Meinhaj Hussain, firstname.lastname@example.org
The discussion is centered on Brother Nouman Ali Khan's Khutba where he talked about how Muslims should respond to the Charlie Hebdo affair. Brother Nouman Ali Khan, in a Friday sermon (khutba), discussed how the act of killing the cartoonist was wrong, while the actions of these cartoonists were themselves wrong, albeit the reaction of those extremists was highly inappropriate and condemnable. In putting his point across, Brother Nouman theologically deconstructed how those that condone such acts take things out of context and wrongfully misinterpret Islam.
One Brother Mazin Abdul-Adhim from London, Ontario, Canada, did not quite agree with Brother Nouman and wrote his own response. Here is my response to his response:
I found a number of points you made to be concerning, and I wanted to address them below:That is clearly not what he did. Where exactly does he blame 1.8 billion Muslims? See from 4 minutes into the khutba, he calls these people an embarrassment to Islam, and he says "...I am not a criminal, I have not done anything, but I do share something with them". That clearly does not equate to the black and white presented by you.
1- Your entire perspective of the issue was to blame the 1.8 billion Muslim population of the world for the actions of a few individuals, as if we are to blame for their behaviour.
At 5:05 Brother Nouman talks about taking collective responsibility, which he links to us being an Ummah, not just individuals. But he qualifies and clearly explains this collective responsibility. He explains that the Ummah is in chaos, and it is each of our responsibility to do something to undo that chaos.
Do you not think that we are an Ummah and we should seek to stop people from misrepresenting us? Is that not our duty? What about the people who are spreading that kind of misrepresentation and lies against Islam? Is that not our duty to counter?
Think of this example as a contrast: If someone entered another person's home and took it over by force, held his family there for decades, attacking them, assaulting the females, killing his family members there and elsewhere, and, after all that, proceeded to insult his mother and sisters on television and the radio, and this continued for decades; would you make an entire Khutbah bashing the man for snapping one day and attacking the attackers?Did the Charlie Hebdo people do all that? Did they kill anyone? Is Islam a vigilante religion where we go about "snapping" and it is okay? So firstly you are lambasting Brother Nouman falsely for "blaming the 1.8 billion" for "the actions of a few individuals", then with the same breath you are blaming the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists for all the actions of, I presume, "the West"?
If an angry kid comes and kills your child, and his excuse is he "snapped" based on one however justifiable reason or another, would it be okay? Would you just walk away? Do courts of law just decide so and so criminal "snapped" so they should be requited?
Would you spend an entire Khutbah accusing his family of having no morals, and claiming that his mother did not even have a *basic* level of decency, saying that they are to blame for his backlash, and not the attackers?Where did Nouman Ali Khan talk about anybody's mother? So you just make stuff up and attach it at will?
Are you so out of touch with the events around the world that you cannot see the basic fact that the West is the true partner and root cause of all the violence that Muslims might commit against anyone, whether innocent or not?Says the guy living in London, Ontario, Canada. I have left the comfort of the West and gone to Muslim countries to see what I could do, and no, Nouman Ali Khan is not "out of touch with the events around the world". Your "basic facts" need serious recheck. Was it the West that was responsible for the violence of us when we slaughtered and robbed Genghis Khan's trade convoy, angering the Khan and causing him to start his conquest of Muslim lands?
What about the million and other such examples? Everything is the West's fault? Surely, the West has its faults and is an enemy to the Ummah in many ways, but to claim it to be the root cause of "all the violence that Muslims might commit" is a fantasy, of someone who is very out of touch with reality and history.
Between, if the West is so evil, why are you living in London, Ontario, Canada?
While this does not excuse the crime of a criminal (assuming the act is a crime),So why don't you say whether the act is criminal or not? it seems you have doubts about its criminality but don't want to spell it out. Why not speak straight, like the Prophet (peace be upon him), rather than twist words and hide intentions like the Shaitan?
but do you forget that we have had our lands bombed and invaded for decades, we have had 14 year old girls raped and their families made to watch and then killed, we have had 500,000 children die under 10 years of sanctions, we have had depleted uranium dropped on our Ummah causing centuries of damage...Did those cartoonists do these acts? What are you trying to justify? So what is the difference between you and George Bush Jr? Collective responsibility for their actions?
No, we cannot accept that. Nor can we accept people of a certain "Jihadi" background telling lies, twisting Islam and making it okay to do horrendous acts in the name of our beloved religion.
