The freedom to *BLEEP*

Uncle Sam says shush!

No, that isn’t your ISP’s word censor doing its job properly, and yes we at SiyasahPress have spell-checked the title. The *BLEEP* in the title of this article is every bit intentional, and I’ll explain why…

Today Julian Assange, famous whistleblower, internet hacktivist, and journalist, took sanctuary at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Assange is most famous for his website, wikileaks. For those of you who aren’t familiar with wikileaks, it’s a website which publishes sensitive and highly classified information such as videos of American troops purposefully targeting innocent civilians, or government dossiers. Some of the more high profile information that was published by wikileaks was the ‘collateral murder’ video of an attack by an American apache attack helicopter, which killed innocent Iraqis, as well as the Iraqi war logs, which accounted for every Iraqi death since the beginning of the war.

Assange and the many volunteers who maintained wikileaks ruffled many a proverbial feather by exposing all manner of clandestine and shocking operations. Naturally the world’s governments couldn’t have this – no, no. As a result, many countries undertook to ban, limit or otherwise censor wikileaks. Australia tried to blacklist the site, the United States banned all unauthorised federal employees from accessing the website as well as labelling Assange a ‘high tech terrorist’ while Germany raided the home of Theodor Reppe who owned the wikileaks.de domain name. As well as this several governments are trying to prosecute Assange and others at wikileaks for frivolous charges such as ‘encouraging the theft of government property’.

In 2010, in an obvious campaign to undermine Assange and the wikileaks website, Sweden accused Assange of raping two women. Now, I’m not here to argue whether or not he’s guilty, what I am here to discuss is the freedom of speech illusion, or as I call it, the freedom of *BLEEP*!

When we look at the nature of allegations and the way that they’ve been reported, there seems to be some type of a character assassination. While we don’t know whether or not Assange is guilty, the governments of Britain and Sweden seem to have made up their mind. This has been a very high profile case over the last few years, with Assange protesting his innocence as well as the legality of the case – claiming he had not seen the evidence against him. As well as this, supporters of Assange claim that the case is misleading and the evidence against him is full of holes. One tumblr blog even claims that the two women concerned fully intended to charge Assange with rape and not simply force him to take a HIV test, which is what was initially reported. The question is, why blow this case out of all proportion and drag wikileaks in to it?

Add to this the fact that if Assange is extradited to Sweden then according to his legal advisor, Michael Ratner, he could face immediate imprisonment pending a trial in Sweden and possibly another extradition to the USA were he could be sentenced to up to fourty years in prison and torture. This is something that has allegedly already happened to Bradley Manning, who was accused of whistleblowing to wikileaks. And this is what it was all leading to… the west prides itself on freedom of speech, and the belief that ‘I may not like what you’re saying but I will die to defend your right to say it’. Although it is becoming increasingly clear with cases like this, the case of the Irvine 11 and many more cases like them, that there is no freedom of speech, there is only the illusion that we are free to say what we want and there is the freedom of *BLEEP*.

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“And who is better in speech than the one who calls to Allah, works righteous deeds, and says “Indeed I am of those who are Muslims!” – Tafsir of Surah Fusilat v.33

In the Name of Allah the Beneficent the Most Merciful

Allah (SWT) in the noble Qur’an says:

“And who is better in speech than the one who calls to Allah, works righteous deeds, and says “Indeed I am of those who are Muslims!” (Fusilat, v.33)

This noble ayah that Allah (SWT) mentioned in Surah Al Fusilat highlights many factors that the Muslim Ummah in general and especially the dawah carriers can benefit from and get an understanding of what is required from the Muslims at this current moment of change in the Muslim World. In this momentous time period in History where the tyrants of the Muslim world are falling we are seeing people calling for change. Allah (SWT) begins by making a statement which is rhetorical in nature but its effect is used to reflect an elevation of position of the action in question and the doer. Whenever Allah (SWT) makes a comparison and uses the rhetorical approach the intention is to show that nothing is better/worse than the example depending on its context. So as an illustration when Allah (SWT) says:

