Qur'an Readers Circle - NEWS / December, 2016 - IMA HALL, Bangalore

On Sunday, 11th December, 2016, the organisation 'House of Peace', popularly known as HOPE, conducted the monthly seminar in Tamil language, Thiru Qur'an Vaasagar Vattam - The Qur'an Readers Circle at the IMA Hall, Shivajinagar, Bangalore.

Muslims and Non-Muslims, men and women thronged in to make the event a luminous one. Three main speakers gave the talks in the Tamil language, followed by a Q n A session. The event was coordinated by Qasim bhai, the President of HOPE.

The talks were given by Ustaad A.K. Zaman (IPC, Madurai), Shaikh Gaddafi (Imam & Khateeb of Masjid Abu Raihan, Bangalore) & Ustaad Umar Shariff (President, DIET).

Ustaad A.K. Zaman spoke about the Islamic Solutions to Economic Problems. In his talk he elaborated the fundamental principles of the Islamic Economic System. In one word he said it is a "Win-Win" system. He said that the Islamic solutions help the people of the nations to progress and strengthen the mutual respect to one another. He talked about the Islamic view against the interest based transactions and loans. He said that interest or usury works for the benefit of the rich, and works against the wellness of the poor. He criticised the current banking culture that gives loans to people on interest, and are always selfish to take the interest and the loan, while being least bothered of the one who had taken loans. In a situation where the debtor is unable to make profits and make business, he has to still pay the interest to the banks. This system is against the Divine commandments. In an Islamic system, the Islamic banks or the business investor will become a partner to the project which a person proposes to him. The investor will become a sharer of the profit or loss. This will enable the members to protect the honour of each other, by mutually helping one another to grow economically. Hence the Islamic system aims at a "Win-Win" situation through out. Allah has forbidden Riba - usury or interest, and has allowed and encouraged trading and business. Even in the case of Eejaara based systems, where in buildings are constructed through investments and the profits are shared in rents according to the percentage of the investment and the commitment that both the parties contribute. Hence it is by the mercy of Allah that mankind is being given the path to lead a nation to prosperity and peace. He further said that Islamic system establishes justice in the society. He went on to further question the state of our Indian affairs, wherein the rich people like Vijay Malya are given more than Rs. 7000 Crore rupees loans, and is left to escape without repaying them. He questioned whether the banks will come forward to give such loans to common man. So where's equality? Where's fairness? The systems that work against the Divine guidance have in past failed, and in our times have only been able to produce greediness and disparity amongst the people. Hence he concluded that the Islamic solutions are the best in the interest of the common people of the nations.

The next speaker Shaikh Gaddafi spoke about the Human Rights that Islam has given for the people of the world. He went to say that Racism has no place in Islam. He said that Islam united the hearts of the people across the continents. He cited the example of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) when he invited the people across the world to adopt the way of Islam. He said that Islam is not for the Arabs alone. Islam gave equal respect to all the people of the world. At the time of Prophet Muhammad, he had companions from Rome, Persia and Abyssinia. He had Suhaib Ar-Roomi, Salmaan Al-Faarisi & Bilal Al-Habshi all from various colours, languages and nations, who were united under the banner of Islam. He said that racism was destroyed by Islam, and that no other history can match to what the Prophet did against racism. At a time when the black slaves were regarded as inferior, Islam gave all men equal status, and said human beings are creations of Allah, the Creator of the universe. He further quoted a verse from the glorious Qur'an, saying that God created all the human beings, so that we may become God-conscious. He said that by virtue of being black or white, Arab or a non-Arab, rich or poor, no man is superior or inferior to one another; except by the virtue of being God conscious and righteous.

He cited reference from the Qur'an and Ahaadeeth, that talked about the rights of parents, wives, children and so on. He said that Allah has taught mankind to render their services to the fellow-humans around them. At a time when the west was debating whether women had souls or not, Islam elevated the status of women by saying that the paradise is at the feet of your mother. He shared a hadeeth of the Prophet, when a person comes to him and asks who deserves the maximum companionship amongst people. The Prophet said: Your mother. The man went to ask further, as to who deserves next. The Prophet said: Your mother. The man again asked: Who next? The Prophet said: Your mother. And the man asked again: Who next? And the Prophet said: Your father. The Shaikh explained the hadeeth with much more references by saying that the next important deed in a Muslim's life after the five daily prayers is the service to one's parents - to the effect that the Prophet once enquired a person who showed interest to join the army to fight in the way of Allah, as to whether he has old parents to take care at home. The man said in an affirmative. And the Prophet instructed the man to go home and take care of his parents; and that's his jihaad in the way of Allah. This is the beauty of Islam that one cannot show a blind eye to. The Islamic Law is full of honouring the rights of every individual in the world. And if Muslims live their lives in accordance to the Divine commandments, then truly this world will become a much beautiful place.

