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Interpersonal relationship with non-Muslims

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Lecturer: Prof Abdulrahman Oloyede
Venue: University of Ibadan Central Mosque
Date: Friday, Rajab 25, 1438.

Of all the blessings in life, the gift of Islam is the most glorious. Allaah bestows whoever he pleases with this Divine Gift. It’s mode of worship universality, it’s message uniformity, it’s Lordship unity are exceptional traits Allaah has fashioned His religion upon. We are happy for this gift; may it never slip off our grip.AlhamduLlilah for the Bliss of Islam.

Last timeout saw Professor Oloyede steered the course of his discourse on the viewpoint of Islam on the crucifixion and death and resurrection and ascension of Jesus (may Allaah be pleased with him). He cleared the air about the claims that Jesus was captured, crucified and killed. On this, Islam says it is far from truth, the Imam had told us. His message this week is chained to last week’s.

Having drawn the line of clarity on the Creed of Muslims about Prophet ‘Issa, the Imam followed it this week with the standpoint of Islam on the existence of Muslims with other religions’ adherents. And this standpoint, he explained, is based on justice, peaceful coexistence and fulfilment of certain obligations.

In the many authentic narrations of the Prophet, his dealings with non-Muslims are of striking reverence. In one of his narrations, he was reported to have said that “Allaah will not have mercy on anyone who does not have mercy on mankind”. He showed in his deeds, character and sayings that people, regardless of ethnicity, religion or any stratified classification, must be treated equally, the Imam pointed out.

He further pointed out some other instances the Prophet had shown that as Muslim, we must show love to everyone. For instance, he illustrated nonbelievers who came from Taaif to see the Prophet were not only treated well, but were allowed to pitch their tent close to the mosque. History tells us that many of them, stunned by this gesture of the Prophet accepted Islam while many others did on getting home.

Another is that of an erring Bedouin Arab who chose to urinate in the mosque. Rather than rebuking him, the Prophet, in his usual benevolent candour, explained to the erring man why he should have made a smarter choice. He, too, like the aforementioned, left with a heart welled with the message of Islam. On this basis, the Prof deduced, Muslims too must never differ in being good to others, especially non-Muslims. Because you are Muslims, you must be a blessing to all – be it Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Atheists, pagans, Taoist – he said.

Oloyede reminded us of how Allaah tells us to invite people to Islam with wisdom. As his reference, he quoted Suratun-Nahl, Verse 125, where Allaah enjoined us to,

ادْعُإِلَىٰسَبِيلِرَبِّكَبِالْحِكْمَةِوَالْمَوْعِظَةِالْحَسَنَةِوَجَادِلْهُمبِالَّتِيهِيَأَحْسَنُإِنَّرَبَّكَهُوَأَعْلَمُبِمَنضَلَّعَنسَبِيلِهِوَهُوَأَعْلَمُبِالْمُهْتَدِينَ

“Invite (mankind, O Muhammad ) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Inspiration and the Quran) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided.”

Moving on, Prof Abdulrahman lectured on saying, if we have non-Muslims as family members, neighbours, colleagues, friends, bosses or servant, they must be cared for. They must be helped as due. Justice must be accorded to them. They must be given their due. Else, such Muslim condemns himself to Allaah’s wrath, Abdulrahman submitted.

However, too, they – non-Muslims – must show reciprocity as regards showing love towards Muslims. Should they fail, they are doomed, the Imam affirmed. Allaah advised all non-Muslims in Suratul-Maeda, Verse 15:

يَاأَهْلَالْكِتَابِقَدْجَاءَكُمْرَسُولُنَايُبَيِّنُلَكُمْكَثِيرًامِّمَّاكُنتُمْتُخْفُونَمِنَالْكِتَابِوَيَعْفُوعَنكَثِيرٍقَدْجَاءَكُممِّنَاللَّهِنُورٌوَكِتَابٌمُّبِينٌ

“O followers of the Book! Indeed Our Apostle has come to you making clear to you much of what you concealed of the Book and passing over much; indeed, there has come to you light and a clear Book from Allaah”

Summarily, the sermon of the day is one that etched upon peaceful coexistence. It is one that binds everyone together as one, not because we are Muslims or Christians or Jews, but because we are humans. Let us exist together, Oloyede enjoined us. Let us strengthen our brotherliness. Let our behaviour shine the light of Islam. Let our actions portray the message of Islam. May Allah grant us provision. May he liberate Islamic worlds in turmoil. May war cease to exist on our lands. Glory is due to Allah the Lord of Love.

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