Channel: Jamal Badawi
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In the name of God deep and ever since the Merciful, the creator and the Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon his servant and messenger Muhammad forever. I mean, I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except the one true God. And I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger and servant of God. I greet you in our usual fashion with the universal greetings of peace. A greeting that has been used by all of the prophets from Abraham through to Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon the mall. Assalamu Aleikum, which means peace be on to you. I'm your host Hamad Rashid. Today we continue with our second program in our new series, dealing
with the social system of Islam. Today we'll be continuing our discussion of human equality and brotherhood. I have joining me on the program as usual. Dr. Jamal betta. We have St. Mary's University, brother Jamal assalamu aleikum wa Alaykum cinema.
Before we continue with our discussion of human equality and brotherhood. I wonder perhaps you could just very quickly take us back to the main points that we touched upon in our first program in this new series last week, session. One, the main thing that was emphasized last time is that the concept of human equality and brotherhood is a very profound principle in Islam. And it emphasizes that all human beings have come from the same common Parenthood, that is through Adam and Eve, that there is no idea at all in Islam of any caste system or different status of people in their own creation.
So there is nobody really who is superior to the others on the basis of his birth. Nor is there anyone who is destined to be in a lower social status simply because his predecessors were poor, or no in the common, commonly defined social status as people believe in.
We emphasized also that
there is no single incident in the Quran, the Word of God, as beloved by Muslims, where God is referred to as the gods, of a particular tribe, or group of people or race. That is always talks about God as the Lord of the Universe, and Lord of mankind as such, and that is a basic foundation also, for human equality, and brotherhood.
theme, really, of the first program dealt with the foundation of human equality and brotherhood in Islam. And he said, there are three basic foundations for this. One is a foundation from beliefs. Second is foundation from the moral code of Islam. And thirdly, the beginning of discussion of the conceptual foundations, the basic principles, enshrined in the Quran and prophetic tradition, or the question of belief, the main point that was emphasized that beliefs are not really separate from social system. We have shown for example, that belief in the pure monotheism or the oneness of God has a serious implication in terms of human equality and brotherhood because once we believe that
there's only one God, one creator, there is nothing in between God and man that is directly either Creator God or created humans, that establishes basic human equality and brotherhood. Secondly, we referred also in the question beliefs, to the belief or oneness of the message of all the prophets who said oneness of God applies or implies of necessity, belief in the oneness of all the prophets that all prophets carried, basically the same message to submit to God and follow his path. And that means again, that all of those prophets were brothers, their followers, if they are sincere and true to their face, there really has to be also they have to be brothers themselves.
In the second basic foundation, or moral Foundation, we have indicated that any aspect in the moral code of Islam, whether they are prohibited acts, or moral virtues are not only acts of individual piety, they have their effects, benefit or harm on the individual Yes, but their harm or benefit is also related to social
behavior in social morality. So it does affect society in that sense and said, This is the second Foundation, we had only little time towards the end to just begin on the what we call I called the conceptual Foundation, or the basic principles, or ideological grounds for human equality and brotherhood. We touched very briefly on the story of Adam and Eve, not in detail, really, we just mentioned in broad terms, how the story of Adam and Eve, as depicted in the Quran is a little different from previous traditions, and a sense that it is not mentioned only as mere historical chronology of what events happen. But it is a principle that is repeated and related to actual
behavior and actual implication in terms of human equality, particularly the question of common mission of mankind on Earth, as the trustee trustees.
Well, as you mentioned, we didn't have a chance to really explore the story of creation, as it's indicated in the in the Koran I wonder, perhaps, you could just take us to the Quran and perhaps read the story as it's related in the in the Quran.
For shortness of time, I perhaps can choose one because there are several references in the front as indicated to the story. But perhaps in about 10 verses and chapters two in the Quran verses 28 through 38. It gets more or less the essence of the story.
It starts in the transmission.
How can you reject the faith in God, seeing that you were without life, and he gave you life, then he will cause you to die,
and will again bring you to life? And again to him? will you return?
