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Published on November 19th, 2018 | by Eaalim Institute | Views: 509

Islam’s Universal Values

miss Meena Rahim was a Lala I don’t see

any Muhammad and it was I who said

mother I want him in an MBA one more

setting first of all I want to thank you

for this honor but also thank so many

distinguished people who are taking time

out of I know very busy lives ministers

I was mentioning to the minister Lee

earlier that in Arabic the word for

ministers with Zia which means the one

who carries burdens it’s not like

minister in English as you’re

ministering things but was either as a

real the burden of states and the

difficulties that it takes to run and

the Saffir is the one who reveals the

intentions of his country so fear in

arabic means the one who used futile

Awad authority so these are ancient

traditions ministers and ambassadors

where the inheritors as a species were

the inheritors of ancient traditions and

we’re attempting to get better at them

so I really am honored that you would

come out to listen to me

part of this exercise when we come and

think about another religion because I

want to speak from the perspective of

Islam which is not in any way to detract

or to insult or diminish the worth of

these other great traditions that give

so much solace to people whether it’s

Buddhism or Hinduism or Christianity or

Judaism or Zoroastrianism or any of

these traditions that have attempted to

help humans navigate the complexities of

life on Earth and and the difficulties

we have a character in our tradition

called joha and he was once on the side

of a river and a man on the other side

called out how do I get to the other

side and Joe has said you’re already on

the other side and that’s part of the

problem is that we tend to look solely

from our perspective and fail to see the

perspectives of other people and so what

I’d like to do is look just at the

tradition our tradition Islam claims on

two billion people now it’s considered

the fastest-growing religion not so much

from proselytize because Muslims tend to

have a lot of children and we tend to

teach our children our religions so

we’ve got probably 1.7 1.8 billion

Muslims it’s almost it’s one-fifth of

humanity these are a lot of people who

have some relationship with Islam

Christianity is the other religion that

exceeds Muslims in numbers and then

Buddhism and Hinduism have very large

numbers Judaism is a much smaller

religion but very influential especially

on the Abrahamic faiths the three great

proselytizing religions in human history

are Buddhism Christianity and Islam and

part of the reason for that is they

wanted to share their religion with

other people they believed that this was

true and they wanted to go out and take

it and also because in the case of

Christianity and Islam they were told to

go but the word in Arabic for telling

people about your religion is truly

called Dawa which literally means an

invitation an invitation is only real if

it’s open to rejection and this is why

the Peron clearly states famine Shelford

young man woman chef addict or let

whoever wants to believe in this and

whoever wants disbelieve in it I mean

the Quran says there’s consequences but

whether you believe in that or not is up

to you and so let Cara heavy Deen is one

of the great universal values of the

Islamic tradition that there’s no

coercion or compulsion in the religion

we have the for the president former

president of Hartford seminary here

tonight and they have a center there

Duncan McDonald who was a great Islamic

scholar Duncan McDonald said that the

world will not be a peace until the

three great militant and proselytizing

religions come to some knowledge of one


Buddhism Christianity and Islam

and there’s great truth to that

Interfaith now is a security issue for

states it’s become a security issue the

states that that represent our peoples

around the world have to be more

interested in religion because even

though Time magazine declared God is


about 55 years ago God tends to ignore

those declarations and come back again

and again the these religions will not

go away if you saw the film gravity one

of the interesting things about that

film is that as this person went to the

first went to the Chinese satellite that

the Chinese space station and there was

a Buddha in there so despite all that

massive technology the Buddha is still

around and then when he went to the

Russian satellite when she went to the

Russian satellite station there was a

Orthodox icon from Christianity

reminding us that Christianity is still

around no matter how far we get into

outer space and finally the part of the

purpose of that was to show that we will

only survive if we work together helping

one another the Quran says say alwan wa

al akhirin wa taqwa – to cooperate in

righteousness and in piety in dutiful

piety to cooperate this verse was

revealed about Muslims working with

other people it wasn’t revealed about

Muslims working with themselves it was

revealed to the Prophet about working

with other peoples so it’s very strong

now one of the problems currently is

that we have this crisis of Islam as

this evil religion and there are many

people unfortunately in my country in

the West in Europe and increasingly in

other parts of the world like Burma that

are seeing Muslims as incompatible with

their societies

fortunately the wisdom of this state

here Singapore has rejected that

narrative and has shown I think great

wisdom that we can learn from

as a people but one of the things that I

hear constantly is why don’t Muslims

condemn these acts and I can I can

really assure you that since 9/11 that’s

about all I’ve been doing and and and

and yet people don’t seem to be hearing

the message which led a professor dr.

