Caliphate of the Rightly Guided Caliphs vs the Umayyads

rightlyguidedumayyad

Map of Expansion of the Caliphates

The rightly guided caliphate was the period of spread of Islam to various corners of the world. The companions and the soldiers of Allah fought for the cause of Allah and to spread the revealed word of Allah to the far corners of the world. The four guided caliphs were not interested in worldly interests but preservation of the religion of Allah and abiding by the teachings of Muhammad (pbuh). As for Banu Umayyah, the love of the world had crept into their hearts and they transformed the honorable system of caliphate into a kingship. They began to indulge in worldly pursuits and the chasing of power. This alienated them from the common people especially the Islamic scholars, who would avoid them.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said, “The caliphate of Prophecy will last thirty years; then Allah will give the kingdom to whom He wishes” (Abu Dawud). This is exactly what happened because after thirty years, the Umayyad dynasty took over and the caliphate system began to resemble the kingdoms of emperors and kings where the son inherits power from the father. This was the first most controversial difference between the first four caliphs and the Umayyad dynasty. This step was initiated by Mu’awiyah, the first Umayyad Caliph. Before him during the time of the rightly guided caliphs, the leader would be chosen by his peers or appointed by the previous caliph. But this changed when Mu’awiyah appointed his son Yazid to be caliph before his death. This was a new and alien concept never practiced before in Islam where a father appoints his own son, thereby, becoming a monarchy (Kuiper, 2012). Many of the companions contested to this, such as, Hussein, Ibn Umar, Ibn Zubayr, and others. They did not want the Islamic caliphate to turn into hereditary empires like the Romans and Persians. This very controversy led to another thing which never existed before: a second caliphate existing simultaneously in Mecca by Ibn Zubayr.

Another difference between the earlier righteous caliphate and the later Umayyad leadership was that the former focused on expansion due to concern for spreading the word and religion of Allah all across the world, whereas, the latter focused on secular issues and securing their own power interests. They began to focus on administrative concerns and trying to manage the large empire that was under their control even at the expense of ignoring religious concerns, which bothered many devout Muslims (Nawwab, Speers, & Hoye, 1968, p. 57). A brother would turn against brother, an uncle against nephew to try and remove power from one and secure it for himself. Execution of political opponents became a common phenomenon (Najibabadi, 2001, p. 119 & 166). Rather than trying to secure leadership of the next caliph to a worthy person, which was the way of the rightly guided caliphs, the Umayyad kings would do everything in their power to assure the success of their own sons to inherit it after them. Perhaps this is why after 90 years of leadership, they “rarely shook off their empire’s reputation as a mulk – that is, a worldly kingdom” (Nawwab, Speers, & Hoye, 1968, p. 63).

Another difference between the first four caliphs and the Umayyad dynasty was that the latter used money to secure power and influence people (Najibabadi, 2001, p. 253). They lived lavish lives and threw heavy loads of wealth on people to keep them content so that they will not oppose their leadership. They would even offer provinces for rule to opponents provided they accept the right of caliphate for the Umayyads and would be under them in hierarchy (Najibabadi, 2001, pp. 251-253). The first four caliphs, however, were beyond such petty politics. They took utmost care in ensuring that the public treasury is not used for personal gain. They would only take from it what was necessary to survive and even then would feel guilty about it. They would utilize the wealth that Allah granted them through conquests for what benefits Islam and the Muslims. This is because they were trained under the guardianship of the best man to walk the face of the earth: Muhammad (pbuh) (Najibabadi, 2001, p. 22). He had instilled within them a strong desire for the afterlife and Allah’s pleasure. Having lived a life of kufr and then converted, they appreciated the gift of Islam and did not take it for granted.

