Islamic Renaissance

A Voice for the Muslim Freedom Struggle

We Are Failing Muslim Children

It goes something like this. We bring a tiny innocent soul into the world, we shower them with all the love and affection we can find, we put our heart and soul into raising them as good Muslims, and we instill within them hopes and dreams about their future, but somewhere down this road, we fail them.

We fail them because although we teach them all about Allah, about heaven and hell, about good deeds and bad deeds, about the Prophets and the Sahabas, we never teach them their role in this world. We never teach them what it means to be a Muslim in 2017.

We raise them in a vacuum; we shield them with what I like to call the “happy clappy Muslim syndrome”. We revere in the beauty of Islam, we build within them a strong connection to Allah, we make Islam fun through activities and games, but we never prepare them for what’s to come once they step outside their comfort zone and face the big bad world.

Because the truth is, no matter how much you try to protect them, no matter how hard you try to get them to love Islam, no matter how much time you spend building their god consciousness, it will all fall apart once they wake up and find themselves to be members of the most hated community on earth.

It will all come crumbling down once they learn that the narrative they’ve spent their entire lives learning, is a lie. You see we feed our children a false narrative, we teach them that all they need to do to be happy is to worship Allah, do good deeds, to pray and fast, to trust in Allah when life gets tough, and we promise them heaven at the end of it. We teach them that they are special because they follow the truth, and we tell them that they are guaranteed success if they live their lives out as good Muslims, but this is nothing but a lie.

We try to protect them and shield them, but really we send them into the world completely unprepared, and as a result of this, their narrative is shattered, their entire identity is called into question, and they are forced to undergo a period of cognitive dissonance, the result of which is completely unpredictable, and leaves our children vulnerable to either walking away from Islam, or worse, allowing others to take advantage of them.

Let me give you an example to prove this, studies conducted on the psychological impact of war on children shows us that when Palestinian children were struck with missiles, or when they lost a parent or sibling to Israel’s brutal bombings, their narrative and their sense of identity strengthened.

This is because from a very young age they were taught that their country, their heritage, and their people were under threat, they were taught that their survival was under threat, they were taught that they were victims of ethnic cleansing but despite this, they were the bravest human beings on earth, because in the face of ruthless persecution, in the face of complete abandonment by the international community, they never hid or ran away like cowards, they fought for their freedom, even if it meant resisting military tanks armed with nothing but a stone.

This is why, when they were personally afflicted, it didn’t break them, it strengthened them, it strengthened their faith in Allah, it increased their courage, and it led to greater defiance in the face of tyranny.

This is why we see children whose eyes know no fear, standing in front of tanks throwing stones, they are the epitome of what ideological freedom looks like, because they know exactly who they are, they were never fed lies, they were taught their role in the world from the moment they could understand, they were served their narrative on a plate, so when the time came, they embraced it.

On the other hand, when Israeli children were struck, even if they were not injured, their narrative completely crumbled, their identity fell apart, and everything they were ever taught was called into question. Because Israeli children were taught from a very young age, that they were “God’s chosen people” they were taught that they were special, that God promised them the land of Palestine, and as a result of this, they grew up with a sense of entitlement, one in which they would never feel unsafe, one in which safety was promised. So when the time came, they were left confused and traumatised.

This is why it’s so important that as well as teaching our children the aqeedah of Islam, the values of our faith, the stories of our Prophets and the bravery of our ancestors, that we also teach them what it means to be a Muslim in the climate we live in today. It’s important that we teach them about Islamophobia, about terrorism, about the geopolitical reality we live in, but most crucially, we must teach them their narrative.

The narrative that tells them that they are living in an era where the prophecies of our Prophet are no longer just words, they are the reality within which we breathe, the narrative that tells them that being a Muslim in this era is like holding onto a hot coal with our bare hands. [referring to the hadith in which the Prophet said “There will come a time when holding on to your imaan will be like holding onto hot coals” ~ Trimdhi]

The narrative that tells them that we are the most oppressed and demonised community on earth, but just like the communities that were persecuted before us, we have had enough, we are fighting for our freedom, we are standing up against oppression, we are speaking out against demonisation, and although a few people within our community wrongly react to years of state terrorism with terrorism of their own, this has nothing to do with Islam, and everything to do with our government’s oppressive foreign policies. We have absolutely nothing to apologise for, we have nothing to explain and nothing to prove. We have every right to defy our subjugation, to demand our freedom as equal human beings, through political activism, the arts, and our collective voice. The narrative that tells them that as Muslims, it is our job to propagate the truth, to strive for our freedom, to stand defiantly in the face of hatred, injustice, and oppression.

