Muslims living in the west have a responsibility to represent the peaceful and loving moral values of Islam in the finest possible manner

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Muslims are exceptional people on whom, by the mercy of Allah, faith and guidance have been bestowed. Allah has chosen them and given them light and understanding from His Presence. All believers throughout the course of history, the prophets and those believers who followed them, have demonstrated great loyalty to Allah, have sincerely turned to Him under all conditions and circumstances, have defended the truth with all their might and have commanded people to do good. Our duty as Muslims today is to demonstrate the same determination with regard to the faith and proper moral values as the prophets and those believers who followed them did, and to preach the existence, oneness and commandments of Allah by mobilizing all our physical and spiritual means. In particular, being instrumental in the raising of young people who are sincerely devoted to Allah and who greatly love and fear Him is one of the most important responsibilities incumbent on all Muslims in the world.

Every Muslim also has a duty to represent, through his attitudes and behavior, the religion of Allah in the finest possible manner. Muslims must display the same closeness and submission to Allah, the same humility, cleanliness, warmth and sincerity, the same determination in good manners as our Prophet (saas), and must be affectionate, understanding and compassionate like him.

Our Muslim brothers living in Western countries have a primary duty, like all Muslims, to communicate the existence and oneness of Allah and the moral values commanded by Him. Indeed, living in the same lands as the People of the Book is instrumental in their directly assuming this responsibility. Therefore, every pious Muslim living in Western countries has a responsibility to describe its beauties very accurately to people unacquainted with Islam. They must also tell them that Allah is the One and Only Deity, that He pervades all places, that the Hereafter is a definite reality and that people will be held to account for all their deeds in this world and must strive to be instrumental in their turning to Allah without associating any partners with Him. Every Muslim who discharges these religious duties properly will have followed the truth and in the footsteps of the prophets. Every Muslim who has fully adopted this courageous and determined Muslim spirit manifested in all the prophets and the moral virtues commanded by Allah will behave nobly, naturally and honestly at every moment of his life, reject any ethical model apart from that of the Qur’an and therefore possess an immaculate, high-character soul, a deep conscience and an exceedingly lofty quality in character.

Another major responsibility incumbent on our Muslim brothers and sisters living in Western countries is to treat the People of the Book with affection in the same way that our Prophet (saas) did and make them feel they are our friends. Christians and Jews lived in great peace and comfort in the time of our Prophet (saas). Our Prophet (saas) treated them with great affection, accepted their invitations, dined with them, bought things from Jews and encouraged his people and the Companions to make purchases from them. Muslims have a duty to make Christians and Jews feel comfortable and secure today, in the same way they lived a heavenly life at peace in those days. Our brothers and sisters living in Western countries have a responsibility to discharge this Sunnah of our Prophet (saas).


VERSES REGARDING THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK

That There are Believers among the People of the Book, and Their Fine Aspects
You are the best nation ever to be produced before mankind. You enjoin the right, forbid the wrong and believe in Allah. If the People of the Book were to believe, it would be better for them. Some of them are believers... (Surah Al ‘Imran, 110)

They are not all the same. There is a community among the People of the Book who are upright. They recite Allah’s Signs throughout the night, and they prostrate. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 113)

They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and compete in doing good. They are among the righteous. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 114)

You will not be denied the reward for any good thing you do. Allah knows those who fear [and respect Allah]. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 115)


Among the people of the Book there are some who believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down to them, and who are humble before Allah. They do not sell Allah’s Signs for a paltry price. Such people will have their reward with their Lord. And Allah is swift at reckoning. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 199)

Those We gave the Book before this [the Qur’an] believe in it. (Surat al-Qasas, 52)

When it is recited to them they say, “We believe in it; it is the truth from our Lord. We were already Muslims before it came.” (Surat al-Qasas, 53)

They Who Rejoice that the Qur’an Was Sent down to the Prophet Muhammad (saas)

 

There Is No Fear For Those of Them Who Believe

Those who believe, those who are Jews, and the Christians and Sabaeans, all who believe in Allah and the Last Day and act rightly, will have their reward with their Lord. They will feel no fear and will know no sorrow.(Surat al-Baqara, 62)

 

Those to whom We have given the Book, who recite it in the way it should be recited, such people believe in it. (Surat al-Baqara, 121)

Who could have a better religion than someone who submits himself completely to Allah and is a good-doer, and follows the religion of Abraham, a man of pure natural belief? Allah took Abraham as an intimate friend. (Surat an-Nisa’, 125)
 
But those of them [the Jews] who are firmly rooted in knowledge, and the believers, believe in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down before you: those who establish prayer and pay alms, and believe in Allah and the Last Day – We will pay such people an immense wage. (Surat an-Nisa’, 162)

How the Food of the People of the Book Is Lawful for Muslims 

 

Today all good things have been made lawful for you. And the food of those given the Book is also lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. So are chaste women from among the believers and chaste women of those given the Book before you, once you have given them their dowries in marriage, not in fornication or taking them as secret intrigues. But as for anyone who rejects faith, his actions will come to nothing and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers. (Surat al- Maida, 5)
 
Abiding by the Haneef (Natural Pure) Faith of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh)

Say, ‘We believe in Allah and what has been sent down to us and Jacob‘qub and the Tribes, and what Moses and Jesuswere given, and what all the Prophets were given by their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them. We are Muslims submitted to Him.’ (Surat al-Baqara, 136)

If their belief is the same as yours then they are guided. But if they turn away, they are entrenched in hostility. Allah will be enough for you against them. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (Surat al-Baqara, 137)

