Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله

Imamology

  • entries
    38
  • comments
    386
  • views
    12,234

Hamza Yusuf and Black Lives Matter

Sign in to follow this  
Qa'im

4,067 views

As a Muslim Canadian outsider, the U.S's race problem is blaring and obvious to me whenever I visit. Even in the more liberal states, whites and blacks live in separate neighbourhoods, and the black neighbouroods are poorer and not looked after by the city. Whites and blacks have very different jobs and roles in society.

After over 300 years of slavery, 99 years of segregation, and 52 years of tumultuous race relations, the race issue still dominates public discourse in America. While most of the world has normalized relations with the descendants of former slaves, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in America was unique in its shear brutality. African Americans were stripped of their names, languages, cultures, and religions, and were deprived of a knowledge of self that other peoples had. "Black" became synonymous with cruelty, ugliness, and bleakness, while Social Darwinist whites put themselves in a position of natural superiority.

African Americans fought long and hard to gain the same civil rights and liberties as ordinary Americans. Since the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964 however, the race issue has remained salient, with spikes in relevance every so often. In general, black people still suffer indiscriminately from police brutality, high rates of incarceration, the breakdown of the family, and lower access to education, health care, and high-paying jobs. Some of these issues stem out of policies that overlook African American issues, while others are more social. Several movements were established to redress these serious issues, such as the NAACP, Urban League, the Rainbow PUSH coalition, as well as the Nation of Islam and other religious organizations. In recent years, Black Lives Matter (BLM) has become the leading activist group on the streets and on social media, bringing awareness to issues in the African American community and seeking to redress them through progressive policies.

Hamza Yusuf recently suggested that Muslims should not join BLM, in fear that more identity politics would exacerbate race relations in America. The Shaykh went on to naively use trigger phrases like "black on black violence", "more whites are shot by police", and "police are not all racist", which had him labelled as a racist by legions of hipster Muslims on Twitter. As many have pointed out, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf comes from a pretty privileged background - he grew up in a wealthy neighbourhood, his relatives were wealthy, his parents were well-educated, and he went to private schools (see here). His family marched with the civil rights movement and against the Vietnam War, and explored different world religions, but like a lot of 60-70s hippies, the Shaykh is probably still a bit more out of touch with the working class than the average person. Still though, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf has actually lived in with bedouins in Africa, and he has spoken about poverty, inequality, and the civil rights movement on multiple occasions. His resume, as a Shaykh that balances the best of Western education with traditional Sunni scholarship, is far more impressive than that of most Western Muslim speakers.

On one hand, Hamza Yusuf could have worded himself better to address the very real race problem in the United States. Yes, there are anti-discriminatory laws in place, but clearly a lot more needs to be done to redress the race issue - body cameras on cops, judicial reform, and affirmative action in police departments in minority communities are a good step. But the onslaught against Shaykh Hamza has a few people scratching their heads - first off, why don't we get the same outrage when a Muslim speaker says something insensitive about Shiites, or when a speaker gleans over racist or sexist injustices in the Muslim world? More pertinently though, is what Shaykh Hamza said wrong? Hamza Yusuf is a Sufi, which attracts a lot of liberal ears to listen to him, but he is a traditionalist and a conservative at his core, and so every now and then he will say something that will get this type of reaction (this time being the climax).

Hamza Yusuf's argument is, if BLM is just an angry rebuke to the system, with few clear policy goals, then it has the potential of making problems worse - more violence against police officers (more police have died in 2016 than in the last 5 years, some during BLM protests), and worse race relations in coming months and years. BLM is more than just the issue of police brutality - it is a living, breathing organization with its own motives and goals. For the purpose of this article, it is important for our minds to mentally separate BLM and police brutality for a moment. BLM in essence is a cadre of identity politics, which highlights one's race or gender as an essential quality in a person (rather than an accidental quality), and very much sees everything through the lens of racism. Hamza Yusuf said that this only helps create the type of "whitelash" we saw with the election of Trump, which will only make things worse for minorities and not better. Hamza Yusuf once said, ethics should be rooted in verbs and adverbs, not nouns and pronouns. I agree with this, and while racism and white privilege is real, we should talk about the *issues* that plague society and not just about identity.

This controversy has caused me to think on multiple fronts. With regards to the Muslim community, it is clear that most Muslim youth identify with leftist politics, since it is multicultural and inclusive. Unfortunately, that comes with baggage: secularism, individualism, naturalism and religious skepticism, identity politics, LGBT rights, hookup culture and the normalization of sex, third wave feminism, body positivism, political correctness, and in general pro-revolutionary sentiments in almost every situation where even mild grievances exist. Balancing this with the Islamic tradition, which can be opposite on most of these issues, is particularly troublesome. The hipster Muslima with a rainbow scarf and a Guevara shirt marching at a Sl*tWalk is becoming increasingly more normal in Western Muslim communities.

I also began thinking about how Black Lives Matter differs from earlier black organizations. There's no doubt that BLM is the cool kid on the block, whom every Muslim revolutionary wants to embrace (Jonathan AC Brown, Linda Sarsour, Suhaib Webb to name a few). However, are their goals the same as the black community, and are they consistent with Islam?

In the 1990s, we saw another spike in relevance of the race issue, and this time, it was the Nation of Islam (NOI) under Louis Farrakhan that was the primary "race communicator" for black people in America. The NOI is a black nationalist American Muslim sect that differed from traditional Islamic views on theology and race. Irregardless of where the NOI may have deviated, the Nation of Islam organized a grassroots movement that brought black civil rights groups, religious groups, and activists together at the 1995 Million Man March. The Million Man March was a historic rally at Washington DC that brought leading African American figures together to demand justice and reproach, including Rosa Parks, Betty Shabazz, Jesse Jackson, Jeremiah Wright, Shaykh Ahmad Tijani Ben Omar, and Minister Farrakhan.

The Million Man March approached the issue of African American suffering in a very different way than BLM. First off, the March was only for black males, who were seen as the major agents of potential change in the Afro-American community. Over 72% of black children are born out of wedlock. Fatherlessness, which Hamza Yusuf mentions in his later apology lecture, is detrimental to any family, and leads to higher rates of poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, and mental health problems. Considering the high rates of gang violence, incarceration, drug abuse, and unprotected sex among black males, any solution to the plight of African Americans must include black men. Secondly, the Million Man March sought to bring all religious organizations together to seek repentance and God's support. As people of faith, we don't see all suffering simply as a result of natural causes; rather some suffering can be a divine trial or chastisement, by which we must seek God's succor. The event's major themes were "Lessons from the Past", "Affirmation and Responsibility", and "Atonement and Reconciliation", and it was believed that the very real injustices that exist in America would only be solved through a return to traditional values. Thirdly, the Million Man March gave the means for thousands of black people to register as voters, making the black community a strong political bloc in the American electoral system. The event ended with a pledge to God that they would be good community members from that day forward.

