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CROSS-CULTURAL

DAWAH IN THE CONTEXT


OF ISLAMIC WORLDVIEW
Assoc Prof. Dr. Abdul Salam
Muhamad Shukri

Definition: Culture

the totality of socially transmitted behavior


patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all
other products of human work and thought
typical of a population or community at a
given time.
Cross-cultural dawah means carrying or
conveying the message of dawah across two
or more different cultures.
Important element in it is understanding
religious beliefs or worldview of others (the
called).
2

What is Worldview?

Known also as weltanschauung (German).


In Malay translated as pandangan dunia
but precisely pandangan hidup
Peter A. Angeles (1992:339)
1. The collection of beliefs (ideas,
images, attitudes, values) that an
individual or a group holds about things
such as the universe, humankind, God,
and the future.

2. A comprehensive outlook about life


and the universe from which one explains
and/or structures relationships and
activities.
Md. Salleh Yaspar (1985:253):
One of those terms used in socio-cultural
studies to conceptualize a peoples view
of themselves and the realities around
them.

What is Islamic Worldview?


Mohd. Kamal Hassan (1994:12)
[A] comprehensive conception of
the universe and mans relation to it
from the Islamic perspective,
thereby serving as a basis for ones
philosophy or outlook of life.

Islamic Worldview

Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas


(1995:1-2)
The vision of reality and truth that
appears before our minds eye revealing
what existence is all about; for it is the
world of existence in its totality that Islam
is projecting. Thus by worldview we
must mean ruyat al-islam li al-wujud.

Understanding the Belief of


the Called
1. After knowing all Islamic
principles and worldview especially
Islamic Aqidah, the dai should try
to understand and study the beliefs
of their audience.
2. The basic aspect which the dai
should know is about the
fundamental belief of the audience,
i.e. their religion.

Its Significance

1. Studying and knowing the belief of the


audience will help in setting a guideline
when preaching Islam to them and ensure
the dawah work running smoothly and
effectively.
The dai will not successful in performing
dawah works if they fail to understand
the culture especially beliefs system of
others.

2. This is because the inner belief


has a great implication to human
life. All his actions, way of thinking,
personalities, lifestyle and stand are
based on the belief.
3. Furthermore, issue pertaining to
belief is something sensitive to most
of the human being and societies.

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR


DEALING WITH THE CALLED

Conduct a study on the principles of other


religions and its basic values
Must avoid wrong information about other
religions
Study the commitment of the called to his
religion
Find an agreed values/principles/aims
between the different beliefs
Identify the similarities and differences of
your religion with others
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Cont.

Use varieties of methods in preaching and


decide the most appropriate methods
Discuss with them through good counsel
and dialogue
Explain Islam in a simple way
Give them ample time to think, to explain
and to defend their religion
Present the comparison between Islam and
other religions in all aspects of life, without
condemning or undermining their beliefs
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Religious Worldview of the


Called

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Judaism
Christianity
Hinduism
Buddhism
Chinese Religions
Sikhism
Orang Asli (Aborigines)
Others: Stand in the West
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1. Judaism

1. On God:
He is One and only One. Hear, O Israel: the
Lord our God, the Lord is One.
God as YHVH Absolute Being or Elohim judge

2. On the Universe:
The universe is self-created and God is the only
creative cause of existence. He is regarded as
the Creator of the heavens and earth. It was
created according to Gods will and for mans
use.
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3. On Man and life

Man is created in the image of God (Gen.


1:26; 5:21).
Mans proper response to life is piety and
reverence; not only before God but also
before his fellow man.
Judaism has never approved renunciation of
the world as path of piety.
Mans behaviour must also be governed from
the cradle to the grave by moral codes.
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Cont.

The good life consists of good deeds,


enjoyment of living, and love of fellowman.
Jews chosen people of God for his
mission, above other human being
Covenant with God; mutual obligations
- God has obligations to Jews
- Jews have obligations to God

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The Code of Holiness


(Judaism--fromLeviticus19)

1. You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am Holy!


2. Every one among you shall revere his father and his
mother. You shall rise up before the hoary head, and
honor the face of the old man.
3. You shall not deal, nor deal falsely, nor lie one to
another. And you shall not swear by my name falsely: I
am the Lord.
4. You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor defraud him.
The wages of him who is hired shall not abide with you all
night until the morrow.
5. You shall do no injustice in weight or in measure. Just
weights and measures shall you have.
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6. And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall
not wholly reap the corners of your field, not gather the
gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not glean your
vineyard, nor gather its fallen fruit; you shall leave them
for the poor and the stranger.
7. You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block
before the blind.
8. You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be
partial toward the person of the poor, not favor the person
of the mighty, but in righteousness shall you judge your
neighbor.
9. You shall not be a talebearer; neither shall you stand
idly by the blood of your neighbor.

