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Social System of Islam 3 – Human Brotherhood And Equility 3
Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Social System of Islam
File Size: 7.11MB
Episode Transcript ©
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The Name of God, the beneficence, the Merciful, the creator and 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 in servant of God, I greet you of course with our usual greeting, the universal greetings of peace, a greeting which has been used by all of the profits from Abraham through the prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them all. Assalamu Aleikum, which means peace be unto you. Today we continue with our new series dealing with the social system of Islam. We have our third program in this new
series, we'll be continuing our discussion of the concept of human equality and brotherhood in Islam. I'm your host, Ahmed Rashid. And I have joining me as usual on the program, Dr. Jamal betta, we have St. Mary's University, brother Jamal Assalamualaikum. Ronnie,
I wonder if you could very quickly highlight the main points that we touched on in our second program in this new series dealing with human human equality and brotherhood. Could you just quickly summarize the main points we touched on last week. In the second program, we continue the discussion of the
common origin of mankind, particularly we quoted one of the passages in the Quran dealing with the story of creation. And we try to analyze the story with the emphasis that it makes on the trusteeship of mankind on Earth, the dignified position of the human race, and the fact that since they all come from the same origin, either clay, which was the stuff from which Adam was created, or from a fertilized ovum, for subsequent generations, they all have the same origins. So there's no room really, for claiming haughtiness or
being too proud, Visa v treatment of other human beings.
We emphasize also that the Quran emphasizes in many verses, the address to mankind at large, using the term and ness, mankind without necessarily addressing Muslims or believers, again, because of this unity of origin, unity of purpose of creation, and unity in terms of ultimate destiny of mankind.
We indicated also that the Quran does not recognize superiority of any individual over the others, or any group of people over the other by any criteria that people may consider, except for one divine criteria and that is taqwa and Arabic which means being God's conscious equality, which relates to
say, good deeds, moral characters, and being beneficent, to the rest of mankind. I just concluded that with a little remark that I read afterwards, which is quite interesting. In one of the commentaries on the Quran, by Lucy, he said, there are some creatures which are created for
others that were created for heavens, others which are created for both. I said that
the animals were created for Earth, angels were created for heavens, human beings are created for both Earth and Heavens, that since a human being is like animals in terms of his or her basic carnal desires,
his like engines in terms of intellect and worship fullness of God.
And as such, if God created the human, without that spirituality or intellect, he would have not been capable of truly worshiping God. And if He created him, without the carnal desires, life would have not started on earth and there would have been no civilization. So this is one interesting way of putting the proper perspectives of the human physician and his nature, his or her nature on Earth.
Now, last time, he referred to several citations from the Quran on this
aspect of human equality that we've been discussing. In addition to the citations that you refer to last time, I'd be interested if you perhaps could give us some idea of what the attitude of Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him what his attitude was, on this issue of human equality.
Well, hammock peace be upon him in the seventh century.
That's in the Christian era. In a time where the world was dominated by what might you might call religious establishments, I'm not referring to one place or another, over the word different faiths. Religious establishments used to be the dominant force in the world. And many of the clergy seem to claim an authority which was almost like divine authority. Yes, they presumed themselves to speak or to be spokesman for God.
Well, the Islamic attitude, the attitude of the Prophet is that why and jurists and scholars are deserving of respect, that they have the right and like anybody else to try to understand and interpret the scriptures. But they cannot equate their own interpretation with the Word of God. They cannot claim that they are speaking directly for God outside of the specific divine revelation that has been revealed to them. So this is one thing that was demolished. That's why in Islam, there is no such concept as, for example, church, not just in terms of a building, but just as a concept of a group of people or scholars or religious specialists who alone have the right to interpret what the
Scriptures and tell people as if it's just a Revelation, Revelation is just what is given to the rest of it and commissioned prophets. It has commissioned from God.
This is one thing that was removed the religious domination by a group of people. Another thing that he emphasized that this kind of equality should not only apply to people who are in religious positions, but also it applies to prophets themselves. He himself even as the last prophet of God, the seed of all prophets, he forbade people to over adore him and Buhari For example, He warned people not to over adore the Prophet because he said over adoration could lead to deification, that after the Prophet dies, people might even believe in Him
as divine or something of that sort. So he won't people against fall in this in this particular chat. And he said, when you say about me anything, say, Abdullah, who is to say he is the servant of God, and His messenger that was regarded as the greatest title of honor to be a servant, and messenger of God, rather than falling into deification, for example. The other thing that he tried to teach people is that the basic equality of human race means that a human being should never kneel, or bow down in front of any other human being, if there is one, to kneel to, or to bow down to, is the Lord's of all human beings, regardless of their status, even the prophets. He didn't want
people to nice to him even on the tour guide. Indeed, in one tradition that was narrated in Abu Dhabi, and the committee, he said, Whoever Have you feel so happy and proud that people are standing up and respect for him, let him take his seat and help in his personal character. Whenever he came to a place where people were sitting in his staff pushing people around to get the, in the forefront, he just said, whenever a place was available, again, emphasizing this basic human equality. The The other thing also that he tried to demolish his own false facades of aristocracy, aristocracy, based on on wealth, or claim superiority by by race, or color, or nobility of descent
and all that. Let me give you a couple of citation to that effect. In one narration, in one narration of Hadees narrated in Tabori. He says, God does not look into the nobility of your descent,
nor does he look into your lineage.
