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 Response to Quran Burning

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PostSubject: Response to Quran Burning    Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:19 am

Response to Quran Burning PDF | Print |
Khutbah by Imam Noor Salie.

A Response To The "Quran Burning Threat".

CMRM – 17th September 2010


All Praise is due only to Allah. We Thank Him, We seek His Assistance And Forgiveness. We Seek Refuge In Allah From The Evil Of Ourselves And The Wickedness Of Our Deeds. Whosoever Allah Has Guided None Can Lead Astray, And Whosoever is Astray None Will Be Able To Guide.-- I Bear Witness That There Is No True God Except Almighty Allah, Who Has No Partner, And I Bear Witness That Our Chief And Leader Muhammad (saw) Is His True Servant And Messenger. May Allah's Choicest Blessings Be Upon Him, His Family and Companions and May Allah Salute Him with Abundance Of Salutations

Almighty Allah exhorts us in the Holy Quran: "O mankind! We have created you from a single pair of male and female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other. The Most Honored of you is he who is the most Righteous of you" surely Allah is All Knowing, Aware. -- Surah 49/v13
And: – Verily Allah will never change the condition of a people until they change what was in themselves.. (13:11)

Almighty Allah also commands "and invite to the path of your Lord, using wisdom and beautiful preaching. And interact with them in ways that are best" Surah An-Nahl, Verse125,

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) stated: – Whosoever obeys me (Muhammad (saw) - is obedient to Allah - And whosoever disobeys me - is disobedient to Allah -

The priest in Florida, Reverend Terry Jones’ who threatened to burn Qurans on September 11, reminds us that Muslims in the West, especially in the USA, are going through a difficult time. In recent years, Muslims have become fair game for bigots, warmongers, and all kinds of nasty people.

Islamophobes -know just which buttons to press, to trigger off knee jerk –reflexive actions of flag burning and temper tantrums around the Muslim world. This behavior is not part of our Prophetic Sunnah. Indeed, we can work to ensure that this cheap publicity stunt could well backfire on the perpetrators. Decent intelligent people are bound to ask, what is this Quran all about? What does it say? – This Reverent Jones even stated that he has never read the Quran -- --We as Muslims must ensure that our own conduct invite respect, curiosity and appreciation. We must think critically is not bow to the hate of the Islamophobes, That is a sign of strength and faith

If we reflect back a few years – We have had the scurrilous cartoons of the Prophet (saw) in the Danish newspapers- In the wake of the Danish cartoon controversy, some Muslims went into a blind panic and started burning Danish flags, boycotting all Danish products, holding the Danish government, Danish companies and the Danish people responsible for the cartoons in the newspaper. - We ignored the fact that the Danish people, and their government have often been in the forefront of human rights campaigns. In South Africa, -- the Danish government supported the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa when many western governments did the opposite.

If we reflect back to 2008 - The Dutch opposition MP - Geert Wilders -called for the Quran to be banned in the Netherlands, and he released a 20 minute film which insulted the Quran, and showed the Quran being torn up and otherwise desecrated. This extreme right wing politician belief that the Koran inspires people 'to do the worst things and incites to violence'. His views have inspired him to talk about a 'Tsunami of Islamisation' in Europe, -- He has also asked for the Koran to be banned, -- and for Dutch Muslims to either give up their religion or leave the country. At the time the Dutch embassies around the world beefed up their security and most politicians in the Netherlands believed that Wilders was being inflammatory and insulting, --- but they stuck to the principle of freedom of expression. –

Over the last years (Since 9/11 2001), The Muslim Ummah have been the subject of intense media interest, mostly of the unwelcome kind. You can hardly pick up a newspaper or switch on the radio or TV, without finding Islam in some bad news department, again. - This will not be the first time, and certainly not the last time that Muslims are wrongly presented as a problem and Islam the target of vicious and sophisticated propaganda.