And who are more unjust than those people who prevent the name of Allah from being mentioned in His mosques and strive toward their destruction.” (Baqarah, v.114) – he is highlighting that there is no one more unjust than the people who prevent Allah’s (SWT) name and reminder from being mentioned in the House of Allah.

or when Allah (SWT) says:

“And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allah a lie while he is being invited to Islam.” (Saff, v.7) – he is highlighting that there is no one more unjust than those people who lie about Allah and Islam while they are being invited to it.

or when Allah (SWT) says:

“And who is better than Allah as a judge, for a people who have certainty (Maeda, v.50) – Allah (SWT) is saying for a people who have conviction in Allah (SWT) there is no better judge or way of solving their disputes than through his commandments.

So in this ayah when Allah (SWT) says ‘And who is better in speech’ using the word أَحْسَنُ (Ahsanu) which is in the elative form ( اسم تفضيل /ismu tafdeel) of the word حسن (good) to show that the action that will follow is one of importance in the deen of Islam but more pressingly an act that is beloved to Allah (SWT) and the one who does it no one is better than him.

The ayah continues as whenever the elative form is used a comparison to that elevation follows to inform us of the nature of what is being asked. So what is this good action that has a great rank in the sight of Allah (SWT), we see that Allah says:

‘Than the one who calls to Allah’

Meaning the one who calls to the shariah of Allah (SWT) for it to be followed and implemented practically then…

‘Does good deeds’ i.e. he acts on the good that he is calling to…

‘And says indeed I am from the Muslims’.

Imam Ibn Kathir (RA) in his Tafsir of this ayah says:

“And who is better in speech than one who calls to Allah” – “Means he calls the servants of Allah to Him”

“works righteous deeds, and says “Indeed I am from the Muslims?” – “It means he himself follows that which he says, so it benefits him as well as others. He is not one of those who enjoin good, but do not do it themselves. He does good and avoids doing evil, and he calls to the creator, may he be blessed and exalted. This is general in meaning and applies to everyone who calls people to what is good (as opposed to just the Mu’azzin’s {the person who calls to prayer} as some scholars have attributed to) and is himself guided by what he himself says.”

So we can see that the dawah carrier who does the دَعَا (call) to Allah needs to take a special message for himself. In order for any person to reach this grand platform that Allah (SWT) is extolling, there are three things that the dawah carrier needs to do.

1. Allah (SWT) is saying that the dawah carrier needs to call to ‘Allah’ which reflects that he must have an Islamic call as any other call would be to other than Allah. This is important as whenever we face a problem we need to apply the hukm (rule) of Allah on that matter, so when we are now seeing these demonstrations and calls from the Muslim world demanding change, that change will only be in line with Allah’s call if it fell in line with the Islamic shariah. So when we see the crisis in the Muslim World we should not turn to and call for secular, nationalistic bodies. This will be going against the ayah and also his call to the deen of Allah needs to be complete and not one that is partial.

Also something to note is that Allah (SWT) has attributed success in this ayah with the verb  دَعَا (call) as opposed to a noun. Many times in the Quran Allah (SWT) attributes success to a verb such as:

“Indeed he is successful who purifies it (i.e. the soul)” (Shams, v.8) – thus the word زَكَّٮهَا / zak’kaha shows it is an action that needs to be undertaken. Similarly in this ayah the verb  دَعَا (call) highlights and signifies that it needs to be an action undertaken as the verb needs to be done, as opposed to it not having any practical implication on us. Allah (SWT) meticulously chooses every word in the Quran precisely and the use of the verb here, reflects the practical nature of the dawah.

2. Allah (SWT) is saying that he must to good deeds.

That he must be the embodiment and the practical manifestation of the change that he is advocating.

We know this to be the case of the Prophet (SAW), as he was described in the Hadith of Aisha (RA) ‘as the walking Qur’an.’

Imam Qurtubi (RA) regarding the Tafsir of this ayah says:
“The messenger of Allah (SAW) is the foremost among the people in this regard as Muhammad bin Sirin, As Suddi and Abdur Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said.”

