It’s not often that logic and science are used to explain religion.
International guest speaker Abdullah Al Andalusi delivered a lecture on Friday entitled “Message Delivered,” which explained the purpose of Islam, the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, the Qur’an, and applying Islam to life.
Those in attendance appreciated what Al Andalusi had to say.
“I’ve been studying Islam for eight years, and a friend suggested that I come [to the lecture],” said Brandy Leippi. “I actually quite enjoyed it; it gave me a lot of perspective on things that other friends won’t answer.”
Roya Nabi, a member of the Muslim Students’ Association found that the speaker took a different approach to explaining Islam.
“I found that he took a very spiritual approach to it,” she said. “I liked that he talked about God and His characteristics rather than Islam, and its applications, because a lot of times the application of Islam is talked about rather than forming that foundation. That’s why I really liked it; he started from the ground up.”
Al Andalusi spoke about how events that occurred in the Qu’ran, the sacred word of God to Muslims, can be scientifically proven.
In the question and answer period, logic came into play. A member of the audience said that an Atheist friend had asked, “If God is all-powerful, can He make a rock that is too large for even Him to lift?”
Al Andalusi responded saying that in Islam, Muslims believe there is only one God with unlimited abilities. If He were to create another God with unlimited powers, it would, in turn, limit God’s powers. In some religions, Al Andalusi explained, there are Gods who are defined by what they can do, and one God who leads them. But in Islam, there is only one powerful God.
“We wanted to defend the name of the Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him. In wake of recent events, his name has been thrown around a lot as a result of bad films that have been made, etc. I know some people ask who is this guy and why do Muslims like him so much? We wanted to dedicate this week to defending his name.” – Mhmoud Essalah.
“Message Delivered” was the final lecture in a week-long collaboration between the University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University, to raise awareness about Islam. Five lectures were held from Monday to Friday, with each university rotating lecturers.
“The theme for this year is called ‘Passion for the Messenger,’” said Muslim Students’ Association president Mhmoud Essalah. “We wanted to defend the name of the Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him. In wake of recent events, his name has been thrown around a lot as a result of bad films that have been made, etc. I know some people ask who is this guy and why do Muslims like him so much? We wanted to dedicate this week to defending his name.”
Lectures during the rest of the week covered topics such as “Family Matters” about how the Prophet Muhammad treated and interacted with his family to “Revolutionary Justice,” discussing the application of Shariah Law and the economic impacts that this could have on the global issue of wealth. Adopting an Islamic economic model, the speaker suggested, would ensure that 10 per cent of the population would not own 80 to 90 per cent of the world’s wealth.
“If people adopted an Islamic economic plan, because Islam is very comprehensive – it’s a way of life – it covers everything from how to sleep to how to run a society,” Essalah said. “[Uneven distribution of wealth] would not be the case if an Islamic economic model was adopted.”
Essalah said the purpose of Islam Awareness Week each year is to educate people who are ignorant of the religion. He added that this ignorance is often generated by the media.
“Media sensationalizes and generalizes all Muslims,” he said. “That’s what Islam Awareness Week tends to do. We tell people that’s not the case, we show them that’s not the case. You can take it from these people who don’t know what they’re talking about or you can take it from a person who’s been studying it [their] entire life.”
The lectures during Islam Awareness Week were recorded and will be available online in the near future at iaw2013.com.
Photo by Kristen McEwen