Nadim Bashir – Khatira – Islamic Etiquettes of Interfaith Dialogue

Nadim Bashir
AI: Summary © The importance of interfaith dialogue and guidance in political situations is emphasized, along with the need for a clear understanding of everyone's understanding of religion. Interfaith speakers emphasize the need for guidance and commonalities to identify interfaithuals and avoid confusion, while avoiding wasting one's time in worship and social media. The importance of showing one's religion in public settings and explaining one's understanding in a way is emphasized, as it is considered a public statement. The speaker also advises against wasting one's time in worship and apologizes for recent attacks on social media.
AI: Transcript ©
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Today in sha Allah, I want to take a very different topic and discuss today based on a lot of requests that have come. And I think is extremely important, especially in the day and age that we live in, that it has to be discussed and must be addressed and that is the etiquette of interfaith dialogue. See, first of all, is that where the interfaith dialogue started in the Muslim community, there are people if you study Muslims in America, there was a time where it longtime in America, there are people who are involved in debates, you go back to the days, and he was always, you know, engaging in dialogues or in debates with other Christian pastors and so forth. But overall, the

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Muslim community was not engaged in interfaith dialogues, till 911 took place, after 911 took place, there was a very big demand from everyone that we need to really show the true nature and the true colors of what Islam is, and SubhanAllah. Hence, there are so many Dawa opportunities, so many Dawa endeavors that started all over America. And so many Muslims, they felt that I, they felt the need that I need to be part of this and I need to be willing to teach others about my religion. So this is where it all started from. But I will say this, because today inshallah quickly I do want to cover some of the things that you can do, or some of the things that you should do when it comes to

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interfaith dialogue, some of the things that we're not allowed to do in an interfaith dialogue, but I will say this before we begin,

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not everyone has a stomach. Not everyone has the ability to interfaith to engage in interfaith dialogue. There are some people we all are created differently by Allah subhanho, wa taala, there are some who are able to put their foot down and say, this is halal, this is haram. This is what we believe in, this is what we don't believe in, and the story, that's it, while there are some people that Allah Subhanallah has created them in such a way that they have a very soft, you know, a very, I would say, creamy heart, okay, that they cannot say anything that can perhaps cause any kind of discomfort to someone. And I will say this, if you have that kind of personality, that you cannot

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say something that you cannot say something that you feel like that it may hurt someone, or you might say something that you're disagreeing with someone, if you don't have the stomach for it, and you don't have the ability for it, then you should not engage in interfaith dialogue to begin with. And you should not international engage in interfaith, you know, kind of events and so forth. Because once again, it's not everyone's cup of tea. So this is the very first thing I want to mention. Why do people do interfaith dialogue, once again, is founded from our, from our, from the CEDAW of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, in his seventh year of hijab, there were

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Christians who came the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he said, we're not even sure about to go and send a message to the people of neutron neutron was filled with Christians to come to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and enter and engage in a interfaith dialogue or discussion. Once again, the Quran does highlight this discussion. And at the end, they do not agree to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. But one of the key reasons why the person he did this also was to ensure that even though you and I are going to disagree with each other, but at least we understand that we need to have each other's backs, especially when it comes to the socio economic

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and the political situation in Makkah, or in Medina, because you have to understand once again, the seed of the problem tells us that you had the courage, they had allies, you had Muslims, and they had their allies too. So once again, you can build up allies. Now, if you try to take that same example and apply it today to our current political situation. I respectfully say that you cannot do that. Because when you today go to the world of politics, there's going to be some aspects that you're gonna have to compromise your deen with. And there's no political party in America that 100% aligned with Islamic values, some some parties, they align in some areas, some parties, they align

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in some areas, and I'll just simply leave it at that. But the point is, at that time, based on the current political situation, the prophets of salaam he realized that he needs to have allies so even though they disagreed, but once again, the person did not compromise but he said that we need to have a good and in a court and a cordial relationship. Now.

