The “Arab Spring”: Revolution or Awakening?

Last night (Day 4, 23 Shawwaal 1432 – Wednesday, 21 September 2011) I was a call-in guest on a show called Awakening.  The topic was “Islamic Awakening and the Arab Spring”.  It’s a program on a satellite channel called Sahar TV, a subsidiary of the IRIB network.  They sent me the questions a day earlier, and here are the responses I typed up in preparation for the show.  It’s just about what I ended up saying on the show.

——-

1 The World Bank and the G8 are already planning to sponsor the so-called Arab Spring. Less than a fortnight ago, G8 finance chiefs pledged $38-billion in financing to Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan over 2011-13, widening a deal agreed in May and offering Libya the chance to partake too. Analysts are now concerned over a possible Euro-US containment of the regional movement through this type of “cheque book diplomacy”. What’s your take on that?

Worth the paper it's printed on?

What is money anyway?  A bunch of pieces of cotton paper?  A readout on a bankslip?   It’s a promise to pay and I can tell you about the G8’s ability to pay.  The UK has been bankrupt since a hundred years ago, and it’s owed money to the U.S. since WWII.  The US, in turn, owes money to China and Russia.  So how can these bankrupt countries lend money?  All their doing is tricking Muslim countries into promising to pay them money that isn’t even real, that they don’t even have to lend in the first place.

When they lend this money, they lend it at interest.  Allah says in Surah Baqara 279 that He and His Messenger are at war with people who devour usury.  This is because it enslaves the borrower to the debtor.  These Islamic populations have just freed themselves of West-serving leaders.  By indebting themselves to them, they would be re-enslaving themselves, and this is the goal of cheque-book diplomacy, to create a situation by which they can continue to dictate over us.

2 A large number of scholars have constantly been warning against the risk of the revolutions being hijacked or contained in one way or another. How concerned should we really be about that?

One common colonial trick is to make the village thief the village chief.  There will always be someone without scruples, with no goal beyond his own selfish interests.  Colonial powers usually find that person, support him with every means, such as money, glorification in the media and so forth until he rises from vagabond to ruler, from thief to chief.  Then, because the colonizers, not the people, are his true power base, he does their bidding to ensure their continued support.

This is how I see things being hijacked.  In the end, a politician only cares about one thing.  He doesn’t have a religion.  He doesn’t believe in any idea or purpose.  His only goal is to get and keep power, and he will do whatever it takes to do that.  They let the parade get going and then run out in front of it like they’ve been leading it the whole time.  Colonial powers are only waiting for that man, woman or group to show themselves and start the politicking.
3 I think it’s fair to say that the reaction of the West towards the wave of Islamic awakening in the countries affected has been quite selective. Let’s talk about the most recent case, i.e. Libya, where we saw military intervention. Do you think that NATO may follow the Libyan model of intervention elsewhere in the Arab World?

The West’s selection process is based on what they think serves them best.  They use language clevery to disguise their self-serving intent in the language of freedom, democracy, human rights, etc.  For example, there has been brutal repression by certain regimes, even invasions and occupations, but this is either completely ignored.  For example, the Bahraini royal family, which hosts the US 5th Fleet, is immune to criticism no matter what it does.  As for Qathafi, whose friendship with the West was less easy, but a friendship just the same, they wanted him out, and made sure he got out.  What’s the difference?  Why do they support Syrian protesters, and even go so far as to reveal their arrogance by mentioning that al-Asad is “expendable”?  Why don’t Bahrain protesters get any support?  The only consistent factor has nothing to do with rights or freedom or legitimate aspirations.  It has only to do with who they want, and who they don’t.  I would say that Western powers are willing and waiting to intervene in other countries.  They are going through no end of rhetorical gymnastics, political treachery and covert operations in the meantime to justify an attack on Iran, as we all know.  I would also say that Syria is another target.  They’d be more than happy to make it look like their helping the people like in Libya rather than a full invasion like Iraq, because it’s easier to justify and probably cheaper.  In these cases, the revolutionaries run the risk of being nothing more than volunteer soldiers in a Western invasion.

4 A serious problem in the countries affected by the wave of Islamic awakening is- as a matter of fact- the problem of a strong leadership leading the opposition in those countries. In fact, in several cases those working under previous dictatorial regimes are still ruling the country. Is there any solution to this problem?