Todd green an associate professor at

Iowa’s Luther College to write a book

called presumed guilty why we shouldn’t

ask Muslims to condemn terrorism in

other words Germans should not have to

answer for Hitler he there there there

are different people than that time the

Christians should not have to answer for

the the Crusades Catholics even should

not have to answer for some of the

crimes of some of their priests and I

feel like telling my Catholic friends

Catholicism is now being tainted with a

heinous crime against children

that’s not Catholicism that’s the acts

of some people that have nothing to do

with Catholicism because they’ve broken

every rule of Catholicism and the same

is true for us as Muslims we we reject

entirely this idea that Islam has

anything to do with terror the so I want

to speak in broad strokes from a

normative perspective and I and what I

mean is I’m not going to talk about

descriptive Islam I want to talk about

Islam from a normative tradition that

I’m a student of my shaykh abdullah bin


is a master of he spent his life

probably starting at about the age of

six or seven and and now in his 80s of

really completely committed to that

tradition so I want to look first at

what is the central teaching of the

Quran and and if we reduced it to a

central teaching one of the great

scholars of Islam for who is Dino Rossi

said all of Islam could be reduced to


words devotion to the creator and

service to his creation this is very

similar to Rabbi Hillel one of the great

Jewish rabbis from 2,000 years ago who

said that all of the Torah is you know

love God serve God and and serve than

the neighbor you know take care of the

neighbor and everything else is

commentary that this is at the essence

of our teachings but often because of

the nature of our teachings there are

problems I want to look at just the what

that means the oneness of God and then

look at what is this the the essential

message that human beings should take

from that and then something about

tribulation and the nature of

tribulation and then something about

Sharia and then some of these values and

I hope I don’t want to scare you away

this looks like a book but it’s just big

print so I hope I don’t bore you if you

if you investigate the quote on what

you’ll find is is as the central

teaching of the Quran is what some

scholars outside of Islam have called

radical monotheism the idea that God is

radically one obviously Muslims differ

with Christianity and the Christian

Christians believe in one God but they

have they have a triune conception of

that God and so and Judaism obviously

believes in one God so these three

Abrahamic faiths share the idea of one

God was with some different conceptions

of how that manifests but the Arabic

word for that is tawheed which

linguistically means to make one so the

person who does this is called Mahad the

one who makes one in other words making

God one and one of the in in logic logic

studies three aspects of our intellects

the first aspect is what they call

simple apprehension and then the second

is about judgment and the third is about

reasoning how you get from something you

don’t know from things you know and this

is what traditional logic studied but

that first

act of the mind which is called

conception is based on the idea that our

minds are constantly making one the only

reason that we can actually communicate

is because of the ability to

universalize the particular when I speak

about a glass of water for instance the

only reason that you know what I’m

saying is because you’ve abstracted the

idea of glass so the particular glass is

understood in a universal way you’ve

made the many one in your mind and the

same is true for water because water is

all over with different tastes and

flavors and colors but you make it one

so I can say could you get me a glass of

water and I’m not talking about Avion

water or I’m not talking about Perrier

water or some adjective that describes

that water you understand the one out of

the many this is what the mind does it

makes one and and so to understand

tawheed is to understand that your mind

according to our belief has been

designed to see unity in diversity and

and this is why the Quran says we have

made you nations and tribes in other

words diverse to know one another to see

the oneness in each other the Quran says

in surah – Rome the Quran says we in it

we have created in surely in the

creation of the heavens and the earth

and the diversity of your tongues and

your complexions is a sign of God it’s a

sign of God even the fact that we differ

these are all signs of God and so this

human ability to make one not only

enables language but also reveals the

very purpose of our existence

the devotional making of one in our

understanding the very one who unveils

oneness in this diverse world of

multiplicity through the manifestation

of divine acts and attributes the signs

of which disclosed the sole source

behind them for those who reflect the

Peron says who would / – what a euro

will waha

what about then God is the first without

beginning the last without end outwardly

manifests and inwardly hidden outwardly

manifest in the diversity of the

