Tag Archives: Dawah

Abu Ibraheem Hussnayn and Standing Firm for Justice

O you who believe, be persistently standing firm for Allah as witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just, for that is nearer to righteousness. Fear Allah, for verily, Allah is aware of what you do.
Quran translation, Surat Al-Ma’idah, 5:8

Assalaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

A large number of people on social media, including myself have been critical on our respected brother Abu Ibraheem Hussnayn for his racism during his otherwise very admirable efforts to forbid the munkar during ‘Chaand Raat’ celebrations in Birmingham. This is a cultural celebration with no basis in Islam which takes place the night before Eid and often involves many blameworthy acts.

His words if you’ve not heard or seen them yet were,

‘Brothers, we’re not black; let’s stop talking like we’re black! Let’s talk in a decent way, with decent manners.’

Though this was one comment in a long night, we need to be clear about this, using black as synonymous with gangster-ism is extremely insulting, it’s degrading of a whole people and yes it’s racism and anyone saying it is racist to some degree and I am surprised people cannot see this clearly.

It also turns out this is not the first time he has done this, so it cannot be excused as just a slip, as some have tried to do on his behalf. More comments have been found and exposed from a talk he gave in the past entitled ‘Evil Effects of Music’ when he makes similar comments, “When they are out on the streets they are gangsters, they talk like Jamaicans, they walk like Jamaicans but the man was born in like heartlands hospital.”

WHY IS THIS RACIST – SURELY HE DIDN’T MEAN TO BE?

Using black, or Jamaican as shorthand for all the worst shortcomings of urban living is racist, it shows an individual is at best on a subconscious level taken on and then perpetrating these harmful stereotypes that these negatives are due to blackness or black culture.

Now no one is saying a person who does this is a Nazi, or National Front level racist, but it is a form of racism and the person who does this is a racist. Racism is not a binary, either you’re a good person or you’re Adolf Hitler, it’s instead a spectrum.

Racist is defined as: showing or feeling discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or believing that a particular race is superior to another.

Being racist therefore does not require active intent or feelings of superiority as some claim, many good people or those at least striving to be good as Muslims should be, will fall into it unintentionally from time to time.

Some reading this might also be uncomfortable and defensive upon hearing this label being used here in it’s correct and right place, as people you know and love or perhaps you yourself have made similar comments.

Asians and Arabs … Yes I am talking to you now or many of you at least, and yes, you the white reverts. Your discomfort is because you’ve probably heard racial slurs, negative stereotypes from people around you often as you grew up or attended madrasah or the masjid, or sat or ate with your friends and family. You most likely never challenged it, many of you thus normalised it, maybe yourself you internalised it and you don’t now want to feel you or those around you are evil or wrong.

That discomfort of yours’ should not stop us addressing the issue, we cannot excuse it but also should be clear that is not the same as saying you or these other people are irredeemably evil or might not be good in many other ways.

STANDING FIRM IN JUSTICE

O you who believe, be persistently standing firm in justice as witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. Follow not your desires, lest you not be just. If you distort your testimony or refuse to give it, then Allah is aware of what you do.
Quran translation, Surat An-Nisa 4:135

We also need to be fair, we cannot throw someone under the bus for what is in most cases probably unintentional bias, coming from decades of living among people who also have such biasses on a day to day basis.

Racism is from jahiliyyah and needs to be corrected in our hearts, speech and actions as Rasoolullah (Salallahu alayhi wa salam) said to Abu Dharr when he insulted Bilal (May Allah be pleased with them both) “You are a man in whom there is still some jahiliyyah.”

Abu Ibraheem is a brother who has helped hundreds through his Ruqya and thousands, including myself through his many beneficial lectures and talks on the evils and dangers of Sihr, the jinn as well as many other topics.

He’s a brilliant speaker, a da’ee, calling people to Islam and to the practice of Islam and I don’t doubt his intentions were good during these talks. But even if you don’t like his style or delivery, or content of his reminders most would at least say he does not mean to be racist or sees himself as such.

