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Leaders and Thinkers Discuss Peace, Religion and PoliticsContinue…
Leaders and Thinkers Discuss Peace, Religion and PoliticsContinue…
Excerpt from Mr. Adnan Oktar's Live Conversation on A9 TV dated January 20th, 2012
ADNAN OKTAR: To whom was I going to be connecting to? Was it a foreign lady that I was going to be taking to?
MS. DAMLA: Yes Master. Her name is Stephanie Saldana, she is a Christian, a Catholic author. After taking her doctorate in Harvard University Divinity School, she has been sent to Syria awarded with a scholarship by Harvard University in 2004. She started taking lessons on the Qur'an in Arabic from a sheikh in Syria. She defines the her getting to know the Qur'an as the most inspiration experience of her life. She was very much impressed when she saw the importance given to the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and Hazrat Maryam and focused her studies in that respect. In her book named The Bread of Angels which was listed in New York Times Best Sellers list, she discussed these studies extensively. At the moment, along with various Catholic newspapers and periodicals, her articles are being published in New York Times as well Master.
ADNAN OKTAR: Welcome Ms. Saldana, how are you?
STEPHANIE SALDANA: Thank you very much, I am fine, how are you?
ADNAN OKTAR: Thanks be to Allah, Alhamdulillah I am very well. It is very nice to meet you.
STEPHANIE SALDANA: And you too
ADNAN OKTAR: Masha'Allah. Here you go, I am listening to you.
STEPHANIE SALDANA: Sure.. My first question is; the quote from the Qur'an is well known regarding Christians; "And nearest among them in love to the believers, you will find those who say;'We are Christians'." So it is clear from the Qur'an that Muslims should have a deep respect for Christians. But I want to take this a step further; in the last ten years, half of the Christians in Iraq have left. Now in Egypt they are feeling endangered. And in Syria also they are feeling endangered. And so I am wondering what do Muslim leaders.. what can they do to help the situation? What can Muslim leaders in particular say in order to make local Christians feel safe and feel that they have a place in the region?
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes.. We are in the End Times. We are in the times of the Prophet Jesus Messiah (pbuh). The descent of the Prophet Jesus Messiah (pbuh) to the world is a fact. The Prophet Jesus Messiah (pbuh) has come back to the Earth in about the year 2002, Allahualem [Allah knows the truth] let me say. He is conducting his work together with his students. The solution to this abnormality, this cruelty, this bigoted attitude is the system of the Mahdi and the Prophet Jesus Messiah (pbuh) and Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) acting together. Apart from this, there is no solution to this system of the dajjal (anti-Messiah).
STEPHANIE SALDANA: But don't you think that to say such a thing is to release us from religious obligations which are in our daily life to do what we can to help the situation? Do you not think that in the meantime both Muslims and Christians have an obligation to try to help the situation now, everyday?
ADNAN OKTAR: Those who love the Prophet Jesus Messiah (pbuh), those who love Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh), becoming their students, would anyway lay the ground for them even before they come. Consequently those supporters of the Messiah would engage in actions like those of the Messiah (pbuh), I mean they will engage in activities like the Prophet Jesus (pbuh). Also the followers of the Mahdi (pbuh) would engage in activities like those of Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh). For instance you are among the pioneer students of the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and we are the pioneer students of Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh); both you and we are fighting together against this spirit of the dajjal (anti-messiah), against this cruel, sadistic spirit, against this spirit of terror, against this exclusionary spirit of violence that is far removed from love for humanity.
STEPHANIE SALDANA: So when he says "we are fighting" he has millions of people listening to him everyday. What are small concrete steps that can be taken between Muslims and Christians and people of all faiths in order to help the situation , in order to bring love in a moment when there is so much mistrust between people?
ADNAN OKTAR: Christians and Muslims should definitely be in an alliance, they should act together, they need to watch over each other, they need to feel compassion for each other. They need to give a shoulder to shoulder, sincere and candid struggle against the system of the dajjal (anti-messiah). For instance this contact we have with you, is a contact in the way of the system of the Messiah. I mean it is a reflection of the spirit of the Prophet Jesus Messiah (pbuh), a reflection of the spirit of the system of the Mahdi. If we also make alliances with the Protestants and Orthodox people in the same manner -but of course with those who are religious- this cruelty in the world would be go away within a very short period of time. This alliance would definitely be formed. His Highness Bediuzzaman Said Nursi mentions this. I mean Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) has already come and one of the main duties of the Mahdi is to make an alliance with the Christians anyway, I mean it[his duty] is to give a struggle together with them against the system of the dajjal (anti-messiah). Yet this is an intellectual strugle, it is not done through shedding blood and hurting people.