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What are we not allowed to do or let's start with this what can we do or what should we do when it comes to interfaith dialogue? Very first thing is to I have the Quran Allah subhanho wa Taala says Oduro Elizabeth Rebecca Bill Hekmati? Well Marie Lawton Hassan, when it comes to giving Dawa, whether you're giving Dawa to a person who does not believe in Allah, whether you're giving Dawa to a person who doesn't believe in Allah and either way, whenever you give Dawa whenever you're calling someone to Allah subhanho wa Taala Bill hikmah. See Allah subhanaw taala did not say biller alien. Use your knowledge. There are some people who feel you

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Let me come, let me throw all my intellect on the table. Let me impress them and they will become Muslims just like this. It doesn't work like this Hikmah This is why Allah says in the Quran will mean you tell the heck matter for the OTO Hi Ron cathedra Allah did not say that whoever is given knowledge they have been given Allah Allah said Whoever has been given Hikmah and wisdom they have been given hola and what that basically means is to know what to say, to say or what to say when to say how to say and what gathering to say. All this applies to a person or they will know who has hikma and next one is one more than Hasina with a good and a sincere advice to that person. This is

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how we give Dawa. Another thing that's very important is that I've seen when it comes to interfaith Dawa and dialogue, we tried to cover the entire world. If I were to ask you or someone were to ask you, can you please explain to me who your God is? Explain to me who Allah subhana wa Taala is? Well Allah, you don't have to go far. You go straight to sort of a class, Paul who Allahu Ahad Allahu Samad, let me lead. Well, um, you let what I'm gonna call local for now. Because one of the biggest things, see when a person believes in another religion, they know the flaws of their religion, or they might know the areas that were they know that they're not very clear on. We had an interfaith

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dialogue here at Epic. There was a person who came and when I asked them, can you explain your concept? Okay, when you explain your religious concept to me, You know what the first thing they said before they started, they said that I'm going to explain to you, but it's a little confusing, but I will go ahead and explain to you

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our deen is not confusing. Our deen is very clear is so clean. Allah subhanho wa Taala says puluh Allah has sort of a class, you share pseudo class with someone, you clearly explain to someone who Allah subhanho wa Taala is and I guarantee you they're gonna you're you have planted a seed in their heart. Because one thing about Islam versus all the other religions is when people come here all the time and they say, we have converted to Islam why? One of the key reasons is it is so simple. It is so clear how many times people come here and they say we have been believing in the trading for such a long time. Yet we never understood what it meant. This is what Islam is, instead of covering the

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entire world and explaining in going here and there explaining who Allah is. Stick stick to the basics. Simple what Allah subhanaw taala has mentioned in the Quran. Another thing that's very important, is guidance is not in your eloquence and guidance is not in your intellect. Guidance is only in only in the hands of Allah subhanho wa Taala if Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam being such a mate, of course, the last prophet, the most beloved person to Allah subhanho wa Taala if he cannot go and convince his own uncle, his own family, that is why we learn from that, that will Allah He does not is not based on our eloquence. Yes, eloquence is important. But it's not

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contingent upon that person converting to Islam or them believing in Allah subhanho wa Taala is not based on our intellect, but rather is based on the guidance or the hidayah that comes from Allah subhanho wa Taala we give Dawa our job has always been give your Dawa. The rest is in their hands. The rest is in the hands of Allah subhanho wa Taala it's not our job. It's not our job to convince them. Yes, it's our job to give Dawa that's exactly what also allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam did, and ALLAH SubhanA wa Tada is a very core fundamental principle and that is our job is to make the effort, the results are in the hands of Allah subhanho wa taala. Another thing that's very, that's

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very important when it comes to identify identify interfaith dialogues is finding commonalities. Okay, there's a there's some differences, but there's a lot of commonalities I've signed with so many people of other faiths, I don't focus on the differences. I focus on the commonalities and Subhanallah Wallahi. They don't know what Islam is, when you when they sit with a Muslim and you focus on the commonalities, they will see that they're not so different after all. Another thing that has to also be done when it comes to interfaith dialogues and so forth is focus on social welfare, focus on social services, the Prophet sallallahu ala he was send them even before Islam

