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Being an active citizen

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Muhammad West

Channel: Muhammad West

Episode Notes

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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Are we live in a shutdown the rajim Bismillah R Rahman Rahim Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa salatu salam ala Bucha mursaleen St. Now Muhammad Ali he also Javier Germain and beloved brothers salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.

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handloader bloodmeal. Praise be Unto Allah, masha Allah, Allah and Allah will be witnesseth is none worthy of worship besides Allah subhanaw taala and we send our love greetings, salutations and beloved Nabi Muhammad Sallallahu wasallam. This place of your family, his companions and all those who follow the Sunnah until the end of time. May Allah Subhana Allah blesses to be upon the Sunnah of Nabi Muhammad Sallallahu sallam, in his companionship in his dunya. And in the era, I mean, while hamdulillah Hamdulillah. We continue with where we left off last week and a little bit of a politics a little bit about elections. And what is important, though, is, what is our duty? What is our duty

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in terms of being a active citizen, we said last week that on the one hand, yes, our duty is to obey the leadership, once it has been decided, we don't rebel against them, we assist them and support them in when they do good when they do goodness. And we oppose them in a in a manner which is respectful, when they commit when they do something wrong. And we disobey them when they command us to do something which is evil without rebelling against them. Then I because even went so far as to say that even if we don't get our rights, from our leaders, now, there's a contract between us and our leaders, they need to do their part and we do our part. But then I become sick, even if you

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don't get your part, your money's taken, your back is flogged, we do not rebel against the leadership. This is the philosophy of Islam. Why? Because we don't want to have a situation like we have in Syria, may Allah make it easy. We, you have, you know, people at war with its government, and everyone is unsafe, we have, we have refugees where people dying, Islam does not want them. And so we Alhamdulillah live in a in a society, a democratic society, and there's a lot to be discussed is democracy, the best way forward and not the Islamic way forward. That's a different discussion altogether. But we find ourselves in a country where our input is counted. And it is our

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responsibility as a Muslim, to be an active citizen, to be part of the discussion to be part of the dialogue, and a Hamdulillah. One of the reasons why we as a Muslim community, even though we are such a small minority, are in some, in many ways, very fortunate is because our forefathers have always been part of the politics of the time, they did not sit in their own little, you know, make your own little,

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you know, area, and we teach our own,

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you know, schools and we have our own restaurants. And that's it, we don't interact with the rest of the of the community. Now we're part and parcel of this community, the issues that affected South Africa, Cape Town, were part of it. And we made sure that the people in charge knew what are the things that are important to us as Muslims, and where we drew the line. And it's important, therefore, that we don't lose that. Because the easiest since that, as young people as we become more qualified, we become so engrossed in our jobs, paying the bills, making sure our kids get a good education, we forget about the bigger picture. For example, you look at our budgets, our

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school, school, a parent buddies, very few participation from our community. In the past, there's a lot more, there's a lot more participation from our elders. And that is why things get done. And, you know, policies are made without our input, and then afterwards, we become upset. But it's important to understand how local government works. I spend a lot last few days trying to understand local government, it's actually quite complicated. It's very complicated the way the system works, and I'm probably getting a few things wrong here. But how I understand it, so Africa is a country is divided into municipalities. Okay. There are eight big municipalities. These are the cities Durban

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Joburg, Cape Town, right. The big cities, they call the eight metropoles metros, and you have about 226 smaller municipalities besides the eight metropoles. The municipalities are then broken down into wards. And when we voted, I think last week, Monday, when we when was it, we you would have voted for your ward, a counselor, a person who's going to it's a one man takes also the person who gets the most votes. He's going to be the ward councillor, you also voted there was a second form of second paper, right? That was for a party. And depending on how many votes that party got, they get they're called proportional representatives. So at the end of the election, we take all the people

