Channel: Mufti Menk
A speech delivered at a welcoming banquet in Colombo, Sri Lanka before the commencement of the Building Bridges series.
Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.
With the Peace and blessings of Allah subhanho wa Taala be upon one and all Mashallah Baraka Allah
Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala rasulillah who Allah Allah, he was happy.
We praise Allah subhanho wa Taala we send blessings and salutations upon Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, his entire household, all his companions, may Allah bless every one of you, and your offspring. May Allah subhanho wa Taala keep us all steadfast and rightly guided. And Allah subhanho wa Taala, bless this beautiful nation, keep it protected, filled with peace, filled with goodness and growth, I noticed this time that I've come something very clear. From the minute I landed, I think and I hope I'm right, that the development of your nation is actually on course, which means things are progressing. And things are developing something I've said in the past that Zimbabwe and
Sri Lanka have something in common that they were ruled by the British at some stage, and therefore the system generally is quite similar.
But this country is much cleaner than mine. Although Zimbabwe was known as the sunshine Harare was known as the sunshine city. But I think this city is actually more a sunshine city. May Allah subhanho wa Taala Forgive me for saying that my people might not like that, but fact is fact. So Alhamdulillah I pray for the beautiful growth of this nation in sha Allah, I want to see every time I come to a country like this, that it has improved and inshallah This is what is happening.
The reason is the benefit is for humanity at large, the benefit is for the future generations. The benefit is so that we can see goodness, when others perhaps do not see that light. We ask Allah subhanho wa Taala to grant us east, my beloved brothers and sisters if there are any, anywhere. Firstly, I want to thank the host brother Rios and hajer balandis SATA. May Allah subhanho wa Taala bless you guys and make it easy, I was not expecting to come as soon as I landed without any bags. I don't know if you're aware that Emirates has misplaced my bags but Mashallah they have said it's on the next flight. And it seems to have landed a little bit too late for this function, I would have
preferred my cloak, and I would have preferred to have come to you inshallah. But you know, they say this, everything happens for a reason. So I'm not upset if you asked me Are you upset? Not at all, it happens. And I'd rather my bag having been lost than my leg having broken, lots of hands on Allah to Allah forgive us. It's just a way of looking at things. I'm here in this beautiful country, inshallah to help in whatever way I can to develop the relationship between people within their homes to begin with, within their homes to start with, and thereafter within the community, as Muslim community to consolidate, to get along with each other. And to understand that in actual
fact, the idea is to get along with the entire communities of the nation,
the various communities that exist in your country, it's important to share mutual respect, and to understand the Live and let live policy that results in growth throughout the globe. Without peace, we won't be able to grow, business will not flourish. So we need to understand this coexistence. And don't think for a moment that when we call because I know many Muslims, sometimes when they're not educated about Islam, themselves being Muslim, they think that when scholars are saying, we need to engage in dialogue, all we need to promote tolerance and coexistence, they think we mean, we need to give up our faith.
So I'm here to clarify that in the same way
that we would like to adopt our faith. In a country like this, we need to understand the others have an equal right to adopt their faith.
We need to understand this and realize this, they have an equal right to practice their faith.
This is what they have. And this is why when we say tolerance, there is a word higher than tolerance. That is respect. You know, if I just tolerate you, I learned this actually in Kenya, there was a Turkish diplomat when I spoke who actually said, you mentioned tolerance, but think about the term respect which is higher than tolerance.
And I think I agree
that when I say
I will tolerate this, it actually means
I am just about tolerating it, you know, and I'm letting it pass. But one above is I respect your rights, my brother, my sister, I respect your right to do what you're doing, you know, and this is why we say they must be mutual respect, I am not here to convert anyone, not at all. And I make this clear wherever I go. guidance is in the hands of Allah Subhana Allah data, I am only here to deliver a positive message. And I would like everyone Muslim or non Muslim, to actually take the goodness from what is said, What is applicable apply it, it will help you in your life. If I've made a mistake, I would appreciate correction, because that is how we would actually develop.
