Given the problematic race relations we are facing now, I hesitantly heard the full Sermon of Dr. Imam Yasir Qadhi on Racism today, June 6th, and I recommend it wholeheartedly, it is one of the best speeches on race relations. I used the word hesitantly because Dr. Qadhi had made flagrant statements about Jews in the past. Of course, he has apologized since then. The links for all the references are at the bottom of the article.
A few key points about his sermon following the video
He traces the story of racism to Pharaoh -indeed, whenever a group of people believes that they are more privileged than the other, it amounts to racism.
Dr. Qadhi narrates the story of Hazrat Bilal (the freed slave) flawlessly. A few people were considering joining the Prophet’s faith, but had a race problem and snidely asked the Prophet to keep Bilal out of the meeting. The Prophet was committed to building cohesive societies and did not believe in exclusion, and instead requested Bilal to call on the prayer (Adhan) from the top of the Kaaba. He wanted to assert that no one is superior to the other. He chose to do the right thing than compromise on the value of equality. It reminded me of the dilemma Abraham Lincoln faced 1100 years later and decided against politics and made the right decision to declare emancipation of slaves. They were two of the key historical figures who stood against slavery. There is a lot more power to this story and will write another time.
Dr. Qadhi talks about verse 49:13 – that came through Gabriel. God has created all of us from one single couple and spread us into different races, communities, and nations. He could have added that the best one among us is the one who learns about each other, knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance of the otherness of the other. By the way, the anthropologists have discovered in the last fifty years that we all originated in Africa and spread out into different regions and created nations and communities.
Qadi does well on emphasizing that the Prophet dedicated 1/5th of his speech on race relations in his very last sermon.
Imam Qadhi talks about what we can do as Muslims – to stand up against oppression against anyone and everyone. He suggested standing with the Black community. I wonder if he would also stand with the LGBTQ community.
He uses the phrase, “This country” I wish he instead uses the phrase “Our Country” I hope you can see the difference between the two.
Idol worship – Why are we hung up on this? Islam did not emerge to wipe Idol worship; instead, it came to bring people together on the concept of the unity of humanity and integrity of the universe and oneness of God.
I accept the sheepishness in some Muslims who swallow everything dished out to them if the big-name scholars are ascribed. It goes against the grain of Islam -that is to Iqra, read, understand, and accept. After all, you are responsible for your acts and not the Imams, and not even the Prophet. Islam places great emphasis on accountability and individual responsibility.
Thank God for guiding me to be a doer and not a talker. He has guided me to (links are provided below for all the items):
Standing up for others – everyone out there.
As a Muslim, I have prayed in Mosques of all major denominations and looking forward to going to Najaf and Karbala to embrace Muslims completely.
Friday prayers, I alternate between African Americans and all other Mosques.
Now in the last three years, I live in an all-Black neighborhood.
Imam Yasir Qadhi’s words against Jews
Muslim Scholars of the past Presented Islam incorrectly
The Source of Muslim Extremism
Standing up for others
Dr. Mike Ghouse is the founder and president of the Center for Pluralism. He is a speaker, thinker, author, consultant, pluralist, activist, newsmaker, and an interfaith wedding officiant. He is deeply committed to Religious Freedom, Human Rights, and Pluralism in Religion, Politics, Societies, and the workplace, and to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions to the media and the policymakers. Book information is at www.AmericanMuslimAgenda.com and his info at www.TheGhousediary.com