Well, in the case of Libya, to my understanding, the transitional government has been planning and plotting for years while in exile in England, and there’s only one reason why that government would support them while they were doing that.  If I’m correct.  Otherwise, the greatest threat to these movements is the lack of leadership.  The Islamic revolution in Iran is unique because there was already an established figurehead, Ruhullah Khomenei, even though there were groups of many different stripes. He united them. 

Shocking the world...

Islam united them.  But look at the movements today, there is no one leader.  There is no spiritual leader uniting them.  The most basic elements of history’s greatest revolution are two:  negation of falsehood, and affirmation of truth.  With the words “laa ilaaha” we negate every falsehood, every impure motive, all the weaknesses in ourselves and communities.  The revolutions of today have thrown out corrupt rulers, but does this mean the people have achieved self-purification?  The leaders were corrupt, but we have to remember that a leader is of his people, he reflects their characteristics too.  The people need to revolt internalyl-, the inner, greater jihaad– against their own corruption.  And they can only achieve this, the life that is lived by truth with the second half of our testimony of faith:  illAllaah.  They must make the Qur-aan their constitutional document, and the shari’a– which literally means “path to salvation”- as their new legal framework.  For that a leader must arise with the knowledge and integrity to rule by Islaam, and the people must recognize and pledge allegiance to him.

'Ilm & Taqwa (Knowledge and Piety)

5 The question that everybody’s now asking is whether the unexpected, amazing and unique wave of Islamic awakening will shape, influence or rather change the future of the Arab world in particular and the whole world in general. Now has Islamic Awakening got the potential to dramatically change global equations, do you think?


Muslims got to open their eyes to the ground beneath their feet.  We have every imaginable resource from A to Z- untapped human potential, water, oil & natural gas, agriculture, precious metals and stones, varieties of landscapes, geo-strategic position.  Pakistan’s soldiers are arguably the best in the world.  Egypt and Syria alone could have defeated the Zionists in Palestine and completely checked other Western powers in the Middle East more than 30 years ago.  Look at how much Iran changed the equation from 1979 until now.  What if we all did the same?  Pakistan and Sudan alone could feed the world.  WE DO NOT NEED THE WEST.  WE DO NOT NEED SYSTEMS THAT DON’T EVEN WORK FOR THEM.  

ALLAAH HAS GIVEN US EVERYTHING.  When we realize it, and when the people who realize it insist on leading and refuse to be misled, we’re gonna unleash peace all over this planet.  But, there is only one condition.  Allaah Doesn’t

Change the condition of a people until they change the condition of their selves.

6 What’s the most important challenge that the Islamic Awakening in the Middle East and North Africa will have to face?

The Awakening part.  The people who we let lead us are obviously corrupt and naïve, but so are the people.  We have no idea how eager the Zionists are to control Libya’s vast water reserves.  That’s their whole M.O. in the Golan Heights, for example.  We’ve forgotten- though the Western polities haven’t- what happens when we think for ourselves, such as the 1973 Oil Embargo, the Iranian revolution.  We’re unaware of the lengths these fading, illegitimate powers will go through to make sure we do NOT regain autonomy.  Here’s an example:  they bombed the bomb the Islamic Courts

Refusing to be misled...

Union out of Somalia, even though they restored order, justice and peace to the extent that Mogadishu’s airport was running again, just because they were not indebted to and controlled by anyone.  They were of, by and for the Muslim Somali people.  They would rather tempt a country into civil war that leads to famine than allow Muslims to decide what to do with their uranium, their geographical position, and their coastal waters.  We need to wake up to this level of awareness, which will lead us to believe in Allaah’s Promises, rather than the unsubstantiated promises of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

EXTRA

1 How do you think the momentous events of last few months or the so-called Arab Spring will help shape the future of American relationship with its allies in the region?

The best possible outcome is that it is the foundation of a model- the Islamic society- which will provide the alternative to the Western lifestyle the world is starving for.  We did that before- our societies have inspired and uplifted the world- but that was long ago.  Instead of always quoting anecdotes from our great past to defend Islam, we need to present Islam in a real way as the hope for the future.

2 How successful and effective has the US policy been in the Middle East since the Arab Spring started?

It has been effective in some instances.  So far the regime in Egypt has only changed in name.  Whereas Mubarak was its face, now it has no face and is in that sense all the more deceptive.  In North Africa in general, with the exception of Libya, it has made sure the people think they get what they wanted by allowing the dictators to leave on a golden parachute, without any fundamental or meaningful changes.  There not less but more American military bases and operations in North Africa, for example.

