Tag Archives: Christian

On the Importance of Sending Greetings to Other Faith Communities…

“…And We have not sent you, [O Muhammed], except as a mercy to the worlds.”
(Quran: 21:106-107)

“Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.”
(Qur’an 16:125)

“This is a message from Muhammed ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by God! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are declared to be protected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”
–The Agreement of the Noble Messenger, Prophet Muhammed (S) with the religious leaders of Saint Catherine in Mount Sinai who has sought the protection of the Muslims
(Madinah, 628 A.D.)

We should seek diligently to reflect the best of our faith in our relations with one another as religious communities, as believers, and the children of Adam (AS). For some, the issue of sending greetings to persons of other faiths is met with ambivalence or sometimes more severely with…”that’s bidah!”

But in the context of extending a greeting of peace to others, I believe the word bidah is grossly misapplied. I believe that with just a cursory review of the history of our Prophet (S) and the Rightly Guided Caliphs (RA), one would immediately see that greetings of peace on any occasion is not an innovation, but is in keeping with the manner and kindness of our Prophet (SAW) in respecting other People of the Book that he showed during his mission and that the Rightly Guided Sahaba (RA) showed during their missions.

Muslims may wish to consider the very same verses the Prophet (S) instructed his emissaries to share with the Negus of Abyssinia in their greetings to our Abrahamic brethren around this time of year. We may enjoy similar consequences of such an approach as our earliest Muslim predecessors enjoyed when they were a minority amongst Christian benefactors.

To assume without any nusus, and in light of the demonstrated compassion of the Prophet (S), that the Qur’an and wishes of peace cannot be shared at anytime with anyone during, before, or after their holiday is itself bidah.

Imagine for a moment if more leaders today would take the time to send greetings to one another on such occasions, we might see less hatred, bloodshed, strife, and confusion. Allahu-Alim. Our leaders must begin teaching the people as our Prophet (S) taught the people…to be kind, gentle, and compassionate with those who have not ridiculed your faith, neither attacked you, nor fought you for your religion.

We should ask ourselves, how would a Muslim governor behave if he had Muslim, Christian and Jewish citizens under his authority and their holidays approached? Asking such a question can help demonstrate that the less responsibility we have for global concerns and leadership, the more parochial and narrow our visions and concerns can be. The less interaction we have as a citizen of the world, the more insolated we can be and the more liberty we have to only think about ourselves and how appreciative we feel when someone not Muslim goes out of their way to say “Id Mubabrak” or “As-Salaamu-Alaikum” with the wrong pronunciation but with nevertheless the best of intentions to spread peace.

Dearest believers, let us not be misled by some among our so-called ulema who will cause us to barter guidance for extremism.

“We want to make it very clear to you what this mission is all about. We are here to Remake the World, not just the world of mosques, but the World of America and the World outside of America…The future of American Muslims will be well-served when we serve the best interests of humanity. We must work for a productive mind that will enter and affect a change of the soul not just for one people, but for the benefit of all people.“
–Imam Dr. W.D Mohammed (ra)

Prayers and condolences to our fellow citizens of Newtown, Connecticut. May Allah (SWT) guide us to a better tomorrow.

Left open for further thought and research…Peace until next time.

Sincerely & respectfully,

Mukhtar
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Trusting in the Group Intellect: A Critical Component of Faith – Part 2

“By the soul and the proportion and order given to it; and its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right…” The Noble Qur’an: Sura Shams, Ayah 7

“O my Lord! bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the righteous…” َThe Noble Quran: Ash-Shu`arā’ Ayah 83

(Con’t -from Part I)…What are some of the actions that typify a loss of faith in the group intellect:

1.Subjugating half of the group intellect by gender and denying them even the right to literacy, much less an education.

2. Subjugating other parts of the group intellect and denying them a voice in the affairs of state based on their color, caste, and religion.

3.Failing to prioritize the allocation of the public treasury to make education affordable at all levels (from pre-school through graduate education) to all citizens.

4. Succeeding to governing leadership by genetic birth right and essentially espousing the de facto declaration that only those who come from my loins are wise and sincere enough to lead.

5. Investing more in prisons than you do in education.

The list above is not all-inclusive. Are there signs in your masjid that the group intellect can’t be trusted? Are there signs in our national Islamic community life that the group intellect can’t be trusted? Are there signs in the international ummah that the group intellect can’t be trusted?

Now think about the consequences of the actions above. Think about the consequences over time of the wasted human intellect. The UNCF’s familiar slogan is quite appropriate that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.” What about a billion minds?

You know, as Americans and as citizens in the West, we pride ourselves on the level of development we have achieved as a nation or civilization. But what are we comparing ourselves to?…The answer, most likely, is we’re comparing ourselves to historical empires or dynasties, or present industrialized countries or the undeveloped nations. Such comparisons have their place.

But, where could we be as a nation if every child had the opportunity to get an education through graduate school?  Where could we be if women and ethnic minority populations had equal access to leadership across the spectrum without unfair discrimination?

What is the opportunity cost of the resulting underutilization of the gross intellectual capacity that is simply dissipated because of arrogance and ignorance which by the way feed upon each other? That is,  my arrogance won’t allow me to see you as a powerful intellectual capacitor, so I remain ignorant of your abilities and capacity to not only solve problems, to be a creator (small “c”) of new opportunities.

How much further would our society be and the whole world if we had greater respect and appreciation for and trust in the group intellect?

Why “One learned man is harder on Satan than a thousand ignorant worshippers”

“G-d hath not created anything better than Reason, or anything more perfect, or more beautiful than Reason; the benefits which G-d giveth are on its account; and understanding is by it, and G-d’s wrath is caused by disregard of it.” –The Prophet Muhammed (pbuh)

Our Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) gave us this paradigm that one learned man is harder on Satan than a thousand ignorant worshippers. How can that be? Worshippers have faith! Faith in Who…faith in G-d. But what makes them ignorant is that they don’t have faith in the greatest gift that G-d has given them for the management of their lives as Khalifa (Vicegerents on the earth)..they don’t have faith in the intellect and not only the individual intellect, but the group intellect–each other…they don’t have faith in the group intellect.

And when you don’t have faith in the group intellect, darkness stays upon the face of the deep and there cannot be light. And the first verse of Qur’an: Read in the Name of thy Lord and Cherisher cannot be fully fulfilled; and the Kingdom will not come and His Will not be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

Remember, G-d does not change the condition of a people until they first change what is in their hearts (The Noble Qur’an: Sura Ar-Ra`d, Ayah 11). The change in the heart however is just the beginning stage of change that can remake the world. The beginning stage of faith in our ability to make social change and to create a just balance in society begins with at least a feeling in the heart against wrong and injustice. But we can’t stop there. In time, you have to speak out against wrong and then you have to do something against wrong. And the “you” I speak of is the you plural..it’s you and me. Certainly the social proclamation comes from a single person initially, but true, lasting, and fundamental change comes when the group emerges and coheres for progress based on faith in G-d and faith in one another.

Satan doesn’t want any of us (Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, etc.) to have faith in G-d. But I believe we have arrived at the time where Satan is content to let the strong believer have faith in G-d. Satan just doesn’t want you to have faith in one another and in one another’s ability…in one another’s heart and just as important, one another’s intellect.

If we want to be a model family, a model masjid and community, a model nation and global community, then we must dismantle the paradigm that the group intellect is some sort of zero-sum game of “have” and “have nots,” and start comparing ourselves to the model that G-d wants in the group intellect as a true measure of our progress.

Left open for further thought and research…Peace until next time.

Sincerely & respectfully,

Mukhtar
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