Muslim condemnations of terrorism

Dear readers, Assalamu alaikum (peace be with you)

I had hoped I could move on from the terrible Charlie Hebdo attack, at least on this blog, which was never intended to be political, but tonight a question posed to me by a close friend has prompted this post. She asked me where the Muslim voice is in condemning the massacre. I explained as best as I could, trying not to get emotional as I outlined the very apparent bias in Western mainstream media re the Muslim voice in general, never mind when it matters the most.

As expected, when I got home and googled it, I found that it was only obscure or hardly major media giants that carried the condemnations. I am therefore going to compile them, whatever I can find at least, here. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

First – with great thanks to a brave and honest soul, my job has been mostly done by Katie Halper at alternet.org. The way she begins her piece says a lot. Please read the rest of the article here, It is descriptively titled ’45 examples of muslim outrage about charlie hebdo attack that fox news missed’

Every time an extremist who is Muslim commits an act of terrorism, people ask where the moderate Muslim voices condemning violence are. (Interestingly, as a Jew, I don’t usually get asked to condemn extremism when it is perpetuated by Jewish fundamentalists like Baruch Goldstein, who shot 29 praying Muslims do death, and injured 125, at the Cave of the Patriarchs, or Yigal Amir, who killed Israeli Prime MinisterYitzhak Rabin.) And the same thing is happening following this week’s deplorable, pathetic, and tragic killing of 12 people at the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Here is another amazing link, by http://www.judaism-islam.com where they too have compiled condemnations. It’s also a very informative website generally
They have even categorized the condemnations by country, by organization and by prominent individuals. From the website:

The majority of Muslim nations have overwhelmingly condemned the terror attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo. Only 7 countries with a Muslim majority over 10,000,000 failed to condemn the attack (Bangladesh, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sudan, Uzbekistan and Yemen), every other nation was unanimous in their condemnation. – See more at: http://www.judaism-islam.com/muslim-reaction-to-the-charlie-hebdo-massacre/#clerics

Well, it doesn’t take much general knowledge to surmise that the 7 countries that have been silent are pretty well embroiled in their own troubles currently to say anything about anything going on in the world. Those are some of the poorest countries in the world.

There doesn’t seem much more to compile after those above. The LA times carries this article where they even note the leader of Hizbollah condemned the attacks! And also noted that Ayatollah Khatami of Iran said

“Islam does not approve of killing innocent people, whether in Paris, or in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan,” according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

The Spectator carried this piece, allowing ordinary Muslims to air their views.

I can go on, but I think the point is made. Of all the so called ‘Muslim’ terror organizations out there, one of the most deranged and cruel in my opinion is Boko Haram. I pray they will be stopped in their mad scourge and relentless brutality. But had it not been for the figure from Judaism-Islam below, even I too would have not had what they recently did in my immediate memory. But look at the image below…and let’s take a moment to be honest with ourselves as to what this says about the ‘politics of media’.

10403179_636971259765589_4731238293149618640_n

Finally, for those of you who don’t know – presumably many don’t as hardly any media covered this. Sometime ago, many major religious figures in the Muslim world wrote an open letter to Baghdadi, the one who calls himself the leader of a new Islamic state, the leader of ISIS. In it, they give scholarly proofs as to why his position, ideology and method is not within the fold of Islam and obviously condemned in the strongest possible terms. It is an open letter hosted at www.lettertobaghdadi.com. I am a proud signatory of the letter, and join hundreds of others.

Here is the executive summary

Executive Summary
1- It is forbidden in Islam to issue fatwas without all the necessary learning requirements. Even then fatwas must follow Islamic legal theory as defined in the Classical texts. It is also forbidden to cite a portion of a verse from the Qur’an—or part of a verse—to derive a ruling without looking at everything that the Qur’an and Hadith teach related to that matter. In other words, there are strict subjective and objective prerequisites for fatwas, and one cannot ‘cherry-pick’ Qur’anic verses for legal arguments without considering the entire Qur’an and Hadith.

2- It is forbidden in Islam to issue legal rulings about anything without mastery of the Arabic language.

3- It is forbidden in Islam to oversimplify Shari’ah matters and ignore established Islamic sciences.

4- It is permissible in Islam [for scholars] to differ on any matter, except those fundamentals of religion that all Muslims must know.

5- It is forbidden in Islam to ignore the reality of contemporary times when deriving legal rulings.

6- It is forbidden in Islam to kill the innocent.

7- It is forbidden in Islam to kill emissaries, ambassadors, and diplomats; hence it is forbidden to kill journalists and aid workers.

8- Jihad in Islam is defensive war. It is not permissible without the right cause, the right purpose and without the right rules of conduct.

9- It is forbidden in Islam to declare people non-Muslim unless he (or she) openly declares disbelief.

10- It is forbidden in Islam to harm or mistreat—in any way—Christians or any ‘People of the Scripture’.

11- It is obligatory to consider Yazidis as People of the Scripture.

12- The re-introduction of slavery is forbidden in Islam. It was abolished by universal consensus.

13- It is forbidden in Islam to force people to convert.

14- It is forbidden in Islam to deny women their rights.

15- It is forbidden in Islam to deny children their rights.

16- It is forbidden in Islam to enact legal punishments (hudud) without following the correct procedures that ensure justice and mercy.