However, not everything about the Umayyad dynasty was bad. They had some good aspects as well. For example, the Umayyad Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz was an exception to all of the other caliphs. He was brought up in Medina around pious Muslim scholars and was a devout Muslim. When he came into power, he reversed many of the corrupt policies of the Umayyads particularly their obsession with worldly gains. He discontinued impermissible practices, such as, imposing of a poll tax on converts. Umar bin Abdul Aziz wanted to bring the government back to the example of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Because of his justice, he was well liked even by his enemies (Nawwab, Speers, & Hoye, 1980, p. 60). A descendent of Umar bin Al-Khattab through his mother, he had justice in his blood. He paid no attention to tribal loyalties as his predecessors and treated all Muslims equally (‘Umar II, 2007). He was liked by all segments of the Muslim society including his critics. (Kuiper, 2012)

In conclusion, the first four caliphs led an exemplary lifestyle as foretold by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). They did not waste their time chasing the worldly pleasures, rather, they focused on expanding the message of Islam far and wide and keep justice throughout the empire. They made sure to follow the example laid out to them by their beloved prophet and did not turn away from his teachings. The Umayyad dynasty, however, was completely self-centered and focused on expansion for the purpose of obtaining territory and wealth. They used this obtained fortune for self-interests or as bribes. The people did not view them as devout like the first four, rather, corrupt, stingy, vengeful, and unjust. Umar bin Abdul Aziz was their only caliph that tried to revive the earlier methodology of the first four caliphs among them, however, after his demise they went back to their old ways.


Bibliography

Kuiper, K. (Ed.). (2012, August 17). Umayyad Dynasty. Retrieved December 10, 2016, from Encyclopedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Umayyad-dynasty-Islamic-history

Najibabadi, A. S. (2001). The History of Islam (Vol. II). Riyadh: Darussalam.

Nawwab, I. I., Speers, P. C., & Hoye, P. F. (Eds.). (1968). Aramco and Its World—Arabia and the Middle East. Washington, D.C.: Arabian American Oil Company.

‘Umar II. (2007, July 11). Retrieved December 10, 2016, from Encyclopedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Umar-II

Legal Maxims of Islamic Law: A Brief Introduction

fiqhmaxims

Fiqh or legal maxims of Islamic law (Al-Qawaa’id Al-Fiqhiyyah) is a genre of Islamic sciences that focuses on general rules of fiqh which can be applied to a wide variety of particular situations. In fact, in Muslim countries a student cannot obtain a degree in Islamic sciences from an Islamic university without first having completed a course on this subject (Mohammed, 2005, p. 191). These maxims have been used by Muslim jurists for centuries to give verdicts. They assist in the matter of ijtihad because they organize the branches of fiqh and categorize cases and it is a must for every Muslim jurist to have knowledge of it (Elgariani, 2012, p. 380). This is why some scholars accurately depicted that “were it not for the law maxims, the fiqh rulings would have remained as scattered cases, outwardly discrete without any ideational connection between them” (Mohammed, 2005, p. 191).

There are a number of definitions given for this genre but perhaps the most inclusive one states that it “is an all-inclusive rule based on legal evidence written accurately in comprehensive words, and it includes all or most particles, juz’iyat (cases pertaining to fiqh) which come under it” (Mishkah University, 2013, p. 3). They are often written in short but expressive statements. They tend to express at times the goals and objectives of the Shari’ah and this is why some scholars treat this subject under the category of maqasid (rules and objectives of Shari’ah) (Kamali, Qawa’id Al-Fiqh: The Legal Maxims of Islamic Law, p. 1). For example, one of the maxims states “hardship begets ease”. What it means is that in order for Shari’ah to guarantee itself relevance for all times and places, it never puts individuals in situations where the obligation becomes unbearable for them or makes their life difficult (Elgariani, 2012, pp. 238-239). This is why in Islamic law it is allowed for those traveling to shorten and combine their prayers, break their fast in Ramadan, and wipe over their socks for three days and nights. All of this is permitted to fulfill one of the objectives of Shari’ah to bring ease to the person because travel brings hardship, stress, and difficulty.

Some have suggested that the goals of these maxims are the following (Mishkah University, 2013, p. 31):

1. Simplify and assemble the branches of Islamic law
2. Extract and organize various branches of rulings under one subject to avoid conflicts
3. Assist scholars in deducing replies to contemporary issues
4. Allow scholars to do a comparison between various schools of thought
5. Prove that Islamic law can be incorporated to any place at any time

Kamali expressed it perfectly when he said that these maxims “represent…the apex of cumulative progress” (Kamali, Qawa’id Al-Fiqh: The Legal Maxims of Islamic Law, p. 1) while others said that they “embrace secrets and the wisdom of the Shari’ah” (Mishkah University, 2013, p. 43) and assist in an appropriate understanding of the goals of the Shari’ah (Mohammed, 2005, p. 191).

