Alhamdulillah, I am extremely happy that Allah has given me a great
opportunity to be with you here in Bangladesh Naval Academy. There is a
famous saying of our Prophet (peace be upon him),
بَدَأَ الإِسْلاَمُ غَرِيبًا وَسَيَعُودُ غَرِيبًا فَطُوبَى لِلْغُرَبَاءِ
‘Islam came as a stranger. Very soon it will become stranger again. Blessed are those who become stranger for Islam. Simple meaning of this, our Prophet (peace be upon him), is giving the good news to those who work for Islam. Islam started as a stranger. If a stranger comes in this room particularly in a Military establishment like this, everybody will say, “who are you? Why you have come here? What is your identity?” The stranger is never welcomed. Because nobody knows him. I have had many such experiences. Once I went on a special marshal law investigation team to North Bengal. I was the Chief Expert in the team. I went in the dress of a ‘Mouluvi Shaheb’. There, we were accompanied by the Chief Engineer of PDB and many other senior engineers. One Wing Commander from
Air Force was our Chairman. Whenever I was asking any question, the
Superintendent & the Chief Engineer were very much retarded and looked at me with extreme displeasure! As if they were telling, ‘Who is this fellow? The Moulovi, talks to us!’ After third or fourth of such repetitions, the Chairman said, “Oh Ho! I am sorry. I did not introduce my Expert from BUET. He is Asst. Professor Muhammad Hamidur Rahman.’ Then the engineers, who behaved very awkwardly with me, were telling, “O sir, We could not recognize you! Please forgive us.”
So that is the difference. As long as a person is a stranger, it is very natural to abuse him. But once you know his identity, you are aware of him. You start showing him due respect. Thus our Prophet (peace be upon him) said, Islam started as stranger. Nobody liked it. Because its identity was unknown. A time will come when again it will become stranger & then good tidings for those who become stranger for Islam.
So today the situation, even in Muslim country, is such that when you talk about Islam, you are a fundamentalist! When you talk about Islam, you are pulling the leg of the modern society to 1400 years back! So in such circumstances, it is wonderful that you have arranged a discussion on Islam in such a beautiful gathering! So much of preparations! So may Allah accept this. That’s why in the beginning of my lecture, the first verse I have recited from the Holy Quran,
رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلۡ مِنَّآ*ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ.
‘O our Lord! accept from us. You are the Most Hearing, Most Knowing.’ This
is a very well known prayer throughout the Muslim world. O Allah! accept from us – this is also a very important prayer. Even if we spend the whole world’s wealth, even if the whole world puts together all the efforts but if Allah says, “I don’t accept your efforts”, then it is useless. Whereas even if the smallest of the smallest makes a very tiny effort and Allah says, “I accept this from you” – that is more valuable. This is the very basic education of Islam which does not exist in the modern society.