on Contemporary Dawah Issues in the. West. Renewing the Dawah Message. • What is meant by renewing the Dawah Message is freeing its content from any
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Recommendations of the Conference on Contemporary Dawah Issues in the West Renewing the Dawah Message What is meant by renewing the Dawah Message is f ree ing its content from any stain of extremism and harshness, renew ing the manner in which Dawah is given to make it appropriate for the time and place of those being addressed, chang ing juristic conclusions when the causes have changed and distinguish ing between a renewal that is approved by the Shareeah vis – a – vis a blamewo rthy distortion of the Shareeh. The priorities of this renewing of the Dawah Message include preventing division and discord while , instead, calling to unity and harmony. Additionally, emotive issues that are from the realm of permissible juristic opinions should be avoided. An environment of fariness in dealing with those one differs with should be fostered. There should be gentleness in refuting them. One must avoid hubris when dealing with them, as it is more beloved to Allah to be driven by shame to rep entance than to insist on following falsehood. There must be the proper balance between the obligation of following the truth and the need to unite. The role of dawah and personality – building requires proper beliefs and a sound methodology. However, the pl ace of actions and works in general demands an attention to bringing people together, unity and working together for common dawah goals in the face of contemporary obstacles. The Dawah Message should concentrate on reviving the proper relationship with Al lah and in correcting understandings. Consideration must also be given to the issues of concern to the domestic Muslim community. The Dawah message should contain the essential aspects of beliefs and law concerning which no Muslim should be ignorant. The m asses should also be directed to seeking beneficial knowledge and prepared with the tools and means that they would need to achieve that goal. The differences in opinion of a scholarly juristic nature should not be broadcasted in a public forum. In this wa y, disputes will be contained and the parties will be more open to accepting
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the truth. Such disputes should be dealt with internally via the proper Islamic tools and means. It should be publicly declared that Islam is innocent of all acts of terrorism whe ther committed by organizations or governments. Islam does not permit such acts under any circumstances. However, that does not mean that it approves of other wrongs, such as unjust wars, oppression or tyranny. It must be emphasized, though, that those wro ngs do not permit other wrongs. Concerning Fundamentalism and Fundamentalists political, social, economic and cultural aspects, based on a religious belief system. In its historical context, it means a return to the fundamentals of a nation or gro up upon which its civilization or culture was built. In contemporary times, it is usually tied into the concepts of fanaticism and violence, especially when speaking about Islam. The Arabic word usooli into Arabic, is, in Islamic culture, a reference to an expert in Islamic legal theory. He is the scholar who knows etailed laws in the fundamental general principles, especially in relation to new events and circumstances. understanding of the faith without taking into considera tions the goals and consequences of acts, a form of backwardness that does not take into consideration the changes of time and place upon the laws, or harshness, violence and committing of wrong against others. If any of these meanings is meant, then it is a blameworthy concept. The term could also mean submitting to the sources of revelation, the Quran and authentic Sunnah, with a proper understanding and application, and judging detail ed points in the light of general principles. It is used in this latter sense in juxtaposition to those who refuse to turn back to the two sources of Islam, who refuse to accept the relationship between religion and life or who distort the meanings of the texts. When used in this sense, it has a praiseworthy meaning. It is be st not to use this term to describe the Islamic movements as there is a clear historical distinction between Islam and Christianity [where this term comes from] and due to the negative connotations that have historically been attached to this term. Fundam entalism is not restricted to one particular religion or community. Furthermore, it is not synonymous with fanaticism or harshness under all circumstances. The movements that are referred to as fundamentalist are not all the same. Additionally, violence is not a necessary characteristic of such movements. In general, the impetus behind such
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movements are political or they are caused by societal or economic oppression. Although such grievances may sometimes be true, they do not justify wronging innocent indi viduals under any circumstance. Negative media concentrati on contemporary form of fundamentalism, such as Zionist, Christian and other fundamentalisms , is a wrongful form of discrimination that does not a ssist in solving the problem of religious extremism and radicalization in interpreting the texts. Concerning Slavery Slavery is an ancient cultural legacy. Islam took steps to refine it, restricting its sources while expanding the means of releasing slaves. Islam set for the world an unprecedented standard in dealing with slaves, giving the slaves back their humanity and honor. It laid down the path to a complete end to slavery when possible. Currently , slavery is something of the past now that the world has agreed upon abolishing it. There is no Shareeah objection to abolishing slavery now that the world community has agreed upon abolishing it. Concerning Polygyny Polygyny is an ancient religious legacy. It is a human need in some societi es due to an increase in the relative number of women and the prohibition of taking mistresses and other forms of illicit relationships between men and women. Islam has place d a limit on the number of wives one can have and has also restricted it to the ab ility to be just among the wives. In a society in which polygyny is illegal, one must avoid practicing it. Concerning Music Music that excites the desires and leads one to immoral acts is , by agreement , unacceptable. As for other types of music, there is a difference of opinion. The majority are of the opinion that they are all forbidden and that is the strongest view from a fiqh perspective. The least that could be said is that it is from the doubtful matters and it is safest to avoid it. Concerning Honor Killings An honor killing is the killing of a person accused of illegal sexual intercourse by own family in order, supposedly, to protect their honor and nobility.