When we reflect back in History we will find that right from the earliest days our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) had to endure hatred and abuse from those who saw Islam as a threat -- The Prophet (saw) was the brunt of mockery, ridicule and satire all the time he remained in Mecca. He was provoked and antagonised all the time even by his own family and friends. The refusal of the Meccan nobles and business barons to see -what to him was clearly the truth and reality --often drove him to despair.

Even in Madinah he was frequently baited and taunted by the unbelievers and hypocrites. He was repeatedly tutored in the Quran by Almighty Allah Himself - to control his passions, not to get overwrought or emotional at the reactions and conduct of those who rejected the Message of Islam; -- that he was a mere messenger and it was for his Master Almighty Allah to safeguard the sanctity of His Message and to protect his person.

How did he deal with their attacks, antagonism and provocations? How did he deal with the abuse and insults? Did he stamp his feet, burn flags and call for marches and for the death of his enemies? No, he did not. He was, after all, uswatul hasana, the most excellent role-model. He knew that his behaviour would set the pattern for devout Muslims not only during his own lifetime, but for all time to come. In the face of extreme danger, he relied only on his Lord. He carried on his good work of preaching, teaching and living an excellent example. He was never desperate, he never exceeded the limits set by Allah. (Hudood-dullah).

He endured all hardship with extraordinary dignity and forbearance. He relied completely on the Mercy of his Lord - and in time, his patience was rewarded when Allah gave him victory over those mighty forces that were thrust against him. Remember, no injustice endures forever. No hardship comes without relief. Here is a lesson for us all- “With every difficulty, there comes relief. Truly, with every difficulty there will be relief.”- Holy Quran [s.94v5]

The following verses from the Quran are some of the many that illustrate this point: (brief translations)

6 10- Mocked were the messengers before thee; but those who mocked them - were engulfed by that which they mocked. --

16- 127. -- And be thou patient, (O Muhammad)) -- for patience is but (a boon) from Allah; nor be grieved by their mockery and distress not yourself because of the plots they hatch.

16 -128 - For Allah is most certainly with those who restrain themselves and do good (Worship Allah with Absolute Consciousness). (Under tremendous provocation) - THERE ARE MANY SIMILAR VERSES IN THE H.Q.

Don’t help anyone who wants to prove that you are oversensitive, immature and violent. --Knee-jerk and reflexive reactions only play into their hands. Don’t misbehave in the way they want you to misbehave. - At the same time I must state very clearly that we as Muslims should never, ever become defensive and adopt a “victim culture”. We should not become victims and think and act like victims. We have nothing to hide. Our beliefs are clear and we have no hidden agendas. (There are no hidden agendas in Islam).

We have nothing to be ashamed of and certainly nothing to fear. This is simply a period of trial and tribulation for us. Allah is testing us to see what we’re made of. We shouldn’t be surprised, depressed or distressed. Those who read the Holy Quran will find this confirmed in Surah Al Baqarah 2:214: “Do you suppose that you would enter the Garden without first having suffered like those before you? They were afflicted by misfortune and hardship, and they were so shaken that even [their] Messenger and the believers with him cried: ‘When will Allah’s help arrive? Truly, Allah's help is ever near.”

When our beloved Prophet (saw) and his companions were under attack at the battle of Uhud, -- they were warned: a huge army is waiting to destroy you! But instead of fear and panic, this only increased their faith: Their reply was, -Allah is enough for us as our Protector and our Helper! -- That’s what we have to believe, now that we and our faith are under attack from all sides. Allah is enough for us, and He is our best Guardian. He is firmly in control of everything. He carries the whole of His creation in the palm of His Hand. “Blessed is Allah, in Whose Hand lies the control of everything, and to Him we shall all return.” This is the last verse of Surah Yaasin. [Surah 36].

