Baigsaab's Blog

Protests Final

Posted in protest by baigsaab on February 28, 2008

This is the final part of a three part series, please find the earlier parts here and here.

In order to handle such situations, what we’re lacking is an understanding of how the Prophet of Allah (S.a.w.) and his companions handled them. Obviously, during the 13 years of early preaching in Makkah, and in the 10 years in Medina while inviting world leaders to Islam, there have been several incidents when someone grew so much in his audacity that he did something blasphemous to the Prophet of Allah (S.a.w.). We know that Abu-Lahb and his wife were known blasphemers, so was Abu Jahl during the stay in Mecca. While Caesar of Rome, Hercules of Syria, and the Iranian emperor all responded in aggressive negation, some even tearing the letter that contained Quranic verses. As far as I have found out, there’s been very few incidents when a Companion’s sword did the justice. But to that end, my knowledge is limited and requires your input. If we can just find out from the life of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and his companions how they responded in those events, we may end up having a destination as a nation after all.
[Knowledge gain August 2009: The book Ar Rahiq ul Makhtoom gives references of murders of a jew called Kaab bin Ashraf and another blasphemer who were both murdered by Sahabah (ra) and that too after deceiving them! So we have a precedent after all]

What we definitely need is having a strong media base. We need to create more opinion makers – like one of my friends has previously said in a circulating email chain, there aren’t much good Muslim writers on Wikipedia -to divert the masses in our favor, we need to show them the other side of the picture, in a more humane way. And this can only be done when the Muslim Media are strong enough and more importantly, united enough to send out a singular message to the world. I know that the points raised in this write up are not new, but I’ve written them in the hope that they may be able to tap a newer audience and just may reignite our dormant fire of Iman.

All we need to do is to make a start, and with a pure heart. We just need to find our individual strengths – some of us are good orators, some are good writers, some are good presenters, the mathematicians, the scientists, the number crunchers, the architects, the pilots, the marines, the astronauts, the multi-linguals, the multi-culturals, each has a strength, a niche’ that sets him or her apart – and then find out how to put it to the best use for Islam. Taking time out is easy. Just start by giving 5% of your time to the brainstorming session. If we’re thinking about it the same way we think about that next picnic spot, the new restaurant, that next car, that elusive better job, or just about anything that we’re obsessed about, we can hope that Allah would lead us to the correct path.

And just signing off, there’s a verse in the Quran (I can’t remember the reference) whose message is: If the love of your parents, your sons and daughters, your spouse, your business, your wealth, your houses or just about anything is more than your love for ALLAH, then just wait in a far corner for ALLAH’s verdict, and Allah doesn’t like such Kafirs. [Knowledge gain August 2009: At Taubah:24] Let’s analyze ourselves again and again, and try to explore ourselves how we can make the change. Singly, I’m very weak, but with you, and the omnipresent help of Allah, we could be the most formidable force in the world.

This is the final part of a three part series, please find the earlier parts here and here.

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Protests II

Posted in protest by baigsaab on February 28, 2008

This is the second part of a three part series, please find the first part here and the last part here.

If we look back at the last five years, there have been a number of such incidents where Muslims have been provoked by a seemingly harmless entity. Take for example, Nike’s new range of shoes in which the word “Air” was written to resemble “Allah” in Arabic; Burger king’s ice cream packaging where the cone was made to resemble “Allah” in Arabic; Wikipedia printing paintings depicting the Prophet (S.a.w.); Salman Rushdie being awarded British knighthood despite Muslim outrage. Muslims fail to understand the coincidence and the good intent behind these incidents. Apparently, the western corporate giants are trying to lure the huge Muslim population by putting the symbols known to them on their brands. It’s only that Muslims don’t see the friendly side of it at all. For them, fiddling with anything sacred to them is just blasphemy. Herein lies the problem of the west. If the west can bow to their Japanese guests saying “sayonara”, eat Chinese food with chop sticks, wear Hawaiian shirts on beaches – in short, respect and follow the traditions of other nations the way it’s recommended – then may be they can just know how to communicate with Muslims. But the question is who’ll show them the turn-ons and turn-offs of the Muslims. May be it’s the job of the Muslim administrations around the world.

