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Khilafah maga z i ne

Rajab/Shaban 1424 - September 2003

Cover Issue 9 Volume 16

CONTENTS 4 E D IT O RI A L

18 SURVIVAL G UIDE :

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B U YI N G A H O USE

SPE C I A L C O N F ERE N C E A D D RESS

23 W H O A RE

6 WE ?

M USLI M W O M E N

-

BET W EE N T H E

M I N ISKIRT A N D THE V EIL

26 8

C R A C KI N G T H E D RU G PR O BLE M

T H E C O RRE C T P O LITI C A L A C TI V IS M F O R M USLI M S I N T H E W EST

29 A R O U G H G UI D E T O LI V I N G W IT H N O N - M USLI M S

11 T H E R O LE O F T H E M O S Q UE I N ISL A M

33 T H E Q UEST F O R TR A N Q UILLITY I N T H E M A RIT A L LIFE

14 E D U C A TI O N D ILE M M A

37 RESP O N D I N G T O G L O B A L E V E N TS

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EDITORIAL

Published by Khilafah Publications Suite 298, 56 Gloucester Road, London, SW7 4UB www.1924.org · magazine @ 1924.org Editor Asif Dawood

News Editor Dr Samiul Muquit

Editorial Board Dr Imran Waheed Ahmad Jassat

Production and Publishing Mokbul Hussain Kosser Mohammed

A SIF D A W O O D e m a il: a sif. d a w o o d @1924. o r g

Assalamu Alaikum Barakatahu,

wa

Rahmatullahi

wa

Islamic personalities within them.

"British or Muslim?" At first glance many would think this is an easy question with an easy answer: "Muslim of course!" However, many others would say "Why does there have to be an 'or'; can't we be both British and Muslim?"

We have a great challenge to prevent our generation and future ones from attaining personalities consistent with Western civilisation. If Muslims choose not to abide by Islam, but rather accept Western ideas, then inevitably the problems that plague Western societies will become commonplace amongst Muslims.

Whatever the initial opinions are about this issue, deeper consideration of what it means to be 'British' and what it means to be 'Muslim' will raise a multitude of further questions and arguments. All of these will be centred on the dilemma of needing to live practically and peacefully in this country alongside our non-Muslim hosts, but at the same time wanting to maintain a link to our roots and to preserve our Islamic identity.

There are challenges we face to reverse the widespread problems in our communities such as the use of drugs and failing marriages, which are a direct result of influence from Western culture. We must engage in serious discussion and debate to locate the cause of these problems; only then can progress to resolve them begin.

As a second generation Muslim, born and raised in this country, being British or Muslim is a question which has important implications for not only me, but also for my ten month old daughter who is also growing up in this country and will soon be learning values, tastes and loyalties from this materialistic and individualistic society. I am sure that if I do not perceive the danger of these 'alien' values which permeate through every channel of media and social interaction in this society, then my children will adopt less of what is Islam, and more of what is British. In fact I have a duty to myself as a Muslim and to my family to understand the dangers of adopting Western values and I need to be able to identify and refute these to my children and instil in them the Islamic values in order to build

Muslims face challenges when buying a house, marrying, educating children, running mosques and engaging in politics. When addressing these issues we must never fall into the trap of always opting for what is easy and practical - Islam, not benefit or materialism, must be the sole reference in life for Muslims in Britain. On behalf of the Khilafah Magazine team, I pray that the articles and discussions raised in this 'conference special edition' will continue to pave the way for Muslims in the West to determine their future according to the thoughts of Islam and will assist in making our community a shining light in the darkness and misery of Western society.

Khilafah Magazine is a monthly magazine published in London with a wide distribution across the Muslim and non-Muslim world. The magazine is dedicated to articulating the case for Islam as an ideology that deals with all human problems, whether individual or societal. Islam must be understood ideologically and has a defined political and ruling system – the Khilafah System. We maintain that the 'Clash of Civilisations' is not only inevitable but imperative. As the Capitalist ideology dominates the world today, the only challenge to it must come from Islam. We write to inform, inspire and create a movement for true intellectual revival.

No Copyrights Since Islam rejects copyrights and patents you are free to reproduce articles contained within this publication. It is our kind request that when doing so you cite the author and source of the article.

Translation of the Qur’an It should be perfectly clear that the Qur’an is only authentic in its original language, Arabic. Since perfect translation of the Qur’an is impossible, the term ‘Translation of the Meaning of the Qur’an (TMQ) has been used, as the result is only a crude meaning of the Arabic text.

Subscription details Subscription charges: £20 per annum including postage UK €40 per annum including postage Europe $60 per annum including postage USA To subscribe to Khilafah Magazine please refer to: Internet Site: www.1924.org email: magazine @ 1924.org or write to:

Khilafah Magazine, Suite 298, 56 Gloucester Road, London, SW7 4UB

please make cheques payable to ‘khilafah publications’

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Khilafah Magazine September 2003


SPECIAL CONFERENCE ADDRESS Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem All Praise to Allah who said:

"Allah has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them." [TMQ An-Nur: 55] And peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah (saw) who said:

The lands of Islam have become booty to be plundered for every Kafir with ambition. Their funds are kept in banks in the West to support its economy and make the rich richer whilst the Muslim masses collapse under the burden of mounting poverty. And this, despite having their wealth and resources but which are being exploited by the Kafir colonialists and a handful of agents in the Muslim countries. And the Muslims who own the wealth are prevented from benefiting from it whilst it is in front of them. The following couplets are an expression of their situation: Like the well bred camels in the desert killed by the thirst While the water is being carried on their very backs O Muslims gathered in the Western lands:

"Whosever dies without a Bay'ah on his neck he shall die the death of Jahilliyah." I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship other than Allah (swt) Who said:

"And We wished to do a favour to those who were weak (and oppressed) in the land, and to make them rulers and to make them the inheritors." [TMQ Al-Qassas: 5] And I bear witness that Muhammad (saw) who is His servant and Messenger said:

"Then there will be a Khilafah on the way of the Prophethood." All Praise to Allah (swt) and peace and blessings upon the Messenger of Allah (saw) and His family, companions and all those who followed him. Assalamu Alaikum Barakatahu

wa

Rahmatullahi

wa

O Muslims gathered in the Western lands: Indeed, the lands of Islam remain without a Khalifah to unite the Muslims, who will establish the rules of Islam and fight Jihad with them in the Path of Allah (swt) and shade them under the Banner of the Messenger of Allah (saw), the banner Laa ilaaha illallah Muhammadur Rasoolallah. Indeed, the lands of Islam have been cut up into more than 55 states while they should have been one state ruled by one Khalifah. Hence they became weak after being strong and they became humiliated after having honour and dignity. The lands of Islam are being controlled by the Kafir colonialists and their armies as in Afghanistan and Iraq or by the spreading of their bases as in the Arabian peninsula, the Gulf, Pakistan, Uzbekistan or by using other forms of influence whether politically, economically and culturally as we can see in other Muslim countries. This is done by the consent and approval of the puppet rulers of the Muslims for the sake of the Kafir colonialists or at times even without any need for the approval and consent of these rulers.

The lands of Islam used to be the minaret of the world and the beacon for mankind. The Muslims used to be the centre of attention and heard all across the world for more than thirteen centuries. They were the best Ummah brought forth for mankind. If they said a word it would reverberate in all corners of the world and if they did an action the fear would enter the hearts of the Kafireen. They were strong due to their Lord and dignified by their Deen. Their Khalifah used to address the clouds saying: "Go and send down rain wherever your Lord wishes but your rain will always fall on the land of Islam, under the shadow of the authority of Islam." The cry for help by a Muslim woman oppressed by the enemy was enough for the Khalifah to mobilise the army and march with him at its head and demolish the fortress of the enemy and avenge for the injustice done to the woman and return her honour and dignity. The Islamic lands, Ummah and State were a refuge for the oppressed and a fortress for the weak. This was not only for its citizens but also for states of other religions who felt weak and sensed they will be attacked so they did not find anyone to help other than the Sultan of the Muslims. France's call for the Sultan of the Muslims to help them in the sixteenth century to save their king from being taken captive by their enemies is well known when Sulayman al-Qanuni, the Sultan of the Muslims at that time answered their call and saved their king.

worse. They look forward to the dawn the more the darkness of the night increases. And whatever the circumstances they feel assured of the victory of Allah (swt) and the clear victory. The Kuffar and their agents have exerted their utmost effort to spread secularism in the Muslim lands and separated Islam from life. They allowed the 'Ibadaat or a part of it and banned the transactions (mu'amalaat), punishments ('uqubaat), ruling, politics and Jihad. They said the 'Ibadaat was more or less has been taken from the Deen but these rules (i.e. the transactions) have nothing to do with the Deen and so they separated the former from the latter. Your brothers in the Islamic lands have strengthened their resolve to bring back the complete implementation of the Islamic rules. So that the Takbeer of the Musalli will be said together with the Takbeer of the Mujahid in his Jihad (Takbeer). And the joy of the one who is fasting at the time of breaking his fast will be felt together with the joy of the soldier when he is given the victory. And the Takbeers of the Muslims will be heard from the rooftops of the Muslims in joy due to the return of their Khilafah and their honour just as the Takbeers of the Muslims will be heard from the places of their Salah in their 'Eids. (Takbeer!) O Muslims gathered in the Western lands: Today I am sending my Salaams from afar, on the day of the opening of your powerful conference. Tomorrow by Allah's (swt) permission the messenger of the Khalifah, the ambassador of the Islamic State, will open your conference in the Western lands. Today I will remind you of the Promise of Allah (swt) and the good news of His Messenger (saw) of the return of the Righteous Khilafah. And tomorrow the messenger of the Khalifah will remind you of the favour and blessing of Allah (swt) because He (swt) has given victory and strengthened His (swt) soldier. Today I remind you that you are part of an Islamic Ummah and so do not be separated from her. The Ummah's issue is your issue and her call is your call. So carry the call wherever you are, for you are the part of the Ummah at the forefront in the Western lands. And tomorrow the Messenger of the Khalifah will remind you that you are the eyes of the Ummah over her enemies. And you are at the forefront of the Ummah in carrying her banner and the vanguards of victory in the near future.

O Muslims gathered in the Western lands: O Muslims gathered in the Western lands: The time for the return of the Khilafah on the way of the Prophethood has come in view once again. You have brothers in the Islamic lands working day and night with strength and resolve to resume the Islamic way of life by establishing the Righteous Khilafah which Allah (swt) has promised to His believing servants and whose glad tiding the Messenger (saw) has given us. Your brothers in the Islamic lands, the Shabab of Hizb ut-Tahrir, are hastening their steps to achieve their objective, they will not be stopped by those who harmed them and go against them, and nor by the Kafir colonialists and their agents who are punishing them with imprisonment and torture leading to martyrdom as we can see happening in the prisons of the Taghuts, especially by the Taghut of Uzbekistan. The most recent person to be martyred at his criminal hands is 'Arif Ishanov. Despite this the Shabab of the Hizb have not yielded and nor has their resolve weakened Rather they have increased in strength when the calamity gets

Hold tightly together and raise your heads high for you are from a great Ummah, an Ummah brought forth for mankind. Make your Takbeer together and raise your voices together.

"Allah is with you and He will never decrease the reward of your good deeds." [TMQ Muhammad:35] Wassalamu 'Alaikum Barakatahu,

wa

Rahmatullahi

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Your brother, A'ta Abu Rishta Ameer Hizb ut-Tahrir

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n oti c e o utsi d e gr ou n d zer o - USA

S A JJ A D KH A N [W e st Lo n d o n] e m a il: s a jj a d .kh a n @1924. org

THE CORRECT POLITICAL ACTIVISM FOR MUSLIMS IN THE WEST INTRODUCTION "Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people." Oscar Wilde "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine." Thomas Jefferson

D

espite this honest appraisal by one of the West's most famous literary sons and one of the founding fathers of the United States of America and its third President, Muslims today are constantly being bulldozed into accepting democracy as part of parcel of a formation of a common identity within western society. The 'D' word has reached a mythical 'god like' stage where it is sacrosanct to even question it, despite the fact that as a system it is institutionally corrupt, produces terrible laws and has switched off millions from the political process. On top of this the 'D' word, as many Muslims are increasingly becoming aware, is in blatant contravention of the divine texts as sovereignty is for the Shari'ah, rather than with corporations who happen to have the biggest political donations budget. Yet despite all these many weaknesses, some Muslims amazingly enough still believe that joining the democratic process is a privilege and a sign of their Britishness. There has been legitimate anxiety across the Muslim community in the West since September 11th 2001. There has also been a great deal of anger and fear as more and more anti-Muslim legislation disguised as anti-terrorism is passed. Over the two years since September 11, Muslims of all walks of life have felt they have more and more to be angry about. Yet the anger is backed by a sense of impotence that has been channelled in many ways, some have used it as a wake up call to accelerate 'political integration' for

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Muslims within Western societies, some have used it to promote a 'in the bunker' mentality while others have merely continued their work to refute a decadent Western civilisation in an intellectual and political manner. Couple this anger with the many problems Muslims face in the economic arena, educating their children, marriage and their relationship with the worldwide Ummah, a clear steer on politics and its limits is a must going forward. The main concern for us on the magazine is therefore; how do we get Muslims to become more politically active, politically aware and more politically astute within the frameworks set down by the Shari'ah? This needs to happen without a generation of new secular and westernised fanatics emerging within the Muslim community who constantly apologise for Islamic law, dish out diatribe against other Muslims while at the same time sitting at the table of western values and militancy. As the West continues to occupy Iraq and the fallout of the dodgy dossiers, WMD debacle and forged documents from Niger continues the pattern of lies, deception and spin, Muslims must reflect carefully on the political stance they took over the war. Their unified view should have been not to just oppose it on grounds of principle but to reject the overriding notion that trying to stop it by integrating into British and western politics was not only forbidden, but also futile. Democracy and its propagation are continuously driven forward by Western politicians, thinkers and the media in a way, which is almost 'missionary' at times. Needless to say we have reached a point when a person who dares to stand up to the 'D' word is immediately condemned in the harshest terms by the

secular fundamentalists of the day. Indeed committing blasphemy today is easy, condemn western values and its colonial system and you are either labelled a terrorist, treated like one or air lifted in cattle class to Guantanomo Bay to be 'enlightened' by Uncle Sam's forces, the modern day guardians of all that is 'true and moral'. Indeed so obsessed are the Western Governments in ramming their western political culture down the throats of everyone that new immigrants to Britain will now have to sing the national anthem (even though most British footballers don't know the actual words) and swear allegiance to key western values, before they can get to use a British passport. In their view a common culture is required which should bind everyone Muslim or Non Muslim, and what should this common and magnificent culture be, it is that schools should transmit British identity through the teaching of British political history, English language and literature and an understanding of the Christian values on which western democracy is based. Clearly this is an unambiguous stance to demonstrate their quest to indoctrinate the masses. So where does this leave Muslims in the West and in Britain, should we adopt western political values and fully integrate into western society as the recent right wing British think-tank Civitas recommends while remaining Muslims in the spiritual and personal arena. Or is there another way, a strategy that ensures Muslims don't compromise, but remain true to their own political values and culture while at the same time propagating an alternative view to the wider society.


t h e c o rr e c t p o liti c a l a c ti vis m f o r m usli m s in t h e w e st

WHY ARE WESTERN POLITICAL VALUES NOT A MODEL FOR US? 1. The Western viewpoint in life divorces societal actions in this life from the hereafter and therefore ignores any accountability after death. Therefore Western politicians judge actions they do in this life according to their own criteria usually the pursuit of material benefit, i.e. utilitarianism. Consequently pursuing Machiavellian methods if they are deemed necessary are considered valid political ruses or strategies, the ends justifies the means, politics isn't for the faint hearted and it's a man's game, are all used as justifications for this type of behaviour. However in contrast the Islamic politician is shaped by Islamic values and considers that all their actions will be judged in the after life and so he acts accordingly, the importance therefore of taqwa (piety) is not to be underestimated as it shapes the Islamic leadership and colours its rule. An absence of taqwa or even worse the belief in western values would soon bring corruption, which is exactly what we see day in day out in the western world. This is why the second Khalifah Umar was attributed to having said 'that if a donkey falls on the road in Damascus, I fear Allah will account me'. Yet Western societies are characterised by a total absence of accountability in their politics 2. The second reason is the analysis of whom the western politicians really serve. Though they boast that they work night and day for their citizens all the realities of their policies suggests otherwise. It is clear when we examine the relationships between the corporations and the politicians that the politicians have no other role than to do the bidding of the corporations who are the financiers of them and who in return receive tax cuts, and lucrative government contracts. The military is therefore no more than a resource used to further corporate interests both in the short term and longer term, which when deployed as it was in Iraq is dressed up in code words such as the 'national interest' or we are doing this to bring 'security to the American and British people'. Consequently is it any wonder that lies were told to justify the real reason for the war, not to liberate Iraq but to liberate the Profit and Loss accounts of Western companies. These are the entities with the real power within capitalist societies and who demand long term stability in key markets to further their corporate agendas. The Bush administration's close marriage with the US Oil industry is a bare exposition of this reality. 3. The third issue is to highlight the fact that it is not simply politicians from one party that are involved, but it is across the entire spectrum. Contrary to popular belief there is no pluralism within western societies as all political parties broadly agree on the same fundamental values. The differences that exist are in the details not about values and like competing capitalist nations in international markets, they differ according to competing interests. In addition far from the media being a check on the system it is actually a check on individual government not on the capitalist system.