Another form of Jahiliyyah is use of profanity, cursing others, being unjust and people have been going way over the top when it comes to this matter and it’s reaching the levels of mob justice.

But even if they were saying evil things in response, it doesn’t justify the original comments and besides we hold our respected teachers, activists and imams to a higher standard than general laypeople but still we need to be fair also and not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

It certainly looks to me that he’s catching the flak for the whole Asian community right now which is unfair on him, and those around him but is the nature of the beast when it comes to public speaking and being a public figure.

RACISM IS JAHILIYYAH NOT KUFR OR NIFAQ

Though this is not kufr or nifaq, unless like some other sins it becomes justified or taken to extremes but this is still not a small issue, just a minor sin, a slip up or casual mistake as people have said who have tried to defend their brother, themselves or those they know, or their own culture when they’ve shown these traits.

Our black brothers and sisters are leaving the deen or leaving off practicing Islam partially over the way they are treated by Arabs and Asians (and yes white reverts) in the Masaajid and the wider Muslim community in the UK and too many of those crying foul now this has been brought to light were silent when it was not causing them issues personally before.

But we still have to be fair, and if someone falls into error on some matter it does not mean we cannot benefit from them elsewhere, even whilst we urge them to change their ways, this is especially true when their error be on a subconscious level, i.e unintentional.

Though this has been a very ugly episode, especially coming right after Ramadhan if we process and work through this problem correctly then Allah willing all of us, and I mean all, including those who have fallen into this mistake can when matters calm a little use this episode to move forward after a period of reflection.

To do that though requires bringing this problem into the light, so we can then check ourselves, check those around us and make sure racist attitudes are never again tolerated in our community no matter who is the perpetrator.

Assalaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

Gingerbeardman

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Muhammad Dilwar Hussain – Selectively Enjoining the Good

“It is somewhat easy to selectively “enjoin in good” these days by handing out roses and samosas whilst wearing apologetic sloganised t-shirts. But to consistently “forbid the evil” in public is arguably more difficult, and requires a certain level of conviction, courage and wisdom, especially at such heightened times.

Theological and political differences aside, I have much respect for the dying minority of brothers who still hold dawah stalls and fearlessly call the people to Islam, whilst delivering stern reminders to Muslims.

I’m not saying other styles and approaches don’t work in softening the hearts of the people, I’m sure they do. But the point here is *consistency* and *uncompromising*.”

~ Muhammad Dilwar Hussain

My Admiration for Ben Shapiro

Assalaamu Alaykum,

No, I have not gone insane or over to the dark side.

Yes I know Ben Shapiro is the darling scion of the alt-right, acolyte of Andrew Breitbart, anti-Islam campaigner, apologist for continued American oppression of BME’s at home in his country, ardent Zionist-Jew and a crusader for the continued American occupation and exploitation of the rest of the planet but…

From watching him I’ve learnt a great deal and it’s sometimes from our opponents we can learn new tactics, new arguments and I see nothing wrong in respecting those who oppose so we can better meet them in debates and defeat them.

For those at the sharp end there is always an arms race when we come to dialogue with non-Muslims and the arguments and techniques used by Ben Shapiro are top range latest American missile tech.

Now when it comes to debates from the right some of this stuff will be hitting you soon if you are involved in Da’wah work at a higher-up public level. Learn it, learn to counter it. That way you’ll Insha’Allah avoid being done over in your own discussions if someone hits you with this later on.

I’m now going to post a link… unless you’ve got a strong stomach and a strong sense of emaan don’t click it, but if like me you want to learn where the enemies of Islam and basic human decency are coming from next then have a listen.

Ben Shapiro – Debating leftists Youtube Video

His advise is only useful for when you are actually debating someone, not for general Da’wah conversations. As Allah states in the Quran:

 

Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.
Quran Translation, Surah An-Nahl, 16:125

OK, not the best application of that verse. But the principle is sound to some degree if you’ll follow my reasoning.

