Islamic Renaissance

A Voice for the Muslim Freedom Struggle

The New Year & The Happiness We Seek With It

Islamic-New-Year-Wallpapers-Wishes-Card

Sometimes in life, you have to choose, there’s an easy way and then there’s the hard way, and the easy way isn’t always the right way. When we are born, we are all born with innocence, with an innate conscience that helps you to differentiate between right and wrong, but as we grow older, we become corrupted, we begin to chose the easy way over the hard, and we forget about the importance of right and wrong.  We just become living bodies with dead souls.

When we were created, we were given both body and soul; both have needs that need to be fulfilled. But as we grow older, we start to feed the body and abandon the soul.

Today, we spend most of our lives earning money, wearing nice clothes, thinking and concentrating on our financial and material future, forgetting the purpose that our soul came to fulfill.

Deep within us all, there is a purpose, a reason for our life, all of us have a purpose to fulfill, we all came into this world as a piece of the full puzzle, and if we remembered to be true to our inner calling, we would all fulfill the objective that humanity craves: happiness.

But the problem is that we have become so obsessed in finding happiness for ourselves that we have forgotten that the soul finds happiness in giving, and not in taking.

True happiness is the realization that you have made a difference to someone, that you have made someone smile, that you have done something for someone who can never repay you.

As we will be celebrating the blessing of a new year, we will be setting goals for ourselves, we will be thinking about the home that we want, the relationship that we want, the job that we want, and in chasing all of our material callings we will once again suppress the cries of our soul.

Rather, we should seek to set goals to find true happiness, to be grateful for the home we already have, the relationships we already have, and seek to bless others with what we would want for ourselves, after all, isn’t that the spirit of our faith, to love for others what we love for ourselves?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

To Hell With ‘Palestinians’

 

Wherever I look on social media I keep hearing, ‘Palestinians this’ and ‘Palestinians that,’ TO HELL WITH ‘PALESTINIANS’!

Before you throw your computer at me, wait. I’m not advocating against the movement for freedom, I’m simply highlighting the flaws in our recent uproar. There is so much wrong with the recent Muslim reaction to Palestine and here’s why:

Number 1: It’s Palestine and NOT Gaza. Get it right.

Whilst the Zionist occupation wipes Palestine off the map, we wipe it off the minds of people by using the word Gaza and not Palestine. It is in the interest of Israel to force us to forget 65 years of history, to think that we are fighting for a little strip called Gaza and not Palestine. If we continue to fall for such tactics, how will the generations to come fight for their freedom? They cannot fight for something their ancestors forgot, and thus the battle was lost before it even begun.

Number 2: It’s not #FreePalestine it’s #FreetheUmmah and it’s not “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” it’s “from Burma to Palestine, Muslims will be free”. Get this right too!

Demanding our freedom and self-determination within the borders constructed by our colonisers is a trap. You’ve been falling for the same trap for almost a century; it’s time you woke up.

Why are you succumbing to your nationalistic identities? Are your oppressors killing you because you’re an Arab, a Kurd or a Turk? Or are they killing you because you say, “God is One”? We all know that we are demonised and oppressed because we are Muslims, so what strikes me the most is when we naively demand our freedom as Arabs, Pakistanis and Palestinians.

We are so colonised that we demand our freedom based on the very borders that were created to oppress us. It’s like a bird trying to break free within a cage. It makes no sense.

Unfortunately for us, our oppressors are not as naive as we are. Analyse this recent tweet from a Zionist Soldier and you will see that he believes he is killing Muslims and not Palestinians.

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So why do I keep saying our colonisers constructed these borders? Well, let me introduce you to two men, Mark Sykes and Francois George-Picot. These British and French Government Officials took out their rulers one day and drew lines on the world map in 1916, culminating in the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement that split up the Muslim world into pieces of land. This is where you get your patriotic nationalities.

Do you think I’m exaggerating? Let me put it to you this way, in certain parts of the Muslim world, for example between Pakistan and Afghanistan, we have no physical borders, but because this agreement made this piece of land into two separate entities, we’ve had it engraved deep into our psyche that these are separate nationalities, and we therefore ignore that in this struggle for freedom, our only identity is Muslim.

For example, we have forgotten so easily that the reason for the Israeli occupation is because of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which gave this piece of land to the Zionists in the first place. And the reason why our Ummah did not stop this from happening then, is the same reason we cannot stop it from happening now. It’s because we allowed our oppressors to shift our allegiances to our nationalities rather than our religion.

And after almost a century of being in this mess, one verse in the Quran could have stopped this turmoil from happening, if only we had reflected on the words of the Almighty:

“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not be divided” [3:103]

You see, Allah has already given us the solution, but we’ve allowed our sectarianism and nationalism to make us deaf, dumb and blind.

Even the Prophet abhorred such allegiances as he said: “He who calls for Asabiyyah [Nationalism] has bit on his father’s genitals.” [Sahih Al Jami’ No. 5209]

It has been 98 years since the Sykes-Picot Agreement and we’re still biting on our father’s genitals!