Black Lives Matter, on the other hand, has a very different vision for black America. It is, of course, absolutely secular, and blames the collective suffering of black people on white supremacy. Furthermore, not only does BLM sideline black fathers, but it ignores them completely on their website. BLM has a lot to say about the LGBT community and [presumably single] mothers, its guiding principles leaves straight black males out completely, despite the documented problems that fatherless homes can cause in the lives of youth. BLM even sees traditional "nuclear families" as somehow white supremacist, even though families in Africa are largely patriarchal and nuclear. Yusra Khogali, the leader of the Toronto chapter of Black Lives Matter (remember, Hamza Yusuf made his comments in Toronto), infamously tweeted about "killing men and whitefolks", and shared articles telling women to avoid conscientious black men. Khogali recently protested against Dr. Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, for refusing to use genderless pronouns like "xe" instead of "he" or "she". BLM also hijacked the Gay Pride Parade until their demands on the Pride organization were met, and hijacked a Bernie Sanders event in 2015. Millennial organizations like BLM are the reason why the alt-right exists, who also use the same frame of identity politics to identify as white nationalists to attack Muslims, blacks, women, and others. Contributing to the frame of identity politics can awaken the sleeping white-nationalist giant in Europe and North America, and awaken far right-wing voices that want to push all minorities away.

Not only does BLM stand for things that are totally irreconcilable with Islam, such as the LGBT issue, but it is devoid of the religiosity found in other black movements, the participation of straight black men, and it does not responsibly address issues within the black community. It is focused on "fighting the system", rather than clamping down on a hookup culture that is destined to plague another generation with fatherless households and STDs. Rather than solving the problems related black fathers, it ignores their issues and fails to address them. It is common to find feminist circles that paint black fathers as irresponsible misogynists that are part of the problem and not the solution - this attitude can only make things worse.

At the very least, the Nation of Islam encouraged a self-help approach: they promoted strong family values, they started rehabilitation programs for those affected by drugs and alcohol, they deployed their Fruit of Islam unit to stop riots and gang violence, they established their own schools and curricula, and they rid their community of the social ills that affect other black communities. BLM on the other hand is a Soros-funded intersectional liberal organization with an agenda that does not jive with Abrahamic religion.

When women, Latinos, blacks, Muslims, and homosexuals began popularizing identity politics, it was a natural consequence that right-wing whites would start doing the same. Some people honestly believe that unless you are black, then you aren't capable of commenting on anything to do with the black community. A white person commenting on black affairs, even to defend black people, is considered a racist by liberals because he is "whitesplaining". Franchesca Ramsey recently appeared in a video arguing that very point. The result of this thinking however is potentially devastating. It means that white people will no longer speak up against racism, because they don't want to appear racist or patronizing. It also means that educated people with legitimate views will be silenced simply due to their race. It also limits outsider perspectives, which are always necessary in a democracy, as every group should be critiqued and held accountable by outsiders. Strange enough, it's also kind of contradictory to multiculturalism - by saying only black people can speak about black issues, and women can only be feminists, and males are inherently privileged, you end up segregating society further. A white male like Hamza Yusuf speaking about race relations or women's issues does not contradict the ethics of our religion - I'm not saying he's right or wrong, I'm saying that he has the right to speak on these issues especially as a trained scholar.

Let's keep in mind that the Muslim community in America in the 60s and 70s was largely an organic one (the biggest being Warith Deen Muhammad's movement), made up of working-class African Americans and white converts. The early Muslim immigrants to America even joined these communities and worked closely with them. But the big influx of bourgeois Muslim immigrants in the 80s and 90s, with their foreign funding (from Saudi and elsewhere), established their own separate communities, bought out the existing communities / swallowed them up, then ostracized the native population, until they almost fizzed out completely. Now, some of those same upper-middle class children of immigrants think they can be pro-black because of their liberal arts degree, a Malcolm quote and a BLM march, yet they themselves would never marry a black person, or volunteer with the homeless or at a prison, or mingle with working-class people in general. As someone who has decent connections within the African American Muslim community in the U.S, I can tell you that these second-generation Muslims really mean nothing to them, and often do more harm than good.

Overall, I agree with Mehdi that Muslims need to be doing more outreach with other communities - that includes the black community. We should also address racism in our own communities, which is more outward than in the average white community. In Trump's America, we cannot afford to stand alone; we need to do more for our cities and our Muslim and non-Muslim communities. We can reach out to black churches, support black businesses, and join civil rights organizations. At the same time, we cannot fall into the trap of supporting causes that are antithetical to our tradition.

2a3dfdbc06d8321f23e99f7fa1adb143.jpg

Sign in to follow this  


30 Comments


Recommended Comments



@E.L King That's what I used to think, but now I'm halfway between isolation and outreach. On the one hand I prefer isolation and a sort of "all Muslims getting together and being told the above post and immunising themselves and families against all the tidal waves of LGBT feminism and ant family propaganda", but on the other hand I sometimes feel that might not be enough, if we are to truly protect ourselves we need to 'reach out' and try and attack or change the views of others (seculars, liberals, non Muslims) and perhaps that could lead to an overall change in attitudes/ideaologies amongst "them", and this will then make things much more relaxed and easier for us. We won't have to worry about ourselves or our kids or brothers or sisters being sucked in by any of these ideaologies too much. 

An example I can give is the simple fact that the old generation feminists (70/80s) many of them are now (already have) turned on feminism, and say that they were told a lie about having it all I.e climbing the career ladder, doing the long 'wall street' hours, and maintaining her marriage, and maintaining her house, and raising her kids, and keep relations with her other family. They tried this, failed, and many of them are depressed and the broken families and missed opportunity of loving and raising their kids. I know this specific example because in my office which I work in we have a white British woman in her 40s, and she just blurted out one day ""I READ THIS BOOK TITLED "you can't have it all" AND THIS IS TRUE! WE WERE TOLD A LIE IN THE 80s and 90s THAT YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL!!"" ( we what does Islam say about this all?!? Exactly.) 

Islam is Allah's wisdom. So imagine 'out reaching' to the woman like the one in my office. About what Islam says about marriage and work and wife and husband. And imagine reaching out to millions women like these, and students, and making a major stand against the LGBT feminist and no identity and no nuclear family sillyness. 

But, then sometimes I think isolation is best first simply by how bad the state of the Muslims is. Let's first fix our house and make sure it is water proof, wind proof and proof from all the other satanic crap. 

Edited by YAli

Share this comment


Link to comment
17 minutes ago, YAli said:

@E.L King That's what I used to think, but now I'm halfway between isolation and outreach. On the one hand I prefer isolation and a sort of "all Muslims getting together and being told the above post and immunising themselves and families against all the tidal waves of LGBT feminism and ant family propaganda", but on the other hand I sometimes feel that might not be enough, if we are to truly protect ourselves we need to 'reach out' and try and attack or change the views of others (seculars, liberals, non Muslims) and perhaps that could lead to an overall change in attitudes/ideaologies amongst "them", and this will then make things much more relaxed and easier for us. We won't have to worry about ourselves or our kids or brothers or sisters being sucked in by any of these ideaologies too much. 

