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Social System of Islam 5 – Social Relations And Choice Of Friends

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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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The name of God the beneficence the merciful, a creator in 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 with, with our usual greeting on the program, the universal greetings of peace, a greeting that has been used by all the prophets from Abraham through to Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them all. Assalamu alaikum, which means peace beyond you. I'm your host Hama Rashid. Today we have our fifth program in our series dealing with the social system of Islam.

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And our topic today is friendship in social relations. I have joining me on the program as usual, Dr. Jamal Badawi of St. Mary's University, brother, Jamal assalamu, alaikum Ronnie,

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could you perhaps just as our fashion will give us a summary of the

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the last program so we can see how this topic fits with the previous topics in this series? Okay. I would say that the main thrust really of the topic, which was a continuation of the broader area of human equality and brotherhood, was the concept of oma u m m h, which means a community of believer and he said that Islam does not accept the term nation because nation is very limited by geography, history or language, but rather, it regards believers as one brotherhood of faith. And we said that this

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fellowship of faith extends horizontally

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across different places and ethnic groups, and extends also vertically throughout history. So that a believer feels that he belongs he or she belongs, belong to all other beavers regardless Where on earth they are located, and belongs to all other believers in history, regardless of what time they were born, or when they died, to make the whole unity of the mission of all prophets quite manifest, and the unity of believers throughout history as a hot caravan, quite clear. And we indicated also that the this brotherhood of faiths take precedence

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over all other considerations, linguistic, ethnic and otherwise. But even it takes precedence over a blood relationship, that the fellowship of faith or brotherhood of faith is more valuable in the mind of the believer, even then, blood relationship, unless, of course, the blood relationship is combined with this, in which case it becomes more manifest and more desirable. But the one would not sacrifice faith for the sake of even blood relationship. And we have given certain examples in the Quran, of people who are very close to each other husband, wife, son, Father, but still, if one of them is unbeliever, the believing party really would not necessarily feel as close

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in mind and spirit to him or her, as one would feel close to another believer regardless of where he comes from. That was the main issue.

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Now,

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in your opinion, what is the significance or the role of friendship in a truly Islamic Society? I mean, the important knowledge that plays the hands of shaping Well, it's a very essential part, I think, not only from a static point of view, but I'm sure also sociologists have something to say about that in terms of the

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the role of friendship emoting the individuals mind thinking and attitudes.

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I would even add to this that to a great extent, friendship, shapes the person's even soul in a way or in a sense of his or her own spirituality and beliefs and spiritual goodness or well being may be greatly influenced by what kind of people a person associates with what kind of people the person takes as friends, in the context of society at large. If this is the impact on individuals, then for sure, the delicate selection of friends and making friendship with others

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pupil has something to do with the overall progress of society, or lack of progress for that matters.

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In the from a Muslim point of view, if friendship is based

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on a love of God and commitment to face with that sincere attitude, then it is a kind of friendship that is blessed by God. If it's based on some trivial or just temporary type of benefits, then it is not likely to last. And more specifically, if I were to give some documentation of this prophet Muhammad peace be upon him as narrated in a Buddhahood.

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He says, Allah, Allah Genie holiday for younger hadoken elimine, New Holland, he says, a person would follow the same way of life and thinking, the same way of thinking and approach as his close friend. So let one of you be careful as to which person is he taking for a close friend or associate a reflection of this, you know, sociological approach, you know, mutual influence.

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And that's that sense also.

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The Quran, make warnings against making friends who are helping the person away, or taking the person away from the pastor, rather than helping him to be a better believer.

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For example, in the Quran, we find description in the Day of Judgment, while my October llamada de la la, la, Casa de Sevilla Yahoo letter, later Nila,

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the translation is that in the day, when the person who is deviated from the truth, the unjust person would bite over his fingers out of grief. He says, I wish I have obeyed the message or the message of God. And then he says to me, I wish I did not take so and so as a close friend and associate. And then he continues lack of money, and he has this tip took me away from the reminder took me away from the right path after I have been guided to it.

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So in that sense, then one has no excuse of saying, you know, but my friend caused me to just like,

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do it, that's not a good experience. In a similar verse also in the finance as an affiliate, we all might even bother about, that even the people are so close to each other. In the Day of Judgment, some of them would be enemies of each other, once it comes to the real crunch, in the question of whether a person qualifies for, you know, to receive the grace of God and salvation, or whether he has to be punished for his lack of faith or lack of good deeds. So it is a very significant element in the spiritual well being of the individual.