3. The last part of the ayah is what I want to review.

Significantly Allah says that the dawah carrier says:
“Indeed I am from the Muslims?”

This ayah in Surah Fusilat is a Makki verse and was revealed in a context where the Muslims were striving against the power holders of that time; Quraysh, who were constantly attacking Islam and being hostile towards the believers. The Prophet’s (SAW) time is Mecca was one of struggle and where the Muslims were challenging the falsehood of idol worship and holding steadfastly onto the values of the deen of Islam. Many stories of the Sahabah’s being tortured such as the likes of Bilal being put under the desert heat with a boulder on his chest, to Abu Dharr al Ghiffari being beaten up for professing his Shahadah or the brave little Ibn Masud reciting Ar-Rahman in the presence of the nobility of Quraysh in front of the Ka’bah are milestones in Islamic history of the challenges they faced. It is under this context that Allah (SWT) is saying “and who is better in speech…” referring to these people i.e. the Sahabah’s as better than those who are just remaining silent but more importantly better than those who are opposing them. Allah (SWT) is using the rhetorical nature of this ayah as a means of exhorting the believers to carry on and it is with this ayah that the Sahabah’s got energy and determination to continue in that path until Allah (SWT) gave them peace and security in the first Islamic State in Medina.

Thus we notice that the word that Allah (SWT) uses is إِنَّنِيIndeed I am’ with the emphasis being on “Indeed.” Similarly this is a reflection of the stance of the dawah carrier that he is brave and not cowardly in his approach and silence is not an option for him when his allegiance is under question, whether he is British or Muslim. Or when he is asked does he believe comprehensively in the shariah regarding the role of women or the application of  the hudud (punishment system in Islam) he replies:

‘Indeed I am from the Muslims.’

This ayah is trying to pass on the concept that Muslims should not be apologetic for believing in Islam and that our concerns should be for the wider Muslim community and not just ourselves. This last part of the ayah is very similar and a reflection of the Shahadah that every Muslim takes to become Muslim. Islam is not merely the confession of a faith which is made once in a lifetime neither is it purely verbal; it is an act of witnessing which must carry a radical change to the current status quo. You enter Islam by saying the Shahadah, but you can live in Islam only by constantly doing Shahadah and this is what made the Sahabah great. Thus Allah (SWT) says:

‘Thus we have appointed you a middle nation, that you may be witnesses against mankind, and that the messenger may be a witness against you.’ (Surah Baqarahm v.143)

Thus doing the Shahadah will bring you into a continual confrontation with false ideas both inside and outside of you. Becoming Muslim, after the seed of Imaan (belief) has been sown in the heart, is a two-fold process: to summon one’s own self and to summon mankind to live by Islam, both are inextricably linked together. All the three points mentioned above need to be taken up simultaneously as they are all connected by thewaw al atf ‘و’ ‘the connection letter.’ This letter shows that all of these things mentioned have been connected so all of things need to be done collectively for the dawah carrier to achieve this high platform.

Summoning mankind is not a passive call. It is an active, dynamic process. It must wage a concentrated effort with all accessible resources so that all false ideas are dethroned, oppression and corruption are over powered, and justice is established among mankind. With this comes immense reward as Hassan Al Basri (RA) after reciting this ayah in Surah Al Fusilat said:
“This is the beloved of Allah, this is the close friend of Allah, this is the chosen one of Allah, and this is the most beloved of all the people of earth to Allah. He responded to the call of Allah and called mankind to that which he responded. He did righteous deeds in response and said ‘I am one of the Muslims’. This is Allah’s khalifah (representative).”

And Allah knows best.

Rupon Haque is a regular contributor to Siyasahpress. He is currently a student at the University of SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) studying History and Arabic. He can be followed on Facebook under the user-name: ‘Shahid’ Rupon or followed on Twitter @shahidrupon or emailed at ruponhaque@googlemail.com

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Kinneh kinneh jana eh Billo de kar? – A look at political apathy in Pakistan

I still remember the summer of 1995, sipping lassi’s on GT road and listening to the ethereal tones of Abrar Ul Haq singing his instant hit, Billo de kar. Ok, that may have mostly happened in my head, but my point still stands, and I’ll get to that in a minute.

