Category Archives: Scholarly Advise

Abdullah bin Hamid Ali – How Islamic is Critical Race Theory?

https://lamppostedu.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/how-Islamic_critical_race_theory.pdf

Critiquing ideologies is often mired by oversimplification. And, such critiques, likewise, result in the terms under scrutiny being stigmatized along with their advocates. This applies to ideological targets like Marxism, socialism, feminism, and critical race theory. Whenever one wants to make short work of another’s perspective, all one needs to do is scream, “Marxist”, “Feminist,” or “Critical Race Theorist.”

The problem with ad hominem aspersions is that these ideologies contain ideas, which conform with the values of their audiences. Had those ideas not been present, the ideologies would not be attractive. Take, for instance, the fact that feminism, especially in its earliest waves, promoted women’s agency, self-determination, suffrage, and the right to own and earn wealth. There’s no fundamental or valid reason to believe that Islam is opposed to such aims. So, it makes sense that many Muslim women, unwittingly, refer to themselves as feminists. One, however, must take care not to assume that such a label sufficiently summarizes the mission of the Prophet Muhammad in light of his embrace of the betterment and social well-being of women. Such characterizations are a danger, which could lead one to blasphemy.

One must, also, remain skeptical of the putatively inherent and universal applicability of such overarching ideologies since one can mistake the forest for the trees, considering that their epistemic foundations often clash with Islam’s moral vision and truths. Like other egalitarian ideologies, critical race theory has its own metaphorical wheat and chaff. And, there seems to be a growing interest in CRT among Muslims in activist circles. Many have adopted its assumptions unwittingly, completely oblivious to what guides the decisions of their so-called political “allies.”

For these reasons, I’ve decided to pen together a few words that will, hopefully, provide a
shimmer of guidance on this topic.  Critical race theory (CRT) is an analytical approach employed by certain activist scholars, such as CRT’s intellectual father, Derrick Bell, professor of law at New York University. CRT theorizing started during the mid 1970s. Its main goal is to transform the way race, racism, and power in Eurocentric cultures interact. CRT is concerned with creating an egalitarian sociopolitical, cultural, and economic order, while taking direct aim at white cultural imperialism and deconstructing its philosophical foundations. CRT builds on the efforts and insights of a number of minority civil rights activists; critical legal studies; radical feminism; and European philosophers, such as Antonia Gramsci and Jacques Derrida.1

According to scholars Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, CRT is founded upon the following six moral assumptions:
• Racism against “colored” people is endemic to Eurocentric societies (“colored” being a
synonym for “non-white i.e. non-European” peoples, rather than its original reference to
indigenous, Black and Native Americans).
• White over “colored” ascendancy serves important purposes, physic and material.
• Races are social constructions, not biological facts.
• Differential racialization, i.e. the calculated alternation of discriminatory policies between
one racial minority to another depending upon time and circumstance, happens “in
response to shifting needs in the labor market.”
• Intersectionality and anti-essentialism, which means that “each race has its own origins
and evolving history” and no individual member of a racial group can be presumed to be
the same as any other group member. Rather, one is always distinguished by a multiplicity
of factors that contribute to one’s identity such as sex, sexual orientation, political
affiliation, and social class. (These facets of one’s “identity” in today’s world determine
the degree of severity of one’s oppression on a continuum of “least” to “most
oppressed.”)
• The “unique voice of color” thesis which posits that every “group” due to their experience
with the white supremacist order has developed a unique stand point for explaining one’s
socio-political and economic status. That standpoint is considered superior to that of
whites, who are presumed to, generally, lack the capacity to see the privilege with which
they live.

2 CRT’s greatest utility, like certain other aspects of postmodern philosophy, is its ability to
deconstruct and identify “problems” and “social inequities.” Also, like other postmodern
philosophies, it is not good at re-constructing after it deconstructs. In other words, the fixes
offered to society’s problems are almost always superficial and fundamentally undermine the very project of CRT.
1 For more information, see Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, Critical Race Theory (New York: New York University Press, 2001, pp. 6-8).
2 Ibid.