This is clearly seen when we examine that the values of the media themselves are the same as those of the society in which they exist, apart from the fact they are owned by the very capitalists that also have the power within the society. It was therefore sad to see some Muslims who naively rushed to support anti war politicians like Robin Cook and Clare Short despite the fact that both of them were in the same Blair cabinet that attacked Iraq in 1998 and which s u p p o r t e d t h e death of thousands of Iraqis under UN sanctions since 1990. Both politicians continue to support the very 'democratic' system that not only allowed this war but has allowed countless others in the past. Even some non Muslims have exposed the current political system as being a farce. "The more you read and observe about this Politics thing you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. " - Will Rogers "Saying we should keep the two-party system simply because it is working is like saying the Titanic voyage was a success because a few people survived on life rafts." - Eugene McCarthy 4. The final point to make is that corruption in capitalist societies within the political arena is made easier by the fact that most people do not follow politics. The minority that do are largely ignored and are satisfied with their letters being published now and then in the broadsheet letters pages. Others are cleverly pushed by the regime into a cheap struggle in which they chase around for crumbs and loose sight of the real agenda. While the vast majority, are content to be blinded by the 'dumb down' society obsessed with entertainment, pop stars, fashion and sex. There is more debate and discussion that takes place about David Beckham's hairstyle than say the economic policy that the state is following. Millions are disenfranchised from politics and this is clearly a deliberate strategy so that the 'great and the good' can on the one hand earn billions on the back of these pursuits but secondly they can then run the state without too much rebellion or criticism. A country where the best selling newspapers are the Sun and the News of the World and where the Mirror has seen a loss in circulation since its attempt at promoting a more 'serious news agenda' hardly espouses a nation which hold their leaders and system to account. In America the situation is even worse where most people don't even know where the countries their armed forces are attacking are on the map, let alone accounting them on detailed foreign policy. There is no comparison to Islam where the state and the media actively promote politics where the people are told that accounting the ruler and critiquing his policies is an obligation, equal to prayer and fasting.

WHY POLITICS IS INSEPARABLE FROM ISLAM There are still some who argue that religion and politics should not mix, that religion is for the individual and should therefore not be imposed into society. However dig a bit deeper and the individuals who advocate 'secularism' (the detachment of religion from life) as a political doctrine have no problem imposing their rule over everyone else irregardless of whether the person is secular or not. What is also not fully understood by Muslims and Non-Muslims alike is that Politics can not be stripped from the Islamic belief, it is inherent within the Islamic ideology that it came to solve all problems and came to address the people's affairs. Bukhari narrated from Ibn Umar: The Prophet (saw) said; "The Imam is in charge and he is responsible for his citizens". Consequently there is no separation of the spiritual and the temporal within Islam, there is no separation of religion from politics or economics or foreign policy. Consequently the Islamic ideology by its nature cannot co-exists alongside other ideologies such as communism or capitalism within the same society, Muslims may live in these societies but will find that their key political values will inevitably clash with the political culture of the host society e.g. Muslims belief that the source of legislation emanates exclusively from the creator completely contradicts with liberal capitalism's view that man is the source of legislation The Qur'an in Surah Ma’idah where Allah (swt) says;

"Today I have perfected your Deen and have called it Islam" [TMQ Al-Ma’idah: 3] CAN A MUSLIM ADOPT WESTERN POLITICAL VALUES? The simple answer to this is no. Muslims have a unique political culture as can be seen from the Prophet's life as a ruler in Medina and his successors who all governed as political leaders. Therefore the clear criteria for any action we as Muslims do whether it is in prayer, hajj, or politics is to find the divine rule. The lamentable position today is that Muslims for a variety of reasons (ignorance, personal benefit, fear of losing face, cowardice, dazzled by western civilisation) have adopted western political values without asking for any Islamic evidence. So joining of any political parties is encouraged, despite their manifestos and constitutions violating the Islamic aqeedah, voting for MP's is propagated, and standing for election is obviously the pinnacle. The results of Muslim attempts to participate in

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t h e c o rr e c t p o liti c a l a c ti vis m f o r m usli m s in t h e w e st

worship. And I shall not worship that you are worshipping. Nor will you worship that which I worship. To you be your religion, and to me my religion.' [TMQ Al- Kafiroon]

ISLAMIC ACTIVISM IN THE WEST - SOME KEY POINTS

British politics are clear, despite decades of Muslims being present in this country; we have mastered all of two MP's. At the current rate of two new MP's at each election we should have a comfortable majority in the House of Commons by the 27th century. WHAT SHOULD BE THE SOURCE OF OUR POLITICS? The Prophet (saw) in Mecca should be the clear and unambiguous example, not what the Zionists do or the lesser of two evils, or personal benefit or the western political culture. He (saw) was offered more than what Muslim politicians are offered today, he was not just offered a seat at the table (akin to a MP), he was offered the table when the Quraysh offered him the Kingship of Mecca. In fact the Quraysh also offered him a form of coalition Government, which some Muslims today in Britain would break their arms for when the leaders in Mecca offered to worship Islam for one year in return for the Muslims worshipping the idols for one year. The Prophet could have been opportunistic, he could have sought power to help the suffering of his companions in Mecca (akin to the mosques, schools and halal meat argument we here today as being the prizes on offer if Muslims join the democratic system), he could have deduced that the Quraysh would not return to their idols after worshipping Islam for one year. Indeed some may argue that he could have taken the deal as it was the lesser of two evils, his companions were being tortured and his acceptance of the deal would have protected them from further torture. Some may argue that he could have accepted the plan, and tried to deceive the Quraysh (like the Zionists did in their political advance, which many Muslims marvel at), by faking belief in their idols as indeed how can one's real belief be really audited. The answer to the deal was unambiguous, clear and is an example to any Muslim contemplating entering the western political system or adopting western political values. Allah (swt) said;

'Say: ,O disbelievers. I do not worship that which you worship. Nor will you worship that which I

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So what should Muslims do in the West? Muslims by the grace of Allah constitute many within the Western world; they have significant opportunities to engage in many activities, which are within the Islamic Shari'ah. 1. We are all aware that Islam provides the only plausible alternative to Western capitalism, Western societies are now characterised by so much corruption in every sector of society and public life that it is the ideal time to present Islam as a comprehensive ideology. This requires all of us to contact western thinkers, intellectuals, think tanks and influentials so that the Islamic ideas in politics, economics, within the social system or judiciary are presented to them as the comprehensive solution for the many problems mankind faces today. This should be done in an intellectual manner with a firm and composed style i.e. with wisdom (hikmah) and beautiful speech (maw'izah hasanah). We should not underestimate the powerful effect the propagation of the Islamic thought will have amongst these people, who at present see nothing beyond the system they have. Muslims wherever they are should therefore not be satisfied with simply satisfying their own interests but must be ambassadors of Islam abiding in their own lives by the Shari'ah as well as carrying Islam to others around them. Indeed this is how Islam spread to places like Indonesia; Muslims went there and propagated Islam unapologetically obviously refusing to integrate within the host Indonesian society. Compare that approach to what we see today from those who demand integration for the Muslims living here. 2. As Muslims living here, we should not forget that we are linked to the global Islamic Ummah by our aqeedah. The Prophet (saw) said;

'The Muslims are like one body, when one of its limbs hurts the entire body responds to that part with sleeplessness and fever� This requires us to constantly raise the oppression that Muslims face all around the world as well as highlighting the oppression that all people including non-Muslims, face as a result of global capitalism. It is imperative Muslims in Britain help their brothers and sisters in the Islamic world in any actions that will help facilitate the replacement of the corrupt oppressive governments in the Muslim world with the Islamic state, the Khilafah. Muslims should not

feel intimidated in calling for the Khilafah or raising the issue of oppression and colonialism, as it is their duty to do so. Muslims should not fear a loss of funding from these governments as calling them to account is a divine duty and Allah (swt) is the one who is the real source of our rizq. Also Muslims should be aware that judgements and solutions with respect to the oppression in Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq or Africa should be made using the Islamic Shari'ah and not from values such as human rights, international law or UN resolutions. This is because these values are the very same that have caused thee problems in the first place and they have no place in the Muslim's political vocabulary. 3. In terms of human resources, Muslims constitute many skills and professions living in the West. We need to use this talent whether it is in finance, law, science, journalism, photography or IT to not just help ourselves but to strengthen the Muslims as a whole. We should prepare ourselves not just to study these topics for our material advancement but also to use them to help Muslims achieve their political objectives in the Islamic world as well as in the west. At the moment our skills base is so dissipated and disparate, that we lose political and ideological leverage. Today's Muslim professionals should see their skills as powerful vehicles to understand, promote and carry the Islamic ideology to Western professionals as well as providing the brains, research and skills base for the future Islamic state. These are just some of the alternatives that Muslims can turn to and this is in many ways a full time agenda if done diligently. All these actions are consistent with the Islamic Shari'ah and should be acted upon instead of participating in the democratic system, ruling and other prohibited areas like taking out membership of non-Muslim political parties. Finally we would like to say the following, the correct Islamic behaviour is always to study any political reality deeply and if the Islamic hukm is that any action is considered forbidden, that we accept it willingly and not with a heavy heart. This is our strength but our dedication to Islam will constantly be challenged and sometimes sacrifice for the Deen is and will be required. If we hold Islam dear, then we must hold to it, even if it proves to be inconvenient or difficult or else what is the meaning of us claiming to be proud of our Islamic beliefs and principles. We must constantly support the truth, repel oppression even if it is on Non Muslims, understanding that removing injustice can only take place according to the Shari'ah rule and by holding on to the path of Allah (swt). It is wrong to think that victory and success can come for Muslims by committing haram. He (swt) said;

"So stand (ask Allah to make) you (Muhammad) firm and straight (on the Deen) as you are commanded and those who turn in repentance (unto Allah) with you and transgress not (Allah's limits). Verily, he is All-Seer of what you do.� [TMQ Hud: 112]


A KM A L A S G H A R [E a st Lo n d o n ] e m a il: a k m a l. a s g h a r@1924. or g

THE ROLE OF THE MOSQUE IN ISLAM T

he mosques are the most important centres in any Muslim community. From their Minbar are delivered the khutbah, arguably the most important weekly address regarding Islam, and around them the Muslims congregate and organise their affairs. It is no wonder, therefore, that the mosques have been caught up in significant controversy in Britain because of their important status, both for the Muslims who visit them and for the British government. Effective control of the mosque and its agenda can significantly contribute to the revival of the Muslim Ummah or it can lead to the perpetual silence and ignorance regarding our affairs, further entrenching our decline. In this article, we look at the current reality of the mosque and their perception in the eyes of the Muslim community in Britain. We also look at the attempts to manipulate them and their role as described by Islam. THE MOSQUE AND MUSLIM YOUTH The Muslim youth in this country are very familiar with the mosque routine they endured as children. The daily visit to the mosque sent by their parents to learn and memorise the Qur'an, to establish Muslim friends and to develop a strong Islamic personality, did the opposite in many cases. Rather than centres for guidance and clarification, the mosques operated no-discussion, no-question regimes and were completely unaware of the reality and problems faced by the Muslim youth. Muslim teenagers and youth felt that they could not turn to the mosque to clarify their understanding of Islam, to have the confusing questions posed at school

answered or simply to seek advice about avoiding the temptations and pressures brought on by living in a society that contradicted their way of life. The Muslim youth resultantly found no solace and saw no point in attending the mosque. It is no exaggeration to say that this affected a whole generation of Muslims in this country. Many may have turned to Islam later in life through university and college Islamic societies, but many simply rebelled against the mosque and in some cases even disassociated themselves from Islam. This was because either they 'followed the crowd' and aspired to a life of freedom with accountability to no one, a lesson learnt from Western society, or simply as a result of resentment and sometimes fear of the mosque. THE KHUTBAH Arguably, the most opportune time to access the Muslim community, the khutbah has always occupied a pivotal role in informing the Muslim Ummah about her affairs and calling her to the appropriate actions. Allah (swt) has ordered that trade and all other activity be abandoned at the time of Salat al-Jumu'ah and that people assemble to hear the khutbah:

"When the call is proclaimed for the Prayer on the day of Friday, come to the remembrance of Allah and leave off business‌" [TMQ Al Jumu'ah: 9]

The Prophet (saw) said that,

"‌When the Imam comes out (i.e. starts delivering the khutbah), the angels present themselves to listen to the Khutbah." [Bukhari] However, we frequently find that many khutbah address subjects which have little or no relevance to the affairs of the Muslims. The khutbah is one of the greatest, yet most squandered, opportunities to explain and alert the Muslim community to a whole host of important issues. Countless khutbah have repeatedly discussed the lives of the previous Prophets (as), the miracle of the Qur'an and the Hereafter, all of which are very important subjects, but rarely does the Imam address the prohibition of taking usurious loans such as mortgages, the prohibition of playing the National Lottery or the prohibition of joining the Kufr political process or Kufr British political parties. They also fail to address the situation of the Muslim Ummah globally except through a mere mention in du'a, and many will completely avoid the issue of working to re-establish Allah's (swt) Deen on the earth. The khutbah therefore takes place without leaving any significant impression on the minds of the congregation. These khutbah represent only preaching and Christian-style sermons that bore the audience who eagerly wait for its end. It seems that