Firstly though, for those of you unfamiliar with Pakistani folk/pop culture, during the 4-minute course of the song, Abrar Ul Haq sings his way to an almost utopian existence known only as ‘Billo de kar’. For those of you uneducated, illiterate few who can’t speak Urdu or Punjabi, Billo de kar is translated as ‘Billos’ house’.  Abrar Ul Haq describes a place where we will all eat kulfis and forget all our troubles. Admittedly it’s actually a pseudo-love-song, but bear with me, you’ll see were I’m going with this.

This song is a perfect metaphor for the Pakistani political scene. At the moment, we have a scene, which is dominated by the elite or widowers of former Prime ministers, whatever your flavour is Pakistan can accommodate. Unless of course you happen to be part of the voiceless majority, then you are unwelcome in the throes of Pakistani politics; you are officially shunned.

Since its inception, Pakistan has had a very rocky political journey. Power has been volleyed between the military and civilian governments more times than a tennis ball between Nadal and Federer. Added to this, we have the worst track record when it comes to electing in the scoundrels, usurpers and the down right incompetent. Talk about an abusive relationship right!

It is no surprise then that Pakistani’s have so much political apathy. A recent Gallup poll (07/03/12) commissioned by the Gilani foundation and carried out by Gallup Pakistan, a survey found that 45% have no interest in politics, 36% have some interest, 7% don’t know/didn’t respond, leaving just 12% who said they were politically active. This poll can be found here: http://site.gilanifoundation.com/?p=405.

Over the decades, the Pakistani people have seen no change in their circumstances, in other words they have not been able to reach Billos’ house. The Pakistan democracy machine has now also churned out its secret weapon, Imran Khan. Who is actually not that new, his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf has been active since January 1999. On a side note, ironically enough Abrar Ul Haq is now a member of the PTI.

It is only recently that Imran Khans’ party has gained traction and a lot of publicity, and one has to wonder why, could it be that Zardari has fulfilled his usefulness in Pakistan? After all, all that’s actually changing is Zardari; Imran Khans’ party is up to its neck in corrupt politicians who formed the rank and file of team Zardari as well as other opposition parties. Parties that Imran Khan said he wanted to get rid of. The shining white knight, it seems is not as white as he would once have us believe, and it is for this reason that people are losing faith in him.

Now back to my analogy, in the song Abrar Ul Haq never gets his Billo, which is very sad. Excuse the tears. In the same way, Pakistan has never been able to reach stability or been able to progress, which actually is very sad, because it is a land full of so much potential and instead its main export right now is Chicken shop employees.

Pakistan is politically apathetic because the nation doesn’t see any hope in politics. Politicians have been raping and pillaging and you can bet Imran Khan and his band of merry men will be doing the same. Adding to the problem is that Pakistan is even resorting to kidnapping its sincere sons who are exposing American plans and calling for true change. Pakistan can only be rescued by a system which rescued and elevated the Arabs, and brought progress and dignity to half the world. Pakistan needs to call for a Khilafah rashidah – oddly enough a system which Imran Khan says he models his parties constitution on.

It is time for Pakistan to have it’s own Spring and join the Arab world in calling for an Islamic system. As a Muslim and a Pakistani, I would love for nothing more than to see my home country rise up as a unified whole and tell the self serving politicians that we don’t want them, we want Khilafah Islamiyah.

“And this is nothing except as a reminder for the whole of Mankind.” (Surah Qalam, v.52)

Nadeem Dawud is a regular contributor to Siyasahpress. He is a graduate from Kingston University, London, where he studied History and Politics. At the current moment he is a broadcaster and presenter for FM Radio. You can  follow Nadeem on Facebook under the user-name: Nadeem Dawud or follow him on Twitter @ndawud.

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Desires

A circle explaining the nature of desires, its characteristics and what is its role within human behavior. The circle talks about why desires has a significance in Islam as it can either lead man to heaven or hell. Also what lessons can be learned from the fact that the Quran always mentions “successful are the ones who purify it (the nafs/desire).”

