Posted by abuaisha on July 13, 2008
Some time ago I sat through a
Jumu’ah Khutbah which while for the most part was good and beneficial, one
thing that I heard from the Khateeb sounded a bit odd. This Masjid (or
university musalla rather) was known to on occasion produce some weird khateebs
however what this one said struck me as amazingly odd, for it was not true what
he had said and was rather irresponsible, or at least that’s how I felt when I
heard it. Usually Jumu’ah khutbas are known for ‘playing it safe’, its when the
khateeb will address general issues and will not stray away from the generally
expected themes of every other Jumu’ah.
What struck me almost immediately was that this person was telling us to correct the way that non-Muslims were pronouncing an Arabic word (ie. Muslim) yet he himself was doing the exact same thing before us! The word ‘Zulm‘ in Arabic doesn’t have any meaning, for the word which he meant to refer to is Dhulm. The verb z-l-m itself does hold certain meanings, most of which are rather positive, and as for مزلم (muzlim) it translates as ‘binding’. So our imaginary non-Muslim friend has actually not referred to us as oppressors, at worst he has called us ‘binding’, and to be honest I’d be confused rather than offended.
As for the word ‘oppressor’, in Arabic we take the word ظلم (oppression) and then make it into ظالم (Dhālim) to mean oppressor. And hey, to be honest, even if somebody not knowingly called me that I wouldn’t chastise him and ask him to apologise for it.
So I guess the first lesson in this is that especially when giving a Jumu’ah Khutbah or a public talk on Islām, we should always check our facts before saying anything lest we are wrong in what we say! How often do we hear something or read in an e-mail some amazing little fact such as this, yet we at times make no attempts to verify it. We should make further effort to perfect our Tajweed and pronunciation of Arabic words and also improve our Arabic language so that we might be able to access the wealth of knowledge lying hidden away in the libraries of the world. We can also learn that in giving Da’wah we must have wisdom. As Allāh says in the Qur’ān -
I hope that this might help in contributing to rectifying this Muslim urban legend, and that it will serve to benefit us and others in a good way. May Allāh bless you and and may we be thankful that he has made us of those who submit unto him (Muslims
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