Channel: Bilal Philips
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Brothers and sisters
in the previous
we have spoken about
the culture, the global culture and Islamic culture
It is very important for us to be crystal clear on what constitutes Islamic culture.
Having understood the global culture
it is also important for us to understand
what is the basis of Islamic culture.
as we said,
the way people live their lives,
which is over and above
the common and shared natural characteristics of sleeping, eating, procreating, we don't look at that as being really a part of culture.
However, how one may eat,
how one may sleep, how one may procreate. This is what constitutes the culture. And this varies
around the world, from society to society.
But from an Islamic perspective, there should be a common culture which is shared by all Muslims, because there is only one Islam
though we hear of
other Islam like Shia Islam, etc.
And we use the term Sunni Islam.
Reality is that there is only one Islam. When we use the term Sunni Islam it is to distinguish it from
the deviation known as Shia Islam or Shia Islam. But otherwise, Allah doesn't speak about Sunni Islam in the Quran. Prophet Mohammed says Allah never spoke about Sunni Islam is they only spoke about Islam. So there is only one Islam.
And obviously, that one Islam should be the foundation for Islamic culture, which should unify the Muslim culture internationally.
Now prophet muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam he defined for us what constitutes Islam.
He said in a very famous Hadith which you all are familiar with the hadith of Angel Gabriel,
in which the Pillars of Islam, pillars of Eman and the pillars of sun were defined.
And the culture which is produced by the implementation of these pillars, that is the culture of Islam. That is the root of the culture of Islam. Now, Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam summarized all of these different pillars of Islam Eman, Hassan
he summarized them in one term, when he said, in the my boys too, they will tell me Mama caramella flock indeed I was only sent to perfect for you the highest of moral character traits.
So he summarized Islamic culture,
Islamic life as essentially morals, moral living
a moral way. But what is most important in Islam is morality.
Everything that Islam commands
leads us to
the highest levels of morality. Everything that Islam prohibits, protects us from the lowest level
of morality, that there is a moral message infused in every single element of Islam.
And it is essential for us to be able to understand that moral message, so that we don't mistake the means for the goal.
The means to get us to the goal, which is that moral goal may be Sala, it may be zeca, it may be fasting, it may be believed in the last day, etc.
But these are means, if we think that these means are in fact, the goal and the end, then we will have missed the real message of Islam.
As we said that message is essentially a moral message.
But, in order for us to be crystal clear on what we're talking about, because the term morality is used in a number of different contexts, it is important for us to be clear, what do we mean by morality, what is the meaning of Islam having ultimately a moral goal, or morality basically,
is concerned with the principles of right and wrong conduct.
morality is defined as the quality of conforming to the principles of good conduct.
There is good and bad
in the concept of morality, it is your means by which you identify what is in fact good and what is in fact, bad. When we say a person is a moral individual, individual have high morals, we're talking about really good morals, because there can be bad morals also. So obviously, the goals of Islam are the good, highest supreme moral principles which Allah has defined for us.
And we have to look at Islamic morality within the context of morality in general, which we should understand may vary from religion, philosophy, culture, professional requirements, etc. It may vary. For example, under capitalism, as a philosophy, the free use of property is considered good, you have property you can do with it as you please, it is yours, you've worked for it, or you've gotten it, however, you've gotten it, nobody can challenge how you got it anymore, you have it, then you can use it in any way that you please. So it is morally correct in that system, for you to die and leave all of your wealth to your dog.
you have children, wife, relatives who get nothing, because prior to your death, you are obsessed with them.
So you wrote them out of your will, and you left everything to your dog that is morally correct that system because it's your wealth, you can do with it as you please.
And the communist system.
Originally, well, now communism is broken down and they've changed their principles somewhat. But then the original concept of communism, individual ownership was looked at as something evil, that it should be everything should be owned by the whole state. Everybody shares in everything, nobody owns anything individually.
So, on one side, in capitalism, what was considered to be morally good and fine, on the other side, and communism is considered to be morally evil.
Also, another example could be seen in social needs, which can define morality in China where your population is billion plus.
They considered having a second child immoral, morally wrong.
You're allowed to have one child that's it.
You have a second child
You're a criminal, that is morally wrong.
Whereas in other societies, in Europe where people are marriages are breaking down, people are shying away from even having children, they give you have money to have more children, the more children you have, the more money the state gives you.