First off in Da’wah we approach people from a point of view of kind words, wisdom, good instruction, being firm with the truth but kind in the delivery, something Shapiro seems incapable of doing. But then when they step up a level and become argumentative we come back at them a different method again and defeat them on that ground whilst not being aggressive or angry.

Shapiro does this part very well, he uses humour to deflect hatred and bring the audience on side, then well reasoned and rehearsed arguments to destroy the arguments of his enemies.

And BTW, he’s right about leftists…

Yes I know  they are part of some great ‘progressive alliance’ against the neo-facism which is coming out of western capitals but the idea that the enemy of my enemy is my friend is not true.

They are just as much enemies of Islam as the right, and the hijab and halal meat bans coming out of Europe are just as much a product of these progressive types as  they are from the right.

Muslims need to remember Islam is not Socialism, or Liberalism, or even democratic. These are all materialist ideologies different to our deen and we can learn how to combat these ideologies also from looking into their other enemies like the slightly less rabid right wing ideologues like Shapiro who use reason rather than emotion.

Have a listen to some of his other debates also, though sometimes it’s against female / feminist opponents so if you’re a brother reading this just open the link and listen rather than watching the video to make it easier for you to lower your gaze.

This one in particular is excellent (brothers lower your gaze) – Ben Shapiro Destroys Transgenderism And Pro-Abortion Arguments – Youtube Video

I’ve actually used these arguments against transgender / homosexual rights campaigners as well as those who wish to promote abortion as some sort of lifestyle choice rather than callous discarding of a potential human being.

There is a tenancy to look to the left as our allies and this has led to many Muslims being seduced by these arguments which is wrong and will slowly and surely destroy the Muslim community from the inside out just as surely as the right will attempt to destroy us from the outside by more overt oppression.

So there it is, my admiration for Ben Shapiro.

Feel free to agree or disagree, vent your hatred of the man here if you like, I’ll join you but learn from him if you’re in the field of Da’wah because his arguments will be coming to Da’wah table or formal debate near you soon enough.

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

A Tap On the Shoulder…

Assalaamu Alaykum brothers and sisters,

So turned out I did alright in my interview and it’s been over a month since I started my new job at the call-centre in the evenings.

The location is really, and I mean REALLY convenient for me. Being near my existing work and new home and so save me some mega money in shoe leather and so far I’m enjoying it, or content as possible at least when working.

However one of the more unsettling niggling matters about starting a new job is learning about how different all the processes and procedures in your new role. It seems things just change, sometimes dramatically from company to company even when they’re vaguely in the same business.

So in some customer service roles I’ve worked in, everything right down to the breaks is strictly regimented, even down to having to a time limit on going to the toilet,  in others you are free to come and go as long as the work gets done.

muftifaith-prayer-room
Multi-faith prayer rooms (used almost exclusively by Muslims) are increasingly common in larger UK businesses

My new job seems to fall somewhere in the middle, but in one respect I have to credit them in that they are very easy when it comes to Salaat, even having a dedicated prayer room and not having to struggle and strive to get this facility and already having it in place is a big blessing.

It makes good business sense for them to do this, probably about 40% of the workforce at least are Muslim and keeping your workers happy is the key to keeping them productive but can you imagine the reward of whichever brothers / sisters it was who asked for this from their workplace?

How they probably needed to push over and over with different managers until finally they succeeded in establishing a room in the workplace so that everyone who came after them including myself earned them more and more good deeds on their scales on the day of judgement?

Saying that… it still shocked me that even though the facility is there, time can be taken for prayers even if it’s not a break time, still some of the brothers and sisters don’t pray.

…Indeed, the prayer is on the believers
prescribed (at) fixed times.
From Surah an-Nisa, 4:103

How lazy do you have to be with your salaat to actually not bother even when allowed by your workplace, they set out a place to make it easy for you and even give you a few minutes off outside of your regular break times?