attributes that manifests in the world

but inwardly hidden in the essence of

his oneness and I use his here

Arabic tends to use the masculine to

contain the feminine and one of the

interesting things about Arabic when

there’s no ambiguity it just uses like a

pregnant woman is Haman not ham Allah it

just uses to get out of the ambiguity so

the masculine just like men contain X

and y like we’ve got x and y like i

always say you know too because I had I

had four sisters and I and they say oh

you don’t understand you’re not a woman

I said I’ve got a Y X chromosome in

there so I’ve got more woman than you

have man in you because you’ve got two

so the Quran also makes an argument that

this is a fitrah belief the idea that

there’s a creator behind this and this

is this is called the law of causation

one of the things Fahad is known or

Ozzie says that if you take a child and

I actually did this with my kids

experimented on this he said if you take

a child you hide a child even like at

two years of age and you throw a pebble

from a hidden place the child will crawl

to see the source of it or turn his head

to look where it came from the child

does not just assume that it popped into

existence because the law of causation

is fundamentally embedded in the human

being and so when Pharaoh in the Quran

says Potiphar I own a model Buddha and I

mean what what is the Lord of the Worlds

Moses says you know very well that only

the Lord of the world the heavens and

the earth could have given me these

miracles so in essence it was saying

these are clear proofs of who it is and

so this is the the idea Muslims really

believe that it is a fifth or I believe

it’s part of the principal nature of the

human to believe in God and so

at the essence of the Islamic teaching

is the idea Fadiman hula ilaha illaallah

know that there’s nothing worthy of

worship except ultimate reality which is

worthy of worship now Hinduism believes

in there’s a lot of Muslims think

Hinduism is a polytheistic faiths Hindi

Hinduism is is is a complex faith but

they have an understanding of ultimate

reality which is is is is the the near

goona reality of God without any

attribute and certainly Judaism and

Christianity and Islam Buddhism has a

belief in an ultimate reality and also

has an object of devotion so they do

have devotional even though the Buddha

did not articulate it in in Abrahamic

articulation so I’m gonna go for the

want of time I had quite a bit on this

subject but I will just say one thing

that to understand God the most

important verse in the Quran is 4211

they said company che well who was

Simeon voseo that there is nothing like

God and yet God is all-hearing all

seeing and so the Muslims like the

Catholics believe in what’s called the

via negativa understanding God through

what God is not and so our theologians

say anything that occurs to your mind is

not God and so we we don’t accept any

conception of God not a male a female

not androgynous no conception of God God

is beyond our comprehension and the

Perron literally says that you can never

comprehend God but God comprehends you

and so that’s very important statement

the second aspect and I took this from

Mohammed I mean ischium filthy who said

that one of the most important messages

in the Quran is the idea that God is

watching us and one of the interesting

things about modern society is now that

we we have this surveillance state it’s

very interests

saying because we’re not surveilling

ourselves if human beings actually

surveilled themselves we would have no

need for states to be watching what

we’re doing right they wouldn’t have

that fear if we were actually living in

accordance with virtuous life and so the

state then uses this as an excuse to

extend power but the important thing is

and in our tradition is that we should

be watching ourselves and this comes

from the idea that God has the ultimate

surveillance states so we actually

believe that everything that we’re doing

is being recorded

not by the NSA in the United States by

the Angels and that this that we we

actually have a tradition it’s called a

loudll where you will see the film of

your life on the day of judgment and so

you have to watch but just to give you

some help on this we in you know you can

buy an app called Sony Pro cut so when

you make a film you can actually edit

out parts that’s called repentance so

you can actually you can actually have

your own directors edition of your film

by just asking forgiveness and and

having that edited out so but

unfortunately some people are going to

have real horror films on the day of

judgment and God help us you know so but

anyway he argues that you know if you if

one of the things one of the Hippocrates

of our species and and I am completely

guilty of this and I admit this is that

when we’re driving and breaking the law

and I know they don’t do that in

Singapore but in America we do when when

we’re driving and there’s nobody around

we I I’ll go faster than I should

because the sign says 65 and I’m at like

maybe 80 all right sometimes 90 if I’m

late and but it this minute you see a

police officer you just slow down now in

religious terms that’s called hypocrisy