On the other hand, they have lost their complete stranglehold on Muslim’s imaginations.  We know we can stand up to their strongmen.  We’ve reminded ourselves of a lesson we learned in 1979, that Allaah Supports the believers when they unite, wa Huwa l-Wahidu l-Qahhaar.  Politically, there are some instances of greater unity between Muslim governments, such as Palestine’s confidence in pushing for full recognition by the UN, greater ties between Egypt and Iran.  And it’s efforts to isolate the powers it doesn’t support have not been very successful, though the double treatment of Syria and Libya compared to Bahrain is a glaring exception.

Overall, revolution is not really a solution.  Heads of state have been changed, but that has been the only result so far.  We have yet to see if the lives of the people will improve, and right now they are actually worse in most cases.  It is an awakening and revival of our Islam that we need, not a revolution.  Revolution is only one vehicle towards this- not necessarily the best one- and we only get to the point of dealing with the external after we’ve dealt with the internal.  A Muslim has the duty and right to rule if he excels the people in knowledge and piety.  At the very least, he should not block the people from Islaam.  After that, it doesn’t matter about a vote, or what they think of him, or how the West evaluates him.  They should follow and advise him.  Lastly, we have the duty and right to rule ourselves by Islaam individually, and accomplishing that is the true Awakening, Revolution and Spring.

Duties and rights go hand in hand.

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Is Muslim violence a proof against Islam?

This is a comment to an article about the role of Zionism in the Norway massacre.

 

Name any nation that is not at war…  you can’t.  Nearly every country in this world is in some sort of conflict.  No matter what religion the majority of their citizens claim.  Read the news:  Buddhist Thailand vs. Buddhist Cambodia, over a temple.  Civil wars and rebels all over the Christian nations of Africa.  The secular and Christian nations of the West occupying, attacking or aiding conflict all over the world.  Zionist Jews in Palestine.  Hindus committing atrocities in Kashmir and against Muslims and Christians in India.  It’s everywhere.  EVERY religion has members that are fighting, that kill innocent people, that commit murder and rape, that embezzle, scandal, scam, scheme and plot, rob, plunder and steal, commit adultery, abandon children, can’t read or write, molest children, bribe their way out of justice, etc., etc., etc….  And secularists, atheists, agnostics, and humanists get in on it too, so don’t blame religion

 

As you can see, a religion’s texts are a proof for or against its members.  They are not a proof for or against it.  You measure a religion by its book, and you measure its members by its book, too.  They either live up to it or fall short of it.

 

Let us look at an example.  It is true that many Christians were at the forefront of abolishing slavery worldwide (many were also the leaders of enslavement).  Should we judge Christianity by that?  According to some places in the Old Testament and Romans 13.1, opposing the laws that allowed slavery were AGAINST what they consider to be the word of God.  In other words, they had to step OUTSIDE Christianity to free slaves.

 

Islam’s Qur-an and Hadeeth (Prophetic narration) literature support abolition and forbid enslavement outside of the context of war-captives when there is no exchange for prisoners.  So while many Muslims were involved in the slave trade, they were stepping OUTSIDE of Islam to keep slaves.

 

Judge them by the book.

 

The United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence, celebrated symbols of freedom, enslave Africans, dispossess Native Americans, deny the rights of non-landowning white males, and deny the rights of all women.  So freedom, justice and equality can only be achieved by stepping OUTSIDE of America’s founding principles.

 

This is why we Muslims argue from our book.  That, not the action of the next Muslim you walk past, is Islam for us.  We only know the Qur-an as Islam.  We don’t know what every Muslim in the world is doing and why, but we will argue as strongly against a (seemingly) good deed as we will against a bad one if it is inconsistent with our law and doctrine.

Oh my God!! They're eating ice cream...

The truth is that Muslims also do a lot of good things, for the sake of Allah, in the name of Islam, to get a reward in heaven, etc.  Find them and what they do.  See, do they outnumber the wrongdoers?  I leave that as an open question to any sincere seeker of accurate information, I won’t answer it for you.

 

Personally- and this is admittedly subjective- I’ve been around the world and read and heard viewpoints from many walks of life.  I was in NYC on 11 September 2001 and accepted Islam there 3 years later.  Islam is my free choice because after research and experimentation, I found it to be the best and most complete way of life.  I won’t lecture you that I’m right, but I assure you that I’m aware and sincere.  See for yourself:  https://qahiri.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/11/

 

So please, do justice to yourself and stop ignoring all the wrongdoing and conflicts involving non-Muslims, and all the good done by Muslims, to prop up an argument that is an offense to intelligence, reason, history and logic.   Islam is singular in its establishment of justice and right.  Why do some Muslims act to the contrary?