I say to hell with the Palestinian Identity and all other nationalistic identities imposed upon on us by our oppressors. Whilst the world is paying attention to our oppression for once, we are failing by allowing them to forget the greater cause, the cause for the Muslim freedom struggle.

Whilst Palestine is no doubt the heart of this struggle, this is not just about Palestine, this is about one people, under one God, in one struggle: The #GlobalMuslimFreedomStruggle.

Muslims Can’t Unite – Get Over It!

muslim unity

Yes, we’ve all heard it many times before, as a community, our biggest weakness is that we can’t unite on anything to save our lives! And no, that’s not an expression; we literally cannot unite to save our lives.

We can’t decide how to fold our hands in prayer, we can’t decide whether or not our Prophet is dead or alive in his grave, and we certainly can’t decide on which day we’re celebrating Eid!

But have we really attempted to solve this issue from an objective standpoint? We are quick to point our fingers at each other, we blame “Muslims” for not uniting, but if you ask any Muslim what the Ummah needs most, they will all say: “unity”.

Can you think of a single Muslim that doesn’t want unity? You probably can’t, and if that is so, this begs a question: If we all want unity, then why are we so divided?

Maybe the answer lies closer to home. What if the greatest obstacle to our unity is you? Yes you, but not just you – each and every one of us. In our obsession of wanting unity, we have never stopped to think that our own behaviour prevents unity.

We are the only community that has become so obsessed with their own theological beliefs, that we condemn any one who differs with us to hell. And if that’s a bit of an exaggeration, (even though I don’t think it is), we can safely agree that we want to rip each other’s heads off.

But here’s the thing, if that’s your definition of unity, it’s not about to happen, so get over it! We will never ever unite upon one sect, follow one interpretation, and agree on every little theological debate. It’s a dream you shouldn’t even have in cuckoo land. We need to get over ourselves, the world doesn’t revolve around us, everyone will not agree with us.

If we really want unity, we need to learn some important lessons from the past. In the history of Islam, we have never united on one theological belief, apart from the time of our Prophet (pbuh). And that’s because whenever the Ummah was confused about an issue, the Prophet received divine revelations from Allah. So unless you have a direct line to God, I think it’s time we recognize that those days are behind us.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, you see after the Prophet (pbuh) passed away, the first four caliphs had disagreements, they didn’t always agree on policies, forget agreeing on small issues, they had disagreements on major issues that impacted the future of Islam, but they learnt to accept their differences, they learnt to consult each other and then accept what was mutually decided. They learnt to stick together.

Even after our caliphs, the four imams and the schools of thought that followed them differed. We have always had disagreements, our history is proof of this, and if we had disagreements at the time of our Caliphs and Imams, why are we surprised that our disagreements have only increased? Surely this was to be expected?

As time passes, we will only become more diverse as a community, so if we truly hope to achieve unity, it’s time we understand what unity requires. You see, unity comes from accepting our differences, not condemning them. You can’t blame anyone for not following the same version of Islam as you, none of us can.

But what we can unite on is the fact that we all want what’s best for our Ummah, we all want to see our Ummah free from oppression, we all want to see Islam represented as the great faith it actually is and we all want to co-exist peacefully.

Imam Khomeini once said, “Muslims are busy bickering over whether to fold or unfold our arms during prayer, while the enemy is devising ways of cutting them off.” This quote really summarises our state as an Ummah, and unfortunately, despite everything I have said in this article, I know that some of you are having a hard time dealing with the fact that I have just quoted a Shia Imam.

But let me explain something to you, I don’t agree with everything that Imam Khomeini believes, and I don’t think I will find anyone I can completely agree with, but what I can appreciate is the things I do agree with, and I won’t shy away from quoting someone when they speak the truth just because I can’t agree with them on everything. And the sooner the Muslim Ummah develops this form of tolerance, the better it will be for all of us. Because if you can’t live amongst Shias/Sunnis/Brelvis/Salafis – just remember you will be killed with them.

It’s time we get over our differences. It’s time we leave the job of condemning people to hell to the greatest of all Judges and start doing the job we were entrusted with. It’s time we unite in a global struggle for our freedom.

Why Malcolm X Was Assassinated

malcolm x

I finally understand why Malcolm X was assassinated. I can finally comprehend why he is still demonised till this day – why all civil rights leaders are celebrated as heroes except him. This is because his struggle is still relevant till this day, it still threatens those in power.

At first I thought he was labelled as an ‘extreme’ civil rights leader because of his unapologetic approach, unlike other civil rights leader he didn’t advocate a ‘turn the other cheek’ pacifism, but a “I don’t even call it violence when it’s self defense” approach.

As for those who accuse him of being racist, during his earlier period in life he simply adopted the same attitude as was given to him by the predominant white community. However, towards the end of his life, after visiting Mecca for pilgrimage and experiencing people of all colours coexisting peacefully, he abandoned his ‘all whites are devils’ attitude.

