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A Deeper Look at Malcolm Shabazz- Grandson of Malcolm X Murdered in Mexico

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By Dawud Walid

Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of Malcolm X, was viciously murdered last Thursday in Mexico.  Two men thus far have been arrested, yet there are many unanswered questions regarding his tragic demise.

Much to do has been made in the media of the troubles that Shabazz went through as a youth from the fire he set as an adolescent, which killed his grandmother Dr. Betty Shabazz, to later brushes with the law.  However, little has been spoken about the positive maturation of Shabazz.

I met Shabazz along with Hamza Perez, the focus of the “New Muslim Cool” documentary, approximately three years ago at the Ershad Center in Miami.  Shabazz gave a lecture about his recent stay and studies in Syria and some of the challenges he faced being a Blackamerican in the Middle East.  He also spoke of the impact of his grandfather and his decision to follow the Ja’fari school of thought.

After this meeting and having some conversations with Shabazz the following three days, I interacted with him later at conferences in other states and spent time with him when he visited Michigan.  My last discussion with him was after he gave a lecture at Michigan State University last year in which he later attended the Islamic center off campus in which I was the khateeb for Jumu’ah.  I definitely noticed an evolution in his ideas and purpose.

Shabazz was more than a man with brushes with the law.  He spoke at conferences about human rights and joined in solidarity with immigrant and workers’ rights activists in the Latino community.  He made Hajj and was a reader of philosophy.  He was a father who was beloved by his family and was respected by many Muslim youth, Blackamerican community organizers and leftist activists.

I am not delving into conjecture about the veracity of media reports surrounding his demise or if his homicide was part of a broader conspiracy.  Shabazz was Muslim, who went through many struggles in life.  I ask that we pray that he receives ease in the grave and that his family is grant patience during this difficult time.

32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Gibran

    May 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    Why do Shias say they follow the Jafari school of thought? Isn’t it just Shiasm?

    • Avatar

      Jihad Rashid

      October 24, 2014 at 7:50 AM

      Because Imam Jafar was the one who taught the most about Fiqh.

  2. Avatar

    Dawud Walid

    May 16, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    WS WR WB,
    There are 3 schools of thought within Shi’ism. That’s why.

    • Avatar

      Jihad Rashid

      October 24, 2014 at 7:51 AM

      No that Is Wrong.

  3. Avatar

    Tanveer Khan

    May 16, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Im confused. Is Malcolm Shabazz shia?

    • Avatar

      Jihad Rashid

      October 24, 2014 at 7:52 AM

      Yes, Malcolm Shabzz became Shi’a, Alhuduillah !

  4. Avatar

    Tanveer Khan

    May 16, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Nevermind, Ive found out now.

  5. Avatar

    umm.esa

    May 16, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    May Allah allow us to have good opinion of our brothers and sisters in faith, whether they are living or dead. Allah is the Ultimate Judge and Possessor of all knowledge. May Allah have mercy on our brothers and sisters in faith, both living and dead.

  6. Hena Zuberi

    Hena Zuberi

    May 17, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Prayer Service for Malcolm Shabazz (Malcolm X’s grandson) tomorrow, Friday, May 17th at 10am ICCNC 1433 Madison Street Oakland Ca. Please spread the word.

    • Avatar

      Gibran

      May 18, 2013 at 9:37 PM

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Look, that’s very well intentioned I assume, but I think you might want to remove this comment. In light of what another commentator said, I don’t see how it’s possible for us to pray for him. We aren’t allowed to pray for dead mushrikeen and making dua to other than Allah aza wa jal is shirk. Hence the hadith “dua is worship.” Now, it may be that this man reverted before his death, but I don’t know any evidence than he did.

      So please remove this comment.

      I believe the following clarifies what should be clear to every Muslim.
      http://aqeedah.wordpress.com/2007/03/17/to-call-upon-other-than-allah/

    • Avatar

      Gibran

      May 18, 2013 at 9:45 PM

      Allah has made it clear what we ought to avoid so lets avoid what we should. He is not in need of us and he can bring up Muslims to replace us who will be cautious.

      http://quran.com/9/113-115

  7. Avatar

    Osama Hamza

    May 18, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    Imam Jafar was not Shia. He hated the Shias and said that they claim to to love his family (ahle bait) but in reality hated them them. The Shias claim to follow the Jafari school of thought, while the real Jafari school of thought is followed by Sunnis today which is very close to the Hanafi School of thought. Regarding Shahbaz, i don’t know whether he was sunni or shia… but i do know that his grand father had converted to Sunni Islam after leaving the Nation of Islam cult and was martyred by them.

    • Avatar

      Gibran

      May 18, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Good comment.

      This article was not a good idea, however may Allah have mercy on Dawud Walid for not censoring these comments.

