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Friday, October 24, 2008

Weekly Wisdom - 10/24 : Civic Participation is Mandated in Al-Islam

For this weeks Weekly Wisdom, I could not pass up the post by Imam Dawud Walid....check it out!

بِسمِ ٱلله الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيـمِ
الحمد لله أحمده وأستعينه وأستغفره وأستهديه وأؤمن به ولا أكفره وأعادي من يكفره وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأن محمدا عبده ورسوله

Muslims Are Obligated To Cultivate Healthy Society

وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَر
G’d says in the Qur’an (3:104): And let there be from you a group that calls to excellence, enjoins what is good (for society) and forbid what is despicable (for society).

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّه
And G’d also says in the Qur’an (3:110): You are the best community evolved for mankind because you enjoin what is good (for society), you forbid what is despicable (for society), and you believe in G’d.

مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُمْ مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ
فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ
فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِقَلْبِهِ وَذَلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الْإِيمَانِ
The Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) said:
Whoever from you sees a despicable thing, then change it with his hand. And if he cannot resist it [with his hand], then [change it} with his tongue. And if he cannot resist it [with his tongue], then [change it] in his heart, but that is the weakest [form] of faith.
لا تتركوا الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر
Imam `Ali (KW) advised Imam Al-Husayn (RA) while on his death bed, “Do not leave enjoining what is good (for society) and forbidding what is despicable for society.”

No matter where Muslims reside, they are mandated by the Qur’an and the example of Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) to cultivate civil society. Moreover, Muslims have the duty to be civically engaged in striving towards this Divine mandate. Thus, they are not allowed to sit on the sidelines and observe social degeneration.
Civic engagement takes on several forms such as getting to know one’s neighbors, beautifying one’s neighborhood to community education and community policing. Being a part of the political process within one’s locality, state and nation is also a portion of being civically participatory.

Muslims Should Cooperate With Non-Muslims To Improve Society

لَيْسُواْ سَوَاء مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ أُمَّةٌ قَآئِمَةٌ يَتْلُونَ آيَاتِ اللّهِ آنَاء اللَّيْلِ وَهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ * يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ
G’d says in the Qur’an (3:113-114): They are not all equal from the People of the Book; among them is an upright group that recites the signs of G’d throughout the night, and they prostrate themselves. They believe in G’d, the Last Day, enjoin what is good (for society), forbid what is despicable (for society), and hasten towards excellent deeds. And these are from the righteous people.

And G’d says in the Qur’an (5:2): And cooperate upon piety and regardful-ness, but do not cooperate upon sin and enmity. And be regardful of G’d; surely G’d is swift in punishment.

As a youth prior to the revealing of the Qur’an, the Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) witnessed Hilf Al-Fudool (Treaty of Goodness) in which the Arabs in Makkah made an agreement to place barriers in front of oppression in favor of the oppressed. The Prophet (SAAS) stated that if he (SAAS) were called to a similar treaty in Al-Islam, he (SAAS) would accept. This statement’s implies that he (SAAS) would enter into a treaty for social good even with polytheists.

The Islamic religion enjoins cooperation with Non-Muslims for the improvement of society to make it more just. Muslims will differ with Non-Muslims on certain issues, the most important obviously is in creed that G’d is Indivisible (Al-Ahad) and Muhammad (SAAS) is His last prophet. Nonetheless, mutual interests should be advanced if those interests are to serve the common good.

Non-Option Withholding Vote Until Perfect Candidate Arrives

This principle also applies to voting for political candidates. Muslims do not agree 100% on issues or platforms of Muslim candidates in America, much less Non-Muslims. However, the candidates, especially those who have a track record, that are calling towards fair, just society in America and a sense of parity in the global village are worthy of support.

To sit on the sidelines and watch a candidate who is wrong on 75% of the issues defeat a candidate who is wrong on 15% of the issues is irresponsible. Muslims should ask themselves if the Prophet (SAAS) would take an “all or nothing attitude”, or would he (SAAS) deal with the one who is better for the society even with their flaws?

And surely G’d knows best.


Anonymous said...

JazakALLAHU khayran. The post can be read with slightly different nomenclature at

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