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little or no thought goes into addressing the issues that affect and concern the Muslim community. THE MOSQUE COMMITTEES Some of these observations regarding the youth and the khutbah hold true because of the nature of the committees that run the mosques. The Muslim community have come to view the committees of many of the mosques with suspicion regarding the manner in which they run the mosques. The incompetence of some mosque committees and the lack of awareness they have regarding the reality of the Muslim community is not just restricted to boring sermons or to alienating the youth - their naivetĂŠ can potentially position them neatly into a governmental agenda for the Muslims in Britain. . 'NO POLITICS IN THE MOSQUE, THE MP IS VISITING' Europe has always associated its rise and revival from its dark ages with the Renaissance, a process which led to the emergence of secularism, the separation of religion from state, thereby reducing religion to being a mere personal matter. In so doing, human beings became sovereign in the sphere of temporal law, believing that all things religious were the cause of their backwardness and decline. Religious law became increasingly insignificant as time went on, restricted only to personal life and to the Church. Many mosques have also become like churches in that they enforce a separation between religion and society. These mosques are, therefore, no less secular then churches. The reality of this is demonstrated by the fact that such mosques employ 'politics free zones' in which discussion about the affairs of the Muslim Ummah, domestically or globally, is frowned upon and can at worst lead to

ejection from the mosque itself. They have become solely places of Salah on Friday and the two Eids. This doesn't mean that some of these mosques do not engage in politics at all - they do. It is only Islamic politics they avoid. They are quite happy to be involved in local government politics through assisting or joining the political party with council influence and control. Membership or association, it is argued, with these un-Islamic political parties, whose principles and values utterly contradict the Islamic values, is necessary in order to solve the need for Muslim cemeteries, mosque extensions, Jumu'ah facilities and the like. It is therefore all too familiar to see MPs in the mosque at election time, canvassing for the Muslim vote and in some cases occupying the Minbar to address the Muslims about how their political party will do great things for the Muslim community. The tragic irony is that such mosques are vehement in their opposition to the discussion of Islamic politics based upon the sources of Islam, but will invite the local Member of Parliament whose call is for Muslims to distance themselves from Islam and to engage in the evils of the non-Islamic politics of Western societies. THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT AND MOSQUES The importance of mosques, their committees and the Imams has become apparent post 9/11. During the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and since the initiation of the so called 'war on terror', mosques have come under pressure to comply with British policy and not to become centres for calling Muslims to act in a way detrimental to British interests globally. This pressure has come through a variety of avenues. It has involved direct contact between various police bureaus and mosque committees regarding 'dangerous' elements that may be working from them, heightened scrutiny from the Charities Commission regarding mosque funds and how they're spent (a particular focus is whether finances go abroad to support actions of 'Jihad') and an increased focus on developing a breed of 'British Imams'. On the issue of 'British Imams', David Blunkett is quoted to have said; "‌ you tend to get imams from rural areas and those with the least grasp of English and of the ways of Britain and the developed world coming into the country and having to start from scratch". We find, therefore, that the word of the Imam is increasingly censored and checked for conformity. Pressure is applied to attend Imam training programs and centres, which although run by Muslims, teach Blunkett's 'ways of Britain', which is simply a euphemism for 'secularism', 'inter-faith dialogue' and 'loyalty to the British'. This can all lead to the mosque becoming a mouthpiece for the

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th e role of th e m osq u e i n isl a m

government or simply becoming secular church-like institutions that are extensions of the thoughts and ideas circulating in society. Ideas such as personal freedom, religious freedom, secularism, democracy and inter-faith dialogue will all slowly wear down the focus on Islam as the sole truth by blurring differences with other religions. This can lead only to Islam becoming no more than a cultural phenomenon over time.

would write and recite poetry against the Kafir. Aaisha (ra) narrates; "The Prophet (saw) used to construct for Hassan a Minbar (platform) in the masjid to stand on and recite poetry against the Kafir." The management of the mosque is addressed by Allah (swt) Who explained the key criteria that every mosque committee member, and those involved in mosque maintenance, should fulfil. Allah (swt) says;

THE ROLE OF THE MOSQUE IN ISLAM So far we have highlighted some of the bleak realities of some of the mosques in Britain. It is a tragedy that such cornerstones of the Muslim community could be in such a state, but it is a reality and goes some way in explaining why so few Muslims are actively involved in them. It is important to have an understanding as to the role of the mosque and their organisation so as to identify failing mosques in our localities and so that we can help bring about a change in them. Before elaborating in any detail, it is important to consider on what basis decisions regarding the mosque should be made. Currently in some mosques, decisions are made in order to blindly imitate the tradition of mosques as they are in the Indian sub-continent, or based on rivalry between local mosques, the desire to establish a good relationship with local government and reap benefits from this for the Muslims and in some cases (not unheard of) the business interests of a few individuals. However, all of these have no relationship with the Islamic basis, which neither considers benefit, desire, tradition, reputation nor business as the basis of actions. The basis is none other than the worship of Allah (swt) through making the mosque a beacon of light and guidance for all who come across it: Allah (swt) says in the Qur'an;

"In houses (masjid), which Allah has ordered to be raised, in them His name is glorified in the mornings, and in the evenings." [TMQ An-Nur: 36]. Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, and Al-Hasan commented; "The 'houses' are those masjid that were dedicated to the worship of Allah. And verily, the masjid light up the earth for the inhabitants of the heavens, just as stars light up the heavens for the inhabitants of the earth". With respect to the Muslim youth, the current mosque attitudes towards them are in stark contrast to the encouragement the Prophet (saw) gave to youth to use the mosque to learn Islam, to teach, to use its facilities and learn the Islamic disciplines. As an example, he (saw) constructed a Minbar for young Hassan (ra) and Hussein (ra) so that they

"The mosques of Allah shall be visited and maintained by such as who believe in Allah and the Last Day, who establish regular prayers and pay the zakah and fear none but Allah. It is they who are on the true guidance" [TMQ At-Taubah: 18].

adhan for Jihad. The mosque was therefore not just a place for prayer, Tarawih, Janaza and other Islamic rituals - it was used as a centre point for the Muslims from where they conducted their affairs according to Islam.

CONCLUSION The Masjid had a great significance in the life of Muhammad (saw). On immediate arrival in Madinah, he went forth to locate a suitable location for a Masjid and organised its construction. It is a sign from him that the Masjid is a vital cornerstone in the building of any Muslim community and indeed the Islamic State. It is the responsibility of the mosque committees, the Imams and the local Muslim community to ensure that the mosques are always a reflection of Islam, not a "British Islam", nor one created through fear and pressure, by being actively involved in them. The Muslim community have a duty to remind those who run the mosques and the Imams that the mosque should remain a place where Islam is the reference point and all Islamic affairs are discussed.

The 'fear of none but Allah' is a key criteria for any committee member of any mosque. It ensures that the mosque is organised according to Islam and only used for the purposes of Islam and not as a tool for personal, business or governmental goals. Regarding the type of discussion permitted in the mosque, Allah (swt) issues a stern warning;

"And who is worse in oppression than the one who prevents the name of Allah being mentioned in the Masaajid of Allah, and works to destroy them?" [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 114]. This is of particular significance for those who enforce silence regarding discussions of Islamic politics in the mosque. Allah (swt) scorns those who prevent the remembrance of Allah's (swt) name, his teachings and law to be discussed in the mosque. It further warns against those who work to destroy them which thereby prohibits extending invitations to people who advise Muslims on a basis other than Islam, such as local MPs who call for active involvement in the non-Islamic political process. Reflecting on the use of the mosque by our leading example, Muhammad (saw), we find that it was where the Prophet (saw) treated the wounded from battle and where the Islamic Hukm (rule) was announced, no matter how controversial it may have been such as the banning of intoxicants mentioned in Surah al-Baqarah. It is where the Sahabah sat and recollected poetry, where the war booty was distributed, where the Prophet (saw) would enjoy a rest and sleep as a traveller and where he ordered the

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DR. J A MIL R A H M A N [W e st Lo n d o n] e m a il: j a mil.r a h m a n @1924. or g

EDUCATION DILEMMA I

n an address to the Church of England's synod in November 2001, the former UK Education Secretary Estelle Morris observed that; "‌education is one of the key building blocks of our society, and schools have a vital role to play in helping to build local communities based on tolerance, respect and understanding." She thereby eloquently described the important role in society of education in inculcating core beliefs and values within its population. Indeed such indoctrination is crucial to maintaining stability and order in any community or nation, regardless of what particular ideology or way of life it follows. Through the process of education, firm foundations are laid in the minds of the impressionable children of today, who tomorrow will become citizens that uphold and convey the values that facilitate the prosperity of the nation as a whole. Education therefore presents a crucial opportunity of shaping young minds in a way that accepts without question values of capitalist society. In effect, they are a 'clean slate' ready to be imprinted with all that is held as desirable by the icons and policymakers of contemporary life. This is all well and good for a capitalist-minded population living in a 'freedom loving' society. But what of us Muslims? Does the education system in the West achieve its objective of making young Muslims into model British citizens, shining examples for all to follow? Perhaps, but the question Muslims must ask themselves is, is this really such a good thing?

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EDUCATION AS A MEANS OF INDOCTRINATION Children are ultimately impressionable, and thus easily influenced by the information that is fed to them. Their fresh intellects are unlikely to present any meaningful resistance, as they are unable to refute or challenge any potentially erroneous concepts or inclinations that may be built within them. If children are taught that certain beliefs and values, or patterns of behaviour are good and acceptable, they are highly likely to follow them. This is even more so the case if the wider society, the media, popular culture, political life etc, gives credence to them also. That is why in a world where many conflicting values abound, and particularly in a 'multicultural' society like Britain, great care and attention is now being focused on education as a means of minimising the potentially disastrous consequences of a 'clash of civilisations' developing within the society. To a large extent, the older generation of first wave Muslim immigrants to the UK did little to challenge what the indigenous population held as norms and values. In fact, they desired little more than to be accepted by the host population, and sometimes went to extreme lengths in order to become more 'British than the British.' The next generation, and the one after that, have become less enamoured with the Western way of life they have inherited. After witnessing the hardships faced by their forefathers in being accepted, and then observing the brutality and double standards of their new political leaders, a large proportion of these people are now turning away from, and even outright rejecting those values which many of their parents tried so hard to make their own.

This is among the key factors that have determined the new shape of education in Britain. Numerous measures have been taken to update the education process in order to reverse these trends. In the wake of recent events such as the Oldham and Bradford riots, which were attributed to segregation on racial grounds, and September 11th and its aftermath, Muslims have found themselves amidst intensified calls and carefully planned initiatives of the British government to integrate into the "multi-cultural society." In the modern climate of anti-Islamic fervour, fuelled by highly charged counter-terror campaigns, these steps affect the whole population, and Muslims in particular are encouraged to embrace and take pride in a new identity, the "British Muslim." Although many in the Muslim communities view education as purely a means for gaining knowledge and achieving qualifications, they should be aware that it is in fact a means of ideological indoctrination and developing personalities loyal to the host nation's identity.

THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM With the aid of the recent education reforms, the National Curriculum has become a comprehensive manual, aimed at developing the Western personality and in fact is a process to achieve this from the moment children's formal education begins until they leave as mature adults. In this new system traditional subjects like mathematics, English, sciences, humanities and the languages continue to serve as a means of education and achieving academic competencies. These serve the objective of producing an


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educated population able to contribute to the workforce demands of the world's fourth largest economy. However, we also now see a broader spectrum of subjects being introduced and revised syllabi for existing subjects, which deal with additional behavioural values. These are designed to address the concerns of social interaction, codes of conduct, societal norms, values and political processes. In order to address these from a western perspective we find the promotion of ideas such as integration, tolerance, pluralism and "multiculturalism". Accordingly we see rules of civil conduct promulgated in citizenship classes, morality and ethics in religious education classes, and sexual values and drug/alcohol awareness in Personal Social Education classes, all administered through a carefully constructed syllabus. The National Curriculum aims to inculcate children with some of the core values of secular society. The foremost of these is the concept of secularism itself. The knowledge and concern with The Creator and the purpose of life is given little attention. Instead it is set aside and the main emphasis for life is placed on this life and the maximum material pleasure and benefit that can be obtained from it. On close examination of the curriculum, principles of secularism are clearly manifested. In religious education (RE) classes, Christianity, which is the religion of the state, is represented as a set of rituals and traditions of worship. At the same time science classes assert that the universe came from a 'Big Bang' without any reference to a Creator, Biology would provide a confusing collection of theories regarding the origins and evolution of man, undermining the position of religion altogether, and economics lessons would teach man made theories of wealth distribution that completely contradict the most basic of Christian values, i.e. love for your neighbour but promote individualistic values such as survival of the fittest. The National Curriculum explains that; "RE promotes the values and attitudes needed for citizenship in a democratic society by helping pupils to understand and respect people of different beliefs, practices, races and cultures. Similarities and differences in commitment, selfunderstanding and the search for the truth and meaning can be recognised, respected and valued for the common good." In this way, true to the core values of secularism, it equalises all religions with atheism, and obscures the concept of religious truth. On June 24th 2002 at the first anniversary of the Association of Citizenship Teaching (ACT)

chairperson, David Barrs stated; "Citizenship will be a statutory entitlement in secondary schools from September‌.Citizenship is more then a subject. It is about values, attitudes and a commitment to effective democracy." In addition, the national curriculum states that the role of religious education is to "deal with religious and moral beliefs and values that underpin personal choices and behaviour (e.g. relationships), social policies and practices (e.g. crime and punishment) and concepts and patterns of health (e.g. use of drugs)." But at the same time, Personal Social Education (PSE) classes advocate personal freedom as the fundamental value of Capitalism, which it applies to some controversial subjects such as modern relationships, sex education, abortion, drugs and alcohol awareness. In light of the above descriptions, the implications of education according to the National Curriculum for Muslims are devastating. In each point mentioned, there lurks an insidious attack against core values of Islamic belief and practice. By subjecting our children to it, we may be inadvertently exposing them to values that clearly contradict Islam, the realisation that many of these will be taught as fact must be an even greater cause for concern.

sexually transmitted infections, the Department of Health has proposed that condoms and contraceptive pills should be available in schools. More recently in March 2003, a trial scheme in the North of England saw pharmacies offering free condoms to teenagers. In the May 2003 issue of 'Sugar' magazine, which is aimed at school children aged between 11-15 years, entitled "Are you cool about condoms?" its young readers were given the opportunity to order a free condom on line from a sexual health website as part of the Marie Stopes international contraception campaign. The magazine cited a survey that reflected the high level of promiscuity amongst children in British society. It stated that out of 1,077 children aged between 11-15, more then a quarter of 11 year olds in the UK knew someone of their own age who has had a sexual relationship. This overwhelming picture of moral degradation in society unfortunately includes Muslim youth who have been swept along by the tide of 'Western culture' at the cost of their Islamic identity. Sadly many of the statistics above include significant proportions of young Muslims. As in the case of their schoolyard colleagues, the Western education system, has not only stripped them of their noble religious values, but has plunged them headlong into a life of misguidance, rebellion and waywardness.

THE BITTER FRUITS OF WESTERN EDUCATION What is the result of such rigorous training and culturing? The outcome amongst youth of today is apparent. What we see is the consequences of individuals ultimately exercising the so-called 'personal freedom' that they have learnt about at school. We witness a society that is filled with moral and social degradation, apostasy, promiscuity, crime and anti-social behaviour, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, to name but a few of the prevalent ills. We see a society where according to government statistics in 2002, 50% of street crimes were committed by under 15's. Where truancy is a major problem faced by schools, according to the Department of Education this problem amounts to more than 50,000 children at any one time, or 7.5 million school days per year. In addition, what is very disturbing is the disintegration of family values. In the UK 90,000 teenagers annually become pregnant, 7,700 are under 16 and 2,200 of these are aged 14 and under. This places the UK with the highest rates of teenage pregnancy anywhere in Western Europe and second highest in the developed world behind the USA. In a bid to reduce these figures as well as the increased figures of

CURRENT ATTEMPTS AT ISLAMIC SCHOOLING HAVE FAILED In an effort to resolve the problems of Muslim youth adopting a 'Western lifestyle' and moving away from Islam, we have seen in recent years the emergence of Islamic schools. Whilst they provide an Islamic sanctuary to a certain extent, that is mainly with respect to a segregated environment and the teaching of Islamic rituals such as praying, reciting Qur'an and learning the Arabic language. They generally lack however, in producing Islamic personalities and addressing the Shari'ah law with regards to the broader affairs of life. What fails to be comprehended is that the root of the numerous social problems faced by Muslims in today's climate, is the result of a secular approach to teaching, whether the school is Islamic or not. Currently many Islamic schools are duty bound to follow the National Curriculum set by the government in exchange for state funding. Those that are not state-funded are most often still bound by a curriculum that inadvertently upholds some extent of secular values. For example, such schools may maintain either directly or implicitly, that religion and politics are not intermixed Hence the inevitable result of such 'Islamic

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education,' is that effectively children may identify themselves as "ethnically Muslims," instead of "ideologically Muslims." They would have an attachment to Islam and possess knowledge of the Islamic rituals, but may still have mixed personalities based on concepts from conflicting sources instead of an Islamic personality with the Islamic aqeedah, as the only source of reference. So when they reach maturity they may be mindful of salah, observe fasts, remember Allah (swt), but at the same time participate in the non-Islamic business ventures, engage in interest based loans or participate in the democratic political process of the country, thereby contradicting the laws of Shari'ah.