  8. Avatar

    Abdus Samay

    May 18, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Asalamalikum

    Most scholars say that the Jafari school of thought is unauthentic due to it coming from Al Kulayni. Furthermore, Malcolm Shabazz said in a clear comment “Ya Ali, Ya Hussein” on facebook. I’m with holding judgement but that is NOT a good sign.

    • Avatar

      Gibran

      May 18, 2013 at 12:26 PM

      wa alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      If he really made dua to them then we aren’t even allowed to pray for him. I’m not trying to be sensitive, this is a commandment from Allah and His Messenger.

      Also, I disagree with this article. We all know where this man died. Respectfully, lets keep silent and let the family grieve. We find it in the sunnah that some janazah’s were REFUSED.

      Glorifying how a man was right before he swerved one way is a disturbing thing and I’m afraid it may even become a trend.

    • Avatar

      Abdullah

      May 26, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      Salaam brother Abdus Samay.. Imaam Jafar was one of the great muhaditheen of Madina during his time and he was a pure Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah. He despised the shias. Unfortunatey, the shias twisted, innovated and misinterpreted many ahadith and pointed to him as their source. This work by the shias was pioneered by Kulayni (la’natul Lahu alayh) in his book Usuli Kafi.

  9. Avatar

    Greg Abdul

    May 18, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Thank you for telling us about this. He belonged to Allah and he returned to Allah. We all belong to Allah

    • Avatar

      Greg Abdul

      May 18, 2013 at 10:45 PM

      a quick ps.

      The family is not exactly strict in its practice of Islam. I always wonder why Attallah thinks that kufi she wore was cool. But the fact is, Malcolm X 50 years ago, was a pioneer Muslim in America. His autobiography has brought many people to Islam (like me). So we should praise the good. A Muslim’s grandson was killed. Yes in a bar, where no Muslim should be. But going to a bar does not automatically put you out of Islam. Young Muslim men in America do stupid things. The Minnesota four who went to train in Somalia come to mind. Unless we have absolutely solid evidence, I am no scholar and Allah knows my mistakes are legion, but my weak understanding is that we take all positive evidence that he was Muslim and give him every benefit of the doubt as we hope Allah gives us every benefit of doubt for our bad actions and we pray for Allah’s Mercy, we should be merciful in our judgement of this troubled young man. May Allah have mercy on him and accept his Islam….

      Ameen.

      • Avatar

        Gibran

        May 18, 2013 at 11:58 PM

        Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

        No, going to a bar does not put you out of Islam. I was not referring to that after all.

        I was referring to this:

        “Furthermore, Malcolm Shabazz said in a clear comment “Ya Ali, Ya Hussein” on facebook.”

        That definitely takes a person out of Islam. Dua is for Allah alone. Faduallaha mukhliseena lahudeen wa law karihalkafiroon.

        I don’t know why my comments above haven’t passed the censors. It is pretty clear we aren’t supposed to be making dua for him or giving him a janazah.

        • Avatar

          Muslim

          May 19, 2013 at 5:09 PM

          @Gibran – when did you become the Islamic Qadi of the Internet that authorizes you to declare if someone is Muslim or not?

          The fact that you pull a comment off of a facebook website and declare Takfir on another person just shows how ignorant you are. Why would MuslimMatters allow you to rant and post over and over again?

          1.) Common Sense which apparently isn’t so common: Just because there is a comment on someone’s facebook website is not proof enough that the person made those comments. And it is definitely not enough evidence to declare Takfir on another individual. Did you ask him or his family members yourself? Do you know if those statements are old, recent or said right before his death? Did you verify his IP Address and match that with the IP address of the post on facebook??

          2.) There are hundreds of millions of Sunni Muslims around the world who use phrases such as “Ya Muhammad, Ya Rasullullah, Ya Ali, Ya Hussein, etc” in poems, nasheeds, slogans, etc. Are you saying all of them are Kafir and are praying to other than Allah, when they themselves will tell you they would never worship anything other than Allah?? This is a concept of Tawassul & Istigatha and a significant majority of Sunni Ulema allow it. But even if you disagree, you are willing to use a phrase you read on facebook to officially declare that he is not a Muslim and try to dissuade other Muslims from making dua for him? Did you ever get your lazy self off of your chair and have the decency to make a phone call to his family and find out his true beliefs before you declare him a Kafir before thousands on the Internet after he has died and cannot defend himself?

          I personally advise you as a Muslim brother to do yourself a favor and not post on Islamic websites for some time until you gather your thoughts and attain some more practical sense.

          Wasalaam

        • Avatar

          Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          May 27, 2013 at 12:26 PM

          Gibran

          Akihi as advised to you, your comments are on full moderation and do not go through without authorisation from the CommentsTeam or author. So please do not keep asking why your comments are delayed and why some do not show up. JazakAllahu Khairin for your understanding and compliance.

