Friday, September 29, 2006

Muslim Men and Activism

All right, so last time, I talked about Muslim women and the need for us to get out there, start learning our Deen, and doing some major Da'wah, in our own communities first and foremost. In post, I'm going to deal with the guys, and the roles they ought to be playing in combating the issues we're dealing with in our Ummah.

As many of my respected commentators pointed out, it's the men who are pretty much in charge, and the men who need to do more in dealing with the problems within our communities. If the men start laying down the law - Shari'ah law, in its correct form - then I'm sure that we'd see a big change in the state of the Muslim Ummah.

So... where do we start? There are two places where I think this Islamic reform of our communities needs to take place: the Masjid, and the home.

At the Masjid, the Imaams and the Shuyookh need to teach the people true Islam - not 'cultural Islam', not 'progressive Islam', none of that. True Islam, as we have been taught by the Qur'an, the Sunnah, and the consensus of the Islamic scholars. Starting with the basics of Islam (an explanation of the Hadith of Jibreel is excellent - it's like a summarization of what Islam is as a whole) - the concept of Tawheed, the fundamentals of our 'Aqeeda, and then going to the Qur'an and Sunnah as a guide on how to live as a good Muslim, wherever we may be living.

At home, we must take the knowledge from the Masjid and IMPLEMENT IT. The knowledge is of no use to us if we don't act on it.

As the Hadith says:
{It is related from 'Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. The amir in charge of the people is a shepherd and he is responsible for them. *A man is a shepherd in his family and is responsible for them.* The woman is a shepherd in her husband's house and children and is responsible for them. The servant is a shepherd of his master's property and is responsible for it. All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock." (Sahih Bukhari, #2416}

This is where the role of the man comes in - the man, the shepherd of his family, has to make sure that Shari'ah is implemented in his household, fully and correctly. Mind you, it shouldn't be done harshly, because being harsh and unkind is what turns people away from Islam rather than drawing them towards it.
So like the shepherd, the man must manage his family, firmly but gently keeping them on the correct path. And, of course, he himself must be the best example that he can be, because actions speak louder than words.

The Imams in the Masjid, and the men in the homes, have to make sure that everyone - men, women, and children - know what their rights and responsibilities are in Islam. For example, the man has to know what his responsibilities to his women and children are, as well as his rights over them; the woman must know what her rights and responsibilities are towards her husband and children; and even kids need to know that they have responsibilities and rights over their parents.

Honestly, I'm sure many - if not most - Muslims don't know exactly what their rights and responsibilities are in Islam, which is a shame, really, because this is something we NEED to know as Muslims, 'cuz it's all part of our awesome religion, and we'll be held accountable for it on the Day of Judgement. Remember, it's our OBLIGATION to seek knowledge, ESPECIALLY religious knowledge.

I think it'd be really, really awesome if the Imams and Shuyookh of all the Masaajid and Islamic centres organized events or courses or lectures or whatever, to teach the Muslim community about this particular subject - the rights and responsibilities of the individual in Islam. What do you think?

Anyway, yeah. Correct implementation of Shari'ah must start in the home.

Now, back to the original topic - men getting involved in activism in our community. In the West, we have many, many Shuyookh who ARE extremely involved in the Muslim community, doing a LOT to educate the Muslims - people like Bilal Philips, Anwar al-Awlaki (I looooove his lectures!), Yasir Qadhi, Yasir Ibrahim, and so on. They do amazing work, traveling to give lectures, attending conferences, etc. They devote great time and effort into doing these things for the Muslim community, often for nothing except reward from Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala - and may Allah reward them abudantly indeed!

However, I think that with issues such as honour killing, or rather general discrimination against women, these things are found most commonly in the Muslim world (not that it doesn't happen
at all here in the West, but it's far less common), and THAT is where a lot more men need to start educating their fellow men. I mean, even if the women know that not letting girls get an
education, or making them get married to someone they don't like, or not letting them participate in activities that are halaal, or honour killings and stuff are unIslamic, doesn't mean that the men know - and some men, even if their women tell them it's unIslamic and provide the proof for it too, just won't listen to a woman in these matters.

And that's why the Imaams and Shuyookh over there need to start getting active in combating these issues... because they have the power, the influence, to make those men realize that some of the things they're doing are unIslamic and that they need to change the way they behave towards their girls and women. These things may be taboo issues, but they MUST be addressed. As Muslims, we have the obligation to enjoin good and forbid evil. So again, it falls to those with the greatest power and influence - in this case the men - to address these issues and work towards resolving them.