 

Ask them.

 

For more on the accusations of rape, sexism/masochism and slavery in Islam:  https://qahiri.wordpress.com/category/stockholm-syndrome/

To see the deceptive and erroneous nature of Islamophobia and WikiIslam exposed:  https://qahiri.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/dealing-with-doubt/

To see whether Islam is incompatible with democracy:  https://qahiri.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/is-democracy-islamist/

To see if there is any difference between Arab culture and Islam:   https://qahiri.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/is-islam-arabian-part-i/

To read what Islam actually is:   https://qahiri.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/what-islam-is/

 

An Open Letter to David Cameron

Open Letter to Mr. Cameron

To The Rt. Hon. David Cameron

Prime Minister 10 Downing Street

 

Dear Mr. Cameron

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

 

“For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah.” ( The saying of Abraham, Quran 6:79)

We are deeply dismayed by your statements made in the Munich Security Conference on the 5th February 2011. Your speech was misleading, ill-timed, counter-productive. You have insulted the Muslims you are meant to serve and have demonstrated a failure to understand the Muslims and their faith.

 

A Muslim, literally, means one who has submitted his will to God. We bow our head in prayer to Allah, five times a day, in submission to Him and Him alone. We only have one Master, and we are Muslims first. Our beliefs in our values, and in what we hold to be right and wrong is dictated not from an elected parliament, but from Allah (God) as revealed in the Quran and the teaching of last Messenger, Muhammed (Peace be upon him) and consensus of the Muslims. Furthermore, we believe that this life is a test, that after our death we are accountable before Allah on a Day of Judgement, and we will all be given recompense according to our deeds. This, above all, is what motivates us:

Every human being is bound to taste death: but only on the Day of Resurrection will you be requited in full [for whatever you have done] – whereupon he that shall be drawn away from the fire and brought into paradise will indeed have gained a triumph: for the life of this world is nothing but an enjoyment of self-delusion. 3:185

 

We readily accept and work to strengthen the meritorious institutions of British society, especially those that exist because of the common origin of the Muslim and Judaeo-Christian tradition that British values were derived from: of honesty and moral integrity; of altruism and neighbourliness; of social, political, and economic justice. We encourage Muslims to do whatever they can, even while being a minority, to assist in increasing the general good and minimising harm in society, even if it be by an act as small as removing something harmful from a walker’s path. We seek to work towards a peaceful society in Britain.

 

We encourage Muslims to work for the benefit of the people of Britain, for no one’s sake but Allah’s. We will go further to say that we endeavour to work with greater sincerity for the betterment of Britain and its people than any Prime Minister or an elected parliament does, for we seek no worldly gain. We would be insincere citizens if we failed to share with Britons what we believe will bring them peace and tranquility in this life and in the hereafter. Our role models are the Prophets of God, among them Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammed (peace be upon them all). As one Prophet said:

“I wish not, in opposition to you, to do that which I forbid you to do. I only desire your betterment to the best of my power; and my success can only come from Allah. In Him I trust, and unto Him I look.”

 

But Muslims will not be bullied by ‘muscular liberalism’ into compromising on their teachings and the principles of their faith as Christiandom and others may have done, nor will we be forced to embrace values that oppose the faith of millions of Muslims in Britain, Europe and the world over. Interpretations of British values change as governments do, and what may be in keeping with liberal values may be completely unacceptable to our belief, whether it be mocking God and His Prophets, the alcohol culture with all its ills, and any cohabiting out of wedlock between man and woman, this being the only relationship Islam recognises. Are we still to be forced to embrace such liberal values and promote them? What values allow the fighting of illegal wars that kills thousands to spread democracy by the gun or of staunchly supporting nations that deprive a people of a land their rights and oppresses them? Are these British values?

 

What we believe to be wrong and unjust, we will exercise our right to speak out against. You cannot speak of a belief in the freedom of speech and religion while in the same breath denying the Muslims the right to proclaim and preach their belief. You thus make ‘freedom of speech’ an empty slogan. You either accept that people – British Muslims included – have a right to believe in the values that their religion teaches, or that the state regulates our beliefs and our values as in a ‘thought police’ that incriminates and sanctions citizens for what they may believe even if they break no law. This, in essence, is what you propose. If so, then how different is that from communist dictatorships that repress those voices that oppose the state’s ‘values’? You are travelling down a road that will end with sanctions being placed on Muslims for simply believing in Islam and the Quran.