An example I can give is the simple fact that the old generation feminists (70/80s) many of them are now (already have) turned on feminism, and say that they were told a lie about having it all I.e climbing the career ladder, doing the long 'wall street' hours, and maintaining her marriage, and maintaining her house, and raising her kids, and keep relations with her other family. They tried this, failed, and many of them are depressed and the broken families and missed opportunity of loving and raising their kids. I know this specific example because in my office which I work in we have a white British woman in her 40s, and she just blurted out one day ""I READ THIS BOOK TITLED "you can't have it all" AND THIS IS TRUE! WE WERE TOLD A LIE IN THE 80s and 90s THAT YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL!!"" ( we what does Islam say about this all?!? Exactly.) 

Islam is Allah's wisdom. So imagine 'out reaching' to the woman like the one in my office. About what Islam says about marriage and work and wife and husband. And imagine reaching out to millions women like these, and students, and making a major stand against the LGBT feminist and no identity and no nuclear family sillyness. 

But, then sometimes I think isolation is best first simply by how bad the state of the Muslims is. Let's first fix our house and make sure it is water proof, wind proof and proof from all the other satanic crap. 

This is to me also a problem. Some Muslims might say the first wave of feminism was good, I say they are all bad. Whether it was in the 1800s or in 2016, very much the same, just more extreme.

Share this comment


Link to comment
7 minutes ago, E.L King said:

This is to me also a problem. Some Muslims might say the first wave of feminism was good, I say they are all bad. Whether it was in the 1800s or in 2016, very much the same, just more extreme.

I didn't say it was good. My view is the same as yours, they were and are all bad. One step which the devil put which only led to step two and step three.  

If anyone wants rights, whether they are a man or woman, look at the Quran, at what Allah has commanded and ordained. And also look at the prophet and his family. That is more than enough, and also more correct. Simple. 

Share this comment


Link to comment
2 hours ago, E.L King said:

I don't believe Muslims should outreach to other people at all. I think isolation is the best thing, we shouldn't be troubled by the problems of the others. 

So I guess we can forget about dawah and spreading the message of Islam; The only way you can accept the prophethood of Muhammad (saws), the wilayah of Ali (as) and the sacrifices of the Ahlulbayt (as) is to be born into it.

No more reverts either, we can't be troubled by people who take the time to explore and accept our deen.

No more speaking out against far-right clowns, Islamophobia and Zionist politicians and their policies. 

After all, we can't be bothered according to you. Isolation is the best policy, right. 

I'm sorry to say but I am offended by what you said. This is nothing more than a slap in the face to me as a revert.

I might make a personal struggle to get rid of ignorant thinking like yours in the Ummah because I didn't convert to Judaism 2.0, I converted to Islam which rejects such nonsense like a chosen race and being born into religion through and through.

Before you accuse me of twisting your words out of their context, reread what you wrote and understand what I wrote above is exactly how I perceived it.

Wording is everything if you don't want to want to be misunderstood, brother. 

I'm very disappointed in you, that's all I can say.

Share this comment


Link to comment
14 minutes ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

So I guess we can forget about dawah and spreading the message of Islam; The only way you can accept the prophethood of Muhammad (saws), the wilayah of Ali (as) and the sacrifices of the Ahlulbayt (as) is to be born into it.

No more reverts either, we can't be troubled by people who take the time to explore and accept our deen.

No more speaking out against far-right clowns, Islamophobia and Zionist politicians and their policies. 

After all, we can't be bothered according to you. Isolation is the best policy, right. 

I'm sorry to say but I am offended by what you said. This is nothing more than a slap in the face to me as a revert.

I might make a personal struggle to get rid of ignorant thinking like yours in the Ummah because I didn't convert to Judaism 2.0, I converted to Islam which rejects such nonsense like a chosen race and being born into religion through and through.

Before you accuse me of twisting your words out of their context, reread what you wrote and understand what I wrote above is exactly how I perceived it.

Wording is everything if you don't want to want to be misunderstood, brother. 

I'm very disappointed in you, that's all I can say.

What does what I said have to do with Da'wah? My post has nothing to do with religious preaching and preaching against sin.

All I said is that Muslims shouldn't be involved in liberal vs conservative battles. 

Pro-police vs pro-BLM is another one of these useless issues that Muslims don't need to be into. IMO

I believe isolation from politics is a good thing for Muslims in the West in the current time. Don't you?

Edited by E.L King

Share this comment


Link to comment
7 minutes ago, E.L King said:

What does what I said have to do with Da'wah? My post has nothing to do with religious preaching and preaching against sin.

All I said is that Muslims shouldn't be involved in liberal vs conservative battles. 

Pro-police vs pro-BLM is another one of these useless issues that Muslims don't need to be into. IMO

I believe isolation from politics is a good thing for Muslims in the West in the current time. Don't you?

No, not really but you should have mentioned that earlier in your comment to prevent people like me from misunderstanding you. 

It's common sense. 

If we want a decent life in the West, we must speak up and not let liberals or conservatives use us or oppress us. Does that make sense to you?  You understand where I'm coming from with this? 

All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing, brother. 

Share this comment


Link to comment
1 hour ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

No, not really but you should have mentioned that earlier in your comment to prevent people like me from misunderstanding you. 

It's common sense. 

If we want a decent life in the West, we must speak up and not let liberals or conservatives use us or oppress us. Does that make sense to you?  You understand where I'm coming from with this? 

All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing, brother. 

I do understand you, but that's not how things have played out. Heck, half the people on this website were all out for Bernie Sanders.

Share this comment


Link to comment
9 minutes ago, YAli said:

@E.L King That's why I said we also need to fix our own house first. All of these liberal pro LGBT feminist Muslims without any wisdom or clue. 

They aren't pro-gay Muslims. They are Muslims with proper beliefs like me and you, Shi'a, and support liberal politicians/policies because they might help the Muslim community. At the same time, many are in solidarity with movements like BLM and what not, even though they are religious Muslims with solid beliefs.

Isolation is the way to go I believe.

Share this comment


Link to comment
5 hours ago, E.L King said:

At the same time, many are in solidarity with movements like BLM and what not, even though they are religious Muslims with solid beliefs.

Are you stating this in a positive or negative way? 

Share this comment


Link to comment
31 minutes ago, E.L King said:

I see, well I am sorry to say this but there are only two feasible options that I see. 1.) Intergration while keeping the deen,it will save a lot of heartache and frustration  and 2.) Hijrah, although not everyone can go  or willing to adapt to  Iran, Lebanon, Iraq or Kuwait. Can't go to Qatar or Saudi Arabia obviously or really any Sunni majority country. 

Heck, I read a post saying that Western converts are not really wanted in the Middle East. If there's any truth to it, where will we go now? So that would just leave intergration and we can do it while remaining true to Islam.

I really don't see separation working too well for us unfortunately @E.L King

 

Edited by Gaius I. Caesar

Share this comment


Link to comment

I thought I may have missed it, but a quick word search showed no reference to this factor, so I thought I'd mention the role of music.

In addition to all the other issues that Bro Qa'im identifies that afflict Black American culture, their heavy involvement with music in all respects must be a factor contributing to the situation in which they find themselves.