A TAP ON THE SHOULDER

Anyway, so first week out of training I am just sitting taking calls minding my own and all of a sudden I get a tap on the shoulder and turn around and it’s one of the managers who tells me to pick up my notes and headset and to follow, no explanation, other than that and with a great deal of trepidation and annoyance at being touched by a ghair-mahram woman I follow to the managers duty desk and am told to sit down.

Immediately I am thinking what did I do?
Am I being fired?
Have I done something badly wrong and need retraining or disciplining?
Has a non-Muslim or even a Muslim said something about me talking about the deen?

I was fairly sure it wasn’t the last one as I had read up on the companies policies on such matters to make sure I stayed with the rules but you never know who you might annoy and a long time employee can easily make things difficult, even impossible for a temp should they choose to do so.

So I sit down, I’m told to plug in my headset and without warning the manager hits play on the computer and all of a sudden I am listening to one of my calls from during the week,  I think it was actually the second call I ever took.

Not only am I listening but the playback in front of me is giving me absolutely everything I did on screen during the whole call, the way my mouse cursor wandered aimlessly from tab to tab, button to button as I sought to find the access to each function and screen at what I hoped was the right moment in the call.

She then asked me how I felt the call went, no feedback straight away. I needed to analyse the call myself first, tell her what mistakes I feel I have made, what I did well, where I could improve and it was definitely something quite different compared to any job I have done before.

It was a very unsettling moment, and since that time and subsequent two other call reviews I have been more than a little conscious that every single call is recorded and can and will be used against you if that particular call gets listened to where you make a total mess of it, then it does come back on you.

Inversely, knowing that when calls and actions are well thought through and carried out successfully then that success will be rewarded, and known about.

NOW FOR A REMINDER…

I’m struck though by the way we don’t take our daily lives as seriously as this as Muslims should.  Are all our actions not monitored and we will not be answerable to and be questioned by Allaah for every little thing we do in our lives?

Indeed, your Lord (is) surely Ever Watchful.
Quran translation, Surah al Fajr, 89:14

We believe as Muslims that Allah is Al-Basir, the All Seeing, that Allah is As-Sami’, the All Hearing, that He sees and hears all we do and all everyone does, but does this belief reflect in our actions and if not what does that say about the strength of our belief?

Abu Dharr and Mu`adh bin Jabal (May Allah be pleased with them) reported that: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Fear Allah wherever you are, do good deeds after doing bad ones, the former will wipe out the latter, and behave decently towards people”
Recorded in At-Tirmidhi

That tap on the shoulder can come at any time for us, except then there is no returning to your desk to live on, to try harder, then it is the end of your life on this world and then only a time awaiting in your grave waiting for your judgement before Allah.

Then every one of your deeds will be brought before you, you will answer for all you have done so it is important we correct ourselves in this life, before the end of time here, make tawbah often for our mistakes and sins and ask Allah sincerely for his forgiveness where we fall short.

May Allah make us all among the heedful, those who remember the purpose of this short life, making tawbah where we fall short, ameen

 

 

Invite to Interview, don’t panic, DON’T PANIC!

orangutan-suit

Assalaamu Alaykum folks,

So I do actually have a job, it’s not well paid but to make it clear I’m not one of those dole-wala types chilling all day online because I should be paid by society as I’m doing ‘dawah.’

I am not one of those guys, and I do love my job working in a community centre, they pay me to help people which I’d happily do for free if I was rich, but unfortunately I’m not. Rich that is, I am happy most of the time Alhamdulillah.

But not being rich, the charity sector not paying well, the cost of living going up, as well as house rental costs rising at an alarming rate I’ve found myself facing the prospect of being on the job scene after many years away.

scared-orangutanSCARY TIMES

Times are tough, and only going to get tougher, the country is effectively broke and living off it’s credit cards due to spending tonnes of money we didn’t have on public services, disastrous foreign adventures and of-course bailing out all  those toff merchant bankers who almost pushed the world economy off a cliff a few years ago.