And it has happened in the past when the general public, some people have either come to me or emailed me, or told me that you said this, and it was not accurate. And I've corrected it.
It doesn't mean because I'm a religious leader, or a spiritual leader, that I don't make mistakes. I'm not a prophet of Allah subhanho, wa Taala, we all are fallible, we make mistakes. And we will only develop when we are corrected by one another. And I know. And I've said this, so many times my father has taught us since we were children, that if you feel bad, when you are corrected, there is no chance for you to develop and grow. You need to be happy, someone corrected me Listen, you said this, it's actually not accurate. And I want to share that with every one of you. So anyway, I am here in this country. And inshallah, as I said, we'd like to see, by the time I leave, I would like
to feel that I've left the place in a better state, then when I first arrived, I would never, in any country, I would never, not even by mistake, I would not intentionally leave
a nation worse than what it was because of me.
Then when I arrived there,
the message that I've always traveled the entire globe with is a message that would definitely empower people boost their making them feel like they are part of humanity, of the family of humanity to begin with. And thereafter, something Perhaps that is
very important is part of your own family.
Meaning Yes, we are human beings to begin with. But as a human being I have my mother I have my father, you may have your relatives, your community members is all that we want to develop relationships. And we've spoken about so many topics. This year, I'm going to share with you the topics that are chosen for us to speak and this the selection of topics has not just happened from me, but it is done by consultation. What we feel perhaps would benefit in a specific community and amongst specific people in specific nations, bearing in mind that this is not the only country that I visit. I've actually traveled to many countries I've lost count.
The first topic inshallah at the joumana, tomorrow at the I think it's pronounced Java tamashi. Okay,
will be the blessings of lawful income.
And inshallah I want to touch on how we benefit when we do things in the proper way. When we say lawful, we are speaking of two things, primarily, number one, you need to understand don't cheat people don't deceive people. Don't do that which will engage your Lord. Remember that? And number two is, don't do that which is contrary to the law of the land.
Because not only will it give you a bad reputation, and will it give a reputation to the Muslims, that is not good. But on top of that, it will give you sleepless nights for no reason. And it will result in
negative impacts within your own societies and within your nation. So don't break the law of the land when it comes to business. When it comes to dealings when it comes to income. That doesn't mean break it when it comes to anything else. But this will be the topic we're talking about income, lawful income, the benefits of lawful income, you sleep properly. I mean, if a man has cheated the taxman, for example, how do you think he sleeps when he hears that the taxman is coming for him? He will not sleep even if he takes three sleeping tablets, and even if he has the entire pack of sleeping tablets, so we need to realize this. That will
The topic inshallah the Juma the blessings of lawful income. Like I said, we don't want to anger the Almighty and we don't want to break the law of the land. When we have
tomorrow evening inshallah, at the excellent see the it's a venue or show you more well aware than I am of where the excellencies inshallah
The topic is the benefits of giving others, the benefits of forgiving others sometimes as human beings, you know, we fault we make mistakes, we say things, we do things, and others do things as well. So it ends up leading a grudge, and we end up feeling in a certain way. And sometimes that grudge is not healthy for us where it develops into a knot and a burden on our shoulders. The sooner you can drop that mountain,
the better it would be for you, not only in this world, but even in the next. So I'd like to speak about forgiving others, you know, people do things sometimes that that are wrong and later on, they regret.
They regret they seek forgiveness.
They are remorseful, you need to learn to forgive them. When you forgive them. There are many benefits we will speak about some of these inshallah. Tomorrow evening, then we have on Saturday evening at the same venue, the Excellency, we have a beautiful topic that everyone needs starting with myself. We all go through hardship, and difficulties. Everyone, no matter who you are, you can be a tough person on a global level.
You can have just won the American election, but trust me, there are hardships, there are difficulties. There are so many issues, so many negative things that you may see.
How do you deal with these things?
What guidance Do we have, as a human being as a Muslim as a person who believes?
