Graduates’ Honorary Dinner- Ramadan 2006
Speech delivered by Darulfatwa-Australia Chairman, His Eminence Sheikh Salim ^Alwan al-Hasaniy at the Honorary Dinner for the Graduates of al-Azhariy course 25th September 2006
Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds . May Allah raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad the trustworthy, and upon Adam, Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, Issa, and all the brotherhood of Prophets and Messengers, and upon his Al and pure companions.
Prophet Muhammad said what means: O people, learn the knowledge of Islam. Indeed knowledge is acquired by proper learning, and scholarships are acquired by proper jurisprudence; and those whom Allah wills goodness for will make them knowledgeable in the religion. Related by At-Tabaraniy via a good chain of ascription.
O gathered people: Keeping busy in learning the religion of Islam is among the best ranking deeds, the noblest of obedience, the best acts of goodness and worship and the highest priority of occupied time. Realizing this, the clever and bright people quickly took care to grasp a firm handle on this knowledge and those who sought goodness rushed to obtain it, while the ones who wanted to beautify themselves competed to attain its virtuosity.
Hence, the knowledge of Islam is by the will of Allah, security against perverted ideologies. Experts should heed this and observe to raise young generations teaching them what is obligatory upon them to learn, in clear terms, to dismiss ambiguity and contradiction. Know that hearts are containers, if not filled with truths, and consumed by rights, corrupt ideologies will seep in and occupy them.
Thus, knowledge is a virtue from Allah, which He grants to the slaves He chose; a privilege that Allah bestows upon whomever He wills among His slaves. Knowledge of Islam develops reverence to Allah and the fear of Him. Knowledge in Islam honours its owner and ranks one highly in this world and in the hereafter. Knowledge is the vitality of the heart, the vision of the eyes and the remedy for the self. It is also the measure by which people weigh things, and by it, words and deeds are weighed. Further to this, a nation is measured by the extent to which knowledge is spread among its people. Hence, the knowledge of a nation is measured by its progress, high rank and its capacity to benefit society.
Furthermore, obtaining the knowledge of Islam and teaching it is not a matter restricted to men excluding women. In fact Islam calls on women to learn what is beneficial for them, what is necessary for their life and what they require to serve society. Indeed women in Islam included those who were knowledgeable in the religion and were scholars of hadith who in turn taught men who became knowledgeable in Islam and scholars of hadith.
O gathered people, from this solid base Darulfatwa commenced in Australia. It rose to reinstate the pure belief of Islam derived from the book of Allah, the methodology of Prophet Muhammad, the declarations of the elite Salaf scholars, and what was established by consensus of the nation’s scholars. This is the belief system clear of likening Allah to His creations, clear of attributing to Him bodily attributes, boundaries and place and of nullifying His attributes. It is a belief clear of saying Allah dwells in all or that we are all parts of His whole, and clear of atheism and from the inferences of philosophers. It is clear of the belief of the Khawarij, the Jahmites, the Muz^tazilites and their likes who call for random apostatising and make permissible the bloodshed of innocent people and commit suicide bombings in airports, buses and trains.
Darulfatwa proclaims that Islam is clear from the odiousness of terrorism and the repulsiveness of aggression and we reinstate that Islam urges its nation to specialise in all beneficial and purposeful areas of knowledge to aid the call of moderation, fairness and goodwill and to forbid obscenity, sinful acts and injustice. This, while being mindful of the fact that the war against terrorism is a war of knowledge which necessitates the accompaniment of preventative measures.
Let it be known, there is an onus upon every one of us to rectify this prevalent problem using our areas of expertise and specialized fields. The onus is on every one of us to draw from our capacity of wisdom and bravery; staying alert that ignorance is fought with knowledge and extremism is fought with moderation and wrong is fought with right..
We must do this asserting that as Muslims in this country, we are Australian citizens and part of this nation. So we do not accept that this country become a playing field for extremists and their ideologies, spreading under the guise of freedom. Nor do we accept that Australia become a land of bombings. Thus, we join hands with the Australian people and call on them to help us fight extremism and its actors. By the same token we reassure our fellow Australian citizens that we stand beside them in protecting them and this country we share, from extremists and their horrors.
From these grounds came the vision to establish Darulfatwa; an Islamic High Council to represent and advocate the methodology of moderation in this country. This vision came to effect, by the praise and blessings of Allah, on the hands of a select group of highly educated, trained and qualified persons of academic knowledge, mindfulness, Islamic intellect and specialized fields.
Darulfatwa prioritizes the progress and empowerment of Muslims in this country and their protection against what will tarnish their image, reputation and religious convictions. It wasted no time in accomplishing its aims. In August 2005 Darulfatwa held the academic public forum entitled Terrorism Expose: Sunnis against Terrorism, which brought to awareness the necessity to empower the community with proofs against extremist ideologies and rebuttal evidence. The community response and interest was so great and demanding for more of such enrichment, that soon after, we conducted two intellectual courses for preachers and teachers. The first was entitled The Islamic Guidelines in Identifying the Attributes of Imams and the second was entitled, The Azhariy Course, both delivered in English and Arabic to men and women.
Specialized, qualified and experienced teachers supervised and delivered these courses. The duration of the courses was one month and three months consecutively. Effectively, they provided professional development to a large number of Muslim community members.
At this point of our gathering, which is under the patronage of the Prime Minister John Howard, represented by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Mr. Andrew Robb, we are pleased to honor the graduates of the Azhariy course by handing them a certificate of recognition, expecting them to teach what they learnt and to extend their knowledge to people in a wise, compassionate and pleasant manner.
Finally, I thank you all for accepting our invitation to tonight’s event, looking forward to more of such gatherings in the future.