right and I actually have a friend who

once saw all these cars slowing down and

he just kept tryin he flew way past the

cop the cop pulled him over and said why

did you do that he said I just didn’t

want to be a hypocrite so God is

watching us this is our belief and this

should regulate your behavior

hopefully unfortunately it doesn’t do it

for a lot of people we’re a weak species

and that’s why repentance is so

important this idea of and one of the

things that’s fascinating about humans

is we we have a need for repentance we

have a need if we’re healthy I mean

there’s sociopathic people that don’t

seem to have any need for this but if

we’re healthy we have a need and a

desire to make amends if we hurt

somebody’s feelings you know I said

something the other night that that I

went back and I thought I shouldn’t have

said that he might have taken that wrong

and I sent a text and I just said you

know could you excuse me I didn’t mean

that I hope you didn’t take that wrong

it was because I didn’t want to hurt

that person or make him think that I was

belittling him in any way and so this is

something that human beings have and

should be cultivated in our children as

young people I mean what once my son my

oldest son once came to me he was

probably about 10 years old and and he

said he was crying and I said what is it

and he said I did something really bad I

said what he said he said I went on the

computer without your permission because

we had a rule in the house and I didn’t

scold him what I said was that feeling

that you have never let go of that never

lose that feeling because that’s your

conscious speaking to you when you do

something right your conscience will

tell you that that’s wrong or rights and

and so follow that because our prophet

said that sinfulness is what troubles

the heart it troubles the heart and so

that’s a very important aspect of life

on earth so this idea of understanding

that God is is is there is called

the Provencal I sent him said it’s to

worship God as if you see God and if you

if you don’t you know at least that God

sees you and and that’s at the essence

of our tradition of really understanding

now ii again i’m really going through

this quite quickly I’m just ignoring a

lot of things but I want to talk about

another aspect of Islam one of the

universal truths that islam teaches is a

truth that buddhists also have the idea

that the world is tribulation this is a

difficult place

it’s amazing that we’re as sane as we

are given the the real hardships of life

on earth could you imagine being in a

place right now like Syria or Libya or

these pay these are great tribulations

that fall on people and may may your

country be protected from any of these

tribulations from civil strife and all

these things but they do happen we also

have personal problems illnesses one of

the things that the Quran says is that

God created the heavens and the earth

Leah blue welcome I you come a senora

man he created you to try you the

tribulation is is part of the purpose of

life on earth that suffering is part of

life on earth mental anguish all of

these things why according to our

tradition because this is where we grow

from this is how we grow from we grow

through struggle we grow through

resistance if you want to build muscles

you have to have resistance if you want

to build your soul you have to have

resistance the body needs resistance in

fact if you’re in gravity where you’re

weightless you will lose all your tone

eventually because there’s no resistance

if if you’re weightless spiritually if

there’s no resistance you your soul will

atrophy and so this is really an

important aspect the Quran again a

little harp animal to a hiatal your blue

oakum a you come back soon where I mean

he created death and life to test you to

see which of you is the the

the most beautiful in behavior and

action one of the most important verses

in the Quran I think is the Quran says

well Ana blue and no can be Shaitan mana

how he would jewelry we will try you or

test you Minh thing of hunger fear and

hunger and loss of wealth and property

and loss of life and loss of fruits

rubbish sheriff Sabatini so give good

tidings glad tidings to people who bear

those burdens and this is a it’s a stoic

view of life but one of the things

that’s happening in my country is

everybody has become so hypersensitive

and and this life is difficult it’s very

hard if you look at some of the greatest

people in our in our contemporary

history people like Muhammad Ali or

Nelson Mandela these are people that

went through great tribulations in their

lives and what makes them great is that

stoicism in the face of that tribulation

that Nelson Mandela could come out of

prison after being unjustly imprisoned

for all of those years and have no

feelings of vengeance against the people

that did that to them without not even

coming from a religious perspective

coming from some deep humanistic

understanding of life on earth that that

is something that we marvel at but it’s

something we should admire also an

attempt to emulate and so this is very

important now the reason that the Quran

talks about Bala

and fitna and these are words that are