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came, he did work with people who later on were not Muslims, but he worked with them on what condition for social justice helpful for though this has happened this happened before even as was some became a profit. And not only that, but later on Roswell, Salem, he recalls that situation and he says, if that same situation were to reoccur, I would take pride in being part of that, which tells us that there is nothing wrong in working with people of other faiths, as long as you're working on something that is going to be beneficial to others. And that is why Alhamdulillah epic in the past. We

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have worked with other organizations and you know delivering blankets and food to other organizations and so forth. Because once again, this is what our Dean has has, has taught us. Finally, the last thing that we should do is always remember, I may be sitting in someone who's not a believer today and Allah subhanho wa Taala but never feel that you're superior than them. Yes, you can say Alhamdulillah Allah has given me guidance. Allah has given me Tofik to say, a shadow Allah and Allah, why should you know Muhammad Rasool Allah, but we should never under look are never undermine anyone or overlooked them or feel that your we are superior than them. Because one thing

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that we have seriously learned from the Quran and from the Sunnah of the Prophet Salam is Allah can guide anyone at any time. Who knows that that person that we might be criticizing? Or we might be looking down on them, Allah will give them guidance, and Allah may make them even a better Muslim than us. We don't know. So that one the key thing is that we never, we never overlook anyone, or never disrespect or feel like we are superior and they are inferior. Now quickly was thinking some of the things that we should not do at all, when it comes to interfaith dialogue. Number one is, I've said this before, right in front of that person behind the scenes, you can disagree you can say

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whatever you feel like, but in front of someone else, you don't demean their religion. Because Allah subhanho wa Taala not me, Allah says in the Quran, let us Ebola Dini their own, I mean, Donella for your Subala on the radio, and when you demean someone else, and their religion, and something that they hold on dearly to, they will turn around and they will say something absolutely negative about Allah and His Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, why do that? Why do that? Why put yourself in that position? Why would you want to put your Deen in that position? Do not say anything that is that is considered as absolute disrespectful to anyone about their religion. Another thing that's

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very important is that often I've seen people do this. And whenever I've been and I've seen people, I've stopped them do this, but I know because I've heard stories of people do this. People go there, feel my go to another place, there might be a worship going on and they feel the need that we need to engage in that same worship? No. If you go to some other place, some other center and they're doing their worship, that's their worship. You don't have to engage in that worship. Just because you feel that you are the guest and they are the hosts and they may feel uncomfortable that you're not engaged in that worship. No, this is part of our deen. We will never we will never worship

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anything else besides Allah subhanho wa Taala whether they like it or not, that's not the point here. The point is, I got to stick to my Deen, why am I there? I'm there to find some commonality to work together for something that is a bigger cause. But I will never compromise my Deen something that I've seen before to. Another thing that's very important is that we should not ever present Islam in dilute Islam meaning that do not say something that Allah has made haram into Halal that yes, absolutely fine, or something that Allah has made halal into haram. Because a lot of times people this, these discussions come up, and people are always they feel the need, I need to convince

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them to come into the fold of Islam. Once again, you don't have to convince anyone. Our job is to give Dawa, their guidance is in the hands of Allah subhanho wa taala. So we don't ever we try to mix Islam up. If there is a practice that will be very clear and blunt about this to give you one example. Okay, because I've been that kind of situation, the subject of LBGT Q came up in interfaith dialogue. Okay, I was very clear about it, Islam was against it. And we will stand by that. I don't care if anyone likes or not, I don't have to please them, I have to please, Allah subhanho wa taala. So that's why I stick to that. And I stick to the fact that there are only two genders, there is men

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and women and there is no binary they though are all the other letters in the alphabet, or, you know the words in the dictionary, I don't care what does exist, society is going to keep on creating new words. I believe in what the Quran says. And there are only two genders and Islam set is very clear on the LGBTQ stance, I'm not going to mix that up. I'm not going to engage to please other people, I'm not going to engage in their rituals, I'm not going to engage in doing certain things just to gain public media and you know, publicity and so forth. These are things that we have to be very straightforward about. Another thing, though, like what I'm about to say now, is something that I've

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heard so many times they make this very clear. You know how many people say, Oh, we worship the same God.