So let’s do justice to our children, let’s stop raising them in a void, and let’s start raising them within the belly of the beast, all at the same time, teaching them how to break free. Here’s to my daughter, I hope you read this one-day and know that your smile led me to write this. I love how your entire being radiates purity and happiness and I hope you never lose that, but I also know that you’ll need a lot more than that for what’s to come.

Why Blind Faith Is Not For Me

What is truth? We all have different truths, one person’s truth is another person’s falsehood. We don’t like to admit it, but truth is subjective. Our belief in Islam is subjective. There is no guarantee that we are on the right path, there is no guarantee that Islam is the ultimate truth. God didn’t give us a guarantee because that was the only way to distinguish those that are sincere from those that are insincere. We know in our heart and soul that Islam is the truth, but we can’t prove it, and that is the believer’s ultimate test.

Because how then can you know if you are treading on the right path? The answer is you can’t, you can never be one hundred percent certain, and that’s why you need to be able to look in the mirror and say to yourself that whatever you take with you to your grave, is completely and undeniably yours.

Stop relying on ‘learned scholars’, stop relying on other people’s interpretation of your religion, stop expecting others to teach you the difference between right and wrong, this is your job, your duty, not theirs. If you follow a scholar to hell, the excuse that you sincerely followed that scholar will not hold up.

Because we were given our own minds to think, to reflect, to dissect and analyse, yet within the Muslim community, thinking for yourself has become a sin, questioning Islam is frowned upon, it is said that those who question have doubt in their hearts. But I say those who don’t question and choose to blindly follow have entrapped themselves with the dogmatism that destroyed the Quraysh.

Let us not forget Abraham’s quest to find God, he did not sit around and wait for a revelation, he used his intellect, the same intellect that is berated by Muslims today for being inefficient at understanding God’s words, was used by Abraham to logically and defiantly find God.

Allah explains in the Quran:

“And when he saw the moon rising he said, ”This is my Lord,’ but

when it too set, he said, ‘If my Lord does not guide me, I shall be

one of those who go astray’. Then he saw the sun rising and cried,

‘This is my Lord! This is greater.’ But when the sun set, he said,

‘My people, I disown all that you worship beside God. I have

turned my face as a true believer towards Him who created the

Heavens and the earth. I am not one of the polytheists.” [6:77]

These verses are powerful, because they tell us something incredibly important, they tell us that the road to truth does not need to be a clear one, it does not need to be one of complete certainty, it isn’t all or nothing, sometimes we find truth through error, and sometimes these errors are necessary to help us understand something greater, we need to stop underestimating our God given intellect, after all, that is the fundamental human characteristic that God appeals to in the Quran.

Allah explains: “It is He who spread out the earth, placed firm mountains and rivers on it, and made two of every kind of fruit; He draws the veil of night over the day. There truly are signs in this for people who reflect” [13:3].

You see Islam is a religion for those who have the zealousness to use their minds, the bravery to question everything they ever believed in and the audacity to break the mental idols they once worshipped.

This is why it was so difficult for the people of Quraysh to accept Islam. This is why the Quran was rejected by the people of the book. Think about it, the very people who held in their hands a scripture that promised them the coming of the final messenger of God, rejected that messenger when he came to them because they chose blind faith.

The moment we believe we know all that there is to know about our faith, the moment we stop questioning, the moment we close the gates of ijtihad, we deteriorate from the path of truth and fall into the trap of dogmatism.

Dogmatism is the enemy of truth. It is the doctrine of jahilliya, the very jahilliya that tamed the hearts of the Quraysh from hearing the words of truth when it came to them. The very jahilliya that made the Quraysh “deaf, dumb and blind” [2:18].

Think about it, did the Quraysh not believe in their truth as passionately as we believe in ours? Did they not claim that the truth had already come to them and there was no reason for them to reconsider? Did they not consider questioning the way their ancestors had lived for centuries, an abomination? Of course they did and it cost them the scorching flames of hellfire.