There is no doubt that there was clear malice involved in the “Burn the Quran Day Campaign” and it is yet another illustration of Islamophobia and hate speech against Muslims that appears to be pervasive in western media depictions of Islam. When we entrust our affairs to ALLAH and take Him to be an intimate friend, He will take us into His inner circle of intimate friends. And in His inner circle He promises to remove every trace of fear and anxiety…… In many places throughout the Holy Quran, he re-assures us in these words: Behold, on the Friends of Allah, there is no fear, and no grief. [Surah 10:62]

There are many reasons why some people fear and hate Islam. Clearly, some Westerners are deeply concerned that Islam is spreading so fast. (It is a well known fact that Islam is the fastest growing religion) In the year 1900 Muslims accounted for 12% of world population. -Now, a century later it has doubled to 24% and continues to rise. The secular historians are confused. Every other empire has come and gone: The Pharaohs, the Greeks, and the Romans. Even the last Muslim empire, the Ottoman Empire was dismantled in 1922. According to secular logic, we should all be atheists by now! Mosques should have become museums, the places where Muslims used to pray, but everywhere mosques and prayer rooms (like this one) are overflowing.

And it’s not just about numbers. More importantly, it’s about quality. More and more educated and privileged reverts are entering Islam in Britain, Europe and North America. These new Muslims are the crème-de-la-crème, from the upper echelons of Western society. While others see the world as a place to be exploited Muslims are informed that everything belongs to Allah, and we are merely trustees, who are accountable for our trust. While others need a hierarchy of priests, bishops and archbishops to help them find salvation, nothing and no-one stands between a Muslim and his Lord. Allah is directly accessible, one to one, 24/7 with no intermediaries. “When my servant asks you about Me, I am near. I respond to those who call Me. Let them also respond to My call, so that they may be guided.” [Al Baqarah 2:186]

The best antidote and source of healing/shifa to this sordid affair is for us as Muslims to devote ourselves to emulating the noble example of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). For he is the embodiment of every virtuous ideal for us as Muslims. When we think of divine mercy, kindness and integrity, we think of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He is truly as the Quran confirms in Surah Al-Anbiyaa, Chapter 21, verse 107: We have not sent you (O Muhammad) but as A Source of Mercy unto the entire Universe.

And again in Surah Nun, Chapter 68, verse 4: And you (O Muhammad) have an exalted character- The Prophet Muhammad himself described the reason of his prophetic mission as follows: I have been sent to perfect the goodness in human character.

I would like to remind us all about the inspiring manner in which our beloved exemplar (Us-wahtun- Hasana) -Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) responded to ridicule, abuse and persecution during his lifetime. During his lifetime, Prophet Mohammed endured insults and ridicule on a daily basis. His opponents mocked his message and used physical violence to stop him from challenging the status quo. At no stage during this ordeal did the Prophet (pbuh) lose his temper or react to these provocations. Tradition has it that he would, instead, offer a prayer of forgiveness to those who showed contempt for him. There are off course numerous examples of his compassionate responses to abuse I have selected only a one.

The most dramatic example that comes to mind is the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’s response to the abuse he endured at the hands of the people of Taif. They encouraged their street urchins to stone him out of their city. - Lying forlorn with blood flowing freely from his wounds and covering his feet, the Prophet, turned to his Lord with a very inspirational prayer to his Lord- "O Allah! I complain to You of my weakness, my scarcity of resources and my humiliation before the people. O Most Merciful of those who are merciful. O Lord of the oppressed and you are my Lord. To who have you dispatched me? To a distant person who receives me with hostility? - Or to an enemy to whom you have granted authority over my affair? So long as You are not displeased with me, I do not care. It is your goodness I seek to be covered with. I seek refuge in the light of Your Face by which all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set right, lest your displeasure descend upon me. I desire your pleasure and satisfaction until you are pleased. There is neither strength nor power except by You."

After this prayer was uttered by the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) Allah sent Arch -Angel Gabriel - JIBREEL (as) to visit him with an offer that Allah crush the city of Taif, the Prophet (pbuh) refused-- praying instead to Allah that perhaps from the offspring of the offending people of Taif, there would emerge those who would recognize their Lord. This incident is well known in the books of Sirah.

