Over the course of history, Islam has survived many onslaughts from its enemies. From the devil misleading Adam to the Dajjal misleading humanity, Islam has survived and will continue to survive all attacks against it since it is the responsibility of Allah SWT to protect his religion. However, in recent years, a rather sinister enemy has arisen and it is none other than Muslims themselves.
George Bernard Shaw said that "Islam is the best religion and Muslims are the worst followers" and perhaps there was deep wisdom in that utterance. If we go online, we find appallingly many apologetic websites about Islam. "This is not true and that is not true", "Islam denounces terrorism", "Islam is a religion of peace" etc. While all these statements are true, why has there arisen a genuine need to explain this to people? No matter how much we try to explain to non-Muslims that "Islam means peace", when they turn on their television sets and watch Muslims committing some of the most heinous crimes against humanity, they will not be impressed by Islam.
In addition, the situation is not helped by the fact that whenever Muslims commit a major terrorist act, hostage slaughter or a war crime, every Muslim organization feels a need to condemn it. Muslims go into defensive mode immediately following a tragedy. What happened to the norm of "innocent until proven guilty"? After any such major event, most Muslim discussion boards become saturated with apologetic posts and fatwa websites start denouncing terrorism vehemently. This intensifies the notions that Muslims are somehow collectively responsible for what happened. Although damage control is necessary, it is beginning the replace real dawah and that is scary. All the Daees of Islam are so busy telling people what Islam is not; they cannot get around to explaining what Islam really is.
Telling non-Muslims about Islam does not just involve telling them verbally, it means embodying Islam to the fullest. However, this point is also lost on Muslims. In the old days, the only requirement for anyone to explain Islam was to tell a non-Muslims to observe a Muslim. Now, we have books and pamphlets. Interesting alternatives but they will never replace true examples.
Examples are important because whether we like it or not, we can cause a bad reflection upon Islam. Take the example of the kidnapping of two French journalists recently. Many Muslims (rightly) protested their abduction and Muslim countries all over the world denounced the act as terrorism. However, why did the same people not denounce the death of 12 Nepalese workers who were slain in Iraq with the same fury? The fact is that Nepal is small nation of no political significance and since France is a world power that advocates a much more favorable foreign policy towards Muslims than do America and England, the kidnappings were given more attention by Muslim journalists. Where was this same outrage when innocent American civilians were kidnapped? Why didn't I come across a single headline of Muslims protesting the slaughter of those 12 Nepalese workers? No matter how much we explain to non-Muslims that Islam values every life equally, they can always retort "obviously Muslims do not" and we will have no answer to that.
The character of every Muslim is dawah to a non-Muslim just as the character of non-Muslims is dawah to a Muslim. Whenever I overhear a roundtable discussion between uncles and aunties about Christianity, I hear "Look at Christians, they have girlfriends, their priests commit sodomy" etc. Even if the Christian value system does not teach all that, we start to associate their actions with their value system. Similarly, whenever Muslims do anything, it is sends a message to non-Muslims about Islam, whether it be good actions or bad.
The amount of "anti-dawah" this Ummah does for its religion should convince atheists about the existence of Allah SWT. Islam should have died by now. After everything that Muslims have done to it, it should not be spreading at the rate it is but it has not died and it will not die. Islam will survive independent of such works by Muslims. Islam does not need us but we need it. Allah does not need us but we need him. If we fight our religion, we will lose.
And did not Allah Check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief: But Allah is full of bounty to all the worlds. (2:251)
The religion of Allah will prevail despite what we do and if we do not fight for the sake of Allah and his religion, he will remove us from the face of this earth and will raise Muslims elsewhere who will continue our job.
Allah SWT told our messenger his three main duties in the following verse.
We have truly sent thee as a witness, as a bringer of Glad Tidings, and as a Warner (48:8)
If we are to carry on the message of Islam, we must also fulfill these functions. This is a warning to those who fight the religion of Islam, to those who are proud of their fisq. A warning to those who videotape the slaughter of innocents and call it jihad in the name of Islam. A warning to those who declare war upon Allah and his religion. A warning to those who innovate in the deen of Allah SWT and pass their innovations off as good actions. Beware of a torment in this life and the hereafter. In the next holocaust, the victims maybe different. The chimneys of a concentration camp will be nothing compared to what you will experience in the next life. I have witnessed your actions against your religion and I am warning you. Come back to your lord and repent before it is too late. He is oft forgiving, most merciful.
