Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|From Behind the Bars: A Letter From Shaikh Al-Auda|
|09/03/00 at 03:29:33|
All praises are due to Allah. We praise Him, and seek His Assistance, and ask for His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil in our souls and from our sinful deeds. Whoever Allah guides, no one can deceive. And whoever Allah misguides, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah (SWT). And I bear witness that Mohammed is His servant and messenger.
This letter is titled "From Behind the Bars" . It is intended to those who are yearning to know about Muslim activists performing Islamic Da'wah.
My beloved, as many of us have heard, the campaign of arrests and detention of leading Muslim intellectuals, sheikhs and doctors has intensified with the arrest of Dr. Sheikh Safar al-Hawali. Furthermore, there is a possibility that I will be joining this select group of Muslims very soon .
Only Allah knows what is in the hearts of His creation, but believe me when I say that I do not mind joining my brothers in prison. This is because whenever a young citizen of this land is detained for his beliefs while I roam the land freely, a feeling of overwhelming shame descends over my soul and makes me wish I were in his place.
And of course all of you know that sometime ago, some oppressive and illegal measures were introduced in this land to prevent the Muslims from making Da'wah. The authorities used these measures to dismiss me and my colleagues from our jobs. They prevented us from giving lessons, lecturing, giving Friday sermons and even recording religious talks. There is no doubt in my mind that preventing people from giving Da'wah is very dangerous and hence we should not keep silent unless our rights are restored....
To all those honest and loyal Muslims who advocate reform openly or secretly, we must admit that: corruption has taken its roots in our society as well as in nearly all other Muslim societies with varying degrees... It has engulfed all aspects of our life, from the spiritual to the mundane. Today, we find a deteriorated standard of morals in everything, from the world of commerce and politics to the ministries of education and information.
A situation such as this calls for a sweeping reform. It could be a grave mistake on our part to think that such a reform can be realised with theories and intentions only. This is a wishful thinking.... Reform will not come about until we are ready to bear hardships for the sake of our beliefs ...
The existing decadence has become apparent to everyone, yet there are people in position of power who defend it since their very survival depends on its very existence. These people in power are set dead against any kind of reform. They work days and nights, secretly and publicly waging war and inciting others against the reform movement.
Thus, there is an everlasting struggle between right and wrong, between reform and corruption, between guidance and deviation, between justice and oppression... That is why it is an obligation upon every reformer to prove his loyalty and truthfulness to Islam. He/She must make it clear on which side he stands. He must prove that he is ready to give and sacrifice for the sake of what he has been calling for. It is essential for him to go to great pains as a proof to others of his truthfulness.
In general, we have to bear in mind that the masses may enjoy listening to our lectures about piety and righteousness, but we have to set an example for them by physically practising what we preach. Otherwise, how can we prove that we are loyal? How can we prove that we are not driven by our egos? All of us know that cheating is forbidden and illegal as stated clearly in the Qur'an and the Sunnah of our prophet Mohammed p.b.u.h. . For example, the prophet questioned severely the faith of a Muslim merchant who cheated others while selling dates. If this was how our prophet handled a case of a single cheater, so what should we do if our whole nation (Ummah) is engaged in the art of deception and treachery? Therefore, our silence on these matters is a reflection of our faith. Indeed our deafening silence is a testimony to our weak faith. Believe me, we will not be spared the suffering and punishment unless we declare publicly what is right. Allah says: (Allah would not have unjustly destroyed the villages had their people been reformers). So if we are truly reformers then we can save ourselves from the punishment of God, otherwise his punishment befalls us sooner or later.
Therefore, we are calling for a sweeping reform in our people's affairs. We are calling for our rights to give Da'wah. We are asking for freedom of expression to every scholar, caller, journalist, writer, poet, and teacher or worker. We are calling for freedom of expression which allows people to express their beliefs and lets them participate in the reform process for this nation (Ummah), which is surrounded by dangers from all sides. It is an open secret that our society has become analogous to an island in the middle of a restless sea waiting to devour it.
This reform is needed badly because the existing corruption has many advocates who would like to make this area (the Middle East) an open market for the Israelis, who will, consequently, affect the ideology, culture and commerce in this region, not to mention the military aspect. Hence, it is a plan to make us slaves in our own land at the mercy of our enemies.
Meanwhile, no one is allowed to express his/her opinion. We are simply told to agree to everything without objection or risk facing punishment by the security forces. This strong arm tactic is being used to prevent the reformers from continuing their mission. It is meant to discourage anyone who thinks about making the slightest positive change in our society. Many of us talk among ourselves about the absence of social justice from our society. The problem lies in our failure to apply the rules of our religion (Shari'a) which was sent with a comprehensive reform message that included the spreading of justice, equality and abolishment of state and societal oppression. The message was sent to address our needs and protect our dignity and rights. Under Islamic law, no one will have a right to insult another fellow being, oppress him in anyway, spy on him., arrest him without just reason or invade his privacy ... All of these rights would be protected under the Islamic Shari'a.
Therefore, the issue here is not a personal one. It is a universal matter that concerns the whole Ummah. Hence, it is time the reformers declare their message publicly.
We must declare it publicly, that we are not asking for any materialistic reward for these efforts. If the public sees us one day seeking worldly gains, then they have the right to throw dust in our faces. I tell you here and now, that we are callers to the truth where all are invited. We have also to make sure that this banner stays upright no matter what adversity we may face.