  10. Avatar

    Gibran

    May 19, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    It’s not necessary to be a qadi to make takfir in a lot of cases. For example, if an alleged Muslim started saying that Hindus are not disbelievers, no one obviously would attend his janaza.

    http://forums.islamicawakening.com/f15/all-about-istighatha-istishfa-and-tawassul-etc-3306/
    1) To call upon other than Allah for a need, such as rain, etc, while believing that the one being addressed will answer the call is Shirk by agreement. For example: O Prophet! Send us rain!

    2) To call upon other than Allah for a need, such as rain, etc, while believing that only Allah will answer the call is Shirk, by agreement. For example: O Prophet! Send us rain!

    3) To call upon other than Allah, asking them to intercede for us with Allah is also Shirk. For example: O Prophet! Intercede for us with Allah!

    4) To call upon the Prophet, asking him to make du’a for us is Shirk. For example: O Prophet! Ask Allah to grant us rain!

    5) To call upon Allah alone, asking Him by His Prophet is a valid difference of opinion in Fiqh where none is censured. For example: O Allah! I ask you alone by Your noble Prophet!

    Detailed evidence is provided in the link.

    Also, people saying they will never worship other than Allah subhana wa ta’ala can be different from what they do. For example, Christians say they worship Allah aza wa jal alone however we know that they are mushriks and we cannot give them janazah or pray for their forgiveness after they have died.

    barakallahu feek

    • Avatar

      Muslim

      May 21, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      @Gibran

      AOA – like I mentioned before, common sense is not so common.

      You have not mentioned that you know this brother Malcolm Shabaz? Have you ever seen him? Have you ever talked to him or his family? Have you ever heard any words of Kufr actually come out of his mouth? If so, did you ever ask him about it? Do you know any other legitimate scholar who has made Takfir on the brother? How do you know if he ever took certain statements back in his life?

      Like I said before, you are not a Qadi nor do you possess common sense or have any intellectual integrity. You need SOLID PROOF before you claim that someone is a Kafir. Internet blogs and evidence from others’ comments that you don’t even know in real life are not sufficient evidence. Therefore, you blasting this dead brother on the internet and advising other Muslims not to make dua for him or go see his family at a prayer service is wrong. There is a possibility he might not have been a Muslim, but that possibility applies to everyone as no one really knows what anyone else believes. For example, you might not be a Muslim either. You might be an Extremist Zionist Jew in disguise whose job it is to plant the seeds of hatred and disunity among Muslims online. But unless I have 100% proof of this, I cannot label you a Kafir.

      Whatever links you provided up there don’t matter when it comes to the points I am asking you above. You chose to ignore that fact that you did not use appropriate evidence to do takfir on this brother and you also ignored the fact that a large portion of Sunni Muslim Scholars around the world do not believe statements such as “Ya Muhammad” or “Ya Ali” are Kufr as long as the person knows their proper beliefs. Do you want to do Takfir of them? (Please don’t)

      Anyway brother, some food for thought:

      1.) In the hadith Ibn Umar related that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If a Muslim calls another kafir, then if he is a kafir let it be so; otherwise, he [the caller] is himself a kafir.” (Abu Dawud)

      2.) Abu Zarr reported that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said: No man accuses another man of being a sinner, or of being a kafir, but it reflects back on him if the other is not as he called him.” (Bukhari)

      3.) “Withhold [your tongues] from those who say `There is no god but Allah’ — do not call them kafir. Whoever calls a reciter of `There is no god but Allah’ as a kafir, is nearer to being a kafir himself.” (Tabarani)

      There are many, many more narrations in the books of Hadith and books of the Scholars in Islam about this topic.

      Why would you risk your own salvation by taking it upon yourself to label another person as a Kafir without sufficient evidence???

      Wasalaam

      • Avatar

        Gibran

        May 23, 2013 at 1:53 AM

        Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa baraakatuh

        There is no need to argue. Tawheed isn’t common in this world and it is the reason most people are headed to the fire.

        “you also ignored the fact that a large portion of Sunni Muslim Scholars around the world do not believe statements such as “Ya Muhammad” or “Ya Ali” are Kufr as long as the person knows their proper beliefs. Do you want to do Takfir of them? (Please don’t)”

        If the person says “Ya Ali” as in longing for a long dead relative like “Oh mother I wish you were here” then that is one thing. He is not asking for intercession or any assistance.

        But if he is calling upon him for intercession while believing only Allah created everything, nothing separates him from Abu Jahl the mushrik Arab.

        Any person who does this is neither from the group that is upon what an-Nabi sallahualayhiwasalam and his companions were on, nor is he a Muslim nor is he a scholar. On the contrary, he is indeed a mushrik. The links I provided contain ample evidence from even scholars of perverted beliefs that dua to other than Allah is shirk. Any modern day scholar who justifies such a thing is a mushrik.