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We don't worship the same God. Let me be very clear. We don't worship the same God.

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I don't know how I suppose that I can become, but we don't worship the same God. We always you know how many Muslims have gone into interfaith dialogues, just to once again

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convince them we feel you know, as Muslims we feel that I gotta please everyone. Does a Christian come to a gathering and say, I need them to become a Christian? Does a Jewish person come to a gathering say I will need them to become Jewish or any other religion, but yet as much as we feel that I need to become like them, I gotta show them my religion is so amazing that I gotta mix certain things up it makes them some things halal, that we're haram and haram and to halal and so forth. Just to bring other people know our deen is clear. Hola, yo, ma Kamala calm, Dina calm, the Quran is clear, the Sunnah is clear. And we stick to that. And once again, we don't worship the same

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God, we need to stop saying this. You worship, you worship a God, you worship for God, this is the God that we worship. And that end of the story. Last thing is that which is something very, very important also is

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let's just say you know, someone who has been clearly an Islamophobe and now they're wanting to come to you, and they want to learn Islam from you. They are coming to you, what do you do in that kind of situation? You might say, You know what, this person has spoken ill about Islam so many times, I don't want nothing to I want nothing to do with this person. You push them away. If they're coming to you, okay? Then you welcome them and you show them respect and dignity. Let me give you an example. We had a certain person I'm not gonna say he's a political figure, okay? He says some very negative, very negative, derogatory things about Islam and Muslims once again, you know, when it

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comes to politics, you got to say and do whatever you can to gain what get to gain the votes, right? We'll do whatever you can, once again, their idea is the ends justify the means Do whatever you can to get to the end. That's what matters all the all the time, right? So this person, he felt like that the best way to get the vote is let me bash Islam. So he he said some very derogatory things. Time came later on, he decided to come here to to the masjid. Okay. And I and we, I brought him in, and I talked to him. And he apologized. By the way, he apologized. Once again, behind closed doors, you apologize. And for everyone else, he will you know, he's still the same person, because he has

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to keep his seat and his votes and so forth. Right. But you know, what happened was so sad is that when I invited this person, I got this huge wave of attacks on social media. Okay, why is Imam Nadeem allowing an Islamophobe inside the Masjid? If an Islamophobe is coming to the house of Allah, I'm not going to stop them.

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I'm not going to stop someone. Just because one person disagrees with it. I'm not going to stop someone from coming to the house of Allah subhanho wa taala. And once again, I not care about it because those few people, okay, those few people who were creating a scene, they have no knowledge to begin with. Okay? They don't practice Islam themselves, so I'm not worried about it. My problem is that when a summer fall does something like this, when people said so many derogatory things about Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and they came in from Salem, the person did not kick them out the leader of Abu Hanifa when he came, the person kept him inside the masjid for three

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days, accommodated him, showed him what a Muslim community is. How do you explain that? This is a person who said that if I got the chance, I will kill those who are so awesome. I will take the life of the province Saddam and here this man comes to the door of the masjid. And he is there three days inside the masjid. And the person he completely allowed it when someone is like that coming to the masjid. Okay, and they have said derogatory things about certain Muslims. I'm not supporting what they said. But if someone's going to come to the masjid and the house of Allah is not my house, I can push them away. So something very important we have to understand. And finally, a question that

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usually is asked is that if we go to a place This is once again, it happens often in interfaith events. I go to a place I go to some other religious center or place of worship. Can I pray a lot over there? Are we allowed to pray start over there? The answer is absolutely yes, you can, as long as you're not standing in front of a statue or any other thing that is considered as a deity or that is worship. As long as that area is clear, you can most certainly engage in the worship of Allah subhanho wa taala. So I just want to clear these few things. Once again, something that has to be explained something that has to be taught. And once again, we all are in one way in one shape or

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form. We are certainly engaged in this area. Ask Allah subhana wa that to give us their feet and to stick to what is the Huck immunoblotted mean does that Kamala hate Islam or are they going to label a cattle in

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our mana?

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