So it's morally good, having more. So social need there, where they have zero population, you have minus population population growth is in the minus figures. The social needs says we need to pump up the score, we need to increase the number of children so we will pay people to have extra children. Whereas in China, it is the opposite. on a professional level,
psychiatrist is told in his profession, that he should not reveal what has been told to him by his patients.
patient privacy is considered
above all else. So if a mass murderer comes to you, and reveals all the people he has mutilated, and done, all these things to you might be revolted and everything, but according to your profession, you are supposed to keep that hidden.
That is considered morally good.
But does this society really accept that as morally good, you're going to hide the secrets of this mass murderer? No, the society will naturally rebel against this.
And good sense says rarely, such a person should not be hidden.
And in religion, for example, you can find in Catholicism, that it is morally wrong for a priest or a nun to marry
is morally wrong. So that is the religion that is their teachings. So this morality is a varying morality. And under the democratic system, you have what we call democratic morality, which is the morality of the mass, whatever everybody agrees on is good is good. And what everybody agrees on is bad is bad, or the majority does not have to be everyone. But what the majority feels is bad, then that is what's bad.
So what then is the basis of Islamic morality, Islamic morality, the basis is whatever a law has defined as good is good. And whatever a law has defined as evil is evil.
That is the basis.
He who knows the reality of all things, has the right to define in the ultimate sense in the absolute sense, what is absolutely good, and what is absolutely evil.
It doesn't mean we as human beings cannot identify some good and some evil based on the needs in our community or circumstance, we might see at the intersection near where we live a lot of accidents. So we feel there's a need for putting a traffic signal there. That is a good that we have agreed upon to prevent the harm coming to people we put a traffic signal to cut down on the number of accidents. So we can do this, but in the ultimate sense, because time may come and the mode of transportation difference and we said okay, no need for the traffic signal anymore, we can take it out. Or before we used to have a roundabout, we said roundabout was good, it served its purpose, but
later on with more traffic, we needed something more efficient, we said put traffic lights instead. So these kind of things are subject to change based on our needs, etc. We can still define relative good and relative evil. But with the last one to Allah, what is good, that he defines as good is ultimately good. It's not relatively good. It's not just relative to us relative to Arabs, relative to Muslims, it is good for society as a whole.
Because Islam is the way of life which our law has defined for human beings as a whole and not just for specific groups.
Also, we should understand as a general principle, that what the law has defined as good is good, because there is real benefit in it. Whether we can see the benefit or not.
And what is defined as
is that which has in it, harm, harm which outweighs any good that we might see in it.
Allah knows best. So we understand the laws, decisions of good and evil are not arbitrary. He just wants to make human life difficult. So he says, okay, don't do this.
And he wants to test them to do so he tells them to do things they really don't need to do, which is a really no benefit. This is not how Allah commands and prohibits.
He commands the good and he prohibits the evil.
This is essential for us to understand the foundation of Islam,
the moral foundation
and to put all of our various practices Islamic practices into the proper context. All praise is due to Allah and Milan Peace and blessings beyond the last messenger of Allah.
brother and sisters, is based on four fundamental principles.
The first of those is knowledge.
For a person to act in a morally correct way, he or she must have knowledge. That is why Prophet Muhammad wa sallam had said tolerable lb for a Muslim seeking knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim, because that is essential for us to be able to act in a correct moral fashion. So we have to be in a process of seeking knowledge throughout our lives, seeking knowledge and passing that knowledge on to others.
The profits are seldom emphasized is so much that he cursed the world. Everything besides it saying at dunya meluna Miller Onan Murphy Ha. This world is cursed and everything in it is cursed in the crow law except for the remembrance of Allah, wa Allah and what aids us in the remembrance of Allah, wa lemon omata Halima the teacher, and the student,
the teacher and the student placed in a very special place.
We should either be teachers,
passing on what knowledge we have, or we should be students seeking knowledge from those
who have more knowledge than us. First, the creme de la talamona those who know if you don't know what a law tells us.
So we should be constantly in that process, gaining, imparting learning, teaching,
knowledge, the foundation of Islamic morality. Because of that the prophet SAW Selim also said, the pen is raised from the book of the child until it reaches maturity,
from the book of the insane until he or she becomes sane. And from the book of the sleeper, until he or she awakens
these categories, the child doesn't have the knowledge to guide it in what is really right and wrong. It may have a relative knowledge, but they're not held accountable until the age of puberty, when the mind matures. And that sense of right and wrong becomes mature.
Similarly, the person who was insane, they're not held accountable for their actions. But of course, from the Islamic perspective, insanity is true and sovereignty, not what we might call in, in western systems, they call it temporary insanity, where you are so angry or your soul whatever, that you did actions which would say that is insane, that is mad.
