Islamic Renaissance

A Voice for the Muslim Freedom 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)

The Remorse I Feel Over Ariel Sharon’s Death

The greatest pharaoh of our time is dead! Let’s celebrate! No, that’s not exactly how I felt when I heard the news of his death. I felt remorse.

You see, I remember the face of Ariel Sharon from when I was 10 years old, when I received my first flyer that woke me up to the plight of our Ummah – when I first saw the vicious images of the crimes that he had committed in Sabra and Shatila.

But I felt remorse – not because an oppressor had just died, but because of the reaction that followed his death. Just as I write, I have seen many updates from Muslims that are expressing relief at the news of his death; they are proudly speaking of the punishment he received during his eight-year coma, and speculating the punishment that waits him in hell.

Great! Natural justice has been served! I guess it makes us all feel a little better, knowing the world has been ridden of another evil pharaoh, but is there more to our reaction? Is this enough to explain our relief?

Maybe underneath the sighs of our relief, underneath the feelings of gratitude, lies a guilty conscience. A guilty conscience burdened with years of inaction. Maybe we felt relief not because the world had been ridden of evil, but because we were ridden of some guilt, because our burden of inaction became that much easier to carry.

And that’s what fills me with feelings of remorse. Our relief helps us to justify our inaction. But for how long will we justify our inaction? Whilst we are singing the hymns of hell for Ariel Sharon, what we have forgotten is that we are as guilty as him. Natural justice has sent him to where he belongs, but we are on the road to the same place.

And no, I’m not being hysterical, I am simply making you aware of what our Prophet (PBUH) said so eloquently: “Verily, if the people see an oppressor and they do not seize his hand, then Allah will soon send punishment upon all of them”.

And I’m afraid. I’m afraid that in the midst of celebrating the punishment that awaits Ariel Sharon, we are ignoring the punishment that awaits us. I’m afraid that the sighs of our relief will justify our inaction to us, but won’t justify our inaction to our creator. I’m afraid that we are headed towards the same fate as the greatest oppressor of our time.

Educational Modules

Islamic Renaissance is an educational movement aimed at Muslims all over the world. We believe that the first step towards the liberation of our Ummah is education. Fredrick Douglas once said, “knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave”. We strongly believe in this principle and are therefore providing you with educational modules that will ideologically free the Ummah, and lead to The Global Muslim Freedom Struggle. Please use these modules to educate yourself and educate others.

The Missing Muslim Narrative

Allah’s Just Social Order

When We Were Kings

Dismantlement

Colonisation

Colonised Islam