Monday, March 12, 2007

Muslim in the west: conflict/co-existence

Muslim in the west: conflict / co-existence

AlhamdulilLah on 05.03.07 we had the chance to listen to Syeikh Syed Muhammad Bin Yahya An-niwowy (May Allah preserve him and increase his rank and make us benefit from him) at Glasgow University. Here is the excerpt from his talk:

-Dunya is like a prison with rivers and mountains etc within encapsulating wall. Some may find it is comforting to live in, but some, upon curiosity struggling to go outside, to find what beyond the wall. There are also some cracks on the walls through which light from outside can penetrate, thus outside contain ‘lights’ which is analogy to guidance for better lives. Prophets were sent down to lead the latter type of people.

-Allah commanded ‘adl wal ihsan (justice and general decency). 16:90 Inna Allaha yamuru bialAAadli waalihsani waeetai thee alqurba wayanha AAani alfahshai waalmunkari waalbaghyi yaAAithukum laAAallakum tathakkaroona (Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that ye may receive admonition)..
-Shaykh also mentioned that there is no absolute justice, so as long as there is justice (at various degree and level), the world will be in peace.
-Ihsan with creation; included in ‘general decency’ is the way we as slaves dealing with our sole Creator.
- From hadith jibril regarding ihsan. Also a hadith that say “Those who do good deeds (decent action) has do ihsan.
-From the ayat in Al-baqarah 2:112 Bala man aslama wajhahu lillahi wahuwa muhsinun falahu ajruhu AAinda rabbihi wala khawfun AAalayhim wala hum yahzanoon (Nay,-whoever submits His whole self to Allah and is a doer of good,- He will get his reward with his Lord; on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve).
And from the ayat in Al-Baqarah 2:83 Waith akhathna meethaqa banee israeela la taAAbudoona illa Allaha wabialwalidayni ihsanan wathee alqurba waalyatama waalmasakeeni waqooloo lilnnasi husnan waaqeemoo alssalata waatoo alzzakata thumma tawallaytum illa qaleelan minkum waantum muAAridoona (And remember We took a covenant from the Children of Israel: Worship none but Allah. treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practise regular charity. Then did ye turn back, except a few among you, and ye backslide
And from the ayat in An-Nisa’ 4:36 WaoAAbudoo Allaha wala tushrikoo bihi shayan wabialwalidayni ihsanan wabithee alqurba waalyatama waalmasakeeni waaljari thee alqurba waaljari aljunubi waalssahibi bialjanbi waibni alssabeeli wama malakat aymanukum inna Allaha la yuhibbu man kana mukhtalan fakhooran (Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious)….in summary, “decency” is an integral in Islam

- Don’t limit being good for things only as RasuluLLah sallaLlahu alayhi wa alihi wassalam is mercy for every creation living and non-living. 21:107 Wama arsalnaka illa rahmatan lilAAalameena….and the meaning of ‘creation’ in the ayat encompass objects and living things, and in harmony to all others. A firman: Everyhting has orbits and ends, so we have to interact with ihsan to everything (sorry didn’t know which ayat)

- From Sahih Muslim ‘Never does a Muslim plant trees or cultivate land and birds or a man or a beast eat out of them but that is a charity on his behalf’ ie it will become an ongoing sadaqah until Day of Judgement.

Many a time non-Muslims come forward defending on behalf of Muslims issues. Muslim in UK has unique opportunity to lead other Muslims world wide, and those opportunity COMES with responsibility . The latter entails endevour to harmonise things with ihsan.

- Everyone of us has responsibility as in the hadith: “Ala kullukum ra’i, wa kullukum mas’ulun ‘an ra’iyatihi”

-Islam affirmed every human dignity. As Islam aim is to give live and not to take it and this has no contradiction with basic human values i.e dignity

Hence, Shaykh Sayid Muhammad proposed:
1. ..- We need a full time, 24hrs professional for islam. eg Muslim professional da’ie which include Muslim thinkers
2- Mosque should be the hub of community. Make it a central and get people involve and educate people
3. we have to induce/inculcate tolerance in ourselves and start building bridges and not burning bridges. We have to think of the well-being of everyone: society, country and the world. We should demonstrate ourselves as leaders by examples i.e diligently work and concern profoundly the well being of societies, we have job to brighten the world hence proving that Rasulullah sallalahu alayhi wa alihi wasallam was sent as a mercy to creations
- RasuluLLah sallaLlahu alayhi wa alihi wassalam had a jewish neighbour who threw rubbish at his house everyday. One day, there was no rubbish and RasuluLLah sallaLlahu alayhi wa alihi wassalam went to meet him at his house and found that he was ill.