Obviously I take the view that all music is wrong. But even if we go along with a non-Muslim set of values, it's possible to identify research which shows that some of the music to which black people listen can have a negative impact:

Quote

One systematic examination of popular music found six major themes: men and power, sex as a top priority for males, objectification of women, sexual violence, women defined by having a man, and women not valuing themselves (Bretthauer, Zimmerman, & Banning, 2007). 

http://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1030&context=psychology_honors

 

Share this comment


Link to comment
15 hours ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

I see, well I am sorry to say this but there are only two feasible options that I see. 1.) Intergration while keeping the deen,it will save a lot of heartache and frustration  and 2.) Hijrah, although not everyone can go  or willing to adapt to  Iran, Lebanon, Iraq or Kuwait. Can't go to Qatar or Saudi Arabia obviously or really any Sunni majority country. 

Heck, I read a post saying that Western converts are not really wanted in the Middle East. If there's any truth to it, where will we go now? So that would just leave intergration and we can do it while remaining true to Islam.

I really don't see separation working too well for us unfortunately @E.L King

 

Why are those the only two options? Maybe in America, but go to Britain and similar countries and you will see Muslims living together, sometimes extremely seperated from non-Muslims.

The Western media sometimes call them "Sharia Zones".

Edited by E.L King

Share this comment


Link to comment
11 hours ago, E.L King said:

Why are those the only two options?

Because either option prevents the media from the vilification of our communities. 

Living separated from the rest of society is exactly what  the media wants so they can rile people up about the "decay" of "Western/Christian/American, etc."

It puts a big target on our backs, it gives the far-right an enemy and someone to blame for society's ills.

11 hours ago, E.L King said:

The Western media sometimes call them "Sharia Zones".

This language is exactly what you don't want the media saying. People have been enough lies to fear "Sharia Zones ", they are afraid of them because the media tells them to be afraid.

You have no idea what I see or hear about Muslims from my friends and family who are Christian or right wing. It's really scary and a ticking time bomb. 

I don't know how I can make it any clearer for you. Why do you think Europe has Pegida or Golden Dawn? Where do you think Britain First  or the English Defence League popped up from? 

They are all opposed to the so-called "Islamification" of Europe.

It's an big societal issue when the media which is more powerful than it has ever been, gives them a reason or justification to attack, spray paint and vandalize mosques, antagonize hijabis and burn Qurans as a political statement.

 If we are separate from society,we make ourselves easy pickings for these people.

And if we remain isolationist, it sends a message of "Go ahead, we're not going to fight back" and then it will get worse from here.

You might not agree with me, but you have to admit,  these are all pretty valid concerns and that we are at a point where we cannot afford to isolate ourselves any longer. We have to speak out.  

Edited by Gaius I. Caesar

Share this comment


Link to comment

Black Lives Matter (BLM), as the writer astutely high-lighted, is a well-funded liberal mechanism to control African-American activism. I don't support the movement, but that does not mean that Muslims shouldn't have anything to say about injustice, oppression, and exclusion from resources and opportunity.

One of the goals of the liberal and BLM, in my opinion, is to relate LGBT with the struggles of Black people. However, the two issues are on opposite poles of the moral compass. Islam is clear on this issue. Their is no inherent superiority of one people over another in Islam, and family - the core family being a married man and woman - is the foundation of the Ummah.

Also, we should speak out about injustice, exclusion, and lack of opportunity in society. Are we afraid of a White backlash? Don't fear men .. fear Allah (swt). People of European descent should understand that their system does not work and is the root cause of the social ills that plague society

Share this comment


Link to comment
On 12/31/2016 at 10:52 PM, Gaius I. Caesar said:

Because either option prevents the media from the vilification of our communities. 

Living separated from the rest of society is exactly what  the media wants so they can rile people up about the "decay" of "Western/Christian/American, etc."

It puts a big target on our backs, it gives the far-right an enemy and someone to blame for society's ills.

This language is exactly what you don't want the media saying. People have been enough lies to fear "Sharia Zones ", they are afraid of them because the media tells them to be afraid.

You have no idea what I see or hear about Muslims from my friends and family who are Christian or right wing. It's really scary and a ticking time bomb. 

I don't know how I can make it any clearer for you. Why do you think Europe has Pegida or Golden Dawn? Where do you think Britain First  or the English Defence League popped up from? 

They are all opposed to the so-called "Islamification" of Europe.

It's an big societal issue when the media which is more powerful than it has ever been, gives them a reason or justification to attack, spray paint and vandalize mosques, antagonize hijabis and burn Qurans as a political statement.

 If we are separate from society,we make ourselves easy pickings for these people.

And if we remain isolationist, it sends a message of "Go ahead, we're not going to fight back" and then it will get worse from here.

You might not agree with me, but you have to admit,  these are all pretty valid concerns and that we are at a point where we cannot afford to isolate ourselves any longer. We have to speak out.  

You have a point here. But the so called integration has gone totally wonky. It has been muslims jumping open arms into western ideals, drinking, smoking, fornicating etc. If you just defined these people by their behavior, it would be hard to call them muslims.  

Instead we need muslims who will integrate and not turn into liberal, kind of muslim, kind of pro LGBT, kind of okay with drinking, kind of fasting ramadan people. So we really need to teach our young generation to be like many of the muslims i see on this forum; good, solid, intelligent humans that don't give a damn about anything if someone or a government were to break the law of Allah. They will stand strong. 

I also want to give you an example; i work for a company that has a head office in the US. They hold meetings and gathering every now and then, and all employees are expected to attend. We have the meetings at places such as hotels etc, and then we go out for dinner, and it is all free mixing, people swear, and morals are very low. They all drink, and talk crap. And we are also expected to fly to the US a couple times a year for meetings, and my last trip there... well daytime at office went by, and then evening time we had a ''office quiz'', They were all drinking, men and women all mixed, sometimes making sexual remarks, and then some guy gets up and starts stripping (luckily not fully naked). And you are really expected to attend these. 

So in terms of integration... honestly... if my wife wanted to work in a corporate company, i would so NO WAY IN HELL. NO. I DON'T GIVE A DAMN. I HAVE SEEN ENOUGH OF WHAT GOES ON. Even today i have heard enough sexual remarks, including a banana being paraded around as a penis by some very very senior colleague. And let me tell you, the company i work for is really, really tame. Really bloody tame. Other companies are much more wild. 

So bro we are stuck in between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand we want to integrate, but on the other how much are you willing to risk. For me, i certainly would never risk my wife working for a corporate. 

It's tough. And it only gets tougher for the more practicing and Allah fearing muslim. The only other way around it is if you have your own business, then you set your own rules. No worries in that case. Especially if you are very wealthy (million/billion). Then no worries. Stop your car and pray in a field. Because you have the flexibility to organise your schedule/timetable and surroundings and tailor them to make your islamic duties very very easy. 