PARENT'S RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS THEIR CHILDREN The purpose of this article is to raise awareness of the fact that education is vital in the personality development of children and it can be used in a good or bad way. Indeed its powerful ability to produce benefit for individuals and the society at large should not be underestimated. Unfortunately, in a society dominated by capitalist values and ideas, curriculum education will inevitably be used to indoctrinate children with notions such as 'freedom' and 'democracy.' Islam recognises the importance and need for education as the Messenger (saw) commanded knowledge upon all Muslims, and to seek it as far as they could reach it at all times. He (saw) said;

"To seek knowledge is compulsory on every Muslim male and female." He (saw) said;

"If a man learns a chapter of knowledge, it is better than the world and its contents." He (saw) said;

"If a man seeks the path of acquiring knowledge, God guides him to a path leading to paradise."

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In view of this, the responsibility has now fallen upon the shoulders of Muslim parents to be responsible for what is taught to their children. Accordingly, parents must be aware of what is being taught at school and realise the potential implications this may have with regards to their child's Islamic personality. In the West there is an endless debate as to who is responsible for the actions of the children, where parents blame the teachers and the teachers the parents; the end result is that in many cases children are left neglected. Unfortunately some Muslim parents have become so immersed in Western culture and the pursuit of material goals, that they overlook the basic responsibility towards their children. This is so much so that the children are left to turn to kufr society as their adoptive parents. In Islam the responsibility lies primarily with the parents and is one that demands the protection of children from all kufr thoughts.

"O you who believe, save yourselves and your families from the hellfire" [TMQ Tahrim: 6].

EDUCATION IN ISLAM In Islam the curriculum of the education system is centred around the Islamic Aqeedah with the purpose of instilling an Islamic personality amongst individuals that would be exhibited both in thoughts and action. It would prevent any opportunity for kufr thought to lead them away from their Deen. It would arm children with the knowledge whereby every action undertaken with respect to the affairs of life would be referred back to the Aqeedah of Islam and consequently the laws of Shari'ah. It would engender in children a sense of responsibility and accountability, to Allah (swt) first and foremost and by extension to those around them. In Islam there is no concept of 'teenager' or 'adolescent'; only a concept that recognises that accountability for actions begins at maturity regardless of age. For when a child becomes mature, they are both physically and mentally able to judge, decide and think for themselves how they should live their lives. This is the age at which Shari'ah stipulates that accountability starts. Therefore it is vitally important that children are, well before this age, prepared by the education system in the best way possible to meet the commands of their Creator, Allah (swt). After all, the very purpose of life itself is to worship Allah (swt), and therefore the education that leads to an Islamic awareness and a personality built on the Aqeedah is a pre-requisite more important than learning about science or the arts.

However, Islamic education would not neglect more conventional knowledge of the sciences, arts and other general subjects. This is necessary to produce a population that is well versed in the affairs of life, and able to deal with the many situations that arise in private and civil affairs, and also for the Islamic society to progress in all fields of science and technology, providing an impetus for the general progress of society as a whole. Nonetheless, those issues whose contents have been distorted by the materialistic culture to embody concepts that would contradict the Islamic Aqeedah would not be taught. Examples of this include evolution theory in biology classes, nationalism in geography classes or learning of non-Islamic philosophies and religions. Indeed, during the history of Islam, the Islamic education system was one that commanded respect the world over. It raised the Muslims to such heights as to witness a period of prosperity and intellectual advancement unrivalled anywhere. And the purpose of this was not to obtain any worldly goal or selfish, consumerist agenda, rather its aim was to seek the pleasure of Allah (swt). The Muslim scholars made original contributions in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, medicine and chemistry, jurisprudence, engineering, agriculture, language and translation and countless other disciplines.


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PRACTICAL MEASURES FOR MUSLIM PARENTS All Muslim parents must be aware of the society in which they live in and must not be or remain in ignorance of what is being taught to their children at school. Allowing children to be cultured with kufr thoughts and values is Haram. A child in his early, formative years is extremely vulnerable and will therefore be susceptible to embracing kufr values without question. This would inevitably lead to the establishment of inclinations and actions that are not in line with the Islamic Aqeedah and would be detrimental to his or her Islamic personality. It is therefore a responsibility in these days for every parent to take measures to ensure that their child is protected from embracing the kufr way of life. Proposed measures could include the following: Home schooling is one option available to all parents and is a right established in English law. The rights of parents are outlined in the 1996 Education Act. It states that parents have the legal right to educate their child in accordance with their own beliefs and values. This entitles Muslim parents to keep their children at home to be educated or to seek other alternatives from mainstream education in order to provide their children with the correct Islamic education and environment. The act states that parents must ensure that their children are literate, numerate and have knowledge of the sciences, history and geography but are free to choose the most appropriate learning methods. An Islamic education can encapsulate all of these subjects. Parents are not obliged to follow the National Curriculum in home schooling. A second alternative is to send the children to Islamic schools. As mentioned previously, whilst they may provide a segregated and Islamic environment to a certain degree they are generally still deficient in providing a full understanding of the Deen with regards to the broader affairs of life. Here the responsibility lies with the parents to ensure that they bridge any gaps in the child's understanding. They must also actively assess what their children are learning from other children, Muslim or not, whose ideas may be incorrect and consequently have an impact on a child's understanding of the Deen. And of course the parents must be careful to filter out any negative influences that children are exposed to from the wider society. Additionally, Muslims can try to establish Islamic schools that are not deficient in providing a full understanding of the Deen about the broader affairs of life.

CONCLUSION The agenda of integration has become a powerful new force in multicultural British society. More than ever before, Muslims have become a direct target in the drive to neutralise in the population any concepts and values alien to the Western culture of capitalism, freedom and secularism. The education system has become one of the main tools to achieve this aim, and this is a clear danger for Muslims living in such societies.

the Ummah today will continue to pull young Muslims into the endless abyss of a morally degenerate and misguided Western society.

"O you who believe, save yourselves and your families from the hellfire" [TMQ Tahrim: 6].

It is essential for Muslim parents to recognise that the current social problems seen amongst Muslims in Western societies are a direct result of a secular approach to their Deen. This approach has been carefully structured through an education system which results in the assimilation of kufr values and beliefs into the minds of those who pass through it. Its aim is to taint the Islamic personalities of our children and dilute the understanding of their Deen, integrating them into a 'multicultural society,' in which they will have 'secular-Muslim' identities, carrying the values of freedom and democracy. Islam is an ideology and not just the set of rituals and moral values that it has come to be taught as in schools, whether Islamic or secular. Until we and our children return to ideological Islam, bringing all thoughts and actions in line with the Aqeedah of Islam, the social problems that afflict

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A HM A D JASSAT [E a st L o n d o n] e m a il: a h m a d .j a ss a t@1924. or g

SURVIVAL GUIDE:

BUYING A HOUSE T

he issue of housing is an important part of the economic system that we all have to deal with. We all need a house for shelter from the elements and as a base for our everyday activities. But, if you consider for a moment our own situation living in the West, housing throws up many problems. At the beginning of the millennium house prices sky rocketed and everyone was left wondering how and why. The threat of ever increasing prices put everyone under pressure to get on the 'property ladder' as soon as possible, no matter what the sacrifices. Thus prices continued to soar despite the already over inflated market. Just a few years on economists are now warning that house prices are due to fall sharply. 'What goes up must come' down they tell us. Thus many people are likely to want to sell so as not to fall into the "negative equity trap", that is the risk of not being able to pay off the loan even by selling the house. Thus house prices are pushed downwards. This is typical of the 'boom and bust' economic system of Capitalism. This article will expose the inherent flaws in Capitalism which causes this exploitative system of distribution. Today the difference between the 'have's' and 'have nots' is the owning of your own property. Those who 'succeed' can then afford to take out a second or multiple Buy-to-Let mortgages and rent out to the 'have nots' who see no return on their

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ever increasing rent which only pays the landlord's mortgages or as most people see it, it pays for the landlords Mercedes. This is a downward spiral that makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. Furthermore as Muslims, we are trying to find ways to get ahead of the game without paying interest which is clearly haram. Despite this, some parents put a lot of pressure on their children to get a mortgage once they graduate and start earning money for themselves. This is due to them having become accustomed to seeing life according to the Capitalist viewpoint. They see the prosperity of their children in terms of the return on the effort they put in by settling in this country and educating / bringing up their children all for the sake of a better life. This article will address these problems faced by Muslims living in the West, calling upon the community to unite behind the pure thoughts of Islam without compromise. In the current economic climate, the price of even modest accommodation is staggering. If you take a house suitable for a family, the cost of buying it would range from about £150,000 to £500,000 or more, depending on its location. In some parts of London it would not be unusual to see 1 bedroom flats advertised at 2 million pounds or above. These figures, of course, go far beyond the actual cost of the materials and labour required to

actually build these houses. In reality, they are artificially inflated to create a source of business for banks and building societies from people who have been forced to deal with them in order to buy a house to satisfy their basic needs. This is the exploitative nature of the capitalist system in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Considering that you have to provide for your family - food, clothing, bills, education etc. After all these are taken care of, does your income put you in a position to afford to buy a house? Almost certainly not! In a Capitalist society, the majority of the wealth is actually in the hands of a tiny minority of the population. So we know that the captain of the English football team, David Beckham, paid 10 million pounds in cash for a mansion, while the majority of his fans and worshipers can not even afford a new fridge freezer worth £200 without taking out a loan. Under the influence of the Secular creed of Capitalism, England in 1545 removed the biblical prohibition on interest charges and fixed a legal maximum interest; other countries followed. Since then Capitalist economies have become credit economies where the economy is artificially propped up by the debt culture. In Britain the average debt on credit cards alone has been estimated by some at £5500 per household. In other words the economy is artificially inflated


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by billions of pounds just by credit card debt. In addition to this people take out loans to pay for almost every major purchasing decision, their family car, their kitchen and bathroom suits, their children's education and even their mobile phone. Likewise when it came to buying a house, which for most people is the biggest purchasing decision they make in their lives, the only solution people are being offered is to take out a mortgage from a financial institution like a bank or building society. In theory, a mortgage offers people the ability to own a house which they would otherwise never be able to afford. This is achieved by securing a loan to buy the house which is paid back in affordable instalments over a long period of time. The bank or building society will charge interest on the amount of money borrowed. This system of house ownership is one of the most exploitative aspects of the capitalist system. It has resulted in a phenomenal transfer of wealth upwards from the poor to the rich. It is in reality nothing short of theft, fraud and deception.

RIP-OFF BRITAIN Let us consider why the price of a house is so high in the first place. If most people could not afford to buy a house and there was no concept of usury based mortgages, then surely those who want to sell their houses would eventually reduce the prices. The whole usury based mortgage system supports the inflated prices. The claim is that the mortgage system makes houses affordable but the reality is that the mortgage system actually makes houses unaffordable unless you accept to be exploited by a mortgage. Furthermore making usury lawful has resulted in a similar affect on the prices of most high cost goods and services, including building materials and construction. To the common man in the UK this phenomenon is known as "Rip-off Britain".

expect that all the money paid would be returned but it is usually only a fraction of what has been paid which is returned because most or all of the money would have paid the interest.

TYPES OF MORTGAGE Mortgages make it extremely difficult to pay off debt. There are two basic types of mortgage; repayment or interest only. A repayment mortgage is where the fixed monthly payment first pays the interest due on the loan and then what is left is paid towards the price of the house. This is to ensure that the bank gets its money first. For a large part of the term of the mortgage the interest payment will take up a higher proportion of the monthly payment since the interest due is on a larger part of the loan. Typically, in this type of loan, 90% of the first payment would go towards the interest and 10% towards the equity. This may tempt many to try and make overpayments in order to cut the amount of interest being paid in future payments. However, this is easily discouraged as the banks have the legal right to impose heavy penalties. Although some banks allow overpayments it is their legal right to start charging penalties if too many people were making overpayments. This ensures the banks maximise their profits at the expense of the borrower.

OWNERSHIP

An interest only mortgage is where the monthly payment only pays the interest due on the loan and the rest goes into an investment fund, which could be an endowment policy, an ISA or some other usurious device which are glossily termed 'financial products'. So of the monthly payment nothing is ever used to pay the actual loan. Rather all hope is put in to gambling on the financial markets. The hope is that the money paid towards the investment fund will 'mature' (another glossy term) over the 25, 30 or 50 years in order to pay off the loan in one lump sum.

The claim that with a mortgage you own your own house is very deceiving. In reality the deeds of the property are locked away in the banks safe until you make your last payment and that is usually after 25 years. Nowadays due to the over inflated prices people are being offered mortgages up to 6 times their salary over longer periods of time such as 50 years. This means that people don't really own their own house for at least 25 years. Any failure to make the monthly payment will result in repossession of the house. This is even if they have paid off 50% or 90% of the price. The bank or building society will sell the house and return what was paid towards the price of the house. It might be reasonable to

Anyone unfortunate enough to be trapped in an endowment mortgage will definitely know of the worsening mortgage endowments crisis which has been going on for many years. In May 2002 the government's watchdog, The Financial Services Authority told the BBC 1 Panorama programme that a majority of endowment policy holders - 3 million households, may find they have a shortfall. In June 2003 there was a warning that thousands of more homeowners, relying on endowments to pay off their mortgages, are likely to be told the policies are unlikely to produce the cash they need. Similarly, mortgage company Standard Life revealed at least 75% of its 1.4m mortgage endowments are

facing some kind of shortfall. Norwich Union announced that final payouts on many so called 'with-profits' policies, such as endowments and pensions, are being cut by up to 5%. This comes on top of cuts of up to 20% announced in January. Quite clearly the system is in a mess. Those trapped inside it usually have to pay heavy penalties to switch their mortgages to another company or surrender or 'cash in' their policies early. Again this is completely legal for the corporations and it demonstrates time and time again that the system of capitalism is established on concepts which allow the corporations to steal from the poor to feed the rich.

TYPES OF INTEREST RATE Regarding the interest rate that mortgage payments are subject to. This is the money that the borrower is charged for taking the loan, it is calculated as a percentage of the original amount borrowed and is usually paid annually. Capitalist economists call it the price of money. If you consider a modest loan of 100 000 pounds borrowed over 25 years at 7% per annum on an interest only mortgage, the actual cost of taking the loan is 175%. Although the word 'percentage' conjures up an image of a fraction in actual fact due to this method of making money out of money the actual cost of borrowing far exceeds the amount borrowed. This is revealed in the case of our example the loan of ÂŁ100 000 which turns into a ÂŁ275 000 repayment. In the IMF's World Economic Outlook report published in April, the housing bubble was cited as one of the many "threats" to the world economy in the next year. The description of the housing market as a bubble appropriately describes the fickle nature of capitalist economics. House prices as well as interest rates, which is considered to be the price of borrowing, typically undergo boom and bust fluctuations. Western economists have analyzed this for many years. The nature of the types of mortgages has evolved in order to ensure that the Capitalist Banks gain the maximum profit in exploiting the people. If you consider the different types of interest rates you can "choose" for your various types of mortgage you will find that the variable rate interest is more attractive during a period of declining interest rates while the fixed rate interest rates are most attractive during a period of increasing interest rates. Thus the consumer is led to believe that he has choice. In reality this means that when the interest rates start to climb out of a bust cycle most people who would have chosen variable interest rates end up paying far more than they expected in interest payments. Alternatively when the interest rate is declining

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TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE Thus despite claims to the contrary, taking on a mortgage hardly provides security and peace of mind. To quote from the Money Extra internet website which provides information to potential house buyers; "Buying a property is considered as traumatic as divorce or losing someone close" A recently published government Green Paper on housing in Britain, the first to be published in 23 years, acknowledges the failure of the capitalist system. In the foreword by Deputy Prime minister, John Prescott, he begins optimistically with the words; "As we enter the 21st century, we are enjoying unprecedented levels of prosperity. In a prosperous country it is right that we should strive towards giving everyone the opportunity of a decent home. That is the Government's objective." Remember prosperity in capitalist society is measured by the level of production not by the fairness of the distribution of that production. In an imaginary economy where David Beckham lived in his £10 million mansion alongside 51 million homeless beggars, the capitalists would consider that the society is enjoying unprecedented levels of prosperity, because the average price of a house is 10 million pounds! John Prescott then continues… from its boom cycle, most of the people who now have chosen the fixed interest rates are paying a higher rate of interest compared to the current market rate. Of course over the years the capitalist companies invent ever more sophisticated tools of exploitation which they call financial products. Thus nowadays there are many other evil mutations of fixed and variable interest rates.