My analysis, however, was far from the truth. Only recently, whilst watching one of his lectures, did I realise why he was assassinated and is still demonised today. It was a speech he delivered six days before his assassination:

This speech lays the foundation of the new journey Malcolm X was embarking upon before he was killed. Malcolm X understood that to truly liberate human beings from oppression and slavery, the power structure that is keeping them enslaved must be destroyed. And the only way to defeat a global power structure was through a global movement against the power structure. This is why he attempted to unify the ‘Afro-American community with the African community, and then these two communities with the Asian community.’

Malcolm X was a powerful individual who yielded global influence. If Malcolm X had succeeded in galvanizing all coloured people to challenge the existing power structure, the oppressors of the world would not be able to oppress, exploit and plunder the wealth of the poor. Unfortunately, before his vision could become a reality, he was assassinated.

It is this very International Western Power Structure, that enslaved, and still is enslaving the African continent, that is still exploiting the Muslim world and beyond. It is still coloured people who are subjugated by this power structure.

In order for us to truly appreciate the sacrifice Malcolm X made with his life, we must continue his struggle against the imminent threat of this power structure.

To learn how to become a part of the movement that will defeat this power structure, watch The Road to Freedom now.

Thoughts on ‘Is Islam Being Criminalised?’ Event

is islam being criminalised

I was unable to attend the Is Islam Being Criminalised? event due to the location, however, just as the event was starting, I realised it was being streamed live so I decided to tune in and jot down some of my thoughts.

Firstly, I must commend every speaker that attended; each played their part to educate the Muslim Ummah on different aspects on the war against Islam.

Before I provide my thoughts on the event, I would like to quickly recall, to the best of my ability, what each speaker spoke about:

  • The first speaker, Nasir Hafezi, outlined government strategy,
  • The second speaker, Abdullah Andalusia, gave examples of current affairs and offered practical steps Muslims can take, comparing us to the civil rights movement in America, and stating that we must take political action such as peaceful protests, civil disobedience, debates and engage with the community,
  • The third speaker, Sheikh Suleiman, gave Islamic arguments to prove it was necessary to stop the demonisation and oppression of our community,
  • The fourth speaker, Muhammad Jhangir, gave practical examples of how government strategy works,
  • The fifth speaker, Moazzam Begg, explained that this is not a war on terror, but a war on Islam – this is apparent from the fact that no other community is being demonised and sidelined other than us,
  • The sixth speaker, Imam Haitham, spoke about the importance of being patient in times of tribulation,
  • The last speaker, Reza Pankhurst, gave practical steps we can take as individuals. He explained that Hizb Ut Tahrir are providing media training for Muslims to help us on how we can deal with responding to the media,

As we can see, it was a brilliant overview of what we face as a community and this event really helped raise awareness of the need for action.

Now at this stage, I would like to offer some of my thoughts that I believe can help solidify the message of this event, and include certain components, which I believe to be necessary. Please note that my intention is to share my analysis, and I would encourage others to also critique my thoughts, so that we can move forward and build understanding.

As an Ummah, we are well aware of the oppression facing us, every individual, to some extent, understands we are being demonised and oppressed around the world. This event helped to create urgency and a need for action.

However, I felt we could have used more detail on the practical steps and milestones that we must aim to achieve, as a community, if we are to create a movement for our freedom.

As a community, we do not have a strategic solution based upon the geopolitical context of our time. In order for people to act, they must believe that their actions will have a positive impact; they must understand how their individual roles, and their individual actions, fit in to the bigger picture.

Currently, we are individual activist trying to do ‘some good work,’ not an organised movement demanding our freedom and self-determination.

There is a process through which a movement is formed, where people are able to demand their rights, as a single unified body. The first step in creating a movement is to create a cause.

Currently, there is no CAUSE for Muslims to join, thus, we are only individual activists. To create a movement we must have a narrative. What makes a narrative different from a story is that it has a vision and thus a pathway.

Currently our story is a suicidal one, it is all about our oppression and what we have lost, but a narrative empowers a community by creating demands, a vision, inspiring them to reclaim their greatness. If this vision is broad enough, it will mean that despite our differences, we will for the first time, be able to agree on something and galvanise ourselves into a movement.

In order to galvanise their people into a movement, other oppressed communities have also used narratives in the past, thus this is a tried and tested tool that works. I was pleased to see Abdullah Andalusia mention the Civil Rights Movement, because we really need to analyse this period of history and learn from it.

Malcolm X once said, “the greatest mistake of the movement has been trying to organise a sleeping people around specific goals, you have to wake the people up first and then you’ll get action.” Therefore, before our movement can become a reality, we must ensure we have awakened our people. Without politicising our community, our community will be too asleep to take action.

This event helped to do just that, to awaken our community, however, the audience were not urged to educate each other further. As we know, our community is apolitical, we are a sleeping people, asking us to take political action is futile at this stage.

We appreciate the milestones to the road to freedom is not a linear process, however, our main priority at this stage should be to create a cause, a narrative and tackle any obstacles preventing us from unifying into a movement.