Share this comment


Link to comment

@Gaius I. Caesar btw I want to emphasise again that I do certainly agree that we need to .... Hmm perhaps a better world than integrate is 'engage'. Our scholars and strong knowledgable Muslims certainly must engage the western secular society, and they must do it without being shy and without bending the words of Allah e.g. The sin of homosexuality, Islamic laws, roles of men and women and their respective rights assigned to each of them etc. And they better not changed their words or back down. We need this constant engagement from the higher level such as politicians, and also on the ground with strong Muslims like you, where you engage with your Christian friends and work colleagues etc. 

Again, all without compromising what Allah has made halal and haram. 

Share this comment


Link to comment

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Latest Blog Entries

    • By starlight in Light Beams
         4
      Salam everyone, 
      One of the most tragic incidences in the history of Islam has been the the martyrdom of the the Lady of light, Our Prophet Muhammad(saw)' daughter, Fatima Zahra(عليه السلام). To date the exact location of her grave is not known. What is even sadder is that most Shias of Ahlebayt(عليه السلام) are not clear about the facts and timeline of events surrounding her tragic death. Ambiguities have been created,some people choose to adopt a defensive attitude when naming people involved in the incident, others shy away from talking about it because of creating discord with people of other sects. However, I believe it is very important that we are very clear about what happened after the death of RasulAllah(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and in the event of a discussion we are able to state the facts objectively, and this is the sole purpose of this post. It is not to curse the caliphs, or offend the Sunnis, so I will request that if anyone replies here he also refrains from doing so. 
      Most of what I have written below comes from Sheikh Abbas Qummi's book "House of Sorrows" . I will try to provide references wherever possible in the post, but since I want to keep it short and concise I would ask you to refer to the book if anyone wishes to read more. The book is available online on al-Islam.org. 
      1. DEATH OF THE HOLY Prophet
      The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) departed from this world on 28 safar 11 A.H.  For three days Imam Ali(عليه السلام) postponed his burial. Why? Because he wanted to give all the Muslims an opportunity to join his funeral. Sadly, most of the Ansar and Muhajireen were busy choosing the successor of Prophet(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and didn't show up. Seeing this, Imam Ali(عليه السلام) went ahead with the funeral and burial of RasulAllah(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) 
      2. SAQEEFAH
      In Arabic, the word Saqeefah literally means a 'tent'.So,while the Bani Hashim were busy with funeral arrangements of RasulAllah(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and had withdrawn from social activities because they were mourning the Ansaar gathered in the tent of the tribe of Bani Sa'idah and started choosing a leader for the Arabs. Upon hearing this Umar told Abu Bakr to quickly rush to the place. After some squabble between Ansaar and Muhajireen Abu Bakr was chosen as a successor for Prophet(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).
      The first three people to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr were: Bashir b.Sa'ad, Umar b.Khattab and Abu ‘Ubaydah al-Jarrah. 
      3. DID EVERYONE PLEAD ALLEGIANCE TO Abu Bakr? WHAT HAPPENED TO PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T? 
      Of course, one of the persons to not pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr was our Imam Ali(عليه السلام) but there were people amongst Arabs who refused to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr. Let's just look at two examples.
      1. MALIK b.NUWAYRAH: Malik b Nuwayarh was a devout companion of the Holy Prophet(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). Upon his refusal to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr, Abu Bakr told Khalid b. Waleed to prepare an army against him and attack him under the pretext that he had turned apostate and was refusing to pay Zakat and taxes to the Caliph. What Khalid b. Waleed did was attack him during the night in his house, like a coward. They killed him, later raped his wife and they didn't stop there. They cut off Malik's head and cooked it with camel meat and the food from the vessel containing Malik's head was consumed by Khalid b. Waleed's army. 
      2. SA'AD b. UBADAH: Saad b.Ubadah was from the Ansaar of Medina and a contender with Abu Bakr for caliphate.However, he lost when the clan of al-Khizraj did not side with him. Umar tried to force him to pledge allegiance. However,he refused to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr and to Umar after him and instead lived a life of seclusion. When Umar took over the reins he ordered Khalid b. Waleed to kill Sa'ad. He shot arrows at him which killed him and they later spread a rumour that he was killed by jinns(narrated by Historian al-baladhuri)
      So now we have some idea what was happening to people who refused allegiance. 
      4.CONFISCATION OF Fadak
      Fadak was confiscated and one of the reasons behind confiscating Fadak was to hurt Imam Ali(عليه السلام) economically because Abu Bakr and Umar feared that Imam Ali(عليه السلام) might rise against them so they took away Fadak. 
      5. WHY DIDN'T Imam Ali (عليه السلام) OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT OF Abu Bakr?
      After Saqeefa took place three hundred and sixty people pledged allegiance at the hand of Imam Ali(عليه السلام) to defend him until his death. Imam(عليه السلام) told them go home and gather in a particular street the next day with shaved heads.Out of of these three hundred and sixty people how many turned up the next day? Only FIVE!     Abu Dharr, Miqdad, Hudhayfah, Ammar and Salman.
      Imam Ali(عليه السلام) saw a flock of sheep, about thirty in number gathered in a pen and looking at them he said, "By Allah! If I had along with me men who were true supporters of Allah, the Mighty, the Sublime, and His Prophet, equaling the number of these sheep, I would certainly have deposed Abu Bakr, from his authority."
      6. FORCING Imam Ali(عليه السلام) TO GIVE ALLEGIANCE & THREATENING TO BURN THEIR HOUSE
      After seeing fickleness of the people Imam Ali (عليه السلام)settled into his house. Abu Bakr sent men to get Imam Ali(عليه السلام) to come out. He turned them down.They went again,this time Lady Fatima(عليه السلام) refused to open the door and sent them away. Next, three men gathered firewood outside the home of Hazrat Ali(عليه السلام) and Bibi Fatima(عليه السلام). Who were these three men 1. Qunfudh  2.Khalid b.Waleed  3.Mughaira b.Shu'bah.
      Umar came to the door and asked Fatima(عليه السلام) to open it, which she refused once again.They started lighting up the firewood on Umar's instructions. Hazrat Fatima(عليه السلام)cried out and tried to remind them of her position which they ignored and, pushed the door open behind which Hazrat Fatima(عليه السلام),who was pregnant at that time was standin, and she was crushed between the wall and door. Umar entered the house and struck Fatima(عليه السلام) on the arm with his whip which left a bruise there. She sustained injuries which led her to miscarrying the baby Mohsin; and went into an illness from which she did not recover. 
      7.IS IT REALLY POSSIBLE THAT Umar ASSAULTED Fatima(عليه السلام)?
      If we look at Umer's life we see that he had an explosive temper a history of abuse against women. The famous incident narrated by our Sunni brothers about his conversion to Islam, where Umar struck his own sister and wounded her. Before going to his Sister's house he was on his way to kill Prophet of Allah(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)
      8. Islamic POSITION ON ENTERING SOMEONE'S HOUSE WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION
      O you who have believed, do not enter houses other than your own houses until you ascertain welcome and greet their inhabitants. That is best for you; perhaps you will be reminded.And if you do not find anyone therein, do not enter them until permission has been given you. And if it is said to you, "Go back," then go back; it is purer for you. And Allah is Knowing of what you do. - Qur'an Surah Nur: 27-28
      9. WHY DID Fatima(عليه السلام) ANSWER THE DOOR AND NOT Imam Ali(عليه السلام)?
      This is one of the points frequently brought up, why didn't Imam Ali answer the door? The answer is, there is nothing wrong per se to a wife answering the door. there are numerous narrations where one of Prophet(saw)'s wives answered the door while the Prophet(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was himself in the house.
      10.WHY DIDN'T Imam Ali DEFEND Fatima(عليه السلام)?
      After Umar had struck Fatima(عليه السلام) Imam Ali(عليه السلام) came out and caught hold of the collar of ‘Umar and threw him down to the ground. He was determined to kill him but suddenly recalled the testimony of the Prophet (to forebear) and called out, ‘O son of Sahhak! I swear by Allah Who exalted Muhammad to the rank of prophethood that if the command of Allah would not have been decreed and the promise (to bear patiently) not have been given to me by the Prophet of Allah, you would have realized how difficult it is to enter my house!’
      11. HAZRAT Fatima(عليه السلام) PASSED AWAY AT LEAST A MONTH AFTER HER SERMON ON Fadak
      https://www.al-Islam.org/house-sorrows-life-sayyidah-fatimah-al-Zahra-and-her-grief-shaykh-Abbas-qummi/chapter-3-state
      http://www.askthesheikh.com/can-you-provide-reliable-shiasunni-sources-on-martyrdom-of-lady-Fatima-al-Zahra-a-s/
    • By 3wliya_maryam in spoken words/poetry/ deep thinking
         7
      Sometimes we forget to be grateful for many of the blessings God has decreed upon us that if we were to thank him for countless days and nights, it would never be sufficient. Some of us may not realise that despite living in a house where our parents have different mindsets that complicate many aspects in life, perhaps during their time they had it far more worse. We forget that they have gone through immense pressure trying to give us a life far more opportunistic than theirs, yet they fail to realise how a lot of their customs prevents us from seeking opportunities in the first place. Think about the conservative societies they used to live in the past century and how difficult it was to overcome. Perhaps our parents think that their way of upbringing will lure us away from the demonised world, to save our mental stability and hence they carry their past teachings and culture to the next generation. On the contrary, that belief has torn us apart.
      Our parents have survived war, signed myriad of papers and fought with the Western laws to seek a better environment for themselves and future offspring. We know that our families cannot seem to fathom our changes as we develop. They believe we are steering out of the line of honour and family reputation that if a slight error was committed then it would be spread throughout the entire community. You end up hearing tales and calumnies from storytellers who often find it entertaining to dwell in the affairs of others. The values and customs I have been raised in believe that a family's dignity and privilege is held by the eldest daughter where her wrongdoings mean familial destruction. Whilst having a good reputation at some point is crucial to living a substantial life, parents forget that our unexpressed feelings matter more than pleasing an egoistic community. 
      In Islam, one of the major sins is the displeasing of parents, where their anger is equatable to God's. Surely we must strive to respect them as they become elders, despite the levels of irritability we receive almost everyday. We are taught to maintain patience and that is further learnt more deeply during adolescence. Even so, a lot of the times one has knowledge of what is right yet still choose to divert into the path of wrong. An example is when our parents infuriate us, it results in retaliation rather than remaining quiet and calm. Understandably, nobody wants to hear someone create quite vague assumptions and further jump to the worst conclusions. That is one of the nuisances we normally find within parents.
      From past personal experience, despite my OCD was likely of being genetic, I discovered that the strategies my parents used to make the entire family adhere to religion were often uncompromising. They believe using threats will make their children stand firm towards God and whilst I partially agree, the end result may be discrepancy. I've always loved being a Muslim. Observing full hijab from a very young age, praying at night outside the backyard beneath His illuminating creation whilst holding the sacred Qur'an in my hands. I thought I felt undeniable peace, but was it truly as peaceful as it sounded like?  I was on attack the minute I stood onto my prayer mat or opened a supplication prayer. Those rampaging thoughts destroyed my inner peace. It seemed like I was a saintly servant of God, but the reality was that I was hurting deep down without even figuring out the cause. After recovery, a part of me came to conclusion as to what had led to these doubts and whispers in the first place. It somewhat was in relation towards my parent's upbringing, where I had noticed the number of threatening remarks they used in relation to God made me believe that I was obliged to add in the extra effort and consistency towards my prayers and other obligations. However, a number of times they had caught me in such a state and tried to give me solid advice that I am already pious enough in the eyes of God. And yet I always felt like I did a mistake in my ablution that led to repetitive cleansing.  
      Then again, we are far more mature than to be constantly blaming parents for our actions. I criticise myself for being too naive and turning small situations into extreme ones. The truth is nobody else is at fault but ourselves because we have full control over our own actions. We are willing to blame others for our mistakes in order to escape guilt or responsibility. Parents may have played some role in the way we have turned out to be, yet we know ourselves way too well as adults that most of it is our own fault, Maybe we did not realise that controlling our thoughts and actions could have been taken into our own hands if only we did not let all that negativity consume us.
       
