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REBRANDING: MUSLIMS AS SPREADERS OF AROMA TO THE WORLD

July 8th, 2016 | Posted by admin_tsb in Taushiyah/Khutbah

REBRANDING:
MUSLIMS AS SPREADERS OF AROMA TO THE WORLD
Khutbah Idul Fitri 1437 H/2016 M delivered by:
Prof Dr. Moh. Ali Aziz, M.Ag
(Professor of Islamic Studies at State Islamic University Sunan Ampel Surabaya-Indonesia)
Organized by:
The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Bangladesh
1 Syawal 1437/ 06 July 2016

Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Walillahilhamdu.

Innalhamda lillah, nahmaduhu wanasta’inuh, wanastaghfiruhu. Wana’udzu billahi min syururi anfusina wamin sayyi-ati a’malina. Man yahdillahu fala mudlil-la lah, waman yudl-lillahu fala hadiya lahu. Asyhadu alla ilaha illahu wahadahu la syarika lah, wa-asyhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu warasuluh, la nabiyya ba’dah.

Allahumma shalli ‘ala sayyidina wa maulana Muhammadin wa’ala alihi washahbihi waman walah.

Amma ba’du, faya ‘ibadallah, ushikum waiyyaya bitaqwallah. Qalallahu Ta’ala: “Ya ayyuhalladzina amanu ittaqullaha haqqa tuqatih, wala tamutunna illa wa-antum muslimun.”

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.

          On this occasion I would like to convey to all Muslims wherever they are: Eid Mubarak, Happy Eid, congratulations for becoming new human beings who are closer to their God and more civilized regardless of their ethnicity and religious differences. Happy Eid, welcome to a new life.

          We deserve this piety after a full month of fasting, refraining from foods, drinks, and letch during the day, then we continue to do i’tikaf, zikir, and taraweeh and witr prayers hundreds times at night. Not only that, during Ramadan we multiply to do alms giving and we end the holy month by paying zakat.

Dear happy Muslims,

In this brief sermon I would like to deliver three stories that I think represents three generations: the generation of the Prophet Muhammad SAW, the companions (sahabah) and the modern generation. These stories are not chronological in nature, but constitue the same important message that I will deliver at the end of this sermon.

First, I will tell you the story of what happened at a mosque when the Prophet Muhammad SAW was among his senior companions. All of the sudden, they were surprised by someone who entered the mosque sitting on his camel with his arms akimbo. Umar bin Khattab who sat alongside with the Prophet stood up immediately to strangle him, but the Prophet  Mohammad SAW prevented him.

Umar bin Khattab and Ali ibn Abi Talib were barely able to hold back when the Bedouin was shouting to look for the Prophet Muhammad SAW with mockery. The Prophet Muhammad SAW smiled softly and responded to the man, “I am whom you are looking for.” Bedouin Jews continued, “Oh, so you are the one who teaches the creed (shahada), prayer, charity and fasting?” “Yes,” replied the Prophet Mohammad SAW with a cool and polite face. Suddenly the Bedouin turned back his camel to go out of the mosque and said, “I am amazed by softness of the Prophet Muhammad SAW. I will convert to Islam and invite all people to follow his religion.”

Second, the story happened during the reign of Ali bin Abi Talib. When he became the head of state, he lost his favorite armor and it was in the hands of a Christian. When the trial of the armor ownership disputed, the judge called Ali, “Ya Amiral mukminin (O leader of the Muslims).” Ali objected with the call, because in his opinion, everyone should be equal before the law. Finally, the court decided that Ali was not entitled to claim the armor because he could not show any proof of the ownership.

After the trial, the Christian admitted that the armor was stolen from Ali bin Abi Talib. He converted to Islam due to his admiration of  Ali’s noble character before the law. When the armor was about to be returned voluntarily, Ali replied, “Let it be yours as a memento from me on your new religion.”