 

The Islamic faith does not teach extremism. But the Prime Minister, MPs and non-representative think-tanks with their own prejudices will not dictate to Muslims what constitutes a correct Islamic understanding and what does not. You would be ill-advised to be directed by any biased coterie of individuals with neo-conservative leanings or those who seek to undermine Muslims to forward the cause of other interest groups. The government has already, on the basis of such misinformation, branded mainstream Muslim individuals, events and organisations as extremist, reinforcing the perception that your government is unable to make an impartial judgement about its Muslim citizens. This reality makes your speech a cause for even greater concern among British Muslims.

 

In your speech you stated regarding terrorism that the “threat comes in Europe overwhelmingly from young men who follow a completely perverse, warped interpretation of Islam”. This is not true. The 2008 TE-SAT report of European terrorism confirmed that in 2007, only 4 out of 583 (0.007%) attacks were ‘Islamist’ in nature. In 2006 it was 1 in 498. The main threat comes from separatists and left-wing groups. Why do you seek to exaggerate the threat from Islamists when the facts state otherwise? It is irresponsible for you to further sour the relationship between a minority and the community at large, where there is already evidence of much anti-Muslim feeling. Statistics demonstrate that by sheer numbers alone there are more non-Muslims who feel hostility to Muslims (more than 20% in UK) or than vice versa. While singling out Muslims in the attack on multiculturalism, you made no mention of some Christians, Jews, Hindus and Sikhs who have been united for a common cause of hatred against Muslims in various guises under the banner of the EDL who were marching on the same day that you spoke. Rather than countering this unhealthy Islamophobia that is sweeping across Europe, you contributed to it. That you were on German soil should have reminded you of the consequences of contributing to hatred against minorities.

 

The most insulting and disdainful of your remarks directed to the Muslims was the threats of withholding funding from whom you think are extreme. Do you think that the strength of our conviction in our values is measured against paltry handouts or opportunities for photoshoots with MPs? Muslims do not need such money nor do they have any need to share platform with such ministers, and certainly not if these are meant to bribe them away from their principles. Reliance and trust upon Allah are the bedrock of our faith. What is the entitlement of any citizen – regardless of religion –should be granted to them. If the government decides to wrongfully withhold this from a Muslim individual or group because of ill-informed reservations about their beliefs, then it is the government that should be held accountable. It is time Britain comes to terms with the reality of Muslims as part of Britain with the differences that we have between us. If this is what you want to confront, and this is how you want to browbeat Muslims with ‘muscular liberalism’ then do, for we will, with God’s help, will be even harder-nosed in standing up for our faith, for we are responsible for this before God. We will always turn to Him and His guidance and we will, Insha’Allah (God willing) have the mettle to remain patiently steadfast on our faith and speak what we believe to be right:

Say: “O my people! Do whatever ye can: I will do (my part): soon will ye know who it is whose end will be (best) in the Hereafter: certain it is that the oppressors will not prosper.” 6:135

 

Your speech has led to much upset in the Muslim community. While you may win over many right-wing and possibly racist voters, you will lose Muslim voters who will not forget your remarks in four years’ time. But it is not votes, but a sense of justice and perspective that should guide you. We hope you reconsider your statements and reassess the direction this government is taking with regards to the rights of Muslim citizens of Britain, and not join Europe’s growing far-right.

– from Shaykh Haytham al-Haddad

house of bread

i know what you are doing

& i know why

you’re enraged

at injustice

falsehood

&

nearly

at the world that is coated-

no, saturated-

with these

is this correct?  isn’t this correct?

your moral, academic, journalistic, spiritual, social and other strivings-

are they not, more or less, attempts

to alert people to injustice?

to entice them to help you erase it?

to expose the lie?