    • By 3wliya_maryam in spoken words/poetry/ deep thinking
         1
      The correlation between OCD and being sensitive may apply only to some people. There is no clear evidence that highly sensitive individuals are prone to the disorder, although one of the symptoms indicate sensitivity to be a major factor. For instance, one may begin to obsess over hygiene as they fear being contaminated or infected with bacteria at home, so they start washing their hands repeatedly or attempting to maintain the cleanliness of the house. They are sensitive to any foreign substance present within their surrounding environment.
      In Islam, we must sustain purity before prayer. That means performing ablution or a full body ritual purification that is called 'ghusl'. Nevertheless, one may start developing doubts as to whether they are truly purified. Women may have doubts about discharge whilst men may begin to worry about excreting semen. Perhaps their clothes were impure, or that they passed gas during prayer. It could lead to repeatedly showering, performing ablution or using the bathroom more frequently. For the individual it is undoubtedly stressful and can lead to physical health problems, such as dry skin and hair as well as acne.
      The flashback memories of my past childhood always affects me till this day. I was born as a sensitive and naive child. Sensitivity is that one trait people often despise, even the carriers of it. I was faced with difficulties for self acceptance, because not only did I loathe my self for my overreacting personality, I was a victim of fat shaming. I wanted to feel happy, free of worries by claiming my desires. But unfortunately we do not live in a Utopian world; not everything we wish for can be granted, unless we choose to put the effort. I definitely take it to heart if someone still fat shamed me, even if it was merely a 'joke'. It evokes all my memories of self loathe, where I was rather too young to be feeling insecure followed by wasted effort from dieting and physical activity. We dislike being called sensitive despite us being fully aware. We refuse to admit our behaviours because we choose to not be defined by it. We feel weak, with no self control towards our impulses. When these emotions begin to overwhelm us, our mental health deteriorates. We feel violated if one makes a remark, which leads us being defensive.
      One must also understand that sensitive people can vary. Some are just easily emotional and have deep empathy, whereas others I previously mentioned have the tendency to take everything so personal. Normally these individuals have insecurities followed by low self esteem and hence their weakness is criticism. They are not skilled to ignore varying perceptions because they choose to listen to them and not their own conscious mind. It is the fear of judgement that they may receive.
      You may be wondering about its relevance to scrupulosity, but in some form it plays a role. Again, it is not necessarily the cause of the disorder and this is only an elucidation of my own personal experience. I investigated within myself and realised that one of the triggers towards OCD was my highly sensitive personality. Followed by the altering chemical changes, my overreactions led to repetitive self harm out of guilt and loathe. My personality may have been a stepping stone towards the disorder; the smallest of things I felt was a grave sin and through time it only had gotten worse.
      Do not let others define you, a very important lesson that I wish I had grasped years ago. People like to manipulate and make you feel bad, even though you may be the victim. That does not mean you should play its role, rather you should only believe in what your heart feels right. Sometimes we know that our very own mind controls us too and causes us to react or act in ways we regret later, but do not let the past define you. Every now and then I feel hurt from my own levels of faith, because when you have that love and dedication to the Lord, the judgements you receive will become meaningless.
       
