“O you who believe, be aware of Allah, and speak only the truth.” (Qur’an 33:70)
This entry is really directed at my Muslim readers. We as Muslims must always represent the faith traditions truthfully and never intentionally misrepresent any other faith tradition.
Recently our Shaykh Hamza Yusuf was in Malaysia and he said something on a nationwide television program that was truly unjust to Hindus and their cherished faith tradition.
@16: 24 Shaykh Hamza Yusuf says,
“Like Hinduism is specific to the Hindus. There’s a Verna system..of…of..it’s ethnically determined. The Brahman, The Kshatriya, The Vaishya, The Dalit, and Shudra peoples. So this is very much an ethnic ah religion.”
He is contrasting Hindusim which according to Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s understanding was only for groups. This is to be contrasted with Islam which according to Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is universal.
I am not an expert in Hinduism by far. That being said I know that what Shaykh Hamza Yusuf said about the Christian tradition is certainly far off base. The great commission in Matthew 28:18-20. Rather we think Christianity is universal is beside the point. The Christian faith tradition certainly sees itself as universal.
So I asked madam Yogeswari a friend in Singapore who is part of the Hindu Faith Hub, a practicing Hindu and an endearing woman of faith concerning Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s comments.
So this is the response from K Kathirasan Director of the Hindu Faith Hub whom madam Yogeswari spoke with:
In other words, they do see their faith tradition as a universal faith.
Now Shaykh Hamza Yusuf may be able to make such statements about Hindusim or Christianity but they are based upon ignorance. In Malaysia, he can go on a news network and makes such claims but in Singapore that would be detrimental to the social cohesion of our nation. Such views and perspectives would best be kept to himself. Or at the very least he should educate himself on the perspectives of other people’s cherished faith traditions and not be so presumptuous.
May Allah (swt) continue to bless and guide Shaykh Hamza Yusuf (and all of us) where we are correct. May Allah (swt) continue to forgive and correct Shaykh Hamza Yusuf (and all of usu) where we stumble and err.