NEGATIVE EQUITY TRAP Due to the boom and bust of capitalism, the price of a house could drop within a matter of years to even as much as half of the original price. The homeowner could then be paying a debt which he could not recover even if he sold the house! This is known as the "Negative equity trap" and is a constant source of concern for those unconvincingly called "house owners". Considering the wider picture, in these times it is not likely that only house prices will be falling; employment, salaries, even jobs are all affected. Eventually the economy goes into recession. This is what happened in the 1980 where despite a period of boom and the Thatcher government's promise to turn Britain into a home-owning

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democracy, the result was a heavy recession followed by mass home repossessions. This is what economists are again warning of because recently the monthly growth in the housing sector fell below the 1% mark.

SOME PEOPLE HAVE TO DIE BEFORE THEY OWN THEIR OWN HOUSE When people take out a mortgage, they are under pressure to buy insurance policies. These begin with Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee (MIG) which the borrower pays to cover the lender in case they may not be able to make a monthly instalment. The borrower has to even take out life insurance in case he dies before paying of the mortgage. Thus we see how the system creates the problem and makes the consumer pay for it. The wealth controlling capitalist corporations are able to exploit the general public who are in constant anxiety about their financial situation. This is the situation that left a farther saying to his son; "don't worry son, when your mother dies, you'll own the house".

"But many have bad experiences with their housing. Too many are in poor accommodation. Years of underinvestment in social housing have left a £19 billion repair backlog. Too many face real difficulty in finding a decent and affordable home. Too many have no choice and control over where they live. Choice in social housing is distorted when rents differ for no good reason. Some people remain homeless. Many of those who wish to own their home have problems getting onto the housing ladder. And those trying to buy and sell properties face a stressful time." [John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister Foreword to Government Green paper on Housing (Quality and Choice: A Decent Home for All - The Housing Green Paper - Published 28 April 2000)]

CHOICE? The BBC consumer watchdog unit gives a revealing view; "Buying property is rarely straight forward and can be very time consuming with tension and stress. Ultimately it is very satisfying and in the end you'll have a home to live in and enjoy." [http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/guides_to/buyi


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ngandrenting/] This gives an insight into the obvious question in our minds. Why do people let themselves be exploited in this way? Having recognised the exploitative nature of this method of house ownership it seeks to console its readers because there does not appear to be any other practical way out. The government for its part is there to make it very difficult to offer any alternatives. The government has come under sever criticism for its reluctance to increase the housing stock by building new housing. From 1999 - 2001 only 400 council houses were built in the whole of Britain compared to the 1930s where half a million public homes were built every year. Furthermore, as John Prescott said; "Years of underinvestment in social housing have left a ÂŁ19 billion repair backlog." (i.e. in council housing). Recently the government has even announced a clamp down on council tenants' right to buy scheme. The mass proportions of people in western societies are enslaved to the system. All other means have been removed from their sight to the point where they lose all hope that the system will help them by looking after their affairs. In fact this would be something forbidden according to the capitalist viewpoint in life and its concept of freedom of ownership. This idea in its pure form, forbids the state to provide anything to the poor other than the right to own property. The theory claims that if people are left to be free then this will lead to the optimal level of satisfaction in the society. As we have seen it has led to nothing but a system of exploitation, fraud and deception.

the touch of the devil; this is because they say: "Trade is similar to interest" while Allah has permitted trade and forbidden interest." [TMQ al-Baqarah : 275] Allah (swt) also said;

"O believers, fear Allah and give up the interest that remains outstanding if you are believers. If you do not do so, then be sure of being at war with Allah and his Messenger. But if you repent, you can have your principal. Neither should you commit injustice nor should you be subjected to it." [TMQ al-Baqarah : 278-279] Rasoolallah (saw) explained how on the Day of Hisab those people will be given a sword by the angels and they will be told to go and fight Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw) because they declared war on them. Then these people will slit their own throats with their swords. Narrated by Jabir; "The Prophet (saw) cursed the receiver and the payer of interest, the one who records it and the one who witnesses it and he said; "They are all alike."" [Muslim, Tirmidhi and Ahmad] Narrated by Abu Hurayrah; The Prophet (saw) said;

We as Muslims also realise that despite this terrible situation we have to fulfil our obligations to our families, our parents, the community and the Islamic Da'wah to the very best of out ability. The following evidences demonstrate these points. Abdullah ibn Umar narrated; I heard Allah's Messenger (saw) saying;

WHAT IS THE ISLAMIC RULE REGARDING TAKING A MORTGAGE Taking a mortgage involving any type of usury / interest is categorically forbidden in Islam no matter what the hardship or difficulty. Allah (swt) says in the Qur'an;

"Riba has seventy segments, the least serious being equivalent to a man committing adultery with his own mother" It is hope that these evidences will be enough to put the fear of Allah into anyone who covets the corrupt capitalist criteria of benefit and compromise when viewing the affairs of life.

MUSLIMS IN THE WEST

"Those who benefit from interest shall be raised like those who have been driven to madness by

We as Muslims in the West have to recognise that our situation and that the whole society will be miserable until Islam is established via the Khilafah. We should not expect justice from the kufr system and neither should we expect our affairs or indeed the affairs of the society to be looked after correctly by the man made system of Capitalism.

"Everyone of you is a guardian, and responsible for what is in his custody. The ruler is a guardian of his subjects and responsible for them; a husband is a guardian of his family and is responsible for it; a lady is a guardian of her husband's house and is responsible for it, and a servant is a guardian of his master's property and is responsible for it." I heard that from Allah's Messenger (saw) and I think that he also said;

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Muslims effort and intellectual creativity. This is the real challenge faced by the Muslim community in the West. We need to establish a situation in the community so that our only basis for behaviour amongst ourselves and with the kufr society is Islam. "A man is a guardian of his father's property and is responsible for it, so all of you are guardians and responsible for your wards and things under your care." [Bukhari] Allah (swt) revealed;

"Say: If your parents, your children, your brethren, your wives, your tribe, the wealth you have acquired, a merchandise for which you fear that there would be no sale and dwellings you desire are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and Jihad in his way, then wait till Allah brings His command, and Allah would not guide the wrong-doing folk" [TMQ At Taubah: 24]

Thus we must make our best effort to fulfil our obligations according to the priority given by Islam, and put our trust in Allah;

"Who is the one who is going to give you rizq (provisions) if Allah with holds it from you" [TMQ Mulk: 21] We must remove the shackles of the defeated mentality that some of the first generation came to the West with. In this way we will generate an atmosphere in which Muslims compete with each other in fulfilling the obligations for the sake of Allah (swt) according to Islam unlike the competition for material wealth according to the ways of capitalism. We will become creative in finding ways to deal with our problems within the framework of the Islamic Shari'ah and not the framework of the capitalist system. Developing solutions that are practical and within the framework of the Shari'ah, will require from the

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The Muslim community's insistence on the prohibition of interest has led to the launch of various 'Islamic mortgages' from major corporations such as HSBC Bank. Although they are more expensive than traditional mortgages they are being hailed as the Islamic alternative. In light of this we would like to list certain key principles that should be kept in mind when evaluating these and other financial products that are likely to be launched. The first key principle in evaluating any new matter that comes along, whether it is in the field of economics, cloning or politics is that it must conform in all its details to the Islamic Shari'ah. This means that they must be evaluated according to the textual evidences from the Quran and Sunnah. It is forbidden to argue from any other basis such as; benefit or necessity (except in cases that lead to loss of life which the Shari'ah recognises). The second key principle is that when we study a house finance product we should study it with an open and objective mind with no preconceived conclusions one way or the other. We should not accept the arguments of people who decided it is halal then looked for evidences to justify this, neither should we accept the arguments of people who decided it is haram then looked for evidences to support that. Thirdly we should study the products diligently and properly from its reality, not superficially or in a way which is not serious. Fourthly just because a product is portrayed as halal does not make it so, just because a company says it has a Shari'ah Supervisory committee and recognised scholars, does not make its product halal. Not to say that these scholars have performed a wrong ijtihad (derivation) or are corrupt in any sense, but there has been a track record of many internationally recognised scholars who have justified some major issues in recent times which are clearly prohibited e.g. US troops in Saudi in 1990/1991, peace with Israel, riba based mortgages etc. Fifthly just because a product does not contain riba, does not make it halal, nor however does the fact that since the bank may make a profit this somehow constitutes riba through the back door. It is clear that Islamic economics is more than just the absence of riba.

Lastly, there are detailed conditions relating to Islamic contracts that must be studied to ensure that none of these are being contravened. It is important that the Muslim community is aware of the details of these as we are continually engaging in contracts for which we will be accounted by Allah (swt).


RUKS A N A R A H M A N [E a st Lo n d o n ] e m a il: ruks a n a .r a h m a n @1924. or g

MUSLIM WOMEN BETWEEN THE MINISKIRT AND THE VEIL

T

he aftermath of 9/11 saw a barrage of attacks against Islam in the media. The media focus was to put the Muslims in the West in the spotlight. Yet again our identity was being questioned; yet again our position in Britain was being redefined. Anti-Muslim sentiment has been rife throughout Europe. This climate has led to much discussion about the position of Muslims in Western societies, especially with regards to the need to ensure the integration of Muslims into the host society. Many statements made by politicians, highlight the agenda of the government. Peter Hain, the former UK Minister for Europe, said; "We need to work much harder to integrate Muslims in particular, with the rest of society" and Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, stated; "As British Muslims - and their European counterparts - become more and more integrated into the fabric of our democracies, we may over time see the emergence of a distinctly European Islam" [Prospect Magazine, October 2002]. The Muslim woman has not been spared from this conspiracy of the integrationists. The quest to see the Muslim woman truly integrated into the Western society is a quest to strip her of her distinct Islamic identity and to distance her from Islam.

symbolising her inferior position in society, and the West has boasted of its 'unveiling of Afghanistan'. Those involved in this overt campaign include high profile political and public figures such as the US First Lady Laura Bush and the British Prime Minister's wife Cherie Blair who commented openly in a press conference; "Nothing more I think symbolises the oppression of the woman than the Burka." They have been joined by others in their demonisation of the Muslim woman which was highlighted by the French presidential candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen's statement concerning the wearing of the Khimaar [headscarf] and Jilbaab [outer garment]; "It is good, it protects us from the ugly women." This excoriation of the Islamic dress code for women has been matched by leading Western journalists such as Polly Toynbee in 'Behind the Burka' in the Guardian: "The top-to-toe Burka, with its sinister, airless little grille, is more than an instrument of persecution, it is a public tarring and feathering of female sexuality. It transforms any woman into an object of defilement too untouchably disgusting to be seen. It is a garment of lurid sexual suggestiveness...it turns them into cowering creatures demanding and expecting violence and victimisation...More moderate versions of the garb have much the same effect, inspiring the lascivious thoughts they are designed to stifle."

THE MEDIA ONSLAUGHT Ever since the West launched its war on Islam (also known as the 'war on terrorism') there has been much said about the 'Burka' [veil] and its oppression of the Muslim woman, i.e. it

These are just some examples of the recent vilification of the Khimaar and Jilbaab - the modern day 'attack on the veil'. In addition to such public statements, many Muslim women who cover in accordance with the Shari'ah face on

a daily basis, a barrage of comments and criticisms regarding their Islamic attire - these range from shows of sympathy for the 'poor oppressed covered woman' to abuse and threats hurled at the woman who dares to cover in Western society. With such firmly rooted values held by Muslim women in the West, the West has sought to dilute the understanding of the Muslim woman's dress through its media campaign. In October 2002, the BBC reported on a story about Afghanistan called 'Afghan Lipstick Liberation'. It discussed a current project underway, funded by US money to provide the women of Afghanistan with a Western form of a beauty school to be built in Kabul inside the compound of the Afghanistan Ministry of Women's Affairs and to be completed by January 2003. Its objective is to train some of the women of Afghanistan in cutting hair and the 'beauty business' with make-up donated for it from top cosmetic companies such as Revlon and MAC. It is clear that the aim is to instil within the minds of the women the desire to imitate the appearance of the women in the West. Also, in December 2002, in a BBC documentary, entitled 'Faith in Fashion', it discussed specifically the concept of how a woman can be Muslim but still be part of the fashion circle defined by the Western society and aspire to adopt an 'Islamicised' version of Western dress - whatever that may be! Therefore much attention has been placed in discrediting and redefining the Muslim woman's dress and the reinforcement of the Western concept of how to decide what is right and wrong.

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were an average 167 women raped every day in England and Wales. The Western woman is made to believe that revealing clothing accentuates her beauty to men and makes her feel wanted. In fact it has become unusual for women not to reveal their nakedness in public. A woman who wears something less revealing is gossiped about behind her back "what a spinster", "old hag", "she doesn't take care of her self", "she's wasting her good looks". So it is not surprising to find these poor oppressed women on the streets wearing short miniskirts, see through blouses and push up bras in the freezing cold British winters. Western film and media positively glamorise prostitutes and strippers, who are portrayed as confident and in control of their lives, getting paid good money for what they do best and living meaningful and fulfilling lifestyles.

THE VICTIM OF SUCH AN ATTACK

MINISKIRT - SYMBOL OF OPPRESSION

In the face of such an attack, the Muslim woman in Britain feels pushed to be one of three; a liberalist, a traditionalist or the one who fits Islam to fit in with liberal values. The role of Muslim women in society is much discussed in the media. The Muslim who carries liberal values will view the role of the Muslim woman as equal to that of a man since she will adhere to the concept of equality. The Muslim who carries traditional values from Asian or Arab culture will view the woman as a prisoner in her own home, subserviently awaiting her husbands' orders. The third type of Muslim who twists Islam to fit in with liberal values is plagued by the notion that both cultures (Islam and Western) can mix. Such views certainly seek to tarnish the correct identity and reference point for the Muslim woman and turn her into one whose actions serve to anger her Creator, Allah Azza Wa Jall.

Western capitalist society holds sacred the ideas of individual freedom and makes it the basis in deciding what is good and bad in society. The miniskirt, more than any other item of clothing, symbolises the concept of personal freedom. In response to Cherie Blair, I would say that "nothing more I think symbolises the oppression of the Western woman than the miniskirt". In response to Polly Toynbee, I would add that; the top-to-toe nudity, with its sinister, split in the side, is more than an instrument of persecution, it is a public tarring and feathering of female sexuality. It transforms any woman into an object of defilement too cheap to be respected. It is a garment of lurid sexual suggestiveness. It turns them into cowering creatures demanding and expecting violence and victimisation. I would ask them to consider the plight of women in their own societies and realise that the root of the problem is not Islam but Capitalism. Consider the recent statistic published by the UK Home Office stating that (while the government has been busy fighting the war on Islam) incidents of rape in Britain have increased by 27% over the last year. Last year's figures claimed that there

Before considering what should be the response of Muslim women in the West to this attack, let us consider exactly what the West is inviting us to with regard to how we should dress.

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TV advertisements propagate slogans such as "because I'm worth it" implying that a woman who doesn't use their product somehow lacks self-respect. It is no wonder then that the Western woman has become increasingly consumed, obsessed and preoccupied with the way that she looks, often above other issues in life. The UK beauty industry secures a revenue of ÂŁ8.9 billion every year. The revenue of the US cosmetic industry grows by 10% each year. The National Institute of Mental Health in the US claimed that every day in the US, Americans spend on average $109 million on diet or diet related products (one-third the nation's annual food bill). In the US it is said that urban professional women devote up to a third of their income to "beauty maintenance" and consider it a necessary investment. In a study performed by the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 33,000 American women told researchers that they would rather lose 10 to 15 pounds than achieve any other goal. In 1998, a campaign called 'The Bread for Life' surveyed over 900 young women between the ages of 18 and 24 living in the West and published a report called 'Pressure to be Perfect Report' that found that 55% of the women rated looks as the most attractive thing in a woman and only 1% said intelligence.