       
    • By 3wliya_maryam in spoken words/poetry/ deep thinking
         1
      I came across a tragic story of a young man who committed suicide as he convinced himself that he was not a true servant of God. He was well known for his piety and devotion in religious obligations. But such dark whispers led him to believe that Allah was still displeased with him. Whether or not he knew that suicide is a grave sin, perhaps he thought that he would never reach God's satisfaction either way. 
      I was baffled and lost with words. Someone who had such high faith and yet found it hard to battle the demons that propelled him to his downfall. But only He knew precisely what he was going through; it may have been his family, or the community's imagery of Islam. He most likely was suffering from depression or anxiety. Part of me wishes to have helped him drive away his misery as we both share similar grievances. May Allah forgive and have mercy upon him.
      It is quite scary to even imagine the consequences of any mental illness and where it could lead to. For something as perplexing as this man's story I have never read that OCD could be this severe. Perhaps he had a secret, where he did not choose to end his life on the basis of these thoughts that are linked to the disorder. It may have been something else that was giving him torment.
      Guilt is an intolerable feeling second to heartbreak. Islamically it is meant to restrain us from sinning and if it were to cease from mankind, we would all turn into vicious and evil beings. However, in some cases guilt can become so vulnerable that it can no longer be tolerated. When this happens individuals may develop a strong fear towards guilt which is termed as "guilt sensitivity" and is shown to be one of the main symptoms of OCD. They feel violated and hence to avoid this unbearable emotion, ritualistic patterns and behaviours are performed to eliminate it. If we relate this to scrupulosity, the individual highly fears God. They will try their hardest to end the guilt by excessively praying or performing other religious obligations, believing that this will please Him. In fact, it only worsens the symptoms and results in pathological guilt that can become distressing.
      Prior to finding treatment within myself, I was the kind to easily feel overwhelmed with heavy guilt, especially towards my family. It tormented me from the inside, where I would choose to withdraw in my confined space and release my emotions. I loathed feeling this way as it was getting out of hand. When I finally found the means to break free from my compulsions, that feeling went away. And even when I still felt guilty for hurting my parents, I intended to drive it away as I did not want to experience the same kind of hurt again.
      Parents have a talented skill in guilt tripping their children as a means of attempting to keep them in line. If there is one aspect within our parents upbringing that has negatively impacted our lives of youth would be in terms of religion by using guilt ineffectively. An example would be forcing a child to pray, or forcing them to wear the headscarf. All that force only does more harm than good, but sadly some parents do not realise that. God does not intend to make our religion difficult to pursue, therefore Islam is a religion of encouragement and not force. Each Muslim is on their own journey, their own pathway into seeking the truth and strengthening their will regardless of what stage they are in. If our parents weren't so compromised towards their communities' vile perceptions and clinging onto idiotic cultural taboos then I doubt majority of us would be in such a position. Now that we have identified the truth, we will be the generation to alter the ways we have been taught by them.
       
    • By Haji 2003 in Contemporania
         0
      A niece living in India wrote a personal statement for British universities, in support of her application and wanted my feedback.
      Here it is:
       
      Salaam. It’s very well written. It has very good references to extra curricular activities.
      The only thing it may be missing are references to academic achievements, such as essay competitions / prizes etc. but if you don’t have anything to say there - there’s not much you can do. 
      Structure-wise it starts in a very abstract way and it may be an idea to begin with something more concrete.
      People who read these may be used to bull$hit and you want to avoid starting off with the wrong impression.
      Let me know if there is anything else.
       