These maxims are usually extracted from the sources of Shari’ah, both primary (Qur’an, Sunnah, ijmaa, qiyaas) and secondary ones (methods of ijtihad: istislaah, istishaab, etc.) (Elgariani, 2012, p. 379). As for their wordings, they can be excerpts from the Qur’an or hadiths but in most cases “reflect the phraseology of leading jurists and have been refined with the passing of time” (Mohammed, 2005, pp. 193-194). Due to this modification over time, the final wordings of each individual maxim are difficult to trace back to the first individual who uttered it (Elgariani, 2012, p. 60). For example, the maxim “actions are judged by intention” is deduced from the famous hadith about intention in which the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “Actions are judged by their intentions”, which means that actions in Shari’ah are to be judged by the intentions of the doer behind the acts (Mohammed, 2005, pp. 199-200). So if a person commits murder, then his punishment in Shari’ah is decided based on the intention of the killer. If his intention was to kill the victim, then his punishment is different as opposed to the one who accidentally kills a person or did it in self-defense.

The maxims are purposefully put in precise words in order to make them easy to remember and derive rulings without having to delve deeply into the texts. They are a sort of shortcut to same rulings that can be given and applied in many situations. For example, the maxim mentioned above about actions being judged by intentions can be applied to many circumstances related to worship, business transactions, and criminal law. Similarly, the maxim related to worldly things which states that “in general all things are permissible” can be applied to almost all situations of life. The scholars did an outstanding job of forming these maxims by doing a ”detailed study of several related rulings in order to extrapolate common factors that could be applied to similar matters” (Mohammed, 2005, p. 192). This is why some describe a maxim as “a general rule which applies to all of its related particulars…reflective of a consolidated reading of the fiqh” (Kamali, Qawa’id Al-Fiqh: The Legal Maxims of Islamic Law, p. 1).

The maxims can be used as proof for a judgement in the following four cases (Mishkah University, 2013, p. 33):

1. If the maxim is an exact statement from the Qur’an or Sunnah
2. If the maxim is derived from those proofs which are fully agreed upon (Qur’an, Sunnah, consensus)
3. If the maxim is derived from those proofs that are not fully agreed upon (qiyaas, istishaab, maslahah, ‘urf,), then it can be used as a secondary proof
4. If the maxim was derived from ijtihad, it can also be used as proof

There are also cases when some of the fiqh maxims are not applied:

1. There is a category of fiqh maxims known as dawabit (controllers), which are restricted to a particular chapter or theme of fiqh and are not applied outside of it (Kamali, Legal Maxims and Other Genres of Literature in Islamic Jurisprudence, 2006, p. 82). For example, the fiqh maxim “when the water reaches two qullahs, it does not carry dirt” is restricted to the chapter of cleanliness and is not applied outside of it. Similarly, the maxim “all the dead animals are impure except fish and locusts” is applied only in issues related to eating and drinking and not outside of it.

2. There are maxims on which there is a difference of opinion among the scholars. These differences are of two types: maxims upon which scholars of a particular school are in agreement while not other schools and maxims upon which the scholars of even a particular school are not in agreement (Elahi, 2013). There are also differences among scholars on the application of some of the maxims (Elgariani, 2012, p. 147). Therefore, in such instances a follower of a particular school or scholar may not apply a certain maxim while another will do so. However, there are five maxims which all schools of thought agree on. Some even have suggested that most of the fiqh maxims are just sub-maxims under these major five (Mohammed, 2005, p. 192). These five are as follows:

1. Matters are to be considered in light of their objectives/intentions
2. That which is established with certainty is not removed by doubt
3. The presence of difficulty requires that allowances be made to effect ease
4. Harm shall be removed
5. Cultural usage shall have the weight of law

