VIEWS & NEWS
Dr. Sheikh Ahmad Lemu
Sunday 13 July, 1997
Organised by Islamic Cultural Centre, Sydney, Australia.
Dr Sheikh Ahmed Lemu, former Grand Mufti of Nigeria, was in Sydney on an official visit in the month of July. He was here with his wife, Aisha (Director General, Islamic Education Trust, Nigeria) and son Muhammad Nuruddin to conduct an Islamic Train the Trainer course in Da'wah and Dialogue. The course was jointly organised by the World Assaembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY, Riyadh), the International Council for Islamic Information (ICII, UK), the Islamic Education Trust (IET, Nigeria), Islamic Foundation for Education and Welfare (IFEW, Australia), the Islamic Society of the University of New South Wales (Australia) and the Muslim Students League of Australia (MSLA). The course was successfully completed by thirty two trainees. This address was delivered at the Faisal Complex and organsed by the Islamic Cultural Centre, Sydney Australia.
Before I start my topic, I wish to acknowledge and strongly support the advice given by our guest Dr. Muhammad Abdullah Usaid from Madinah. His advice for the unity of Muslims in Australia is very correct. If we don't unite together, we will have no strength in this country. Allah says in Quran:
'Obey Allah and His Apostle and do not dispute with one another, lest you should lose courage and your resolve weaken. Have patience: Allah is with those that are patient.'
Let us first think the role of an ambassador. His role is to protect and promote the interest of his nation, his country. Nations are formed not only by territorial boundaries. These are formed on ideological bases as well. Then it is called Ummah in Arabic. Thus Muslims, the followers of Islam are an Ummah, one Nation of Islam. Allah says:
'Your Ummah is but one Ummah and I am your only sustainer: Therefore, adopt my consciousness.'
The whole world is the country of the Nation of Islam and every Muslim, the follower of Islam is the ambassador to each country of the whole world where he/she is stationed.
Now it is quite obvious that the role of every Muslim is to promote and protect Islam. The task of every Muslim is to make the Ummah (his/her nation) elevated in the eyes of others. The message of Allah is very clear.
'You are the best nation that has ever been raised up for mankind: You enjoin justice and forbid evil. You believe in Allah.'
We have to demonstrate and spread the good things according to the teachings of Islam and we have to stop and forbid things that are forbidden in Islam. All this has to be done with the full belief in Allah(swt) and His Prophet(saw).
Ambassadors are supposed to be diplomat and tactful. Hence the Muslims as the ambassador of Islam should also be diplomat. The first important constituency of diplomacy is to be friendly with others and not to harm others.
Let us now talk in detail how to achieve the objectives as ambassadors of Islam.
The first principle we should practice is based on the Words of Allah
'Men, We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you might get to know one another. The noblest of you in Allah's sight is the most righteous of you. Allah is Wise and All-knowing.'
All nationalities, ethnic groups and linguistic communities are formed by Allah(swt) for the sake of identification, not for fighting or oppressing. We should believe in the oneness and brotherhood of mankind. There should be no hatred. Neither we should hate others nor we make others to hate us. People should not see us as criminals and aggressors. Our da'wah work should not be a lip service. It should be through our behaviour, generous attitude in all our talks, in meetings and gatherings.
We should always avoid head-long collisions with others. Allah directs us our communication with non-Muslims
'Call people to the path of your Sustainer with wisdom and mild exhortation. Reason with them in the most courteous manner.'
This clearly tells us how to behave with non-Muslims.
Ambassadors are also required to know the policies of their governments and then they have to act upon these policies strictly otherwise they are not worthy of performing their duties as ambassadors.
The policy of the Muslim Ummah is Islam, and the sources of the Islamic policies are Quran and the Sunnah. Hence the first and foremost thing for every Muslim to act the ambassador of Islam is to have the full knowledge of Islam. It is not enough to know Islam but one has to act upon Islam. There are five pillars of Islam Shahadah (real faith), Salat (prayer), Saum (fasting), Zakat (poor-due) and Hajj (pilgrimage). If these five obligations do not make you God-conscious and do not make your attitude and behaviour correct, how can you act as ambassadors of Islam. For example the job of Salat (prayer) is to stop you from indecency and blasphemy and if your behaviour is not the correct one; and if you are still indecent and quarrelsome, you are not presenting Islam correctly. If you don't develop the spirit of self restraint and sacrifice by fasting, you are not presenting Islam properly before others.
Last but not the least, a Muslim must be educated, both having Islamic knowledge as well as professional knowledge. You should be a scientist, engineer, a doctor, a solicitor, a businessman all par excellence but practicing Islam. Every now and then we, as Muslims, should recharge our spiritual batteries, to develop strong relationship with Allah.
In short, a Muslim can serve as the ambassador of Islam only if he/she fully comprehends Islam and practices it in his/her daily life.
May Allah make you all the ambassador of Islam in Australia and wherever you are. May all the misconceptions about Islam be removed by our behaviour and true Islamic practices.
Dr. Shiekh Ahmad Lemu ended his talk with supplication in Arabic.
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