The most glaring example of this is in CRT’s insistence upon redefining “racism.” The oldest
definitions of racism in English posit that any “race” can be guilty of racism and that it is
fundamentally the “belief” in one’s superiority to another on the mere basis of race or color. While one may agree that contemporary “race” is “largely” a social construct (biology does play a limited role), CRT’s definition conflicts with Islam in that after rejecting notions of race or colorbased behavioral determinism for “coloreds”, CRT’s proponents suggest and sometimes aver that to be white is to be “privileged” and “racist”, knowingly or unknowingly. In other words, while it is a goal of CRT to dismantle white supremacy and white privilege, it reinforces and solidifies it by claiming that the members of one “race” of people are motivated and guided by things the other races are not and cannot be. This solidifies the otherization of “whites” who cannot truly be white without the existence of their “colored” opposite(s) who in turn become permanent counterpart(s) also.

This is both racist and essentialist. It is racist because it reinforces biological race and behavioral determinism, two things that CRT alleges to disavow. It is essentialist because it lumps all “whites” together into a shared experience vis-à-vis “coloreds” such that there is no distinction between the English, Scottish, French, German, Russian, Slav, Irish, Italian, Swede, Jew, etc.3 They are all equally complicit in the oppression of “colored people.”

They all enjoy white privilege as a birthright. This is so even though the critical theorist claims to be opposed to essentialism. It seems that one is allowed to be an essentialist if it relates to allegations against “whites.” That’s not to mention the essentialism involved in considering the counterpart of “whites” to be a single unified collective as well.

A critical race theorist would never accept the notion that he/she is being racist against white people. That’s because the theorist has convinced him/herself that only whites can be racist due to the fact that only whites have power. That is to say that racism can only be racism if and when you have the power to oppress others. And, since only white people have this power according to the critical race theorist, only they can be racist. This means that even if I were to say, “White people are born with tails”; “The white man is the devil incarnate”; Or, “White people smell like dogs when they’re wet”, none of that is racist because I’m black. And, black people have absolutely no power to oppress others (sigh). The lack of sincerity to this principle is exposed every time blacks or others cry foul, demanding punishment for whites who accost them using racial epithets such as calling black female basketball players things, “Nappy headed hoes.”

* Keep in mind that many of those considered “white” were inducted into whiteness between 19th and 20th centuries.

“All” power is wielded by white people “absolutely.” If a colored person is ever in a position ofpower, he/she is wielding “borrowed” power, not inherent power. So, they can never bear full culpability for any crimes they commit. That’s because all might and power belong to the “white man.” Of course, this last sentence is meant to show how absurd and idolatrous this belief is to the Islamic teachings. The truth is that colored people all around the world have power, many of them significantly more than millions of white people. If the teachings of CRT are taken to their logical end, this would mean that not one dictator in the Arab world is responsible for the carnage they create every time they massacre their people. Nor are the Chinese, Burmese, or any other person, group, or government represented by a particular ethnic enclave.

This is not to say that the European political elite are not in fact culpable for great carnage, oppression, and savage treatment of others for many centuries. They are responsible for what they did and do. However, every soul is mortgaged for it earns. And, no bearer or burdens bears another’s burden.

In Islam, all human beings are the children of the same mother and father, Adam and Eve. Our only permanent and avowed enemy is Satan. And, Satan is not a man. We all are susceptible to the same forms of vice and shortcomings; Our impulses, appetites, and emotions make us malleable. And, our ignorance of objective fact and the moral path expose us to manipulation.

In other words, Islam assigns the same nature to every human being. And, it considers every individual to be redeemable regardless of race, color, sex, sin, religion, or political affiliation. Every person regardless of race can be guilty of racism, even if we acknowledge that a racist with power is more dangerous than one without that power.

All societies have a conception of race. And, that conception influences very much how one
differentiates between outsiders and insiders. As Muslims have embraced the legitimacy of their status as citizens of western countries, many have also taken on some of the baggage of racial polarization. Does Islam have something unique to offer societies plagued by ethnic bigotry?

If so, will Muslims employ that perspective to heal humanity? Or will they contribute to the
widening rift between racialized factions in society? When did this racialization process begin?

What parallels exist in the Islamic tradition? And, will Muslims redeem their faith before it is
permanently rendered into a race and drained of its transformative and conciliatory spirit?

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Muhammad Al-Bizry – 7 Different Qurans?

Important topic for the Muslims to learn about, something the jahil ignorant Muslims are ignorant about, to the extent they are falling into arguments and fitnah.

