This is an outline of my talk on Sunday, February 12, 2012
Slide show: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157629293229287/show/
Are you a Rahmat (Kindness/Mercy) to your family, your spouse, your friends, your neighbors, your nation and your world? Do you believe Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to mankind? If he was, can the world see a reflection of him in you?
No one should be afraid of a Muslim, because a Muslim is truthful, peaceful, honest and trustworthy. Are you willing to follow the prophet?
The first model he created for the world was to be truthful and trust worthy whose integrity and honesty was beyond question. He was called Amin much before he set out on his mission to work on building the concept of Tauheed, the oneness of humanity, oneness of creation, oneness of God where everyone feels home; like being in the lap of the mother, safe, worriless, anxiety-less, and secure. Indeed every religion has the idea of oneness built in to it.
Was it the Muslims who called him Amin? No, there were no Muslim at that time, it was the Pagans, Jews, Christians and others who called him Amin. What does it mean to you and I? We have to earn that trust among the people we live, no matter who they are. Was Prophet wrong in doing that? Are we suppose to earn the title of the trustworthy and truthful among our neighbors?
A model of mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill
Goodwill is sustainable over revenge against those who pelted stone at him. Did he not turn the other Cheek? He knew violence begets violence and goodwill nurtures peace.
It is the patience and genuine caring without having an ill-will towards the one who has the ill-will towards you. Can you apply this in your daily life?
Prophet Walks up to a Jewish procession and kisses their Torah to show respect and consciously creating values of inclusiveness and co-existence.
What is a Good deed, Quraan 49:13 and Prophet’s example of planting a seed or sapling that will benefit others?
Peace Treaty signature – Muhammad Bin Abdullah instead of Muhammad Rasool Allah – Prophet gave an example of learning to respect the otherness of other, one of the greatest examples that can be applied in peace making between in most situations. Can you think of how valuable this is in peace negotiations?
Muhammad (pbuh) was the 2nd Human in history who carried an interfaith dialogue; the other was Cyrus, the Zoroastrian king. I will cut to the point… He offered Najran Christian scholars to pray at his mosque when the time for prayer came. Can you imagine this? He did not believe what they believed, he did not believe Jesus was son of God, but yet he offered them to pray at his mosque. What does it tell you? Showing respect for others belief.
Sura Kafirun that you may want to visit. http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/07/sura-kafirun-un-believers.html
Madinah charter, one of the first pluralist documents offering freedom to practice ones faith. The prophet was the king, civic and religious leader, he did not have to offer freedom to anyone. But yet he chose to initiate the charter offering Jews, Christians and others their freedom to practice their religion. It’s a lesson for Muslim majority nations to follow, if at all they follow their own prophet. Do we need to follow the prophet? Why?
Treat no prophet above the other, it is one of the most powerful verses in Quraan, and it is to prevent Muslims from believing that their prophet is superior and breed arrogance in them. The moment one feels superior to the other, conflict takes root. One is trying to look down and the other is fighting. That is the bravest thing to say and that is the right thing to say, religion is all about humility and not arrogance. As I said earlier, you knew the story and here is a dimension that some of you may have missed.
Honoring Bilal a superior place in paradise to remove the prejudicial barriers that existed then; how many of your are guilty of it? Yet some claim they are Aashiq-e-Rasool, (fans of the prophet, without following his teachings). There is no room for prejudice in Islam; it is prejudice that destroys the social fabric of the society.
Men and women are each other’s garments. Equal rights for women…
Inculcating the values of equality through the prayers, fasting and other rituals of Islam.
Individual responsibility for one’s behavior – Bibi Fatima Example