Lessons From The UK
Channel: Ebrahim Bham
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Alhamdulillah wa Salatu was Salam O Allah Mallanna Viva La Mulana Viva la vida de la kita Baba kitabi wa Sharia Tabata Shariati a mavado favela Humana. shaytani, r rajim, Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem was the Kama Sutra hula hula Zeum,
my dear respected elders and brothers.
In the past week, I have had the opportunity of traveling to the United Kingdom and having several speaking engagements in that country.
And my intention is not to speak about my visit Harsha wirkkala neither is my attention intention to highlight some of the programs that I had there. However, there is no doubt whatsoever there are many things we come to learn when we travel. And we see the situation of Muslims in other parts of the world, we come to realize the challenges we come to see how they are living, we come to see some of the challenges they are facing, we try and compare it with the way we we are living you. You sometimes inadvertently, look at certain situations and say that, you know, you're the Muslims, you have an advantage. You look at certain situations there, you say, No, they have an advantage here,
they have been able to establish something that we need to learn from, we can maybe perhaps bring it into our situation. And that is what we learn when we go abroad. And when we do travel, Muslims in United Kingdom, most of the Muslims have been people who have migrated from various parts of the world. And you will see a very cosmopolitan type of Muslim community that you can ever wish to see. In one particular gathering. You might see people who come from the indo Pak subcontinent, they might come from the Arab countries, they might come from North Africa, they might come from Somalia, and Sudan, they can come from the Caribbean countries. And sometimes you will ever get Muslims who
come from the Central Asian republics, and they will form part of one congregation that you are speaking to, it is not uncommon to have all these denominations in one talk when you are given. And however most of them came from different parts of the world. And when they came in this particular part of the world, they they lived a very sheltered existence. Previously, Muslims in the United Kingdom lived a very, very sheltered existence. They were always within their own self. They were always isolated from the mainstream, always keeping to themselves, in fact, to this extent, that many of them brought some of the baggage from where they came from into the United Kingdom, even if
that particular baggage was not appropriate way where you are coming to look. I've been going to the animal kingdom from the night from 1989. And it was not common in the late 80s in the early 90s. In fact, throughout the 90s to see baggage been brought, where people were still discriminating and people were still speaking to one another on what basis you come from this village I come from this village must've been established on that basis, although formerly It was not set so but it was amongst the people who are saying that this is a barocci Masjid, this is a Pakistani Masjid. This is a Somali Masjid. This is a Hydra Baba Masjid. It was very well known in common amongst the people.
Formerly It was not safe. But this was a situation. In fact, I know of, in many cases, that admission was only open only to one particular ethnic group, and anyone who was staying in that area, but was not from an ethnic group, they will not allow admission in a particular madrasa. That is a type of sheltered existence, the British Muslims lead, and maybe the people that government the media just didn't bother with regard to their existence, they allow them to live that type of sheltered existence. But you know, this type of sheltered existence perhaps doesn't last for a very long period of time. And since 911, and especially seven, seven Muslims have been catapulted into
mainstream. Now, the fact that we had lived such a sheltered existence all along, immediately put you into the backfoot. When you are catapulted in the mainstream, you are not ready for it. Obviously, you are not ready for it. You are living such a sheltered existence. All of a sudden, every aspect of your community, every aspect of your teachings have been made into mainstream news. And not only mainstream news has been put into the BBC has been put into the mainstream. All the newspaper articles are talking about the community talking about the community community being in ghettos, not being able to come to terms with regard to living in a modern society.