But that doesn't constitute
an excuse from responsibility in the Islamic sense. The one who is insane is the one who was insane before the act, and after the act, not the person who for a temporary period of time becomes quote unquote, mad or insane. So it is not an excuse.
People are able to get out of punishment in the western systems by claiming temporary insanity.
And the person who is sleeping, the person sleep walks, and does things, though we might think it's quite weird or strange. The point is that if they're in that state of sleep, and they do anything, they're not held accountable for their actions because knowledge, the knowledge base wasn't there.
To choose. The second is the rational choice, that things which have been done accidentally, there was no rational choice involved, that happened from you without any intent behind it. So it wasn't the choice you made. So problems or sentiments said responsibility has been removed from a nation regarding acts done accidentally, out of ignorance or being forced. So whereas you're forced to do something, you have no choice, and you did it, then you're excused. But this is with limitations. Not anything that you're forced to do, where what you're forced to do involves harming others. So you do it in order to protect harm from coming to yourself, then this is not acceptable.
But where there is no harm to others, and you're forced to do something, meaning physical harm, you know, death or injury to others, then you would have an excuse and the law would not hold you accountable, because you are forced.
there is the principle of intent. As the prophesize element said in the ml ml, the net deeds are judged, ultimately, by their intentions.
So the intention will determine whether that deed is morally good or morally evil relative to Allah, Allah who knows the intentions externally, we can only judge the deeds according to what people do. We can say that is morally good that is morally evil, based on what the Sharia defines for external deeds, but the internal that is left with the last one to Allah, He is the one who ultimately will determine what is ultimately good and what is ultimately evil. So somebody might do something which externally we see it to be something bad, and we punish the person for it.
It might have been circumstantial, it might have been a circumstantial
circumstantial incident, which one fell into, without intending to be there, one was trying to do something good, and people perceived externally as something evil.
And so you're judged according to that evil. But in fact, with the law, the judgment is good, you are trying to do good.
the principle of taqwa
fear of Allah, that multi the true morality Islamic morality cannot be achieved without the presence of the fear of Allah.
Knowledge could be their rational choice intent could be there, but without the fear of a law, then that deed becomes externally good. But internally, it may be evil or it may be of no value.
nullified by the lack of taqwa.
So, Prophet Mohammed Salim
came as an example to us of morality.
As he said, he was only sent to complete the most noble of character traits and a last month it described him in the crime saying, in Nicola Allah Hello, can I have him? Surely you Muhammad have or has a magnificent character?
That magnificent character, holo can have him Mufasa rune or interpreters of the Quran explained that this was in fact Islam. And that's here by using this term Hello. Allah is equating character with Islam. And that's why when Ayesha was asked about the prophet SAW Selim scary
She said, Can hola como ella Quran that his character was that of the Quran.
And the prophet SAW Salem further added
to this principle of good character,
righteousness, morality, he linked these, saying, I'll bear personal hollow, that true righteousness is good character. True righteousness is not necessarily what we see externally done,
though what is externally done, may be linked, but it isn't the criteria and ultimately, the criterion is good character that a person
should be affected by the righteousness that they do. And the effect should be good character. So when a person a non Muslim says to us, you know, so and so
he prays all the time, but he cheats us, it doesn't give us our wages in time. He does this to us. He does that to us, he curses us he does all these other things.
What kind of Islam is this?
We have to admit
that person is in fact far away from Islam.
The concept of morality is lost. He is caught up in the external acts which are customs and traditions associated with being Muslim and he does them
but they have no impact on him. As the law had said, in the silicon high and in fact shower Moncur indeed prayer prevents evil speech and evil deeds. So, if that impact is not taking place, if the person displays bad character
corrupt, etc. Then we say that the Salah that he is doing or she is doing is not the Salah, which Allah commanded.
It is a salon of their own making, not the one which surprised us lm prescribe when he said so Luca Mara I timoni suddenly pray as you saw me pray.
externally and internally.
So problems are seldom stressed. This link the link between true faith and righteous deeds as is mentioned throughout the Quran,
where Allah describes the believers as those who believe and do righteous deeds, we hear these two length throughout the Quran from the beginning to the end.
Similarly, in Islam,
the prophet SAW Selim had said, the believer whose faith is most complete, is he whose character is best.
So I asked the last one to Allah, to give us the realization of the core of Islam, which is morality, that we change our character make our faith real by living through moral lives, lives which are pleasing to Allah subhanaw taala. ask Allah to forgive our weaknesses and our misgivings and our deficiencies and help us to find our way back to the true power of Islam, the moral path, we ask Allah to bless our children, our families, our loved ones, to be on that path. We ask Allah to make our last breath in this life, be that of La ilaha illAllah.
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