Nor does he look into your bodies with a stronger theater for whatever. No Does he look into your properties, but he looks into your hearts and whoever he continues, whoever has a pious heart, God will have compassion on him. You are all the children of Adam. And the most beloved of you in the sight of God is the most pious or the most of you who is God conscious. And another beautiful narration also
reported in absolute and utter music.
He says, Let them stop. Those people who are boasting about their parents who died. Maybe those parents that's unbeliever are the fuel of the hellfire. And then
continued, he says that you people have been released, or God has released you. From the shame of the days of ignorance. That's an anti Islamic days or pre Islamic days. He says that God has removed this shame from you, and the posting of parents, because people are two types, either a pious believer, or a miserable crook or deviant. And then he continued, he says, You all belong to Adam are you all descend from Adam, and Adam is created from clay. So what's the point of this false pretense of, of superiority, in the the last pilgrimage, or the Third World privilege as known, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him shortly before his death, right to emphasize this point again
reiterated, and one of his sayings, he says, all mankind, your God is one,
your your father is one low, there is no superiority of an Arab, over a non Arab, nor have a red, which means also white, over a black except by virtue of taqwa of being God conscious or being a pious person. This is a very, very important declaration, if you will, of human rights, the declaration of equality of birth races under the same God descended from the same parents. This kind of teachings were not just words, they were translated into the life and behavior of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Just to give you one indication of this, among his closest
companions are those were the earliest embrace Islam, you have all kinds of people, you have some novel herbs, are rich like a buck. And you have a lot more work for, like Abdullah Martin, a very famous Companion of the prophet who was very poor and blind.
In addition, you have so hype, who was a Roman,
sell man, who was Persian, and Bilal, the muslin, or the one who used to be the personal caller, or prayers for the Prophet was very close to the Prophet, he was from Ethiopia. So you get a cross representation of varieties of races and socio economic status of people, all regarded equally as one brotherhood around the Prophet peace be upon him. Not only this, that we find also, in the early stages of his mission, that the rich and powerful among the crocheted herbs used to tell him Alright, we can follow you, but why do you keep the company with those poor and downtrodden people in lower social classes? And then he definitely refused that, actually, one time, he said, Oh, God,
let me live as a poor person, die as a poor person, and resurrect me in the day of judgment in the company of those who are poor. He was only echoing what the Quran emphasizes that one should not be lured, like, for example, in chapter 18, verse 28, that one should not be lured by the glitters of life and aristocracy. But one should keep patience and perseverance in the company of those who are sincere and who are seeking to please God.
What about the position now people who are non Muslims? Is there any indication in Islam as to whether or not equal treatment is to be accorded to non Muslims as well as to Muslims? For sure. And the evidence for that is both implied and implicit. It is implied in the, for example, some of the points that were raised in the second program this year is that the Quran in many cases, not only addresses all Muslims are all believers, it addresses all mankind. Yeah, you harness all mankind, which again, implies clearly, that in a matter of basic human rights, in matters of basic human compassion, and treatments, the address is not just giving to Muslims, that you must be speaking to
each other. But that is, yeah, you harness all mankind. So this is one implied evidence. But there are lots of explicit evidence also that we find in the Quran, the Word of God, in the prophetic tradition, as well as in the behaviors of early Muslims were through to the face and who really understood and implemented the teachings of Islam. Now, in the Quran, for example, in chapter four, verse 92, it talks about the case of involuntary manslaughter,
just like accidents, similar thing, and it says if the person who was involuntarily killed
was a believer, then the penalty for the person who did that actually caused his
There are two things. One is to a free to free a slave. And secondly is to pay some compensation or consolation money to the family of the disease. And then in the very second verse, it says that if the person who was killed, was not available was not a Muslim, but he belonged to people who have peaceful relationship with Muslim they have some kind of Treaty, then the penalty is, with the surprise, to free a slave and to pay also compensation and consideration money to the family. Which means the penalty in both cases is exactly the same regardless of the identity of the person who was involuntarily killed. And this stands in great contrast to some to many of the mistaken notions that
some people may have about Islam, because of distorted literature in this country. And in the West in general. I was flying from Montreal to Halifax last week, and sitting by me was an airline captain, he was vacation.