17- It is forbidden in Islam to torture people.

18- It is forbidden in Islam to disfigure the dead.

19- It is forbidden in Islam to attribute evil acts to God .

20- It is forbidden in Islam to destroy the graves and shrines of Prophets and Companions.

21- Armed insurrection is forbidden in Islam for any reason other than clear disbelief by the ruler and not allowing people to pray.

22- It is forbidden in Islam to declare a caliphate without consensus from all Muslims.

23- Loyalty to one’s nation is permissible in Islam.

24- After the death of the Prophet , Islam does not require anyone to emigrate anywhere.

Here is the complete letter. Pages 18-23 colate signatures from leaders all across the Muslim world.

english-v14

Please take a moment to forward this post to anyone who may have that same question please.

I leave you with wishes of peace and may God protect us all from darkness. Remember the Muslim is not allowed to be sad :), so keep smiling….it’s sunnah!

“keep smiling, it’s sunnah” is a favourite Muslim slogan. It comes from the saying of the prophet (peace be upon him) who was always smiling and taught us to smile, teaching us that ‘a smile is charity’

I’ll end with another story about the abuse he (peace be upon him) faced in his lifetime. When he was living in Mecca, a woman who hated him (I think it was his own aunt but I am not sure) would heap garbage and filth at his doorstep every morning. One morning on opening his door and noticing no dirt there, he was surprised. He asked after her well being, and finding that she was sick he visited her to inquire after her health! – Sallallaahu ala Muhammed (O God, send your peace and blessings upon Muhammed)

Peace be with you all my dear readers, Assalamu alaium

Love in Islam

For all those who think or say that there is no understanding of love in Islam’s concept of the Godhead, please do listen to this. It is only 15 mins and is excerpted from one of our foremost scholars today. We have a deep deep and wide understanding of love in our tradition. Unfortunately many of us, even among the Muslims, are divorced from this reality in the modern world. One of the greatest tragedies to befall the Muslim nation is our loss of our knowledge sources which happened to a large extent during the colonial period. So the past 200 years or so has seen the Muslim nation loose much of its base. I think it is almost akin to the other great tragedy that befell the Muslim nation which is when the Mongol hoards sacked Baghdad (Genghis Khan’s grandson lead that campaign). Thankfully knowledge is coming back into Muslims from what has been preserved now, as it did in our history some decades after the sacking of Baghdad. Ironically the descendants of the invaders themselves became Muslim and contributed much to the Muslim world. But let me not go off on a tangent. For now, by God’s grace, nNew scholars are emerging, teaching and spreading knowledge and books are being unearthed and translated. God will preserve His teaching. And this is true for all true traditions that lead to the worship of the Source. May we all be reunited with the One we love. And God’s peace and blessings be upon His messenger Muhammed

Peace be with you all, Assalamu alaikum

Facing Depression

You know in the Muslim world, where we are people of faith, we often don’t feel comfortable acknowledging that we too can get depressed. We feel admitting that is tantamount to admiting that our iman is weak. But it is not. It is merely aknowledging that we are going through a bad time, not that we don’t hope it will get better. The trick is to ride the storm and do it with stoicism. I was tempted to say ‘do it with a smile’ but that is a cliche and really belittling the situation. I learned all this listening to this Jumuah khutbah by Sh. Yasir Fazaga, who I heard, was also a registered counselor. I think we in the Muslim world need more professionals in the area of mental health. Teaching us to cope, to say, yes it’s okay, I’m human…I go through ups and downs. There is a beautiful, profound and very wise du’a taught by the prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) related in the khutbah. Let me paraphrase here…’O Allah, by your knowledge of the unseen, O Allah, by your capability and ability over your creatures, O Allah, extend in my life so long as living is good for me, and O Allah, put an end to my life so long as death is what is best for me’. This du’a is mentioned along with the circumstance of it, about minute 4.00 in the video.

There are a couple things I wanted to express of thoughts on this du’a. First it brings profound peace, in that it aknowledges that life is hard. So it is not wrong to say that. But the wish for death…that should not be the case. Rather give the control over to Allah and believe that if He almighty is keeping you alive, then there is a good reason for it! So it is a trial of patience to wait to know why! :). But the du’a also carries the message that life is a good thing and tells us that we Muslims are meant to enjoy life so we ask for it to be long, and ask Allah to keep it good for us. But look how much more wisdom in the du’a – for we continue by saying that give us death if that be better. There is such a degree of trust in this du’a. Trust that Allah will only make death a better state than the life we lived in the dunya. What this equates to is asking for Jannah…really. It’s that we’ve lived in this world well and now it is time to move on to a more permanent iteration of existence. One, united with our Maker! in complete peace and rest… Subhahanallah! …and with our beloved prophet (sallalaahu alaihi wasalam). InshaAllah may this be the case for all who read this and more. What a beautifully wise, balanced, du’a. Not belittling the sufferers worries, not talking down and preaching patience, but offering a real solution;-put your trust in Allah and give the control over to your loving Lord. Always watchful over you and kind to you. Trust that! it may take time, but don’t loose trust.

May you benefit from this talk as I did and please keep me in your du’a. May Allah remove the oppresion from all those oppresed and may Allah help those in need and help us. May He be closely with us always and we always aware of the deep cherishing nurturing protecting Creator, our Creator and Lord.