Now am I saying we should sit around and wait for another messenger to be sent to us and greet him with open arms? Just to be clear, no, I’m not. What I am saying however is that although the fact that “there is no other deity worthy of worship but Allah and Muhammed is the last messenger” will never change, there are aspects of our faith that can be understood better, there are interpretations that we have submitted to for centuries that should be revisited, there are concepts that we have not even begun to understand and the only way we can advance as human beings and reach the peak of our humanity, is to shun blind faith and to start using our minds.

Allah himself explains that when it comes to the Quran “some of its verses are definite in meaning – these are the cornerstone of the scripture-and others are ambiguous” [3:7] and then within the same verse he declares “those firmly grounded in knowledge say, ‘we believe in it: it is all from our Lord’ – only those with real perception will take heed” [3:7]. It is crucial to note the choice of words used by God here, “grounded in knowledge” and “those with real perception”, these phrases do not point to a God who wants believers to submit to him in blind faith, what they do imply however, is that those of us who will actually take heed, will be the ones who used our perceptive skills to reflect and sought knowledge to fill the gaps, blind faith was not and never will be part of the equation.

And just like Abraham, those who dare to ask the important questions, those who care to use their minds instead of submitting to the comfort of their existing understanding are the ones that thrive. I have found that those that often question God’s commands are the ones that walk around with the strongest of convictions, because there’s something powerful about understanding the reasons behind God’s commands, it opens you up to the beauty of God’s way, it leads you to obey God not out of fear, but out of the sheer love for his greatness.

So to those who often remark “we hear and we obey” [24:51] I ask, but what are you hearing and who are you obeying? Do you hear the interpretations of someone who drew meaning from the Quran based on their own experience or the limited information available to them? Or are you obeying a human being and their understanding of what God’s words mean?

We don’t like to admit it, but everything is an interpretation. The supposed narrations of the prophet are interpretations of what someone thought the Prophet was saying, the tafsir from knowledgeable scholars, is their interpretation of what God is saying, based on their knowledge as well as their preconceived ideas about the world.

We are all following an interpretation of God’s words and each of those interpretations is bound by the fallibility of man, no matter their status. So I’m here to ask if we are indeed following a human interpretation anyway, why do we reject our own? After all the Quran wasn’t sent down to the knowledgeable scholars to be interpreted for us, it was sent to all of mankind with no intermediary between us and God. So why do we deny ourselves the right that was given to us by God himself?

If we’re going to follow a human interpretation, isn’t it better to use our own intellect as well? Or are we to blindly follow what another human being deduced using their rationale? Is the use of rationality forbidden to all but the privileged few?

It is important to note here that I’m not advocating the rejection of scholarly exegesis, but rather, the acceptance of the human – God experience. Accepting the use of our own intellect does not mean that we reject the intellect of others. It means we trust our human instincts whilst considering the knowledge that has already been gathered for us.

So if you’re hoping to find truth, here’s what you’ll need:

1. Sincere intentions, this means constant self-reflection, self-critique and the ability to admit your own shortcomings.

2. Question everything and reflect, don’t be an intellectual coward.

3. Seek knowledge. Your interpretations are just as limited as anyone else’s, limited by your experiences as well as your preconceived ideas, so expand your mind. Read.

4. Remember that the pursuit of knowledge never ends, knowledge is ever expanding and it is our duty to follow its course. Allah says in the Quran “If all the trees on the earth were pens and the sea (were ink wherewith to write), with seven seas behind it to add to its (supply), yet the Words of Allah would not be exhausted” [31:27].

With this in mind, I leave you to answer this question posed to us by Allah almighty: “Is a blind person like one who can see? Why will you not reflect?” [6:50].

Do Muslims Idol Worship The Quran?

There was a time when the Quran sparked a worldwide movement for justice and freedom, but today it has become nothing but a ritualistic idol.

How NATO Was Responsible For The GENOCIDE In Kosovo.

Western Government’s love claiming that they helped Muslims in Kosovo but this is far from the truth.

Who is a Colonised Muslim?

nak paris shooting

When it comes to speaking about the violence towards Muslims, he says “But brother, perfect yourself first!” & “Do you even wake up for fajr?” And he forgets about every commandment of God that says uphold justice and fight oppression, and the stories of the prophets who fought tyrants.