And we were talking, we just we chatted, and then he said, I have one problem with Islam. I said, What's that? He said, I was led to believe that Muslims believe that if you go and kill somebody who's not a Muslim, then that's okay.
I said, Subhanallah Brother, you have not been led to understand, you have been misled to understand that and they start with expensive. So here is the Quran itself. The basic scripture of Islam showing that again, the treatments would be basically the same and the sanctity of the life and property and honor of a non Muslim should be the same as accorded to the Muslim. Another example that we find very brightly expressed in one of the prophetic tradition, one Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, he said, many others immediate pocket.
That is, whoever hurts or injures or being able to become injured or unjust. To a non Muslim who's living under Muslim protection or have some peaceful coexistence with Muslims, is hurting me, that's hurting me a profit, which means that the Prophet made the sanctity and the respect of the human rights and justice to a non Muslim, even living under none, under Islamic rule,
in regard to this kind of injustice, as injustice done to the Prophet himself, just equated with the sanctity of the person of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. In terms of examples from early Muslims, who clearly understood this principle, and tried to implement it, we find that a case of Amara, the second Elisa kid has known in English after the Prophet when he was walking in the streets of Medina, and he found a blind, old Jew, begging people.
Then he took him to his home, gave him some provision, and then he called the person who was in charge of the Muslim Treasury. And he said, Look after this person, and people like him, we would not be fair to them, if they pay taxes in their use, and then we neglect them when they are in need. And he ordered that he would be paid a regular salary, something by two men or the Muslim Treasury. And another occasion when he was traveling in Syria, he found some lepers, apparently, they were, I think they were probably Christians, because at that time, they were not too many Muslims, that were many Christians. And he immediately again, ordered from Muslim Treasury that a monthly or whatever,
you know, regular support would be paid to those people. In another instance, and most of these are reported in a book called alpha Raj written by abusive
harlot, for example, one of the early heroes of Islam, when he was in one territory, he made a treaty with the people that if any person becomes old, regardless Muslim or non Muslim, if any person becomes old, or had some kind of disaster in his life, that he lost his property, or was rich and became poor, that the tax code just because Muslim, Becca, which is a religious duty, non Muslim, equivalent to that, by way of
providing for the expenses of the state, that this tax would be alleviated, that the person would not, would not be required to pay any taxes, and that he and his children would be supported from the Muslim Treasury. This is all these are only examples of many other examples that you can find in Islamic history. That's why I was really surprised to read in a recent book written by a famous orientalist, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, very famous writers on world religions and he wrote also on Islam
that he says that Muslims in a book by the way, called towards
Word theology. This was just published this year. And he says that Muslims are implies that Muslim really should re examine or rethink
the Sharia or Islamic law, so that they should realize that God does not only want us to regulate the relationship between us and him or between him and us, or just between the community of believers or
but it should also take into account the relationship between believers or between the Muslims and non Muslims outside of the boundaries of Islam. And that said, surprised me a great deal. Because I think a professor like Smith,
I suppose he should know better, that in Islamic law, there is a whole body of literature, dealing with the organization, or regulation of relationship between Muslims and non Muslims, by insinuating that Islamic law does not consider this, I think it's it's a grave
mistake that I think needs to be corrected, there is a whole there is a volumes and upon volumes, instead of dealing with the relationship with people who are not Muslim, living under Muslim protection, those who with treaties with Muslims, and all other aspects of what we might call today, international relationship.
Now, we talked about some instances where the Quran refers to mankind in general, I understand that the Quran also addressed itself only to the believers to the Muslims and many verses, I'd like to have you explain that because I think many people may be confused by this and think that this somehow undermines the concept of broader human Brother, brother.
