Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Islamic Teachings for Social Peace

Alhamdulillah Summa Alhamdulillah, my Rab again gives me the opportunity to continue on the same subject-matter of last Friday’s Sermon.

On Social Welfare 

Furthermore, as Islam teaches us, we must stress on the rights of the poor for we must regard them as our brethrens. Thus, a person should not be deprived of that which he has acquired by the exercise of his talents. The competition which is the result of a divergence in talents and capacities is essential for the progress of the world; but that those who are in possession of the wealth of a nation are bound to allot a certain portion of it, fixed by Islam, towards the welfare of the poor, and to employ the balance towards objects of public utility rather than towards the gratification of personal desires; that is to say, that they ought to prefer the happiness to be derived from the distribution rather than that to be derived from the hoarding or squandering of wealth.

The teachings of Islam stand unique in this respect. Islam recognises and upholds the principle of private ownership, but it also recognises that no man can be rich without a contribution of the labour of others, and it therefore explicitly enjoins that out of the wealth of the rich a portion should be set apart and spent through the government for the welfare of the poor as compensation for the contribution made by the poor towards its production. It also enjoins upon the State the duty of providing for all its people the necessaries of life and the means of instruction.

Foreign Relations 

With regard to international relations, they can never be put on satisfactory basis till it is realised that nations and Government are as much subject to the dominion of morals as individuals. Indeed, most international disputes are the result of the false doctrine which prevails that Governments are not bound to conform to the moral standard expected of individuals. For the peace of the world it is necessary that the subjects of each state should cooperate with their respective Governments. There can be no objection to their taking measures to demand and safeguard their rights, but in so doing they must not adopt a course of conduct which is calculated to disturb the public peace or to undermine the authority of the Government, or which is objectionable from a moral viewpoint.

So long as there are people who believe sincerely in some religion or other, and the world is not composed entirely of men who use religion as a cloak to be donned on ceremonial occasions, religions differences are bound to arise. True harmony would be established only when the world, or the majority of its people, were united by the restrictions of one common faith.

Inter-Religious Harmony

To bring peace, therefore, to the universe, I have claimed that God Almighty has sent me so that, through me, men may be gathered in the fold of one faith and thus find outward and inner peace. Even though, presently man and man is not yet united in one religion, the true religion and way of life, viz., Islam, however, to ensure the improvement of the present conditions of individuals, religions and society at large, the following suggestions are to be observed:

1. The founders and leaders of different religions should not be referred to in a manner which is likely to offend the susceptibilities of their followers.

2. In the propagation of religion, the missionaries of each religion should confine themselves to an explanation of the beauties of their religion and should not attack any other religion. To find faults in other religions does not prove the truth of one’s own religion. The truth of a religion can be established only by reference to the superiority of its own teachings and not by reference to the demerits of other religions.

3. The followers of a religion should not ascribe to their religion a doctrine or a teaching which is not directly deducible from their scriptures. Both the doctrine and its proof must be cited from the revealed book of the religion. Without a strict adherence to this principle no correct decision with regard to the truth of a religion is possible. For in the absence of any such restriction the world is unable to discover whether the teachings ascribed to a particular religion are to be found in the scriptures of that religion or have been derived from a study of other religions or of the current thought of the age. If the advocates of each religion were to put forward the teachings of their particular religion from the revealed book of that religion and were to support these teachings by arguments derived from that book, the public would easily be able to decide between the claims of different religions, and truth would soon be made manifest. There can be no doubt that, if God reveals a religion for our guidance, that religion must in itself contain all the necessary principles and the arguments in support of them, for otherwise that religion, instead of being of assistance to us, would stand in need of our assistance for proof of its truth.

4. The advocates of different religions should be required not to confine themselves merely to an abstract explanation of the teachings of their religion, but also to illustrate in practice the results which can be obtained by acting upon those teachings, so that people might be able to judge whether those teachings do or do not lead to any result. If the properties of a medicine can be demonstrated by the effect which it produces upon a particular disease, why then the nature of the teachings of a religion cannot be demonstrated with a reference to the relationship which they succeed in establishing between man and God?

I have mentioned today only a few instances of the teachings of Islam calculated to promote peace and amity. It even outlines an international council and lays down the principles on which it should be based. A consideration of those principles would lead everybody to the conclusion that no international council can work successfully without them. Respect for others’ opinions, line of thoughts and religious beliefs is essential, and when those principles, as directed by Islam is executed, verily, the veils of doubts which are before the eyes of the world, of each religion shall be discarded and the truth of Islam shall be revealed. For Islam is the perfection of religion throughout the ages. It is such a religion which validates the authenticity of every single religion which had at its head the true mentors of men sent by God to establish peace and harmony among the different breed of nations throughout time.

Therefore Islam consolidates the previous teachings and nullifies the fabricated ones and establishes the right morals for a righteous society and people under its banner and guidelines, if only men were to shed the veils of ignorance and let its light penetrate their hearts, conscience and vision! Insha-Allah, may Allah enable these veils to be discarded and the light of truth be re-establish to provoke a spiritual revolution for the betterment of the human species on earth. Insha-Allah, Ameen. 

-Extracts from the Friday Sermon of 29 May 2015 ~(10 Shabaan 1436 Hijri) delivered by the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad  Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.