Finally the speaker discusses that all human beings are born with these desires and instincts so how do we go about directing them in the right manner. We are not accountable for the instincts and desires we have rather our accountability lies in how we fulfill them!!! Take a look!!

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Monkey see, monkey do?

Over the last few years Muslims have become increasingly concerned with political matters, especially those that directly concern them or concern their ummah. This can be seen in cases such as that of Dr. Aafia Sidiqui, who has been wrongfully incarcerated, tortured and abused by American authorities. Or Brother Shaker Aamer, who has also been wrongfully incarcerated, tortured and abused by American authorities, and Brother Babar Ahmed, who has been wrongfully incarcerated, tortured and abused by American authorities (is anyone else beginning to notice a pattern here?). Moving away from the America bashing, Muslims are taking more notice of the politics ‘back home’, such as the upcoming Pakistani elections, the unbridled corruption in Bangladesh, the human rights abuses in Kurdistan and are becoming more openly and unashamedly supportive of the movements of change within the Arab world. As well as international politics, Muslims are taking more concern with national politics within Britain. This is a far cry from the situation five years ago, were Muslims were ashamed, even repulsed, at the idea of getting involved in the political realm. I am also proud to say that this has been a youth lead movement, who have severed the cultural ball and chain of apathy.
While I am happy to see this expanding movement and change, we need to stop for a second and examine exactly how we engage within the political realm. We all know that it is an obligation from our faith to forbid any munkar (evil) that we see, according to the Quran were Allah SWT says:

“And let their arise from amongst you a group (or groups) who will call to the good, who will command the righteous [acts], who will forbid the evil [acts], and these people will be the successful ones” [TMQ Surah Al Imran, 104]

And also the saying of the Prophet (SAW), who said:

“If any one of you sees an evil being committed, then he should change it with his hands, if he cannot do so, then let him change it with his tongue, and if he cannot do so, then let him hate it in his heart, and this is the most weak of iman” [Muslim]

This is definitely an obligation from our faith, and we need to strive for a real comprehensive change rather than an Obama change (ok, enough America bashing… at least for this article).

I want to address the notion that working within the system is a good plan for real change. The thinking is that if they climb high enough in the system that they can make change to policy or even create policy. However there are many problems with this, the most important of which is that as Muslims we cannot accept any system that replaces the legislation that Allah SWT has already sent down. Although I want to discuss this more from a practicality approach, rather than a daleel based discussion.

The problem is that as an individual navigating ‘the system’ there are many hurdles that one must overcome to get to a position important enough to start making any change.
Our first scenario is that of a sincere individual who stands as an independent candidate. This individual may be sincere but sincerity alone cannot lead to effective change. He or she will face a lot of brutal competition from the major and well established parties; who have a lot of powerful financial backers. If anything that the recent Cruddas-gate scandal (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2120010/Peter-Cruddas-Tory-treasurer-resigns-selling-secret-meetings-David-Cameron-250k.html) has revealed is that it is money, not policy that reigns supreme in the corridors of Parliament. Even to be able to stand as a successful independent candidate he or she will have to let go of some important tenets of Islam, it will be almost impossible for a Muslim independent candidate to stand on Islamic principles alone.

So why not stand as a candidate for one of the established parties, I hear you say. Well, if one does this he has to toe the party line, so if the party has a position strongly in favour of invading Pakistan, the party will enforce that through its party whip system. But don’t just take my word for it, here are the voting records of some recent Muslim MP’s.
Sadiq Khan, Labour, Tooting – Voted strongly for Labours anti terror laws. Voted very strongly for introducing ID cards. Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war. Sadiq Khan has never rebelled against his party in the current parliament.
Nadhim Zahawi, Conservative, Stratfor-upon-avon – Voted for Labours anti terror laws. Nadhim Zahawi has never rebelled against his party in the current parliament.
Shabana Mahmood, Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood – Didn’t bother to even turn up to vote on Labours anti terror laws. Shabana Mahmood has never rebelled against her party in the current parliament.