Finally: We should also learn the power of negotiation and dialogue with others. Critical questions which require engagement include:

(a) How do we as Muslims live in a secular, democratic society where a market- place of competing ideas will constantly challenge the other?

(b) How do Muslims behave as model citizens and conduct ourselves when criticised?

(c) How do Muslims use the instruments of dialogue, negotiation and communication to win respect - rather than through threats and violence?

(d) How do Muslims communicate their sensitivities to others without threatening them or their beliefs in freedom of speech?

And importantly how do we give effect to and expand the spirit of the Compassion Charter that was launched globally and locally by the Cape Town Interfaith Initiative and endorsed by the Claremont Main Road Mosque and great many of our local Muslim Scholars and institutions.

The emotional wound caused by the Quran burning campaign cannot be undone, but there are lots of other ways to deal with issues like this. -- This incident also provides an opportunity for people of all faiths to recognize and acknowledge that which is sacred in other religions, even if it is not sacred to them personally.

There is a dire need for the followers of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, as well as all other Faith traditions, and even for people with no religion, to retrieve our common humanity and to end the horrific dehumanization that is taking place on global scale.

In various parts of the world people suffer, -- families are persecuted, --children are traumatised and terrorised, --whole communities are often senselessly massacred and chased off their lands…--.all in the name of man’s greed and man-made differences and pseudo labels that perpetuate Man’s loss of spirituality - in a world driven by consumerism and quest for dominance over each other - Inter-religious and intercultural conflicts and many other issues cry out for the attention of all sincere people of faith. By responding to such needs, we can build mutual understanding and partnerships among our diverse religious communities.

We can become better Muslims, better Christians, better Jews, better Hindus, better Buddhists, and better believers by any name. We can help to re-awaken the essential goodness that resides within every human being and bring realization that we have been created more alike than different.

We can fulfill the trust that we bear. "For," as Allah Almighty instructs us in the Holy Quran. Every community faces a direction of its own, of which Allah (Almighty God) is the focal point. Vie, therefore, with one another (as in a race) towards all that is good. Wherever you may be, Almighty Allah will bring you together; for He Allah (Almighty God) has power over all things (Quran 2:148).

Let us prayer to Almighty Allah - Rab Bana – Our Lord! --Help us always to remember You, so that we may dedicate our lives to Your full service -- not out of any fear, but out of love for the One Who is most perfect, the Lord of the unseen, the Lord of this life and the life to come.

Rab Bana – Our Lord! Cause this gathering to be a gathering of Mercy and our leave-taking after this full of your protection and do not create in us or amongst us, and in those that follow us, misery and misfortune. -– Our Lord! Condemn us not if we fall into error and lay not on us a burden greater than we have the strength to bear.
Our Lord! --"YOU ARE OUR GUARDIAN. THEREFORE FORGIVE US AND HAVE MERCY ON US, AND YOU ARE THE BEST OF FORGIVERS. - ORDAIN FOR US GOOD IN THIS WORLD AND IN THE HEREAFTER, FOR WE TURN TO YOU ONLY. – AMEN!

As this holy month of Ramadan have now passed, let us ask Almighty Allah to help us keep our sense of balance, of justice - and to rely on Allah to guide us in all our efforts to uphold His beautiful religion.

As the world celebrates the International Day of Peace on September 21, -- I pray Almighty Allah –for world peace - O Allah – You are the source of Peace–- (in a world filled with violence and Anger) All peace emanate from You - Our Lord Allow us, to live in Peace.- with all your creation – And finally grant all of us the abode of peace (Paradise) (After resurrection) For You are indeed the Most Compassionate of those who display compassion. Ameen.

I wish to conclude our Khutbah - (Surah 16:90) -- “Surely Allah commands justice, good deeds and generosity to others and to near relatives; and Allah forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: Allah instructs you, so that you may be reminded.”

[2:152].-- “and remember Me: I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and do not ever reject faith.” -
[29:45].-- “and without doubt, The Remembrance of Allah is the Greatest Thing in life, and Allah is aware of all the deeds that you do.” -

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