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Well, let's look at some aspects of mixing with other people. To start with, how does group spirit fit within Islamic teachings. But it is very important. In fact, the basic rule I should say is that Islam encourages people to mix and interact within the boundaries, of course of Islamic teachings. For good purpose, Islam is not a face that is designed to be or you know, revealed to be just an individualistic type of faith. That's alright. It's just exclusively relationship between you and God. So no matter what goes around the world, you are detached. On the contrary, in fact, one of the the main things that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him warned against is monasticism. You see in

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people who live in monasteries, they might be holy people. There is no question about that people are self sacrificing. They're very living in a very hard condition, just worshipping God and studying scripture, it sounds very nice and spiritually uplifting. But even then, that's not regarded as the idea and so actually, he said, there is no monasticism in Islam, because it is an attempt to seek individual salvation, away from society rather than struggling and helping society itself. So that says, then Islam is a face which is based on collective action on getting to know each other and working together for common good. Indeed, we find that even in the case where a

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person may be hurt, in the process of trying to make social reforms or help his community or society instead, that is not an excuse to totally keep away for that particular reason alone.

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Indeed, some people ask the Prophet peace be upon him or try to enquire about the different degrees of belief and the Prophet was narrated, as

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Saying an activity that a believer who mixes with people will try to do some something useful. And he is patient and persevere in the face of attacks or, you know, hurt that's inflicted on him is better, better than one who does not mix with people and have no patience on their heads, or there's Miss Miss chip that they do to him? No, it's better actually, to struggle, even though you might be hurt, partly, at least in the process.

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Indeed, when you look at the teachings of Islam, you find that in many even literal things that might sound like pure rituals or acts of worship. It is designed to inculcate this community spirit, not just a totally spiritual individualistic type of feeling. For example, every Muslim is supposed to attend the male at least, because females have the option. But the every male has the obligation to attend the Friday group prayer.

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Okay. Now, by design, it is meant to get the largest number of people together to develop this kind of community spirit in a good atmosphere in a good, righteous way.

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Other acts of Islam also the like the prayers in festivals and other occasions is also meant, in fact that cannabis can never be implemented without this kind of communion type of spirit. Indeed, more specific, even Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him has indicated as narrated in

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connection of Hadees that even when people pray, just for regular prayer other than the Friday, it is always better to pray in group in unison. So he says, for example, if two people are praying together, it's better than each of them praying separately. If for praying together, it's better than each to praying separately, if it's better than four and four, so they always the more you have a good, righteous type of function, the more it will be better. So to summarize it, perhaps in one of the sayings of the Prophet, he says, The believer that is a true believer is easygoing,

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gentle, and friendly,

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friendly, in a sense of

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easy to make friends with, and he himself, make friends easily with other people.

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Now, what about the other side of the coin? Are there certain situations where Muslim may not be encouraged to mix with other people? They could be. And it's very important to actually to have this kind of balance because sometimes things might be interpreted out of context to mean that no matter for example, what happens just keep in the middle of of society. No, there are cases and there are specification I've tried to give you, for example, some documentation to that effect. First of all, as a believer, you have no obligation, for example, to keep in the company of people who take their face as a joke, or belittle. In fact, there is a specific verse and that is in the Quran, whether in

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the Xena tocado genome, the one reliable, leave aside, don't mix don't associate with those who take their face as a joke, just a kind of pastime. So, those who are not having this sincere commitment and not even the inclination to be So, you're not obliged to be with them. In fact, you are supposed to keep away from them.

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So, friendship is not at any price, there must be some good reasons also. The other case is the case where there is lots of commotion and evil in a particular let's say community or society, where it might do better, if you compare the pros and cons of mixing versus not mixing. If you find that by mixing in that particular setting or community or group, there is more evil taking place, it might be better actually to keep away.

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I should say however, that this does not mean that one should not try to correct evil which might exist

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so long as he has some power to to do that some ability or some talent that might help him do that. But if it all means fails, and he showed that those people are not trying to get into the right test, it might be better actually more dignified, just to to keep apart from them.

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But like I said, this must be limited only to cases where in his best judgment. This is you know, the The hope is very little. And the reason I'm saying it should be limited is the Hadith narrated in both Bukhari and Muslim.