Khalid Mahmood, Labour, Birmingham, Perry Barr – Voted strongly for Labours anti terror laws. Voted very strongly for introducing ID cards. Voted a mixture of for and against the Iraq war. Voted strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war. Khalid Mahmood only occasionally rebelled against his party in the current parliament.
Sajid Javid, Conservative, Bromsgrove – Voted for Labours anti terror laws. Sajid Javid has hardly ever rebelled against his party in the current parliament.

Rehman Chishti, Conservative, Gillingham and Rainham – Voted for Labours anti terror laws. Rehman Chishti has hardly ever rebelled against his party in the current parliament.
I have to mention George Galloway, the self styled saviour of Islam, who supports Bashar Al Asad and has an abysmal attendance rate at parliamentary votes.

The only way to describe this is, ‘monkey see, monkey do’. What’s really shocking is that some non-muslims MP’s, such as Dianne Abbot (who has her own set of issues), voted strongly against the Iraq war! It looks like the Muslim MP’s are trying to outdo the Non-Muslim MP’s in their vehement attack against Islam!

The voting and attendance records of MP’s as well as other information is available here: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/

Do these incumbent MP’s represent your views? I didn’t think so.
The truth of the matter is that there is only one way to bring real change, which is to work to re-establish the Islamic Khilafah in the Muslim lands. This is the only way we as Muslims (and non-Muslims alike) will be able to have a system that fully represents our views and beliefs, and that will protect those views and beliefs. But as for political participation Muslims should strive to engage with the community from a grass roots level and strive to make the Muslim community an independent one, where government interference is minimal and we adopt a policy of neither isolation nor integration, but rather the middle ground on interaction with the wider society.

Muslims should be politically active looking after their local communities every single day, unfortunately those that strive to be elected and their helpers only become active every four years or when election time comes. Their hype seems to ‘die’ down after this period, thus we need to really question how engaging is the democratic system??

Nadeem Dawud is a regular contributor to Siyasahpress. He is a graduate from Kingston University, London, where he studied History and Politics. At the current moment he is a broadcaster and presenter for FM Radio. You can  follow Nadeem on Facebook under the user-name: Nadeem Dawud or follow him on Twitter @ndawud.

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The paralysis of individualism and its effect on the Ummah

Since the removal of the practical implementation of Islam from life’s affairs, the clear understanding of Islam within the general Muslims has unfortunately declined. The ideas of Islam have and are slowly being mixed with kufr ideas. This problem is happening more in the western lands than the Muslim world.

Ideas such as individualism, have infected the minds of Muslims which has led to Muslims having distorted value judgments. This has happened with the majority of the Muslims not even realising it. This is because in the west this idea is very important as it creates competition (which is good overall according to the west) and it is taught to the masses via the education system, where success and failure are dependent solely on the individual. Exams at school which is the majority of assessment has to do with individual effort, they take the exams by themselves, they are rewarded or failed by themselves. There is very little focus on collective achievements. Now this idea of individualism affects how we value things so if something is beneficial for a person they are willing to do it. Even if that means going against the law, thus the common phrase “If I could steal something and get away with it, i’d do it”. Everything has to do with “me, myself and I”, “I am free to do what I want”. We are told by society that it doesn’t matter how your actions affect others – if its fine with you, that’s all that matters.

The problem this creates is that, when a Muslim who isn’t practicing and has been living with these ideas and values for most of their lives wants to make a change, they use these same kufr parameters and start applying them on Islam. Even though these ideas and values are kufr in origin they apply them without realising it. Thus it is not surprising that following an individualistic version of Islam of looking after yourself and having a less emphatic view on the wider Muslim Ummah is apparent and on the rise. When these same people who start practicing are asked to go out of their way and give dawah, a familiar response is “who am I, I need to fix myself first”, “I need to fix my aqeedah and I need to fix my iman”. Everything becomes nafsi nafsi nafsi (me, me,me). This should make us wonder why are there so many practicing Muslims so self-seeking and only want to think about themselves.