STEPHANIE SALDANA: In speaking of this, I wonder if he could talk about the story in the Qur'an in which Abraham welcomes the angels of God. And does he feel this has any relevance for the people of different faiths welcome one another?
ADNAN OKTAR: Of course. Those who came to him were people the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) did not know at all, they were people he did not know. Yet the moment he saw them, he had invited them in, he had a fleshy kid [calf] slaughtered instantly, he had ordered his servant and had the most beautiful table laid for them and then invited them in. But of course, because they are angels they have abstained from eating. At that point, the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) understood that there is something extra-ordinary. Because even though they came from very far away, the fact that those beautiful people did not eat anything -their abstaining from eating- is a proof that they are angels, he had felt a humanly excitement. But t hat is a characteristic of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh), in fact in Turkey we have a saying "the table of Halil Ibrahim [Abraham]". I mean he had opened his table to all the guests he saw, to everyone there without asking about their belief, without asking about their personalities he had shown love and compassion to all of them.
STEPHANIE SALDANA: I wonder, in line with that, you've spoken a little bit about the role of Jesus, but could you talk about the role Mary. Of course Mary, she has such an important role in the Qur'an. Do you think that she can play a role in bringing particularly Muslims and Christians together in a deeper understanding of one another?
ADNAN OKTAR: Allah says that Hazrat Maryam is superior to all the women of the world. He tells them to take her as a role model. Consequently, all the Christians, all Muslims and all the women in the world should take Hazrat Maryam as a role model.
STEPHANIE SALDANA: I was wondering in this dialogue between Muslims and Christians, in your opinion, do you feel that we should be focusing on what we have in common, or is it important for us to be talking with one another about our differences?
ADNAN OKTAR: [We should be focusing on] Our common points, of course.. I mean it is the Oneness of Allah, it is the existence of Allah, belief in Heaven and hell, belief in the justice of Allah, belief in love, peace and brotherhood, and to have an alliance on these common points, of course. The Prophet Jesus Messiah (pbuh) will solve the other remaining details anyway. If we handle these details, the Prophet Jesus Messiah (pbuh) will solve the other remaining details. But the Christians should believe in my words; the Prophet Jesus Messiah (pbuh) is really in the world. What I say is true.
STEPHANIE SALDANA: Can you talk about that a little bit more?
ADNAN OKTAR: His Highness Bediuzzaman Said Nursi is the greatest mujaddid (renevator) of the last centuries, the last thousand years; he is the greatest religious scholar. He genuinely, with a crisp language, says the following very self-assuredly basing on concrete evidence; "When the Prophet Jesus Messiah (pbuh) comes, when he first comes, even he would not know about himself. His close students, his prominent students will recognize him through the light of faith." The Prophet Jesus (pbuh) has been left among a Christian community in a sleeping state; among a community resembling to Islam, he has been left in a state of sleep. They have woken him up from his sleep. When he first wakes up he speaks Aramaic but now he is learning about English, German, French and many foreign languages. He is gaining very detailed information about the Qur'an, about the Torah and about the Gospels and teaching these to his students as well. I mean the Prophet Jesus Messiah (pbuh) is active at the moment. Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) is active as well; they are both active in two separate branches. It is just that the Prophet Jesus Messiah (pbuh) have an impact on the world politics. I mean he has an activity targetting important politicians, important soldiers and important people.
STEPHANIE SALDANA: Okay.. So for example if you and I have different beliefs on the role of Jesus in the End Time, as Muslim and as a Christian. I often think about the relationship between Muslims and Christians as the relation of a man and a woman who are married. Right? Do we just live together, do I just listen to you speak and I agree with what you say? Or is it important for us to challenge eachother to ask questions to one another?
ADNAN OKTAR: In any case we need to stress on the common points, that is the most important issue. I mean I have said this before as well; [these are] believing in the Oneness of Allah, believing in heaven and hell, believing in the Justice of Allah and especially love. The first thing the system of the dajjal [anti-messiah] takes away from the world is love. For people loving eachother, for their feeling compassion for on another and for the wars, bloodshed, terror and anarchy to find a definitive end, for arms to be wiped out from the face of this Earth, we should, in alliance, conduct activities on these matters. But if we get into the other matters, if we get into the details and get in discussions then we would be decieved, we would be deceived by the satan. I mean we need to avoid disputes. Allah says in the Qur'an; " Only argue with the People of the Book [Christians] in the kindest." In the verses, He tells us just to call on them to the Oneness of Allah. So Allah tells us in the verses to strictly avoid such offensive disputes and hard language and to make alliance with them about the Oneness of Allah.