The maxims allow exceptions and particularizations and at times this is stated vividly within the maxim itself (Mohammed, 2005, p. 193). For example, the maxim mentioned earlier above that “in general all things are permissible”, the exception to this is “unless there is evidence to the contrary”.

legal-maxims-characteristics


Bibliography

Elahi, M. M. (Writer). (2013). Islamic Legal Maxims: Module 1 Video Part b [Motion Picture]. Islamic Online University. Retrieved December 16, 2016, from https://www.islamiconlineuniversity.com/campus/mod/page/view.php?id=23528

Elgariani, F. S. (2012). Al- Qawa’id al-Fiqhiyyah (Islamic Legal Maxims): Concept, Functions, History, Classifications and Application to Contemporary Medical Issues. Exeter: University of Exeter. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/bitstream/handle/10036/4001/ElgarianiF.pdf

Kamali, M. H. (2006). Legal Maxims and Other Genres of Literature in Islamic Jurisprudence. Arab Law Quarterly, 20(1), 77-101. Retrieved December 15, 2016, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/27650538

Kamali, M. H. (n.d.). Qawa’id Al-Fiqh: The Legal Maxims of Islamic Law. The Association of Muslim Lawyers. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from http://www.sunnah.org/fiqh/usul/Kamali_Qawaid_al-Fiqh.pdf

Mishkah University. (2013). Al-Qawa’id Al-Fiqhiyyah (Legal Maxims of Islamic Jurisprudence) A Translated Compilation. Mishkah University. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from http://www.muslim-library.com/dl/books/English_Legal_Maxims_of_Islamic_Jurisprudence.pdf

Mohammed, K. (2005). The Islamic Law Maxims. Islamic Studies, 44(2), 191-207. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20838961

Notes: Buying a Home Seminar w/ Sh. Joe Bradford

buyinghome

I took the online seminar with Sh. Joe Bradford a few months ago. I really enjoyed it and took down notes. I am providing them below. He doesn’t cover just the Islamic aspect of it but also budgeting and being responsible with money. Please note that I did not write down every single thing or detail that he said. I just noted down what I personally found interesting or beneficial. You can also download the notes below in a pdf format here for easy printing and reading.

As an added bonus, you can also download my notes from Khan Academy’s videos on the home buying process. It will give you a better idea of how the process to buy a home works in the United States.

If you’re thinking of buying a home, make sure that you know the 9 hidden costs of buying a home.