THE IMPACT ON THE MUSLIM WOMAN'S DRESS Because of such pressure, the Muslim woman who has become a victim of such prevalent Western concepts of individual freedom will also imitate the West in its dress. It is not surprising to see Muslim girls leading a double life. In front of their parents and in the home they lead a life which conforms to cultural expectations and when in school, college or work they strip away


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such an identity and associate themselves with the Western ideas, dress and values. Such a victim is a victim of her own doing since she fails to attach herself to one set of values and conform to them. The 'Westernised' Muslim woman will have no qualms about not wearing the Khimaar and Jilbaab - rather she will see this as impeding her ability to advance in life and further her career prospects. With professions such as being a lawyer, doctor, scientist or even a secretary the Muslim woman feels compelled to adhere to the 'office tart look' or the 'professional chick image' and in her mind wearing the Islamic dress would not allow her to 'fit in'. The same Muslim could also view other aspects of Islam from this perspective. It is common to see Muslim women who have sought careers to delay marriage since it is viewed as hindering their future goals in life and holding them back in life. Their view of being a mother and wife can also be taken from a Western perspective. Therefore such a Muslim is consistently pushed to compromise on the Islamic values of modesty, chastity and bashfulness, for the degenerate Western values of immodesty, vanity and lewdness. Allah (swt) warns the obedient servant of the dangers of following the disbelievers:

"O you who believe! If you listen to a faction among the People of the Book who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians), they would indeed render you disbelievers after you have believed." [TMQ Ale-Imran: 100] The third type of victim is the Muslim woman who adopts the Eastern rather than Western culture. This is the traditional woman who mistakenly believes that she will safeguard her honour and dignity by wearing the infamous shalwar kameez (trousers and tunic). This type of dress is commonly believed to be Islamic. It even comes complete with its very own mini-Hijab called a dupatta (light, colourful but usually very see-through scarf that is used to cover the back part of the head). This type of dress symbolises the oppression of the traditional woman who is enslaved to the irrational Eastern traditions. The traditional woman faces the same conundrum of problems faced by the Westernised woman because she too is pressured into the looks game. She is also victim to the same cosmetics industry. Over the years the traditional shalwar kameez has undergone modifications including larger splits, shorter trousers, almost blouse like body hugging

tunics, short sleeves or no sleeves and larger Vnecks. The shalwar kameez is almost always accompanied with massive jewellery. It is not uncommon to see the latest Bollywood or Lollywood (i.e. Lahori) film actress sporting a form of shalwar kameez that would even make Hollywood stars feel embarrassed.

THE ISLAMIC DRESS CODE FOR MUSLIM WOMEN The woman's 'awrah is her entire body, while her hands and face are the only exception. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said;

"The woman is 'awrah." He also said to Asmaa bint Abu Bakr;

"O Asmaa, if the woman reaches the age of puberty, nothing should be seen of her but this and this." - pointing to his face and hands. These are clear and explicit evidences that the entire body of the woman is 'awrah with the exception of the face and hands, and that the woman is obliged to cover her 'awrah i.e. her entire body with the exception of the face and hands. With regard to the woman's dress in public life, Allah (swt) has obliged her to wear a wrap (Jilbaab) which conceals her (home) clothes and drapes down until it covers her feet. She is not allowed to go out without such a cloth. If she leaves without a Jilbaab over her home clothes, she would be sinful, for she has abandoned an obligation from Allah (swt). As for the upper portion, she must have a Khimaar (head cover) or anything similar, which covers the entire head, the neck and the opening of the garment on the chest. Once the woman has these two items of clothing, she is allowed to leave her home. If the woman does not have these two pieces of clothes, she is not allowed to go out at all. Allah (swt) has said;

"O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (Jalabeeb) all over their bodies" [TMQ Al- Ahzab: 59] Within the private life, the Muslim woman is allowed to reveal her charms to her husband. He is the one who is worthy of looking at his wife and appreciating her beauty and not a foreign man. The Muslim woman can also reveal her charms and wear her home clothes within the bounds of Shar'a in front of her mahram men. This is the correct view of the Islamic dress code, and it is the Hukm of Allah (swt) which does not require any other justification in the face of an intellectual attack. Rather they are rules to be followed such that it will regulate the relationship between men and women in society and such that the basis of the relationship between men and women is not their desires but rather the Shari'ah rules.

CONCLUSION It is an honour for a Muslim woman to obey her Creator and adhere to the rules of the Islamic dress code. She should not feel pressured to adopt the Western view of dress or the Eastern view of dress in public or private life. Islam should be the yardstick by which the Muslim woman's measures her actions and not tradition or the Western culture. Our example should be that of the Sahabiyat who when addressed with the hukm of covering their 'awrah, immediately rose to implement the command of their Creator. With the reference point of Islam firmly rooted in one's mind, regardless of the pressures or the reality, she will be able to maintain her Islamic identity and reference point and feel honoured to be recognised as a Muslim woman in public life.

"Let them draw their head-coverings (khumur) over their necks and bosoms (juyub). And let them not display (more of) their charms to any but their husbands..." [TMQ An- Nur: 31]

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JILA NI G ULA M [E a st L o n d o n] e m a il: jil a ni. g ul a m @1924. org

CRACKING THE DRUG PROBLEM L

iz, a drug addict, describes the behaviour of other addicts; "At a rave party, I saw a guy who had stuffed himself with ecstasy and repeated for hours; 'I am an orange, don't peel me, I am an orange, don't peel me.' Another guy thought he was a fly and wouldn't stop hitting his head against a window." Jean describes the side effects; "When you take ecstasy every night, you feel cold. Your kidneys hurt, your legs hurt. You chew your lips and fingers until they bleed." This is the effect that drugs have upon the mind, yet despite this and the well established links that drugs have to crime and violence, we are now witnessing a problem that has reached epidemic proportions. According to a report by BBC News, drug use is thought to have risen by 30% in the last five years. However, this increase is not specific to just the poorer sectors of society, but affects every sector from the unemployed to the high-flying city workers; from the layman to the judges and politicians. The drugs problem has also plagued the Muslim community. In Keighley, West Yorkshire, Qadir Ahmed, a 24 year old security guard and a known drug dealer was ambushed and hacked to death with axes and knives, by a gang of young Muslim youth; this murder was the culmination of a "turf war" between Qadir and his killers. So why are capitalist societies, from America to Australia, experiencing these problems and why are they unable to deal with them?

FROM ONE "HIGH" TO THE NEXT One thing that characterises all capitalist societies, including Britain, is a life of excess. People go to excesses in satisfying every sensual urge, as this behaviour is not just restricted to the use of narcotic substances. Talk-show programmes are inundated with cases of people who are so obese that they are unable to move. In January 2002 a report appeared highlighting the health dangers associated with obesity. It stated that more than a million British children under the age of 16 are obese, and for the first time in history, more than half of all adults in the UK are officially overweight. People are simply going to excesses in their eating habits; they eat high calorie "junk" food and over-processed convenience foods simply for the good artificial taste, even though in the majority of cases they have a complex regarding their burgeoning weight problem. Do people go to excesses in their eating habits alone? Chris Atkinson, a policy adviser with the NSPCC describes the nature of another problem, paedophilia; "What we know about sex abusers is that you can't spot them. They come from all walks of life, from police officers, judges." What is shocking about Operation Ore, she said, is not only the type of people caught up in it, but the fact that in 95 per cent of the cases, those caught were previously unknown to police. What we are witnessing is the manifestation of a mentality of instant gratification, encapsulated by the famous Latin phrase, "Carpe Diem", which

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roughly translates to "enjoy the present day". People do not worry about such minor details as the future, or the consequences of their actions. They want instant sensual satisfaction, and they want as much of it as possible. From this point of view the amount of pleasure that a drug will provide by intoxicating the mind and temporarily making people see pleasing images and enjoy a feeling of "ecstasy" is enough motivation to take it. The potential side effects, the long term problems or the cost to society do not even figure in the decision making process; the only thing that counts is instant sensual gratification. This mentality is shared by everyone, from the stereotypical unemployed black youth living in a run down housing estate, to the white collar city analyst; this is the basic motivation for action. This basic motivation corrupts people since life becomes a constant pursuit of pleasure, moving from one sensual "high" to another. This mentality makes people a slave to their desires; especially since the same dosage to achieve the last "high" is not enough to achieve it again. People are then forced to increase the dosage in their unquenchable thirst for sensual gratification. This is what traps the casual drug abuser and makes him a junkie, eventually forcing him to take ever increasingly dangerous drugs. So he moves from 'soft' drugs to 'hard'; and from 'hard' drugs to dangerously high dosages.

ESCAPISM The capitalist mindset, dominated by the constant yearning for sensual satisfaction is not one compatible with dealing with problems. This is


c r a c ki n g t h e d ru g p r o b l e m

because problems are the opposite of sensual pleasure; problems lead to displeasure. Paradoxically, many of the problems that people face are created by the capitalist system. For example, the free availability of credit which the banks have promoted leads many to overspend and go into debt; in fact, on average, every person in Britain is in debt to the approximate tune of ÂŁ2500. Another example is the growing number of single parent families created as a result of the concept of sexual freedom, which not only leads to unwanted pregnancies, but also leads to a failure to commit to a long term relationship because one or both partners are "playing the field". This concept coupled with the encouragement of promiscuity by the mass media and society in general is creating serious problems for people in Britain; for example the 2001 Census shows that 1 in 4 families consists of a lone parent, while there are approximately 87,000 teenage pregnancies every year. These and other problems which people face, such as debt, poverty and stress at work wear them down; these problems run counter to the capitalist ethos of "Carpe Diem". For many, they cannot see a way out of their problem; for others they are simply too weak-minded to be able to face such problems. So to deal with this problem drugs are seen as a convenient release; drugs allow one to escape from reality and artificially feel happy. However, when the temporary feeling subsides, they come back to reality only to find that none of these problems have gone away. So the need to escape from these problems remains and hence one is caught in a vicious circle. What is evident from this is that the capitalist goal of maximising pleasure and minimising pain does not only create misery, but it also creates a mentality that is not capable of viewing life correctly and dealing with problems. It creates a weak mentality that is looking for the easiest way out, even if that is in the guise of a drug that temporarily takes the mind away from the reality.

glorify drugs and in some cases contain clear footage of drug abuse. This phenomenon is not limited to music stars, but also encompasses film stars, football players and their like. These trends and this lifestyle is quickly imitated on the street; the youth want to be seen in the latest fashion. Nobody wants to be seen as a social misfit, and hence if So Solid Crew is taking drugs, then to be accepted in their locality, most of the youth will also take drugs. The effect of this upon the youth in particular is devastating; in a report, BBC News found that as many as 1 in 12, twelve-year-olds have taken drugs. Furthermore, the Standing Conference on Drug Abuse says use of illegal drugs has increased eightfold among 15-year-olds in the last 10 years and fivefold among 12-year-olds. To address this problem, the government and some social organisations display their anti-drugs messages, while every so often the music industry makes a token "No" campaign, but these messages are half-hearted and have little impact on society. These music "stars" et al, are simply living the capitalist dream; they have reached the apex of the capitalist goal. They have more money than they could have ever imagined and they are able to buy whatever would give them instant sensual gratification, be it women, alcohol or other drugs. Hence the entertainment industry is simply propagating this achievement of the capitalist dream, and this is why the youth flock to imitate these people, since they too share this same goal, and aspire to achieve it. From time to time, some government ministers reprimand these "stars" and icons for propagating these messages, but the point of their accusations are lost by false facts and semantic counterarguments. The real issue is that the government neither has the will nor the ability to stop this since the so called music stars have the freedom of expression which Capitalism gave them to propagate these images. Since this freedom is sanctified by Capitalism, then how could a capitalist government restrict it?

SO SOLID CREW VERSUS MARY WHITEHOUSE "I ONLY PUFFED, I DIDN'T INHALE" The youth of today are inundated with images and role models cooked up by the entertainment industry and the general media. The youth of today look to such role models as the "So Solid Crew", who are a gang of disaffected youth turned music stars. The image and behaviour that this group portrays is a lifestyle dominated by drugs, guns and sex. So Solid Crew is by no means an exception; music icons such as Puff Daddy, Snoop Doggy Dog, Oasis and Jay Z to name but a few, go as far as making videos which

What has become evident is that the problem of drug abuse is something that stems from the capitalist viewpoint in life. It stems from a mentality of seeking pleasure, which is manifested by the freedom to behave in any way that achieves this pleasure. As a result, Capitalism is unable to solve this problem via its legislation. We have witnessed the pragmatic solution aimed at stemming what

has now become a chronic problem. In July 2001 the Metropolitan Police began a pilot scheme in Brixton where cannabis was legalised; this was designed to test the waters for a more general legalisation. This solution can be interpreted to mean that the government has previously failed with solutions such as "rehabilitation" to deal with the underlying motivations for drug abuse, and has given in; the focus has now shifted from preventing drug abuse to containing the problem. Such compromised solutions are nothing new. In America the legislature was similarly forced to legalise alcohol in the early twentieth century. However, since they could not address the fundamental reasons why people wanted to consume alcohol, all that happened is that they de-criminalised the criminals. However, the basic problem did not go away, and has re-surfaced in the form of drug abuse. This pragmatic approach would mean that for every illegal problem that becomes widespread, the capitalist system would have to legalise it; a solution that is neither rational nor practically viable since it does not address the core problem. A testimony to the inability of Capitalism to solve this problem is that the very people that are supposed to deal with this problem carry the same mentality as those who they are supposed to save. For example the current UK government minister responsible for drugs, Caroline Flint, has admitted that she has taken cannabis. Similarly, Bill Clinton was forced to famously concede; "I only puffed, I didn't inhale". Hence the politicians and legislature are just as much a problem as the drug abusers, since they all share the same outlook in life and the same pernicious concepts.