It is He that's God who has created for you all things that are on Earth. Moreover, his design comprehends the heavens, for he gave orders and perfection, to the seven elements, seven heavens as people call them, and of all things, he has perfect knowledge. And then it touches more specifically on the prelude or the immediate stage before the creation of Adam and Eve. And it says, Behold, your Lord said to the angels, I will create a trustee on Earth. They said, will you place there no one who will make mischief there in and shed blood, while we do celebrate your praise, and glorify Your holy name. He said, That's God. I know what you don't know.
And he taught Adam the nature of all things. Then he placed them before the engines, and said, Tell me the nature of these if you are right. They that's the engine said, glory to thee of knowledge, we have none. save that which you have taught us in truth, and you are perfect in knowledge and wisdom.
He said, Oh, Adam, after Adam, was great for them. Tell them their natures. When he had told them, God said, Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth. And I know what you reveal, and what you can seal.
And behold, another important scene. Behold,
we said that God, we said to the engines, bow down to Adam, to the engines, bow down to Adam, and they bow down. Not so a police are certain. He refused, and was hottie he was of those who reject faith. We said, Oh, Adam, dwell you and your wife in the garden and eat of the bountiful things they're in,
and where and when you will, but approach not this tree doesn't say which tree approach not this tree
or you run into harm and transgression.
Then did Satan, make them slip from the garden and get them out? That's by tempting them to eat from the tree
and get them out of the state of Felicity in which they had been. We said, gets you down, or do all of you with enmity between you on earth will be your dwelling place and your means of livelihood for a time. That's until the day of judgment. then learn Adam This is a very important difference.
Again from previous tradition, then learned Adam from his Lord, words of inspiration.
And his Lord turn towards him. For he is oft returning, Most Merciful,
we said, gets you down from here. And if as it is, sure, they're come to you guidance from me, that is true prophets. Revelation, whosoever follows my guidance on them, there shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. But those who reject face and belly or be lie are signs, they shall be the companions of fire, they shall abide therein.
Like I said, this is only one of other places in the Quran, where the story is presented also with different emphasis on different points. But I thought that this particular quotation gives a broader view of the basic story of creation. I wonder if perhaps I can get you to, perhaps I'll analyze the text that you've just recited and shed some light on on its implications to the issue that we've been discussing in this program is
the issue of human brotherhood and equality, in other words, how they relate to how they relate to right, okay? Well, first of all, it is not it that this story of creation is preceded as we decided early, it didn't start even talking about how God created Adam. It started even by saying that God created for mankind, everything on Earth, that's even before Adam was created. And this has an important implication and relates to the previous point, we discussed in the last question of the previous program. The question of trusteeship of mankind, the basic mission for which human beings are created on Earth. The fact that the creation of Earth was made before the creation of mankind
implies that the essence or the central thing, in human life, or human living on earth is not really sin. In other words, sin is not the center thing of man's life, but responsibility, trusteeship, and that's why the Quran mentioned first,
a second interesting things that when God announced this news of the creation of a trustee on Earth, the engines were wandering, they were not objecting to God's decision they were simply wanting to say, they say, how would you create somebody who would
shed blood and do lots of mischief? on earth?
Again, the question is, how did the angels know or predict that this person or the human species, when have any corruption on Earth, there are a number of expansion. One possibility is that the very fact that God told them, that this particular creature, mankind will be mine, dusty on Earth, trusteeship in the minds of engines might have implied that you have to struggle because you have electricity, you have to do something, you have to take decisions, and struggle for choice. And that could imply also the possibility of existence of, of even error or error. Exactly. So that could be one possible reason why they were wondering,
the other explanation, which seems to be more appealing to me, because it's also confirmed in the court and elsewhere, is that the engineers noted that this particular creatures would be created from clay because God told them, I'll create him from clay. What What is clay doesn't have to be literally it could mean both literally clay or the same basic elements that exist in the clay, basic minerals, for example, that you find on Earth, which means that this human or this species of creation,
while he may have something of the Spirit of God, within him, he has, he will also have the material body, the physical body, which is also a reflection of his materialistic nature, greed and temptation towards evil. So that's where why the ancients would want it not for themselves, they were worried that God would be disobeyed on Earth. Indeed, for example, in chapter 38, verse 71,
it puts it slightly differently. By way of clarification. It says when God said to the angels, I am going to create a species from clay. So the clay even is mentioned there, specifically. Now what's the implication of this point? Well, the implication here is that if all human beings are created initially, from clay through Adam, Adam and Eve,
and when all human beings also are born through the basically the same reproductive function, you know, becoming fetus and then get born basic functions, then there is no room for any human being to claim that he is superior to others because they all come from the same origin that's basically clay, physical body.