& destroy it in the light?

you endeavor, it seems, to in some way restore a Balance

it’s good to work hard

the other side obviously is

everyone has the same goal:

 to build & destroy

we only differ on the objects

because in the end-

& i’m in the habit of saying this now-

there’s more than enough food in the world,

much more than enough to go around

and there’s also more than enough oil, gold, wood, land, in short EVERYTHING

we have way more than enough of every thing

it is not for these that any war has ever been fought

the one thing

the ONLY thing

there isn’t enough of

is room for everyone’s dream to come true

it is for this alone that the Balance is upset

as for me

i’ll be God-damned

if i don’t wake up to my dream

one day

i can’t seem to respect anyone who doesn’t feel the same way

i respect my enemy

more than my enemy’s enemy

sometimes

this

in brief

is the reason

and essence

of our rage

“ours” if yours is like mine and many others

the better of whom utilize means-

any which are effective-

& fire this rage

through matrices of lexis, procedure & bureaucracy

but

does it soothe your burning heart?

does is satisfy your soul?

or are we just slowly burning ourselves out?

we know patience is wise

negotiation is a strategy

compromise is a necessary, if regrettable, means

but

has our patience become complacency & complicity?

how far have our negotiations advanced us?

are we compromising for justice, or compromising justice itself?

in sha Allah

i shall soon make it my habit of saying

that we do not choose the beginning of our life stories

but we do author the middle and end

your conclusion shall either read:

“i did it because…”

or

“i did not do it because…”

these are are a lot of words to write to a stranger

indeed every one

& every thing

is becoming strange to me

you’re just a face that came out of the rain

“strive ‘til you stride!”

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/purified-pages/15146482

What lies ahead…

The greatest jihad that lies before the Muslims today is to establish
a true Islamic society which people will see and which will make Islam
attractive to them, so that they will turn to Islam voluntarily,
because they will see an example or attitude, morals and manners to be
followed. (1)

The individual in the Muslim society is required to work, within the
limits of his specialty and potential, to develop his society and make
it a strong, coherent and rich society that is independent of others,
qualified to convey the message of heaven to the earth, providing
strong evidence of the greatness of Islam and its suitability for all
places and all times.  Bu this Muslim society will never achieve this
unless the Muslims understand their responsibility, for Allah has made
them his trustees (khulafaa, singular:  khaleefah) on the earth, so
that they may cause His word to prevail, apply His laws and spread the
divinely-ordained way of life that was brought by the Qur-an and
Sunnah.

This requires them to be pro-active, ambitious, persistent and
serious, keen to make good use of their time, organized in all things,
productive, hard-working and constantly developing and renewing. (2)

(1) al-Hashimi, Dr. Muhammad Ali, The Ideal Muslim Society as defined
in the Qur-an and Sunnah, International Islamic Publishing House, 2007
(Translated by Nasireddin al-Khattab), p. 403

(2) ibid., pp. 358-9

is Islam Arabian? (part I)

“Arabs have a special place in Islam, you know.”

“Islam is Bedouin culture masquerading as a worldview.”

The first quote came from an Arab, unfortunately in the company of non-Muslims.  With some- definitely NOT all- Arab Muslims are going around with this attitude, the second quote doesn’t surprise me.

So, is Islam an Arabic religion?  Was it by the Arabs and for the Arabs, a tool of spreading their political domination and superiority over the globe?

The answer, in English and Spanish, is no.

 

Here is what Allah, His Messenger Muhammad (May Allah’s Blessings and Peace be upon him), and the Messenger’s companions (May Allah Be Pleased with them) had to say about Arab culture and Islam.  It is hoped that this email will clear the misconceptions held and propagated by some Muslims, non-Muslims, critics of Islam, and slanderers of Islam.

*******

 

Refutation of Racial and/or Tribal pride

“O mankind!  We* Have Created you from a male and a female, and Made you into nations in tribes, that you may know one another.  Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is the most righteous of you.”

– Qur-an 49.13

* i.e. the “royal” we of esteem, not plurality

“And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colors.  Verily, in that are indeed signs for people of sound knowledge.”

– Qur-an 30.22

“So when you have accomplished your (Hajj) rituals, remember Allah as you remember your forefathers or with a greater rememberance…”

– Qur-an 2.200

Note:  This refutes a custom the Arabs had introduced into the Hajj (a pilgrimage which precedes Allah’s revelation to Muhammad).  In it, they would spend hours praising their forefathers in poetry and song, an exercise in tribal pride.

“The wandering Arabs are the severest in disbelief and hypocrisy, and most likely to be ignorant of the limits which Allah hath revealed unto His messenger. And Allah is Knower, Wise.

Some of the desert Arabs look upon their payments as a fine, and watch for disasters for you: on them be the disaster of evil: for Allah is He That heareth and knoweth (all things).

But some of the desert Arabs believe in Allah and the Last Day, and look on their payments as pious gifts bringing them nearer to Allah and obtaining the prayers of the Messenger. Aye, indeed they bring them nearer (to Him): soon will Allah admit them to His Mercy: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”

– Qur-an 9.97-99

Note:  There’s no special place for Arabs here.

