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Differentiating on Creed

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by CouncilofUlama.co.za

Q: I heard the speaker during the Friday sermon in the Musjid saying that we Muslims do not differentiate on the basis of a person’s race, colour or creed. I though the very basis of our difference with the non-Muslims is our belief system. Please comment.

A: It is a sad reflection and indictment on our Muslim society that some of us desire to emulate the ways of the non-Muslims. In South Africa, society in general is attempting to undue the evil effects of apartheid, and rightfully so. In this climate those higher up in the societal hierarchy have coined “Politically Correct” phrases such as: “We are a nation that does not discriminate on the basis of race, colour or creed”. These are apparent clichés that are bandied around and have become buzzwords. Stemming from an inferiority complex, some of the speakers in the Musjids want to play catch up and show that they are also very Politically Correct. In an attempt to demonstrate how they are in line with the new South Africa, they regurgitate these often heard stock-phrases and buzzwords. Little do they realise the implication of their blind emulation.

“Creed” means a belief system. Perhaps many of these speakers are unaware of this. Islam distinctly and emphatically distinguishes between various belief systems. Reward and salvation in the Hereafter is based on correct beliefs in line with Islam. All other belief systems are rejected. This is the implicit meaning of the Kalimah, the most fundamental declaration of Islam.

We as Muslims do differentiate on the basis of Creed. We believe that the only creed acceptable to our Creator – the Creator of all mankind – Allah Ta’ala, is the creed of Islam.

The notion that all creeds are equally acceptable is illogical. One belief system propagates that, for example, Jesus is god. The other system rejects this. Simple logic demands that when there are two mutually exclusive claims, only one can be true and correct, and the other false. Similarly the various religions have many totally opposite tenets of faith. All these systems of belief therefore cannot be equal. The one is accepted to be correct, and the others rejected.

Whilst Muslims have discovered Islam to be correct and all other religions to be mistaken, at the same time Islam respects the rights of other human beings to practice their own religious beliefs despite their error. In brief, we do not respect their religions but respect their right to practice on their religions. This distinction is crucial.

And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

This answer was collected from CouncilofUlama.co.za, which is operated under the supervision of Council of Ulama Eastern Cape, South Africa.

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