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onor is forbidden in Islam. However, the punishment for such acts rest with the state and those with the authority, power and ability to execute such punishments justly. It is not for individuals or groups to take the laws into their own hands. Furthermore, the prescribed punishments are dropped if there is reasonable doubt. Contravening the state and killing based on s uspicion and out of emotion supposedly defending honor is a crime in itself that requires legal punishment. Concerning the Understanding of Jihad conveying fro m Allah and His Message and establishing the proof against humans via robbery, halting either existing or expected aggression against Muslims and coming to the aid of t he oppressed. Given the current open environment among nations, the respect given to individual religious practices, the culture of protecting human rights and the criminality of religious persecution, there is no need for an offensive jihad that is only s anctioned to protect the Dawah, prevent religious persecution and support the oppressed. of whether it be done by individuals, groups, nations or governments, is not part of legally sanctioned jihad. Concerning Neutrality in International Relations Neutrality means to voluntarily abstain from warfare and not to support any of the parties to an international dispute. This is the option that a country resorts to when there is an armed conflict that does not concern it or that they are not directly related to. This approach developed during the atmosphere of international r elations during the Cold War. The neutral country is trying to protect its people and land from any possibilities arising from armed conflicts. The decision to remain neutral is left up to those in authority in the Muslim communities. The one in authority has the best ability to decide on the appropriate stance in the light of the specific circumstances of time and place as well as the nature of the dispute between the two warring parties. Neutrality and avoiding the war does not mean that one does not as sist the oppressed or one does not try to stop the transgressor in the political realm or use what international
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means there may be to bring a peaceful solution to hostilities . It also does not mean that order to deter any aggressive party from considering attacking the neutral nation. Concerning the Punishment for Apostasy The punishment for apostasy is like the other punishments that must be meted out by the state that has authority and th e ability to justly execute such punishments. It is from the discretionary punishments that is left to the judiciary to determine its punishment. The argument that it is restricted to the apostate who opposes the state is a plausible one. It is recommended to exert efforts to study apostasy and its causes and to prepare the callers to Islam with the means to refute the misconceptions and doubts that appear and to safeguard against the appearance of apostasy. Concerning the Clash of Civilizations Islamic civ ilization is the refuge for the crisis of the contemporary materialistic civilization. Islamic civilization is humanity – based and oriented. It is universal in its horizons and message. It is believed in based on knowledge in affirming its fundamentals. It concentrates on faith in its purest fundamentals. It addresses both the mind and the heart. It combines both emotion and thought. It brings together the sacred and the mundane. It is miraculous in its tolerance. There has never been any civilization based on religion similar to it. The default when it comes to the relations between civilizations is that of mutual respect, dialogue and assistance. However, it can reach the state of being rivalrous and contentious. However, even in that case, it must still be in the shade of respecting the humanity of human beings and a practical acceptance of the variety of human cultures, with each from the various civilizations having the right to preserve their cultural values and legacy. There should also be a rejection o f profaning the religious, ethical and cultural values or holy places of others. There should also be a recognition that the sources of knowledge are various from time to time and place to place. Those views and practices that seek to cause discord and fri ction between civilizations should be stunted. The common ground between civilizations should be forged. The principles of justice, fairness, peace and security must be adhered to. There should be a commitment to including all peoples and communities with out discrimination when it comes to declaring resolutions and distributing benefits domestically and internationally.