DRUGS IN THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY Muslims are undoubtedly affected by the problems of drug abuse, particularly the youth. Living in Britain, we have become just as much victims of this problem as the other sectors of the society. The sad reality is that the same factors that motivate the general masses have now come to also motivate Muslims. For example, in Bradford within a 6 month period four Muslim men were killed - in all these cases their killers were also Muslim and their killings were related to a drugs war. Is there a difference between these incidents and what occurs amongst the other communities in Britain? The solution to this problem lies in Islam. We should consider the following: 1. Muslims in Britain must realise that we have a different outlook upon life and hence we have a different viewpoint upon this problem. Muslims possess a rational 'Aqeedah (belief) which

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c r a c ki n g t h e d ru g p r o b l e m

appeals to the mind and is not built on blind faith or shallow thought. Even if our forefathers followed Islam out of blind faith that does not give us reason to follow the shallow creed of the capitalist society. The creed that says; 'I don't care what happens to me when I die as long as I enjoy this life'. For the Muslim, the existence of the Creator, Allah (swt) is beyond doubt. Our goal in life is to worship Allah (swt), and not behave like animals that do not have the faculty of thinking and simply react to their urges. Worshipping Allah (swt) means living our lives in accordance with the law He (swt) sent down which addresses every human action and solves every human problem. 2. Islam provides Muslims with a mentality that is both strong and tranquil. Islam catered for man's every need so Muslims satisfy all their needs and wants according to an organised system, unlike the chaotic freedom of the West. Allah (swt) has organised how we satisfy each and every one of our many needs and desires and He (swt) has determined their priority. He (swt) has not suppressed any of our instincts but He (swt) has guided us regarding the lawful and unlawful ways of satisfying them. He (swt) has not commanded us to suppress our sexual desires, rather He (swt) has guided us to marriage as the lawful way and forbidden for us any other way. He (swt) did not command us to suppress our desire for good food but has guided us to that which is Halal and forbidden for us that which is Haram. Can anyone claim that Allah (swt) has commanded us to suppress our need for food because He (swt) has forbidden for us to eat pig? Likewise no one can claim that Allah (swt) has commanded us to suppress our natural desires because He (swt) has forbidden some things. Rather Allah (swt) knows us better than we know ourselves. So there is no need for Muslims to go to that which is Haram. We should limit our enjoyment and pleasure to that which Allah (swt) made lawful; this is what will lead to the correct

organisation for ourselves and for the society at large. Allah (swt) has forbidden intoxicants for Muslims. This includes all types of alcoholic drinks and every type of drug whether it is eaten, inhaled or injected. He (swt) says;

"O you who believe! Khamr (intoxicants), gambling, al-ansaab (stones set up as altars or idols) and al-azlaam (arrows for seeking luck) are loathsome evils of Shaytan's work. So avoid them in order that you may be successful. Shaytan only wants to excite enmity and hatred between you with khamr (intoxicants) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from Salah. Will you not then abstain?" [TMQ Al-Ma'idah: 90-1] This means that there is no difference between the 'Class A' drugs or the 'Class C' drugs, between the 'soft' and the 'hard' drugs or between cannabis and cocaine. Likewise, in this regard, there is no difference whether a drug was consumed in private or in public, whether it was in front of one's friends or in front of one's parents - it is shameful in the sight of Allah (swt) as it is Haram. Anas ibn Malik (ra) said that when Allah (swt) made intoxicants forbidden everyone threw out their khamr (intoxicant) and for many days the streets of Madinah smelled of it. The Companions of the Prophet (saw) gave up alcohol, even though some of them were addicted to it. They broke their addiction because they realised that this life is short and their definite conviction of Allah's (swt) existence and His (swt) rewards and punishments overcame their Nafs (desires). So Muslims should ponder on their belief and should discuss this with a view to strengthening their Iman so that they can likewise acquire this definite belief. 3. If Muslims face testing times, they remember that for every hardship Allah (swt) provides an ease. In fact by the Mercy of Allah (swt), when Muslims are tested, Allah (swt) even removes some of their sins.

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"For every hardship there is ease" [TMQ AshSharh: 5] Hence there is no escapism in Islam. Muslims do not suffer from a mentality that is constantly looking for a way to escape, and nor are they looking for a temporary release from their problem. In fact Muslims face their problems and deal with them patiently in the best manner possible, knowing that they cannot escape from Allah (swt) and that none other than Allah (swt) can help them. This concept creates a powerful tranquillity and is a feeling more enjoyable and permanent than any drug, since no problem is too big and no burden too heavy. Muslims seek solace in Allah (swt), Who is able to solve their problems, and not the temporary enjoyment of chemical substances. 4. The Muslim youth should seek out the active Islamic Da'wah carriers in their area, and should immerse themselves in their company. This will counter the societal pressure that one faces in this country. Living a life according to Islam is not boring, since Islam did not limit pleasure or enjoyment. In fact, Islam encourages people to be happy and enjoy life by living according to Islam. The Companions of the Prophet (saw) used to enjoy each other's company; they used to play together, hunt together, fight together, eat together and help each other. The Muslim youth can achieve great things for Islam. Take the examples of the Sahabah, most of whom started the Da'wah when they were young. Look how they realised that they were accountable to the Creator (swt) from the age of maturity and how they worked tirelessly to establish the Islamic State which conquered most of the known world within 100 years.

CONCLUSION The problem of drugs in society is a product of the concept of freedom, which is integral to the ideology of Capitalism. This ideology makes people a slave to their desires, and makes the fulfilment of these the primary goal in life. Islam provides true satisfaction and tranquillity for Muslims. Britain being a capitalist nation has seen these problems as have all other capitalist nations. It is the capitalist Western culture that is plagued with a variety of problems; from mass murder to paedophilia. Rather than being "British Muslims", we must make every effort to return to Islam and save ourselves from the sweeping current of problems that is plaguing British society.


K A M A L A BU Z A HR A [E a st Lo n d o n ] e m a il: k a m a l. a b uz a hr a @1924. o r g

THE QUEST FOR TRANQUILLITY IN THE MARITAL LIFE MARITAL STRIFE AND DISCORD

W

hen the wedding celebrations are over and husband and wife settle down in their new lives many find it is not what they hoped for or expected. As the euphoria and novelty runs out and gives way to routine and normality, the marriage relationship becomes strained as both spouses struggle to get through life. Constant arguments, bickering and unhappiness pervades the atmosphere with little or no hope of a resolution. This problem in the marital life is so widely felt that we would scarcely find a person who does not know of a close family member or relative who is not in this predicament. Whilst it is inevitable that not every marriage will succeed or be without its fair share of problems, the marital discord and misery we see today cannot simply be attributed to the incompatibility which can sometimes occur between two people. Rather a deeper study into the widespread problems and misery we witness will reveal that it is due to a lack of the correct criteria and thoughts - this is the cause of disharmony and the lack of tranquillity between spouses. If one were to dissect the criteria and thoughts being used by Muslims living in the UK and generally in the West one would find that generally speaking they are caught between two reference points. Do they follow the customs and traditions of their elders in marriage and marital affairs or do they embrace western values? The older generation has by and large stuck to

tradition; but the younger generation growing up in the UK is increasingly rejecting tradition in favour of a more western lifestyle. As a result we find a whole range of different, and at times contradictory, criteria being used to regulate married life. On one side of the spectrum we have the traditional culture imported from 'back home' whether that is from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Africa or the Middle East. Here we see the prevalence of the criteria of 'sharam' and 'izza' (shame and dignity). These have their roots in Islam but over time they have lost their Islamic character and have become subject to people's whims and desires. This is why we see the inconsistent and oppressive nature of their application. For instance, zina is and should be viewed as a loathsome kabeerah (great) sin; however we often see that if a man commits it then it can be forgiven and quietly ignored as just something that young men do. However if a woman was found guilty of committing this then she would be ostracised and rejected because she has brought dishonour and scandal to the family. Therefore the true understanding of the sin of zina has been lost in the blur and haze of tradition and a contradictory application is being used. A similar contradiction from traditional values is the view that a young girl mixing with foreign (ajnabi) men is unacceptable. But on the other hand no shame is felt when the same girl is forced to marry a man without her consent and approval or even sometimes against her will. On the other hand we have what can only be

described as 'half-way' marriages where the concepts and criteria are a jumble of traditional and western values but adopted according to the capitalist criteria of benefit and individual freedom. For example, in such marriages it is not acceptable that the wife would flirt with other men but it is acceptable for her to mix with men, being uncovered and showing her beauty. We also find men carrying the western concept of 'not settling down when young' and delaying their marriage until they've 'had a good time'. And once in their late twenties or early thirties they will do their social and religious duty in an almost ritual trip to Pakistan or Bangladesh to get married. Also we now see the western style of courtship which means finding out if one is compatible or not by dating or 'getting to know each other'. Hence, the ubiquitous demand of 'friendship leading to marriage' often found in the marriage sections of Asian newspapers and magazines.

WESTERN MARRIAGES; OUT OF THE FRYING PAN AND INTO THE FIRE The West offers individual freedom as the progressive basis of life, and for many Muslims in the West this has become the preferred basis for marriage over tradition. By individual freedom what's meant is that an individual is completely free in how he or she lives his or her life. So for example it would be perfectly acceptable on this basis for a man and a woman to cohabit together without a contract of marriage just as it is acceptable for two gay men to get married. Muslims should be aware of the dangers that

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t h e q u e st f o r tr a n q uillit y in th e m a rit a l lif e

come with adopting freedom as a criterion and should not allow themselves to be duped into thinking freedom and benefit can ever lead to a superior life. Rather, turning to freedom by rejecting tradition is like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. How can the West claim to offer the alternative when its criteria of individual freedom and benefit which by establishing sensual gratification as the paramount concern has led to the misery of millions of people? If we take a quick look at the West's record we find that in their societies the top five problems in the social and marital life are: ·

Mistrust and Adultery - 70% of American wives commit adultery within 5 years of marriage.

·

Divorce - one in three end up in divorce.

·

Rape - 167 women are raped every day in the UK.

·

Wife battery - a battery incident occurs every 18 seconds in the America.

And when it is said to them: "Come to what Allah has sent down and to the Messenger (Muhammad SAW)," you (Muhammad SAW) see the hypocrites turn away from you (Muhammad SAW) with aversion [TMQ An-Nisa :61]

and security when they go home from the toil and tension of outside life. Similarly, married life is a source of tranquillity from the strains and stresses of life and not the other way round.

The reason it is wrong to follow the forefathers is that they did not follow the Revelation and nor were they guided by Allah's (swt) Guidance. So when we reject those areas of tradition, which contradict Islam we should not reject them because they contradict the capitalist concepts of individual freedom and benefit but because they go against what Allah (swt) has revealed. In other words, just as it is wrong to accept Western love marriages on the basis of freedom and benefit it is equally wrong to reject forced marriages on the basis of the individual freedom and benefit. The reason both should be rejected is that they are contrary to Allah's (swt) Revelation and not because they affirm or violate freedom and benefit. Thus, the only criteria a Muslim can follow is the criteria of Halal and Haram and nothing else.

THE CONCEPT OF RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES

MARRIAGE: WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT? ·

Child molestation and paedophilia - in Britain a quarter of a million people are known paedophiles!.

These are the fruits of freedom and these should not be considered surprising but in fact are an inevitable occurrence since a solution proposed by man's limited mind will never be able to address the intricacies of human life and its requirements. Therefore, we need to refer to the Creator (swt), Who is All-Aware of His (swt) creation and how it is that humanity should regulate their lives.

Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves) AllAware (of everything). [TMQ Mulk :14]

The current generation either view marriage as a burden, or a custom and a social duty. They do not understand it is a solution that organises the male-female relationship so as to bring about mutual tranquillity. In fact many are turning to western values because they find the oppressive elements of tradition unpalatable without realising that Islam has a unique solution that befits man's nature. In Islam marriage is about companionship (suhbah) and not the regimental and strict regime that exists in traditional marriage or the tenuous 'partnership' for sex that we find in the West, which is easily dispensed with when the partners get tired or bored. Allah 'Azza Wa Jall informs us of the Hikmah of marriage;

And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them (li-taskunoo ilayha), and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect. [TMQ Ar-Rum :21] In this ayah, Allah (swt) makes the wife the source of Sakeenah i.e. repose and tranquillity as we can see from the usage of the verb sakana. It is from this same word that we derive the term sakan (dwelling) where people find repose, ease

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Allah (swt) says;

"And they (women) have rights (over their husbands) similar (to those of their husbands) over them, in reasonable terms." [TMQ AlBaqarah: 228] Ibn 'Abbas used to say, "Indeed I spruce myself up for my wife and she adorns herself for me, and I love that I should redeem all the rights I have over my wife, so that she should redeem all the rights she has over me." [Reported by Ibn Abi Shaybah in his Musannaf] Islam clearly outlined the role and the rights of both partners in the marriage. The man is the head of the household and therefore he has the final say in matters. He is responsible for providing the maintenance and residence for his family. The wife's responsibility is to obey the husband in matters relating to the marital life, tend to the housework and not go out without the permission of her husband. These rights and responsibilities are not unknown but the key concept we need to understand is how these rights and responsibilities are discharged. Allah (swt) informs us:

REJECTING TRADITION ON THE CORRECT BASIS As for taking tradition as our criteria this can never be accepted, as our only criteria is the Revelation of Allah (swt) and this excludes what our forefathers followed unless it was from what Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw) brought. In the following ayah, Allah (swt) tells us the basis of acceptance or rejection of tradition:

The West cite empty slogans of friendship and equality as the basis of marital life but the truth is that what exists is a clash between spouses because there are no defined roles due to the belief in individual freedom. Islam on the other hand did not just talk about companionship but has shown how to realise it by clarifying the rights and responsibilities that spouses have over each other such that they complement each other and bring about mutual fulfilment:

"And live with them honourably". [TMQ AnNisa: 19] He (swt) has commanded spouses to spend their life together (mu'aasharah) in an honourable and fitting manner (bil-ma'roof). What this means is that they live in an atmosphere of care and benevolence. That is why the Messenger (saw) said;


t h e q u e st f o r tr a n q u illit y i n t h e m a rit a l lif e

"Indeed, the one most complete in Iman and best in morals is the one who is the kindest to his wives." [Reported by Ibn Hibban] In other words, the rights and responsibilities should be discharged in an atmosphere of companionship. To give us an example of what companionship (suhbah) means on a day to day level let us take a glimpse at the life of Muhammad (saw), as he says in his own words:

In addition, it has been narrated that the Prophet of Allah (saw) came into Aaisha's (ra) room and put his hand on Aaisha's (ra) knee and whispered something in her ear. She placed her hand over his hand trying to push him away. Umm Mubashhar who was with her at the time said; "How could you do this to Allah's Messenger?" The Messenger (saw) laughed and said;

Companionship means that husbands and wives should help each other in their responsibilities. Just because the wife is responsible for doing the housework does not mean the husband should not help out. Aaisha (ra) describes the behaviour of Rasoolallah (saw) when he was in the house - she says;

Companionship means closeness and intimacy and not an estranged relationship where the spouses rarely talk to each other unless something needs to be done. If one reflects on the nature of married life one can appreciate its importance. So for example, during the day a wife would naturally build up and accumulate many issues that she wants to discuss with her husband. So when the husband comes home she wants, for want of a better word, to 'download' all the stresses and difficulties and share them with him. But if the husband comes home and turns on the TV and ignores her then this can be very frustrating for her. That is why if we look to Rasoolallah (saw) we see that it was his practise after Isha to spend a part of the evening chatting (samr) with his wives. Rasoolallah (saw) also used to joke with his wives. He (saw) said:

"Rasoolallah (saw) used to be in the service (mihnah i.e. khidmah) of his family; and when it was time for prayer, he would go out to pray." [Reported by al-Bukhari]

"Everything in which there is no dhikr (remembrance) of Allah is nonsense, negligence and futile except four things: that a man should joke with his wife‌" [Reported by an-Nasa`i].

"Leave her; she does this and much worse!" [Reported by al-Bukhari in at-Tarikh] "The best amongst you is the one who is best to his wives and I am best to my wives" [Reported by Ibn Hibban]

MEANING OF COMPANIONSHIP (ASSUHBAH) Rasoolallah (saw) taught us that the husband should be reasonable in exacting the rights. For example, the wife is obliged to seek permission before she goes out but this does not mean the husband should prevent her when there is no reason for doing so. Regarding women going to the mosques it has been narrated by Salim bin 'Abdullah from his father that the Prophet (saw) said:

"If the wife of any one of you asks permission (to go to the mosque) do not forbid her." [Reported by Muslim] Companionship means the husband deals with his wife in a kind and tolerant manner and not in a domineering way. He should not see it as undermining his honour and dignity if his wife disagreed or got angry about something. 'Aaisha (ra) narrated that Allah's Messenger (saw) said;

Despite being the ruler of Madinah, at home he led a very humble life. Aaisha said; "He acted like other men; he would mend his clothes, milk his goat and serve himself." [Reported by alBukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad].

So here Rasoolallah did not consider joking with his wives a useless activity. Companionship means romance, fondness and affection. Listen to Aaisha (ra), the mother of the believers, when she said:

Furthermore, Rasoolallah (saw) never lost his temper, even if there was too much salt in the food. Abu Hurairah narrated that;

'Rasoolallah (saw) never criticised the food, if he liked it he ate it and if not he left it' [Reported by Muslim] Companionship also means overlooking mistakes or defects that one may not like in ones wife or vice versa. Rasoolallah (saw) said:

"'I know whether you are angry or pleased.' I said, 'How do you know that O Messenger of Allah?' He (saw) said, 'When you are pleased, you say, 'Yes, by the Lord of Muhammad,' but when you are angry, you say, 'No, by the Lord of Abraham!' I said, 'Yes, I do not leave, except your name.'" [Reported by Muslim]

little thing and continuously find faults. Rather he should be prepared to forget them by remembering the good qualities his wife has.