When it comes to violence from Muslims, all of a sudden he is the champion of human rights, holding khutbas on the matter, organising talks, producing videos and memes quoting every ayah in the Quran that states killing innocent people is wrong and narrates every story where prophets showed mercy.

Do not be fooled by such a Muslim. If he truly valued human life, he would show consistency, speaking about all injustices. The colonised Muslim is reactionary, only speaking when he is under fire, fearing for his own safety.

This type of Muslim is in servitude to our oppressors, not God. God commands we speak the truth and stand for justice regardless of who it’s for or against. There is no clause, no small print, no condition attached.

Our oppressors on the other hand, expect us to speak the “truth” when Muslims react violently to their violent foreign policy and expect us to remain silent when they commit terrorism in the Muslim world. And that is what the colonised Muslim does, quoting the verses of the Quran when Muslims react violently – never when we are brutally murdered.

This is why newspaper help to make trends like #YouAintNoMuslimBruv and #NotInMyName go viral.

It conditions us to dance to the tune of our oppressors – it teaches Muslims how to react. As long as we’re apologising and reinforcing the its-an-interpretation-of-Islam narrative we will not be whipped by our colonial masters, but if we step out of line and highlight it had nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with foreign policy, be prepared to be labelled an “Islamist”, “Jihadist”, “Extremist” and any other propaganda word that will make it easier to discredit you at best, or at worst exile and drone you.

So all those Muslims trending the apologetic hashtags, shouting at the top of your lungs “Islam means peace” – whilst we are the biggest victims of terrorism – give yourself a pat on the back. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, you just reinforced a narrative that justifies the killing of Muslims.


What’s the point of Milad-un-Nabi?

I know this is a very sensitive discussion, nevertheless, I have decided to write on this topic. First of all, I would like to make it very clear that I am not coming from a sectarian point of view; the debate about the permissibility of celebrating Milad-un-Nabi is not exactly my forte.  So rest assured, this is not a sectarian rant. However, this is an analysis on those who celebrate this festival.

Before I explain my analysis, I would like to summarise the character and behaviour of our noble prophet (saw).

Even before prophethood, Muhammad (saw) was a man deeply concerned about the oppressed and downtrodden amongst society. Tribalism had led to many injustices within society, specifically to women, orphans and the poor. With the advent of Islam, our Prophets (saw) zeal to help humanity increased. Let us not forget, one of the very first tasks of the Prophet (saw) was to stop the burial of female infants.

The Prophet (saw) was a living manifestation of the Quran. His entire character was moulded by the teachings of the Quran. His mission on earth resonated with his innate desire to help humanity, to implement justice; “[Prophet] Say, ‘I believe in whatever Scripture God has sent down. I am commanded to bring justice between you.'” [42:15]

The prophet (saw) further epitomised this with the following hadith: “Not one of you truly believes until he wants for his brother what he wants for himself.” The prophet (saw) acted upon this Hadith to such an extent, that he constantly used to cry for his Ummah.

Yet today, when that very same Ummah is undergoing genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass murder, we turn a blind eye to it. We are ready to dress, eat, sleep and walk like the prophet (saw), yet refuse to act upon the mission of establishing justice which he was sent with. We are ready to celebrate his birthday out of the love we have for our Prophet, yet we ignore the very Ummah he loved most.

And this is what bothers me; every year I see thousands upon thousands of people gather to celebrate the birth of Muhammad (saw) yet refuse to defend the Ummah of our beloved prophet. They are ready to celebrate Milad-un-Nabi, yet they ignore the cries of the oppressed and the command of God: “Why should you not fight in God’s cause and for those oppressed men, women, and children, who cry out, ‘Lord, rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors! By your grace, give us a protector and give us a helper!” [4:75]

It is not enough to just make Dua; we must tie our camel first as per the Hadith of our Prophet (saw). It is not enough we give our Zakat, these are specific commands that do not override other obligations from God that command us to fight oppression and uphold justice.