mentioned over 80 times in the Quran

tribulation and trial they’re mentioned

over 80 times leak a letter so Adam I’ve

had to come on a cephalopod Telkom so

that you do not grieve over what you you

you you you don’t get and you don’t

become over joyed with pride about your

prosperity one of the interesting things

I have a Chinese doctor who actually

taught me Qigong and so my Chinese

doctor told me that in Chinese medicine

grief and extreme

grief and extreme joy are extremely

dangerous for the heart that people can

actually die from over joy like too much

joy and this is what the quran is saying

don’t get too overjoyed about what you

get you have and don’t grieve just find

that middle space and and and recognize

that the grief can be removed in an

instant and that joy can be lost in a

moment I mean this is one of the aspects

of life another thing that the Quran

reminds us of if not to see prosperity

as God’s blessing to you over other

people this is one of the things I mean

we had a politician in in my country who

called certain countries you know like

he just used a really scatological bad

term I won’t repeat it because our

prophet said don’t use obscenities but

one of the things that’s really tragic

about that there’s a great film from the

1960s where there’s a leprechaun and

there’s a man there’s a racist man and

and they they bury his pot of gold so

there’s three wishes to it and the

racist is talking about black people and

the person’s over the pot of goal and

says you know I wish you were black and

the guy turns black and suddenly he has

to live as a black man and it would be

really people don’t understand that it’s

just arbitrary where you’re born if

you’re born in in Eritrea it’s very

difficult to travel what crime did you

commit in being born in a country and if

you’re born into great privilege that is

a responsibility this idea somehow that

we are superior because we have

prosperity or a more powerful country is

a demonic idea and this is why the Quran

says I’m melanzana

Edom of Tara Horeb of Kurama who when I

am over who do ribeira man if man says

should his Lord honor him and bestow

much blessings on him

My Lord has honored me well I may eat

them up today other I do you this ho ho

cultura be a Hannah knee and yet if he

tries him through constriction and

privation he says my lord has humiliated

me this is a false understanding it’s a

false understanding poverty is a

tribulation but wealth is a tribulation

the Quran says both our tribulations

that God tries you with goodness and

with difficulty he tries you with great

wealth he tries you with great poverty

and this is a very important lesson to

learn because it creates empathy and

compassion one of my heroes is a

Catholic saints called Edith Stein who

wrote a book called the problem of

empathy which what is empathy

phenomenologically why do some people

experience the pain of other people and

other people can just look at it with

contempt this is a real human problem

and this is why the cultivation of Mercy

is at the essence of the of the the

values of Islamic tradition our prophet

and this is the first hadith that we’re

taught as Muslims when we study in the

hadith chain tradition this is the first

hadith that I heard from my teacher with

a chain all the way back to the Prophet

sallallaahu cm and it is a Rahim oon

your homo homo right man iran man that

art your home come emphysema those who

show mercy the merciful will show mercy

to them have mercy on all of those men

is called Civitan imam in arabic it

means generally have mercy to everyone

and God will have mercy to you sometimes

mercy is taking the sword out of the

hand of a madman so it’s not always just

accepting what people are doing but

mercy is what should motivate us

compassion for other people and this is

why this is a core value our prophet

well motto sanaka illa rahmatan and an

amine we only sent you as a mercy to the

world’s so this is at the essence and

this is why it was it was mentioned

earlier by our noble scholar and your

Mufti and you should be very I think it

was it

she might have been the scholar from the

Emirates but no I think it was you

mentioned it even claimed a Josie is yes

your Mufti mentioned today this is a

core understanding of our tradition in

Mohammed Josie said the entire sacred

law is merciful so if it goes from mercy

to cruelty it’s not from the sacred law

if the entire thing is wisdom if it goes

from wisdom to folly it’s not the sacred

law the entire thing is common benefit

commonweal muscl aha so if it goes from

benefit to harm it’s not from the sacred

law and and finally it’s all wisdom so

if and at justice and so if it goes from

justice to tyranny or oppression it’s

not from Islam so that’s a really

important aspect again I’m going people

can read this when I if they want to

another really important thing is the

difference between vice and virtue one

of the problems in my country now is

moral relativism one of the most

important things about human beings and

when I taught ethics I began with the

Analects of Confucius which is virtue

ethics the idea of the good human being

all of our religions share profound

concepts of virtue honesty is a virtue

