Channel: Wael Ibrahim
Wael is convinced that to solve many of the worldâs most pressing problems we must change our values and beliefs, and this prominent leader of the interfaith movement is one of the few who has the insight and vision to realise such a lofty goal.
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Today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments by big corporations, religious groups, and political groups. This is something said by Philip K Dick. Nothing is closer to the truth in the heat of this current political climate, in the political climate that we have seen in the past week alone. However, an older issue of greater input, or mutual understanding of different religions in our city has not been quite discussed enough. Well, Libra Han is the founder serving Islam here in Hong Kong, originally hails from Egypt. And he will delve into the issue for us today in his talk, reviving the past values for a better future.
I'm here primarily to
share with you my own personal experience. So this is not an attempt to convince you will change your views on anything, or even to convince you with the content of my talk. This is simply a part of a life story which led me to become an advocate of interfaith dialogues and religious discussions. And in order for me to relate this story, you will have to go
back in time, to where I came from, I grew up in Egypt. So
second, expenses will be on Ted, don't worry.
So Egypt, where Muslims and Christians used to live side by side, no madness, no hatred, no noise, no fight, it was deadly quiet.
And all the neighbors, Muslims and Christians, they used to live like one family. despite their differences.
I can still remember my father telling me that if you wish to buy fruits buy from no one other than uncle Semyon, and who was uncle Samuel, he was our Christian neighbor, who used to sell fruits at the end of our street, he would come and deliver the fruits up to our doorsteps and return my father that if you didn't, like my fruits don't pay. And of course, my father would take advantage of that.
I could still remember Auntie Aziz, our Christian neighbor, who would send her son and not on every Muslim occasion, with plates full of tasty food and big cake. And of course, these plates will not be returned empty. So my mother would cook equally delicious food for the pleasure of a man and his mother, I could still see my Christian neighbors, helping uncle Mohammed in setting up his stole every morning, and I could see alcoholic giving them drinks as a way of appreciation for the help that they have offered, I can still see our mathematic Christian teacher on command, who would attend every Muslim funeral. Not only that, but he will sit with the Muslims, and listen with them
to the poor and the Holy Book of the Muslims, I could still sense that peace, love, respect and tolerance between the Muslims and the Christians back in it.
When I moved to Hong Kong,
I start meeting different types of Christians.
Unlike the Christians, you know, backing into my neighbors, my class mates, my friends, they were different, they will call missionaries.
And I wanted to make things clear that not all missionaries are alive.
They are different. But I'm speaking about those particular Christian missionaries who have met me and intended to convert me to Christianity. I'm talking about very specific type of Christian missionaries. All right. So if any Christian missionaries in the room, please don't take this person.
Those people had very clear plan to convert me
and to cast doubt in what they used to or what I believed in and what they valued in life.
On a peaceful Sunday morning, I met a married couple missionaries who approached me and the wife started the conversation by saying, good morning sir, can we share with you some good news
Of course, who doesn't want to hear some good news?
As you go ahead, tell me. So the husband start shouting with excitement. Jesus Christ is alive.
I look back at him and I told him, I know
I'm a Muslim. And as soon as I said, I am a Muslim,
all cheerful faces that they came up with, and all a smile, the smiles have gone right away. I start observing one of the most interesting ping pong match between the husband and the wife. And our was basically the the table tents.
So they start going like,
Muslims are terrorists, Mohammed is a liar Jesus Christ is Lord Mohammed is a false prophet. Have you heard about the Bible come with us to the church, the Bible is the Word of God, the man was forced to marry the
girl named Arusha and so on and so forth. We have started to, you know, load up with a tattoo on my face, and all my belief and be wrapped up there, you know, conversation by an amazing closing remarks, he told me, we love you.
Serious you have you have the whole path. You know, imagine with me Just imagine me who's married here.
Or, I mean, husbands
So imagine the husband wake up in the morning, and went up to his wife, with a cheerful face, smiling face, hypothetical.
And then we told her, before telling her anything, he lays off his head and landed on her face. Then he told her Honey, I love you.
When she really just forget about her slapping you back?
