Muslims Must Choose: Under the Heel or, Respected?
We are in the month of Ramadan when we must fast from sunrise to sunset. This does not simply mean that we should go on a glorified diet plan, it means we must also DO the things God as told us we must do, such as fight evil, oppression and injustice. We must also stand up for truth and we must sacrifice what is ours in order to help our fellow humans.
…and we must help our fellow Muslims when they face trouble.
So many of us lead lives full of all kinds of blessings, we have food, shelter protection, reasonably good health and many of us are blessed with a lot more money than we actually need. So many of us seem to believe all we need to do to fulfill our obligations to society and to God, is to give to charity, pay our taxes, pray and stay away from that Demon whose name comes after we spit; “Politics”.
So many of us do not take the time to understand “Politics”. Our prophet Mohammed (saw) was certainly the greatest politician in Islam’s history and certainly among the very best in history, but we cling to the erroneous belief that all he ever did was pray and preach.
He was in fact, an unsurpassed diplomat and politician.
He went from being a person that even his own tribe wanted to kill, to being a peacemaker. He brought together Jews, Christians, pagans and his own pitifully small group of early Muslims. Even when Jewish tribes in medina turned against him, he only took action against those who plotted to eliminate him and remained at peace with the rest. He married women from tribes of his enemies in order to create binding coalitions that helped his own group as well as the tribes he joined with. He married his own daughters with some of his most powerful allies and followers, he reached out to leaders and kings to help them understand what he was preaching, not as much to convert them, but more to diffuse their hostilities towards this new upstart religion. He made treaties with other tribes, with his enemies, in order to maintain peace even when the treaties were considered as unfavorable towards Muslims.
All this he did as a tactician, a diplomat AND as a politician…without the use of the sword, without threats.
Many verses in the Quran tell us to stand for Justice, to support each other, to stand with each other and to help each other. There are also many hadith attributed to the prophet Mohammed that tell us to do the same and there is no ambiguity about the messages. Muslims are required to stand for the downtrodden and to stand for Justice against Injustice and oppression.
Yet today, Muslims are recognized for their infighting, for their indifference to injustice around them and for being loyal to their paymasters against their own. Today, Muslims are recognized by others yet, we Muslims fail to recognize each other because we believe we are more Muslim than the “Other”, we are told who is Muslim and who is “Kafir” (Unbeliever) and we take ownership of that condemnation and start to hate them as “Kuffar” (Unbelievers) even as the “Others” tell us that they ARE Muslim; we have taken the place of God in judging and condemning our own.
Today Muslims believe that the best way to be a good Muslim, is to hate everything else.
Today, Muslims are probably the most violently divided of all people.
These divisions and these self-destructive actions on the part of Muslims are a source of great satisfaction and delight for our enemies who have to do nothing to destroy Muslim power. In fact, our enemies offer material support to one side and then the other, in order to ensure we are as irrelevant in the order of things as any group can get; our enemies capitalize and profit from our self-destruction.
While this is happening, entire countries are taking excessive measures against Muslims and their practices.
In Europe, it is a crime punishable by jail terms of six months or more, to “insult a faith or an ethnic group or cause pain to them”, but bashing Islam and Muslims is protected as “Freedom of Speech”. In France, wearing Hijab or Headscarves in government service (schools etc.,) is against the law and it is illegal to wear a face-covering (veil or full hijab) in public. In China, fasting while in government service (including schools) is banned. In Israel, any Muslim is automatically presumed to be a “Terrorist”, Israeli citizens who are Muslim or Christian, have significantly fewer rights and benefits, than Israelis who are Jews.
In the United States, it is considered an act of patriotism to display dislike for Muslims and Islam under the pretext of fighting suffix/prefix…”Radical” or “Fundamental”… Islam/Muslims. Law-enforcement agencies and the military are trained to treat Muslims as suspects under the pretext of fighting “Terrorism”, persecuting Muslims is codified in law (NDAA 2010-2014). Yet, the millions of Muslims in this country, consider themselves as too insignificant and powerless to change anything, believing that staying silent and praying harder will keep them safe […Lo! God does not change the condition of a people until they first change that which is in their hearts… (13:11)].
In the face of all these attacks on Muslims that would never be tolerated against any other minority, Muslims remain indifferent because it is not happening to them as individuals. Muslims are gun-shy of anything that they feel is “Politics” and therefore, take no pains to get involved as Muslims to exert influence to change anti-Muslim attitudes and practices in government and its agencies.
It is time we started to make the changes within ourselves and among those who allow hostile behavior against Muslims.
- We need to encourage each other… actively encourage each other to accept and embrace Muslims who are outside of our own schools of thought. So, whether one is Shia, Sunni, Sufi or Selafi, we need to look at each other as Muslims and leave the final judgment to God. We must invite one another to our places of worship, have them speak to our groups and vice-versa.
- Our imams MUST lead such efforts by teaching this in their Khutbas, not once, but again and again for, this message is more important than preaching about how we dress and appear or, how much zakat we must give and how much reward we will receive.
- We need to take these messages to heart and learn how to use our collective strength for POLITICAL changes in this country, changes that will help make life more equitable for Muslims. Changes that will deliver a better, more just world to our children.
- We must exert our influence among those who hold great power over us…because we have given them that power…so they may change their attitudes and start to treat us as equal citizens and we can only do this as our collective efforts.
We are in the month of Ramadan. It is time for us Muslims to reflect on what is going on around us and to take action. Unfortunately, we do not have the luxury of taking too much time for reflection, we need to push each other to get off our placid behinds and feel the discontent sufficiently to move to action…Now.
No comments yet.