we find in time, that they have incorporated some principles which go against the fundamental principles of Islam. So you may find in different parts of the Muslim world, people who are praying to Mohammed, their last peace and blessings be upon him, but it is prohibited in Islam. So if a person for example, you know, accepts Islam in that area, he may be taught to praise the Prophet Muhammad or something, but this is this is deviation. This is this is actually not islamophobe. So it is very essential.