Third, this story happened to Dr. Germanus, a tourist from Hungary who was on his summer vacation in Bosnia. At night, he went out of the hotel to observe the daily life of Bosnian people. He encountered a cafe with a dim light which was not far from the hotel. When he was enjoying a warm coffee, suddenly two men, who wore traditional loose pants and a machete tucked into their wide belts, entered. He trembled when the two men staring at him with strange look. He remembered some stories of the cruelty of the Muslims toward the people who do not believe in the same religion, as he read in many books and mass media. Especially,  when he looked at these two men whispering. He thought they would kill him because he is a non-believer. He wanted to run away of the cafe, but he was completely limp.

A few minutes later, something unexpected happened. One of the men saluted and approached the tourist. The man even lit a cigarette for him with very polite sign language. After that, the tourist was invited to lunch for the next day. “This is my first encounter with a Muslim in a foreign country,” he said. He was very impressed with the man’s attitude and tenderness, until he was interested in studying Islam. At night, he was visited by the Prophet Muhammad SAW who wore a green robe with a distinctive aroma, which has never been encountered before. Then, he recited shahada (Islamic creed) and pledge to convert to Islam.

Dear respected muslims.

The three stories above give an example on how we have to interact with non-Muslims. The Prophet Mohammad SAW said:

 Auha Allahu ila Ibrahim, ya khalili, hassin khuluqaka walau ma’al kuffar, tadkhulu madakhilal abrar (Allah sent a message to Prophet Ibrahim: “God has given revelation to the Prophet Ibrahim, ”My dear beloved, show good manners even to the non-believers, you will enter the heaven with the best people”( HR. Al Hakim from Abu Hurairah r.a).

Why did I choose these three stories for the Eid sermon in Dhaka this year? Because, nowadays, Muslims have a very negative branding as ruthless believers and they even kill people who do not believe in Islam, even sometimes against their own fellow Muslims. Logically, non-Muslims would think that Muslims today have become light handed to kill their fellow Muslims only because they differ in political affiliation or thoughts, let alone to those with different religions. Atrocity against non-Muslims were also displayed only a few meters away from this place during the holy month of Ramadan. When Muslims in Bangladesh were performing i’tikaf (staying in a mosque for a certain number of days) at the mosques to glorify nights of Lailatul Qadr,  a group of seven men armed with blades, guns and bombs attacked the Holey Artisan Bakery chanting Allahu Akbar then killed 20 people from Italy, America, Japan, Bangladesh and India. The attackers claimed as member of Islamic State.

It is time to re-brand the image of Muslims as religious believers who are courteous and aroma spreaders to all of mankind, as the message of Allah to the Prophet Muhammad  SAW and all his followers, ”Wa ma arsalnaka illa rahmatan lil ’alamin (and We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” (QS. Al Anbiyak [21]: 107).

Eid is the best time to start a re-branding campaign of Muslims  to the world so that humanity look at Muslims as spreaders of love. We can start from our family, then neighborhoods and workplaces, and then to extend further to reach greater spectrum. We might not be able to see the results of these efforts, because it may take decades to rebrand the image of Muslims, but we must start now with extra efforts.

We must turn the pages of history where the spread of Islam had taken place so spectacularly in the Arabian Peninsula, Africa and Asia caused by the magnet of morals of the Prophet and his followers, not by speeches from podiums, not even by a frightening weapons. The Prophet Muhammad SAW used violence several times, but it was done in a state of war to defend against the other parties. And even it was done with very commendable ethics according to the standard of civilized human being.

We must bear in mind that human beings are becoming more educated and require extremely ethics in all aspects. If day by day the image of Muslims is not getting better, then we are the ones who will be held  responsible if the religion is abandoned in the future. Then, people will justify a thesis by one of ulama, al Islamu mahjubun bil Muslimin (Islam’s future could be bleak caused by Muslims themselves).

Allahu Akbar, we welcome the future of Islam in the spirit of Eid, the spirit of cleansing the soul. Let us work together to spread the aroma of noble character for the glory of Islam and peace amongst the world.

Minal ‘Aidin wal Faizin. Ied Mubarok. Taqbbalallahu minna waminkum. Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Walillahil hamdu.

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