Therefore, we must critically analyse what is preventing Muslims from demanding their freedom and self-determination. Upon a closer inspection, we realise that many ‘practicing’ Muslims use Islam to justify their passivity. Though Islam is a faith that demands we strive against injustice, there is a widespread belief in the Muslim community that demands that they “perfect themselves first” or “do the basics first.”

This idea is closer to western individualism, than it is to Islam. Though speakers like Sheikh Suleiman spoke about the Islamic obligation for standing up for justice and the oppressed, there were no direct refutations of such ideas, and more importantly, as part of the solutions, the audience, which was approximately 500 people at the event and another 1500 watching online, were not told about the urgency of tackling such beliefs within the Muslim community.

You see, most of the Muslim community is disillusioned by the thought that anything practical can be achieved whilst living in Britain. As we understand, this is due to a lack of our understanding of the geopolitical context we live in and the importance of the ideological war. If Muslims were to be part of a greater movement and understand how their individual roles fit into a global struggle for freedom, we would find the Muslim community more willing to act.

I hope my thoughts have benefitted the organisers of the event, and also those who attended.

Islamic Renaissance has also put forward a lecture that attempts to map out the road to freedom, and the solutions that we can work towards as a community. We would also appreciate your feedback, so that we can find a common ground as a community.

Abdel Kader Mollah has been hung by the Bangladeshi authorities

abdel kader mollah

This article is by Irfan Badshah, a political activist and thinker.

has been hung by the Bangladeshi authorities; the result of a trial over the ‘atrocities committed’ during the bitter Bangladeshi war of independence in 1971. An Islamic teacher for 30 years and a towering figure in the Jamaat e Islami party, his execution will, no doubt, further polarize the Muslim population in the country. This turn (no other leader has been hung) in events follows on from an earlier outbreak of violence in the capital Dhaka, where the Bangladeshi police force, at the behest of the Prime Minister: Shiekh Hasina, gunned down civilians in total darkness after severing electricity and water from their camps — they were protesting against the sentence issued on another Jamaat leader .

Mullah’s hanging is the child of the ‘Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal’. It has been labelled a ‘kangaroo court’ and has been criticized for its political motivations. The president, Sheikh Hasina, has been accused of stirring sentiment in the wake of the Shabagh protests in Dhaka. The scale of the protests, and outpouring of thousands — spurred by social media — unnerved the government in Dhaka and led it to amend the law to allow prosecutors to appeal against sentences handed down by the courts. Until that point, prosecutors could only appeal if a court acquitted a defendant.

“Never before in the history of Bangladesh, when a trial court refused to give the death sentence [has] the final court [then] given the death sentence,” Mullah’s main lawyer, Abdur Razzaq, told The Independent.

Toby Cadman, an international lawyer, said “The trial process has been shown to be nothing short of a political show trial aimed at removing an Islamist political party, suppressing the opposition and securing the next election for the present Awami League government”

The crux of this conflict lies in its nationalist roots. The Jamaat E Islami party was opposed to the separation of what is now known as Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, from West Pakistan, now known as Pakistan. The creation of Pakistan was a result of the British colonization of India, in the aftermath of which, in 1947, it was born.

This brouhaha is no aberration to the western method of divide and conquer. The Sykes-Picot agreement, the master plan for the division of the Arab World; the propping up of dictators such as the Al Saud family (occupying Arabia) and the Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain and in virtually every Arab country, coupled with a demographic disaster, has given rise to a sectarian bloodbath. Should we expect any different? In the famous words of Napoleon ‘Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself.’

The construct of a nationalist identity, previously unknown to Muslims under the Islamic Caliphate, led to people spilling their blood for flags, dug in the ground literally by ‘lines drawn in the sand.’ In the case of the Indian Subcontinent, in the muddy marshes. As an extension, the construct of nationalist identity suppressed the right to self-determination as breaking away from the concept of nation states is near impossible as organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United Nations, have ossified this global power structure. It is designed to perpetually keep people in poverty and oppression. Why are there only five veto seats in the United Nations (and all by white, western nations) when it is supposed to encompass the ‘international community’?

Many a people have attempted to break free of this structure and many a people have failed. Take Egypt where very recently a western-backed (and financed) military junta has slaughtered hundreds of people in broad daylight on national television after forcefully ousting and imprisoning an elected president — Mohammed Morsi — who won a landslide majority.

What about Palestine? When the Palestinian people — in an election described by Bill Clinton as ‘crystal clear’ — voted for Hamas, an Islamic party, were punished by punitive sanctions, blockade and bombing. However, it doesn’t end there, in Algeria, when the Front Islamique du Salut, won a mammoth majority in the 1991 elections was subsequently booted in a bloody coup d etat in 1992, no cries from the west.

Think that’s all? Mohammed Mosadegh, the democratically elected president of the Iranian republic was overthrown in an operation planned by the CIA and M.I.6 in 1953. Replacing him was the Shah, his brutal crackdown on opposition and repressing of the freedoms of the Iranian people were carried out with the tacit complicity of the western governments.

