The Limits of Political Engagement
Channel: Yasir Qadhi
File Size: 14.95MB
Shaykh Yasir Qadhi analyses the limits of our political involvement in the social issues that have taken the world by storm.
We should realise that we should not jump into the bandwagon simply because the majority of those around us are doing the same. Our interpretation of support for a cause must be decided by the theology of Islam. Only if the paradigm of Islam allows it should it be taken up for support by the Muslims.
Islam respects chastity, modesty, dignity and all good values and we will not get popularized by pleasing the creation of Allah. Rather it is the Creator who we need to aim to please endlessly to ensure a good life in the Akhirah. We should never forget about the theological benefits and true spirituality.
As Shaykh Yasir says, ‘If you don’t wake up for Fajr, you are not WOKE, you are BROKE, and it is not a JOKE.”
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100 years ago 1918. In this very land, there was a very, very great debate raging in the entire country. It was over a social issue. And Congressman, and every single government official was discussing this primary issue that preoccupied the country for these few years. It was the issue of whether the government should ban alcoholic drinks or not. On the one side, were many clergyman religious people who are saying that this is immoral, it must be gotten rid of. There were also many women who were prominent in trying to get alcohol prohibited, because they felt the primary cause of domestic abuse was alcohol. Economists were at the forefront as well, saying that alcohol, if you
eliminated it would be a boost to the American economy, not only would money be saved, crime would go down, health would be better productivity would increase. On the other hand, you had those who argued that the government should not get involved in the private lives of its citizens. They argued that banning alcohol wouldn't solve these problems, and that people would learn to drink in other ways. As we all know, a few months after this debate reached its Pinnacle in 1919. We're about to celebrate the 100th year, the 18th amendment was passed in this land, which banned the sale and manufacture and transportation of any alcoholic drink. The ban was in effect for 13 years, it was
only overturned in 1933. Because the people simply could not live up to that ban, and they found ingenious ways around it. Now, overall, this period of the prohibition, most historians view it as a dismal failure. Why? Because the people did not obey the ban, because people began producing alcohol in their backyards. The mafia rose to prominence Al Capone, bootlegging became rampant and hence, when they bootleg alcohol, the liver problems of those who drank that actually increased. However, on the flip side, because alcohol was made illegal, its price shot up and therefore fewer people drank it. It is a historical fact that for quite a few years, during the prohibition, public
drunkenness was on the decline, driving accidents went down, liver related problems in the broader public went down. Other evils were eliminated. question, why am I talking to a Muslim audience about the prohibition of 100 years ago? I know you're all scratching your heads?
I'm asking you, if we being the critical mass that we are now we're alive 100 years ago, what should we have done as Muslims? That's the question. If we had been alive 100 years ago, 1918. And we had this critical mass of millions of Muslims in America, what should we have done? Which side of the debate should we have weighed in on? I mean, after all, as Muslims, we believe that alcohol is not just a sin, our Prophet sallallahu wasallam called it the mother of all evils on mukava. If and every single evil that is mentioned by those who wanted to prohibited we believe in it as well. In fact, the 18th amendment, it states that it is prohibited to buy to sell to transport to import to
export alcohol. The 18th amendment might have been worded as a hadith from slideable hottie in which the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, Allah curses on alcohol and the one who drinks it and the one who transports it and the one who sells it and the one who takes it here, the one who takes it there, the 18th amendment overlaps I had eaten saya Bahati. I would venture in 1918. Most Muslims would actually have supported the ban on alcohol. Even if a decade later, 13 years later, it was overturned and the question that I
I'm asking you now, it's not about alcohol. It is about the political causes that we're jumping on to now, and the political causes that we're supporting of our era. The questions are not about alcohol. The questions are about modern societal ills, and to what level we should jump on board and how much and how we should support them. And the response is not easy to say, because some of the social ills are 100% ills within the Islamic tradition as well, such as racism, such as police brutality, of course, we're going to support the movements that want to curtail these things. However, other movements are not so simplistic gender roles, same sex issues, transgenderism, here
is where we need to be a little bit more critical, and not just jump on the bandwagon simply because it is politically correct to do so simply because that is the norm in many of the circles that we hang around. We must never forget, oh Muslims, that our purpose in life is not to win the popularity contests of any land. Our purpose in life is not to win the democratic vote of a country our purpose in life is to win a loss pleasure and sometimes the loss pleasure is only gained by displeasing amounts of people. Never forget all Muslims. Our ultimate goal, as Allah says in the Quran, guntram hydromet in Oakridge Atlanta, Jacqueline says, You are the best oma that has been created for
mankind. Why? Because you command what is good, you forbid what is evil, and you believe in a law. The only reason we are the best oma is because of these three characteristics. The minute that we stopped commanding what is good, the minute that we acquiesce in our quiet to evil, the minute that we don't care whether people believe in God or not, it doesn't become our priority, we will stop being the best oma, we are currently celebrating the 50th year of economic shallots, about a COLA and Alhamdulillah I am proud to say that my own father as well has been involved with the movement since before its inception. And I have been attending ignor conventions since the early 90s and
Hamdulillah, for almost 30 years. Let me say on a personal note, brothers and sisters, a previous generation of Muslims when I came to age in the 90s, and in the 80s, a previous generation of Muslims, they were very socially inactive. They only concentrated on the mosque on rituals on theology. However, the events of 911 the rise of Islamophobia, the coming of Trump, this new age and era, and also a new generation, my generation has made us realize that hamdulillah Islam is not just rituals, Islam is not just theology. If we want to survive, we're gonna have to jump on board and get involved with the social ills of our society, we're gonna have to take on the problems that are
around us, we're gonna have to, according to the modern vernacular, be woke.