Notes

  1. rentorbuyBudgeting
    1. We need to know how to save
    2. Your income should be more than your expenses
      1. Track it every month
      2. If expenses are more, than you need to cut them down
    3. Buying a home is a major debt
    4. Get rid of subconscious purchases
  2. Consumer debt (credit card, car payments, etc.)
    1. Get rid of it if you are in it before applying for a home
    2. Pay down the ones with the highest interest rates first
    3. Accessible savings (IRAs, etc.)
      1. Pay off the debts with it
  3. Set a goal
    1. Where do you want to live?
    2. What do you want for your family?
    3. Pin point the areas where you want to live
  4. Overestimate the price for the home
    1. So you can be prepared
  5. Put together a list of your holdings
    1. Assets that can be liquidated and can be used to pay down payment and closing costs
      1. Also repairs after you by the home
    2. Ex: 401k
    3. Do it early because it takes time
  6. Talk to your insurance agent beforehand
    1. Find out if there are bundled deals
      1. Car + home
  7. Just because you pre-qualify for a large amount does not mean you can afford it or that you should use it all
  8. All monthly payments for the house should not be more than 28% of your gross income monthly
    1. Mortgage, insurance, property taxes, PMI insurance if low down payment
    2. Try to stay within less than what you can afford when you purchase a home because all of your expenses in life add up
  9. Closing costs
    1. Origination, escrow fees, prepaid home insurance, legal fees, inspection fees
    2. 2-5% of your purchase price of the home
  10. Work with a competent realtor
    1. Ask for a track record
    2. They need to be able to negotiate for you
      1. And advocate for you
    3. Down payment
      1. Safest: 20% or more
  11. Seller financing
    1. You do finance directly with the seller and don’t go through the lender company
    2. Very rare
  12. Lower the purchase price of the home, the lower the down payment you have to make
  13. Buying is not for everyone
    1. Do research on renting vs. buying calculator and see if it’s better to rent in your area or not
    2. Not everyone can afford it
  14. Steps to purchase a home
    1. Have to apply
    2. Need to put down earnest money
      1. Money put down to show that you earnestly want to purchase the property
        1. And that you are serious
      2. Usually $1-2k
      3. Will be used as part of the closing cost
    3. Provide personal documentation
      1. Bank statements, pay stubs, W-2s, tax returns, other income info
    4. Appraisal and inspection
      1. Either you or the seller pays for it
    5. Insurance
    6. Submit all of your documentation
    7. Wait for the under writer who decides whether your purchase will be funded or not
      1. They may give you conditions to close
        1. Ask for more things to verify your income
    8. Documents
      1. Official documents to buy a home are issued
    9.  Signing
      1. By going to a title company
    10. Funding and recording
      1. Money you put down and the lender will be given to the owner and the latter will give the title
      2. Title is going to be recorded in the buyer’s or the lender’s name
        1. Some states or lien while others title
          1. Lien – the title is in the buyer’s name and the lender company has a lien on the house until the mortgage is paid off
          2. Title – the title is under the lender’s name and is transferred to the buyer after the house is paid off
    11. Funding mortgages (three methods)
      1. Seller/owner financing
        1. Also called co-ops
          1. Ameen Housing does this
        2. We’re not borrowing funds but paying for the home directly to the seller
        3. Another form of it is: a group of friends put in money in a pool together and purchase a home and then one pays it off and then the second one does same and the cycle continues until everyone has a house
        4. Seller financing is completely halal
      2. Conventional financing
        1. You asked to pay a fixed or adjustable rate
          1. Never do adjustable rates because this was part of what led to the market crash
        2. You put down your down payment and for the rest you go to an escrow
          1. Escrow is an independent third party
            1. Also called a title company
            2. They will verify all of the documentation
            3. They will verify all of the funds
            4. They will keep above in safe keeping
              1. Your down payment and the lender’s lent money
              2. They will hold it in trust until all of the conditions are met and they’ve verified and reviewed everything
                1. Then the money goes from the escrow to the seller and the title is transferred to the buyer/lender from the seller
                  1. Then the buyer pays back the person he/she borrowed the funds from (mortgage lender)
            5. They are there to preserve the rights of all the parties involved and force them to take responsibility
        3. Islamic financing
          1. They were created because
            1. Some scholars said the conventional process is not permissible and had problems with it, such as:
              1. The escrow
                1. This is an entity that is selling something that it does not own and never takes liability or assumes risk
              2. Riba
            2. The scholars went into Islamic law to find a contract which is permissible. They came up with three types which currently exist in the United States
    12. Murabaha
        1. Cost plus sale contract
        2. Islamic finance company buys the property and resells it to the buyer with profit
          1. They buy the property under their name and assume risk and then resell it to the buyer
          2. To diminish the risk of the buyer backing out, they do one of two things. One is permissible, the other is not
            1. Permissible: they write an option to the seller of the original property that they have the right to return the property within certain amount of time with no questions asked
            2. Not permissible: they make the buyer sign an affidavit (document) which is legally binding promising that the buyer will purchase the home
              1. So they’ve written a contract to sell you before they’ve sold you the property
                1. It is just as problematic as the issue of conventional mortgage
          3. The actual time that the Islamic company is assuming risk is about 30 seconds or so, which is usually at the time of signing
              1. Some scholars have issue with this while others find it fine
    13. Ijarah
      1. Leasing
      2. Rent to own
      3. Open lease
        1. You lease and at the very end the home has to be transferred to you
          1. You either pay for the depreciated value or you pay a lump sum or just transferred to you at that time
        2. In the United States, they do it differently and there are extra financial structures in place. This is why this could be more expensive
          1. They purchase the home through borrowing funds from a trust that they create and then lease it to you
        3. Best to stay away from these in the United States
    14. Musharakah
      1. Diminishing partnership
      2. Two partners buy something and one has 20% while the other has 80% of the payment
        1. 20% usually the down payment
      3. Then they create a trust/partnership/corporation which purchases the home for both
        1. Then the buyer slowly buys the Islamic finance company out
      4. But classic Islamic law dictates that the partners share equally in the appreciation, the profit, and expenses
        1. It’s not permissible for one to throw all of the load and fees onto the other partner because then he is unjustly taking more than his due
      5. So ask the Islamic finance company selling this type if they are going to share in the costs, expenses, insurance, etc.
        1. If not, then they are doing something not Islamic because this is not a partnership
  15. Sh. Joe says that the Murabaha is probably the safest
    1. But it’s restricted and not available everywhere
    2. Could also be more expensive
  16. All of the companies, Islamic or conventional, do something at the end which diminishes the whole aspect of partnership
    1. They sell the mortgage to Fanne Mae or Freddy Mac
      1. Secondary market
      2. You sign a document for it
      3. Government organizations that function as corporations but get money from the government
        1. They have an implicit guarantee from the government that if they fail, the government will help them out
      4. These companies give funding to the lender, who in turn gives funding to the buyer, then the lender sells that mortgage back to the secondary market so that they [Fanne Mae/Freddy Mac] can continue the lending process
    2. All finance companies do this
    3. So when you go to an Islamic finance company ask them who they are going to sell the mortgage to
      1. If it is a wholly owned subsidiary of their own company that services all of their mortgages, then this is much better because if they sell it someone with a bad record, then you could get stuck with lots of extra fees and charges
  17. Portfolio loan
    1. Locally available in areas
    2. They invest in the individual
    3. A form of conventional loan but they don’t sell it to secondary market
    4. Try this first if you must go conventional due to dire need or do not qualify for Islamic finance
  18. Final advice
    1. Make istikharah
    2. Make shura with people whom you trust and used products you want to use
    3. Ask yourself three questions
      1. Does this make financial sense for me?
      2. Is it going to provide stability for my family?
      3. Am I willing to stand before Allah on the day of judgement for buying this home?

