What’s The Right Medicine For The Muslims?
I spent over a week off sick, which was a big test for someone who’s not a very patient patient! Like anybody I hate being stuck in bed, feeling rotten and being unable to do anything at all…
Alhamdulillah the antibiotics kicked in and it wasn’t long before I felt more human. And I couldn’t really feel too sorry for ,when most of the world doesn’t have the benefit of a free health service and whatever medicine you need prescribed for you.
Plus, I had the luxury of iPlayer, 4OD and a stack of history documentaries to entertain myself (did I mention I’m a geek?).
The most interesting one was Channel 4’s history of ‘When the Moors ruled Europe’, showing the pioneering role Muslims played in areas like medicine, mathematics and architecture, as the leading civilisation of the time. A far cry from the miserable state of the Ummah today!
I thought of the passionate speech I heard at this year’s GPU conference, as I stood handing out leaflets at the exit of the main hall. An American brother was giving a powerful analysis of how Muslims everywhere are under attack, how we are demonised just like the Jews were in Europe before the Holocaust.
Tens of thousands of Muslims in the hall broke into thunderous applause as he condemned the politicians and journalists who attack us. I waited to see what solution he was going to give…
“They want to stop us building mosques. But brothers and sisters, we have to ask ourselves how often do we go to the mosque?
They want to stop our sisters wearing hijab. But the question for us is, are we practicing hijab properly?
They hate Islam. But are we really living Islam?
I want to hear everyone here say those beautiful words: Laa illaha ilAllah!
Takbir: Allah akbar!”
And that was it – two more takbirs and the brother walked off stage to more applause. No mention of political campaigning, media lobbying or practical action of any kind. Now what I’d love to understand is, how anyone can think that sitting in the Excel Centre shouting Allahu Akbar is the cure for Islamophobia and the suffering of the Ummah?
When the Crusaders occupied Jerusalem, did the Muslims gather in a big hall, denounce the occupation, shout ‘Allahu Akbar!’ and then go home feeling holy? Of course Allah is All Powerful. But Allah has commanded us to take practical action against injustice – we all know the hadith about changing things ‘with the hand’. No one who got sick would just sit in a room shouting Allahu Akbar! They’d go to the doctor and take the right medicine for their illness…
So what is the right prescription to cure the problems of the Ummah?
Is it just praying and wearing hijab?
Or is it building a movement for change and taking intelligent political action?
Surely if we look at history, the answer is obvious. Look back 200 years and you had the anti-slavery movement. 100 years ago the suffragettes were fighting for the right to vote. In my life-time, I remember the anti-Apartheid movement and watching the news as Nelson Mandela walked free and went on to the presidency.
And right now MPACUK are proving that practical action can bring about positive change – just ask ex-MP Phil Woolas!
Yet, the response of so many of the Muslims I spoke to at GPU was blank and uninterested. Not everyone though, Alhamdulillah. For instance one brother came back having read the leaflet and told me he was from Holland and doing similar work there to counter Geert Wilders. “But the problem is sister,” he said “most of the Muslims are still sleeping.”
The right prescription for the cancer of Islamophobia and the evils of Western foreign policies is, I believe, quite obvious. Finding the cure for the coma of the Muslim mind is much more difficult!