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Sermon from pulpit of the Zagreb mosque
IT IS NOT A DEFEAT TO CEDE BEFORE A BROTHER, FOR THE LOVE OF UNITY
Autor: Dr. Mustafa Cerić, reisu-l-ulema (1993 - 2012)
Objavljeno: 19. Apr 2009. 08:04:12
Dr. Mustafa ef. CERIĆ: It is, of course, important that we are able to study the universal map, but it is equally important to read the particular map of our path in life, upon which map the Zagreb mosque is of distinct visibility. Yes, it is so - we are here today to state clearly and loudly: the Zagreb mosque, the Islamic Community and the Bosniak community in Croatia are an inseparable part of our joint distinct religious, cultural and national identity.
Reisu-l-ulema, Dr. Mustafa Ceric, led the mid-day prayer in the Zagreb mosque today and delivered a sermon.

To think life is just as to study a map before journey


Dear brothers and sisters,

In the Holy Qur’an, Allah The Eminent says: Allah will not change the status of a people until the people themselves change!

Life without a vision and a strong principle is subject to happenstance. It means that it is dependent upon goals and decisions of somebody else and not of the person living that life. A life worth living has clear goals, which the individual consciously and conscientiously chooses and actualizes in the complex web of social and historical happenings. A well thought-out life is based upon a system of values which offers orientation in space and time. To think life is just as to study a map before journey
Naturally, studying a map does not equal journey, yet with studying we discern the path which leads us to our goal. A man who does not think his own life is like a traveler without a map roaming the world, and wherever he turns the probability of being on the right path equals that of being on the wrong path. If he is on the right path, but unaware of that, then it has no proper value. If he is, however, on the wrong path and unaware of that, then he is on the path of extinction.

A map of life is the book of God

So, a man living his life without thinking is left to happenstance, which makes him aimless, insecure and unhappy. It is, therefore, important to have a map of our path of life and, naturally, it is important that we are able to read that map. Of course, the Creator and Lord of life best knows what life is and what its needs are. It is, therefore, that the best map of life is the one offered by the Creator and Lord of everything that exists. That map are the words of God (ayet) as signs upon the path of life. A map is the book of God - Qur’an which needs to be studied and from it learn that the meaning of human life is in accepting a system of beliefs which holds promoting of good and preventing of evil. - You were the best people in history - it is said in the Holy Qur’an - when you promoted good and prevented evil and when you had a dependable trust in God... (Qur’an, 3:110).

That is the essence of the message of Islam - trust in God as a motive to promote moral values without which there is neither human success nor human salvation. Nothing can replace the moral demands of chastity, honesty, truthfulness, justice, tolerance, co-existence and mercy, just as nothing can justify the immoral acts of shamelessness, corruptness, lies, injustice, intolerance, violence and lack of compassion for human suffering and pain. That is a universal system of moral values over which no one has monopoly but everyone has an opportunity to achieve success in this world and salvation in the other world byway of adopting moral values.

To relinquish own interests for the common good is not a defeat

At first sight, victory and defeat are the two sides of a medal which need one another so that both make sense. Yet, it is not always that way. There are defeats which are not followed by victories and there are victories which are not consequences of defeat. Certain defeats are, indeed, victories. To cede before a brother, for the sake of love of unity, is not a defeat. To relinquish own interests for the common good is not a defeat.
To let a better and more productive one lead in the sphere common interests is not a defeat but a victory of universal significance. Therefore the idea of good and useful defeats - from which a man learns, where a man cedes and allows that better solution prevails for the common good - ought not be thrown away but promoted. To accept a more convincing argument and to devote oneself to legitimate rights of another is not a defeat but true victory.

Faith alone is not sufficient to save human soul

Further, faith alone is not sufficient to save human soul as it is a simple mental realization of the unquestionable force which rules the world, but it is important to have conscience about man’s responsibility for the general state of the world. Some find faith in God acceptable as an essential psychological need, but do not accept the idea of the life after as being inseparable part of faith in responsibility before God, which presupposes reward or punishment because of moral or immoral way of life. Nothing new in human understanding of world and life, as the Mashriqs of Mecca did not negate existence of God or more gods. They just negated the possibility of a renewed living after death; they just negated any responsibility before Eminent God:

- So when we die and we become dust and bones, will we really be brought to life? We and our predecessors were threatened by that, but those are just inventions of the people of the old? Ask: “Whose Earth is it and all that exists in it, do you know?” “Allah’s”, they will reply and then you say: “So why don’t you come to?” Ask: “Who is the Lord of the seven heavens and who is the Lord of the magnificent universe?” “Allah”, they will reply, and you say: “So why are you not afraid?” Ask: “In whose hand is the power over all, and who takes into protection, and from whom nobody can be protected, do you know that?” “From Allah”, they will say, and you say: “So why then do you allow being misguided?” (Qur’an, 23:82-89)

Modern man thinks and speaks in a similar way. He actually lives and behaves as if there is no God. He thinks that he can deny responsibility for his crimes. These are his sins today: education without nurturing; business without ethics; wealth without work; enjoyment without consciousness and conscience; politics without principles; faith without morality; society without family.

Therefore, it is not the financial but moral crisis which burdens the world today. Greed to increase wealth by way of work of others is not a financial problem but a problem of man’s insatiable soul. That problem can not be solved with money nut can be solved by moral consciousness and conscience. Problem is not in the lack of knowledge or information, but it is in nurturing good will in man. Politics as such is not a problem but the problem is behaviour devoid of principles on behalf of those who have power and force. Problem is not in faith but in those who think that faith without morality is possible. No, that has never been possible, just as morality without faith is not possible. Therefore faith as such is beyond question today, but questionable are those who use faith in order to justify their immorality.

Only with faith and morality can the world improve

Only with faith and morality can the world improve so that we will have education with nurturing; business with ethics; wealth with work; politics with principles; society with family.

Dear brothers and sisters, it is always easier to talk about a universal rather than a particular map of our path in life. It is especially easy for us Muslims in Europe and the Balkans to talk about that which is far rather than this which is here and close. As whenever we speak about what ails us here and now it comforts us that we do not have the right to meddle in the politics of own destiny although all others have meddled in crafting a measure which does not have to fit us but must be acceptable to them.

It is, of course, important that we are able to study the universal map, but it is equally important to read the particular map of our path in life, upon which map the Zagreb mosque is of distinct visibility. Yes, it is so - we are here today to state clearly and loudly: the Zagreb mosque, the Islamic Community and the Bosniak community in Croatia are an inseparable part of our joint distinct religious, cultural and national identity.

Bosniaks and Croats must improve their partnership

It is of great importance for the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina that the status of Muslims in Croatia be equal, that religious, cultural and national characteristics of Bosniaks are respected and that the role of the Bosniak community in Croatia in terms of improving of the Croatian-Bosniak relations be stepped up from where it is today. Bosniaks and Croats must improve their partnership in every aspect as they refer to one another not just because of geographical but also historical reasons among which those of utmost import are the right and liberty to own cultural and national identity.

Therefore, we must have a map of life which our children will be able to read so that they take the right path and not the wrong path which may take them to genocide.

Our path in life must be thought out upon principles of a system of values which strengthen our togetherness and unity as without that there is no salvation for us.

Therefore, a sign of unity in faith and love, which sign none of us must lose sight of wherever he is, must be written into the map of our path in life.

Allah Almighty, strengthen us in our purpose to always be in Your mercy and Your reign!

Allah All-knowing, teach us to read Your signs upon path to success in this world, and our salvation in the other world!

Allah Merciful, pour Your blessings over us always and in every place!

Amin!



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