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Prophethood 9 – Muslim Non Muslim Relations

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Jamal Badawi

Channel: Jamal Badawi

Series:

Episode Notes

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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To all of the viewers of the Islamic focus program, I greet you with the greetings of all the profits from Abraham to Prophet Muhammad sallahu wa Salaam are peace and blessings be upon him Assalamu alaikum which means peace be upon you. In today's program, we will be dealing with the ninth program in the series on Prophethood in Islam, in the previous series on monotheism or the oneness of God or Allah, the concluding session focused on the practical application of monotheism, on the thinking and life of the Muslim.

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Likewise, in today's program, we are starting the concluding portion of the series Prophethood in Islam, by looking into some of the practical applications of the belief in all prophets, on the thinking, the attitudes and the actions of the Muslim more specifically, what is the effect of the Muslims belief in Prophethood on his or her attitude towards non Muslims? I have as my guest on today's program, Dr. Jamal Badawi of St. Mary's University, welcome to Islam and focusing on my Dr. battery.

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Does the Quran containing instructions to Muslims on how he or she is to relate to others who are

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non Muslims? Is there any basis in the Quran for peaceful coexistence? And what is the the general rule so to speak? And what are some of the exceptions concerning the Muslims relationship to non Muslims? Okay, I have with me here the translation of the meaning of the Quran I say meaning because there is no translation here that's totally and completely accurate, conveying the exact meaning of the Quran. This is one difficulty in translating such literally, and

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scriptural

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texts like the Quran.

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In chapter 66, verses eight and nine, we find that in the basic rule,

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general rule for the relationship between the Muslim and non Muslims is very well and very clearly spelled out. And this is this are not the only citation. This is one of the key citations, yes. And then the translation of the meaning of trades.

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God forbids you not, that is addressing Muslims, with regard to those who fight you not for your faith, nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them. For God loves those who are just the next verse nine.

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It says God only forbids you with regard to those who fight you for your faith, and drive you out of your homes and support others and driving you out.

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from turning to them for friendship and protection. It is such as turn to them in these circumstances that do wrong.

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Now notice here that are three important observations on the this text, Chapter 60, verses eight and nine. First one is that it is clearly stated there, that the general rule of the relationship between Muslims and non Muslims is that of as the verse says, justice, and kindness. All right. In other words, peaceful coexistence with non Muslims.

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But it's obvious also that there, if there's any deviation from that basic rule of friendship and fellowship, it is only because of certain exceptional reasons. And according to the verses I cited, this reasons include, for example, people who are like it says, fighting you for your faith fighting you because you are Muslims that is trying to obliterate or destroy your religious identity, which is very logical,

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you know, reservation, exact sets of preservation. Also, the verse mentioned, the second exception, those who drive you out of your homes, that is those who are engaged in actual violence and hostility against the Muslims, or those who are supporting others in driving your home. And I don't think that there's any sane person really can expect to extend intimacy and friendship to those who are trying to destroy him. This is one observation. It's just basic human nature man that has a tendency to want to exactly to

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Especially when you talk about close friendship and tennis, you can have it with someone who wants to punish, you have to destroy. Yes, exactly. And the second observation on this,

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or the third, I should say is that there are two key words used in this citation. And again, like I said earlier, no translation can give the full meaning of the Quran. But since I have the blessing of knowing both the Arabic and English languages, and perhaps I can explain it further, the, the verse uses two words doubleroom, what aka to Eli him that is coming from two basic words toxic to him, which is the second term means to be just with them. So justice is one meaning, which means that you cannot persecute them, you can take away the rights you cannot hurt them, simply because they are not Muslim.

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But the first term is quite interesting. Who comes from the Arabic verb verse. And the word in Arabic does not just connotes kindness or justice. It even goes beyond that. There were built in Arabic has no exact equivalent in English. That's why translators just put it as close as possible by saying kind of kindness. There, in fact, in Arabic means everything that's good, decent, respectable, compassionate. Just to clarify that further, we find that in Islamic literature, especially in the prophetic tradition, and the hadith of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. He uses the exact term bear

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in relationship between the person and his parents. In other words, one should have this birth, this common Arabic bearer validated to have four parents which is a lot more than kindness, its kindness, its decency, its respect, its compassion. So it's a it's obvious than that, on the basis of this general rule in the Quran, any non Muslim who accepts to have peaceful coexistence with with Muslims he is to be treated, treated justly and kindly.

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friendship and fellowship may be extended to him or her. On the other hand, it's also obvious and practical to say that those who promote hostility or hatred of Muslims and try to destroy them cannot expect to have this kind of intimacy are crossbencher.