...and you choose to make a Khutbah attacking the Muslims exclusively, without mentioning the cause of the anger of individuals who might take such drastic measures to defend the honour of Islam?He is not attacking the Muslims, but rather explaining why something is wrong, and why we as a community have to deal with it, because 1) it is wrong 2) it is being done in our name. What should be our methodology to fixing our condition? To randomly go and do terrorist acts? To blame the West? Or: "Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves" (Quran, 13:11)
You really think this is "defending the honour of Islam"? You see, you start off by accepting them as criminals, then draw doubt to this, then switch tack to accepting them as defenders of our honour. This is where a big part of the problem is IMHO, you aren't being honest, you're a moving target.
These guys did not "defend the honour of Islam", they hurt it, by doing something criminal in our name, when Islam does not allow us to behave this way. This is how we are supposed to react to attacks against our Prophet (peace be upon him): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERqef-Mzzv4
"The Quran didn't just come to love our Prophet (PBUH), but to guide that love, to teach us how to respond... "And be patient to whatever they say (Al Muzzammil, 10)
This brings me to my second point:So now Nouman Ali Khan is insulting the Ummah? Would you be okay with an attack on him now to "defend our honour"?
2- You insulted the Ummah of Muhammed (saw) with very inaccurate and exaggerated accusations, such as saying we "don't even have a basic level of decency," and we have "low moral standards," and we "lack basic morality."
Brother Nouman is trying to correct our problems and faults, and no problem can be fixed until we realize there is a problem to begin with.
Since you don't live in the Muslim world, perhaps you don't know what our level of decency has reached. Don't worry, you can still go on google.com/trends you may find what countries are included on searches like "sex".
I have lived and traveled the Muslim world, for the last 13 years trying to find out how to revive the ummah. Here is my last published book on the matter. In short, our problems are both internal and external, but we cannot fix ourselves unless we start from ourselves, as the Quran says "Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves" (13:11). The life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was to first work on a small group of 40-70 people, and only later, much later did he fight external foes.
In a situation where we no longer have an Islamic State led by a proper Khalifah, in a situation where Muslims today, wherever I go, have become increasingly shameless, immoral, lacking real understanding of Islam, we need people like Nouman Ali Khan to revive us, not apologists for terrorist acts who live in Canada, and think reviving the Ummah is about shouting about how evil the West is.
What kind of slander is this? How can you say such a thing? What Ummah are you looking at?The slander here is yours, you are slapping accusations and falsely attributing things to Brother Nouman Ali Khan. Brother Nouman is not insulting you in return, but trying to address the general problems of the Ummah.
The Ummah of Muhammed (saw) has a very high level of decency, despite living in the most corrupt and oppressive situation today. Look at the non-Muslim countries around the world that are afflicted with poverty and corruption. What happens to them? Widespread crime, mass alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and prostitution fills their lands (and the prostitutes are women directly from that land, not imported from foreign countries). You can't even walk the streets without fearing getting mugged or assaulted. Now look at the Ummah of Islam. Compare Bulgaria and Russia to Jordan and Palestine. Compare Amsterdam and Detroit to Tripoli (Lebanon) and Al-Kurtoom (Sudan). Compare the moral standard in each. You can walk through the poorest areas of Tripoli (Lebanon) or Amman, and not fear for your safety from the people for even a moment. And while alcohol is consumed and prostitution is solicited in our lands, it is hidden and underground and our women are not working in those despicable fields.So, now you have changed hats to become a wannabe sociologist, and what can only be described as raving. Why in the world are you living in London, Ontario, Canada? Why don't you go and live in Tripoli or Khartoum? Sadly, the bravado is only replaced by hypocrisy.
What is wrong with you? How can you speak about those whom Allah (saw) described as "The best nation brought forth to mankind" in such a way? We are the best nation, even in these darkest times. Only those who are too shallow to see the true high level of morality of the Ummah under the facade of media propaganda would think otherwise.We are the best nation, when we follow Islam, when we don't, we are laid low. When we are unjust, Allah does not love the unjust, ioppressor, the hypocrite, the rabble rouser no matter what fantasy raves they engage in.
