Quarterly: Issue No 77
All Praise is
due to Allah, Glorified be His Name, and the Blessings and Mercy of Allah be upon
His beloved Messenger Muhammad, his family and all his companions. Ameen.
a cumulative effect of the works of Secular Fundamentalists, Zionists,
Fundamentalist Christians, pseudo-Islamic cults and, in some cases, Muslims
themselves. Please read the book by Nathan Lean titled “Islamophobia
Industry-How the Right manufacture fear of Muslims” which explores
the tactics and motives of politicians to encourage Islamophobia for their own
personal interest. Unfortunately,
Islamophobia in the western world has become acceptable, if not respectable.
Anyone pointing fingers at Islamophobia is the one who is targeted and
The recent months have been tragic in the way that we
have become all too familiar with – violence, violence wrought in the words of
those who use hate as a shield and a sword. Whether in labeling a
clock-building child as a potential terrorist, holding up the niqab as a symbol of
evil and despair in Canada, or noting the inadmissibility of a Muslim to become
the American President, the spectre of anti-Muslim bigotry looms over Europe,
Canada and North America.
In the midst of this trend, our leaders have taken to
the airwaves, attempting to debate, shut down, or discredit those who blister
with hate. We fight fire with water, attempting to calm, and dispute with those
who would turn fear against a minority that is at a dangerous point in Europe,
Canada and America.
This battle to defend the civil rights of the
oppressed, whether in the workplace, at schools, or on the streets, is a noble
one. As Muslims, we cannot allow ourselves to be treated as second class
citizens. Those Muslims who are there in Europe, Canada and America; many of
them were born there; the vast majority of them will die here. These are countries
where they give their blood and sweat in labour.
Therefore, their fight against anti-Muslim bigotry and to live their lives in
peace in countries they are proud to call their own, is a highly important
Unfortunately, this battle against Islamophobia has
largely missed the central point. If Islamophobia is about fear and hate
directed against Islam, we need to ask ourselves a simple question: Why do people hate Islam? The answer is obvious. People do not fear in
isolation. People fear what they do not understand. As the hadith is narrated:
Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (RA)
reported that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu
Alayhi Wasallam) taught his followers: “Narrating the account of one of the prophets (of
Allah) who was assaulted and wounded by his people; while wiping the blood from
the face he prayed: 'O Allah! Forgive my people because they do not know.'” (Riyadh
We must take on this Prophetic solution and teach them
about Islam. Help them understand. Help them understand beyond the obvious lies
and fear-mongering that they see all around them. Unfortunately, this is
impossible as we stand today. And it is impossible for reasons that are far
graver than the trend of Islamophobia facing us. Why is it impossible? It is because to teach
someone else about anything, you have to first understand it yourself.
We live in a time where knowledge of our Deen, real knowledge, is virtually
non-existent amongst Muslims generally.
Most Muslims do not know the fundamentals of aqeedah,
the usul- al-fiqh
or the maqaasid-al-shari'ah.
In other words, if our focus is just on “making
Muslims seem normal” i.e. if we think our biggest problem is Islamophobia not
only will we be unable to effectively respond to it, but we will- in effect - ensure
that Islamophobia wins.
We are Muslims because of our choice. We are Muslims
because of our faith. So the question arises for most of our young people today is: Why choose to be
identified as Muslim? Why choose this faith that you do not understand? Why
choose this faith that is universally hated?
One merely has to change their name from Muhammad to Moe and their
transition from being a despised Muslim to being an at least tolerable minority
is complete. And whether we would like
to admit it to ourselves or not, the vast majority of our youth are taking this
path. Muslims today, whether formally or only within their souls, are finding
little meaning in prayer, charity, the pilgrimage, etc.
In other words, if we do not educate ourselves, both
young and old, about what Islam really is, then the fight against anti-Muslim
bigotry will be, sociologically speaking, an unresolved one. Who will be
left there on the ground to defend Islam when there are no more identifiable
Muslims in two or three generations from now?
Our only solution is to go back to a deep reading of
Qur’an and Ahadith; to an
engagement with the sources of shari'ah; to a critical
analysis of our scholarship; to a deep understanding of the Arabic language. The belief of
ensuring that our children can read the Surah Al-Fatihah
correctly with tajweed as being
the only goal in Islamic education has to come to an end.
If we do not educate ourselves and our children, then
the fight against Islamophobia will be non-existent. If our children do not choose Islam, there will be
little gain in appearing on radio talks to shut down Islamophobia. If our
children do not understand Islam, how can we hope to battle Islamophobia by
calming down the fear of Europeans, Canadian and Americans, in general, through
We must begin
with our own families first - in the name of Allah. As we sit together over dinner, we must begin
to discuss Islamic education, and how to reinvigorate Islamic education amongst
We Muslims must
realize the essence of rituals. They are not ends in themselves, but they are
means to make the person a better Muslim.
If observing rituals does not help us to be humble, virtuous and truly
God-fearing, then we are not real Muslims. The qualities a Muslim should
develop within him/herself are mentioned in the Quran and hadith
For example, in Surah Al-Mu’minoon, Chapter
23, verses 1 to 11, Allah says:
Those who humble
themselves in their prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are active in deeds of
charity, who abstain from sex except with those joined to them in marriage or
(the captives) whom their right hands possess, for (in their case) they are
free from blame. But those whose desires
exceed those limits are transgressors. Those who faithfully observe their
trusts and their promises; who (strictly) guard their prayers (salawaat): these will be the heirs who will inherit Firdaws (Paradise), to dwell therein forever.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
A true Muslim is one from the transgressions of whose
tongue and hands, all other Muslims are safe; A true Mu'min is one from whom people's lives and wealth
are secured; And a true Mujahid is one, who
subdues his inner self and forces it into Allah's obedience; And a true Muhaajir is one, who leaves everything that Allah
has disapproved. (Bukhari;
Muslim; Tirmidhi; Abu Dawood)
This narrative should be seen as describing the
necessary effects of accepting Islam, of being true in one's faith and of the
true spirit of Jihad and making Hijrah.
May the Peace and
Blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad, the WITNESS to all Mankind. Ameen.
Allah! Your Forgiveness is far greater than my sins and I have more hope in
Your Mercy than in my own deeds.
Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir
Kyalami Glen, Gauteng
Johannesburg, South Africa