That was clear that quotation is that God told the angels, I know what you don't know, there are things that I know that you don't.
What are these things that God was speaking about, when it could refer to the fact that even though engines are the purest creation, of course, they cannot send by definition. But still, the human species in particular, was blessed by God with certain knowledge. That could be the knowledge or nature of things, as some people translated as math, it could be the knowledge of the secrets of the universe, it could be the potential and aptitude of the human being to receive God's message, or law, and struggle to implement it, it could be a reference to the fact that this particular species of creation is quite different from elements, or material things, and different even from angels,
because he has a free choice, he's a free agent. And he has to make a decision between right and wrong between good and evil, and that itself, could be a source of great strength and sense of responsibility. Now, if all human beings then
are equal in that sense, then why then should anyone claim that he's a better human than the other at least in this basic sense. The interesting thing about the engines there is mentioned also in this quotation and elsewhere, for example, in chapter 17, verse 17, there is also a repetition of the same basic point that God orders are commanded the angels to bow down to Adam. Now, that means that anybody who claims to be a human being, anybody who of necessity came of the lineage of Adam and Eve, share the same basic dignity, which was expressed by engines bound to his forefathers, Adam, and this is very significant, because that shows the special status accorded the human if he
follows the path of God, as we find in the Quran, and it shows also, when Satan disobeyed God, that haughtiness, snobbishness and false claim of superiority on the basis of sex, race, or any other or nationality, are totally false. And this pride is so dangerous, that it was really the very main reason why Satan was thrown out of paradise.
it's, it's clear then from this whole, you know, discussion, that human beings are not only equal in terms of the basis of their creation basis of their mission, but they are also equal in their basic nature. And there's
there's the temptation that they are subject to, or subjected to, by Satan, and also in the potential of improvement and goodness, once they start on the right path.
Now, in addition to the story of creation and its implications, as you just explained them, Are there additional explicit statements in the Quran, which Enshrine the principle of human equality and brotherhood? There are several but perhaps one important thing to notice here is that in the Quran, the science it addresses people various.
For example, whenever the Quran addresses believers in particular, or reminds them of their particular obligation, it uses Yeah, you had Lavina, Amano. Oh, you who believe are all believers. But the interesting thing is that when it talks about broader human equality and brotherhood, broader human elements, which are common among all human beings, it does not address them. By all believers, it says, Yeah, you had ness, or mankind, exactly. Mankind, which means mankind, black, white, rich, poor, East West.
believer in this face, or that face or non believer at all. It addresses humanity as a basic quality, which is a very interesting way of addressing doesn't just talk about special race or chosen people or anything that addresses mankind. I'll give you a maybe three or four examples to illustrate the point.
In one quotation in the same chapter, for example, that we recited from chapter two and verse 21.
It addresses mankind in general. Yeah, you have NASA Buddha, all mankind, worship your Lord guardian. Now, the this particular verse actually was even mentioned prior to the story of creation, which shows that aside even from your particular briefs, you as humans, you should all remember that you have all been created by the same
God if you will, which again is the basis for human equality. A second example
For example, in chapter two, the same chapter, verse 168. It talks about the right of all human beings to enjoy the legitimate balances that God has created on Earth. Yeah, your natural kulu MyMathLab. All Mankind eat, from what is on Earth, lawful and good. Again, it applies here that aside from the question of faith, or race, or nationality, or all that all human beings are equal, at least in that particular sense. You don't say, All right, I'll starve to death because you don't believe the same fate. As I do. You know, everybody has the right in some shares, and resources that God has blessed us with.
A third example. It's which is really a very beautiful one, when you think about it, because of its serious implication, not only about human equality in terms of other you know, race, color, nationality, but also in terms of male and female, that appears in chapter four. In the Quran, in the first verse, it says, In the translation, all mankind, again, General, reveal your guardian Lord, who created you from a single person
created of like nature's
his meat, that's Eve, and from them, he scatters like seeds, countless men and women.
reverence God, through whom you demand your mutual rights, and reverence the ones that bore you respect for mothers, for God ever watches over you.