In short, the denial of our self-determination has gone on long enough. We must eradicate the venom of nationalism from our blood and re-claim our right to justice, equality and freedom — ideals pertinent to all human beings but denied to Muslims. One people, under one God, in one struggle

130 Slave Imams Urge Muslims not to Travel to Iraq and Syria

letter

By Allah, I refuse to respect a single Imam who signed the letter urging Muslims not to go to Syria. Now, before you jump to the conclusion that I endorse the idea of going to Syria to fight, let me clarify that I don’t.

Personally, I think the Syrian crisis may be what the Prophet was referring to when he said: “A time will come when the murderer will not know why he has committed the murder, and the victim will not know why he has been killed” (Sahih Muslim, 41: 6949)

However, this is not the reason why these Imams signed this open letter. They did not sign this letter out of concern for the Ummah, they signed this letter out of fear of their slave master. They were afraid of being labelled an extremist, afraid of being labelled an Islamist, afraid for their lives.

They behaved like the ‘house negroes’ during slavery; who did not speak out to help their fellow slaves against a whipping, but rather spoke out to be better accommodated inside their master’s home.

You see, remaining silent isn’t an option anymore. Thanks to our passivity as a community, Islamophobia has reached a point where even silence is translated as rebelling against the slave master.

Now I know that some of you reading this will disagree. You will argue that I’m not in a position to know what’s in their hearts. You’re right, I don’t know what’s in their hearts and I cannot judge their intentions based on assumptions. What I can do however, is judge them based on their actions, and their actions prove everything I’m saying.

I’ll prove it to you. Tell me, where were these hundreds of Imams when Iraq was being invaded? Where were they when Palestinians were being ethnically cleansed? When drones were flying over the holy cities of Mecca to detonate the children of this Ummah, where was their open letter? Did I miss the memo?

Where were the open letters from the various denominations of Shia and Sunni Muslims to support a unified cause for freedom during the Muslim Spring?

I’ll tell you, there were none. So dig deep into your conscience and answer these questions, is it possible that these imams aren’t the God-fearing noble men you expected them to be? Is it possible that these Imams fear the wrath of our oppressors so much that they have sold out on our religion and sold out on our Ummah. Is it possible that they have chosen the life of this world over the life of the hereafter?

Now if these proofs are still not convincing you, fair enough. I have a challenge for you. If you are truly sincere in seeking the truth, ask these Imams to write an alternative letter condemning our oppressors for their crimes against humanity, and urging the Muslim community to unite as one people in the struggle for our freedom. If they write an alternative letter, we will retract this article and replace it with a formal apology to these Imams. But they must come forth and prove themselves with an alternative letter. As Allah says in the Quran: “Produce your proof if you are truthful!” [2:111]

But even you know deep in your hearts, they will not. They fear the slave master more than they fear the creator of the heavens and earth.

You see, in a climate where Islamophobia is growing faster than our ability to counter it, we need solutions. When our Imams show us that they are more than capable of uniting for a cause that further justifies our oppression, but refuse to unite in the cause for our freedom, they must be held to account and they must be questioned.

Our Ummah needs less selling out and more solutions.

Islamic Renaissance has attempted to put together the way forward for our Ummah and we welcome all feedback, critical or otherwise.

In the meantime, here is the list of the Imams that signed the open letter. Contact them and ask them why similar initiatives have not been seen in the face of our oppression?

