Prof Tariq Ramadhan : In the steps of the prophet.

Salam Alayk.Some notes from the talk by Professor Tariq Ramadhan (the grandson of Hassan Al-Banna)- In The Footsteps of The Prophet : How Muslims Should Contribute to the World. These are not his exact words ya, it’s what i jotted down. Please correct me if there are any wrong information. :)

My notes:
  • Prof Tariq began his talk by asking ‘What we are doing? In what way are we following the footsteps of the prophet?’..
  • We are the best community? Then we should show it from our behavior! We read the Quran sometimes very superficially.The prophet helps us get the message of the Quran. Now, it’s human’s responsibility to live by it and spread it around.
  • What’ll happen to those who didn’t know about it (Islam/Quran/the prophet)? Our responsibility is to reach out. What happens to them and all, we’ll just have to leave it to Allah.
  • It’s very easy to condemn others and neglect our responsibility.
  • “You have in the prophet the best example” [Surah Al-Ahzab 33:21]. This is the essence of the messenger. Why? Because the prophet is a human with best behaviour. The prophet was known as Sadiqul Al-Amin (“the truthful and the trustworthy”) even before he became a prophet. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. is a mercy to all mankind. He was consistent in what he says & what he does. Why you are saying what you’re not doing?
  • Our relationship with Allah should not be based on fear. It should be about communication & about communicating with Him. Not to say Allah sees our mistakes (only) but Allah is close to our INTENTIONS. This is Ihsan, the highest level of faith.
  • He’s welcoming your quests. Just turn to Him. Respond to Allah’s call. Don’t follow rules without understanding. Our relationship with Allah is a love story.
  • In life, you’ll face contradiction between your faith & the problems that come in your way. This is normal, this is not hypocrisy. When you struggle to uphold the faith, that’s sincerity. When you’re happy with the contradiction, that’s HYPOCRISY.
  • The steps of the prophet (that we should follow):
    1. Principles
    2. Consistency
    3. Objectives
  • It’s worthless to come tonight and be the same person the next morning.
  • Why are the early surahs (in the Quran) short?
    1. Short but with deep meaning.
    2. The surahs are about nature & creation.
    3. Allah’s calling the prophet by asking him to look around. Look at nature with a new way, look at it as if it’s a gift.
  • Nature IS a gift, it’s not a property. Say thank you, it’s from Ar-Rahman (The Merciful). If you can’t, then it’s not your eyes that are blind, it’s your heart! Your relationship with nature is the one that deepens your relationship with Allah. The way you look at nature is the way you look at yourself. Ignore nature, you’ll start ignoring yourself.
  • Change the way you look at poor people. They are neglected by the powerful ones but celebrated by the believers. The prophet respects the poor. The way you’re loved by the poor is the sign you’re loved by the One.
    Are you following the negligence of the society or the requirement of the One?
  • Be good to the young ones. There’s no way to be close to God if you’re not close to your kids.
  • Change the way you look at things and give meaning to everything.
  • Respect your parents. Your parents are your way to Paradise. No way to be close to God if you’re not loving and caring towards your parents.
  • The best among us is the one who’s best in his God-consciousness.
  • Racist attitude is not from Islam. Fight it off.
  • Look at nature, differences, women, poor people, kids etc differently.
  • There’s a difference in understanding with your mind and understanding with your heart:
    1.With Mind: source of arrogance.
    2. With Heart: source of humility.
  • Behave accordingly.Not only acknowledging the presence of Allah but trusting Him, loving Him. 1st thing from Islam is Rahmah (Sympathy, mercy, compassion, kindness.).
  • Understand the prophet’s akhlak(behaviour), his ethical characteristics.  He was an indicator. He showed us not to take the harshest way but the right one. Islam is not about being harsh, it’s about being right.
  • Misconceptions:
    1. When it’s against the West, it’s right.
    2. When it’s difficults, it’s Islamic.
  • As to the principle, follow the rules, pray as the prophet did. However,don’t stress on the rules only, but on the akhlak too. The prophet was full of tenderness, love and compassion.
  • What to take from our beloved prophet?
    1. Confidence : Not to not doubt yourself but not to doubt Allah. If you think you can’t change the world alone, with Allah – you can. Turn to Allah and be confident, you’ll prevail.
    2. Trust : Put your trust is this community, though they’re divided. The prophet said trust it ‘cause they’ll not agree on something that’s wrong. It’s not perfect but it’s the link between us, the prophet and Allah.
    3. Ambition : Change the world. We can WITH Allah’s help. Be humble with our power but ambitious with what we should do.
    4.Courage: It’s the ability to speak truth in front of a tyrant! Speak out for justice!
  • Remember to connect: The specificity in Islam is “La ila haillallah” (There is no god but Allah).
  • “If my servants ask you about me, say I’m very close” [Al Baqarah 2:186]. O mankind, we came from the same source, one God, & one humanity & so we’re equal. The best among us is the one who’s deep in his faith. There should be balance between humanity and this life & the hereafter. Care about humanity. Islam is about feeling good here (with the right principles) and preparing yourself for your hereafter. Connect tauhid and humanity. Our message is for all, spread it.
  •  What’s our contribution towards the world? There’s is no humanity without education. The first education is to change the way we look (at things). Stress on meaning not on rituals only.
  • Connect knowledge and understanding. Nurture deep understanding.
  • Look at all education systems, take the good ones. We need an efficient system not only to produce educated citizens but to have dignified citizens.
  • We have to face the fact that it’s difficult to be equipped to face the challenges in our time. Face it and work on it.
  • Where do we put our knowledge and competence? To where we can receive more money or to where we can contribute most to our community?
  • The concept of khilafah; Remember these creations (everything around you), you’re not owning them, these are things you’ll be held accountable for. You’ll be held accountable for what you’ve done to your body, nature,etc.
  • Remember that this life is limited. One day you’re gonna die and you’ll be asked on what do not own and on your life. That time, you’ll be alone. Everyone will come back to Allah, alone. If you wanna have a good life, don’t forget that you’ll die.Don’t avoid thinking about death but at the same time, don’t forget your share in life.
  • We need to serve humanity. Show solidarity to all and not distinguishing between one religion and another. A victim is a victim despite his/her religion. We won’t do this; “tell me your religion and I’ll see if I’ll help you”.It’s not money that makes up justice. It’s not the market that decides whether we should stand up or not.
  • Where we are in the discussion of global warming?  GLOBAL WARMING is the humanity not upholding the concept of khilafah(showing respect to the Creator).
  • Ramadhan – is resistance to consumerism. SCHOOL FOR EVERYONE. Eat less and think more.
  • What are the Asian muslims producing in arts, imaginations, architectures, etc? Where is your culture? Where is your creativity?
  • The prophet is a person of few words but deep meaning.
  • Do NOT have the mentality of a victim.  The only fact that you’re asking ‘is God loving me?’ means you’re not far from God. It means Allah is within the question. Stand up and act against your own sense of guilt and helplessness. He still loves you. Learn to forgive yourself. Be full of Rahmah; start with yourself. Be compassionate to yourself.
  • Spread rahmah, spread forgiveness. Forgive before you judge!
  • Take good care of yourself. Take time for your heart, body and mind. Spread love, say it out and repeat it. “I love you for the sake of Allah”.

That’s it. May we all benefit from this sharing. :)


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