Though I am not here to argue whether celebrating Milad un-Nabi is right or wrong, I cannot comprehend why those who claim to love Muhammad (saw), refuse to act upon the greatest Sunnah of all time; to uphold justice,  “We sent the Messengers, with clear signs, the scriptures and the balance, so that people can uphold justice.” [57:25]

My intention is not to offend those who believe in celebrating Milad-un-Nabi. My intention is to awaken those who profess to love our prophet (saw), to the plight of his Ummah. Because those who celebrate the day the greatest man to ever walk the earth was born, cannot claim to love him, unless they are continuing the mission he left us with.

We Still Live In An Age Of Empire

2017: The Age Of Empire

The more books I read, the more I realise we still live in an age of empire. I know, at first it sounds absurd, but it’s the truth. You and I just don’t know because we live in a fantasy world, we live in our small bubble, we only care about our immediate lives and our immediate relationships, and we never stop to consider the bigger picture. And that’s precisely why I’m here to help you see the bigger picture.

Before I explain further, let us first define what an empire is:
Supreme political power over several countries when exercised by a person or group”

From the oxford dictionary definition of the word ‘empire’, we understand that if the ultimate political power over several countries is concentrated in the hands of a few individuals, it is classed as an empire. We also understand that an empire can only be established through imperialism [a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through colonization, use of military force, or other means]. Though in the past Empires expanded by establishing direct control, today they establish indirect control that secures their imperial interests.

How did this happen?

During the period of colonialism, Western imperial powers created an International Western Power Structure in their colonies. This was achieved in a number of ways such as installing and funding dictators, arming mercenaries, economic invasion, cultural colonisation, occupations and ideological hegemony.

This power structure is still being maintained till this day. I would like to prove the above with a few facts and anecdotes:

The occupation of Iraq, which was in direct violation of the International Law, robbed it of its natural resources. The entire economy of Iraq, except oil, was up for sale for foreign capital, combined with a free-market shock therapy programme, pre-empting the decisions of any elected government of Iraq. This is referred to as a ‘managed’ form of democracy where key economic and strategic decisions are taken in advance by the occupiers. As Seamus Milne explains in The Revenge of History, “The US will willingly hand over power only once it is confident of controlling the political outcome.”

The American government have also supported dictators in Iran, Libya, Iraq, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Yemen, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Turkmenistan, Indonesia, Tajikistan, Arabia and many more countries. And if these countries try to resist the power structure, they are either invaded or overthrown. In 1954 the American government overthrew a democratically elected government in Iran. In 1965 the American government backed an attempted military coup in Indonesia, and in 2012, the second largest funded military by the US government, the Egyptian military, overthrew its democratically elected leader. On 9/11 – no, not 2001 but 1973 – the American government supported a military coup in Chile that cost 3,197 lives.

However, that is not all. Not only have western elites overthrown democratically elected governments, but have also provided arms to their puppets. The British government alone is responsible for approving arms worth £2.3 billion to 16 states since 2009. The American government has also sold arms as well as backed warlords in Somalia and Afghanistan. In fact, the international arms trade is worth $1.07 trillion a year. And of course, many of these arms are sold to dictators in the East who use them to suppress revolutions, just as we saw in the recent revolutions in the Muslim world, where Muslims were demanding their freedom.

Furthermore, western elites have also provided mercenaries to protect their puppet dictators. In the 1960’s David Sterling, a British Army officer, set up an organisation called Watch Guard, whose job was to provide African and Middle Eastern leaders with a private army of British mercenaries. Their task was to prevent the leaders who David Sterling approved off from being overthrown.

Through this power structure, western imperial forces are still able exploit and control their colonies and thus indirectly maintain their empire. So though they may not be physically present, they still have “Supreme political power over several countries”. (As per the oxford dictionary definition provided above) That being said, the American government does have over 1000 military bases around the world.

What we must understand is that the gruesome, barbaric world we used to live in still exists. The age of empire never ended, the venture of empire has continued and expanded. 2016 is the age of empire. The world didn’t evolve, it simply adapted.


The Scholars Hoax on Palestine

First of all, l would like to commend every individual that has played a part in raising awareness about the plight of Palestine. However, Islamic Renaissance is here to challenge and change the way our community thinks to Inspire Muslims to Greatness, and this includes telling people things that may be difficult to swallow. So here goes something…

Have you noticed how quite a few scholars have jumped on to the Free Palestine bandwagon? I’ve found this really interesting, since all year round Muslim scholars were mute about the oppression of our people and then two weeks ago some scholars lost their minds.