  • Sheikh Ahmed Babikir, Islamic Advisor Islamiyyah School Network, London
  • Qari Mohammed Asim MBE, Senior Imam Makkah Masjid, Leeds
  • Sheikh Muhammad Manwar Ali, JIMAS, Norwich
  • Mualana Shahid Raza OBE, Leicester Central Mosque, Leicester
  • Imam Rafiq Sufi Patel, Vice Chairman Lancashire of Mosque, Blackburn
  • Mufti Zymer Salihi, Chairman Albanian and Turkish Islamic Foundation, London
  • Prof Masood Akhtar Hazarvi, Al Hira Education Centre, Luton
  • Dr Musharraf Hussain, Director Karima Foundation, Nottingham
  • Sheikh Mohamed el Sharkawy, Al Azhar Academy, London
  • Sheikh Tahir Fayyaz, Abu Bakr Masjid, Southall London
  • Sheikh Sabazada Jeelani, Wycombe Islamic Mission/ South East Imams Forum, High Wycombe
  • Chairman Abdul Hameed Qurashi, Lancashire Council of Mosque, Preston
  • Moulana Ghulam Rasool, Trustee Sultan Bahu Trust, Birmingham
  • Sheikh Sayed Ali Raza, Majlis Ulama-e-Shia, London
  • Sheikh Mustafa Jaffar, Masjid, London
  • Imam Asif Ali, Karima, Nottingham
  • Mr Dilwar Hussain, New Horizons, Leicester
  • Dr A Majid Katme, Brent Maglis, London
  • Shaykh Sulaiman Egeh, Brent Muslim Multicultural Centre, London
  • Shaykh Talat, Palmers Green Mosque, London
  • Shaykh Haythim Al-Sahlani, Al Khoei Foundation, London
  • Shaykh Salah Bilal, Al Khoei Foundation, London
  • Imam Shakil Ahmed, Ayesha Masjid and School, London
  • Imam Mohammad Talha Bokhari, Birmingham Central Mosque, Birmingham
  • Maulana Amir Hussain, YEME, Bradford
  • Maulana Swaleey Khan, YEME, Bradford
  • Qari Abdul Latif, Jammia, Alyesbury
  • Hafiz Khush Bakht, Jamia Ramania, High Wycombe
  • Mufti Muhammad Arif, Saeedi Ashrafi, Chesham
  • Maulana Muhammad Sarfraz Madni, Black Heath Mosque, Birmingham
  • Imam Hafiz Hamid Uddin, Castlefield Mosque, High Wycombe
  • Imam Sultan Mahmud, Totteridge Mosque, High Wycombe
  • Qari Tariq Mahmud Qadri, Al Hira Education Centre, London
  • Muft Riaz Ahmed, Samdani Anjuman Islamia, London
  • Imam Ihsanullah Nazshbandi, Ilford Islamic Centre, London
  • Imam Sheikh Muhammad Ismail Al-Rashid, Birmingham Central Mosque, Birmingham
  • Maulana Ejaz Ahmed,Nairvi Siqqiqia, London
  • Mulana Sayed Noor Ahmed Shah, Barking Masjid, London
  • Hafiz Muhammed Yaqoob, Canning Town Mosque, London
  • Qari Muhammad Amin Chidhti, Southall Islamic Centre, Ealing London
  • Maulana Iqbal Awan, Madina Masjid, Luton
  • Hafiz Naseerullah Naqshbandi, Mohi-ul-Din Trust, Birmingham
  • Hafiz Arshad Jamil,  Masjid, London
  • Allama Abdul Bari, Masjid Centre, Milton Keynes
  • Imam Hafiz Hafiz Ahmed Ibrahim Patel, Birmingham Central Mosque, Birmingham
  • Mulana Mehrban, Chesterfield Mosque, Chesterfield
  • Mulana Mohsin,  Islamic Centre, Derby
  • Mulana Sohail Bawa, Stepney Centre, London
  • Mulana Aslam, Southall Islamic Circle, London
  • Imam Abu Sayeed, Darul Ummah, London
  • Mulana Hafiz Rehman, West Drayton Mosque, London
  • Imam Professor Hafiz Muhammad Akram – Harrow Central Mosque, Harrow – Middlesex
  • Mulana Attaaa Ullah Khan, Oxford Mosque, Oxford
  • Mulana Tahir Awan, Abu Bakr Masjid, London
  • Maulana Jamshaid Ahmed, East London Mosque Forum, London
  • Mulana Kasim, Central Jamia Masjid, Ealing London
  • Mulana Bismillah, Central Jamia Masjid, Ealing London
  • Mulana Sadath, Abu Bakr Masjid, Ealing London
  • Ustahd Yahya Birt, Interfaith Forum, Ilkley
  • Ustahd Mahbub Nazir, The Good Deeds Project, Leeds
  • Molana Rayan Mahmud, Iqra TV, London
  • Imam Yaseen Mohammed, Bradford Council of Mosques, Bradford
  • Imam Rafiq Sehgal, Bradford Council of Mosques, Bradford
  • Shah Fazal Karim, Council for Mosques, Bradford
  • Imam Iftikhar Ali, Jammat Tableegul Islam, Bradford
  • Mr Zulfiqar Ali, Jammat Tableegul Islam, Bradford
  • Mr Amjad Pervez, Bradford Council of Mosques, Bradford
  • Imam Sayed Tariq Masud, Shah Redbridge Islamic Centre, London
  • Mr Abdul  Sattar, Kanzul Iman Mosque
  • Shaykh Dr Abbas Mohammed, Islamic Unity Forum
  • Imam Mohammad Saddiq, Khanzul Iman
  • Imam Rafiqur Rehman, Jamia Mosque Newport, South Wales
  • Mr Ghulam Mohayuddin Hafiz, Medina Mosque Trust, Southampton
  • Hafiz Mohammad Sajaad, Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira, Leeds
  • Mulana Abdul Khaliq, Hayes Islamic Centre / Hayes Muslim Centre, London
  • Sh Mr Tarik Nasrullah,  Mosque, London
  • Mr Zia ul-Haq, Madina Masjid, Walsall
  • Imam Irfan Chishti MBE, Light of Islam Academy, Rochdale
  • Mr Choudhary Noor-Hussain, Dudley Central Mosque, Dudley
  • Mulana Aqram, Hayes Masjid / Hayes Muslim Centre, London
  • Imam Shokat, Abu Bakr Mosque, Southampton
  • Imam Azizurehman, Abu Bakr Mosque, Southampton
  • Dr Ataf Sabir, Community Member, Dudley
  • Molana Ahmad Nisar Beg Qadri, British Muslim Forum
  • Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, The Muslim Council of Britain, Leciester
  • Director and Imam Anas Al-Korj, Taqwah Mosque Trust, Southampton
  • Alqadri Muhammad Ikhlaq Mubarak, Islamic Society Jamia Mosque Al Madina, Middlesbrough
  • Mr Mahmood Hussain, Dudley Muslim Association, Dudley
  • Mr M Ammar Khan, Dudley Central Mosque, Dudley
  • Mr Muhammad Fazal, Al-noor Educational, London
  • Imam Monawar Hussain, The Oxford Foundation
  • Chairman Ragih Muflihi, Muslim Inclusive Action Network IMAN, Sandwell
  • Sahibzada Naeem Rabbani, Black Country Sunni Ulema Council
  • Imam Hafiz Abdul Rehman Sultani, Qamarul Islam Masjid, Birmingham
  • Mr Naseerullah, Siddiquia Education Trust, Birmingham
  • Mr Khurshid Drabu, Chairman, Southampton Medina Mosque Trust Ltd, Southampton
  • Imam Hamid Qudoos Hashmi, Dudley Central Mosque, Dudley
  • Qaril Noman Yousaf, Head Teacher – Harem Academy, Coventry
  • Hafiz Abdul Satar, Hazrat Sultan Bahu Trust (HSBT), Sandwell
  • Imam Shaikh Sajid Mahmood, Aminah Trust, Bradford
  • Yousef  Hansa, Noor Ul Islam Trust, London
  • Hafiz Zaheer Shabir, Bristol Council of Mosques, Bristol
  • Dr Sheikh Omer El-Hamdoon, Muslim Association of Britain
  • Maulana Muhammad Sarfraz Madni, Black Heath Mosque, Birmingham
  • Mufti Muhammd Farooq Alwi, Jammia Masjid, Birmingham
  • Mufti Abdual Majid Nadeem, Alum Rock Mosque, Birmingham
  • Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Jammia Masjid, Birmingham
  • Maulana Muhammd Iqbal, Masjid Oldham, Oldham
  • Hafiz Rahmat Aziz Salik, Hull Islamic Centre, Hull
  • Molana Wajid Ali Ansari, Kariamia Masjid, Nottingham
  • Sadat Qadri, Kariamia Masjid, Nottingham
  • Imam Muhammad Hussain Sajid, Ghousia Masjid, Burnley
  • Imam Muhammed Arshad, Masjid e Ibrahim, Burnley
  • Qari Blouch, Armley Welfare Society, Leeds
  • Molana Sadat Ahmed, Kariamia Masjid, Nottingham
  • Helen Zehra Taskiran,  Muslimah of the UK London
  • Julian Bond, Christian Muslim Forum, London
  • Tehmina Kazi, Human rights activist, London
  • Hassan Rabbani, Zia-Ul-Quran, Glasgow
  • Shahzad Hussain,  Iqra Centre,  Leeds
  • Zara Islam, London
  • Mohsin Malik, 313, Oslo
  • Sean Haran, Couples for Christ – Wales Swansea
  • Ahmad Ayaz Ur-Rahman Irfani, Jamia Masjid Hanfia Ghousia,  Bedford
  • Suleman Nagdi MBE DL, Federation of Muslim Organisations, Leicester
  • Professor Hafiz Akram, Harrow Central Mosque,  Harrow
  • Amanda Jane, Price Women Against Ukip, Cheltenham
  • Sharmeen Ahmed,  Bristol
  • General Secretary Talib Hussain,  Jamiyat Tabligh-Ul-Islam, Bradford
  • Abdul Raheem, Leeds