Islam gives men responsibilities towards women, that they must fulfill. It is also the responsibility of Muslim men to encourage this fulfillment of their duties towards their female counterparts - for does not God command us to "Enjoin the good, and forbid the evil"?

O Muslim men, fear Allah and the Day of Judgement! Fulfill your responsibilities to your sisters in Islam! Give them the rights that God gave them - and if you do not, then indeed you will be one of the oppressors!

Hadith Qudsi #17:

On the authority of Abu Dharr al-Ghifari (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is that among the sayings he relates from his Lord(may He be glorified) is that He said:

"‘O My servants, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another..." (Narrated by Muslim)

“And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allaah? Such will be brought before their Lord, and the witnesses will say, ‘These are the ones who lied against their Lord!’ No doubt! The curse of Allaah is on the zaalimoon (polytheists, wrong-doers, oppressors, etc.).” [Surah Hood 11:18]


DA said...

I think a HUGE step forward will be for many Muslims to stop doublspeaing on womens' issues. Very often, if it gets addressed at all, the speaker finds a way to blame it on the kafirun, etc. The first step towards solving any problem is the admission that it exists.

M2Timechange said...

La ila ha il lallah Muhammadur Rasu lullah fii kul lilamhatin wanafasin ‘adadama wasi ‘ahu ilmullah

Assala mu aliakum warah matullahi wabaraka tuh


You are a brave young girl.
Keep it up; learn as much as you can. Remember to praise (zikir) Allah wherever and whenever you are. Insha Allah… we shall be successful, dunnia and akhirat

Anonymous said...

Mouse, I am sorry to say that I cannot make the Minnie mouse picture for you. Ii is only possible to put together already done drawings or photographs, I can not draw myself!

AnonyMouse said...

S'okay, sweden... :)

Anonymous said...

hey mouse,
Just got done listening to some tariq ramadan raps. He's got a great website. he is a really sophisticated, modern western muslim with a great message.
Not surprising that bush and company won't let him into the country to teach.

AnonyMouse said...

Anonymous - heh, my dad doesn't like Tariq Ramadan. Calls him a 'modernist'...

Myself, I don't know enough about him to speak, so I shall remain silent for now.
Although, apparently Tariq Ramadan believes that women are allowed to be imams/khalifas. There was somewhat of an uproar in the Muslim community (certain circles of the Muslim community, anyway) when he said that.

AnonyMouse said...

DA - yeah, we've got to stop making excuses and blaming it on everyone and everything except ourselves.

me2timechange - jazakAllahu khairan, and ameen to your du'aa! :)

Anonymous said...

check out tariq ramadan. He is very moderate, rational and peaceful. Don't we need,(at least), modern answers in a post modern world.
p.s. check out ingrid mattson, "fresh air with terry gross" thurs. sept. 28.

Anonymous said...

Mouse I just saw your comment in here
It's truly amazing. I knew you're 15, but i've never thought you can handle the topic so well, using concise argument from Qur'an and Hadith. Where all of that came from?, is it from your parents?.
you write so well in english.
I encourage you to learn arabic, you better starting now, it's much easier than later when there will be other thing that keep you occupied.

Man yuridillahu bihi khayran yufaqqihu fiddin (If Allah want to granted goodnes in someone, He give them knowledge in Ad-Deen).
That hadith perfectly fit decribing you.
I pray you kindness. Wallahu A'lam Bisowab
Faqir ila Allah
your brother

green-birds said...

asSalaamu 3laykum,
nice blog, nice post masha'Allaah

AnonyMouse said...

Akhi Ahmad - jazakAllahu khair for your kind comments :)

My dad's a Sheikh - graduate from Jaami'ah Islamia in Madinah - so I've picked up quite a bit from him. Plus, I love to read and do research on Islamic matters by myself, so al-Hamdulillaah that helps a lot, too.
Yes, I'd love to learn Arabic - I did start learning, actually, but my family and I recently moved to a new city, so I no longer have an Arabic teacher :(
Insha'Allah I'll be able to find someone else soon, though...

Again, jazakAllahu khairan, and I hope you'll come back to my blog to read my latest ramblings! :)

Sis green-birds - jazakillaahi khairan! :)

green-birds said...

waiyyaki khayral jazaa' :)

Anonymous said...

salaams lil mouse your right about the men being in charge and needing to take more resposibilty in teaching the deen especially to their families. all too often we see som many men teaching and giving lectures in the masjids and their kids don't know a lick about islam or how to pray. nice post.

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