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10. You shall not hate your brother in your heart, nor
shall you rebuke him so as to cause sin upon him.
11. You shall seek no vengeance, nor bear a grudge, but
you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
12. You shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence in my
sanctuary.
13. And when a stranger dwells in your land, you shall not
wrong him. The stranger among you shall be to you as
the home-born among you, and you shall love him as
yourself (
http://home.comcast.net/~mbacscoutsown/Core_Values.h
tm
).
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2. Christianity

1. On God:

Central teaching is the fatherhood concept of God


and Trinity

2. On Man and Life:

Every human as more than just a creature or


servant of God man was a child of God.
Jesus has complete union or oneness with the
Father (I am in the Father and the Father in me
John 14:11).
Nevertheless, the father is greater than I said
Jesus and I do as the Father has commanded me
(John 14:28-31).
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On Man and Life

The second central teaching of Christian is the


brotherhood of all men. Just as the Father
loves all men even so man love his fellow man.
Mans life is devoted to love and serve man
because it is also to love and serve the Father
(Matthew 25:24-46).
Salvation through Jesus Christ unity with Jesus
through Sacraments (baptism, confirmation,
confession, Holy Eucharist/Communion,
anointment of the sick, Holy orders/ordination,
marriage)

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The Roman Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, and in


Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was
born on the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary,
was crucified under Pontius Pilate and was
buried. The third day he rose from dead, he
ascended into heaven and sits on the right
hand of the Father from thence he will come to
Judge the quick and the dead, and in the Holy
Ghost, the Holy Church, the forgiveness of
sins, the resurrection of the body.

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Ten Commandments (Christianity


and Judaism Exodus 20:1-17)

1.IamtheLordyourGod;youshallhavenoothergods
beforeMe.
2.Youshallnotmakeforyourselfanidol,oranylikenessof
whatisinheavenaboveorontheearthbeneathorinthewater
undertheearth:youshallnotworshipthemorservethem.
3.YoushallnottakethenameoftheLordyourGodinvain,
fortheLordwillnotleavehimunpunishedwhotakesHis
nameinvain.
4.RemembertheSabbathday,tokeepitholy.
5.Honoryourfatherandyourmother,thatyourdaysmaybe
prolongedinthelandwhichtheLordyourGodgivesyou.
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Cont.

6.Youshallnotmurder.
7.Youshallnotcommitadultery.
8.Youshallnotsteal.
9.Youshallnotbearfalsewitnessagainstyour
neighbor.
10.Youshallnotcovetyourneighborshouse;you
shallnotcovetyourneighborswife,orhismale
servantorhisfemaleservantorhisoxorhisdonkeyor
anythingthatbelongstoyourneighbor.(
http://home.comcast.net/~mbacscoutsown/Core_Values.htm )
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3. Hinduism

1. On God:

God, the Absolute Reality and Universal Self is


known as Brahman.
Trimurthy: Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the
sustainer), Shiva (the destroyer)

2. On Man and life:

Man is seen in individual self (atman, self), the


innermost and unseen self of an individual, which
also includes his feeling, will power and self
consciousness.
Life is seen as karma (action) whether it is good or
bad.
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The present life is the result of past karma, and that


his future lives will be affected by his karma in the
present existence.
Thus, pain, suffering, sickness and any sort of illfortunes not regarded by the Hindu as an affliction
sent from God nor for that matter from Satan but as
the result of his evil karma in a past existence or
existences.
Hindu also believed in the doctrine of rebirth to life
on earth known as samsara.
If a man was born sudra, it was not because God or
fate had decreed it but because man had accrued bad
karma in his previous life and deserved no better lot.
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Caste System:
Brahmins: scholars, priests, learned,
teaches Vedas
Khsatriya: rulers, armies, learn Vedas
Vaisyas: middle class, professionals,
learn only Smriti scriptures
Sudras:laborers, servants,
Harijans (outcastes): beggars, sub
castes

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3. On Universe:
No eternal retribution in heaven or hell.
Karma Samsara, rebirth/the cycle of life
Seek to be liberated from karma, to
achieve Mokhsa
Mokhsa state either

Unity with Brahma, no rebirths


Join gods in mood, long life, but reborn back into
caste system

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Core Values
Brahmanism
Thisisthesumofduty:Donotdotoothers
whichwouldcauseyoupainifdonetoyou.
Hinduism
Oneshouldnotbehavetowardsothersina
waywhichisdisagreeabletooneself. (

http://home.comcast.net/~mbacscoutsown/Core_Values.htm)

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4. Buddhism

1. On God:

No clear concept of God

2. On Existence and Life:

World/ Life is maya -an illusion


The characteristics of existence are the three signs
of being, namely anicca, dukkha and anatta.
All aggregates, compounded things, compounds or
formations will be found to annica, subject to change, and
dukkha, inseparable from suffering in one form or
another, and all things whatsoever, even though we call
them elements and not compounds will be found to be
anatta, meaning devoid of a separate self. (Humphreys,
192:27)
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Cont.