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When Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, said he was asked in fact, which of people

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Best, what are the best type of people? He said a person who strives in the path of God with his life and his property, on his time, his self, trying his best.

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And then they asked him who is next in that degree of excellence. He says a person who is my pencil, who is taking out himself away or separating himself secluding himself worshiping Allah. I don't know what that does not contradict no discouragement of monasticism, but it shows that in some exceptional circumstances, if there is so much rampant evil,

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then it might be desirable, in fact, to keep alone if you cannot

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correct the existing situation. But indeed, if you look at it, practically speaking, there is seldom

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an occasion where nothing can be done at all, and he has to be secured just by yourself. In any community, in any society. No matter how much evil and corruption might be there, still, you will be able to find a few people of like mine, a few people who uphold facing God who believe in the

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immutable laws of God and his moral standards. And still, by joining forces together, you can have at least the smaller community

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and fellowship effect.

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Now, could you perhaps just elaborate a bit more on the last point that you've just raised?

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What in your opinion is regarded as a sound basis for friendship or islamically? speaking, what is the sound basis for, for friendship?

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You know, I remember that also was raised, but very briefly in the previous program, and just mentioned, one word maybe could elaborate on it a little bit, when we're talking about brotherhood or fellowship and faith that it must be in God and for God for the sake of God.

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In other words, the fellowship or friendship which stems basically from the love of God, stems from belief basis, sharing belief in God and the pursuit of his true Preston path,

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fellowship or friendship which by its very nature, is intended to cement

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the attitude the proper positive attitude towards face are definitely very, very basic, for any lasting type of acceptable friendship and Islamic way.

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That means, by implication, that the friendships should not be based exclusively as most of the friendships we see today, just on the basis of, of particular benefit, a group of people belonging to a particular club, a particular social class, particular ethnic group, or just benefit shows materialistic benefit this alone

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are not accepted as sound, basis for friendship.

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Indeed, there are a number of beautiful citation that you find both in the Quran and this saying of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him about the foundation, friendship.

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In one of the sayings, which is known as hobbies, quartzite, God revealed to the prophet and narrated and

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he says, that God says, Those who love each other, in my glory, they will be under the shadow of my protection, in the Day of Judgment, when there is no protection at that time, but mine chosen are showing the the great the privilege, that those who love each other, for the sake of God will be enjoying in the Day of Judgment. In a similar, saying, narrated in a Buddha Woods indicated that there are a number of people who would be almost envious, not in the negative sense evidence says, you know, people really are very amazed about their position in the Day of Judgment, and they are neither prophets, nor martyrs. Who are these people?

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He said, These are the people who love each other, for the sake of Allah Actually, he recited a verse in the Quran, which says, lo, the supporters are the Friends of God, or those who are close to God. There is no fear on them, nor should they have any grief.

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Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him indicated clearly.

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That one of the signs of true faith is that when you

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love a brother of yours, or when a sister loves the sister or whatever, then this should be only for the sake of God. For example, in that saying he says that

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There are three things, which if are found in one person, it would be a sign of faith. And he mentioned as one of them, that a person loves the other person for nothing for no benefit, but for the sake of God.

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So these are some of the foundations

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for true and sound friendship, which is taking faith as a primary objective.

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Now,

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what measures can nourish friendship? Are there any specific recommended acts,

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there are a number of things,

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to start first with some of the fundamental aspects in terms of how Islam proposes

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to inculcate and nourish this friendship.

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But first of all, one should try to avoid any aspect of corruption, or hypocrisy, or egotistic type of attitudes, because these are the things that might change the hearts and destroy the existing fence friendship. One of the very interesting sayings of the Prophet he says,

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In the name of he, in his hand is my soul that's in the name of God.

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If two people love each other, and then separated, that that separation, it must be because of some sin, or infraction done by one of them. In other words, if both people who are friends are keeping on the path of God, obedience to God, that will strengthen and remain, if there is deviation by one or both of them, that would be the beginning of crumbling of this true and profound friendship.

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On the other hand, the prophet peace be upon him also recommended as a social currency, that people should try to get to know each other.

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For example, in one saying he said, in a tirmidhi, he says, if a person, take another person as a brother's

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close friend, he should ask him about his name, and his father's name and where he came from. He says, because this provides for more closeness and friendship. Associate courtesy deafness, most people think it's only a product of recent type of development. But this is something that the Prophet said 1400 years ago, you have to get to know each other.