        As for the last hadith, I do not know its authenticity, however I do know we cannot misinterpret it. Jews and Christians have there own version of la ilaha illallah but we still kaffirize them. If a person claims to be Muslim yet worships a dead, rightious slave of Allah subhana wa ta’ala, I will still kaffirize him without hesitation like I kaffirize Hindus who worship Krishna.

        Allah is the only one we enslave ourselves to. La ilaha illallah.

        • Avatar

          Muslim

          May 25, 2013 at 12:04 PM

          @Girban

          You keep dodging my question about how you declared Takfir on this brother without proper evidence. I am sure at this point anyone reading your comments will realize you are not answering that question.

          For arguments sake, I will agree with your hardcore stance on saying or writing “Ya Ali” etc. Even if that is the case, how do you know the brother said it? Did you get a confirmation that he actually wrote it on his facebook page? Did you talk to his family about his beliefs. Did you ever call him to talk to him about his beliefs? Yet, you publicly declare Takfir of this brother on the internet and advise people not to make dua for him and visit his family at their prayer service.

          You keep dodging that point which is the real problem with your attitude and your intellectual integrity.

          • Avatar

            Gibran

            May 27, 2013 at 6:41 PM

            I was thinking of answer the question, but then I decided against it.

            “For arguments sake, I will agree with your hardcore stance on saying or writing “Ya Ali” etc.”

            I’m not here to argue. Making dua to any other than Allah aza wa jal is shirk. So come to me with the right idea of tawheed (those links show that Allah and His Messenger commanded us to make dua exclusively to Allah) and I will answer the rest of your prompt. Until then, peace.

        • Avatar

          Greg Abdul

          May 27, 2013 at 11:07 PM

          Brother Gibran,

          The Ummah has many problems. We have an international hate network that spends millions to misinform the world about Islam and to generate hate against Muslims. It’s hard for me to believe with all the problems we have that you are spending time kicking a dead boy out of Islam. Do you really think this is a productive halaal use of your time?

  11. Avatar

    Dawud Walid

    May 20, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum,

    @gibran

    I’m not the moderator of this site. I simply wrote the article.

    I will say the following regarding madhhab Ja’fari (which by the way I am not an adherent of this madhhab and disagree with them on a few issues):

    1) Al-Azhar recognizes madhhab Ja’fari has a legitimate school of thought. It is even taught there.
    2) I’ve been to Hajj twice, and the Saudis allow them there. I’ve prayed next to them in Al-Masjid Al-Haram. If the Saudis considered them to be kuffar or mushrikeen, they would not allow them in Makkah and Al-Madinah as non-Muslims are not allowed in the Haramayn.
    3) Ahmad bin Hanbal in his Musnad narrated from men who were known Shi’ah.

    The three above points are statements of fact, not opinions on what such and such thinks.

    May Allah (SWT) guide us all to what is best.

    Was-Salaam

    • Avatar

      Gibran

      May 20, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      wa alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
      @ Dawud Walid

      1) I know it was accepted by the head of Al-Azhar a few decades ago, didn’t know it is taught there now. Anyways, it doesn’t matter. I, and probably thousands of other Muslims don’t have any respect for Al-Azhar the institution. There are reasons for that.

      2) Yes, Saudis allow them there, otherwise hell would break loose. That doesn’t mean ulama from various backgrounds don’t consider them kuffar. In any case, we don’t kaffirize ALL Shia. My grandmother, uncle and aunt are all Shia and I love them to death. I hope they haven’t done any shirk (especially my grandmother-smiley face.)

      3) I know hadith narrators narrated from various types, even Qadari people who are the Magians/Zoroastrians of this ummah.

      May Allah (AWJ) guide us to what is best.

      • Avatar

        Syed Siraj Patel

        May 25, 2013 at 9:10 PM

        May Allah Blessed his soul and grant Him Jannat ul Firdaus.

        @ Gibran, Just seen your messages and would like to ask you some questions?
        1. Will it be shirk saying ” asking XYZ Doctor to cure the disease or sickness ?”
        2. Will be it shirk asking money from the people ” to construct Community centre or needy work?”
        3. Will be it shirk asking for food ” needy people asking for it”

        Looking above, asking for Cure, wealth, food other than Allah is SHIRK then majority of Muslims will be out of Islam (as per your analogy)

        My brother asking help or assistance or helping fellow human being doesn’t take you out of the Islam but make you better Human who follows the Humanity. The only way the person will be out of Islam when a person reject Tawheed ” There is no God but Allah and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is his Messenger”

        Wasalaam

  12. Avatar

    Sana

    March 2, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    A “Shaheed” is not Dead… n a prayer can be made for all beings that is what Huqooqul Ibaad is.. n it comes first before Huqooq Allah. Our Prophet pbuh was Rehmatulil Alameen. . Not only for a particular sect of extremists.. He always made dua for his non Muslim brothers n never rejected them calling Kafirs days how he managed to change them. We all claim to be some one higher than him Astaghfirullah. Through love n humanity we win hearts n inspire others not by hatred. We shud learn to be a Good Human First. Islam teaches us Ethics, No Arab is better than Non Arab! Remember Prophet pbuh’s last Sermon? It is for all humanity. We shud leave the Judgement part with Allah… only having a Muslim name isn’t a guarantee that someone deserves Jannah. Allah does only “Justice”
    Our job is to pray for all Humanity, dats how an Ummati of Rehmatulil Alameen shud be!