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The verses that you we've just been discussing seem to refer to the situation of non Muslims in general. Are there other

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is other verses in the Quran that which speak more specifically about the relationship between

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Muslims and Jews and Christians in particular? Yes, there is, in fact.

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First of all, let's not forget that the extension of the same justice and kindness as ordained in the Quran, definitely include Jews and Christians in the verse that I cited before because the verse was General and applies to Jewish Christians or others in general. But just to satisfy your your question, over and above this general

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status or general treatment of other non Muslims, you find that the Quran called Jews and Christian, a particular name, it gives them a particular title, and that is an Arabic called Al Khattab or translated literally, people have the book.

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In fact, I counted a minimum of 29 places in the Quran, where the term Al Khattab People of the Book is used to refer to Jews and Christians. Then you might ask, what, what is the significance of the Quran singling out Jews and Christians among all non Muslims and with this particular term, the reason being is that the word keytab itself in Arabic means book. And the book capital V refers in Islamic terminology to scriptures, that is people who received scripture or whose prophets received the scriptures like the Torah, and the and the gospel or the sons of David or other prophets, given revelations from God. And that, in itself, is the greatest manifestation of the special status given

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to this group of non Muslims who are Jews and Christians because definitely they are closest to Muslims, than others who are either unbelievers in God or believe in tribal gods or believe in multiplicity of gods. Definitely closer because of, I would say, five basic reasons. First of all, in all of this faith, greatest Judaism, Christianity and Islam, one of the common thing is the belief in God, or Allah as it's called an Arabic, which means the supreme creator Sustainer of the universe, or metaphorically or figuratively speaking, all these three religions

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Believe in one supreme loving Father, I have no qualms with the word, loving Father, if it's used in metaphoric sense rather than imputing divinity on any human being, there is no question that that

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there may be differences with respect to issues like Trinity, for example, which is not accepted by the Muslim or sonship of Prophet Jesus peace be upon him. But again, that does not bear on the basic concept of believing in God. Secondly, in all these three phase, there is a belief in Prophethood. That's the series that we're covering, that God sent messengers, or prophets throughout history, in order to guide humanity, to reconcile them to their Creator, and to point or show them or guide them into the path of truth. Of course, the prophets die, but the message is never dead, a prophet die, but the followers carry that message to others. So the death is only physical but not in terms of

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the the message. Certainly, these three phase believe also in divine revelation, that there is scripture, there are scriptures or holy books that has been revealed to those prophets, in order to guide humanity. And again, there might be differences as to which scripture is relatively more authentic, which one demand without change, versus one that might have incorporated philosophies. But still, the whole notion of belief in scriptures is common also.

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A fourth common thing is the belief in the law of punishment and reward, that is in the accountability and the hereafter, and that people in the hereafter will be rewarded or punished depending on their proper, correct belief and correct behavior and their compliance with the moral code, which has been echoed by all prophets are tested all the way from Adam, to Prophet Mohammed, the last one peace be upon him.

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So in that sense, then, we could say that, regardless of these differences, this area that I described are,

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are provided a lot more ground for commonality between Muslims on one hand and Jews and Christians or people of the book, on the other hand, as distinct from those who are, for example, atheists or politics,

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sometimes

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the claim is made that there's a verse in the Quran, which actually implores or discourages the Muslims from befriending Jews and Christians as a rule. Is there any truth in that? And if so, how does the

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that particular verse relate to the verses that we've just been discussing? The verse that I just cited is so conclusive and so clear that this is the general rule? So if there's anything else in the Quran, it would have to be interpreted within the context of that general rule? Yes. And it seems that, you know, one of the main difficulties with some people who are not as informed about Islam or as

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knowledgeable of the entire Quran is to pick certain things out of context, which would give exactly the opposite meaning. You know, it reminds me, for example, with one verse in the Quran that says, Do not approach or go to prayers when your mind is be clouded. So if you decide to not approach prayers, it means that you shouldn't pray, which is the exact opposite meaning of what the verse less intense, or like someone who wants to recite the Islamic testimony, which says there is no God, but one God and somebody says there is no God and stops. Yes, exactly.

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Right. So you have to be taken into account in proper context. Exactly. You have not only the proper context in the verses around it, but also in other supporting verses in the Quran. Right. So the verse that I cited before, it's so clear, like I said, that's in chapter 16, verses eight and nine, which was recited before, which shows very clearly that there is no restriction on friendship so long as there is no reason or exception. Yes, indeed, there. Yes, there is a verse in the Quran in

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the chapter, which may give the misleading impression for someone who is not familiar to that. Muslim is not supposed to have friends with Jews and Christians. But let me read it for you first, and then read this following verse that is normally neglected and not referred to when people quote this verse. This appears in the fifth chapters in the Quran. And use of Allah translations appeared under number 54. And it says, all you who believe take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors, I comment on this usage of the term friends and protectors. They are about friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them for friendship and the

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word also is used the same in Arabic so it should be actually friendship and protection is

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them, verily God guides not a people. And just

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like I said, some people got this and forget to call the following verse succeeding verse, which really make it clear as to what conditions under which this would be applicable. So let me read the following one, it says, those in whose hearts is a disease, you see how eagerly they run about among them say, we do fear less than a change of Fortune brings us a disaster. Ah, perhaps God will give the that is the Mohammed or Muslims victory, or a decision according to His will, then, when they repent of the thoughts which they secretly harbored, in their hearts.