Has the almighty not taught us? He has, he has asked us to do things and for this reason. If you take a look at the life of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam it is filled with examples of how he dealt with difficult situations with hardships. How did he deal with it? He did not need nor did he ever deserve to go through any hardship or difficulty. sallallahu alayhi wasallam. But
Allah subhanho wa Taala wanted to show us how to deal with hardship. And this is why the topic is surviving hardships. That's on Saturday evening, surviving hardships, and we want to see difficult moment someone perhaps their business might have just burnt down. May Allah subhanho wa Taala grant and recompense in an even bigger way. I've always seen those whose businesses have burned down for as long as they have belief in the Almighty. And for as long as they are patient within a short space of time. When they collected themselves and started once again, that grew bigger one law he then what it was before it was built in that little space of time. And I can give you more than 50
examples of that.
I can give you more than 50 examples. That doesn't mean please go around burning your businesses.
But it does mean that these things like these happen, how should we be able to survive? You know, you we become angry, we become hateful, it doesn't help. No, not at all. doesn't help pick up the pieces start again. And Allah will provide remember that and learn to be a person who is broad, broad in your understanding of what's going on, rather than narrow. When we become narrow, we become filled with hate, you know, someone hates you, you don't hate them in return. Someone hates you, you have to be the bigger person. And you actually have to love them in return. That's what we are taught. How do we love them? reach out to them? Show them that this is my brother, my sister. What
do you think I am? I'm not that but it will require a little bit of your attention to notice. A little bit of attention to notice where Allah subhanho wa Taala cannot East one a lot. So people for example, who are diagnosed cancer, may Allah grant and cure those who might be diagnosed with AIDS. May Allah grant me kill and goodness, those who perhaps might be might have suffered a loss due to the floods. I was just inquiring about the floods. The brothers were telling me that there was so many people affected. Yes, I know at the time. We were chatting about it and we were trying we were praying for them, but I'm sure there are still families who are impacted and affected by that. What
did you do about it? And if you were affected by it, inshallah, we will be speaking on
Saturday evening about dealing with hardship. And I've just given some examples that came to my mind. But I'm sure there are so many different examples divorce, the issues of social issues, you know, problems in within families, and problems within little communities, so on different types of loss that people may be suffering, there is definitely advice within revelation regarding how we should be dealing with hardship so that we can survive. Then inshallah, on Sunday, we have a youth talk for the youth,
nurturing young minds, I think, the idea of this talk which will be at the Delhi Walla, Masjid, it, it is part of a longer
conference, if I can say, or a longer meeting, and mine is just a talk within that particular day,
where we're trying to guide the youth who are now growing into men, and empower them primarily with responsibility,
responsibility that comes with conviction,
with faith, with understanding.
So to empower someone with responsibility
is really important at that stage in life, more than any other stage, if they can be responsible citizens of the nation, responsible members of the oma, indeed, you have the ingredient for success. And I think one of the reasons every country gives great importance to the youth, some, in some countries, you actually have a ministry of youth. The reason is, the future lies in their hands, obviously, in the hands of the Almighty, but we mean, when it comes to the ground, they are the ones who will take over our businesses and our whatever else as we pass on. And as we go, we have to hand the battle. This is why the Koran calls us Allah subhanho wa Taala calls us alpha two, alpha two
meaning people who come one after the other. So when I'm sitting in a position of leadership, actually,
my success is gauged in many ways. And one of the biggest ways that my success is gauged, and it's a lesson for all of us is, how many others have I prepared to take my seat when I leave? That's what is success. I can be a top scholar, I can be a top politician, I can be a top businessman, I can be a person who's running a family, you know, affair, whatever else it is. The question is, if you and I were to go now, would there be someone to fill that gap? Did you prepare someone to fill the gap? If the answer is yes, there are 200 people Mashallah, you are very successful.
Even if it's five people, it's okay, you are still very successful. But if there is nobody, and everything will crumble, and it will come down, then obviously, we didn't succeed. So for that reason, we have this youth program, and inshallah it although it is in the morning at 1030. On Sunday, I believe it's important to speak about nurturing young minds, because we need to give them guidance, there is so much happening across the globe, be focused, do not believe the media. I met someone on the aircraft today as I was flying from Johannesburg, to Dubai.