But my concern and fear and listen to me carefully, is that just like in the 80s, the pendulum was on one side, socially isolation is not caring about social activities. I fear that the pendulum has now swung to the exact opposite side. And we are seeing an unprecedented, extreme reinterpretation of the essentials of Islamic theology and law. We now have Muslims who have very little Islam, and very much to do with the social causes. Their version of Islam is closer to secular humanism than it is to the Quran and Sunnah. If a generation ago, some Muslims were hesitant to become socially active, and they only concentrated on theologies and rituals. In our generation, we have a new breed
who only emphasize their version of social justice, and very little, if any emphasis on theology and rituals, Muslims, we have a package deal. We don't get to pick and choose from our package, we have a perfect faith and a tradition. And we have to accept that as it is. And what it means to be a Muslim is to believe in Allah and believe in the prophets and prepare for judgment day. And yes, be involved in the social ills of society. But without Islam, without theology. Without true spirituality, we will never solve the social ills of any society. And that is why every single prophet without exception, even as he preached against the social ills, also preached belief in God.
You cannot divorce the two they are linked together for two reasons that are mentioned in today's talk. Number one, we need God we need a divine law to tell us what is right
Wrong. If we don't have that, then how will we know what is right and wrong? Will it be by majority vote, we are seeing what is happening now with the social mores of the society. And number two, without belief in God, societal ills will never be eliminated. Let me give you a simple example of both of these, wanting one simple point in case we look now at the rise of the hashtag we to movement emerging from Hollywood, it has taken the social media by storm. And at some level, yes, all of us Muslims should embrace this movement, for no one should allow a woman to be harassed or intimidated or molested. We're all in agreement there. However, the solution isn't just in
criticizing those who perpetuate these crimes. as Muslims, we have to be brave enough to go beyond this. The the entertainment industry, from within which the me to movement emerged, cannot just sit back and ignore its own role in helping to create this mess. It is this very industry that has been one of the most powerful causes of cheapening the honor of women of breaking down to Judeo Christian Islamic values of decency of modesty, of propagating debauchery. It is the same industry that is guilty of objectifying the bodies of men and women of mainstreaming pornography, of pushing the boundaries of filth and nudity, and therefore, that over sexualized industry is a part of the
problem. It can never be the solution.
That is why all Muslims, we need to have a holistic response. We can't just jump onto any bandwagon. Even if it sounds right. The solution to female harassment is not going to come from the very people that are creating the climate that helps that type of harassment. It has to come from an alternative paradigm, a paradigm that respects women, honors women, values, women respects chastity and decency and modesty. And that paradigm is the paradigm of Islam.
And I also said, of the reasons that we need to link social activism with theology is because social activism by itself will never solve the problems that even we might agree with. The 18th amendment was a miserable failure, a mockery in some respects, society blatantly disregarded it, and eventually Congress had to repeal it in the 21st amendment. contrast the 18th amendment with the revelation of pseudo telma ada in the fifth year of the hedgerow brothers and sisters, the books of Sierra the books of Hadith mentioned the amazing contrast between 1919 America and between fifth year ager of Medina when Allah revealed in the Quran, yeah, you holla Dena Manu enamel, hombre well,
Mason will Ensembl Islamic religious woman an AMA shaytani, fujitani boo, hammer, alcohol and gambling and other things are abominations of shape on their filthy so avoid them if you want to succeed. One idea came down. One word was revealed federal attorney boo avoid alcohol. The books of serum mentioned there were Sahaba that had alcohol in their mouths. There were Sahaba that had raised the cup to drink. When they heard the verse from the masjid. They threw that alcohol outside the window. The Streets of Medina were flowing with alcohol because no one dared come close to it. There was no government that enforced it. There was no police going around. There was no amendment.