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that won the awards or the councillors, the ward councillors and all the parties, how much seats they won, we put them together, and they basically form the municipal committee with the portfolio committee. That's basically that's how it is it's formed. So it's a combination of the ward councillors that one and the number of seats at each political party one and then they form a committee, which will eventually run the municipality, okay. So, these people, the more you call them, the once they are elected like now they are elected. They will now form this portfolio or they will form a committee. They will select a speaker who will work on the meetings whenever meetings

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you must have a chair

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A person, a person who runs the, the he's the speaker, or she's the speaker. And they will also choose a mayor. And the mayor will choose a team may call the mayoral committee or Mako this year this often the radio, the Mako member know who these people are. But anyway, this is what happens. The mayor chooses a team who will help run the municipality. And they will have executive powers to push through budgets to expenditure infrastructure. So they basically run, as you said, the whole municipality of and we of course, living in one of the metros in Cape Town, they have very extensive, far reaching extensive powers. It's also important to understand there are certain things

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which local government looks at and certain things which national government looks at. There's certain things that people get confused. They will say, for example, and I'm not in favor of any political party here, but they will speak about foreign policy when they elect a local government. Now your ward Council has nothing to do with the relationship between South Africa and Israel, for example, there is no there's nothing that local government can do with regards to this a national issue, whether it is got to do with, let's say the Springboks in rugby wherever there's very little that the National Award counselor can do. But there are things that your local municipality is

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responsible for, for example, your water, your tariffs, your sewage, you refuse, firefighting, housing, electricity, some parts of security, your roads, your bottles, those kinds of things, those kinds of problems that you have people living on the street, homeless, those kinds of things, we can refer to our local government and we should hold them accountable. Now, the fact that we are given a chance to participate as Muslims it is our responsibility to participate. And it is a question that hon Allah, we will be asked about Allah. What did you do for your community, where you don't have a say, we can say Allah wasn't asked, I didn't have the opportunity. But when you do have a say, in

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your masjid, in your school in your madrasa in your government, then you have to exercise that participation. Now there are certain areas which you have to very important to participate, for example, drafting bylaws, bylaws, or laws which the municipality can determine. Now you find and usually we hear this when, in a certain area, they tell the mosques, they can't have it anymore. That's a bylaw. Now, how did that law eventually get passed, because that municipality won't just pass the law without consulting the public. We only wake up after the law is passed, then we want to make a noise. That's not the process. The process is we need to understand what laws are being

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proposed, they will have to ask the public, what do you think about this law? Do you think it's a good thing or a bad thing, and that's where you make your your representation, that's where you make your you, that's what you participate in. So I'm against this thing.

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The the metros or the municipalities, they also have something called an IDP, an integrated development plan, where they tell you this is what we're going to do for the next five years, our strategy, we're going to build so many hospitals and schools and all of that. It's important for us to get involved and to either oppose or participate when that plan is being documented. This is our vision for the city, we need to give our input as well. We need to give our input as well. financial matters. For example, a budget you will master Well, yesterday, the medium term budget was released from the government perspective, but every word every municipality, they must have a budget. And

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there will be a review of how well they did. Now, the fact that many municipalities overspend and the irregular expenditure year in year out, nothing happens, because not enough noise is being made. That's the problem. If enough noise is being made, people will act people will act. And that's up to each and every one of us to make noise.

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One of the things that you can do so what are the things that you and I can do practical steps, you're all from different. I don't think all of us live in the bootcamp yet. Whichever area you reside in, it's important that you get to know who your work counselor is. And he has or she has a duty to respond to any communication from any member in that would. So if you send an email, if you phone that person, you make an appointment, they must see you. It is your democratic right. In fact, the first up to the first requirement of a word counselor is to promote the democratic process, meaning that they need to link up with a community that they serve at the pleasure of the community.

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So get to know who your counselor is, have a conversation with him or her what is the plans and hold them account, take down all the promises and follow up. As I spoke to you last year, this time, you said we're going to fix this road still not fix what's going on?

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Your Ward committees.

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There are many committees that get formed and subcommittees where people are asked to join, join those committees or civic organizations, like the ratepayers Association, the Civic and the Blue cup. It's important that as a collective when we speak not just one man, but we speak as a group that people will listen. Now in schools for example, you have your PTA or your Parent Teachers Association.