He's not coming to terms to live in a modern democracy. And all of a sudden that particular sheltered existence has gone out the window. Kelly, I think from our particular point of view, how long can you live in a sheltered existence, especially in the day and age that you are living in, either. And if you're going to live in a sheltered existence, people are going to form perceptions about EU laws are going to be made with regard to your living. And if you are not going to be proactive, and play an active role in the community and society that you are living in, then people are going to form perceptions about you laws are going to be made with or without your consent type
loads are going to be made about you, perceptions are going to be formed about you, then it is foolish and naive for anyone to think that let them do the laws about us. And we will just never sheltered existence and you will not take, we will not take a stance with regard to it. Because you are going to be prejudice, you are going to be on the backfoot. Now what we learn and just give you some of the challenges, some of the challenges that while you are there, you seem to have fun. We know we're very well known alum in our community in our society, in our neighboring country. Mufti meant with a smile bank was invited by one of an organization to give a series of talks in the
universities. And when he was invited a particular clip of what he had said, some years back, was then highlighted into the media. He was highlighted in the media, what was the highlight in which he had made mentioned with regard to homosexuals, and said that this is a particular type of allegedly said, this is a particular type of activity, which even does not be hopefully animals. Now, that was immediately splashed into the newspapers there. And unfortunately, without understanding what the situation what the background was, and this is actually what happens sometimes with regard to people who do not understand the rights, who are not confident with regard to going out there into the
open, and be able to ask you what you stand for, and yet not be looked upon as someone who is extreme or is a terrorist. And that is a situation that you find yourself in what actually happened, that the organization that called him cancel all his programs, because of the media highlight in the media focus on this one particular statement of his to give an another example, a Muslim spokesperson from the Muslim Council of Britain was interviewed with regard to Muslims in the United Kingdom. And the clip of two of the statements of one of the prominent allamah of United Kingdom was presented to him and said, What do you say with regard to it, and what was those clips, those clips
was that he had said, It is not possible for for a Muslim female to travel beyond 48 kilometres without a male Muharram, which all we know is a part of a Sharia, we cannot deny it. It is a thesis not on mainstream media is this not discriminatory against human. Then another particular clip in which he had made mention, be careful of intermingling in the community and society so that the negative aspects of the society not coming to you? Is this not showing disdain for the community that you are living in? Now, this was a type of questions that have been put in. And you know, we in South Africa, very fortunate we don't have media that is constantly on a daily basis, really, I can
say so there, there are newspapers out there, especially the right wing press, who on a daily basis are focusing upon various aspects, not only about community life, now focusing with regard to Islamic teachings, and all of a sudden, Muslims have been forced to contend with those particular issues. And many times, many of them are failing, many of them are starting to become apologetic, because they have never been able to understand the beauty of their religion, and they don't know how to contend with it. And this is something that when we spoke to the whole ama, they all agreed that we need to be able to do so. Now this has been put to people with regard to how do you deal
with these type of situations? And maybe because you have been all the time in a sheltered existence, maybe because of the fact that we have not been able to have a united front. This unity is the bane of Muslim communities, in many parts of the world, and perhaps more so in United Kingdom and maybe in other parts of the world. Because they have not been able to form a united front or even able to call everyone to discuss how do we respond to these situations. The House of Commons next year, February is having a debate with regard to burqa and niqab is should polka and meetup at the moment there is nothing said about having a law, but just having a debate with regard to whether
niqab should it be allowed in public spaces in the United Kingdom. And again, after this particular stage, although it is three months away, no Muslim organization have been able to gather everyone together and said, what will be our input into that particular debate? What will be our input into that particular debate? There hasn't been any structure
third type of response with regard to it, and they but however they you know when we do speak to many people they do feel a need with regard to that we need to be able to find to be able to come across respond to the situation now in responding is always a big challenge. What is the challenge? The challenge is firstly, you cannot compromise upon the deal, we will know that I mean this is something that you and I are very clear with regard to it. Although people would be put into the spotlight from time to time when they meet with non Muslims. The fact of the matter is no one no one has got the right to be able to change a Dini concept that comes from the Quran and Hadith no one is
putting Allah in the Holy Quran it said
Allah He Maja tuna unity codon Latina junella anarchy because
when the Quran Allah Allah tells me so slim when you read the Quran, those people who do not have desire for the accurate detail you a typical Rehana bring me another Quran.
Allah tala tells the Navy of Allah Akuma cannoli and
tell him to them I got no right to change it. Allah is telling the law that I've got no right to change it.