How They Recognize the Messenger

Muslims’ Call to the People of the Book

Say, ‘People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you – that we should worship none but Allah and not associate any partners with Him and not take one another as lords besides Allah.’ If they turn away, say, ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims.’ (Surah Al ‘Imran, 64)

The people with the strongest claim to Abraham are those who followed him and this Prophet and those who belive. Allah is the Protector of the believers. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 68) 

Those We have given the Book recognize it as they recognize their own children. As for those who have lost their own selves, they have no faith. (Surat al- An‘am, 20)

PEOPLE OF THE BOOK IN THE QUR’AN

Say, “People of the Book! Come to a proposition which is the same for us and you – that we should worship none but Allah and not associate any partners with Him and not take one another as lords besides Allah.”If they turn away, say, ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims.’ (Surah Al'Imran, 64)

Today all good things have been made lawful for you. And the food of those given the Book is also lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. So are chaste women from among the believers and chaste women of those given the Book before you, once you have given them their dowries in marriage, not in fornication or taking them as secret intrigues. But as for anyone who rejects faith, his actions will come to nothing and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers. (Surat al Ma’ida, 5)

Among the people of the Book there are some who believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down to them, and who are humble before Allah. They do not sell Allah’s Signs for a paltry price. Such people will have their reward with their Lord. And Allah is swift at reckoning. (Surah Al 'Imran, 199)

Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition, and argue with them in the kindest way. Your Lord knows best who is misguided from His way. And He knows best who are guided. (Surat an-Nahl, 125)

You will find that the people most hostile to those who believe are the Jews and the associaters. You will find the people most affectionate to those who believe are those who say, ‘We are Christians.’ That is because some of them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant. (Surat al-Ma'ida, 82)

Only argue with the People of the Book in the kindest way – except in the case of those of them who do wrong – saying, ‘We believe in what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to you. Our God and your God are one and we submit to Him.’ (Surat al-'Ankabut, 46)

...There is a community among the People of the Book who are upright. They recite Allah’s signs throughout the night, and they prostrate. They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and compete in doing good. They are among the righteous. You will not be denied the reward for any good thing you do. Allah knows those who fear Allah. (Surah Al 'Imran, 113-115)

Those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabaeans and the Christians, all who believe in Allah and the Last Day and act rightly will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (Surat al-Ma’ida, 69)

Allah does not forbid you from being good to those who have not fought you in the  religion or driven you from your homes, or from being just towards them. Allah loves those who are just. (Surat al-Mumtahana, 8)



VARIOUS HADITH OF OUR PROPHET (SAAS) REGARDING THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK

1. The Prophet Muhammad (saas) has stated the following:

“Someone who unjustly kills a dhimmi (person under protection) cannot get a whiff of Heaven. However, its fragrance is felt from a distance of forty years. (Sahih Bukhari, Jizya, 5)
 
2. Our Prophet (saas) said: “Whoever oppresses a dhimmi or burdens a weight over him more than he can carry, I will be his enemy.”
 
3. “Whoever oppresses a dhimmi or loads a work that is over his strength or takes something away from him by force, I am his foe on the Day of Judgment.” (Abu Dawud, Kharaj, 31-33)
 
4. “I am claimant of anyone who depresses a dhimmi. The one who I am claimant of (in this world), I am also claimant of on the Day of Judgment.” (Ajlouni, Kashf al-Khafa’ II, 218)
 
5. Holy Prophet (saas) commands: “Beware! I will be complainant of those who act cruelly and heartlessly to these people (who are bound by agreement) and restrict their rights or who load a work over what they can sustain or take away something out of their will, on the Day of Judgment.” (Abu Dawud, Jihad; (İslamda Devlet Nizami [Islamic State Order]), Abu’l-A’la Mawdudi, Hilal Yayınları, 1967, p. 71)
 
6. In any one of the countries conquered at the time of Hazrat Omar, not even one place of worship was failed to respect. Abu Yusuf writes:
“All places of worship were left as they were before. Neither were they demolished, nor the defeated people were deprived of their properties or belongings.” (Abu Yusuf, Kitabu'l-Haraj; Islam’da Devlet Nizamı, Abu’l-A’la Mawdudi, Hilal Yayınları, 1967, s. 74)
 
7. Hazrat Ali said, “Whoever is our dhimmi, his blood is as blessed as ours, his property is as protected from damage as ours.” In another verse it is related that Hazrat Ali said the following: “The property and life of the ones who accept status of dhimmi is blessed as ours (the Muslims).” (Islam’da Devlet Nizamı "Islamic State Order”, Abu’l-A’la Mawdudi, Hilal Yayınları, 1967, p. 76)

8. In the agreement which our Holy Prophet (saas) decreed the articles to Ibn Harris ibn Ka’b, who is a Christian, and other Christians:

“The religion, churches, lives, chastity and property of the entire Christians living in the East and the West are under the protection of Allah, His Prophet (saas) and all the believers. None of the people embracing the religion of Christianity will be forced to accept Islam. If one of the Christians suffers murder or injustice, Muslims are obliged to help him,” he narrated the verse: “Only argue with the People of the Book in the kindest way…” (Surat al-Anqabut, 29/46). (Ibn Hisham, Abu Muhammad Abdu’l-Malik, (v.218/834), as-Seerat an-Nabaweeyat, Daru't-Turasi'l-Arabiyye, Beirut, 1396/1971, IV/241-242; Hamidullah, Al-Wasaiq, s.154-155, No.96-97; Doğu Batı kaynaklarında birlikte yaşama, “Living together in Eastern and Western sources”, p. 95)

For further reading on the subject, please click here. 

 


2010-02-20 23:50:59

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