There is not the least conflict between both. Because when the Quran for example, addresses that believers to perform certain religious duties pertaining to their faith, there's no sense addressing the entire mankind. Of course, the Quran at times says all mankind worship your Lord, but in general, but when it comes to say, perform your five daily prayers, there is no sense of addressing somebody who does not believe in that face and say you have to pray five times a day, or when it addresses people, for example, too fast as a religious deity, that particular Muslim fest. Again, there is no sense of directing that to all mankind. So in terms of specific religious duties, there
is no need to address the entire mankind if they wish to do it fine, because the Quran, establish the rule that
there is no compulsion in the matters of faith or religious practices. Now, when the Quran talks about brotherhood of faith, he does not present that it does not present that as a substitute of broader human brotherhood. It is actually a brotherhood of faith within the boundaries of brothers and larger human brotherhood to make sure you see when we talk about the Brotherhood, of Islam, or brotherhood of believers, we're not talking as some people may think that this is a kind of shamanistic, or exclusive this type of religious brotherhood. But it only considers the believers not only the believer is entitled to the respect and sanctity of basic human rights, but it can
consider all others, not as
any lesser group of people who are deserving of disrespect and sanctity. I'll give you an example of some of this previous notions and how Islam tried to correct it. For example, in chapter three, verse 75, in the Quran, it condemns an attitude of some people, before Islam, we used to say for example, or believe that it was God's will, or God's revelation, that you cannot take usury from a coreligionists but for others, you can the Quran condemned that attitude and indicated again, that, you know, moral behaviors is not contingent on whether the person you're dealing with is a Muslim or non Muslim. So the Quran condemned it in that particular chapter. So in brief, then when we talk
about the Brotherhood of faith in Islamic context, we're really talking about something which is consistent with human brotherhood, within the boundaries of human brotherhood and supportive in fact, of human brotherhood because once you get brotherhood among the festival, you can also that could spill over by establishing relationship with non Muslims as well. This does not negate of course that
cannot be enhanced further, when people agree together. are united also in matters of
There's no question about that. Ideally, that could be the case, believing in one God believing in one basic message, believing in one final prophet, the follow up believing in one final scripture preserved, believing in a set of principles enshrined in those scriptures. Sure, it can help. But the Quran itself teaches Muslims tolerance. And in one verse in the Quran, it says that if God willed he would have made all mankind one group.
So, like we mentioned in the last question in the previous program, it's a kind of mosaic that God wanted. So one has to know how to live with this music and how to establish cordial relationship with others, on the basis of basic human brotherhood and equality, so there's no conflict at all between both types of brotherhood. I'd like to examine for a minute, this whole question of brotherhood and faith, sometimes we hear about distinctions that are made by some people between one who perhaps, whose parents perhaps were born into a particular faith or somebody who one parent may be a member of that particular faith or another instance where you have people who embrace a
particular faith or who are converts to a particular faith and sometimes there's some subtle distinctions that are made between these various categories.
What is the position of Islam regarding such distinctions? Okay, I'd like for us to comment on the term convert. I think that if it may apply to other face, I don't think it applies to Islam. A person who accepts Islam is not really converted to Islam, some people might be surprised to hear that. The reason is being that the word conversion itself might give the sense also of changing nature, the nature of things. Whereas the Quran describes Islam as Frederick a law he that he fought for an SLA that's in chapter 30, verse 30, that it is the natural, innate nature that God created humankind, we defined before Islam
etymologically speaking that Islam means to submit to the will of God and follow his past. In that sense, then the entire mission of all of the prophets throughout history has been nothing but Islam. So every child is born with this yearning towards his creative knowledge of God and knowledge of this kind of spirituality.
breathed into him, the Spirit of God as the Quran
presented now on the basis of that, then when a person becomes a Muslim, the way a Muslim looks at it is not really being converted to Islam is simply embracing Islam and being embraced by Islam, he is going back to his or returning to his nature. In fact, in one discussion is suggested to in one talk to a group of brothers, that a better term perhaps would be a revert to Islam, rather than a convert to Islam, or returnees somebody is returning back to his pure and
pure natures of knowledge of the one God. Now, this is as far as the question of conversion is concerned. But now, whether there should be a distinction, like you said, between somebody who is born to both parents of the same face, and somebody who becomes a believer later, or becomes available only through one parent was in the fifth,
the Islamic attitude is that there should be absolutely no distinction in that respect.
A person should never feel strangers. In fact, in Islam, when a person becomes a Muslim, you don't have to go to a priest because there is no peace within Islam. After all, you don't have to have a person allowing your giving that status is something between you and God. And that's again a reflection of this basic human equality, that why should we have some human beings who alone tell you that now you're admitted to the face now you're excommunicated from the face. There's nothing like that in Islam. Because faith is basically between the person and his creator. Nobody has the right to dominate, he can explain he can help you but nobody has the right to make you a believer or
to deprive you from belonging to face this belongs to God.
The the final indication I can give him this in the Quran. In chapter nine, verse 12. It talks about people even who fought Muslims who are the ardent enemies of Muslims. And instead it says the entire welcomes so that our executive team when they defend and established prayers, say they report to us they are your brothers and face as if nothing happened before.
We'll have to leave it at that for today.
We want to invite you back next week we will continue with our new programs in the series. Thank you for watching Assalamu alaikum peace BMT.