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And when you refer to any interpretations of the Quran, that related to the reason for revelation and the conditions under which this verses were revealed, it does specifically with some of the hypocritical people who are within the ranks of Muslims, who would,

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on the surface, claim themselves to be Muslims. However, they expected that it is quite possible that the non Muslims who are in conflict and hostility with Muslims at that time may have the upper hand or achieved victory. So they tried to keep this friendship with them secretly, even though they are hostile and very fighting or trying to obliterate Muslims, in the hope that if the Muslims are winners, or right, they're accepted as Muslims, yes. But if the non Muslims become the winner, or get the upper hand, they go back to them and say, Listen, you know, we were your friends, give us some favors and get some protection from them. So it's obvious then that what the Quran really is

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contempt is this kind of duplicity, and hypocrisy on the part of some people. But there is something more important than that. And that goes back to the original word used in the Quran. If you refer to this first verse, I cited, it says don't take Jews and Christians, I will get

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the word Alia and herb it does not necessarily mean just friends.

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Actually, the closer meaning is what Yusuf Ali included as explanatory term protectors, actually, it's much closer to meaning to the term protectors than friendship. There is lots of verses in the Quran that confirm and

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explain this particular meaning of being protected. That means you cannot depend for your defenses on those who show up in hostility to you. And finally, maybe I should add one more point here, that this this with communal relationship, that is when there are camps, for example, the camp of Muslims, and then there are non Muslims who are engaged in hostility against Muslims. It is very erroneous, as many Muslim jurists as pointed out, to take this verse

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to apply to every individual, Judeo Christian definitely is that's far from the intention behind it and contradictory to other instructions that appears in the Quran. So in that sense, then, one cannot say that this verse applies to a Jew or Christian who is a decent neighbor, a decent colleague or a decent acquaintance? Definitely, the circumstances for the application of the verse is quite different. This is the problem, like I say, with Miss quotations or partial quotation out of context. Right? Well, I certainly appreciate your clarifying this particular verse, which has caused some difficulty in some people's minds. It seems to me that the explanation that you've given

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us quite a reasonable and acceptable one, I'm sure to anybody who who has heard your explanation. I wonder how or if you might take a bit more time just to share with us a few more verses from the Quran which confirm the statement that

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friendship and coexistence is a rule in Islam, and that the restrictions that are placed on friendship and exception is the exception, right.

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I left

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select three parts or three portions in the Quran. The first one appears in

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chapter three, verses 118 through 120. And that talks about one of the cases where one should not have friendship with non Muslims. And it gives the reasons also right there. It says, Oh, you who believe take not into your intimacy, those outside your ranks, they will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire your ruin. rank. Hatred has already appeared from their mouse's what their hearts can see is far worse. We have made plain to you with the science if you have wisdom ah

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You are those who love them. But they love you not,

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though you believe in the whole of the book, the word book here means also scripture that were revealed before.

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Though you believe in the whole of the book, when they meet you, they say we believe, but when they are alone, they bite off. They're very finger. They're very tips of the fingers at you in their rage. Say Parrish in your rage, God knows well, all the secrets of the hearts. If anything that's good befalls you that is befalls you all Muslims, it grieves them. But if some misfortune overtakes you, they rejoice at it. But if you are constant and do right, not the least harm will they were they're cutting due to you, for God.

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Campus round about all that they do. In other words, in this condition, long as it may be, sound, like I said, again, there is this problem with the translation. What is mentioned, there are the people who are bent on corrupting Muslims who really have envy or bad feelings towards them, who really try to take any chance to ruin the Muslims. The second petition and is in chapter 16,

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verse one, in which the Muslims also are instructed, they say it says, all you who believe take not my enemies, and yours as friends and protectors, offering them your love, even though they have rejected the truth that has come to you. And and that's the more important part and have, on the contrary, driven out the profit and your cells from your homes. So that, again, is a reference to people who were harboring aggressive feelings and towards the Muslim and actually participated in driving Muslims out of their homes. And the third and final one in this question is the verse in chapter 58, verse 22, which shows again, that those who are not sincere to God, those who are, as