Let us know if you receive a response, and we will keep you posted too.

 

 

If God exists, why does poverty?

poverty

From time to time we hear those who are in doubt of God’s existence, ask the question; If God exists, why does poverty? How can God, if He exists, the creator of the heaven and earth, not eradicate poverty? Since poverty exists, it must mean God doesn’t. The answer to many will be difficult to accept, as the reason lies somewhere much closer to home.

First of all, we must ask ourselves if there is enough food on the planet to feed its population, or did God create the circumstances for poverty to always exist? Currently, the estimated population of the world is approximately 7 billion, and there is enough food in the world in this moment of time, to be able to feed 10 billion people.

So if there is enough food in the world to fulfill the need of every human being, and more, then why does poverty exist? Nelson Mandela would like to answer the question: “Poverty is not an accident, like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.”

You see, in 2012 alone, the world’s top 100 richest people earned enough money to eradicate extreme poverty four times over. Poverty does not exist because God does not exist. Poverty exists because of the actions of human beings, because of your action. Yes, you. “Did you think you would enter the Garden without God first proving which of you would struggle for His cause and remain steadfast?” [Quran 3:142]

There is a reason you and I are here. There is a reason we exist: “Did you think we had created you in vain, and that you would not be brought back to Us?” [23:115] There is a mission we must fulfill. What is that mission? It is the same mission that the Prophets of God were sent with; “We sent the Messengers with clear signs, the scripture and the balance, so people could uphold justice.” [57:25] Our purpose on earth is to live for a cause greater than ourselves, a cause for justice. This is our purpose, our mission on earth.