Muslim governments on the other hand, are dealing with domestic violence and tension on borders. As these lines are being written, Turkey is at war against the Kurds, Iraq against the combating locals, Pakistan against the local Talibans, Afghanistan against the actual Talibans, The Fateh regime of Palestine against Hamas, Sudan dealing with the Darfur crisis, while other Muslim countries are also engaged in constant mind games from the rest of the world. With such problems at hand, Muslim rulers are not only already exhausted, the majority of them is not considered to be practicing Muslim by other Muslims. That, eventually – and quite rightly – becomes the job of the general Muslim population.

The plight of a common Muslim today is that he or she loves Islam but is not ready to follow it. People who don’t even offer Friday prayers still love Islam, but only as someone would love his birthplace. This is the same reason why we get to receive long email chains proclaiming Will Smith or Michael Jackson’s acceptance of Islam, there’s an inner desire in each and every one of the 1 billion strong Muslims to serve Islam, to preach its teachings, to show the world the correct side of Islam. However, we’re not inclined to first follow the same principles in our lives. We see someone with a beard and say “Masha ALLAH” and then step into the barber’s shop to fashion that goatee on our chin; we hear the Azaan and sit upright, and when it finishes, go back to the same reclining position. But the desire to do good doesn’t die, it may be dormant, but it’s there without argument. So when such an incident occurs, we feel extremely agitated, and with no knowledge of how to handle things, eventually end up following charlatans who convince them that killing any “Kafir” is the only way to salvation. Hence you see the suicide bombings, the beheadings of journalists and other instruments of terrorism. And unless we, the common Muslim, is educated enough, there’s no way we can convince the non-believers that for all the man-made problems created in this world today, Islam has the solutions for all of them.

This is the second part of a three part series, please find the first part here and the last part here.

Protests

Posted in protest by baigsaab on February 28, 2008

This is the first part of a three part series, please find the other parts here and here.

The Indus Highway is one of the busiest national routes connecting several important cities of Pakistan with one another. But the angry mob that shut it down for traffic was probably oblivious to this fact. The closure presumably forced dozens of commuters on either sides of the blockade to look for alternate routes or – even worse – wait indefinitely until the crowd scatters. The reason for the protest apparently was the reprinting of the blasphemous cartoons by the Danish papers. The result of the protest? As always, some burnt effigies, a few items set ablaze, broken windows etc. of which definitely none was a property of the sketcher, the paper, Denmark or even any foreigner. Those things must have belonged to one of our own people, who probably would have ended up having definitely negative thoughts about the mob – so much for making friends!

Several time zones away, the cartoonist responsible for the provocation was probably ensconced in the safety of his home. The papers publishing the trash are adamant on their so-called freedom of expression, the Danish government is unperturbed by the global outcry in the Muslim world, even after the threat of some Muslim countries to ban Danish products, and all that the Muslim governments can do is call the Danish envoy to the foreign office and “vehemently” protest to him, then asked him on tea and discussed the prospects of new trade scenarios with Denmark.

While all of this is going on, a new controversy is cooking in the financial capital of the world. In a busy Manhattan street, New york, a new building is being built. Nothing new and nothing wrong with that so far, except that it’s shaped as a cube and is colored black. And if you still don’t smell a rat, here’s the killer punch, the building’s being called Apple Mecca, and apart from being a showroom to Macintosh’s various products, is said to have a liquor bar of its own. A move that’s certain to draw further protest from Muslims all across the globe. More fervent protests are expected in response to this fresh episode of deliberately hurting Muslim sentiment. So one can predict that more violence is going to follow and again, the rioters will vent their anger on local properties instead of doing some meaningful protest.

This is the first part of a three part series, please find the other parts here and here.

Hat tip: Owais @ ExxSol