Bilal Phillips: “If you think US is great, Trump will burst that bubble for you!”

By Mahadhir Monihuldin

GOMBAK, 13 November 2016: The IIUM SHAS Mosque received a visit of a globally known scholar, speaker and author of Islam–Bilal Phillips – as people were seated in a wide circle to listen to the Jamaican-Canadian’s lecture on the subject ‘Practicing Islam in Modern Society’.

The lecture which took place on Wednesday, 9 November, was organised by IIUM’s SRC and Imaratul Masjid Group. It began with a gentleman introducing Bilal Phillips to the floor to commence the lecture.

Bilal Phillips started things off by asking the audience to reflect on the title of the lecture itself, ‘Practicing Islam in Modern Society’, and how it implies as though there are other ways to practise Islam aside from the way it was during Prophet Muhammad’s time. To Bilal Phillips, there are no other ways at all.

“There is no such thing as modern Islam, or liberal Islam, or whatever else. There is only Islam,” he shared.

According to Bilal Phillips, the Sunnah of the Prophet represents the method to practise Islam in all times, not only one. Yet, he feels that in the age we are currently living in, Muslims have strayed away from that methodology.

He stated, “We have created circumstances which are different from the Islam of the Prophet, the Sahabah, the Tabi’in, the Tabi’ al-Tabi’in.”

Thus, his solution on how Muslims should approach life today, in a nutshell, is to look back at yesterday, to turn back to the sacred books of the past and study the Islam of the Prophet’s time. He feels that the blueprint is all there.

From then onward, he began placing direct attention to the Muslim students of IIUM, saying that IIUM students should make their studies in the university as an ibadah to God. He defines ibadah as doing that which is pleasing to Allah S.W.T and avoiding that which displeases Him.

“A degree is merely a means to a goal. If your goal is pleasing to Allah S.W.T, then good. If it is displeasing to Him, then bad,” he said.

It is then that the subject of Western culture, as well as Donald Trump, was brought to the forefront. Bilal Phillips strongly believes that the West has made secularism their most prized religion. An excess of freedom has been ravishing the land all over, he said.

However, he also stated that many people from foreign countries have the tendency to place Western countries on a pedestal. Many of them, instead of giving assistance to their very own country, would opt to leave it behind in pursuit for a life overseas.

But nonetheless, before ending his lecture for good, he shared that he thinks this phenomenon will soon come to an end.

“If you think America is great, Trump will burst that bubble for you!” he exclaimed with enthusiasm.

“The West is scared of us, the ummah is rising, and you need to be there to help.”

Asked on his thoughts on how Muslims should handle Islamophobic treatment, especially now that Donald Trump has become President of the United States and will be dominating media headlines, he said, “It doesn’t change. The issue is still about the media, and through various elements of the media, we need to be actively involved in presenting the case of Islam globally.” ***

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