Muslims in the West: Prophetic Guidance on Dealing With Bad Perception & Persecution

muslims-west

Us Muslims here in the U.S. are facing three main problems with regards to our image and rights:

  • Weak political support
  • Bad public opinion
  • Islamophobia

In many ways, this is no different than the Meccan phase of the da’wah during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). They too had the above three problems. As Muslims, I think it is important for us to look into how he dealt with it. After all, he is our ultimate guide.

When I personally reflect over the biography of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and how he dealt with the above mentioned problems, I can recall at least three steps that he took to deal with them:

Step 1 – Always hold on to Islamic principles and values and never negotiate on them

We know that the Meccans offered the Prophet (ﷺ) many worldly possessions in favor of him giving up his religious ideas because they were unpopular. They even offered that they would worship his God for a year provided that he worship their gods in return for a year, which resulted in the revelation of Surah Al-Kafiroon. However, he stood firm and refused to do so. This is important because today we have some people who are arguing that we should change our religion to make it more palatable to the west. They want us to shift our values and principles in accordance to dominant liberal narratives and deny or reinterpret explicit texts in the Qur’an and Sunnah to fit those narratives. But we have clear guidance from the Prophet (ﷺ) to refuse to give up our principles, beliefs, and values just so that it is acceptable to others. We believe it to be the truth from our Lord and we will and must hang on to it no matter what.

How would Christians in the west feel if Muslim countries told their Christian populace that they must give up this idea of God having a son and dying for everyone’s sins and either change it or reinterpret it in a way so that it is not offensive to Muslims? If western countries are going to keep repeating the mantra of religious freedom, then they need to be made to live up to it. We must stand up to the full extent of the law for our right to worship and believe as we please in peace.