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When the parents as well come together, and they put pressure on the principal on the the Governing Council of the school, this makes a difference. But you're not going to have change if you don't organize yourselves. So if there's anything that concerns you to sit down and think I'm not happy with my kids, schooling, I'm not happy with what's happening at university or in my the crime in the area, get together as a group, and make representation. There are many local meetings parties, the party themselves, so like the DA, for example, as we know, they are dominant in the Western Cape, when that party has a meeting, we need to also go and make our voices heard. Very importantly, what

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we do. And I've seen this over and over with our community. We moan and groan a lot on WhatsApp. But we don't officially make an official statement or make an official complaint. That's the problem.

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When you have a problem, when you have something that concerns you,

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a WhatsApp message between yourself and your group of friends is not going to make a difference. You need to log an official complaint. Now the city has a portal where you can log faults, that this portal is still not fixed. And the longer that that complaint is the it gets taken into account when they do a review of the performance of the of the

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of the municipality or of that word. Many people would mention that certain areas get better service delivery analysis through they are people that are more equal than others, we know that. But also those areas we don't very rarely some a pothole in a certain road in a certain suburb, you will have thin housewives phoning nonstop until that pothole gets fixed, or the areas it can go for months, and nothing happens. So make sure that you are that person that is logging the fault regularly, because this is your responsibility. Most of this information, you can find this a wonderful website, civics Academy dot 00, a civics Academy, the theory is that all videos of the government

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released to explain to you how the system works. And it's good to understand how the democratic system was there some questions I wanted to answer in the slides. People ask a lot about Islam and politics. And I think it's important that when someone asks, Should we even get involved? When the system is an Islamic system, you get this a lot. It's a preferred system. It doesn't. It's constitution, we have our Constitution, Quran that's how you know the slogan, the Quran is our Constitution, they have their own constitution, so we shouldn't get involved.

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And that means all Salam, before he became an OB, they were when he was a young teenager, there was a lot of corruption and evil being done in Makkah, and eventually a group of citizens non Muslims, they got together and they they got together call themselves the the faithful fool a committee of of like minded individuals, a league of good people. And they said, We will stand together and oppose corruption and oppose injustice in Makkah, then at least one was a young man was not even 20 years old. And he signed up to be part of this, this this group long before he became a navy. Many years later, when he returned to Marquez and a be conquered Makkah. He said, I still consider myself as

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part of that committee, that if they asked me now, I'm still part of it. We eat we don't look at the religion, or we look at we look at what you stand for. If the objective is in line with Islam, then we support it. So also, someone might ask, can I be part of a party? Can I be a Da Mo ANC member when there are policies which are haram? Think of the use of did you not work in the government of Iran, he was the Minister of Finance with Iran, Iran, of course, at a completely different religion, you can be part of any party of any organization. So long as overall that party is not against Islam is not working for sab Miller, for example, you apart, and you don't involve yourself in a policy,

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you don't promote a policy, which is haram. So you can say as far as this policy is rejected, but where you are going to do something good, you're going to build a hospital and orphanage, then I'm there. And also, it's good that we have people that have our interests within different parties. So I might say should we not have our own Islamic parties? Yes, it's good. We should have so many parties. I'm not sure why we have so many summing parties, though, if you all have the same framework, Quran and Sunnah. Why do you have five, six different Islamic parties? I hope it's not personal politics. It's but the argument is always what's the point, if I vote for Alabama, they

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only get one seat, that once he can't do anything, we don't look at the results. When you think of Nabi Musa, who stood in the Parliament of around one voice, and you just give your message. So even if we have one member of parliament, one guy in the committee that says look, 99% of you disagree with me, but I will make my speech and you can reject it. So long as we have the voice heard Alhamdulillah then we have done our job, but to do nothing, and to simply say there's nothing we can do. That is unacceptable as a Muslim, and that is we

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This disease of apathy needs to be combated. There's so much apathy, so much, I don't care, defeatist mentality, which goes against the essence of what it means to be a Muslim, as a Muslim are optimistic, we always look at, at the bright side of things, and we always work for change.