Allah didn't have the right to change the deen except that it comes from Allah subhanho wa Taala than anyone else did in the matter. In your heart, when I say to rob the other human as him, I fear punishment from Allah, if I have to change the deal. That is Allah tala telling me to tell the Kuma but at the same time we have to deal with other particular type of laws, the laws that says you cannot discriminate against people who have a particular sexual preference. How do we get that balance? Right. Also, another particular aspect with regard to the balance that I found was that because the government for whatever purpose in his got his own agenda, would like to have someone
from the Muslim community that he could say it is his partner. Right. So the government has tried various organizations, sometimes that there has been some sort of communication between the Muslim Council of Britain and the government, the Muslim Council of Britain, they have to criticize and condemn the foreign policy of Britain, they were removed from being, you know, according to the government, someone whom they could speak to. So then you have different now these one particular foundation that has been set up by the name of the Quilliam Foundation, and the Quilliam Foundation has received that amount of funding, and that particular founding, and how do they base themselves,
they say, We are a Muslim counter extremism think tank and grew, that it is working to remove,
quote, unquote, remember I'm saying quote, unquote, I don't know what they mean by this, removing Islamism, from the Muslim community, and promoting a peaceful form of Islam, which is at ease with the Western world. Now, obviously, now, I read an article this morning time to Google with regard to this particular situation. And there was a Muslim writer and said, that if you have 10 Muslim people in Britain, on any issue, you will get nine views. On any issue, you will get nine, if not 11, views 911. However, what thing is completely sure is, no one had any difference of view with Quilliam Foundation, no one regarded them as credible Alhamdulillah they said, you know, someone with that
particular situation, that we don't regard them as credible because they have lost touch with a community that they seek to speak on behalf of, or seek to represent? Obviously, a very great challenge. Anyone who wants to speak Yes, we need someone to be speaking, speaking with authority speaking without apology, without apology. Yet at the same time, while speaking in that particular way, someone that the other party can look upon as being reasonable, not being someone who is a terrorist, quote, unquote, but at the same time in doing so, you still have the credibility, and you still have the backing, and you can still maintain relationship at grassroots level with a Muslim
community, a very, very great child challenge, but that is perhaps what is needed out there. And then of course, what happens is when when pressure comes onto people, but as I tell you, I always say until we are fortunate, pressure hasn't come upon us, because when pressure comes now it becomes a very difficult situation I made mentioned previously, Molinari Sharma tanggram. coolala used to say in his talks, that the time of petition, Muslims were being singled out for killing because they were living in India. So he said, I saw two groups of people. I saw a group of people who had similar beer and they shaved it off. And I saw people who did not have beards and they started
keeping and as them the people who did not have beards while you keeping a beard. He says, You see people have been killed because they're Muslims. We felt there is no there is no trust in life. Let us keep the sooner if we die, we got the sonet he said I went
For those people who end up here, so why did you Why did you shave? He said, Don't you see people have been singled out because they're Muslims. This is a sign of Muslim, I'm shaving it off, so that I don't have to be identified as Muslims and my life will be safe. Do you see what pressure does, it can bring out the best. And it can bring out the worst of people pressure in bring out the best and can bring out the worst. And you are seeing that actually happening. People are, you know, sometimes when there's pressure upon someone, that person is immediately sort of outcasts is regarded as an outcast, then particular people are going in their own way to try and show them something. I spoke
to a person who was on the media. And in the media, he started, you know, with regard to the niqab issue, and he was asked, he said, Well, there are two views on this particular matter. I don't believe in this view. So I said, How can you argue on that basis? If that particular thing you're gonna start going on to wait as it stopped? These two views on the matter?
You do not go and discuss the nitty gritties of your feet on the public media. Whoever is saying that they want to put on the niqab. That is their understanding of the Sharia, which we have to support, whether you agree with it, whether you practicing a party, that's a different matter. And I hate this particular discussion with many people. In fact, one of the alums in one of the towns told me that his wife has been with niqab and she has been invited to a public debate with one of the woman who is against niqab on this basis, that if I see a woman with niqab, my rights have been violated, that I cannot have an interactive conversation with that particular woman. So therefore,
my rights have been violated by that particular person having any come. So I said one thing you go there, you must always don't go and argue about the nitty gritties of it. Because you're gonna get yourself into an unnecessary tangle, which you don't have to get yourself involved into. That is the right of the person who is wearing it to make the interpretation of Deen according to the understanding, it's got no one else has got the right to interfere with it. Anyway, these are some of the challenges that people are facing in that particular part of the world. On the other hand, there are many situations that you find this time I had the opportunity of you know, speaking to
many Muslim students in universities and normally you speak in Masjid programs and mature programs are handled by enlarge you get a you know, you get an audience which which is a Mashallah, Mashallah very good. You know, and they do it because of the the goodness of their heart because of the man because of the fact that they are close to the masjid they close the masjid environment. But this time we had an opportunity. The host said that one will always have magic programs, we want you now to speak outside the magic programs. We want you to speak to Muslim students and speak at universities. So I had programs in the London School of Economics, which was one of the more
challenging programs I had because the topic was similarities between apartheid Israel, and the apartheid regime of South Africa. In the past, it was open to both Muslim and non Muslim students Alhamdulillah spoke them then spoke at Cambridge University, to the Muslim students in Preston. Preston was a multi program, University of Birmingham, University of Nottingham, and the University of Cambridge and University of Leicester. And it's another word out there, or you speak too much it programs until you find people close to the deed. And you speak to Muslim students University, they are grappling with issues of staying steadfast support the faith in that environment. So in one
particular university, I spent almost 45 minutes to an hour after the talk, you know, taking individual questions from students. And some of the some of the questions were just amazing, mind boggling, mana how do we deal with my friend who all of a sudden I've come to know that he or she is homosexual or lesbian? How do I deal with them? manana, I know five times daily ceratosaurus. But the moment I start saying, I'm gonna do five times daily for a salad, after three days, I realize I can manage or can I start off with one daily for a salad
off with one, one daily for a seller. Whenever we get when we in our particular type of class, we have different types of people who are inviting us towards different situations. We are invited to to the church, we invited to church functions, how do we do it in such a way that we don't break up with our class? If we do do it, we have a problem. If we don't do it, we have a problem. How do we deal with this particular type of challenges? in one particular University after I spoke to a woman came and she just started bursting out crying? What's wrong? What is WhatsApp reaction? I'm a Hindu make I want to accept Islam.