So cuts are biting for everyone, the benefit caps coming in in November which is going to hit so many people, prices are rising and I am finding myself looking for part-time work at a time when everyone else is probably deciding it’s a good time to do the same.

What is more, to make matters more difficult in finding extra work, it needs to be something which will fit around my existing position and I am totally looking forward to going from the jolly flexible role in the charity sector to the strife and struggle of trying to find time for family, shopping, friends, studies, going for salaat with working 2+ jobs.

APPLICATIONS DUTY SENT

Applications have been duly sent in to usual agencies, the job centre,  subtle and not so subtle queries made to friends and family and I also applied for a number of call centre positions in my city. Yes I’m probably a bit old for call-centres but it’s something I’ve done before and let’s be honest, though it also doesn’t pay well it is easy money.

I must have applied for 200+ jobs in the space of the past 3 weeks, had a few call backs from agencies for entirely unsuitable jobs, either the hours were not right, they were expecting me to go self-employed (Been there, done that, never again), or they wanted me to work in places as a Muslim I’d rather not go near.

“No thank you for the kind offer, but as a Muslim I really don’t want to work in the head office for a pub chain, nor do I want to work in HR in a Pork Pie factory.”

But then out of the blue I got a call back today from the very first job I applied for on that first day of looking. I had assumed I’d failed somehow as not heard anything back and they’d had a totally evil online application form and devilish mathematics quiz attached which I assumed I’d failed.

The call took about 40 minutes and despite my mobile sound cutting out and being crackly all the way through I managed to pass the dreaded phone interview and I’ve been invited to an further interview and work based assessment tomorrow morning, look, here is the confirmation email!

invite-to-interview

DAVID BRENT NEVER GOT FIRED HE JUST GOT MOVED SIDEWAYS TO HR

If Allah wills it and I am successful tomorrow, I’ll begin training later this month which will be lots of fun… think if they try to make me do that ‘trust-exercise thing’ where someone drops backwards I’m thinking of moving to drop them straight to the floor.

Well maybe not… unless I really don’t like the guy then I am up for it but really cannot stress enough how much I cringe at these training days, but at least if I’m successful I’ll have more money coming in, and maybe, just maybe I’ll finally have a bit left over to start saving up and getting ahead in the financial stakes.

Would appreciate if those reading this can raise their hands and make a quick dua for me to be successful tomorrow, or even a long dua, or even setting your alarm for tahajjud and getting up and making lots and lots of dua for me, and  the rest of the ummah as well of-course. Please?

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

IMRAN IBN MANSUR – WHAT HAPPENS BEHIND THE SCENES IN THE DA’WAH SCENE

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Yes… I am actually going to share Imran ibn Mansur’s latest video even though I know it is going to burn some of you who are seeing this placed online and usually respond with abuse and hatred when they see their favourite Sheikh exposed.

Though I remain not at all convinced regarding Sh. Haitham (though this video does raise question marks which need investigating), the information put out here regarding the secret beliefs and agenda of Yasir Qadhi and also perhaps others needs to be placed in the public domain.

I’d advise you all to actually watch the video from start to finish, then make up your own minds and not listen to those who are responding to this video with personal attacks and ridicule on social media.

When someone stoops to that level you can tell they have nothing useful to say in response, no meaningful arguments or counter arguments, so now they’re attacking Imran instead, attacking his character, his manner of speaking, his mannerisms, even going as far to say he is ill.

Shame on you if you are taking parts in such attacks on Imran, may Allaah swt protect Imran, reward him for his good deeds, correct his mistakes and allow him to continue with his Dawah in the UK, ameen.

Edit. (19.08.2016) for the record, watching the video again I do agree with those who say he has been too harsh or even unfair about Sh. Haitham, but at the same time watching it again has only reinforced my opinion regarding YQ and his misguidance.