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Whether it is your school, whether it is your Alma, whether it is your MJC, your kids madrasa, your government, your sports team, don't give up and just throw your hands in the air and say, it doesn't matter what I do, nothing is going to change. Because if that is the defeatist mindset, that's why we see the problems we have in the world. On a small level, it translates to big things on the big level. Why, after more than 10 years, do we still have like the wars in Syria, in Libya? In Yemen, these don't get resolved, why not? Why do we see people still dying of starvation? When you have other individuals who have trillions and trillions of dollars? 300 trillion, for example, Elon Musk,

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why do we see now we look at the news, Muslims from Syria, on the border of Belarus and Poland trying to get in fleeing their homeland. Why?

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Why is it that there are so many orphans, so much disease that could be prevented, so many people dying, that could have been saved, why? It's not because of the lack of resources, we have the money, we have the expertise, we have the capability, we have the infrastructure, but we don't have the will to do it, we don't have the will to make a change. The people who are in charge, have no interest in doing it. And those who put them the US, we put those people the we did not put pressure on them to make the right choices. Even now there was a long there was a

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meeting with regards to climate change. And once again, the leaders of the world could not come together in the face of a very real threat to make a lasting decision for the betterment of our children and our planet. Why? Because it's not in the interests of those in charge to do it. Because we are not putting pressure on them. They will in a democratic society, they will respond to the power of the people, if if we make our voices heard, and we should know that better than any other country, we got rid of apartheid, we prove that by the grace of Allah, then it can happen. It can change with your many people that believe it was impossible. The only way things are gonna change

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for Africa is through a civil war, bloodiness, that's the only way it's going to change we prove the can change, with commitment with hard work. And so if we don't do our part, nothing is going to things aren't going to change. So we allow the unfit to lead us. We allow the least amongst us to be our governance elected officials to run our institutions, the people who have the biggest miles and nothing else to show for it. We let them be because we're too concerned about our own well being. We allow criminals for example, to roam free, our machines, our our schools, my dad is left unattended. If you're not happy with something happening in your school or your madrasa. What do you do about

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it? That's your kids future, that is your kid's future. Now this goes beyond just looking for your own interest. Allah subhanaw taala says this, he says, I shall take revenge on the oppressor, in this life and in the next. And I shall also take revenge on anyone who saw a person being oppressed, and you had the power to help him but you didn't do anything. This Allah subhanaw taala is wanting one of us, then whatever ability you have whatever skill Allah has given you, whatever opportunity Allah has given you to make a positive change, if you don't do it, I was gonna ask you about it. I was going to ask you about asked me and knew about it. Whenever someone says, by him in whose hand

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is my sole verb, obviously Wallahi you will either enjoin, encourage the good and you will speak out against evil, or Allah will certainly send his punishment upon you, then you will make dua and Allah will not accept you to our spine, Allah, we live in these kinds of times, we make dua because Han Allah, what He said is, we can all see the wrong that's happening on our social media, we can see the evils happening in our country in other parts of the world, but we almost feel paralyzed, what can I do? What can I do? And we moan and groan about this on our WhatsApp groups, do something about it, ask your friends, what can we do about this, maybe you can't get involved in the big things, you

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know, the huge issues can maybe solve those things. Now. You can solve things within your community, and will lie I've seen that that spark of of concern,

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a group of people come together and then when or maybe look after a group of old people where they want to take some help youth in a certain area. A year later that organization grows, and you will see progress and the success and Baraka in that. If you see anything wrong, get involved and Allah will put Baraka in it.

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Harvard because it now we heard from Allah Subhana Allah Rasool, this is from Harvard, it says, The most dangerous thing in the world is apathy. This is the worst thing in the world.