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The other thing that he recommended as narratives, and that is a person really feels that he likes or loves his brother in face for the sake of God, he should tell him about that. He says, if one of the one of you loves his brother, let him tell him that you know, I love you for the sake of God, that's, you know, I have this

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close feelings because of this fellowship of faith.

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Another recommendation that the Prophet made is that once you try to visit with those people who he chose, as close friends, indeed, in one of his sayings, narrated and Muslim, he says, if a brother goes to visit his brothers for nothing, but for the sake of Allah, not because he can you lend me this, or can you give me that he just leaving your home, walking or driving or just going exclusively to see a brother and inquire about his affairs and show him concern? He says, if one does that,

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there will be a color coding on him from Heavens that his engine

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that glory beats yours, you know, they give you good black fighting, because you will have a good place in paradise. And except that God would also say that my servant visited another servant of mine only for my sake, and there is no reward for him less than paradise.

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Visiting again would be another.

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Another recommendation the Prophet made also is to exchange of gifts, even simple gifts that shows at least concern and shows friendship.

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In fact, one of his sayings as narrated in Timothy it says the Hedo says, exchange gifts with each other because this would remove any ill feeling from the hearts. Not only this, there is a reference also in the Quran that one should try to

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reciprocate kindness with kindness. For example, that if one greets you and say Salaam Alaikum you have to respond even in a better way. Aleikum Salaam Rahmatullah Peace be upon you and God's mercy. So this kind of reciprocity also is one of the things that keeps

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Friendship on proper railing. Another thing that he recommended that if a person is invited for food, for example, unless there is a very good excuse One should not refuse, it should go humbly and eat and thank them for the invitation. The Quran also mentions about this eating in France houses or relatives,

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especially eating with people who are also believers, that's very recommend very much recommended as we find in a Buddha woods, for example.

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But one of the most novel things that keep friendship going is the feeling of unselfishness. In some cases, even in the higher degree of nobility, trying to give preference even to your brothers over your own need. The Quran describes, for example, some of the early Muslims who even would need something but they sacrifice and come forward to help another brothers in need. One of the very famous saying of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, he said, that none of you would be a true believer, until and unless he loves for his for his brothers, and or sisters, brother ended face what he loves, for himself. This becomes a particular

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and particularly important and significant obligation, when your brother is in need or suffers. And in that context, the prophet peace be upon him says that

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God would be looking after your need, so long as you're looking after your brother's neat. So if you're trying to take him out of your way, even to help a brother, God would reward you by taking care of

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your own needs. So there are lots of, you know, prophetic traditions that deal with this kind of recommendation. But these are just like, kind of examples of

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program, we've talked about the positive acts that one should involve himself in to protect friendship. How about the negative side of things now? Are there anything that should be avoided to protect things that might threaten? Which might? Yes,

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well, there are a number of things, some of which

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we have discussed in greater detail in the topic on moral teaching of Islam. So I might just go through them very briefly,

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because they related to, but one, of course, is not to try to belittle and make mockery of your brothers. And that applies to other people as well. And just general recommendations, as we find in chapter 49, which have lots of those recommendations all in the same few verses.

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Secondly, try to avoid taunting other people with the deliberate attempt of hurting their feeling.

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Another thing is to call people in names that they don't like, or titles that they hate. In fact, the Prophet says that you should call a person with the best name. If he prefers john, he prefers whatever nickname you call him by the name that he loves. Best respect that desire

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to avoid the backbiting which the Quran considered like eating the flesh of your brother's dead, or dead brother, to avoid the spying on each other, to be humble and avoid snobbishness. As the Quran and the saying of the Prophet indicates, to avoid having

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or attributing bad and evil motives to whatever your brother is doing, try to give benefit of doubt, if you will.

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The prohibition for example of drinking, gambling,

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monopoly,

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cheating and buying and selling are all acts that threaten Brotherhood's and create hard feelings between individuals or groups of people.

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Even the Prophet was so sensitive that he said that if three people are sitting together, it is not proper for two of them to have discreet talk amongst themselves, let's say in a different language or something, and leave the third person feeling like being left out. This is something also that should be avoided. And finally, whenever there is any problem, one should always try to make peace between people who are in dispute and try to protect this brotherhood from those casual, inevitable sometimes problems. But I think we'll conclude today's program on that note, we want to invite you back next week when we'll continue with our series dealing with the social system in Islam. Thank

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you for watching. Assalamu alaikum peace be unto you