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the rest call them fighting God, or offending gods, which of course, would not apply to any sincere believer, regardless of his faith, one should not have an intimate relationship with them, even if they are his friends or relatives. That's again, in 5822, it says, You will not Muhammad, Muhammad, you will not find any people who believe in God and the last day, loving those who resist God and His apostles resist God and His apostles,

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even though they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their content, and then it continues on praising this kind of people who refuse to have this intimacy with those, like I said, Who offend God or resist God and the truth? So in that context, I think there's ample evidence, and they just took three for the

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shortness of time. But there's more evidence and sound like, well, in the in the exception that you've cited, is there any room for reconciliation? You know, if other people, some of the people who fall within the categories that we've just been discussing, if they're hostile attitudes towards the Muslims are changed? Is there any support for reconciliation? There's no question about that, in fact, that if there's any restriction on friendship, or finish up with any non Muslim, especially Jews and Christians has to be regarded only as temporary. And since it's by exception, because of such reasons, if the reasons are removed, then friendship could be extended. Right? And the you find

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this a very noble role. In, for example, Chapter 16, verse seven.

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And it says, It's may be talking about the those who are hostile to Muslims, it may be that God will grant love and friendship between you and those whom you now hold, as enemies, for God has power over all things, and God is oft forgiving, of merciful.

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Something even that's more interesting, that shows the attitude of Islam towards those who wronged you.

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Truly, Islam provides, of course, the right for the person to defend his right and his existence, like we mentioned earlier, but still you find the appeal also to returning if it was good, if that would really lead to the improvement of the situation. I refer in particular to chapter 41 verses 33 and 34.

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I cannot resist reciting it in Arabic. It's so beautiful. Also for people who can understand would you perhaps to recite it in Arabic And that was the English translation following maybe from 33 to 35. That would give a complete meaning. Woman so Nicola mimin de la huami, lasala hamaca in any minute muslimeen. Well, let's start with what to say. Yeah. It is fabulous. He is an eternity Vina Covina

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Number

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one, aka Latina suburu, aka her husband,

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who is better in speech that one who calls people or mankind to God works righteousness and say, I am of those who bow in submission or in Islam to God.

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Nor can goodness and evil, be equal,

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repel evil, with what is better, then will he between whom and the was hatred, become as it were, thy friend, and intimate

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and no one will be granted such goodness, except those who exercise patience, and self restraint.

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Not none but persons of the greatest good fortune

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that is, can't qualify for this blessing. So it shows very clearly that as the prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him has said once that goodness is not to return or to be good to one who is good to you. But goodness is to do good to someone who wronged you.

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Besides the

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appeals, which are meeting in the Quran, for charity and for forgiveness towards the fellow non Muslims.

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Is there anything in Islamic law that

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cooperates or or substantiates this attitude and gives practical application to what the crown says,

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what I can refer to one verse in the Quran, I understand we have only about two minutes left to give diverse number, but at this time, even I could recite it later. And that appears in chapter five, verse six.

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And by the way, this is the same chapter also that provided the restriction, yes, on friendship under certain circumstances, the verse that has been cited cited frequently. But in that verse, what it really says is that the Muslim is permitted to eat the slaughtered animals, which are slaughtered by a Jew or Christian. And as you know, in Islamic law, one is not permitted to eat the same meat if it were slaughtered by an atheist or a polytheist. So this is something that led to dietary laws, that was considered the People of the Book are using Christian process to Islam. And as such, it is not unlawful to eat, therefore, especially the meat a strategy,

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but perhaps one of the most novel evidences and clear evidence that in Islamic law there is this attitude of tolerance and openness to followers of other faiths is the question of marriage. According to that very verse, chapter five, verse six,

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it says that Muslim men may marry beside believers may also marry as you wish, or Christian, and what could be more close in terms of intimacy and friendship than the noble relationship of marriage about which the Quran says, and one of the signs of God is that he created for you from your same kind mates, that you may find comfort and tranquility or peace of mind in them, and he ordained between you mercy and love, in order here in our science for those who think or contemplate, on that note, the better Jamal will have to conclude today's program. Unfortunately, we've run out of time, perhaps we'll have time in the next program in the series to go on and to develop this point further

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in our next program, but for the benefit of the viewers who may be watching, we will continue with the series and Prophethood dealing with the question of Muslim and non Muslim relationships. We will look into some of the practical applications of the belief and all of the profits, on the thinking, the attitudes and the actions of Muslims. More specifically, we will address one of the most common and sometimes controversial misconceptions about Islam. And that is, was Islam spread or preserved by the sword is is often claimed by some misinformed sources. That's our program for today. Thank you very much for watching Islam and focus. Look forward to seeing you next time.