      She did not come back to me with a response, perhaps because of one of the words that I used. But as you guys may remember I used the same for my son when warning his primary school teacher about how to handle him.
      Anyway one of the leading British universities responded that they did not understand her personal statement.
      Not surprised.
    • By Ibn al-Hussain in Just Another Muslim Blogger
         0
      Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IqraOnlineBlog/
      Original post: https://www.iqraonline.net/dialogue-with-believers/
      An epidemic harming our communities is the general inability, hesitance & fear of engaging in dialogue with one another. In fact, in recent years, it appears there has been a significant increase in our communities engaging and initiating inter-faith dialogue, yet we do not see this phenomenon within our own communities. This is while we need such initiatives perhaps even much more so than inter-faith. We lack the ethics and etiquette of engaging in dialogue with other believers and this naturally weakens, distances and breaks up our communities on various fronts. This is of utmost concern particularly for the diaspora that is already in a vulnerable position – and things do not seem to be getting any better. Dialogue is not simply “speaking” – speaking is not the issue, in fact, many of us speak and have a lot to say, and our pulpits are occupied all year long with trained scholars, untrained lecturers and academics speaking.
      A dialogue will generally have these three elements:
      1) Two or more people
      2) A subject of dispute or a subject that needs clarification
      3) An expectation that the result of dialogue will either be in favour of you and/or the other party, or not (depending on the conclusion).
      When dialogue does not take place, the results we observe are usually the belittlement of others, insults, accusations and rumours, swearing, and in fact, a lack of dialogue can even lead to physical confrontations, wars and bloodshed. These are of course all horrible consequences, particularly when the victims are no other than our selves. These consequences show that the subject of dispute was not resolved or there was no capacity to engage in a dialogue to begin with.
      Why do we not engage in dialogue amongst ourselves? Are those who we disagree with amongst the believers so off the mark that we need to maintain a position against them like we should do with those who are genuine enemies of our belief? This is most often not the case at all and only in extremely exceptional circumstances do we have to encounter such groups of people – at which point it would be difficult to even classify them as believers. In the Treatise of Rights, Imam Sajjad (a) says that people of your creed enjoy the following rights over you:
      The right of the people of your creed is harbouring safety for them, compassion toward them, kindness toward their wrong-doer, treating them with friendliness, seeking their well-being, thanking their good-doer, and keeping harm away from them. You should love for them what you love for yourself and dislike for them what you dislike for yourself. Their old men stand in the place of your father, their youths in the place of your brothers, their old women in the place of your mother, and their young ones in the place of your children.
      Neglecting dialogue over matters of contention, more often than not, results in the trampling of some or all of these rights. So what prevents us from engaging in dialogue? Perhaps one or more of the following preliminaries required for dialogue do not exist:
      1. The need to recognize other believers as noble creations of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Verse [17:70] says Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has given the children of Adam nobility and honour. In some of our communities, we see believers giving a lot of respect to Sayyids and this is not for any reason except for the fact that they are connected to the Prophet (p) through a chain of many generations. However, it behooves us to realize that we (and creation as a whole) are connected to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) directly (or as per certain schools of philosophy, we are the very connection itself). Looking at another believer through the lens of dishonour and painting them as ignoble will not lead us anywhere and signifies a much greater spiritual problem.
      2. Acknowledging that humans are different from certain aspects – gender, ethnicities, tribes, physical and spiritual capacities, affinities, tastes etc. We have two types of Sunnah (pl. Sunan) – the Sunnah of the Prophet and the Sunnah of Allah. The Sunan of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) are divided into two: there are some Sunan that only become applicable when humans bring them upon themselves through their free-will; for example, the increased bestowal of guidance once we have wilfully chosen to come into Islam -
      [47:17] As for those who are [rightly] guided, He enhances their guidance.
      [19:76] Allah enhances in guidance those who are [rightly] guided.
      There are some Sunan of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) that are absolute, not conditioned to the free-will of man. One of these Sunan is His creating us different. These differences are one of the necessary conditions for trial and tribulation to have any meaning in this world.
      [5:48] …and had Allah wished He would have made you one community, but [His purposes required] that He should test you in respect to what He has given you…
      [6:165] It is He who has made you successors on the Earth, and raised some of you in rank above others so that He may test you in respect to what He has given you.
      As such, it is normal that even within the same worldview, there will be times people reach different conclusions and do things differently. Acknowledging this opens the door to considering certain points of contention worthy of engagement. On the contrary, allowing these contentions to break us apart may very well be a sign that the believers are failing in their trials.
      3. The lack of desire to engage in Ṣulḥ - to reach a conciliation and compromise. Ṣulḥ is often discussed in the context of resolving personal disputes and ironing out details of settlements, or as a treaty for halting warfare. But the general principles of Ṣulḥ can also be used to resolve larger community disputes – as was common in the Muslim world in the past and continues to be the case in many rural places. However, this generic understanding of Ṣulḥ only works if parties involved have a desire to discuss their disputes in a sincere manner (the details and mechanisms of Ṣulḥ have been discussed in detail in their appropriate places). One should not see the mere existence of differences as necessarily going against the command of holding on to the rope of Allah [3:103] - these two are reconcilable on many occasions as the scholars have mentioned. The absence of Ṣulḥ breaks and fragments the communities of the believers.
      4. Reality is too vast and not all of it is in our hands. At any given point we have only understood certain aspects of it and that as well to a certain degree, not absolute reality –
      [17:85] and you have not been given of the knowledge except a little.
      We need to acknowledge that there are other perspectives and there is genuine room for these perspectives to be justified within an Islamic framework. The vastness of reality should alone be enough to humble and soften us to engage in dialogue with another party amongst the believers. The delusion of having uncovered all of the truth regarding a certain matter and behaving as if no one else could possibly say anything that would add anything to our knowledge is a deterrent and barrier for dialogue.
    • By Ibn al-Hussain in Just Another Muslim Blogger
         0
      Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IqraOnlineBlog/
      Original post: https://www.iqraonline.net/when-apologies-becomes-unethical/
      There is no doubt that apologizing and seeking forgiveness for having done something wrong is an ethical act. It is something we should all do for any of our mistakes and shortcomings that became the cause of harm and nuisance to others. Apologizing shows us that the individual has intuitively realized the flaws of a certain decision they had made and their regret over it, and so, we qualify it as a moral and ethical act originating in their recognition of this fact.
      However, we only qualify the act of apologizing as an ethical act when it is within a certain framework and meets certain conditions. If one’s apology does not meet these conditions, the act of apologizing itself becomes immoral and unethical. This is something Muslims at large need to be wary off, particularly the Muslim diaspora in the West.
      An apology is only ethical when it is offered in response to one’s own mistake or criminal offence. If one apologizes in a situation where they know they have committed no crime nor offence, this is an unethical instance of an apology. Imam ‘Alī (a) has been reported to have said: “One who seeks pardon without having sinned, has imposed that sin upon himself.” This is because by apologizing, one gives the impression of being guilty of something, even though they are not guilty of anything. A very apparent example of this is the initiative taken by some Muslims to apologize for crimes certain other Muslims happen to commit.
      An even more unethical type of apology is one that is done after fulfilling a religious responsibility and duty. This is an apology one offers after doing something they had to in order to fulfill the commands of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), yet after doing so, they offer an apology because they realized that the other party was unhappy with them for whatever reason. In another tradition, Imam ‘Alī (a) has said, “Do not seek pardon for obeying the commands of Allah – it being a sign of honour for you should suffice.” A simple example of this would be Muslims who refuse to shake hands with the opposite gender, yet still apologizing for their behaviour.
      Furthermore, one notices that the Islamic tradition is silent on whether one should expect and insist on an apology from someone who causes them harm. On the contrary, what we find are ample traditions on accepting an apology when it is offered. It is not strange then that we do not find any historical reports telling us that Imam ‘Alī (a) demanded an apology during his own caliphate from anyone who caused him trouble. This notion of being expected to apologize is important to note because another instance of an immoral apology is one where one is expected to give an apology by an individual or a community for a wrong ulterior motive – often political.
      For example, when ‘Uthmān exiled Abū Dharr, he ordered Marwān to take Abū Dharr out of the city and not allow anyone else to accompany them. Despite the orders of the caliph, Imam ‘Alī (a) alongside ‘Aqīl and his sons came to accompany Abū Dharr – their presence also signifying a sign of protest against the exile. Marwān saw this as an insult to himself and the caliph was also angered when he came to know about this. The seniors amongst the Muhājirūn and the Anṣār began pressuring the Imam to apologize to Marwān, implying that he expects an apology, but the Imam (a) responds to them, “As for Marwān, I will not go to him and neither will I apologize to him.” In our own day to day life, we see these expectations being put on Muslims – often with ulterior motives behind them – where one is to apologize for certain positions or views they hold or certain decisions they make while being within their right to do so.
      In the same light, another unethical apology is one that is to someone who sees you as worthless, denies you your rights, and sees themselves as the possessor of all rights. In one of the wisdom of Luqmān, narrated by Imam Ṣādiq (a), he is reported to have said, “do not apologize to someone who does not ascertain any rights for you.” This is because apologizing to such an individual does nothing but bring humility and shame to you.
      Finally, one should only apologize if they know they are truly in the wrong. This is the case even if one is found guilty in court after evidence has been established against them. They can be reprimanded according to the law for what they were found guilty of, but despite this, if they themselves know they were not guilty in reality, apologizing in such a situation cannot be considered ethical. We also see that Islamic law is silent on the matter of demanding and insisting the guilty to apologize for their errors.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Blog Statistics

    78
    Total Blogs
    428
    Total Entries
×
×
  • Create New...