  13. Avatar

    Fareedah A.

    August 15, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    As Salaamu Alaikum,

    Thank you Br. Muslim. You are on target.

    Gibran, may Allaah (subhana wa ta ala) guide you. You are in error to speak as you have, to make takfir on him. The rules of Islam are clear but you are not clear about what he believed or didn’t believe. If you feel this way, you should keep it to yourself and do as you please. You are wrong to declare him a kafir and discourage other people from praying for him or for visiting his family. May Allaah subhana wa ta ala raise the rank of Malcolm Shabazz and have mercy on all of his family members and guide them to the haqq. Aameen

    And who cares what you think about Al Azhar University. Who died and gave you ultimate authority and judgment as if you sit in the station of our nabi? You don’t. Mind your manners.

    May Allaah Subhana wa ta ala have mercy on his soul and guide his family and console them for their losses. Aameen

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#Society

Do You Know Why Uzma Was Killed?

#JusticeForUzma is a campaign that highlights the many terrible ways household help is treated in places around the world. Here, Fatima Asad writes about how she is raising her children to be the change they want to see in their society. 

Fatima Asad

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Last week, Pakistani society was struggling with the story of the horrific murder of Uzma, a teenager, who worked as a house maid in the city of Lahore. The 16-year-old was allegedly tortured for months and then murdered by the woman she worked for…for taking a bite from the daughter’s plate. #JusticeForUzma is a campaign that highlights the many terrible ways household help is treated in places around the world. Here, Fatima Asad writes about how she is raising her children to be the change they want to see in their society. 

By Fatima Asad

Living in Pakistan, my children realize that within the gates of our neighborhood, they will see no littering, they will not experience water or electricity shortages and certainly, no one will be knocking on the door begging for food or money. The reason they have this realization is because I make it the day’s mission to let them know about their privilege, about the ways they have been blessed in comparison to the other, very real, living, breathing little girls and boys outside those gates. Alas, my children come face to face with those very real people as soon as the gates close behind us.

“Why are there so many poor people in Pakistan, Mommy?” they ask, quite regularly now, unsatisfied with the answers I’ve provided so far. The question perpetually makes me nervous, uncomfortable, and I hastily make a lesson plan in my mind to gradually expose this world’s truths to them… ahista, ahista…(slow and steady).

But on days like these, when we find out about the death of yet another underprivilged young girl (they’re becoming redundant, aren’t they?), on days like these, I want to hold them, shake them, scream at them to wake up!

Wake up, my child! Beta jaag jao.

Do you know why that little girl we see outside, always has dirt on her face and her hair is in visible knots?

It is because, there are too many people who can take a shower anytime they want, who have maids to oil, brush and style their hair.

Do you know why there are children with no clothes on their backs?

It is because, there are too many of us with too many on ours. There are too many of us with walk-in closets for mothers and matching wardrobes for their infant daughters. We obsess about tailors, brands, this collection, last season. How often do we hear or say “can’t repeat that one”, “this one is just not my thing anymore…”

Do you know why there are children with their cheeks sunk deep in their skulls, scraping for our leftovers in our trashcans?

Because there are too many of us, who are overstuffed with biryani, burgers, food deliveries, dinner parties, chai get-togethers, themed birthday cupcakes, and bursting appetites for more, more, more, and different, different, different.

There are too many of us craving the exotic and the western, hoping to impress the next guest that comes to lunch with our useless knowledge of foods that should not be our pride, like lasagna, nuggets, cinnamon rolls, banana bread, pizza, minestrone soup, etc.

There are too many of us who do not want to partake from our outdated, simple traditional cuisines… that is, unless we can put a “cool” twist on them.

Do you know why there are children begging on the streets with their parents? Because there are too many of us driving in luxury cars to our favorite staycation spots, rolling up the windows in the beggars’ faces.

We are rather spent our money of watching the latest movies for family nights, handing out cash allowances to our own kids so they won’t feel left out when going out.

Do you know why there are mothers working during the days and sacrificing their nights sewing clothes for meager coins? Why there are fathers, who sacrifice their sleep and energy to guard empty mansions at the cost of their self-respect? Because there are too many of us attending dance rehearsals for weddings of the friends we backstab and envy. Because there are too many of us binge-watching the latest hot shows on Netflix, hosting ghazal nights to pay tribute to dead musicians and our never-ending devotion for them, and many more of us viciously shaking our heads when the political analyst on TV delivers a breaking report on a millionaire’s private assets.