This selfishness can only stem from one thing which is individualism, a concept that is alien to Islam and Muslims. For Muslims must think about others as our beloved prophet Muhammad (saw) stated in a hadith:

Whoever wakes up in the morning and he doesn’t remember Allah or he doesn’t put in his intention to work for the sake of Allah then Allah has nothing to do with him. And whoever wakes up in the morning without having the intention to care about Muslims then he is not one of them”

The Prophet (saw) used remembering Allah and working for the sake of Allah (i.e enjoining good and forbidding evil) in the same hadith and having the same consequence as the one who doesn’t even care about thinking about the ummah. Such harsh words used against a person who is so self indulging that it should make us question that do we have in anyway shape or form have this alien concept in us.

There is not a single Muslim that isn’t slightly aware of some of the atrocities that is happening to the Muslims in Syria, Palestine, Iraq and other places, yet those same Muslims due to this infection of individualism are not doing anything. The prophet states in another hadith:

“If the people witness an oppressor and they do not take him by this hands (to prevent him) then they are close to Allah covering them all with punishment.” (Abu Dawud)

This narration indicates the consequence of neglecting our duty to look after this ummah. Imam ibn Al Qayyum said:

“Shaitan has misled most people by beautifying for them the performance of certain voluntary acts of worship such as voluntary prayer while neglecting other obligatory acts of worship enjoining good and forbidding evil, to the extent that they do not even make intention of performing them”.

One of the practical ways to address this issue is to make an effort to go out and take a look into the affairs of this ummah. Look at the problems and really think about them. Search and ask what are the true solutions from the Quran and Sunnah to these problems and then act upon them inshAllah. We constantly need to ask what is the hukm of Allah on this issue and we should exert our self to implement that solution. We shouldn’t seek to implement our own opinion on a matter, and the sahaba’s were truely a great example of this.

“Allah will not change a condition of any nation, until they all collectively make a change occur in what is in themselves.” (Surah Ra’ad, v.11)

This Article was written by Mohammed Azeem

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Babar Ahmad and the farce of Western Justice

“Eight years without trial is like living on death row. It’s like you are living every day for a tomorrow that might or might not come. And it has been very, very difficult. “It’s just not knowing: there are prisoners all around me who have release dates. Even if it is 10 years ahead of them, they have a date. Detention without trial is the most unimaginable type of psychological torture.” – [Babar Ahmad, Newsnight interview 5 April 2012]

The indiscernible case of Babar Ahmad is reaching its anti-climatic conclusion whereby he is expected to be extradited to the US to face Dr Aafia Siddiqui-esque prosecution after the European Court of Human Rights had sanctioned his extradition along with 4 other ‘terror’ suspects. Such news should come as no surprise if one were to follow the UK track record in adhering to the rule of law, its treatment of terror suspects (only Muslim) and its subservience to US demands. On the one hand, a state engulfed in multiple foreign wars, on countless occasions has violated the rule of law, and on the other, it claims to be the standard bearer of ‘freedom’, ‘justice’ and ‘democracy’; terms subjective to the interests of the state. Under legislation that derogates human rights law, Babar Ahmad had been subject to abuse in varying degrees, upon arrest it is said that he was forced into the position of sujood and questioned, ‘where is your Lord?’ by the authorities. Arguably, such legislation made to target Muslims would indicate that there is a state endorsed McCarthyism policy imposed upon those merely suspected of being potentially ‘extreme’, in legitimising the inhumane. It is as if there are two parallels of the Western legal system, one for the general masses and one reserved for the Muslim. Undoubtedly, when it is peripherally viewed, it is seeping with unparalleled hypocrisy.

I am sure many of us can recall the hustle and bustle in seeking signatures for the e-petition hoping for his trial to be held in the UK, and the bitter response of this government in disregarding a record breaking somewhat 140,000 people who supported the cause. Some may have realised from the onset how irrational it would be to expect a system that imprisons a man for over 7 years without trial to offer even a semblance of justice, whereas others may have viewed his case in isolation having a semblance of hope in the legal system. The stark reality was that the bully which arrested our brother happened to also be the judge, jury and executioner so naturally, even a facade of justice would have been surprising.