“An Arab has no superiority over a Non-Arab, and a Non-Arab has no superiority over an Arab, and a red man has no superiority over a black man, except in terms of piety”

– Muhammad (May Allah’s Blessings and Peace be upon him)

(Narrated by Imam Ahmad, Volume 5, Page 411)

“Allah Has Taken awah from you the pride of the Period of Ignorance and its pride in forefathers.  (A person is either) a pious believer or a miserable evildoer.  You are the sons of Adam* and Adam came from dust.  Let men give up their pride in their people, for they** are just coals from Hell, or they will become more insignificant before Allah than the dung beetle that rolls up filth with its nose.”

– Muhammad

(Narrated by Abu Dawood in al-Adab, Page 111)

* Peace be upon him

**i.e. the disbelievers and evildoers among them

Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Apostle said, “You should listen to and obey, your ruler even if he was an Ethiopian (black) slave whose head looks like a raisin.”

Sahih Bukhari 9:89:256

Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, “Listen and obey (your chief) even if an Ethiopian whose head is like a raisin were made your chief.”

Sahih Bukhari 1:11:662

Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet said to Abu-Dhar, “Listen and obey (your chief) even if he is an Ethiopian with a head like a raisin.”

Sahih Bukhari 1:11:664

When ‘Umar, the future second khalifah (caliph) of the Muslims, heard the Abu Bakr, the future first khalifah, had purchased the freedom of Bilal, an Ethiopian slave, he said “Abu Bakr, our master, has freed our master.”

– Narrated by Muslim

Note: The right to Khilafah (Caliphate) of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar is disputed by Shi’a Muslims.  The Shi’a belief on this matter, in summary, is that ‘Ali was the rightful Khalifah after his death.  Muhammad’s cousin (through his uncle Abu Talib), son-in-law (through his daughter Fatimah), father of his only surviving male bloodline (his grandsons Hasan and Husain), and eventual fourth Khalifah,

However, Abu Bakr was Muhammad’s father-in-law (through ‘Aa-isha).  ‘Umar was also his father-in-law (through Hafsa) and Ali’s son-in-law (through Umm Kulthum, granddaughter of Muhammad through Fatimah).  As such, some Shi’a contend that they are virtuous.  (http://revivingalislaam.blogspot.com/2010/12/umars-marriage-to-umm-kulthum.html).  In addition, and with all due respect to Shi’a points-of-view, their contributions to Islam, humanity, and civilization are matters of nearly universally accepted historical fact.

***

Did You Know?  An Arab Muslim invented Social Security on behalf of a Jewish Man

‘Umar in Al Khattaab, second khalifah of the Muslims, saw an old Jewish man begging from people, so he asked him,

“From which of the People of the Book are you?”

The man replied, “I am a Jew.”

Then ‘Umar took him to the storekeeper of the Treasury (Bayt al-Maal) and told him to give a regular stipend to this man and others like him, enough for them to live off and handle their affairs, saying,

“We are not treating him fairly if we take the tax (jizyah) from him when he is young, then neglect him when he gets old.”

– Abu Yusuf, al-Kharaaj, Page 144

***

Another story of the Sharee’a ruling in Favor of Non-Arabs over Arabs

His (Amr in al-‘Aas, governor of Egypt) son became very upset with the Copt because he had beaten him in a race, so he struck him with his whip, saying, “Take that!  I am the son of the most noble!”  The Copt went straight to Madeenah and complained to the Khalifah, ‘Umar in al Khattaab.  ‘Umar summoned ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas and his son, and gave the whip to the Copt and told him, “Beat the ‘son of the most noble.’”  When he had finished, ‘Umar said to him, “Now beat ‘Amr on his bald head, for his son beat you because of his father’s position.”  The Copt said, “It is enough that I have beaten the one who beat me.”  Then ‘Umar turned to ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas and said,

“O ‘Amr, how could you enslave people whose mothers bore them free?”

***

Refutation of Arab Marriage Customs

“And give to the women (whom you marry) their dowry with a good heart…”

– Qur-an 4.4

Note:  This bans the practice of giving dowries to the fathers of the bride, effectively ending the custom of selling daughters and buying wives against their will.

O ye who believe! It is not lawful for you forcibly to inherit the women (of your deceased kinsmen), nor (that) ye should put constraint upon them that ye may take away a part of that which ye have given them, unless they be guilty of flagrant lewdness. But consort with them in kindness, for if ye hate them it may happen that ye hate a thing wherein Allah hath placed much good.

