By Dr. Jamal Badawi
Brother Muhammad Husni is the host of this series. We have to keep in mind that the series was recorded some twenty years ago. So the statistics are a bit old.
In this episode “What Is Monotheism?“, Dr. Jamal Badawi focuses on five basic points.
First, it is a mistake to assume that every Muslim is an Arab. Not every Muslim is an Arab and not every Arab is a Muslim. To even tie Islam to the Middle East is also a misconception.
The Muslim population is close to one billions in all countries and places in the world. Arabs are actually a small minority among the Muslims.
The second main point covers the notion of religion as understood by Muslims. It is not just a matter that is restricted to the basic rituals or religious observations but rather an all-encompassing notion. Religion is a way of life that includes the social, economic and political aspects of life and it’s all integrated.
The third point that was discussed is the meaning of the term Islam itself. It is an attributive title. It is not just a name that is derived from the name of a person, a place, or locality. It is a name that carries within itself the meaning of Islam. The word Islam means, in Arabic, to achieve inner and outer peace as well as peace in the community and the world at large by submitting oneself to the Will of God and the obedience of His command.
Within this kind of basic definition of Islam, following the path of God, we said that all prophets, throughout history actually preached the same kind of basic Islam and that it was simply fulfilled and completed with the advent of prophet Muhammad.
We concluded not only that Mohammedanism is a mistaken and offensive name for Islam but the fact that all the prophets were brothers, preaching for the same God, and those who sincerely follow them are also regarded as following the same basic path of Islam.
The fourth point went over the definition of a Muslim. Based on the definition of Islam, we can say that a Muslim is one who commits himself to live in accordance with the teachings, commands, and guidance of God as derived from the revelation.
Being a Muslim is not just a title that someone can claim or pay lip service to. A true Muslim is one who actively follows the path of Islam.
The fifth and final point covered is this universal outlook of Islam towards prophets and towards followers of other faiths would provide a very good foundation, a very good beginning, to remove or demolish the barriers of fanaticism, prejudice and stereotypes which are sometimes propagated by mistaken sources which prevents the Islamic faith in its true perspective.
This should provide, hopefully, more cooperation between the various people following different prophets (who are all considered Muslims in Islam) for the good of all.
Listen to this episode in which Dr. Jamal Badawi answers the following questions:
Is every Muslim an Arab? Is every an Arab a Muslim? What is Islam? Who is a Muslim? What is religion? Who is Muhammad? How does Islam view other religions?
About Dr. Jamal Badawi
Dr. Jamal Badawi is an Egyptian born Muslim Canadian. He is a former professor who taught at a number of schools including the Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he taught in the Departments of Religious Studies and Management.
He is a well-known author, activist, preacher and speaker on Islam. Dr. Badawi completed his undergraduate studies in Cairo, Egypt and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
Dr. Jamal Badawi is the author of many books and articles on Islam. In addition, he researched, designed and presented a 352 segment television series on Islam, which was shown in many local TV stations in Canada, the US and as well as other countries all over the world. Audio and video copies of this series are widely available throughout the world.
Dr. Jamal Badawi also actively participates in lectures, seminars and interfaith dialogues in North America. He was invited as a guest speaker in various functions throughout the world. Additionally, he is active in several Islamic organizations, including Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He is the founder/chairman of the Islamic Information Foundation, which is a non-profit foundation seeking to promote a better understanding of Islam and the Muslims.
Currently, he is the Vice-Chairman of the Islamic University. Dr. Badawi is the father of 5 and grandfather of 12 children.