Do you know why there are people who will never hold a book in their hands or learn to write their own names? Do you know why there will never be proof that some people lived, breathed, smiled, or cried? Because there are too many of us who are given the best education money can buy, yet only end up using that education to improve our own selves – and only our own selves. There are too many of us who wear suits and ties, entrusted with building the country, yet too many of our leaders and politicians just use that opportunity to build their own legacies or secret, off shore accounts.

Do you know why children, yes children, are ripped apart from their parents, forced to provide their bodies and energies so that a stranger’s family can raise their kids? Because, there are too many of us who need a separate maid for each child we birth. Because, there are too many of us who have given the verdict that our children are worth more than others’.

Because, there are too many of us who need a maid to prove to frenemies our monetary worth and showcase a higher social class.

Because, there are too many of us who enslave humans, thinking we cannot possibly spoil our youth, energy and time on our own needs, our own tasks, our own lives.

Because, there are too many of us who need to be comfortable, indulged, privileged, spoiled, educated, satisfied, excited, entertained and happy at the expense of other living souls.

And we do all this, thinking—fooling ourselves into believing— that our comforts are actually a way of providing income for another human being. Too many of us think that by indulging in our self-centered lifestyles, we are providing an ongoing charity for society’s neediest.

Too many of us are sinking into a quicksand that is quite literally killing us. This needs to stop immediately. This accelerating trend of possessing and displaying more isn’t going to slow down on its own- in fact, it’s become deadly. Too many of our hearts have hardened, burnt to char.

More of us need to sacrifice our comforts, our desires, our nafs so others can have basic human rights fulfilled. More of us must say no to blind consumerism, envious materialistic competition and the need for instant gratification so others can live. We may have the potential to turn into monsters, but we have exceedingly greater potential to be empathetic, selfless revolutionaries. Too many of us have been living for the here and now, but more of us need to actively start thinking about the future.

Do we want to raise generations that will break bread with the less fortunate or do we want to end up with vicious monsters who starve and murder those they deem unworthy? The monsters who continue to believe that they have been blessed with more, so others can be given less than they are entitled to.

It is time for change andthe change has to start from within these gates.

#justiceforuzma #justiceformaids

 

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#Life

OpEd: Breaking Leases Into Pieces

Abu Awad

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Ali ibn Talib raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)once said, “Know the truth and you’ll know who’s speaking the truth.” 

I am based in Canada and was recently having coffee with friends. In the course of the conversation, a friend (who I consider knowledgeable) said that it’s okay to pay interest on a leased car because interest doesn’t apply to lease contracts. This completely caught me off guard, because it made no logical sense that interest would become halal based solely on the nature of the contract.

I asked him how this can be true and his response was that the lease contract is signed with the dealer and the interest transaction is between the dealer and the financing company so it has nothing to do with the buyer. Again, this baffled me because I regularly lease cars and this is an incorrect statement: The lease agreement is signed with a third party financing company who is charging you directly for the interest they pay the car dealership. Therefore, any lease contract that has interest associated with it is haram. This is the same as saying your landlord can charge you interest for his mortgage on a rental contract and this would make it halal. I tried to argue this case and explain to my friend that what he was saying was found on false assumptions and one should seriously look into this matter before treating riba in such a light manner.

Upon going home that night, I pulled out all my lease contracts (negotiated to 0% mind you) and sent them over to my friend. They clearly showed that a bill of sale is signed with the dealer, which is an initial commitment to purchase but the actual lease agreement is signed with a third party financing company which is charging you interest directly. If this interest rate is anything above zero it is haram (anything which is haram in a large quantity is also haram in a small quantity).

To my dismay, instead of acknowledging his mistake, my friend played the “Fatwa Card” and sent me a fatwa from a very large fatwa body in North America, which was also basing their argument on this false assumption. Fortunately for me, my friend pointed out the hotline number and the day and time the mufti who gave the fatwa would be available to answer questions.

I got in touch with the scholar and over a series of text messages proceeded to explain to him that his fatwa was based on a wrong assumption and for this reason people would be misled into leasing cars on interest and signing agreements with financing companies which are haram.
He was nice enough to hear my arguments, but still insisted that “maybe things were different in Canada.” Again this disappointed me because giving fatwa is a big responsibility – by saying “maybe” he was implying that full research has not been done and a blanket fatwa has been given for all of North America.

It also meant that if my point was true (for both Canada and the United States) dozens of Muslims maybe engaging in riba due to this fatwa.

The next week I proceeded to call two large dealerships (Honda and Toyota) in the very city where the Fatwa body is registered in the US and asked them about paperwork related to leasing. They both confirmed that when leasing a new vehicle, the lease contract is signed with a third party financing company which has the lien on the vehicle and the dealer is acting on the financing company’s behalf.