in every country integrity is a virtue

in every country courage is a virtue

truth is a virtue

the idea of temperance is a virtue

justice is a virtue these are not

relative concepts we might have some

different conceptions so there is room

we can have different conceptions of

justice but the essence of justice is

the same this is very important to not

allow relativism to destroy our cultures

and the prophets all the light a centum

said I was only sent to perfect the

virtuous character in other words virtue

was was was embodied in pre-islamic Arab

tradition they had many beautiful

qualities and and the prophets all SM

acknowledged those qualities but then

they had things that needed to be

removed there

our view that women somehow a female

child was was a blemish for the man one

of the beautiful aspects of Islam is

that the Prophet said there’s greater

reward in raising a daughter and Imam

al-ghazali said a true believer will

prefer daughters / sons this completely

changes that paradigm of seeing the

daughter as some kind of trouble or

blemish no it’s women are a great gift

the womb in Arabic the the name for for

I mean we forget woman you know womb man

the the you know it’s the woman mice’s

the secrets of kinship bonds comes from

the womb and this is why in Arabic

kinship bonds are called Sitaram

the bonds of the womb that tie us

together and this is one of the secrets

and the Prophet said from this world I

was made to love women and that is not

in any way a sexual or lustful statement

he loved the brittleness of women he

loved the fact that they cried easier

than men this is not something to be

ashamed of or to be a blemish this is

something that he saw as a virtue that

there was more brittleness in that

nature and one of our great and the

ricean scholars said that of all the

manifestations of God in the earth the

greatest is in the woman because of

mercy because this is at the essence of

God’s nature and this is why the hadith

Qudsi says that I have derived the womb

rahem from my name oh man the merciful

so the very name for what a woman has at

the center of her being is the name it’s

derived from the name of God the

merciful this is something I think very

extraordinary about our tradition and

the fact that we don’t qualify it and

then so I’m gonna just do a few

concluding points about

just the Shetty on the Shetty ax is

grossly misunderstood the vast majority

of Shetty yeah I have a book several

volumes of the shitty ax the section

that deals with governance is the

smallest section in the entire book and

yet this is the section that everybody

sees as the Sharia the the biggest

sections in in Islamic sharia sacred law

is prayer and purification and then the

next biggest section is the laws of

marriage because of all the problems

that have been there right but if you

follow those rules that your marriage

those will tend to be sound and believe

it or not the vast majority of the rules

actually privilege the woman over the

man and and I’ll just give you one


only recently economists have thought

about the the GDP in relation to

non-remunerated services in houses like

all these women that traditionally have

been in houses doing all this work from

the very beginning of Islam that was

understood as work and this is why in my

school the Maliki school a woman can

charge her husband for laundry or

cooking or any of these things I’m not

making this up if she does it it’s de

gratis you know so you’re lucky if you

have a lady that’s willing to do that so

now in America we tend to try to share

these although in the United States one

of the major reasons for divorce is

disputes over domestic chores right

because we have women working and also

the husband often expects them to do the

traditional things that women have done

thank you

so I in terms of you know there’s two

things that I want to say one the Penal

Code of Islam

this is sole prerogative of a state and

they can apply them or not apply them

based on their judgment whether the the

context is applicable or not so that’s

very very important and so one of the

most important things then

is the idea of jihad jihad Bella bambina

says that in the early period of Islam

there was a debate about whether there

was a preemptive type of jihad an

offensive jihad he said in the modern

context anybody that does not see the

resolution of this debate and the

prohibition of any cup of offensive

jihad is insane and he also argues that

jihad in essence in modern parlance

would simply be term national defense

just the right in in terms of them the

military understand jihad because there

are also non-military understandings but

that is the sole prog ative of a state

individual actors cannot do that

it’s absolutely prohibited and so these

terrorist organizations that make these

claims are making false claims so a

really important aspect and this is

something is blasphemy laws the Perron

is very clear that raha Verdean there’s

no coercion in religion we’re living in

a time in pre-modern world most of our

religions had blasphemy laws

Christianity certainly did that last

person executed in England was in the

late 18th century the modern world the