Especially with the disbelievers using this topic to attack the emaan of Muslims, and even one well known speaker expressing doubts about the Quran because of this topic.

May Allah guide us all to the truth, firm understanding and protect us from doubt, ameen

Love & Hate

Imām Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (رحمه الله) said:

‘And the Religion revolves around 4 principles; i) Love, ii) Hate; and which result in either, iii) Action or iv) Abandonment.

And so whomsoever loves, hates, acts or abandons for the sake of Allāh, then they have perfected their Īmān. As in, if they love; they love for Allāh, if they hate; they hate for Allāh, if they do an action; they do it for Allāh and if they abandon something; they abandon it for Allāh.

And īmān will decrease in direct correlation to its defficieny in these 4 principles.”

Ar-Rūh “The Soul”, Publisher: Al-Maktab Al-Islāmī – page 490.

Original post taken from Good Tree Pubs – Here

The Marriage Of A Noble Qurayshi Woman To A Slave

‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab (ra) encouraged the people to perform marriages with different tribes, so that love would develop amongst the people. Therefore, a slave went to a man from the Quraysh and asked him to marry his sister to him, which the latter refused.

‘Umar went to that man and asked him, “Why did you not marry your sister to him? He is a talented and pious individual. You should seek the opinion of your sister; if she accepts the proposal then you should marry her to him.

The man from the Quraysh accepted the advice of ‘Umar and went to his sister to ask her opinion. She agreed to the marriage and the married his sister to the slave.

[Al-Murtadaa, by An-Nadawee, p. 106]

On Rushing to Show Sympathy for the Non-Muslims

“Those who hasten to show sympathy with the non-Muslims when they are afflicted, and slow to express that when Muslims are afflicted, are weak in faith and have a problem in the creed of allegiance and disavowal.”

– Shaykh Muhammad Salih al Munajjid

The West Killed More Than 70 Million in One Century

“The West killed more than 70 million in one century. Human history has not recorded anything like it ever since pens started writing and tongues started speaking. Moreover, no person of sound Islamic knowledge or intellect agrees with them on the definitions of human being and terrorism.”

~ Shaikh Abdul Aziz Al-Tarefe

Dr Bilal Philips – Practicing Islam in Modern Society

“There is no such thing as modern Islam, liberal Islam, Islam is Islam.”

A brilliant talk by Dr Bilal Philips on how in reality, the problems faced by the Muslims today are the same as those faced by the Muslims in the past, that the answers to our problems are in the Quran and the Sunnah, just as they have always been.

One of the best speeches from one of the best speakers out there, who has not compromised on the message in all his years calling to Allah, unlike so many other du’at in the English language.

Muhammad Tim Humble – To Those Who Defend Taweez

All praise is due to Allah alone, and may peace and blessings be upon his Messenger, and his family and his companions.

Having read the post from Sunni Path, supporting the use of ta’weez, I think that there is a need for a clear and simple response to the issues raised.

Before delving into the points made in the article, I would like the reader to consider the following questions:

We regularly hear people defending ta’weez that contain the Qur’an and Allah’s names and attributes, but what do you think about the following:

■ Ta’weez that contain the names of shaytaan?

■ Ta’weez that contain the aayaat of Allah written backwards?

■ Ta’weez that contain symbols associated with the worship of the shaytaan, such as the so-called star of david, and the pyramids?

■ Ta’weez that contain illegible writing?

■ Ta’weez that contain pictures of the human body with words and symbols written over the top?

■ Ta’weez that contain the aayaat of Allah scribbled and not given proper respect?

Ta’weez that contain nothing except tables of numbers?

These are the vast majority of the ta’weez that we open every single week, with most of them issued by imams, scholars, and so-called ‘pious people’. Now you have to make a choice between one of two things; either you defend these ta’weez, claiming that they are actually ‘Qur’an’ or that it is permissible to disgrace the words of Allah by scribbling them, or the reader has no choice but to admit that these ta’weez are by consensus of the scholars, haraam.

I estimate that I have opened somewhere between 500 and 1,000 ta’weez in my course of being a raaqi, and at the current count, less than ten of them contained clear Qur’an or the names of Allah, with nothing else written on them. In reality, this is just another example of the magicians hiding behind respectable scholars and their opinions.