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Concerning the Relations with non – Islamic States The default concerning the majority non – Muslim countries of today is that they are daar ahd (countries in which mutual pacts have been agreed upon). One must adhere to the tenets of those pacts concerning which visas and residence status have been issues. It is a must to work together in preventing wrongdoing and transgressions, working toget her to bring about what is best for humanity. If the status of the relationship should change, such that, for example, a Muslim and non – Muslim state should go to war, then the pacts that the individual Muslim has entered into still rule over him, regardless of whether he be a citizen, non – citizen resident or simply a protected visitor to the land. Concerning Following – up Current, General Events with Rulings and Declarations Giving religious rulings for current events is a communal obligation. First and foremost, the responsibility falls upon the people of knowledge in the area in which the event has occurred. Other scholars should aid them if needed. Not all current events a re the same. Some are of a general interest covered by the media, such as famous statements or acts of violence that are attributed to some Muslims. In these tha t Islam is free of such actions. After that, the scholars can decide among themselves as to whether or not the media should be contacted concerning that ruling or if it can be ignored. Under all circumstances, though, if a scholar is directed a question fr om any source and no one other than him is qualified to respond to it, then he must respond and it becomes obligatory upon him to clarify the issue. Guideposts concerning Public Policy related to Issuing Religious Rulings Related to Current Events Religiou s rulings concerning current events should be left to the qualified scholars of the specific area in which the event occurred if they sufficiently fulfill that responsibility. They are the ones most aware of the situations and the consequences of any ruling. It is wise during times of tribulations not to spread the fires from one area to another.
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Concerning Attending Events in which Alcohol is Being Served It is not permissible to sit a gathering in which alcohol is being served, based on the texts that specifically prohibit that. If the Muslim can distance himself from that location without causing any negative reactions, then it is obligatory upon him to d o so. If that is not feasible, he must reject the act in his heart if there is no way that he can avoid that setting, while striving to distance himself from the alcohol to the best of his ability. As for other reprehensible acts, such as eating pork and t he like, there is no harm in sitting in such a gathering in order to call those people to Allah if one has probable reason to believe that they will respond to the call. Concerning Arranging Events in Cooperation with non – Muslims or with T hose Openly Known for Immoral Acts The default ruling concerning interactions between Muslims and non – Muslims is that of permissibility. The strongest such relationship is that of marriage which makes a non – Muslim the aunts and uncles of a Muslim. That is from among t he strongest of all ties and differences of religion does not prevent such a tie. However, such inter mixing with them still has to be based on specific principles, including: o The individual should have a good intention present, such as calling them to Isla m, keeping the ties of kinship and the like. o There is no harm as well if a Muslim has associates within his inner circle that are non – Muslim relatives or associates, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) had Abu Taalib has one of his closest confidants. Howev circle to be only from the pious believers. o One must distinguish between an independent evil and an evil which is present as a secondary issue. For example, there is a difference between attending a conference that suppo rts same – sex marriage, which is definitely not approved by the Shareeah, and attending a conference that supports civil and political rights for all citizens, which would be inclusive of homosexuals. For the latter, there would be an exemption to attend if needs requires that. o It is not permissible for a Muslim to remain in a gathering in which the Signs of Allah are being ridiculed and derided. If the present evils are something less than such ridiculing and he is not able to object to them, then he shoul d also not remain in
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that gathering unless there is some clear need or overriding benefit to do so, all along objecting strongly in his heart to the wrong. o If the gathering as a whole is concerning good issues, it is permissible for a Muslim to participate in it, even if it may have some stains of wrong in it, as long as the the gathering outweighs its evil. o The sanctioned mixing with non – Muslims will require some level of to lerance and acceptance [of otherwise unacceptable deeds]. Marriage to a non – Muslim woman is a good example. The Muslim husband cannot prevent her from drinking alcohol, bringing a crucifix into their home or saying her prayers in his house towards her dire ction of prayer. It is also permissible to ignore some objectionable acts for the purpose of living together. However, when a person fears that he may grow accustomed to a sinful act, he should no longer interact with the people performing that sin. Concer ning Shaking Hands with a non – Related Woman The default is that one should refrain from shaking hands with a woman one is not related to, due to what has been narrating prohibiting it. However, this prohibition is concerning an act that is a means to something greater and preventing those means to move to something greater. As such, an exemption is made if there is some necessity or general need to do so, ing distance and the like. As for elderly people shaking hands, the matter i s much more flexible if there is no fear of any temptation. New Muslims Dealing with their [Now] Forbidden Items An exemption is made for new Muslims to buy or sell musical instruments, sculptures and drawings whenever there is the overriding benefit of a ffirming them in the faith and deterring their apostasy. In fact, one may even apply the weaker fiqh opinion in our view that musical instruments are permissible in general. The benefit of confirming the person on the faith is greater than the harm of foll owing a weaker fiqh opinion. If such a new Muslim needs to sell any such item due to need for money, Muslims may purchase it from them with the goal of destroying them and encouraging the individual to repent.