purpose of blasphemy laws was to protect

religion in in our current environment

implementing blasphemy laws has the

opposite effect it alienates people from

religion so you lose the spirit of the

law itself if you if you don’t

understand the context of what you’re

living so that’s very important and the

Quran mahadeva now sure says that we

should see that verse as there’s no

course in the religion as abrogating any

other verses that would indicate

otherwise because it was a very late


another thing that Poron prohibits and

this is very important for the Muslims

here the Quran prohibits making fun

mocking or attacking or cursing or

denigrating the beliefs of other people

even people that worship idols the

Piranha is very clear in 6 108 what

souville edenia de una min do Neela do

not curse the idols that they’re calling

on beside God that you’re super la

undulating and so this is really

important that the prophets Eliza did

not attack other people’s face and his

religion is a religion that acknowledges

the right of other people to to follow

what they believe in terms of social

engagement the Quran makes it very clear

by an act of mercy from God you were

gentle in your dealings with other

people and had you been harsh and

hard-hearted they would have fled from

you and so kindness is one of the most

important values of our religion is just

the act of kindness of treating other

people with kindness and and and the

loss of that is is something terrible in

a society when people begin to act

puffed up the Quran also commands us to

obey the states we live in irrespective

of whether they’re Muslim States or

states that are secular or follow other

traditions the Quran says yeah you and

Edina a man of the year ilaha well

appear on rasul rule in Amity minkum it

clearly states follow God follow the

Prophet and then those who are put over

you it doesn’t designate them as Muslim

or non-muslim and the traditional

understanding might have been that that

means the Muslim ruler but by consensus

of our scholars if you go into a state

and you have to obey the laws and this

is something the move to all of us this

is what we learned so you cannot go into

a state and break the laws of the state

it’s extremely important taking care of

family this is another one of the

universals of islam taking care of

families also one of the most important

things in islam is how do we engage with

other people in terms of who actually

aggress upon us if you’re a government

you you can behave in a certain way

because coercive power is the sole

prerogative of a government so they can

use what do you do as an individual


the Quran you can defend yourself if

somebody’s trying to kill you but the

Quran actually tells you constantly to

turn the other cheek this is a teaching

that the Christians know very well if

the Quran says if somebody wrongs you

repay him with a good deed with a right

and you will find that he’ll become like

a close friend not everybody but most

people will respond that way and so this

is very important the Quran also says

avoid suspicion you know think the best

of people I was with somebody last night

and saw a situation that looked very

dodgy to me and I said and he said have

a good opinion and he was right so it’s

good to have a good opinion of people

I’ll give you one example I know an imam

who once had an emergency and they went

into a bar to make a phone call cos the

only open place and he came out of the

bar and there was a Muslim there that

saw him and he’s like looking at the bar

and looking at the Imam and he said stop

at a law he said none at all I had to

make a phone call so that’s an example

of having a good opinion of people so

again the Quran also says that God does

not prohibit you from showing

righteousness and kindness to those who

don’t fight you or remove you from your

homes that this is if people aren’t

opposing you are fighting you treat them

with dignity treat them with respect the

Quran says hold allow for better out of

an adjoining be tolerant and command to

what is right and pay no attention to

foolish people the Quran says if

ignorant people say something to you

respond saying peace just say peace

there’s ignorant people out there one of

the things that I was once listening to

a preacher in the United States and he

said he was driving down the road and

somebody cut him off and and and he

started getting really angry and his

wife said to him don’t that let that man

steal your mental

state from you just find that

equilibrium this is called being in the

hub right this is this is called being

in the hub you know you have the the

Wheel of Fortune you have like the eye

of the hurricane is a good place to be

in a hurricane right and the world is a

hurricane but there is an eye in the

hurricane of the world and that’s your

spiritual centering you always you don’t

have control over your circumstances but

with exercise and practice you can have

control over how you respond to those

circumstances and this is one of the

important lessons of Islam its

variability here our senosi yeah no I

don’t will be my LC phone repel evil

with good the Quran says we are well

aware of what they are doing in other