I don't know how to accept this. I don't know whether my family will accept you or not. How do I deal with the situation? So I said are you ready to either Columbus I'm not ready. So I said okay, if you're not ready
I thought that maybe let me say, Do you believe in the oneness of Allah? She said yes. I said, Do you believe in Mohammed bin a prophet? You said yes. So I felt I could have extracted some form of testimony from her without actually making a read the kalama, which she was hesitant, because of the consequences that might come upon her from the family. This was the situation that you find yourself and I wonder, whether we are also perhaps living such a sheltered existence, and not taking into account that these type of trends, these type of thoughts, these type of practices, might be with our students in a university, which by and large, we have not been able to interact with to the
degree that we are supposed to interact with. This is the reality. On the other hand, there was some remarkable aspects. So I went to Blackburn, I met a person who was the name of booty Shabbir, and he was someone who studied with us for a little while in Karachi, and then he competed in a room in Sarajevo. And he told me about where his son is teaching in a school in Blackburn. So he will Islam a girl's High School, had the best marks last year in the whole country.
This marks and get the best in the whole country.
And I always tell people what I said many times from this member I've said in Allah tala Sana Allah, Allah Allah commands you excellence be excellent in what you are doing. There is no substitute for excellence in whatever you do become excellent. To this degree that the government has given them three schools please run the schools on our behalf.
three schools have given them you run the schools on our behalf. So they've only accepted to do one in Coventry, which is not very fast, but they said we will do this one particular school as a pilot project to see how we how we will do with it the best marks in the whole country. They after Tisha Bishop said, Why don't you study what we have started in Blackburn something that I have never seen. But it is absolutely amazing that after the school, they've got a dark room for girl students. And in the one in Blackburn girl students are becoming Alamos in one class these 90 girl students after the school they become Alamos and they are doing Buhari together with a school curriculum. They are
doing full Alomar class, and he said in the in the Biharis class of this year in this particular in this particular Institute, you got 90 girl students doing Buhari Sharif, he said Savonarola This is something that you and I we have become complicit in South Africa. We feel we are super Muslims. And we have got this and we've got this mucked up system. We've got that macro system, I saw something that we ourselves have not been able to establish. And sometimes it is when you look at that achievement, you feel can it actually be replicated in South Africa, but it has been done in other parts of the world. So these are just some of the observations that I had, which I felt were
extremely important and I hope inshallah by sharing it, it will give us an opportunity to start thinking about these things. May Allah subhanaw taala always keep us steadfast upon the deal. We are brothers we are coming to a situation where Nivea cream sauce comes at a time will come with remain steadfast upon the deed would be like carrying a burning coal and now in this when you see these type of situations yes it is becoming like that. Even if today for a person to stand up and say in the environment that he's living in. I'm a Muslim you know when we were small we did a man and woman you know the some of the other distinctive networks I this particular aspect came into my mind. I'm
going to be lucky come out with a smile he was if it was a bill to Tommy, Tommy, brother, this was a bill to Jimmy, Tommy overnight. I accept all of your commands. With I can I cannot do it now whether I'm weak whether circumstances does not allow me to do it. But that phrase, we must read it all the time. workable too chummy Viola accept all of your commands will have you out of understanding and making our vasudevan