If human beings strove to fulfill this purpose then poverty would not exist. If we strove to implement institutions that safeguarded the basic rights of every human being then justice would prevail. This is why the institution of Zakaat (the redistribution of wealth) is a central component of Islam. It is ordained “So that wealth does not circulate among your rich people only” [59:7]

The institution of Zakaat has the potential to solve the problem of global poverty, just as it did in the 8th century under Umar Ibn Abdulaziz, who had eradicated poverty from society, to such an extent that when there was no one left to claim Zakaat, the money was used to feed the birds of his empire.

It’s time we stop blaming the Creator for problems we have created ourselves, and strive to restore the balance we have disturbed.

 

Has Western Individualism Affected Our Understanding of Islam?

 

western individualism

As Muslims, we must be a living manifestation of the Quran and our outlook on life must be defined by Islamic principles. This is what it means to be a believer. However, in my experience, from interacting with the Muslim community over the years, specifically ‘practicing’ Muslims, I have come to the conclusion that our schema, which in psychology is a cognitive framework that helps the human mind to organise and interpret information, is defined by Western individualism, rather than Islam. Thus, it has also affected the very way we interpret Islam.

Let us first explore what Western Individualism is before I explain the premise of my argument. In a nutshell, Western individualism puts the individuals before society. It has come to a stage where it is all about us. Especially with the advent of social media, it is has made more and more people self-centred and self-obsessed. This has also led to a decrease in our care for humanity.

As Muslims – the vicegerents of God on earth – we must partake in the mission entrusted to us: “We sent the Messengers with clear signs, the scriptures and the balance, so that people can uphold justice.” Quran [57:25]. From many verses in the Quran including the above verse, it is clear that our primary duty is to strive for justice.

Yet we live in a time where those who are supposed to uphold justice, are the greatest victims of injustices. And the worst part is that there is a widespread belief among the Muslim community that they must ‘perfect themselves first’ or ‘do the basics first’ before helping the oppressed. This idea is alien to Islam; it contradicts the Quran, Hadith and the verdicts of every classical scholar. This belief represents Western individualism, rather than, Islam.

This has affected our entire understanding of Islam, it has led us to interpret Islam in a more individualistic manner. Let us take the famous Hadith of the prophet (pbuh) as an example: “Not one of you truly believes till he wants for his brother what he wants for himself.” This is another example that should lead Muslims to strive for the betterment of humanity. However, it is interpreted as the Christian saying, “treat others the way you want to be treated.” The difference between the two sayings is that the latter demands we be nice to anyone we come into contact with, whereas the former demands we go out of our way to strive for a better world. Do you see the difference? By interpreting the Hadith along the lines of the Christian saying, we are a limiting ourselves to only be nice to those we come into contact with, whilst ignoring the cries and screams of our Ummah on the other side of the world.

Though I have experienced this behaviour everywhere among Muslims, the personal experience that epitomised it for me was when I was in Egypt. I have never met Muslims like the ones I did Egypt. The Muslims of Egypt treated me as if I was their own blood brother. Yet, those very Muslims, when talking about Palestine, were complaining that Muhammad Morsi (former President of Egypt) was giving free gas to the Palestinians. Absurd right? Those who treated me like their blood brother were ignoring the cries of their brothers and sisters across the border.

The above example is that of a ‘good’ Muslim. Unfortunately, there are many Muslims that would not even treat others as they wish to be treated. They would not treat their brother in Islam as if it was their own blood brother. They are too concerned with their rituals and their personal ticket to heaven.

You see, Islam has become a checklist, rather than a way of life:

  • Salah
  • Zakaat
  • Fasting
  • Hajj

Alhamdulillah, I now have my ticket to heaven!

This individualistic attitude, which teaches us to focus only on rituals and ignore the ethics of Islam, has caused us to ignore the oppression and demonisation of our community. Thus, it led us to catch hell in this life, and possibly the next for ignoring the commandments of God: “And fight them on until there is no more oppression, and justice and faith in Allah prevails; but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.” (2:193)

Poem: The fall from a nation of intellects to colonised slave minds was a steady decline

freedom rhymer

Freedom Rhymer Habib Ahmed writes a poem about the state of our Ummah and our global struggle for freedom.

Always thought the harder you fall the better you learn the lesson,
It seems Allah’s testing us in session,

We have the message in our hands,
But we’d rather ignore that weapon,

Aiming to destroy us, they seek to eliminate,
No longer will they divide and conquer, see it’s never too late,

Silence is deafening and violence is blinding the youth
Looking for change, I feel the tide rising,

The fall from a nation of intellects to colonised slave minds was a steady decline,
Observing a sinking ship without any remorse,

We got our head in the sand and the leaders turning the cheek,
Seeking blessings it would seem the future looks bleak,

Unless we wake up and take charge of the situation,
The oppressed in Kashmir and Palestine are running out of patience,

Imagine trying to make a living watching your oppressors detain your children;
their only crime is fighting for their freedom,

Issues are neck deep and we must reclaim the mosque from corrupt people that have seized it,
free it from narrow minds and action it’s real meaning.