And you know what?
They were telling me that I don't believe CNN, I don't believe BBC. I don't believe this. I don't believe that. And I'm just looking because I don't know what to say, you know, and I don't know if it's a test question or not, but to be honest with you, I was okay. Okay. Then I decided to say why. Why don't you believe? Well, I believe they exaggerate. They do this, they do that. It's a fact it's a reality. Now you're asking me it's a reality
that sometimes not everything you see is actually the truth. You know that.
So this is why the young people need to understand they need to lead. They need to know things factual. How do I separate facts from fable? How
do I just hear something, there's a WhatsApp message doing its rounds. So suddenly, I believe it and I and I make my mind and change my life based on little forward. And after 20 years, you find out that forward was a fake. It was wrong. People try to stir your emotions by creating a piece. I've come across so many pieces of news, where later on we found this was fake. It was actually not true. Who made it? Who has the time to do that? Well, there are some people ready to play with your minds in mind. And this is why we need to train the young people I trust
With my one of my children to the Maldives last week, and I tell you, innocent child, 13 1213 years old, and I was telling her my daughter, I said, You know what? careful how you speak with people. Because sometimes people might ask your questions that they don't need to know the answer of. You don't need to answer the questions. You see, sometimes people have a dirty habit, what do they do? They actually get to the kids and they say, oh, how old are you? That's harmless. Okay, this is my age. Okay, your mom and dad? And how old are they? And how old listen? Do they get along? And do they fight? Do they argue? And you know, you have a beautiful relationship? But guess what? She
says? Yeah, they argue she means she are they argued when I was eight years old, you know?
And information is extracted from Little children in a way that is absolutely unnecessary. We shouldn't do that. Never. And we should teach our children that you know what, be careful. Don't say what you don't have to. And don't answer questions where you know, and you can understand and realize this person has nothing to do with the answer of this question. I mean, why should someone asked me for example, a question they have absolutely nothing to do with
Subhan Allah, may Allah subhanho wa Taala, grant us ease and guidance, it comes, I can share something with you on a lighter note. Recently, I was in Cape Town.
And I had a radio interview. And
it was a Muslim station, lovely people, absolutely amazing people.
And I was asked a question that some might consider controversial but personal. So the question was, you know, we always hear rumor that you have a wife here and the wife there and so on. Two things came to my mind.
I said, at least it's a wife with a girlfriend, Mashallah, number one. Number two is when I hear that I always say my brother, if you know her, give her my address, because she's not yet at home.
So what I mean is, it's it's just the way people talk. They love gossip, they love to speak.
And I don't even have the time for my family that I would have loved to have, because I'm sharing it with the rest of the world. Where am I going to have time for all sorts of weird things. For me, the best gift better than food and drink is actually to give me a moment to sleep. You know that. That's how much I travel. And that's how, how much I value sleep. So you tell me there's a program morning, afternoon, evening night, I just look at you, what do you say we've kept the morning free so you can rest and I will just smile Subhan Allah.
But anyway, going back to what we were saying the youth so the youth need a bit of guidance and shall either show I have come across youth who can even guide us Do you know that?
That mind in that brilliance that mind in that innocence sometimes can come up with that, which we will benefit from as adults. So if you take a look at those examples, they are in the Quran and the Sunnah of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam the last topic that will be discussed inshallah, on Sunday evening, before I leave for the airport, will be
fitting in without giving in.
And if you go back to the beginning of this little talk of mine, I spoke about it. And when we say you need to fit in, we're not saying given your beliefs, and forget about who you are, and your identity and just interact with everyone in a way that what you believe is right, you you take it out. That's not what we mean. What is actually meant is, you fit in you understand, you respect one another, you coexist. And
when the term of prayer comes, you will go to the masjid, someone else will go to the church, someone else will go to the temple, someone else will go to the synagogue, someone else might go to the mountain somewhere else. That is something you need to respect and understand that Allah subhanho wa Taala, who is the creator of what a law
has created people differently. He has created people in such a way that he says, you're going to lead your life, do what you believe is correct. I will send you whatever I have to send you in terms of Revelation. And there will be differences in understanding of what this revelation is. But at the end of the day, you will return to me and I am the one who will then judge you. I am the one who will then inform you of what you did on Earth. So why should we become these judgmental people?