See, again, the principle is enshrined again not addressing Muslims or just believers, but addressing mankind at large. And finally, equality is emphasized in the Quran also, in essence, that regardless of even face, particular religious belief, all mankind share one particular thing, that all of them are going back to God to stand, you know, their child or accountability. An example of this we find in chapter 19, in the Quran, particularly verses 93, through 95, just transition quickly, it says, not one of the beings in the heavens and the earth, but must come to God most gracious as a servant,
he does take he has taken account of them all, and has numbered them all Exactly. And every one of them, every human being, regardless, every one of them, will come to him, simply on the Day of Judgment, that everybody would come as an individual to interpretation every individual would come and his personal, individual responsibility to stand is accountability, or that all mankind will come to God, for accountability as one that's their own equal, and his sight depends on their own deeds, but in terms of being humans, equally sharing that particular destiny, there is no dispute about it. Now, within the framework of basic basic human equality, is there any legitimate basis of
four distinctions among human beings? Yes, there are, but not in the basic human qualities. In other words, the the absolute equality and the spiritual and human sense is the equality that we refer to in terms of there is no human who is a superior human, for example, there simply because of some accidental things, or incidents or things relating to birth or, or race or nationality or whatever.
But it does not mean of course, that equality also means that the good and bad are equal. Yes, definitely. There are objective and fair ways of distinction between people, but in order to avoid any mistaken notions or mistaking basis for judging superiority or goodness of people, the Quran, answer this in the most concise and beautiful way, and a chap and a verse that is very widely quoted, in chapter 49, verse 13,
it says, all mankind,
we created you from a single person of a male and a female,
and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other.
Not that you despise each other. Verily, the most honor of you in the sight of God is he or she, who is most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge, and he's well acquainted with all things. This is a very interesting,
you might say, declaration of basic human equality that 1400 years ago was revealed. And still, we don't see any declaration by United Nations or otherwise that come closer to its beauty, precision and comprehensiveness. Like other verses quoted before, it addresses mankind at large, regardless of belief, regardless of
Any other distinction that people might think of.
It shows that there's only one basic
source or basis of distinction between human beings that's acceptable to God. That's piety and goodness. And when you look at the word piety,
it is a word in Islam or taqwa that enshrines everything that's good, whether that is related to proper correct belief, whether it relates to moral qualities of the human being, whether it relates to how beneficial a particular person is, to other human beings, this is all contained in the word Akaka the most righteous or the most God conscious of you. And finally, if I may add one more comment to this, which is quite interesting also, is that, in this in this particular verse, it talks about God creating different nations and tribes so that they can get to know each other.
And this is quite interesting, because in some other traditions that preceded Islam, some people, for example, used to believe that the source of this distinction or difference in human languages, is the story of the Tower of Babel that God looked and found that people are building the tower became too strong. So he changed the,
the languages. In the Quran, we find nothing like that at all. On the contrary, indeed, one verse in the Quran says,
and among the signs of God is the creation of heavens and earth, and the variations in your tongues and colors. So the distinction of complexion or race, and the variations in tongues, is regarded in the Quran as a blessing rather than as something that came as a result of,
you know, some of the rivalry between the power of men and the power of God because God is got all the power,
which is quite an interesting concept altogether, that the, the variations of language and colors is something like a provision of a mosaic, which would make life more interesting. with Nick life more challenging, and with provide an opportunity as diverse just excited to get to get people a chance to know each other that every language is beautiful. Every color is beautiful. every race is beautiful. These are variations rather than distinctions in terms of superiority or inferiority. Do you think Brad's Pirelli Trudeau might have been aware of this verse from the Quran when he established the policy of multiculturalism in Canada? Well, I can see that he might have you No,
no, but the good things about about the Quran is that even people are not aware of the Quran. With the pure nature of the humans when they try to arrive at some good principles. You will find it still there in the Quran, whether people are aware of it or not. We had multiculturalism 1400 years ago. Right, exactly. Thank you. Well, we've exhausted our time for today. Thank you for watching our program. Join us next week. Assalamu alaikum peace