"On Logic, Justice and Obeying Unjust Rulers"

Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl begins by reminding that Islam is a theology of logic and common sense, and describes what it means when God tells us that God is with us, but that there are rules--like the laws of nature, the laws of gravity or the laws of causation--as to what God will and will not bless or partake in when it comes to human actions. He reminds of what actions would cause a severance from the divine. Returning to the foundations of the faith from the time of the Prophet, he reminds that Islam was created on a foundation of justice, which is at the heart and core of belief. He explains why Islam is the only faith that makes philosophical sense, and is the only religion that is consistent with the theoretical principles of justice. He emphasizes the Prophet Muhammad's demand upon his companions to always speak the truth and not remain silent in the face of injustice; and compares this to modern day demands of leaders of Muslim countries upon Muslims to remain silent before injustice. He elaborates on why Muslims today have become confused and blinded to the light of justice to the point that injustices no longer evoke any meaningful response from Muslims; and why God will not bless or partake in the failure to stand for justice. He points out that the silver lining in the rise of Islamophobia is that it is easy to identify those on the righteous path--those Islamic scholars and activists whom the Islamophobes target and attack most viciously. Conversely, those Islamic scholars and activists whom are praised by Islamophobes, or at a minimum, not attacked or mentioned are those to avoid. He reminds us that law is for lawyers and jurists, but that the core of Islam--the core of justice, beauty, and mercy--can be accessed through the power of reason and truth, and ultimately we will all stand before God in the Hereafter to answer for our own actions. Delivered 5 July 2019.

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