It is definitely from an international law perspective, the right of everyone to promote the goodness that he believes. Yes. For example, you you have Islam
You have Christianity, you have Buddhism, you have Hinduism, you have so many other faiths. Each one has the right to promote his faith to say, this is what I believe, this is why I believe it. And this is what, for example, I will live by
promoted, speak about it. Two things will happen, minimum number one, people will understand who you are. If I never spoke about my beliefs, people will start doubting me, they will start thinking, What's this man believing? What is it all about? But if I say, look, here is the book, here is the revelation, this is where I belong, this is what I believe. And this is why I believe it, and this is the benefit of it, and so on and so forth, the first thing that will happen is, people will be able to understand me, that's all to start with. they've understood that you know what, this person follows something heavenly. I remember many years back many, many years back maybe 1518 years back
In our organization, back in Zimbabwe, we realized that there were a lot of people saying a lot of negative things about Islam, because we are in a minority. And at the same time, people are not educated. So we decided we are going to pay for an article in the papers every week. And that time, the newspaper was the in thing because technology had not yet developed to the point of the internet.
And every week, we had a little article explaining one verse of the Quran, and later on one Hadith are saying of the Prophet peace be upon him, and say the Holy Quran speaks or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, we would explain one, and we kept on doing it every week. So they were 52 articles, very short ones, in the year, and the years passed, and we did it for several years. And we started again. And I remember we had to create a department specially dealing with mail and correspondence that came as a result of that article.
Because people started writing, you know, that time it wasn't email, now it's email and so on. But people started writing, they started asking, they started commenting, and I remember clearly
reading one of those letters from an elderly lady saying, I always hated Islam and the Muslims, and I despise them. But through your articles, I have come to acknowledge that it is indeed a heavenly religion. That's all she don't convert. And we don't need that she actually converts. That is in the hands of the Almighty, like we always say guidance, it would be a bonus for Islam and the Muslims if that did happen. But the main aim was to convey the message, Omar Elena, Allah will be our duty is only to convey clearly that this is what it is. So she says the minimum is, in fact, we realize the minimum was that she acknowledged that it is a heavenly faith. It has some beautiful teachings,
reaching out to people to humanity at large. Like I always give a powerful example, a powerful example. And that's why I'm repeating it again, and again and again, in all the different communities. The example is that of how a man was forgiven, because he was compassionate towards a dog and he quench the thirst of that dog. It's a very common narration, in the life of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, he spoke about it. And this is recorded in most of the books of Hadith. So it's an authentic duration of a man achieved forgiveness because he was compassionate towards a dog, and he quench the thirst of the dog. Have you ever sat and thought? If that is the reward of
showing compassion to an animal such as a dog? What do you think the reward of showing compassion to a human being is?
Amazing. We're not talking about people who belong to your faith. We're talking about people who belong to other faiths.
It will be more than just forgiveness.
For the dog, when we were showing compassion towards the dog, it was forgiveness, compassion to another human being another no matter what his inclination is, no matter what his beliefs are, no matter what, even if he hates you, say for example, there are floods and something disaster has, you know, stick in the place.
When disaster strikes, you forget about your differences. That's your moment. It's your moment to show who you are. That's your moment.
So you rise to the occasion, the man who was your outright enemy, you're going to save his life. Trust me. You've changed the
With a woman, yeah.
So Jamie, Allah says if you save one life, it is as though you have saved entire humanity.
That's what Allah says.