Their relation: All things are anicca. All beings, and


in particular mankind are dukkha (the opposite of
sukkha).
Why? Mans false belief in self, the illusion of
separation. While in the illusion of annata, anicca
cause man dukkha.

3. Philosophy of life: All things are changing.

Karma, the universal law of re-birth, is the mode of


change, for better or worse to the next stage in
the process.
Nirvana liberation from rebirths, through personal
effort, state of bliss
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The Four Noble Path:

(1)All existence is dukkha - suffering or


unhappiness.
(2)The cause of dukkha is tanha - ones selfish
desire or attachment to life which springs from the
illusion of self.
(3)The way to escape from dukkha is by
eliminating all selfish craving and desire (rejection
of life and existence).
(4)The way to attain non-attachment is called the
Middle Way, the eightfold path to nirvana
(happiness) (free from tanha, happiness is
attained).
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The Middle Way, the


Eightfold Path to Nirvana
The nirvana (i.e. happiness, extinction, going
out or free from all tanha) is attained
through:

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Right
Right
Right
Right
Right
Right
Right
Right

understanding/view
intention/motive
speech
conduct
occupation
endeavour
contemplation, and
concentration.
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The Ten Precepts


Prohibitions for all, one should not
1. Kill
2. Steal
3. Commit adultery
4. Lie/cheat
5. Get intoxicated
6. Gossiping.
7. Praising oneself and belittling others.
8. Holding back in giving either Dharma or wealth
9. Indulging in anger
10. Slandering the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma,
Sangha)

33

Cont.

Buddha is the Enlightened One who first


showed others the path. Dharma is the
collective term for the teachings of
Buddhism.Sangha is the community of
Buddhists around the world.
Buddhist at any time simplifies by
reciting the following three times:
I take refuge in the Buddha.
I take refuge in the Dharma.
I take refuge in the Sangha.
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For monks, one should


1.Not eat after noon
2.No entertainments
3.No luxuries
4.No comforts
5.No wealth

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5. CHINESE RELIGIONS
TRADITIONAL CHINESE RELIGIONS
TAOISM
CONFUCIANISM

36

TRADITIONAL CHINESE
RELIGIONS

1. On God

Ancestral worship

2. On Universe
Unity of Heaven and earth
Tao is the governing principles of the
universe
Yin and Yang balance of nature

37

3. Man and Life

After death, bad soul yin - will sink to


hell
Good soul yang will float in Heaven
Soul unable to go to hell or Heaven will
stuck in the world, become ghost
Believe in retribution
Immortality of virtue and good work
Moral efficacy in sacrifices
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Taoism

Tao means way; order/system of things


1. Tao of Ultimate Reality: ground for all
existence, beyond senses, transcendent
2. Tao of Universe: power, system in nature
3. Tao of Man: universal law man must follow
Philosophy: searching for natural order of
universe
Religion: following the natural order of universe
Yin-yang: the balance such as negativepositive, female-male
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Confucianism

Heaven on side of the good


Human heart is a microcosmic of the
macrocosm Heaven
Human nature is good heaven reflected
in human heart
Good individuals form good society
Chun Tzu the perfect, noble person
Education nurture character, skills
instrument for nurturing good society
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The Five Constant Virtues


1. Benevolence (jen), which is always to think first
of what is good for the people.
2. Righteousness (chun tzu), which is not to do to
your subjects what you would not them to do to you
if you were in their place.
3. Propriety (li), which is always to behave with
courtesy and respect toward your subjects.
4. Wisdom (te), which is to be guided by knowledge
and understanding.
5. Sincerity (wen), which is to be sincere and
truthful in all you do.
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Relationships (Hsio): subordinate


obedient, superior caring
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Children-Parents
Wife-Husband
Junior-Senior
Employee-Employer
Subject-King
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Sikhism
Synchronism of Hinduism and Islam
1. On God

God Nam, Hindu and Islamic names of


God, no presentation
Monism: God exist in Gurus, the
spokesman of God

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2. On Man and Life

Aim of man is to achieve Mukti: liberation


form karma samsara union with God,
The Universal Soul
Mukti is through worship and social
obligation
There is only upward rebirth in Karma
Samsara
Mans soul (atma) same essence with the
soul of God
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Cont.