The last speaker for the evening, Ustaad Umar Shariff talked on the topic - Islamic Law protects and preserves all lives. At the outset he said that God has created all things in the world, and will he not guide us to the way that pleases Him? Yes, The Creator has created us and given us guidance to live a life that pleases Him. That system is the Islamic Law that is understood from the sources - Qur'an and Sunnah. Qur'an is the book and the revelation from Allah. And Sunnah is the way of the Prophet, who was guided by Allah to lead mankind to prosperity. The Qur'an must be understood in the way that the Prophet explained it, and in the manner in which the Prophet's companions understood it. Hence the pristine form of the Sharia is the one that is based on authentic proofs that takes to the earlier generations of the Muslim nation. However the scope for Ijtehad and Qiyaas, the scope to deduce rulings and derive verdicts based on the fundamental principles laid down in the Qur'an and Ahaadeeth are still open for the scholars and jurists to give rulings according to the time and place, while strictly adhering to the boundaries and conditions. He went on to say that in the Islamic jurisprudence - Islamic Fiqh, one would understand that there are two classifications done by the scholars - Ibaadah Mahdah and Ibaadah Gair Mahdah. Ibaadah Mahdah deals with the areas where one must not initiate anything in the practise of the religion, unless one finds proofs from the Qur'an and Sunnah. For example the five daily prayers and the units prescribed by Allah. If Allah has given us the commandment to pray two units or rakaats of prayer for the Fajr Salaah (the prayer at the early dawn), then no one has the right to legislate 3 units of prayers for the Fajr. That's from the matters of Tauqeefiyyah - stop where the Prophetic proofs end. There's no scope to initiate anything in the matters of direct worship. The other part is Ibaadah Gair Mahdah. In matters where there's no direct worship, then one is allowed to use and do things, unless the proofs for the prohibitions are cited from the Qur'an and Sunnah. For example a person can wear blazer, toab or the lungi if he wishes. Islam doesn't stop a person from wearing any of these dresses. Since it is a matter of Ibaadah Gair Mahdah, all kinds of dress, food, cultures are all allowed to follow, except those which are prohibited by the Qur'an and Sunnah.

He further went on to say that Islam acknowledges a pluralistic society. He said that people have a wrong notion that Islamic law favours only the Muslims. That's an erroneous understanding by many Muslims and non-Muslims. Under the Islamic law, people of all faiths have their rights and responsibilities. For example a Muslim man is allowed to marry a practising Christian or a practising Jewish woman. Can you imagine a family where the father is a Muslim, and the mother is a Christian! This is what Islam acknowledges. It is a halal wedding in fact.
When Islam can acknowledge a pluralistic religion within a family, then how can it not acknowledge a pluralistic society!

Islam encourages the Muslims to invite the non-Muslims to Islam. However that has to be with beautiful preaching by sharing the truth of the miracles of the Aayaath of the Qur'an and other things. Having said that, it is also clearly evident that the Qur'an says: To you your religion. And to me my religion. The Qur'an clearly gives freedom to follow one's religion. In chapter 2, Soorah Baqarah the Qur'an also says that there is no compulsion in religion. So how can Muslims force others to follow their way of life!

He further said that in today's times the deviants among the Muslims have used violence and caused much of bloodshed across the world. Example the killings of school children in Pakistan and the ISIS menace around the world are all un-islamic and animalistic.

The Islamic law encourages every human being to first focus on his personal life. He is obligated to pray 5 times a day. As the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam once said, just like how a man's body will be clean if he takes bath 5 times a day in a river in front of his house, such is the case of a Muslim who prays 5 times a day. His intentions and actions are oriented towards righteousness, and it helps him to stay away from evil and obscenities. And then the Islamic Law encourages every man to take care of his family life. He is asked to serve his parents, earn for a lawful livelihood, take care of his wife and children, be good to the neighbours and reform the society. In the process of reforming the society, Islam commands the society to shun alcohol, usury and all the things that are harmful to the people. And Islamic alternatives are all people friendly that establishes peace and justice on earth.

Soon after the talks there was an insightful Q n A session, where in an elderly non-Muslim man asked the speakers if there are teaching classes for him if he embraced Islam. One of the Non-Muslims shared his experience in a masjid when he went there to pray the Salaah. He said that once when he went to the masjid to pray, the Muslims there asked him to become a Muslim and then enter the masjid. The man was disheartened to share his experience. He still wants to learn more about Islam and pray in the masjid. Overall it was a wonderful evening spent in the remembrance of Allah.

'House of Peace' is all set to organise such seminars on the second Sunday of every month Inshaa'Allah. May Allah bring goodness to all who are meticulously working to organise this event.