Advocacy and Action in Islam
As Muslims, we have a religious obligation to uphold justice and fight oppression. The Islamic principle of enjoining good and forbidding evil should be at the core of our advocacy and our activism. We can truly make a difference, through peaceful constructive activism.
The Quran signifies the endorsement of justice for everyone, including non Muslims. Islam makes it obligatory for us to not only seek justice against oppression and tyranny for ourselves, but also take a stand for anyone who is being wronged and withheld from seeking justice, even if it may be someone we hate.
“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even if it be against yourselves, your parents, and your relatives, or whether it is against the rich or the poor…” Quran (4:135)
“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah as witnesses to fair dealings and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just, that is next to piety. Fear Allah, indeed Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” Quran (5:8)
“And when you speak, then be just though it be (against) a relative, and fulfill Allah’s covenant; this He has enjoined you with that you may be mindful.” Quran (6:152)
Islamic history is replete with stories of rightly guided Muslims, who were exemplary role models and set the examples of values of justice, coexistence and proper conduct. There is a remarkable story epitomizing the Islamic values of justice and equality:
Amr Ibn El Aas, the ruler of Egypt under the Caliph Omar Ibn El Khattab, decided to increase the area of his Mosque in Egypt. There was a house owned by a Christian woman adjoining the mosque that needed to be demolished for the expansion of the Mosque. He offered her money to leave her house, but she refused. Amr still decided to go ahead and demolished the house. The Christian woman sent a message to Caliph Omar Ibn El Khattab, telling him what happened. Consequently, Omar Ibn El Khattab ordered Amr to demolish the extension of the Mosque and rebuild the house for the Christian woman. Amr Ibn El Aas obeyed Omar's words immediately and supervised the rebuilding of the house. Omar ordered the extension of the Mosque to de demolished for the sake of justice. This is how the value of justice is revered in Islam.
Let us consider the following for a moment of introspection:
Have you realized that you have been unfair to someone? Maybe it is a good time to consider your actions. Don’t be afraid to apologize and seek forgiveness from the aggrieved.
Maybe it is time for you to consider returning what you have taken, to consider fixing what you have damaged, to compensate for any harm which you have caused.
Maybe you have not done much to alleviate the suffering around the world and those in need. Maybe it is time to consider doing your bit for change.
MPACUK has recently launched its advocacy course, maybe this could be your starting point.
Islam requires us to be proactive and instrumental in bringing about a change for the betterment of all. Injustice and tyranny can only be effectively counteracted if we all take a firm stand against it and stand in unity with the weak and oppressed. The Quran emphasizes the importance of taking the initiative and stresses upon the fact that Allah won't change people's fate, unless they change it themselves, as demonstrated through this verse, “Surely Allah does not change what is in a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Quran 13:11)
The real message in the above verse is that we shouldn't expect things to turn around, unless we struggle and work for change. We should strive for a positive change and then let Allah take care of it, as long as we have done our part, to the best of our ability. It is argued that the age of miracles was declared over when Allah sent the Quran to the Prophet Mohammad PBUH. The first word in the Quran is Iqra, which is a command to read. Muslims are commanded to read, to pursue science and knowledge, because now is the era of the miracle that is science.
If Islam was the religion of aggression and war, the first command would be to fight, but this not the case. This is the age of research to explore and discover the wonders of Allah, to be used for the betterment of human kind. These are the most powerful and noble weapons in the face of tyranny and injustice. Using these noble values and taking action are the most effective tools in ensuring justice and peace for all.
Work for Allah take the initiative
Activism until the end
Stay positive Faith is strength
Reviving the Muslim mind, the pursuit of science and knowledge