Alluhaidan: Extremists distort message |
Arab News - 28 July, 2012
Islam is a tolerant religion, but together with many faiths in the world it has suffered from the consequences of extremism, according to Sheikh Abdullah bin Fahad Alluhaidan.
Alluhaidan was delivering a lecture as part of a series of Ramadan lectures organized by Princess Al-Anood Philanthropic Foundation in Riyadh on Wednesday night. The function was presided over by the foundation's Secretary-General Youssef bin Othman Al-Huzaim.
Alluhaidan said extremists use religious slogans that look very persuasive for others, but they have a bad intention and objective. He added that tolerance means accepting others despite having different views and cultural backgrounds. From the Qur’an’s point of view, the mission of the prophets and messengers of God was not to forcibly impose their teachings on the people, but to guide them and ask them to accept God with their own will.
Describing the meaning of jihad in Islam, the sheikh said it is an act of inviting people to Islam with wisdom and tolerance that needs efforts and free will. However, Muslims are required to defend themselves if somebody forces them to do this act. “Muslims never wish to clash with others,” he elaborated, adding that peace is the pillar of Islam in dealings with humanity.
Outlining the principles of Islam, he said peace is a basic concept in Islamic thought. The Arabic term “Islam” itself is usually translated as “submission” — submission of desires to the will of God. It comes from the term “aslama,” which means “to surrender” or “resign oneself.”
The Arabic word “salaam” (peace) has the same root as Islam, Alluhaidan continued. One Islamic interpretation is that individual personal peace is attained by utterly submitting to Allah. The greeting “As-salamu Alaykum,” favored by Muslims, has the literal meaning “Peace be upon you.”
He said one of the core principles of Islam is equality, which means that every human being on earth is equal regardless of race, color, sex and faith affiliation. He cited a verse from the Holy Qur'an — “We honored the sons of Adam” — that does not specify color or religion.
According to Alluhaidan, the more identical or similar people are the more equality among them is right. However, wherever there are differences, these must be reflected in treatment.
Therefore, it would be unrealistic to assert the absolute equality of human beings, he stated, but we could say that humans are basically equal in rights and duties, as there is some degree of similarity in physical and mental traits. This enables them to understand and apply rules and laws, and to be accountable.
It is obvious, at the same time, that diversity among humans in traits and talents is natural to them; therefore, there will be limitations in natural, social and political positions, as one inquirer did notice. Some of the limitations are temporary, some permanent; some are infrequent, some frequent. However, a limitation is specific. It may not be generalized to inequality in other rights.
The sheikh explained that a person who is morally upright is not equal to a crook in terms of morality, but they may be equal otherwise. Neither is an intelligent person equal to a dull one, but they are equal in other spheres.
Alluhaidan also talked on freedom as a right of human beings. One of the most important human rights is the respect and tolerance society must show toward the religions of other people. He cited a verse from the Qur’an that clearly says that religion cannot be forced on anyone: “There is no compulsion in (accepting) religion (of Islam).”
He continued, saying that fulfillment of contracts and charters are among the main principles of Islam, asking those who have a contract with expatriates that work in the country to respect every article of it. “You should not take advantage of the authority you have,” he warned people, referring to those who use their power to serve their own interest.
The event, which finished on Thursday, featured various topics including a lecture on “The history of Islamic culture and heritage in Latin America — Colombia” by Gustavo Perez Figueroa.
On Tuesday, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at King Saud University Mubarak bin Fahad Alfaraan delivered a lecture on the “Scientific miracles of eyes creation”, in which he explained the functions and components of eyes and how Allah put the eyes in a safe and secure place in the human body. Alfaraan also answered many questions raised by the attendees.