Let me start by saying each and everyone one of us can make a difference. There is no question about it, we just need to get out of your comfort zone and understand our purpose of existence.
In Islam, the struggle for social and economic justice is MANDATORY, it’s not a choice yet this is easily forgotten by the silent majority. It is as compulsive as your daily prayer. The fact that this is not happening is probably the reason why humanity is facing such defining ‘moment’ in history, Muslims in particular should look in themselves and figure out the reasons. The good news is eventually mankind will come to its senses and recognise their true nature for existence but not before further dissension.
In fact the Sunnah of all Prophets (pbuta) can be broadly categorized in two areas 1) To teach people about belief in ONE God – THE GOD (ALLAH), is not a deity) 2) To promote a model for Equality and Justice for ALL humanity without any discrimination. How to achieve this? ALL Prophets came with divinely inspired messages and some were given Divine Scriptures alongside tools for implementation. Clearly, for Muslims, it is the Quran & the mandatory articles of faith + 5 pillars. All monotheistic faiths had their own scriptures and tools but the ESSENCE of all religion is the same, to recognise The God (not a deity) and to promote peace and justice through social activism. In addition all Prophets demonstrated this by living examples which we call SUNNAH. So by definition ALL Prophets were social/economic ACTIVISTS and SUNNAH of ALL Prophet is the TRUTH (from Allah) they were ordered to deliver without any deviation. In my opinion this cannot be contradicted and in this regard there is no superiority of any human being, race or group over another. Quran says superiority is only in piety, in other words in your character and actions, not in material possessions; it is spiritual (The Self), it is when you ascend in consciousness. The last Prophet Muhammed’s (saw) last sermon further illustrated this point. It is an excellent charter for justice/human rights, and in this context a reminder for us all to analyse our place in history and what we have to do going forward.
If anyone has any doubt about the importance of social/economic justice then they should reflect on the following verse from the Glorious Quran …
O YOU who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in upholding equity, bearing witness to the truth for the sake of Allah, even though it be against your own selves or your parents and kinsfolk. Whether the person concerned be rich or poor, Allah’s claim takes precedence over [the claims of] either of them. Do not, then, follow your own desires, lest you swerve from justice: for if you distort [the truth], behold, Allah is indeed aware of all that you do! (Quran – Surah 4, Verse 135)
Pursuit of social/economics justice is the core of Islam as it’s not a just a religion that gives you a prescription to look at or simply read, in return for paradise; but importantly makes it incumbent on us to use all means to create a model for peace, justice and equality for ALL humanity – a continuous living model for others to follow without any compulsion. Dawah then becomes an automated process – to be emulated via actions (the goal), not in compulsion and utterance as it appears to be the case today. Perhaps then we can truly claim our way to the promised and blessed Akhira (an imperative article of faith). This is not me saying, it is the Quran. Also remember DIVERSITY is one of the SIGNS of Allah, otherwise as He says, “he could have made us into the same people”; He didn’t and there is hikmah and reflection in that too; we should see people of all colours and faiths in a very positive light, a strength of His superb creation, SubhanAllah!
Social and economics gaps are ever increasing, a report by Oxfam published today confirms a huge gap between 1% (mega rich) and 99% (the rest), check it out on this link:
In addition, here in the West, the rise of the RACIST far right, the emergence of relatively new form of racism called Islamophobia too is making life difficult for Muslims. But this is not just a Muslim issue, it’s a challenge which has to be tackled by all communities by working together. We have to use all available lawful/democratic processes to tackle this scourge alongside other abhorrent acts of terrorism all around the globe, including unjust wars and the killing/maiming of innocent people. We must show indomitable spirit and be inclusive in this matter.
In UK there are some good people who are tackling Islamophobia and related hate crimes against Muslims. We cannot remain silent, at the very least we need to support these bodies for the well being of our present and future generations. I must re-iterate, we need to extend ourselves to the broader communities not just Muslims. One such organisation gaining significant traction with all communities and statutory bodies is called MEND. They need your help and support. They are a professional kit, good people on board doing a great job in educating people on their rights, monitoring media, political lobbying and generally empowering on challenges facing the Muslim community in UK. In an information age the power of intellect is mighty.
Check out their website if you get time, highly recommended. www.mend.org.uk
Peace and Blessings.