No caste in society nor religion


Prohibitions, no cutting off hair, adultery,
tobacco, alcohol
No slaughtered meat, preferably
vegetarian, food for bad health and given
to sloth (lazy people) is prohibited
Social duties is to serve society, maintain
justice for all
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5 ARTICLES OF FAITH
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

kesh (hair)
kangha (comb)
kirpan (dagger)
kara (wristlet)
kach (shorts)

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7. Orang Asli (Aborigines)


A Malay term which transliterates as
original peoples or first people.
They are the indigenous minority
peoples of Peninsular Malaysia.
Although 18 sub-ethnic groups of
the Orang Asli exist, they are
generally classified into three, viz.
Negrito, Senoi and Proto-Malay.

47

Names

Numbers

Negrito:
Bateq,Jahai,Kensiu,Kintak,
Lanoh,Mendriq

3,172

Senoi:
CheWong,Jahut,Mahmeri,
Semai,SemoqBeri,Temiar

59,440

Proto-Malay:
Jakun,OrangKanak,Orang
Kuala,OrangSeletar,
Semelai,Temuan

30,117

Total

92,729
(Source:JHEOA,1995)

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Worldview of the Orang Asli

1. Their belief

Generally, they believe in a traditional


religion or pre-Aryan religion.

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Pre-Aryan Religious
Heritage

1. Ahimsa (non-injury)--the principle of nonviolence


2. Karma and Reincarnation
3. Yoga--proto-Shiva in the lotus position.
4. Worship of Great Goddess--goddess figurines from
the Indus cities.
5. Cults of trees, waters, animals, e.g., the fig tree, the
most famous being the Buddhas Bo Tree.
6. Bhaktism--devotion to a savior god.
7. Village deities, demons, ghosts, spirits
8. Third Eye--the minds eye, the eye of introspection
and meditation. Perhaps seen on the forehead of
nobleman/priest of Indus seals. (
http://www.class.uidaho.edu/ngier/306/prearyan.htm)

50

God

The Orang Asli believe in the One Absolute Power


which is called in their language as:
1. Nyenang or Jenang (Negrito)
2. Moyang (Temuan)
3. Tohan (Che Wong)
However, this Absolute Power does not directly
influence their life. They believe in other powers
which exist around them, and have a great influence
upon their life.
Among these powers are thunder (ngkuu or karei),
big snake or dragon, miraculous or holy (keramat),
and spirits.
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On the Universe

On Man and Life

Belief in seen and unseen world.


Belief in the above powers can control their deed and
action in society. Taboo as mechanism of social
control.

On Rules:

Rule of eating and taking food. Dont tease other


creatures like plants, animals and insect.
Belief in taboo called tulah (calamity due to
violating taboo). They also prohibit free sexual
relation.
52

6. Others: Stands in the


West
1. Scepticism
2. Etnocentric particularism
3. Materialism

53

Al-Faruqi comments

While materialism defines man as little


more than teeth, hands and stomach,
nationalist madness declares him a Jew,
or a German to the exclusion of all other
men. In the meantime, scepticism stands
by and mocks at man and his crucifiers. It
is no wonder that the serious among
Westerners are all sceptics. For scepticism
is the most rational of three stand
prevalent in the West. (1998:155)
54

Dawah to Others

1. All men are equally the object of the Muslims


dawah
2. The Muslim cannot rest until all men have
achieved divine purpose behind their creation.
3. Priorities: The nearer being always the first
entitled to the Muslims efforts; but the most
distant being finally just as entitled to those
efforts as the nearest.
4. The first condition Islam lays for such effort is
that it involve no coercion or compulsion.
55

5. The Quran specifies the means of persuasion to


be used (Q 16:125), knowing the trickery of
interhuman relations and the possibility of
brainwashing, pressuring etc
6. If non-Muslims are not convinced, the Muslim
will leave them alone. But certainly the Muslim is
to try again and never give up.
7. As long as resistance is ideational, the Muslim is
bound to respect it.
8. The recourse to violence is justified only to put
an end to the violent obstruction, never to force
the non-Muslims into conversion to Islam.
56

Basis for Inter-Religious


Relations

1. All men are equal members of a universal


religious brotherhood under the concept of din alfitrah (original religion).
2. Rather than seeking to find out how much other
religions agree with each other, if at all, let us see
how far both religious traditions agree with din alfitrah.
3. Seeking the historical development of religious
traditions whether they are in agreement with din
al-fitrah or not, rather than assuming that each
religion is divine.
4. The focus is on good works (Q 2: 148)
57

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