May Allah SWT spare us from his wrath in the dunya and the torment of hellfire in the Akhira. Ameen
ya man, very negleced topic...about time someone said something bout it.
jazakallaahu khairanon September 21, 2004 9:55 AM
Wow, Mashallah. Very fluent article and hits the bull's eye. It is so sad that everytime I tell my coworkers that Islam does not endorse terrorism, they answer that, well, you interpret Islam differently; everyone has different interpretations. We all are definitely doing Islam a disfavor by being such bad role-models when we should be doing exact the opposite. May Allah (swt) give all of us Hidaya and give us the ability to make Islam our practical reality, Ameen.on September 21, 2004 11:07 PM
JazakAllah Khair Brother Amr and Sister Nadia. I hope this is not where this duscussion ends.on September 22, 2004 12:33 AM
To quote Martin NiemŲller:
"First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist, so I said nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat, so I did nothing. Then came the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me."
One of the coolest gemmiest gems that I had picked up from the 'History of the Khulafaa' class was an incident from Abu Bakr's (RA)life.
Being the first man to go over to Islam, Abu Bakr (RA) had brought upon himself the special anger and hatred of the Meccan chiefs. Soon he felt hard pressed and asked permission of the Holy Prophet (SAW) to go to Abyssinia. The permission was granted and Abu Bakr (RA) set off on his journey. On the way he met the chief of Qara, Ibn-ud-Daghna who asked him where he was going. Abu Bakr (RA) told him where he was going and why. Ibn-ud-Daghna said,
"A man like you should not be cast out. You help the poor. You are kind to those in trouble. You are so nice to your guests. I will take you back to Mecca on my own responsibility."
So Abu Bakr (RA) went back at Mecca. Ibn-ud-Daghna declared to the people that Abu Bakr (RA) was under his protection, so no one was to harm him.
Life lesson to be extracted from this:
The kuffar were so impressed by Abu Bakrís (RA)demeanor and habits of fulfilling the ties of kinship and helping the poor and needy that they defended Abu Bakr (RA) when people spoke against him. We need to help the poor and needy and fulfill the ties of kinship the way the Sahaabih did so that the nonmuslims will WANT TO defend us and will speak out for us. We need to be assets to our communities so that they donít want to lose us (and the benefits that they derive through us).
A related yet unrelated story:
When a female friend of mine reverted to Islam she wanted to name herself "Abu Bakr" because of how powerful it sounds. I love that. I LOVE IT I TELL YOU.
Actually lemme revise that second-to-last paragraph for the sake of clarity. The kuffar will NEVER be our friends and we shouldnt take them as protectors or guardians. BUT, for the sake of self-preservation and sunnah, it would be wise to make ourselves valuable assets within the community so that they can be moved to reversion, OR at the very least be hesitant to harm us. People are selfish and helping them see that they can benefit more from your life than your death is a wise survival strategy.
And yes, I still love how my sista wanted to name herself "Abu Bakr". No revisions there. I LOVE IT.on September 22, 2004 2:43 AM
Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabaraktu,
Slightly off topic but not really...did anyone hear what happened to Yusuf Islam yesterday?
And Yusuf Islam is one of the most serene, inner peace muslims I think there is.on September 22, 2004 7:29 AM
Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,
In direct relation to what this 'Islam vs. Muslims' article; even though Yusuf Islam was deemed a 'security threat' to the U.S. and rejected entrance, because of his known good charachter before and after becoming a muslim and the love that so many people have for him, his non-muslims fans put up this statement:
''It's a very sad state of affairs when a man best known as a peace loving pop star can be grouped into the same category as Osama Bin Laden just because of his chosen faith.''
on September 22, 2004 4:51 PM
Wasalaam Warahmatullah Wbarakatu
I read about Yousaf Islam on Yahoo news. What possible threat could the US government feel from a pacifist like Yousaf Islam? Apparently, anyone who is critical of US foreign policy better not be Muslim otherwise, they're gonna get kicked out of the US.
"Secuirty concerns", "Watch list"? This is all so pathetic it makes me laugh.on September 22, 2004 5:00 PM
My parents are very ticked that someone messed with Yusuf Islam and have been passionately talking with other aunties and uncles about the injustice of it all. He is their hippie hero from their youth. Its adorable.on September 22, 2004 6:45 PM
A/Salam I am 14 years old and I just converted into islam. If Kuffar believe that we r bad people then why is Islam the fastest growing religion. OK A/Salamon February 18, 2005 6:00 PM
Assalaamu Alaikum Everyone:
Here is a link to the MCA weekly newsletter. I think the story of sister Clare Foord (on page 6) has something for all of us to reflect upon.
"Islam is the best religion and Muslims are the worst followers"
I want to know the reference like which book and page number where this quotation is writtenon October 19, 2008 11:34 PM