You cannot judge the nearly-two-billion Muslim population of the Ummah by the actions of a few. And can you even blame the few that have low morality for being in such a situation when they either live under tyrannies that teach people to hate Islam or live under everything-goes liberal societies that teach them to defend people's right to commit Zina and insult people's beliefs?He isn't judging 2 billion Muslims on the actions of a few. He is judging based on his wide experience of Muslims, and where we are today. A judgment that matches my 13 years of research. In my researches, I have even recently been to and lived in the liberated territories in Syria. Where there is no evil West to blame, but still, injustice, oppression and misrepresentation of Islam reigns. Which brings us back to "Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves" (13:11)
3- I found it ironic that you said the power of Islam was in how it challenged the ideologies of those who reject Islam, yet here you had a golden opportunity to speak out about the contradictions and hypocrisy in the West's claims of "freedom," where, for example, a cartoonist ("Sine") working for Charlie Hebdo was fined and fired in 2009 for making fun of Sarkozy's son marrying a Jew (http://www.worldbulletin.net/.../charlie-hebdo-fired...), or where a cartoonist (Flemming Rose) working for Jyllands-Posten (the original paper that started insulting Rasool Allah [saw]) was placed on "indefinite leave" and made to apologize for suggesting they publish cartoons about the holocaust (http://en.wikipedia.org/.../Jyllands-Posten_Muhammad...).
Brother Nouman was not addressing the West, that he will tell them of their hypocrisy. He was giving a Khutba, to the people, so that they know how to behave and act. As for Western hypocrisy, that is a long list, for as Brother Nouman Ali Khan explains in one of his lectures, the attribute of "kuffar" is something that is hidden, hiding its true nature. A khutba is not a place for grandstanding, and making tall claims, for that you can go to any number of other sheikhs. What a khutba is about, is for the leader of a community to address the community and explain to it how to act, in the face of certain circumstances, drawing on the Quran and Sunnah.
4- And finally, you spoke about the cause of the problem. You said that Allah (swt) will not change our situation unless we change ourselves first.
Yes, you are correct. Allah (swt) will not change our situation until people in positions such as yours stop giving in to secularist pressure to stand on the side of those that wish to pressure the Ummah of Islam into submission and compromise in our Deen. Allah (swt) will not change our situation until people step up and stand up for the work to re-establish the Khilafah, rather than mock those who work towards it as "having no clue what to do" or insulting our intelligence by telling people that the fastest way to re-establish the Khilafah is to "call your mother and pray Fajr." Financial goals are achieved through financial effort, marriage goals are achieved through social efforts, and political goals are achieved through political efforts. Praying Salat will not re-establish the Khilafah, as Rasool Allah (saw) did not sit at the Ka'ba and simply pray; he (saw) worked very hard to seek a people who would give him Nusrah and faced immense persecution for it. He found his Nasr through Al-Ansar in Madinah, not by praying Fajr exclusively. This Deen is not a Deen of monks and hermits.
Even the words of the Quran could not get to you. How can we change ourselves if we don't try to find what is wrong with us? How can we know what is wrong with us, when those that talk about our problems are attacked and slandered by people like you? How does shouting at the West amount to "changing what is in themselves"?
The problem of this Ummah is Muslims who avoid political work - and I remind you that politics is the work of the Prophets, as Rasool Allah (saw) said كانت بنو اسرائيل تسوسهم الانبياء, "Bani Isra'eel used to have their political affairs managed by the Prophets" - but when such Muslims finally do speak about political affairs, they spend the entire time attacking their own Ummah and not addressing any of the real problems that affect our political situation.In your blind intolerance of anyone who does not adhere to your views, you've missed how Brother Nouman Ali Khan is dealing with a political and social problem, something Muslims are facing - the backlash of the Charlie Hebdo and similar affairs. It is vitally important for us politically and socially to deal with such Islamophobic attacks, first by understanding our position, and secondly by addressing the problem within our community and our possible role in correcting it. Brother Nouman does both:
1. He explains that we are not to accept this as a case for / against free speech, but rather to understand and assign fault.
2. He explains the insidious spread of dishonest "Jihadi" theology
3. He explains what we, as Muslims can do about this hijacking of our religion
Has the time not arrived to stop playing the safe game, brother Nouman, and take a stand for the political affairs of this Deen that might risk some of your popularity?So you want him to start being another Anjem Choudary? But that is the whole ideology and thinking that he is fighting, and ideology and thinking that is hurting our Ummah and creating people like the ones that did the Charlie Hebdo attack. What does that benefit?
Secondly, you talk as if its about his popularity. This is a manifestly ugly and unIslamic piece of slander, not befitting a Muslim. A Muslim does not make negative presumptions about other Muslims, let alone slander them based on these presumptions in public.
Meanwhile, you are grandstanding from your Face Book, from London, Ontario, Canada.
May Allah (swt) protect us from this Fitnah that causes learned people to unknowingly stand with the enemies of Islam against their own Ummah.