Once you leave you, of course not. So what happened is I started to defend my faith in a no better way than I even became more aggressive in approach that the Christian missionaries, and all of a sudden, I realized that what I used to criticize and dislike have become part of my way in defending Islam. When I was very fortunate to meet some of the most eloquent learned, Muslim scholars around the world who taught me the proper way of sharing the message of Islam,
basically, is to share, not to scare.
And I came across the life of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon, and how to deal with Christians and people of different faiths. And then I discovered beautiful values that if we can revive today, we will have a better future. That's my own observation. No one had, you know, no one is obliged to believe in what I'm saying. But this, these values are seen as very, very important to every living being. And I believe that these values are universal. They are found in the poor, and they are also found in the Bible. They are also found in different different religious scriptures. The argument I'm making is that these values are not widely practiced by for example, the art of gentle dialogue
and effective listening.
You see, gentle dialogue, and effective listening goes hand in hand, they are intertwined. You cannot have a gentle dialogue without someone who's listening to you attentively. And you cannot also listen attentively to someone who's bashing your faith. Yes, so they have to go hand in hand. So I remember one story and I came to the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and started preaching him.
away way of life which, contrary to what the prophet Muhammad peace be upon, brought to the people, which is the message of worshiping one God, and He spoke to the Prophet Muhammad for an hour, and never did the Prophet Muhammad once interrupt the man.
In fact, after the man finishes his speech, he told him, did you finish
indicating that I was listening attentively and I'm just making sure that you have finished so I can respond. When on the earth Do we have a manner like that today? You just go watch any news channel. When people are debating Do they really listen to each other?
Not only that, but the Prophet Muhammad
about him, he asked him a second question. He told him, can I talk now?
indicating that as I was listening to you attentively, now it's time for you to listen to me and to my argument,
attentive listening, the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon himself. Nothing is added, in any conversation better than Jensen's, gentleness, speech, gentlemen, gentleness, and in even in arguing and in reasoning with one another. Another element which is also absent from our society, which everyone in the room believes in is justice,
applying justice, even against your own family members.
You have to apply justice,
even though against your own people. And I remember this story. All I have is a figure in Islam, who was the third leader after the demise of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. During his era, he assigned another man called us to be the governor of Egypt. And during this region, the son of the governor was raising with a Christian boy, and who won the race.
Take a guess who won the race, the Christian boy
and the son of the governor
fell, you know, like how dare this Christian boy want to race against the son of a noble man. Then he started beating him up.
And when he beat him up, the Christian boy knew that all of the above the leader of the Muslim would never accept such an action. So he went, he and his father all the way from Egypt, to Saudi Arabia, to meet the owner of the hotel and to complain about that Muslim man who's the son of the governor, assigned by the Muslim leader is what happened when he heard the story. He said for us and his son to show up in the city of Medina immediately.
When he asked the man in the rich Medina, he asked the boy, did you be that Christian boy? He said, Yes.
Then he went to the Christian boy, and he gave him his own stick, and he told him, go and pick them up in the same way.
Not only that, but he told him now after he beaten him, go and beat his own father.
And then he went to talk to us and told him since when, on, we have been enslaving people, since when the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said, I shall believe I shall play on the day of judgment on behalf of a non Muslim, whose right was taken forcefully by Muslim.
The Prophet Muhammad will be the judge of a non Muslim, whose rights being taken by a Muslim in a Muslim land. These elements we all believe in, we all adhere, yet, in my humble opinion, they are not widely practiced. But as you a couple of questions here, who is in this hole? is a Muslim?
Don't be scared.
Please, is not here.
All right, who is a Christian?
Right, who is a Buddhist?
Great, who is a Hindu?
Who doesn't believe in God at all?
We are no different coming from different backgrounds and different beliefs and so on. So here are three questions for you. Who among you would like to achieve peace on earth? Are everyone reasonably
100%? Good You have now second question who would like to live a life of happiness, joy and contentment on earth is 100% All right, who does it who wants to live a life of prosperity and compassion for everyone?
Is 100% agreement despite our differences,
imagine with me if we can cooperate to achieve these noble goals, not through bashing each other's face.
So my dear respected, beautiful audience, if you now excuse me, and have to get back in time, dig for much more values and bring to our future. So stay peaceful and CRM
Thank you Mr. librium for target