The Muslim Student Association sponsored an event dedicated to addressing Islamophobia and informing the public about Islam, the second largest religion in the world and one followed by many students here at Minnesota State University, Mankato Wednesday, March 27.
The event began with recitations from the Quran, Islam’s sacred text. The recitation was done in Arabic, with an English translation following thereafter.
But the star of the show was Yusuf Estes, an Islamic scholar from Texas who converted to the religion in 1991. Estes is one of the foremost Islamic scholars in the United States, and currently runs Guide US TV, an English-language channel dedicated to sharing information about Islam to audiences in the West.
Estes broke down numerous misconceptions about Islam commonly held in the West, and he pointed out that the majority of victims of terror attacks are Muslims.
He broke down the etymology of the word Islam as well, breaking its meaning down into seven words: surrender, submission, obedience, sincerity, safety, security, and peace. “There is peace in there, but not until you do all the rest of it,” Estes said. “You want to be in peace with almighty God? Surrender, submit, obey, sincerely, in safety, security, and peace.
“Now how can I take that word and perform those things as a Muslim?”
Estes touched on some of the similarities and differences among the Abrahamic religions. He also spoke about the importance of rights, which are granted by God. “Every human being, has a right in front of God. Maybe you don’t want to give people their rights, maybe I don’t want to, but God is the one who has given everybody rights,” Estes said. “And it’s us who actually take rights away from each other, that’s what’s really happening in the world, and that’s not new. That’s ever since the children of Adam started. There have always been people who take rights away from others. But it’s not God doing that, people do that.”
In the final part of the presentation, Estes spoke about the importance of combating the Antichrist, which he says is a common enemy of Muslims and Christians. “You ask God almighty to keep you away from the Antichrist don’t you? So do we! Can we find some common ground here?
“We have an enemy, we know the devil is the enemy.”
The presentation finished out with a short question and answer session, which was followed by the Maghrib prayer, the Islamic prayer conducted at sunset.
Header photo courtesy of Yusuf Estes’ Facebook.