STEPHANIE SALDANA: Great.. I want to add to that; many people when they speak of Muslims and Christians living together, they speak of them just as living together, that we should learn to live together. But there is very little talk about loving, or even about needing the other. And do you believe that Muslims and Christians need one another, that Muslims need to be with people of other faiths, as Christians and Jews and all people need to be with other people or we should just learn to live with one another?
ADNAN OKTAR: If we do not ally and teach the world of love for Allah, compassion, peace and brotherhood, we would be defeated. The dajjal (anti-messiah) would then be victorious. I mean the world would then turn into hell. We are obliged to ally and to talk about love, brotherhood and about the Oneness of Allah. That is not a luxury, an obligation. I mean this is how it is according to the Torah, according to the Gospels and according to the Qur'an. Consequently in any other way, the dissasters will be at the door. We should definitely ally, we must certainly act together, especially until the system of the dajjal (anti-messiah) is wiped of from the face of this world. That is because the dajjal taught people fight, hatred and rage, dajjal had made people forget love; people are stripped of natural affection. The Gospels draws attention to this as well; the stripping of the natural affection. Dajjal (anti-messiah) had demolished natural love and taught people affected love; that is outrageous. That is why, without any hesitation, without feeling any kind of doubt or suspicion Christians should definitely unite with Muslims who are pro Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh), who are the supporters of the system of the Mahdi, who love the Prophet Jesus Messiah (pbuh) and who want to be his students and should perform this important duty day and night. Anything on the contrary would be very very wrong.
STEPHANIE SALDANA: But to take this, this further for the thousands of people who are listening, who are Muslims; Is your message to them is that their lives would be richer if they came to know people of different faith?
ADNAN OKTAR: Their [life in the]Hereafter would be very beautiful, their life in this world would be very beautiful. Of course the beauty of the life on this world is not our goal. We essentially strive to gain the good pleasure of Allah for the Hereafter, to gain the love of Allah. Yet in parallel with that, this world would turn into Heaven of course. There will be goldenage, all the weapons will be destroyed, there will not be bloodshed anymore in the world, lambs and lions will live together. This is something that is menitoned both in the Torah and in the hadith of our Prophet (saas). The Last Day is near anyway. In approximately about 70 years neither Christianity, nor Judaism, nor Islam will remain. Within the next ten years'time ahead of us we will see both the Prophet Jesus Messiah (pbuh) and Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh). Let us all strive to this end with all our might. We also need to tell people that we do not have the goal to make the world prosperous, that is because the world will be depraved 70 years later anyway. The Last Day will break in about 2120 anyway. So we do not act only with the aim to prosper the world. I repeat what our goal is; it is to gain the approval of Allah, it is to gain the love of Allah. But in connection with that Allah will of course turn the world into a place like Heaven. You will see this, you will altogether see this. Record this speech as a band and when you watch it again in 10 years you will see that my words are correct.
STEPHANIE SALDANA: Unless he has any questions for me or anything else that you would like to discuss, I don't have anymore questions.
ADNAN OKTAR: I would like to have a request from her; let us strengthen our alliance with the Christians, let her help us more about this point; let us be more close to each other, let us act in concurrence even more; let us ally especially to wipe out Darwinism-Materialism from the face of this world, and to tell people about this deception and to show them the truth of the matter, to prove that Allah has created. Let us educate people in the Oneness of Allah and about the love for Allah, let us carry out these activities altogether. I would like to ask her to help me in widespreading this.
STEPHANIE SALDANA: I can add to that; that I've written a book, I don't know if he knows this, it is called the Bread of Angels. And it is about a year I've spent in Syria and I speak about my teacher, who is a Muslim woman who taught me the Qur'an, even though I was a Christian every week she sat with me and she taught me the Qur'an. And eventually she asked me to teach English in her Masjeed. And so I myself have ben a witness to the incredible friendship and love that can come between two people of two different faiths. And I thought I would share that with him.
ADNAN OKTAR: Masha'Allah, that is great. Let us increase the number of such interactions altogether. I am presenting you my love, my regards and my greetings. Insha'Allah we will be seeing you, we would also love to welcome you here in Turkey.
STEPHANIE SALDANA: Insha'Allah.