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Invalid Condition accepting the condition that a woman will remain with her non – Muslim husband or she will not wear hijab and so on. At the same time, the invalidity of that condition must be explained in such a way that it will not lead to a greater harm. All efforts should be made to instruct and purify the person and guide them to ways that will solve their problems for them. The hope is that their acting upon Islam w ill lead them to correct this shortcoming that they have stipulated. Concerning Performing the Funeral Prayer over an Apostate when His Muslim Family Brings the Deceased for the Prayer The funeral prayer should not be performed over a person who definitively apostatized from Islam, like one who became a Christian or a Jew. However, as for the one concerning whom it is not definitive that he apostatized, then one can pray over him given that he may have remained in his original state of Islam and his affair will rest with Allah. It is better to be mistaken in prayer over a non – Muslim than abandon the prayer over a Muslim. Concerning Participating with the non – Muslims in their Holidays The default is that one should be good and just in dealing with non – Muslims. This includ es participating with them in social events, such as marriage, the arrival of a baby and so on, and congratulating them with the hopes of good interactions with them and bringing their hearts closer to Islam. However, religious celebrations are considered particular to the members of that religion and remain specific to them. Thus, it is not allowed to participate with them in any religious event. If, though, there is some benefit in doing so and if done in such a way as to not violate the exclusivity of re ligious practices or implying an acceptance – Muslims.
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Communal Prayers with non – Muslims in Interfaith Settings – Muslims as long as the supplication does not involve associating partners with Allah or any proscribed aspects. Prayer for guidance, societal peace, protection from harm and similar prayers would be acceptable, regardless of whether the one stating the words is a Muslim or a non – Muslim. If what is meant by prayer or any prayer of a polytheistic nature with anyone, Muslim or non – Muslim. Concerning Non – Muslims Entering the Mosque An exemption is made for non – Muslims to enter into a mosque as long as they do not violate the sanctity o f the mosque or disturb tho se who are praying. An exemption is also made for them to join with the Muslims in prayer as long as they do not break the lines; they should be either at the end of a line or in a line by themselves. Concerning People of Knowledge Wearing Special Attire The default ruling concerning clothing is permissibility as long as it does not contain any prohibited aspect, such as uncovering the private parts, imitation of immoral people, imitation of specific religious dress of non – Muslims or imitation of the oppos ite sex. There is no harm in scholars distinguishing themselves with specific dress in some customary fashion. There is also no harm in Islamic workers wearing athletic clothing, ties or the like. Concerning the Medium of Dawah The means of dawah are not a ll the same. Some means the Shareeah has paved the way to be prohibited, such as dancing, whistling and clapping during sessions of making remembrance as done by some mystics. Other means the door has been opened to their permissibility, such as graphics a nd presentations to clarify an issue. There are others that the Shareeah has remained silent about. These are the ones that need to be investigated. The default is that they are from the issues of al – siyaasah al – shariyyah (policy decisions). Differences of opinion on some of these means should not lead to declaring someone a
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