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because we have weapons and violence, and we have warfare and disease, they're all terrible things. And they, and they are, they are very bad. But we can take measures to avoid them, we can prevent all these things, we have the ability to stop war and disease and all the problems that but once our apathy takes ahold of us, we can no longer avoid it. When we don't want to do the right thing. That's when things go wrong. The very famous saying, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is when good people do nothing. And that's really the, the, the pandemic that we have, in our country, many, many good, honest people, allowing the few dishonest people to harm the entire

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country to harm all of us. And so our response to this is, don't be an armchair critic. Don't criticize without offering any solutions. Don't point the finger. What is the Imam doing? What is the MJC doing? What is the teacher doing? What is the President doing? You need to be part of the change, you can always look at the things you can't do. But look at the things that you can do, and get beyond our own concerns. There are many people that you sit down and they will come to me maybe with a good idea will come through the concern. Many times it's like that Imam I have a concern about XYZ. And you'll ask the person, what are you doing to get involved? Now why don't you take Why

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are you coming to me to speak to me about your child's Khalifa was to speak to me about your

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this person in the family who's not being supported? What is the MJC doing about them or the government? And I'll ask that person What are you doing? And the answers are always but you know, I have my own worries. I'm busy. I'm not busy. Isn't everybody busy? Don't I have kids don't have you? Don't you have kids?

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Feeling that your problems are the biggest problems? It's only my issues, and that we have no objectives and goals. How are we going to solve things? This feeling of there's nothing that I can do? I work in I'm just me. Well, everyone is just me. Everyone is just an individual trying to make do with a daily life. Only when we come together can we solve these problems collectively? And Allah says in the Quran, Allah says Walter comin como uma, let the always be an ummah, a group. So an individual thing, even a piece of sound could not do it alone. Let it be a group of people yet their own little hide, that always call to the good. They always be a group of people like the visa

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tsunami. Remember, when there was no committee, there were no government, there were no laws in Makkah, a group of people came together and said, We will stand for the oppressed in Makkah, let there always be this group that calls to good work, Marina will roof and they command of what is good, why and how and I will mukha and they speak out against evil, but Allah,

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Allah says, they will always be successful.

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Allah doesn't look at your resources, who you are your qualifications, if they is sincerely a group that comes together. And they Nia is we're going to take this one thing, there's one thing not everything, I'm going to look after whatever it is the youth in my area, the crime in my area, we get together sincerely, we will command what is good and forbid what is evil. Allah says those people be successful, you will put success in their life.

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Then a piece of somebody reminds you that love for the people that you love for yourself, and you will be a true believer, your iman is incomplete. When all you worry about is your own day to day life and your own kids going beyond your home, into your environment into your community. That is part of what it means to not only be I shouldn't have said being a good citizen, but being a true Muslim, being a true believer. And as I said, the risks are high, we need to make sure that when our kids grow up, they have the same privileges we have, we've been given. And when we neglect this, it becomes worse. In the future. I end up with a hadith and our responses. And we know this hadith very

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well. Whoever you see is evil, and you see the evil I see the evil, they let him change it with his hand. And if you can't do so, then speak out against it. And all of us can speak out. We live in a country where you have freedom of speech, people can speak all kinds of nonsense, and they have the right to do so. So you have the right to speak, write a letter, send a WhatsApp message, whatever it is, speak out against the wrong in your community. And if you can't do that, then at least in your heart, it should bother you we should make dua and that is the lowest form of Eman. May Allah forgive us for our shortcomings. And Allah bless us May Allah protect us in our nation in our

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country. May Allah guide our leaders to be the best of leaders where they make mistakes, May Allah guide them. May Allah put Baraka in our face, Mala grande goodness in our community. I mean, just an announcement we are asked, share, can you please make dua for my late wife, Auntie Surya dramat Is is 100 days today My Allah is finally granted this idea I place in Jana ALLAH forgive sins and partner and bless her and all them at home Allah grant them genital videos mean with Allah say no Muhammad wa rahma serene habla bedarra Minister damn article forgettable.