Archive for the ‘Oppression/Tyranny’ Category

Fitna of confusion

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Given the political situations in Islamic countries..there is so much confusion. I do not have the means to understand the intricate workings of why people are killing each other…my question is simple..what is the fundamental action for a simple Muslim like me to do. I do not know who is right and why they are right; same goes for wrong. How do I reconcile myself to this in the correct Islamic manner?

There is a hadeeth that rings very true especially these days, though it is rated week in authenticity. It is narrated by Abu-Umaama Al-Baahili and reported by Al-`Iraaqi in his book “Takhreej-ul-Ihyaa'”. In this hadeeth, the Prophet, peace be upon him, tells the Sahaaba (his fellows),
“How would you do when you view virtue as vice and vice as virtue?” The Sahaaba asked, “Is this happening, O Messenger of God?” He replied, “By Him in whose Hand is my soul: Yes, and worse.” They said, “What can be worse?” He said, “God will say, ‘By Me I swear I will set up for them a Fitna (test of faith) that leaves the forbearing among them confused.'”

When Muslims turn a blind eye to sin, tolerate tyranny and focus on the trivia, they turn the natural moral order upside down. As a result, God turns their honor to disgrace, their peace to conflict, their prosperity to austerity, their mutual love to hostility and their works to naught. It should not then come as a surprise what Muslims are going through these days.

What you write about is the Fitna that leaves the forbearing confused. To recover, hold fast to the discerning criterion, the Quran. Examine what somebody is doing or saying by what the Quran says about it. What does the Quran say about killing? It says,
“And whoever deliberately kills a believer, then his recompense is Hell, forever staying therein, and God will be angry with him, curse him, and prepare for him a great torment.” (4:93)

You’d think that after such as frightening list of threats, that no Muslim would even contemplate killing a believer. But many Muslims ignored this verse totally and continue to do so today.

Can you then be confused about the killing that is taking place? Can there be any doubt in your mind who is wrong?

You ask what can an ordinary person do in such a situation. You read the Quran, so that you won’t be confused. You supplicate to God that He help you discern right from wrong and keep you walking the Straight Path. You ask God to put an early end to injustice, punish the perpetrators and shelter the oppressed. You donate to charitable organizations that do good work relieving the suffering of victims. You call your political representatives and urge them to weigh in so that the unjust do not think they may get away with it. You network with others so they may do likewise.

Finally, you remind yourself that sooner or later the truth prevails as God says in the holy Quran, “Say: The truth has arrived and falsehood perished. Falsehood tends to perish.” (17:81)

Why did Muslims lose their glory?

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

I’m curious about how the Islamic areas lost their power. I know it was powerful and had its golden age for awhile..but what destroyed middle-east and made it so weak as it is today?

In a few words: abandonment of principle.

It wasn’t military. For example, the Mongol invasion had a mightier military. It invaded and gobbled up the Middle East in a few years. But it was a crisis that brought out the best in Muslims. Saif-ud-Deen Qutuz of Egypt confronted the Mongols and defeated them. And, get this, the Mongols eventually accepted Islam.

The decline of Muslims began, IMHO, with the Ottoman Empire. During that time, religious knowledge declined because Ijtihaad (analysis) was suspended. The Ottomans had a mighty army, but instead of using it to protect Muslims and Islam, as God teaches, they used it to invade neighboring countries in Europe and collect taxes from their citizens. That is how resentment of Islam was born in Europe and it is why Europeans fear Islam today and believe it’s violent and a threat to them.

What sealed the decline and signaled its end is the genocide of Armenians at the hands of the Young Turks brief rule. It is no coincidence that the Ottoman Empire collapsed only eight years after that massacre. God’s retribution is not biased.

Support your brother even if he’s doing wrong

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Narrated Anas ibn Maalik, may God have been pleased with him, and reported by Al-Bukhaari (RA), that the Prophet (PBUH) said,

“Support your brother whether he is doing wrong, or wrong is done to him!”

A man said, “O Messenger of God, I’d support him if wrong is done to him, but how can I support him when he’s doing wrong?”

The Prophet (PBUH) replied, “by stopping him!”

Other versions of the hadeeth use the words “preventing him”, “standing between him and wrongdoing”, and “repelling him.”

Our duty as Muslims toward each other, and our charter from God and His Messenger, is to do all we possibly can to stop tyranny and vindicate the oppressed. Almighty God praises the believers by saying,

“And they vindicate themselves after they have been wronged. And the wrongdoers shall know what return they will return to.” (26:227)

Those who let the wrongdoers get away with their wrongdoing are complicit in their wrongdoing. They are in violation of God’s order to “command what is right and forbid what is wrong.” That stand of theirs is a dangerous state of faith to be in.

A dangerous state of faith, indeed. Reflect, if you will, on the epilogue of verse 11:113:
“And do not recline to those who did wrong, lest Fire should touch and you will have no allies beside God, then you will not be helped” (11:113)

Like always in the Quran, a verse’s ending deliberately matches its beginning. In this verse, God tells us not to take the side of the oppressors. We are not to be allies with wrongdoers. Keeping silent about what they do is a passive alliance. It is also failure to rush to be allies with the oppressed! We are supposed to be of help to those whom wrong is done to.

Now look at the ending: Oppression is met with touch of fire! Taking the side of the oppressors results in having no allies in the Hereafter! Failure to aid the oppressed results in having no help in the Hereafter!

Powerful, and scary stuff, for anyone who thinks that there is rationale for standing by while tyranny, oppression and corruption are taking place in front of him, but does nothing to stop it. Worse yet, some call others not to do anything either.

We can avoid being in a dangerous state of faith by holding firmly to the Quran. It is our savior. Never take the word of anybody that contradicts the Quran.