- Arab was well-known as people who are very generous and warm hospitality. Travellers used to travel and go to any tribe’s place and stayed overnight without being questioned anything, even their names. Hatim Al-Tha’I at the time before Islam was famous for his generosity. He always feed large group of people and have the largest fire to attract travelers to his place. His son, Adib Al-Hatim was the king of the tribe and went to Syria to fight with RasuluLLah sallaLlahu alayhi wa alihi wassalam. He fled the battlefield and his sister and aunt were captured. RasuluLLah sallaLlahu alayhi wa alihi wassalam sent them back with presents. When Adib was asked by them why did he left them, he answered “I knew I left you in the hand of honourable people.” (ie. Muslims was well-known for being honourable and dignified).

- When Sayidina Umar RadhiyaAllahu anh was a khalifah, he saw a christian man was beging on the street. The man said ‘you have over-taxed us’. He ordered money to be given to the man and people to look after him.

- Never in history a religious figure built nuclear weapon or said ‘who don’t believe in me, I’ll wipe him out’.

- If we are narrow-minded, we’ll see that there’s conflict like Sayidina Isa Alyhi Salaam was blindfolded by 2 soldiers and one of them hit him. They asked him, who hit him?

- Rahmat (mercy) can be defined as hope and opportunity.

- Allah created people and Allah created religion. Even in the time of RasuluLLah sallaLlahu alayhi wa alihi wassalam there’s other religions.

- Decency should come from the heart.

- When Sayidina Ali KaramulLahu wajhah was a khalifah, a Christian man came and complained to him. He’s an army but have less wages because of his religion. Sayidina Ali KaramulLahu wajhah brought him to the Minister of Finance (Abdullah Bin Rafi’) and put the minister into jail.

“Decency is cornerstone for all human decency” and Islam emphasise this by this verse 49:13:
Ya ayyuha alnnasu inna khalaqnakum min thakarin waontha wajaAAalnakum shuAAooban waqabaila litaAAarafoo. (O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). 49:13

Keyword is TAQWA = IHSAN

Power of words. Words can affect everything, that words we speak to ourselves and to external environments. Thus say good words. Firman: do good and decent, because Allah likes decent


- What good are you if you do good to those who do good to you?
King barbar occupied Morocco and became a muslim. He went to Madinah to visit, and to find a spouse for his only daughter. He went to a pious man’s house in madinah and this man had 3 sons. The king voiced his intention and the man requested some time. He called his 3 sons one at a time. He called the first one and asked, ‘what will you do if someone do bad to you?’ The first son said ‘I’ll do something equal to him ie. Eye for an eye and ear for an ear.’ Then, he asked the same questions to the 2nd son and the son answered ‘I’ll forgive his mistakes.’ When the man asked the same question to his third son ‘what will you do if someone did something bad to you?’ he answered ‘I’ll do good to him. My nature/habits (goodness) will overcome his nature (badness).’

- We should always serve humanity. We should find common denominator e.g in middle ages, scientist spearheading n majority were Muslims. And they actually did something that benefits entire humanity. Likewise, we have to excel like our predecessors, be excel in sciences and benefits others, as Islam’s code is conducive to development, don’t be narrow-minded. Previous excellent scientists were also dedicated jews/Christians, thus no religion restrict development

- Syeikh Sayid Muhammad did not believe in conflict per say, as conflict can be solved by having dialogue. The latter opens ways for intellectual exchange therefore DO NOT stop dialogue.
- Do not focus on negativity as it is always there. Nobody can please everyone.
- We have to nurture ihsan by learning the qur’an and sunnah. Think ourself as human.
- If you can articulate what your opponent are thinking and his points, you haven’t even you haven’t even begun to bring them closer. You’re narrow-minded as you’re judging people on your standard.
-violence and radical is not native to Islam and not to other religion

-The truth is usually unpopular, its very easy to stripe human rights. E.g in any wars, they call “target” referring to “people” or human beings. The former is not decent at all.

Its not about other people, its about us, our job as muslims is to depict the best in moral, and set high standard to it.
- core thing is to educate Muslim youth, and long term plans starts at home, emphasise on morality
- blame game is endless, thus Muslim should search for truth and present the truth; as it is unfair to judge at one side only. A fair judge is who looks at both sides.

(thank you Ummu Muhammad for her contribution).

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Above are the intention for studying from Imam Abdullah Al-Haddad (RahimuLlah) translated as: All praise to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. And salutations and greetings upon our master Muhammad and upon his family and companions. I intend to study and teach, take and give a reminder, take and give benefit, take and give advantage, to encourage the holding fast to the book of Allah and the way of his messenger, and calling to guidance and directing towards good hoping for the countenance of Allah and His pleasure, proximity and reward, transcendent is He. (Our thanks to


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- All the notes were just our own paraphrasing while listening to the dars. Any mistakes are ours and please forgive us for that.
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