"Let not a believing man hate a believing woman. If he dislikes a character in her, he would be pleased with her other characters." [Reported by Muslim]

"I would drink when I was menstruating, then I would hand it (the vessel) to the Messenger (saw) and he would put his mouth where mine had been, and drink, and I would eat flesh from a bone when I was menstruating, then hand it over to the Apostle (saw) and he would put his mouth where mine had been." [Reported by Muslim in Kitab al-Hayd] As for his wives they also felt about him in the same way. Ahmad narrated in his Musnad on the authority of Kareemah bin Hummaam that she said to Aaisha: O mother of the believers! What do you say regarding the use of Henna?

Therefore, the husband should not pick on every

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t h e q u e st f o r tr a n q uillit y i n t h e m a rit a l lif e

She replied;

"My beloved (habeebi i.e. referring Rasoolallah (saw)) used to like it!"

to

CHATTING WITH AAISHA (RA)‌. As mentioned previously, the Prophet (saw) used to chat in the evening with his wives. One such evening he told Aaisha (ra) the following beautiful story of eleven women who met in the days of ignorance (jahilliyah) and promised to tell each other the truth about their husbands. The types of husbands described in this story can give us wonderful examples as to the type of qualities a husband should seek or avoid. The first five have reprehensible qualities whilst the rest all have laudable qualities.

Wife number one begins by saying; "My husband is like a bony camel's meat at the top of a rough mountain. Neither is it easy to reach, nor meaty to desire acquiring." What she means here is that he husband is unapproachable and not welcoming. When she tries to speak to him he does not listen as if she is not there and when she does manage to get heard he has nothing good to say to her. So the wife feels there's no point, since the effort is not worth it! Hence, he is described like the useless 'bony camel's meat at the top of a rough mountain' which is frankly not worth the trouble.

Wife number two's husband is so full of defects that she doesn't know where to start, so in fact she doesn't! She said; "If I start I fear I will not be able to stop." Some scholars commented on this by saying the second wife violated her agreement because she had promised to recount all the defects and she did not do that. Anyway, perhaps she felt it was a pointless and time-consuming exercise as the defects were innumerable.

Wife number three says the following about her husband; "If I utter a word, I shall surely be divorced. And if I remain silent, I will be suspended." In other words we are dealing with a husband who is trigger happy with the divorce button. She lives in a state of constant fear that for smallest thing she may be divorced. That is why in another narration she said; "I am always in such a state as if I am under a sharp sword. I do not know when my affair will come to an end." She finds herself in an impossible situation. She can't speak otherwise she fears being divorced but on the other hand if she remains silent she faces the prospect of living in a state where she is neither married nor divorced i.e. in limbo or 'suspended' as she puts it. Her husband never complements her, brings her gifts or other such token gesture. Rather he thinks just by giving her food and clothing he has done his duty!

Wife number four describes a husband who is selfish and only thinks about himself. She says; "As for my husband, when he eats he devours everything; when he drinks, he does not leave anything. When he sleeps, he sleeps in his own sheet. He does not even touch me, so that he can know the disturbance in my mind." So when the food is laid he doesn't ask his wife to join him and at night he sleeps alone not caring about what she is thinking or feeling.

Wife number five starts by saying; "My husband is extremely helpless and stupid." And you can see why she describes him this way as she continues, "He would either cut your head, break one of your limbs, or do both to you". In other words he is a man who severely beats his wife, something which is deplored in Islam unless it was light and for the purpose of discipline when the wife refuses to discharge her marital responsibilities. Now we come to the next set of husbands who all have good qualities which every husband should aspire to have.

Wife number six extols the praises of her husband with words that are almost poetic! She says; "My husband is like the night of Tihamah

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(Makkah and its surroundings) - neither hot nor cold. In his company there is neither fear nor boredom" i.e. here is a husband who is approachable and fun to be with unlike the first husband mentioned above. His company is never boring and she feels completely at ease in his presence.

Wife number seven describes a husband who is confident and strong outside in public but gentle at home - not like those husbands who are gentle outside but feared at home. She says; "My husband, when he enters he acts like a (sleepy) leopard; and when he leaves he acts like a lion."

Wife number eight has a funny way of describing her husband; "As for my husband, his touch is like that of a rabbit" i.e. she means he is gentle and kind!

Wife number nine and ten both have husbands whose qualities are similar and hence I have grouped them together, i.e. they are generous hosts. Wife number ten says of her husband, "He owns camels that are numerous in their sitting places, and few in the grazing areas. When they hear the sound of the lute, they become certain of their death". I.e. her husband keeps camels near the house and when they hear the lute playing they know they will be slaughtered.


resolving these problems by adopting western liberal values. Therefore, we need to be alert to the destructive influence of western concepts and criteria in our lives and begin to study the Islamic solutions on the basis of the Islamic criteria.

Now we come to wife number eleven, the last of the wives, who is named in the hadith as Umm Zara'. She describes her husband, Abu Zara', in the following way; "My husband was Abu Zara' and what would you know about Abu Zara'! He made my ears heavy with jewellery, filled my upper arms with flesh (fed me well after my previous state of hunger), and honoured me until my soul was gratified. He took me from among a people with very few sheep and tight living, and placed me among a people who had horses, camels, cows. In his house, I spoke without being rebuffed, slept until late-morning and drank my fill.' As we can see, Abu Zara' was a generous man who treated Umm Zara' immeasurably well and clearly he was the best out of the eleven husbands. But there is a sad twist to this story. After many years of happy marriage Abu Zara' divorces Umm Zara' in favour of a younger woman. But even though Umm Zara' remarries and is treated well by her second husband, she still laments the loss of Abu Zara'. It is at this point that Rasoolallah turns to Aaisha (ra) saying: "O Aaisha! I am to you like Abu Zara' was to Umm Zara' - except that Abu Zara' divorced (her), and I will not divorce you." Here, Rasoolallah (saw) reminds Aaisha of his favours to her which is better than even Abu Zara' whose divorced wife still felt his loss. Aaisha knew this very well and so it is no surprise that she responded, "O Allah's Messenger! You are better to me than Abu Zara' was to Umm Zara'". [Reported Bukhari, Muslim, an-Nasa`i, atTabarani and at-Tirmidhi in his Shama`il with variant wording]

CONCLUSION Although this article only focuses on the marital life between spouses there are a whole host of other problems Muslims in Britain and the West face in their social life such as issues of courtship, marriage, divorce, custody, in-law relationships, maintenance and more besides. Increasingly Muslims are being pushed to

Finally, marital life is not just about tranquillity in this life. Our fate in the Akhira also depends on us following Allah's (swt) commands and prohibitions regarding this issue. Therefore we must seek to ensure we comply with the rules of Islam in order to achieve tranquillity and satisfaction in this life and in the Akhira to save ourselves from the Hellfire and attain everlasting tranquillity in Paradise.

Z A HID-IV A N S A L A M [S o u t h Lo n d o n] e m a il: z a hi d -iv a n.s a l a m @1924. o r g

RESPONDING TO GLOBAL EVENTS T

he recent aggression against the people of Iraq did not only demonstrate a local reaction from the Muslims of Iraq but invited the expression of others who were not from that region. The reaction was in fact unanimous throughout the entire Muslim world with Muslims being vocal and energetic in showing their views. The ruler of Egypt complained on more than one occasion that he was facing political instability at home due to the strong emotions demonstrated by the Egyptian people towards the Muslims of Iraq. This display of emotions to challenge the Egyptian leadership in this manner is quite remarkable given that it is a rule of the iron fist which is perpetuated by fear, state terrorism and oppression. This feeling by the people was confirmed when reports were received by the media that even a coup attempt had been executed in Alexandria. The Muslim Ummah at large despised the US brutal occupation of Iraq, so much so that they risked their own status and positions in favour of supporting the Muslims of Iraq against the US colonialist power. This occurred in all the countries where Muslims live. Thus we witnessed Muslims from Nigeria to Australia, and all the lands in between, and above, and below, siding with the Muslims of Iraq against the US and British aggressors. However, this time, the world noticed another more striking factor, which has now become directly and explicitly apparent from this US campaign. They reported (as everyone had also witnessed) the displeasure of the Muslim masses with their rulers and politicians. For the Muslims had just witnessed the co-operation and assistance the rulers over the Muslim lands had given to the aggressors. Moreover, not only did the Muslims witness this co-operation, but so too did they witness the rulers' lack of desire to resist the

aggression, and for that matter, the absence of any type of will even to assist the Muslims of Iraq by word or deed. This therefore has produced a situation where the Muslims can no longer conceal their true repulsion for the rulers. This is what led the Muslims in their respective countries to raise a common dissatisfaction with their rulers, and hence the whole world observed calls for an alternative Islamic leadership to replace the current corrupt and non-Islamic ones. Muslims everywhere felt this, and expressed this, whether it was by demonstrations, opinion or mere desire. This clearly demonstrates the reality of the emotions of the Muslim Ummah towards issues that may not affect some of them directly, but nevertheless the reality reveals that they have taken it as their issue. Thus, the Muslims of Pakistan, Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Europe, Britain, Turkey; in fact all of them, came out with their unanimous support for the Muslims of Iraq and nothing but repulsion towards the West and the Muslim rulers. In fact these sentiments are not of the type that come today and are gone tomorrow; rather they have become an intellectual perception. For the same reaction can be seen towards the Israel's aggression towards the Muslims of Palestine, the Indian aggression upon the Muslims in Gujarat and Kashmir, the ongoing atrocities in Chechnya, and so on and so forth. The same reaction was seen when the Muslims of Afghanistan were made recipients of a brutal US occupation, when the events of 9/11 were used to resurrect the Crusades against the entire Muslim Ummah, and of course when the Muslims of Kosovo and Bosnia were humiliated. The emotions of the Muslims are the same today as they were yesterday, and the day before that, irrespective of the proximity of the Muslims to each and every one of these problems.

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r e s p o n d in g t o g l o b a l e v e n ts

This is in respect to the unified feelings of the Muslims in the world that we, together with the entire world's media, had witnessed and continue to witness on an ongoing basis. Although the Muslim Ummah has been politically divided into 55 separate entities, and pumped with the pernicious concepts of independence, nationalism, benefit and the like, she has demonstrated without a shadow of a doubt that she still regards herself as a single unified Ummah, perfectly like one body.

SOME MUSLIMS IN THE WEST INCORRECTLY LOOK TO THE WEST FOR SOLUTIONS So we have sensed the unification in the aspirations of the entire global Muslim Ummah, and so too have we sensed their desires. The question we should however turn to at this point is how should the Muslims who live in the West represent this relationship with their Ummah worldwide? The issue to recognise is that the Ummah is one Ummah, irrespective of whether they live in Europe, Britain, or the US. Their issue is one. The proof of this is that despite the huge efforts in the past to divide the Muslims through the ideas of nationalism and individualism, and more recently, the concerted attempt to force loyalty of the Muslims in the West towards the Western interests and support for their military campaigns rather than to support their own brothers and sisters, has fallen flat on its face. The Muslims in the West feel the affinity with the Muslims worldwide more than ever. However, this is quite natural, and quite normal to observe, even if it is a surprise to some. In fact this is not the issue that needs attention by them. Rather, the issue that needs to be carefully and thoughtfully addressed by the Muslims in the West is the choosing of which direction and path to tread in order to realise this unity and affiliation with the Muslim Ummah at large. Thus the Muslims have to be vigilant that they pursue the correct and permissible activities and channels in order to contribute to the worldwide awakening and revival of the Muslims. At this point, clarity in the correct criteria for action is needed, which means that the Muslims in the West must first understand the correct standards which they must follow before they react and jump headlong towards any active steps. This is part of one being a Muslim. He or she is restricted to

Please address your letters and questions to the Editorial Team, either by email or post at the following addresses: email: magazine @1924.org or write to: Khilafah Magazine Suite 298, 56 Gloucester Road London, SW7 4UB

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follow only those active steps and courses of action that is permitted by the Islamic rules, the Hukm Shara'. Therefore, before embarking on an action plan, and before responding to any call by others to do so, whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim groups, one would first need to refer to the Islamic text for guidance. This means that one must obtain the Islamic evidence (Daleel Shari') before he acted, thus ensuring that the action which he or she is about to undertake will earn the pleasure of Allah (swt), rather than His (swt) anger. In the light of this, how could the Muslims in the West turn to courses of action to aid their brothers and sisters worldwide that are prohibited by the Legislator, Allah (swt)? So how could it be that some Muslims in the West call for, propagate, and undertake a course of action that involves entering the Western political system to be part of it? How could they offer full political support to a non-Muslim Member of Parliament or even a 'Muslim MP'? How could they enter politics through the democratic legislative process? How could they support the call for a two-state solution in the case for Palestine? How could the Muslims embark upon any one of these courses of action, without first obtaining the Daleel Shari', the evidence from Allah's (swt) revelation, to do so? To advocate and undertake such political actions is forbidden in Islam, and contradicts many clear Islamic evidences. Allah (swt) says in the Qur'an:

political leaders. The futility of such attempts by Muslims to influence Western foreign policy aggressions against the Muslim Ummah has been reinforced time and again. For what influence can they think the Muslims can exert upon Western politics, when even all and sundry were against the British political decision for war against Iraq, and still the decision to go to war was executed? Clearly before the war the majority public opinion was against the British government's case for war against Iraq, and there was no credible evidence to go to war except a forged thesis and false reports that the British public and the majority of politicians did not accept. Many Labour party MPs defied the party whip and tabled motions to oppose their democratically elected leader; there was even a risk to the ruling seat of the Prime Minister himself! What more pressure needed to be exerted upon the British political system in order for it to be influenced? Rather, we all witnessed that this didn't thwart the evil policy towards the Muslims of Iraq. That must be a lesson that the Muslims in the West must never forget, before we entertain the notion of being able to steer British foreign policy.

KHILAFAH IS THE SOLUTION - WE MUST WORK FOR IT AND CANNOT DETACH IT FROM OUR MINDS The Muslims in Britain must never forget their inability to influence the British policy for going to war against Iraq. They must be also be absolutely certain that none of the Muslim rulers will ever dare to anger America or Britain, let alone unleash their armies against them to protect the lives of innocent Muslims. The only correct course of action and political activity is solely upon the Islamic basis, that is, the Qur'an and the Sunnah. This is the pathway that the Muslims in the West must all unanimously align themselves to, in rejecting all that is un-Islamic and undertaking only that which is allowed.

"Never will the Jews and Christians be pleased with you (O Muhammad) till you follow their religion. Say: verily, the guidance of Allah that is the only guidance. And if you (O Muhammad) were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of the knowledge, then would have against Allah neither any Wali (protector) nor any helper." [TMQ AlBaqarah: 120]

The way to respond to global events affecting the Muslims, which indeed are continuous and increasing in brutality, is to work for the Khilafah State. This will be a state based on Islam and will respond actively and decisively, using the resources and armies of the Muslim world to aid those Muslims suffering at the hands of the Western colonialists and their allies. The ability to respond decisively to calamities affecting the Ummah exists in the Muslim countries, the only leadership which will execute this response, the Islamic leadership, is what the Muslims must focus their efforts upon. Not only is this the only practical response, it is in fact an obligation from Islam.

"O you who believe! Take not into intimacy those outside your ranks. They will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire your ruin. Rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths. What their hearts conceal is far worse. We have made plain to you the signs if you have wisdom." [TMQ Ale-Imran: 118] As a result of this failure to refer to the Islamic texts on behalf of many Muslim activists, we have seen an exerted effort from many Muslims and so called 'representatives' to exert pressure on the Western

Today, Muslims in the West must do whatever they can to assist the global work for the return of the Islamic Khilafah. Tomorrow, Muslims in the West must hasten to assist the newly established Khilafah and be the ambassadors of Islam and the Islamic State, so that the guidance of Islam reaches every corner of the globe, wiping out darkness, misery and injustice.

Khilafah Magazine September 2003  

Khilafah Magazine September 2003

Khilafah Magazine September 2003  

Khilafah Magazine September 2003

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