I mean, it was as though the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians had just begun, the Balfour Declaration just signed, the state of Israel just declared. But of course we know this has been going on for 66 years. So why did our Scholars and Imams suddenly decide to speak of this now? Simple: It just became trendy.

Go on the Facebook page of any mainstream scholar and analyse their posts from when the Israeli occupation launched its first rocket into Palestine. Not a single word from them. When did they join in? They joined in when the Muslim rage on social media exploded and spread to millions, in other words, when there was a hype around Palestine, when enough people were talking about Palestine – they too decided to join this bandwagon in fear of being left behind and were the last ones to do so.

After all, how could they keep up with their celebrity scholar complex, and miss out on all the likes if they didn’t talk about the very issue that was on the minds of millions of Muslims? This by the way is proof that as a community we have the power to reform our leaders, if we unite.

But what was happening here was surprising. Muslim scholars began talking about Palestine after the entire Muslim community was talking about Palestine. Stop for a second and think this over. Don’t you think it should have been the other way around?

Instead of the Muslim community influencing scholars to lift a finger and send a tweet about Palestine, shouldn’t they have been the ones to educate us on Palestine in the first place? You know there’s something seriously wrong with our community, when our teachers become students and our students take on the work of our teachers.

Now, you may be thinking: “this is a good start though, hopefully our scholars will do more now” but you’re wrong.

Just wait, and time will prove me right. When the uproar around Palestine dies out, you will see for yourself how these scholars will go back to talking about the Sunnah way of cutting our nails and washing our feet whilst ignoring the Fardh of jihad, the defense of our Ummah.

As I type this, I can already feel the excuses approaching, some will say, “We need to perfect ourselves first” whilst others will say, “Its hard for the scholars to speak out because they are afraid of the government.” If only they had read the book that’s catching dust on their shelf:

“Far better and more lasting is what God will give to those who believe and trust in their Lord.”

Now are you ready for your colonised understanding of Islam to be shattered as Allah explains who actually believe in Him?

“Those who shun great sins and gross indecencies; who forgive when they are angry; respond to their Lord; keep up their prayer; conduct affairs by mutual consultation; give to others out of what We have provided for them, and defend themselves when they are oppressed.” [42:36-40]

From this we prove that defending ourselves is an integral part of Islam that cannot be removed or de-prioritised. It is one of the tenants of Islam and the reason many prophets were killed: “Give news of an agonising torment to those who ignore God’s revelations, who unjustifiably kill prophets, who kill those who command that justice is done.” [3:21]

And even though some scholars are speaking about Palestine, the only actions these scholars have urged us to take is Dua, and Dua without action is like Salah without Sajdah. This is not enough. The duties and responsibilities of a scholar are huge. They will be held accountable for every word or lack of word that misguided the Ummah.

The Celebrity Scholar Complex

scholar hand kissing

What I’m about to say, may not be easy to swallow, but my conscience demands that it is said. In a society where scholars have been given the status of infallibility, a status that was not even accorded to the first four caliphs of Islam, what I’m about to say will be considered heresy.

But it must be said. If there is any hope for our community to succeed in reclaiming our greatness, our leaders must be held to account.

We live in a society where our scholars have gone from being the teachers of this Ummah, to the celebrities of this Ummah. We have scholars who suffer from a religious superiority complex and allow preferential treatment towards themselves.

Just the way celebrities walk upon red carpets in fame and glory, our scholars do the same; I recently watched a YouTube video of a scholar that left the Global Peace & Unity Event, he walked as slowly as the queen, waving his hand to all his followers, enjoying the limelight and reaping the benefits of fame.

Just the way celebrities are those important people that you want to take a picture with, because you think it will improve your level of importance, Scholars too have become the ultimate symbol of religiosity, if you are seen with a scholar, you can be sure that your friends will be shouting “MashAllah”.

Just the way touching a celebrity is like the biggest thing that can ever happen to you in your life, kissing the hands of scholars has become the pathway to ultimate holiness within the Muslim community.

And just the way a celebrity will probably never stop to acknowledge or talk to an average person, scholars make a point of asserting their celebrity status, by walking away whilst someone is speaking to them or completely ignoring their existence.

But how would someone like Hazrat Umar, (may Allah be pleased with him) who was once the leader of a powerful nation, feel about the behavior of our scholars?