Step 2 – Look for support in all avenues

We know that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) made alliances with some non-Muslims in order to securely deliver his message in Mecca. Whether it was Abu Talib, Abyssinia’s Christian King Najashi (who later converted), or Mut’im ibn Adi, the pagan man who provided him protection to be able to re-enter Mecca safely after he was harassed in Ta’if, the Prophet (ﷺ) sought means of securing ways to continue the da’wah and the practice of his faith. This shows us that we should utilize all permissible means necessary to secure our existence and rights in this country. Therefore, we should look into hiring professional PR firms, lobbying groups, having PACs, think tanks, building alliances with other groups and influential people, and raising funds to support all of these tools. This is how in the modern western world rights are preserved and legislation influenced. Can you imagine if we requested all Muslim institutions in the U.S. to give 1% of their budget to such causes under one large umbrella Muslim organization created for this purpose? That’s not asking for a lot. Even if half of them respond, we could gather up a lot of money. By IRS standards, 501c3s are allowed to give a certain percentage of their budget to lobbying causes. PR firms and lobbying groups are not cheap.

In light of the guidance of our Prophet (ﷺ) in such circumstances, we need to build support for our rights to believe and practice our faith as we see fit. PR and lobbying firms and our partners through alliances could help us significantly with public opinion and political support in D.C. The former will be working on behalf of all Muslims in America because we would be drawing the money to pay them from Muslim institutions. There are some Muslims who feel uncomfortable making alliances with groups that they believe hold contrary beliefs to their religion. However, we must understand that aligning ourselves with a particular group does not mean condoning their particular beliefs and practices. When the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) aligned himself with Abu Talib and Mut’im ibn Adi, he was not condoning their rejection of the message. Similarly, if influential groups and people are willing to offer support and assistance in our right to belief and practice, then we should accept that in light of the guidance of our Prophet (ﷺ). However, if a group makes their support conditional on whether we condone their particular practices or beliefs which contradict our faith, then of course we should reject the offer. Fortunately, in most cases, these groups do not make such conditions.

I just hope we don’t become part of the system and forget why we are doing what we are doing, which is what, as some have argued, has happened in to the African American community. They’ve done everything discussed above but still suffer persecution by the government and various segments of the population. Some have suggested that the reason is that many African Americans go into politics and media but don’t do much for their communities or their people. They just become part of the system. Michelle Alexander in her phenomenal book The New Jim Crow states after criticizing the claim that “previous outsiders, once given a chance, will exercise power differently” that [p. 250]:

“The reality, however, is that the existing hierarchy disciplines newcomers, requiring them to exercise power in the same old ways and play by the same old rules in order to survive. The newcomers…are easily co-opted, as they have much to lose but little to gain by challenging the rules of the game.”

If this is true, then I hope this doesn’t happen with us. We should have a clear plan, strategy, and goal.

Step 3 – Remain patient over those who will hate us no matter what

Whether we like it or not, there will always be Islamophobes. Allah has made us aware over and over again in the Qur’an that we will be tested, harassed, made fun of, and ridiculed because of what we believe and this is something that a believer should expect. It is part of the test of life. “You will surely be tested in your possessions and in yourselves. And you will surely hear from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allah much abuse. But if you are patient and fear Allah – indeed, that is of the matters [worthy] of determination” [Qur’an 3:186].

Islamophobes aren’t going anywhere. They will always be around and have been. All we can do is stand firm and respond to their false allegations and that’s about it. They’ll keep changing their arguments to attack us or cherry pick horrific incidents from our communities to show how all of us are bad just like they did during the Prophet’s (ﷺ) time. They used to claim that Muhammad wants to divide families, disturb the social order, etc. in order to make him and his followers look bad. However, the Prophet (ﷺ) remained patient in Mecca and continued to move forward despite their attacks. We should do the same.

How to Put Darood in Arabic on Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) in Microsoft Word

worddarood

There is a very helpful feature built into Microsoft Word as explained in a video by Sh. Mikaeel Ahmed Smith. This can especially be helpful if you write Islamic articles, essays, research papers, etc. in Microsoft Word. The basic steps are as follows:

  1. Open Microsoft Word
  2. Type fdfa where you want to put the darood
  3. Hold down the ALT key and then press down on the X key
  4. Now fdfa should automatically switch to 

There are other Arabic shortcut phrases as well. The chart below goes into more detail about those:

chartwordshortcuts