words let God sort these things out

thank you my books not over yet but out

of deference to time because I know

Singaporeans respect time and and that’s

a good quality because our prophet had

great respect for time but I’ll just

well I will bra the last point that I’m

going to make this is an idea that has

been introduced recently in the last

hundred years or so this idea that you

can’t you have to have absolute loyalty

to Islam politically and you have to

disavow any loyalty to non-muslim

political entities according to me to

Muhammad this is an innovation and he

said beware of people that call to that

the allegiance in Islam is a spiritual

religious allegiance and shareable Bembe

has written extensively on this in more

than one book that this idea that you

cannot be a faithful citizen in

Singapore to the Singaporean state as a

Muslim is is completely false that Islam

actually not only encourages you but it

obliges you to respect the laws and obey

the laws in the state and this is not

modernism this is the traditional

understanding of our religion and so

in conclusion human interests by which

we achieve order in this world according

to our own sudhi scholars of

jurisprudence and checkup dolphin bay is

one of the greatest living ones

the first is warding off harm that and

this is why in an an Aristotelian

understanding we were given what’s

called the irascible soul this idea of

indignation and getting angry it’s to

protect from harm and it’s a good thing

if it’s regulated by reason so warding

off detriments which is known by legal

theorists as necessities the upshot of

this is warding off harm from these six

universals the preservation of religion

of life of intellect of family of

property and of honour of human dignity

these are these are the great values of

our religious tradition and securing

benefits which is known to legal

theorists as needs some of its

subsidiaries are things like trade

leases general benefits exchanged

between individuals and finally adorning

oneself with noble character traits this

is very important accruing virtue and

this is something that the Asian

traditions are very profound traditions

in doing this things like filial piety

things like honesty in business


Confucius if you go to the cemetery of

the family of Confucius there are tens

of thousands of people in this amazing

centuries of one righteous man who lived

a righteous life and his words live on

and just to honor him I’ll repeat one

Anna lack

Confucius or comfort he said when

everybody says this is good that is bad

and there’s a great wisdom in that you

always want dissenting voices because

they often see things that you’re

missing God created us as triune beings

with reason will and appetite we are

knowers doers and make

our knowledge occurs within the

immaterial reality of the intellect our

ability to abstract and the highest

abstraction involves deriving the

reality of an infinite all-knowing

source for this creation who is one in

essence accent attributes

hence the purpose of reason is to know

the truth and then we’re given our will

to do the good to ward off harm to

accrue benefits and finally we have

beauty that we have appetites that when

they’re healthy they desire beautiful

things our attraction to beauty is part

of a healthy nature and attraction to

ugliness is part of a diseased nature

and so our appetites compel us to adorn

our lives with compliments and and and

family and healthy living and productive

activities such as making beneficial and

enjoyable Goods look at our word in

economics goods and services these are

beautiful concepts real Goods not

apparent goods real goods make things

that are productive that contribute to

the commonweal serve people in ways that

are beneficial to your own soul and to

their souls and so this is realized

through the useful and the fine arts the

hallmark of which expresses the beauty

of a soul in union with the truth and

committed to virtue truth goodness and

beauty these are the virtues and

transcendentals that reflect our faith

deeds and goods in their restoration we

restore the three fundamental components

of our religion iman/faith

which is rooted in truth islam service

of god and of others which is rooted in

goodness and sun which is beauty and

realizing what God intended for his

creation I thank you very much and I

hope I didn’t go on too long but I

appreciate your patience and and god

bless you i I feel very honored to have

given this 50th

anniversary talk I really love this

country I’ve been here now and just to

know that this is a country that it has

its problems like all countries but it’s

a country that reflects so much beauty

and so much goodness and one of the most

beautiful things about your country it’s

a green country and if you take the

highest point on the rainbow which is

violet and the lowest point which is red

and you take the resonance of those two

in terms of the infrared spectrum or the

ultraviolet and then you add them

together and divide by two you get green

green is the most balanced of all colors

and so you’re a balanced society may god

preserve it thank you
00:51:59,460 –> 00:00:00,000


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