Muslims in Australia

The speech of His Eminence Prof Ibrahim Abu Mohammed the Grand Mufti of Australia

Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohammed The speech of His Eminence Prof Ibrahim Abu Mohammed the Grand Mufti of Australia on the occasion of Islamic Studies Master Degree graduates at Charles Sturt University on Sat 14 Dec 2013.

Brothers and sisters

Celebrations in Australia tend to take on a different feel.
For example, we celebrate our freedom every time we go to the polls.
We also celebrate innovation and science when our students graduate every year.

Today’s celebration however, besides being a celebration of academic achievement, is also Australia’s celebration of its religious and intellectual Multiculturalism, a great value that opens up a world of knowledge and experiences that once formed a great civilization built upon the highest values of humanity, one that still lives in love and tolerance for all mankind with three principles.

One: That all humankind are from the one origin, and that their Lord is one, so they are essentially brothers.
Two: That they must work towards understanding each other.
Third: This whole universe was created for them, making them partners in ownership of it.

These principles also require three conditions for their intellectual basis to be achieved:
1-That their ethos be divinely inspired
2-That it be humanity oriented, to help and better the lives of others.
3-That it be global in its horizon, so that it is not hindered by lines on a map, nor by abstract group designations

Here we find ourselves in front of a new paradigm of knowledge and education, one that is built on an insight and awareness that brings together the tools and the objectives to reach great achievements. For man in his intellectual inception to understand the world will surely need to learn to read, and that is basis of knowledge.
But we ask ourselves, when we start to read, in whose name shall we begin?
Should we begin in the name of a nation? A people? A party? A certain ethnicity or language?

Now, since the first instant of the arrival of the message of divine inspiration, the words of God came clear without doubt. A path was presented to seek knowledge without the narrow filters of national or geographic boundaries.
A path that takes mankind high above the petty mob mentalities based on those designations.
For that reason, the divine words came to us clear and strong, the instruction given that the recitation and the reading to be in the name of Allah, and no one else.

Read in the name of your Lord who created –
Created man from a clinging substance.
Read, and your Lord is the most Generous –
Who taught by the pen –
Taught man that which he knew not

You may notice two very important issues here:
1-Islam is a religion whose proof and miracle is a book, the first word of which is revealed to be “Read”
2-The act of reading here is connected to the Lord that created. The Lord of all mankind, not of any chosen people, but all people.

Such a clear and inclusive designation achieves a number of goals

1-It creates a sound basis for equality that protects mankind from any attempt at legitimising arrogance or racism, this is contrasted by the magnitude of destruction and injustice we see in history that is the result of this racism.
Masters and Slaves
Global North and South
The rich and the poor

2-It makes for an assurance of freedom of the word, and of the pen, together.
The word of truth will not please the tyrant. Rather it takes its natural place standing up for justice, supporting the downtrodden and taking the side of the fighters for righteousness and justice.
The Pen is alongside the Word in maintaining its honour by not justifying injustice, not making excuses for tyrants and not trampling over the rights of victims.

The Pen refuses to be a tool in the hands of tyrants, death dealers and criminals now and before.
It will refuse to paint corruption and deviancy in the garb of freedom.
It will refuse to describe the police state as a necessary security measure.

Within this value paradigm of the Word of Truth and Pen, They cease to exist, those countless tools of falsehood and obfuscation, those shallow tabloids, sensationalist newspapers and the like, that trade in lies, vice and corrupt ideas, creating a class of mindless drones leading the rest of us in a rollercoaster of dangerous decisions.

That is how knowledge founded upon the service and betterment of mankind, when it starts in the name of Allah, free from bias and partisanship, it can then rise above trivial divisions to become a body of knowledge for mankind, with a divine source and purpose.
The guiding light for mankind in this Islamic vision is a universal mission, it goes beyond the divisions we know today. It is universal in every sense

It is a body of knowledge that grants the Muslim an awareness of the incredible beauty of the diversity of creation, and goes beyond that to all facets of creation and its miraculous beauty

It sees in the rose a beauty not be destroyed
In values, a beauty not to be bartered
In freedom, a beauty not to be taken away
In Justice, a beauty never to set
In dignity, a beauty never to be shamed
In equality, a beauty not to be disturbed
In brotherhood, a beauty not to be lost
In steadfastness, a beauty not to be tainted
In Honour, a beauty not to be threatened
In Dignity, a beauty not to be taken away
In hard work, a beauty never to be degraded
In human innovation, a beauty not to be wasted
In establishing the earth and bettering the lives of others, a beauty not to be neglected
In Scientific innovation, a beauty not to be forgotten
In human achievement, a beauty not to be wasted
In humanity, a beauty not to be humiliated
In childhood, a beauty not to be terrorised,
And finally in the protection of people and their wealth a beauty not to be aggressed upon

And as such, the vision of which we speak expands to recognize and protect the values of beauty in everything, and it is up to us to spread the spirit of this vision and bring forth justice and betterment to mankind, and to work towards putting an end to the failed corrupt value paradigms of the past.

Thank you All and Assalamu Alykum Wa Rahmatu ALLAH.

Prof Ibrahim Abu Mohammed 
The Grand Mufti of Australia

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