It is only when a vehicle is purchased in cash that a contract is signed with the dealer. This proved my point that both in the US and Canada car lease contracts are signed with the financing company and the interest obligations are directly with the consumer, therefore if the interest rate is anything above 0% it is haram. I sent a final text to the mufti and my friend sharing what I had found and letting him know that it was now between them and Allah.

1. As we will stand in front of Allah alone on Yaum al Qiyamah, in many ways we also stand alone in dunya. You would think that world renowned scholars and an entire institution would be basing their fatwas on fact-checked assumptions but this is not the case. You would also think that friends who you deem knowledgable and you trust would also use logic and critical thinking, but many times judgment is clouded for reasons unbeknownst to us. We must not take things at face value. We must do our research and get to the bottom of the truth. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says to stand up for truth and justice even if it be against our ourselves; although it is difficult to do so in front of friends and scholars who you respect, it is the only way.

2. There are too many discussions, debates and arguments that never reach closure or get resolved. It is important to follow up with each other on proofs and facts to bring things to closure, otherwise our deen will slowly be reduced to a swath of grey areas. Alhamdulillah, I now know enough about this subject to provide a 360 degree view and can share this with others. It is critical to bring these discussions to a close whether the result is for you or against you.

3. Many times we have a very pessimistic and half hearted view towards access to information. When I was calling the dealerships from Canada in the US,  part of me said: Why would these guys give me the information? But if you say Bismillah and have your intentions in the right place Allah makes the path easy. One of the sales managers said “I can see you’re calling from Toronto, are you sure you have the right place?” I replied, “I need the information and if you can’t give it to me I don’t mind hanging up.” He was nice enough to provide me with the detailed process and paperwork that goes into leasing a car.

Finally, I haven’t mentioned any names in this opinion and I want to make clear that I am not doubting the intentions of those who I spoke to; I still respect and admire them greatly in their other works. We have to be able to separate individual cases and actions from the overall person.

May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) guide us to the truth and rid of us any weaknesses or arrogance during the process.

Aameen.

Ed’s Note: The writer is not a religious scholar and is offering his opinion based on his research on leasing contracts in North America.

Suggested reading:

Muslim’s Guide to Debt and Money Management Part 6

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Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah: A Genuine Muslim Voice for Peace

Mufti Mustafa Ceric

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By Mufti Mustafa Ceric, Ph.D,

Grand Mufti Emeritus of Bosnia

The essence of the faith of Islam comes from two primary sources: the Qur’an, which is God’s revelation, and the Sunnah, which is the teachings, traditions, and attributes of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. But the nature of Muslims come from their many peoples and tribes:

“O men, God has created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes so that you may know one another. But, indeed, the most noble of you is the most morally correct among you. God knows and is well informed about everything.” (Qur’an, 49:13).

Thus, the experience of the faith of Muslims is as diverse as the nature of their national and tribal backgrounds. Therefore, both a specific God-given nature and a specific societal experience of Muslims must be recognized and appreciated within a global Islamic civilization, as long as the principle of tawḥīd (oneness of God), as is expressed in Lā il ā ha illa Allah, and the principle of an ultimate nubuwwah (prophethood of Muhammad, peace be upon him) are properly upheld. This diversity in the unity of the faith of Islam is a blessing for our ummah. Hence, Muslims must see the various natures and experiences of their fellow Muslims as a blessing from God that enriches an overall Islamic culture and civilization in the world.

Inspired by the reality of this blessing, I would like to share with you my perspective which stems from my God-given nature, my war and peace experience as a Muslim in Bosnia and a genocide survivor in Europe, and how I also see myself as belonging to the universal Muslim community today. Indeed, I would like to tell you why I believe that the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies in Abu Dhabi, UAE, led by the esteemed Muslim scholar Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, is a right path of Islam and a good program of peace for Muslims around the world.

My testimony is based on my personal nature and my own first-hand experience of war and peace in Bosnia without a need of apology to anyone. It starts from the fact that, during the war and postwar time in Bosnia, it was hard to find a peace initiative from a credible Muslim group or institution to help me engage in dialogue and trust building with others. All the peace initiatives were coming from Christian groups or institutions that, by this very fact, had an advantage in presenting their case. So, when a major Muslim peace initiative was introduced by Sheikh Bin Bayyah in 2014 in Abu Dhabi, I was delighted to be invited to join it. Indeed, I was praying for its success and continuity because rarely do genuine Muslim ideas survive the tremendous pressure of staunch opponents who oppose such initiatives if they are not in— if it’s not their own idea. Fortunately, it seemed that the Forum for Promoting Peace in Abu Dhabi was spared this destiny—until the last, and in my opinion, the best of all Forums so far—the Fifth Forum of 2018. We know from the Qur’an and Sunnah that right and constructive critique is an important aspect of the nature of Islam, but the recent hate-speech and false accusations against the Forum are not in accordance with the nature of Islam and as such are not of an Islamicʼ adab (ethics) and ʼakhlāq (morality).