An anecdote from his life gives us a pretty good idea. Umar once saw a man who, in order to show off his asceticism, pretended to be weak, and walked with an affected, feeble and overly slow gait. Umar struck him with a stick and said: “Do not cause our religion to die, for if you do that, then may Allah cause you to die!”

The author of his biography, Muhammad As-Sallaabee, explained what Umar meant: “when people begin to focus on the outward aspects of asceticism, and not on actual piety that is based on sound knowledge, they begin to corrupt the teachings of Islam.”

From this we can see that the behavior of our scholars, as harmless as it may seem, is detrimental to our religion. But not only is it detrimental to our religion, it is completely contradictory to the teachings of Islam.

Islam asserts the equality of all human beings and rejects the arrogance that is found in the celebrity culture of today. Islam has an extreme distaste for ego, fame and self-glory.

Hazrat Umar understood this, and this is why, despite being the leader of the Muslim Ummah, he lived just like his people, he ate with them, he wore the same clothes as them, and he even slept on the same floor as them.

That is not all, when Hazrat Umar came to know of an abandoned mother who had nothing to feed her children with, he purchased a sack of flour and some cooking fat, asked his companion Aslam to load it on to his shoulders, and set off to give it to her.

Aslam stopped the Amir and asked to carry his sack for him. Now, as the Amir of the Muslim Ummah, Umar could have easily agreed to this offer, but Umar understood this to be a breach of his leadership position. He understood that to benefit from a position that was entrusted to him by his people, was a grave sin.

Instead, Umar shouted, “May you have no mother! Will you carry the burden of my sins for me on the day of resurrection?” Umar never forgot that he came from Allah Almighty, and to him he would eventually return. He was the leader of one of the most powerful nations in the world, but he never once behaved in an arrogant and self-righteous manner.

And the status of our scholars today is nothing compared to the status that Hazrat Umar possessed; yet our scholars are guilty of allowing preferential treatment towards themselves, whilst Hazrat Umar never allowed himself to be treated differently to any other human being.

In fact, when Hazrat Umar was on his way to meet the King of Jerusalem, he was wearing his usual overly patched robe, and when Abu Ubaidah saw this, he expressed his fear. He feared that the people of the village would not treat the Caliph with honour because of how he was dressed. At hearing this, Hazrat Umar remarked: “Oh Abu Ubaidah, we were the most humiliated people on earth and Allah gave us honour through Islam. If we ever seek honour through anything else, Allah will humiliate us again.”

And indeed we were humiliated, and we are still being humiliated. It’s time we reflect on our state as an Ummah and acknowledge that we have failed to hold our leaders to account. And it’s time our leaders accept that they were put into positions of power, not to behave as the celebrities of this Ummah, but to nurture and guide this Ummah back to the greatness it once pioneered.

Politics is not a dirty word


I absolutely hate how stupid and thick the average person is. The word “politics” has deliberately been demonised in the average person’s vocabulary as “unpopular”/”uncool”/”boring”/”dirty”.

The point is to keep you enslaved, politics is about humanity, it is about lives, and it is about blood that is spilled in your name.

It’s funny, when I was young, my friends used to think I was “uncool and boring” for caring about “politics”. My passion for human life was seen as a craze. I would be asked why I would get so worked up about politics, why I was so serious about it.

But they failed to understand. I wasn’t the crazy one, they were. The average human being is a slave that walks around wearing the freedom badge. But wearing the freedom badge doesn’t make you free.

No I am not normal, no I am not like you, no I don’t fit in. Yes I am angry, yes I am depressed, yes I am overwhelmed by the condition of the world. Yes I do feel lost and alone most of the time, but I’d rather have that then to sell my humanity like most human beings have.

It’s like what Allah says in the Quran, they only wrong their souls. Their soul demands them to live for a cause that is greater than themselves, that is the only road to freedom. But they chase poison wrapped as freedom.

You throw the word “politics” around like it’s a dirty word or an obsession of mine, but the truth is it’s about lives, it’s about the future of this world, and it is the greatest service to God.

Humanity can only advance when human beings realise that happiness can only be achieved collectively.

We can only achieve happiness when we realise we were never sent to achieve our purpose alone, the human purpose was always collective, we must become one before we can reflect the oneness of God and fulfill our mission.