So go out and save as many lives as you can and then see what the Almighty has in store for you. So, this is why we say yes, you fit in you must fit in you must understand the common ground. But we are not saying given. Some people think that okay, you know, now, because we need to tolerate and we need to coexist, and we need to respect so let me give up my dress code, let me give up my my beard, for example. Let me give up my scarf, for example, and so on. You know what, my brother, my sister, all you've done is you've just, you remind me of a little effervescent tablet, Gunny. And that's it dissolved, didn't help. People need to know who you are. It is your human basic rights. Basic right?
all over the globe. Your basic right.
You believe something you live by it in a good way. The only time we will say it's a bad belief, or it's unacceptable is when your belief tramples on the toes of others, you become violent towards others, you become extreme towards others, you do not tolerate others, we will tell you, my brother, you need to go back and check this is wrong. This is something wrong. It's unacceptable.
But for as long as we are coexisting respecting one another, like we said, that's the way forward May Allah subhanho wa Taala help us and guide us, even among the Muslims ourselves, we have differences, we will always have differences, these differences may actually increase. That doesn't mean we need to kill each other, we need to spread hatred about one another, we need to actually harm each other, we need to become monstrous towards one another, not at all. Be a human being. Rise Above all of that understand your mission on earth is not to destroy it. Your mission on earth is not to destroy it. It is to develop it to grow it to help the next generation understand who their
maker is. And to be able to live in a better society. Take a look at technology. It is developed.
How did it develop a few years ago, a few years ago, we wouldn't have believed it. If someone told us that you will be having a mobile device where the whole world will literally be in your in your hands in your palm A few years ago, no one would believe it.
The post office when I was young, we used to go there often lick the stamp and I can't remember when last I licked the stamp. You tell the new kids licking a stamp? They'll tell you what do you mean? What is that? What are you talking about? The world has changed? Did it wait for you? No, it didn't didn't wait for me. No, it didn't. So in the same way, technologically, we'd like to see advancement. We need to become more advanced in our relationships, we have to come on, I will benefit from you. No matter who you are Muslim, non Muslim, no matter who you are for technology. Why can't I get along with you? I gotta talk to you. Why can't I respect the difference that we have
no problem. Like I said, one will go to the synagogue, the other one goes to the machine. What's the big deal? Let him go let him do his thing.
May Allah subhanho wa Taala forgive us. And I'm not saying don't propagate goodness, the propagation is a human rights it is you propagate. You mentioned I mean, the politicians, for example, they will go out campaigning, and they will prove their point. And they will say what they have to and they will prove when I say prove their point with whatever evidence they have to prove that they are right, no harm. At the end of the day, the masses will vote agree, they will vote they are free to vote this way, that way, no way, sit at home do what they want. We actually encourage them to go and vote. Even from an Islamic perspective. We encourage them to go and vote to participate in the
development of their nation. But for example, sometimes a person says I'm totally confused. And it has happened. And I really don't know. So I'm just going to sit at home. Well, we might, we might want to try and convince them and if we haven't convinced them, trust me, he won't be jailed because he sat at home. He won't. He hasn't really done something illegal
unless the nation has made it encumbered. So these are just some examples. I know I was told, you know 1015 minutes but Mashallah I'm feeling so light without my clothes and I'm just carrying on speaking you know,
I hope insha Allah that we've benefited from the few words that I've said what I've done here is just giving you a gist of what's going to be happening inshallah in the next one or two days, and I hope that there I hope
By the time I leave, we will have benefited the people as best as we can. And inshallah i would i hope that I will be able to leave you and your nation and your people in a way that would be better than they are today by the will of Allah subhanho wa Taala and it's really an honor once again, you know to be here, I don't even know a lot of the faces here but some of them Mashallah they, they do bring about some I know you personally, I really appreciate the time that you have taken to come here this evening. I really appreciate your time. May the almighty bless you. May He grant you goodness, the ease in your life may he created for you whatever difficulty you're going through, may
the almighty help you through it. Whatever hardship, sickness, illness, any form of stress. May the almighty alleviated grant you to Allah. Hey, I appreciate the time. And I hope and pray that you appreciate mine too.
Okay. salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.