It was one idea. And that's all that was required brothers and sisters.
And this is what some of our woke activists don't understand. Muslims, you're never going to fully solve societal problems until you link those problems with spiritual problems as well. In our religion, Eamon and ammo always are paired together faith and good deeds, they stem from the same person. It is your faith and your good deeds hand in hand. Once a man is established, good deeds follow. I show the wife of the Prophet says I'm our mother. She said, Allah revealed the very first verses about him and about his names and attributes and about heaven and hell and about theology. Then, when he man had been made firm in their hearts, Allah said don't drink and they didn't drink.
Allah said don't go do it. Don't do Zina. They didn't do Xena. Isha says, If Allah had first revealed don't drink, the Sahaba would have said no will law he will never going to give up drinking. This is the mouth of Ayesha. These are the words of Ayesha about the Allahu tada and her brothers and sisters. There must be belief in a higher being there must
belief in God for actual actions to emanate from that heart. If there's no belief in God, then you're going to get the debacle of the 18th. amendment, morality will be subject to the whims of society, morality will be up for a majority vote. And what is how long today will be allowed tomorrow? What is held today will be held on tomorrow, as we are seeing brothers and sisters, that how quickly things are changing what was considered immoral one generation ago, it is now immoral to consider it immoral. This is how society has changed. And we have to be very clear here, brothers and sisters, our pleasure is not found in the majority of people, it is found in the creator of the
Allah tells us in the Koran, whether we have a hula hula fossa that is, what will the woman fee and if truth were subject to their desires, then all who are in the heavens and earth would be destroyed. Truth is not subject to majority vote, truth is not subject to what is politically correct. And that is why we need a higher source to tell us what is wrong, what is hella, and we need to believe in that source to then find implementation of how Tom and Hannah so Muslims, yes, it's important to be woke. Yes, it's important to be involved in the social causes that are highlighted for us to be involved with, and some of them are, and some of them aren't. And some are
gray areas. We have to be careful. Let the Shetty I decide, yes, police brutality. Were at the forefront racism were at the forefront. But issues of same sex and gender transgender, we have to be a little bit more careful. Our theology, our ethics are not the ethics of the other people around us. And our job is to preach the truth, even if people don't like it true. We don't force anybody. It's a free society. You have the right to do as you please. But do I have the right to preach as I pleased as well? That's the question we have to ask a true liberal democracy. You want us you want us to give you the freedom to be who you are. Fair enough. Will you give me the freedom to be who I
am? Will you give me the freedom and all of us the freedom to be God fearing, chaste, dignified, decent, respectful human beings? Or will that also become criminal? Because I don't agree with your version of morality? And that's why brothers and sisters, we must always preach the truth as an entire message, not just pick and choose what is politically convenient to do so Muslims, no matter how woke you are, if you don't wake up for fudger you're not woke.
So simple as that.
No matter how woke you are, if you don't have belief in Allah and love for the nebia Kareem sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, then you're not islamically woke you are spiritually broke brothers and sisters and that is no joke.
Allah azza wa jal tells us in the Quran. Yeah, you Hola, Dina. armano audu Hello facil Mika. Oh, you who believe enter into Islam, in its entirety wholeheartedly, and Allah criticizes those who pick and choose from the book.
My concern as I see the evolution of American Islam, and I'm still relatively young inshallah to Allah in my 40s. My concern as I see this evolution from the 80s 90s 2000s, and now we're in the 2010s. What we're seeing is a type of Islam that has very little to do with Islam, and very much to do with some of the social ills of our times. My point to you is very simple. Some of these ills Yes, they are Islamic ills. We need to oppose them, but they need to be wed with Islamic theology as well with a man in a law as well follow the footsteps of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam when you criticize other evils do so from within the paradigm of Islam as a Muslim who's proud of what it
means to be Muslim. And that means belief in the law and love of the messenger and awaiting Judgment Day. Brothers and sisters, may Allah subhanho wa Taala allow a man to enter our hearts and make it firm May Allah subhana wa Taala bless each and every one of us to be a walking role model that other people can see a glimpse of our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam May Allah give us the courage to preach the truth. Even if people don't like it. May Allah subhana wa tada never caused us to sacrifice the truth because of a temporary popularity. Our goal brothers and sisters is the pleasure of Allah not the pleasure of evil, not the pleasure of the people. I conclude by reminding you of
something we heard since we were children. I only wish we applied it in our lives as omit of no kabab said we are a people whom Allah has blessed and given is because of the religion of Islam. If we ever tried to
find in any other source we shall be humiliated all Muslims believe in Allah Aziz and He will give you your desert desert como la la on Santa Monica Monica solaia Baraka