We say to the people who make these so called ta’weez from the Qur’an: would you let the sick person simply print a page of the Qur’an and tie it around his or her neck? By Allah, you would not allow it. Instead, they have to use your ‘special’ writings, which they are not allowed to see or open, and often have to pay money for. If you really hold the opinion of ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allah be pleased with him), why don’t you allow the people to print a copy of aayat-ul-kursi from quran.com and tie it around their necks? It is the greatest aayah in the Qur’an, so why would it not protect them whilst your secret writings and scribbles can protect them? Has Allah given you something greater than aayat-ul-kursi, or is it that you seek help from the shaytaan? Where did you learn what those numbers and symbols mean? Why don’t you share your books with us that tell you how to ‘cure’ someone with pictures of the pyramids and the star of david?

My brothers and sisters, these people hide behind legitimate opinions, in order to confuse you and take you away from the path of Allah. Let me give you an example:

■ The Sunni Path post quotes those who allow ta’weez:

Sa’id ibn al-Musayyib, ‘Ata’, Mujahid, Abd Allah ibn ‘Amr, Ibn Sirin, ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Abd Allah ibn `Umar, and others (Allah be well pleased with them all). [Musannaf, 5.439]

How many of you looked at that list of people and believed them all to be from the companions? By Allah, there is only one companion mentioned in that whole list; all the rest are from the generations who came after them.

Furthermore, all of the narrations from that companion are weak. They contain Muhammad ibn Is-haaq, who is someone whose narration is not accepted unless he clearly states that he heard the hadith directly from his teacher (the Arabic term is: mudallis), which in this case he did not.

So, let me say explicitly that there is not one single companion from the companions of the Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and may Allah be pleased with them) who allowed ta’weez of any kind, whether from the Qur’an or not!

■ Let us quote the author of the Musannaf in full:

“The Chapter of those who allowed the hanging of Ta’weez”
“The permissibility of this was reported from Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib, ‘Ataa’, Mujaahid, Abu Ja’far al-Baaqir, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, Muhammad ibn Seereen, ‘Ubaydullah ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, and ad-Dahhaak and IT IS NOT AUTHENTIC from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, ad-Dahhaak, Mujaahid, and Ibn Seereen, and the rest are authentic.”

The author himself says that there is no companion who this is authentically reported from, and that half of the taabi’een mentioned are also not authentic. This is in the very same passage that the author of the post quoted – so why did he choose to stop just before the part where the author says that it isn’t authentic?

So out of that long list, we are left with ‘Ataa, Abu Ja’far, and ‘Ubaydullah – three people, none of whom were companions of the Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and even their view says that the permissibility is limited to that which is from the Qur’aan alone!

On top of that, the very same book (al-Musannaf) mentions other narrations which state that all ta’weez are haraam, even if they come from the Qur’an (authentically narrated from the companions Ibn Mas’ud, Ibn ‘Abbas, Hudhayfah, ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir, and Ibn ‘Ukaym – may Allah be pleased with them all). Why didn’t the author include those narrations? Is it perhaps because he doesn’t want you to know?

Even if we accept some or all of the narrations from people who allowed ta’weez, these people are talking about writing a simple aayah of the Qur’an, or some of the names of Allah, clearly and in a way that can be understood by everyone who reads it.

Don’t be fooled by statements such as ‘the vast majority of the scholars’ and ‘it is mentioned in such-and-such a book’ – anyone can write words like these. Why don’t we talk about something quantifiable, and say ‘the vast majority of the companions, if not all of them, considered ta’weez to be haraam, in all of its forms’.

Finally, we say to the author of the Sunni Path post and his supporters: Do you know why some of the scholars allowed ta’weez from the Qur’an? Because it is the uncreated speech of Allah, and therefore cannot be considered shirk. Would you like to share with the brothers and sisters what you really believe about the Qur’an that we read, and that you claim to write on the ta’weez?

Allah knows best, and all praise is for Allah alone, and may peace and blessings be upon our messenger Muhammad, and his family and his companions.

One of the Signs of the Hypocrites

One of the signs of the hypocrites is reverence for the disbelievers and contempt for the believers:

“Allah will bring forth a people He will love and who will love Him, who are humble toward the believers, stern toward the disbelievers.” [Al-Mā’idah 5:54]

– Shaykh Abdul Aziz al-Tarefe