– Qur-an 4.19

Note:  The Arab custom of widows being inherited by their brother-in-law or other in-laws is banned.

And marry not women whom your fathers married,- except what is past: It was shameful and odious,- an abominable custom indeed.

– Qur-an 4.22

Note:  Another Arab custom is banned.

If any men among you divorce their wives by Zihar (calling them mothers), they cannot be their mothers: None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And in fact they use words (both) iniquitous and false: but truly Allah is one that blots out (sins), and forgives (again and again).

But those who divorce their wives by Zihar, then wish to go back on the words they uttered,- (It is ordained that such a one) should free a slave before they touch each other: Thus are ye admonished to perform: and Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that ye do.

And he who findeth not (the wherewithal), let him fast for two successive months before they touch one another; and for him who is unable to do so (the penance is) the feeding of sixty needy ones. This, that ye may put trust in Allah and His messenger. Such are the limits (imposed by Allah); and for disbelievers is a painful doom.

– Qur-an 58.2-4

Note:  The Arab custom of divorcing his wife by saying she was like the back of his mother is condemned, punished and banned.

***

Refutation of Blood Feuds

“O you who believe!  The Law of Equality in Punishment is prescribed for you in the case of murder:

the free for the free,

the slave for the slave,

and the female for the female.

But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or relatives, etc.) of the killed for blood money, then adhering to it with fairness and payment of the blood-money to the heir should be done in fairness.  This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord.  So after this, whoever transgresses the limits (i.e. kills the killer after taking the blood-money), he shall have a painful torment.

And there is a saving of life for you in the Law of Equality in Punishment, O people of understanding, that you may become righteous.”

– Qur-an 2.178-9

Note:  Previously, tribes would retaliate for a murder by murdering any other member of the offending tribe, which would in turn retaliate, starting a vicious cycle of vengeance.  At the time of Allah’s revelation to Muhammad, a blood feud had been running for centuries between two tribes that began with a member of one drinking from the other’s well.

***

Condemning the Arab custom of Female Infanticide and Attitudes towards Females

“And when the female infant is asked:  for what sin was she killed?…

…every soul will know what it has brought (of good and evil).”

– Qur-an 81.8-9, 14

When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief!

He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that which is announced to him. Shall he keep it with disgrace or bury it (alive) in the dust? Now surely evil is what they judge.

– Qur-an 16.58-9

Note:  The Arabs used to dig a hole for the mother to deliver over.  If it was a girl, they would simply bury it in the hole.  This is the amount of shame and inferiority that was attached to females.  There is a narration in which a man once informed Prophet Muhammad that he buried his daughter alive after she was several years old.  It is also reported that a man once told the Prophet that he had buried eight of his daughters alive before Islam.

***

Other Miscellaneous Refutations of Arab Culture and Customs

“And as such do the idols beautify for the idolaters the killing of their children, in order to lead them into their own destruction and confuse them in their religion.  And if Allah Had Willed, they would not have done so.  So leave them alone in their fabrications.

And they say:  “What is in the bellies of these cattle is for our males alone, and forbidden to our females, but if it is born dead, the all have shares therein.”  He Will Punish them for their attribution (of such evils to Himself).  Verily, He Is Wise, Knowing.

– Qur-an 6.137, 139

*******

It’s clear then, that Islam (which is considered by Muslims to be the final revelation of an eternal religion) is NOT Arabian.  It shatters the concept of anybody being a “chosen people” or superior.  Arabs and all others are held clearly to the same standard:  right belief and righteous action.  The best in these are the best in the sight of the Allah, Who Is All-Wise and All-Knowing.

So, why do some Arab Muslims feel that Islam is theirs or that they have some special place in it?

Or, why do some non-Arab Muslims feel that some Arab (particularly “Saudi” Arabians) scholars are the premier (or only) sources of Islamic knowledge and authority?

Ask them.

Really, forward this email and tell me what they say:  danyal.abdullah@gmail.com

I guarantee you that they can not provide one unequivocal statement that comes from an authentic source.  More on those sources later.

P.S.  As a Muslim, I believe in Jesus too, so here’s a Christmas present for you and your friends and colleagues:
The Truth Behind Christmas:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gmdb88_6sjM
The Truth Behind Christmas and New Year’s I:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbB3lgue3oY

The Truth Behind Christmas and New Year’s II:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG2U-PfwmM4