So, where are the intellectual leaders of this nation? Where are the thousands of doctors, professors and university students on whom millions of dollars were spent to further their education. These educated people today are being told to stop thinking!. They are being told to follow the status quo and to refrain from harbouring any political thoughts whatsoever. This is unacceptable. It is every human's right to exercise his intellect to improve the community surrounding him. Allah has honoured human beings by blessing them with the ability to think. So why not take advantage of this blessing. Why do we presume that the masses have no opinions of their own and they might want to express them? Who gave us this right to deny the masses of their natural rights.
The prophet Mohammed p.b.u.h. used to mount the pulpit and talk to the people about various matters. He consulted them about the battles of Badr and Uhud and about other matters such as the distribution of wealth.
Our religion was not meant to be only confined to corners of a particular mosque. It came to teach us how to structure our economy and how to invest our money. Furthermore, as Muslims, we should exert our best efforts in whatever we do, so naturally our industries, our educational and social systems should be governed by the Islamic principle.
Brothers, I can not comprehend our situation when I compare it with the other nations of the world. Now, of course we know that due to the communication revolution, the whole world is reduced to a small village and nothing can be hidden anymore. The east knows what is happening in the west and vice versa. Today, as the rest of the world is acquiring education, we the Muslims do not seem to want a share in it. why we are acting in such a manner. We do not seem to be benefiting from these radical and crucial changes that are shaping the world.
Let us take the Soviet Union for example. It had disintegrated because it was a one party system run by the (KGB.) that ruled with an iron fist by spreading terror in the population. Now we see that Communism is dead forever. Nowadays, all countries in the world take pride that their people are pleased to be governed by leaders who respond to their needs and engage openly in discussion with them about all affairs.... These people feel they have a right to know what is going on in their lands.
So I ask you why do we have to stand in the way of this historical change and against all other natural forces? Why do we have to cover up our problems with obscure secrets that are not understood by ordinary citizens? When I and Dr. Safar al-Hawali were called a year ago to go to the Ministry of Interior, we wrote a letter to sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Baz, telling him what went on over at the Ministry. We told him that we were questioned about some statements we said in the past with regard to the illegality of interests and its dealings, our disapproval of the Jewish-Arab peace process, our disclosure of some existent social injustices, our displeasure of some wrongful practices and measures committed against innocent people by the security forces, our talk about the rights of Muslims for protection and the illegality of terrorising and hurting them.... These were some of the things that we were accused of committing at that time.
I believe that there is someone out there devising a plan to keep this nation of ours in everlasting silence. And that is why if it happens that someone speaks up against any form of oppression, he will be automatically labelled as a power seeker. However, this accusation is a very old one since Pharaoh said it before to Moses, and Quraish said it to our prophet Mohammed. Thus, it becomes very easy indeed to accuse a Muslim activist of something he/she did not commit because accusations are packed and ready for distribution.... However, a question is left to be asked to those who utter such claims.... Do you have proof for what you claim? Do you have proof that our mission is other than reforming and correcting the distortion and deviation that have befell this nation ?
Are we really one single nation? Do we not know that many hands have been extended to make peace with the Israelis? Do we not know that anybody who does not agree with this deal is to be considered an extremist or fundamentalist who must be fought by
all means? Do we not know that hands are being extended to the communists, secularists, and to all other groups? The argument used to justify these gestures is that we should have some dialogue and be in harmony with these groups? Simply, we are told to make peace with these groups. So if this the case, why don't we make a dialogue with ourselves before we move to make it with others? It does not make sense to have a discussion with the far ones whereas our society has failed to discuss its own matters and problems with its own people.
As for imprisoning us, I want to tell you that it is not a concern of mine. If I end up there, at least I will have a chance to be alone, to be with my Lord, to test my patience, my worship, my closeness to God, my truthfulness, my readiness to bear some hardships for the sake of delivering our message of reform.... this is the road....
We are in need for huge numbers of activists, reformers, mujahideen for this cause. We need those who are pious and ready to take up their designated positions...
Our nation needs many of those who take it upon themselves to deliver the right message, review and correct their situations and try their utmost to deliver the message of reform.
Our aim and objective is to spread reform in all fields, including the scientific (theoretical) and practical ones. This is a mission that must be carried out by people from amongst us. It must be carried out by people who are ready to endure some hardships for the sake of their mission. We believe that part of our responsibility is to address the important issues that concern our nation (Ummah) from the east to the west. We have to stand beside our fellow Muslims when disasters and hardships befall them... We have to inform other Muslims about their brothers' problems...
We must work hard to revive the notion of brotherhood among Muslims and try to make the necessary correction to various things in their thoughts and lives. Hence, our objective includes helping Islamic associations with everything we have at our disposal, including spiritual, political, and economical support.
We live now with our fellow Muslims in Bosnia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Egypt, Syria, Palestine... etc. We live with them moment by moment and hour by hour. We consider this to be part of our responsibility. Therefore, it is a betrayal on our part to neglect our fellow Muslims and leave them as easy targets for their enemies. If we cannot give them a hand, we should at least shed some light at their situation and expose it to the public. We can say a good word about them which may ease their pains and comfort their feelings. We can make them feel that there are brothers out there who are listening to their cries and are very saddened and hurt because of their suffering....
So the issue we are addressing is not a local one. In fact, it has no boundaries because it is an issue that concerns all Muslims, whether they are in China, India, Kashmeer, Bangladesh, Kurdistan, Iraq, Turkey, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Europe, America, Russia or any other place on earth. Allah says:
(The believing men and the believing women are the protectors of each other, they enjoin good and forbid evil, and hold their prayers, pay their Zakat and obey Allah and his prophet; those are the blessed ones).
Individual posts do not necessarily reflect the views of Jannah.org, Islam, or all Muslims. All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the poster and may not be used without consent of the author.The rest © Jannah.Org