In due course, we overlooked the media vilification of Babar Ahmad, merely suspected, yet portrayed as a convicted, fully fledged terrorist. Coincidentally, a media that fuels fertile Islamophobic ground would not miss this opportunity to carry the government agenda in its McCarthyism. What we can conclude is that public opinion would not sway states(A million demonstrated against the Iraq War, yet the state went against the majority in order to fulfil the welfare of corporate oil companies) with interests at hand, in this case, the need to enforce harsh punishments on suspected terrorists.

Some may assume, without assessing, that we live in a Western world where ‘human rights’ and rule of law are upheld, more specifically those from our Muslim lands going through political transitions may be swindled by this. Evidently, this is not the case. Historically, a clear basis for the adherence to the rule of law existed under the rightly guided Caliphate where the law was defined, not by fallible humans, but by the Creator. We have innumerable accounts in which justice prevailed irrespective of whether the defendant was a layman or the Caliph himself.

In a Hadith Narrated by ‘Aisha (RA):
Usama approached the Prophet (SAW) on behalf of a woman (who had committed theft). The Prophet said, “The people before you were destroyed because they used to inflict the legal punishments on the poor and forgive the rich. By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! If Fatima (the daughter of the Prophet ) did that (i.e. stole), I would cut off her hand.” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 81: Limits and punishments set by Allah]

Clearly, our Prophet (SAW) has obliged justice to be served, and Allah SWT has primarily instructed that our success and fulfilment in this life and the next is conditional upon our strict loyalty to His Just system; the Islamic Khilafah system.
“O Believers! Be persistent standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it is against yourselves or parents or close relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is well able to look after them. So follow not [personal] inclination, so that you can act justly – if you distort or neglect justice, then Allah is fully aware of what you do” [Surah al Nisa – 4:135]

Our brother Barbar, amongst other imprisoned brothers and sisters are experiencing an elevated expression of love from their Creator – “When Allah ‘azza wajalla loves a people he tests them. The one who is patient will be granted the patience. The one who shows anguish will be given anguish.” Reported by Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi. There will be no justice achieved in this World, for the system that breeds justice is absent. The system that creates a cloak over its inhabitants from Al-Adl (The Just) is necessary in order to embody true justice. In the Court of Allah, the oppressed animal would attain justice, make no mistake, this case will be settled on the Day of Reckoning. In such turbulent times, every Muslim should question the extent of his activity within Islamic politics, for Allah knows we have very few excuses whilst being overcome in cosy lifestyles.

During his Caliphate, ‘Alî b. Abî Tâlib – Allah be pleased with him – saw some armor of his with a Christian. He decided to take the matter up legally, so he took the dispute to Shurayh (the Judge).
‘Alî said, “This is my armor, and I have not sold it nor given it away.” Shurayh said to the Christian, “What have you to say about what the Amîr of the Believers claims?” The Christian replied, “It is my armor, although I do not regard the Amîr of the Believers to be a liar.” Shurayh then turned to ‘Alî, “O Amîr of the Believers, do you have any proof (of ownership)?” ‘Alî laughed and said, “Shurayh is correct, I have no proof.” So Shurayh judged that the armor was the Christian’s. The Christian took it and began to walk away but then returned. He proclaimed, “As for me, I testify that this is the judgment of the Prophets – the Amîr of the Believers himself takes me to his judge and the judge rules against him! I bear witness that there is no deity deserving worship but Allâh and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allâh. By Allâh, the armor is yours o Amîr of the Believers. I followed the army when you were on your way to the Battle of Siffîn and the armor came out of your equipment.” ‘Alî said, “If you have accepted Islâm the armor is yours.” And then he put him on his horse. Al-Sha’bî (the reporter of this incident) said, “I was later informed by those who saw this man that he fought the Khawârij (alongside ‘Alî) at the battle of Nahrawân.” (Ibn Kathîr, Al-Bidâyah wa Al-Nihâyah Vol.8 p5.)

Syed Nurul  is a regular contributor to Siyasahpress. He is currently a student at the University of Bradford studying Biomedical Science. He can be followed on Facebook under the user-name: Syed Nurul Islam

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