Let me say that neither the esteemed Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah nor Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is in need of my defense. They are capable and upright people; their lifelong dedication to Islamic work speaks for itself. I feel the need to raise my voice clearly and loudly in defense of the importance of promoting peace, and the work of both esteemed scholars towards that goal. I humbly claim to be aligned with them in this purpose. And we should be grateful to the government of the UAE for supporting this project that has already engaged prominent religious, academic, cultural, and political leaders from around the world and earned their respect and commitment to this cause of peace.

First, no one has a monopoly on peace, but everyone has a duty to promote peace in their own way because, by its very definition, “Islam” is the concept of peace, and thus a “Muslim” is also by definition a peaceful man or woman. Therefore, the Forum for Promoting Peace is an application of this unique and powerful concept of Islam, namely the concept of peace.

Second, no one has a monopoly on tolerance, but everyone has an obligation to learn and teach tolerance in his or her neighborhood and surroundings because Islam is the faith of tolerance, made clear in the Qur’anic injunction: “there is no compulsion in religion” ( lā ikrā h a fī l-dī n) .

Third, no one has a monopoly on dignity, but everyone is entitled to enjoy the right of life (al-nafs), faith (al-dī n), freedom (al-ʿaql), property (al-māl), and dignity (al-ʿirḍ) because Muslim scholars defined these peace-oriented principles, and they did this long before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These principles are based on the letter and spirit of the Qur’an and the Sunnah as an amānah (trust) of the entire Muslim ummah, not just a part of it.

Fourth, no one has a monopoly on alliance, but everyone has the right to seek alliance with peace-loving persons and nations based on the example of the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), who participated in an alliance prior to Islam, known as the ḥilf al-fu ḍūl (the Alliance of Virtues) that he also approved in Islam.

Fifth, no one has a monopoly on democracy, but everyone has the right to speak about democracy, even if they believe it can sometimes lead to tyranny. The Greek philosopher Socrates had that right as well. He used to say that oligarchies become democracies for predictable reasons: “Democracy comes into power,” Socrates says, “when the poor are the victors, killing some and exiling some, and giving equal shares in the government to all the rest.” It’s an “agreeable form of anarchy,” Socrates tells us and adds that “the insatiable desire for freedom occasions a demand for tyranny.”

Sixth, no one has a monopoly on moral preaching, but everyone has a duty to improve his own morality before preaching to others. Islam teaches us that a right moral praxis is better than empty preaching.

And finally, no one has a monopoly on Islam, but everyone has the duty of farḍ ʿayn (personal responsibility) and far ḍkif ā yah (collective responsibility) to behave in such a way that does not corrupt the moral teachings of Islam and does not compromise the right image of Islam and Muslims in the world for the sake of personal gains. The work of Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is their due of farḍ ʿayn and farḍ kifāyah for repairing a damaged picture of Islam and Muslims in the world, due to some irresponsible and militant groups who have claimed to act on behalf of Islam. Those who don’t understand the importance of the message of these scholars are out of touch with reality, and thus, cannot claim to be the right guide for the Muslims, especially in the West. Those among the Muslims, wherever they are, who still support a catastrophic regicide that has happened recently in some major Muslim countries ought to be advised that suicide, individual or collective, is not part of the nature of Islam. Indeed, Islam has never been a religion of destruction. Islam has always been a religion of constructive and inclusive culture and civilization.

Let me say that no Muslim with a good heart and sound mind can be indifferent to what is happening in Yemen, Libya, Syria, Myanmar (Burma), and elsewhere, where our Muslim brothers and sisters suffer. But this pain will not be removed by additional destructive ideas that would cripple the rest of the Muslim countries just because some others are in an internal or external conflict. On the contrary, our duty is to do whatever we can to prevent further destruction of the Muslim states and societies. The Muslims today don’t need more Palestines. They need more hearts and minds like Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayyah and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. Indeed, they need more countries and societies like the UAE to support the promotion of peace and security among Muslim societies and others in the world.

And my final note to my Muslim brothers and sisters in the West is not to make a hasty judgment that is instigated by some people (and institutions) who do not have sympathy for Muslims who are suffering. If you cannot help the plight of Muslims today, then at least don’t make the Muslim situation worse than it is. Those who have not tasted the bitterness of war cannot fully appreciate the sweet taste of peace. I have tasted both. Therefore, my dear Muslim brothers, sisters, and friends, wherever you are, pray for peace and support those who work for peace, whoever they may be.

Mustafa Ceric, Ph.D.
Grand Mufti Emeritus of Bosnia

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