Monday, 23 February 2009

Ugliness of democracy

Democracies are rated as the supreme system for our world today. The supreme system which no other can match or surpass. It's the buzzword if any Muslim uses in their speech or written word, you become an accepted member of society. It's the system which if we do not aspire to live under, we are viewed as extremists, as leaked to the Guardian.

Today's return of Binyam Mohammad to the UK, has uncovered an ugly truth for one of the foremost democracies of the world - That democracy actually doesn't unconditionally secure our justice, or even human rights - Just because you live in a democracy, does not in any way mean supremacy in values.

Democracies cover up the ugliness of human greed. Of people who rule by what they believe to be the best for their government, their ruling elite, and it seems, maybe their people. This means that legislation and decisions are subject to several human minds and largely their whims, who have the wealth and power to sit around the table. The evidence over time has only shown that governments will sacrifice any value which stands in their way to fulfil national interests, whether this is the killing of the innocent in Iraq for oil or the innocent victims of the war on terror in which sustains the fear of terrorism.

It is therefore time the world really does open up the debate, without brashly silencing those who have begun to question the untouchable notion of democracy. No democratic government, if it really believes in its own values, should fear the criticism of its system. If their supremacy really stands, criticism and debate can only be healthy in strengthening the conviction in it. Silencing of such criticism can only be rooted in a fear of the actual legitimacy of ones supremacy.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

The latest big gulp

Catching a glimpse of the front page of one of most popular British tabloids a few mornings ago, was a sight a little too shocking for even the most liberal in British society. Every once in a while, British society manages to throw up a case which has pushed the values of liberalism to such an extreme, that even the staunchest advocates of the famous freedoms, need to take a big gulp.

The picture shows thirteen year old Alfie Patten sitting on a hospital bed holding his tiny, fully formed newborn baby girl in his arms. Without the bold text across the page informing you, anyone would have assumed he was her older brother or cousin – but never father. But it is true, that baby Maisie was conceived by this young boy and his fifteen year old girlfriend apparently after a single episode of promiscuity. And the public have been further shocked by the mad scramble that has presented itself in the media as other young boys have come forward, claiming to actually be the baby’s father.

Ed Balls, the Children’s Secretary as well as the Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron, have been among the politicians swift to show their disagreement with this event. Cameron said that it was worrying that in the UK ‘children are having children’ and this is something that has to be put right. Ed Balls further urged that society had to do everything possible to try to bring the level of teenage pregnancies down. Additionally the local MP in Eastbourne, where both Alfie Patten and his girlfriend Chantelle Steadman are from, has called for an urgent assessment of the actions that have been undertaken by the children’s (and yes, you cannot call them anything but this) parents and everyone elses’ attempt to make as much money as possible out of this PR dream.

The problem is, although the public have been overtly horrified by this latest story, there really should not be a problem. The liberal pioneers amongst British society should actually not take a big gulp, or even sigh for that matter! As Alfie Patten and Chantelle Steadman, amongst thousands of other young teens, have just been following the way of life that everyone else in the society they live in, follows. The society that they have walked into teenagehood with, is one where everyone is urged to live life to the full and believe they are free to do what they want. After all, freedom is the enshrined value which their nation felt important enough to export to the rest of the world.

And according to the values that David Cameron himself has so staunchly advocated in the past, little Alfie has just exercised his freedom to live the way he wants to, in a society which has urged him to do so. The fact that he can barely look after himself, forget another human being by exercising his freedoms, is not something I have heard many British politicians discuss deeply when they have so impassionately defended the untouchable freedoms before.

Therefore British politicians should stop being hypocritical and stand by what they constantly ram down the throats of the rest of the world. That if freedom and liberalism is your yardstick, then Alfie and his latest escapade is absolutely fine - damn the consequences to society - Even if we get a horrible feeling in the bottom of our stomach as we foresee an innocent baby girl face a life ahead of family instability. As her father, who when asked about how he would support her financially had to ask the journalist what that very word meant.

The reality is that we are done damning consequences to society. Not just for Alfie Patten’s innocent baby girl, but for each and every individual in this society. We are done living in an increasing hell hole, where your property, the innocence of your children, your very lives are not at all sanctified.

It is high time we realize that freedom and liberalism will only deliver a society with social degradation. Rather it is Islam that enshrines the values of honour, security and a strict social code to deliver a society which functions with harmony. It reminds every individual in that society, that in fact you are not at all free, rather you are accountable to your Creator and he will account you for all the responsibilities and relationships you undertake in this dunya. Maintaining your rights and responsibilities to your family is a key facet of the Islamic social system. As the noble Prophet SAW:
"There is no sin more deserving of having punishment meted out by Allah to its perpetrator in advance in this world along with what He stores up for him in the next world than oppression and severing ties of family." [Tirmidhi]
Hence it is without a doubt, that the Khilafah and the society it creates, is what the world needs today for the return of a harmonious, responsible society.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Umm Hakim, returned to Allah 26 Jan 2009

See below the last two diary entries of one of our dear sisters in Islam, who returned to Allah last month. Her husband has given us the privilege to read these and be inspired by them. May Allah SWT give her Jannatul Firdeous and His full protection. May He SWT give her family the highest of patience, and reward.....

My dear sister Ruksanah has given me this book [diary], so that I can write my thoughts, feelings or poetry. Between you and me I am not really good at expressing myself through writing and as far as poetry> goes, well I'm not quite sure about that! – ha, ha, hee, hee.

Anyway let me see what comes out as I sit here [hospital] & think about what's been going on. I've got cancer. What does this mean? To> most when you say cancer they think DEATH. But by the Mercy of Allah (swt) this thought is not consuming me. Allah (swt) is the one who gives & takes life and this disease is not going to rob me of any time in the Duniya. How many times have we given talks or written things about this?

To realise that these concepts are not theory is very important. It is what makes a Muslimah who they are & how we cope. They [concepts] tie us close to Allah (swt) and bring comfort to our hearts. So cancer, leukemia, flu or cold, flying in a plane, getting in a car or simply going to sleep at night makes no difference to me in terms of death. None of these things cause your death. It is Allah (swt) that controls> this.

So what do I think? To be honest I don't really think about it [cancer] too much. I have been pretty much carrying on like normal dealings with today, today's pains and today's problem's. Melek (my dearest Melek) asked me yesterday how I deal with the pain. I laughed and told her I take the drugs. This really made me think about my brothers and sisters around the world , in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Pakistan, etc. That simply don't have these drugs. Not only don't they have them [drugs], they don't have a medical team or a hospital bed for that matter. How blessed we are! Subhannah Allah! We got all of it. The consultant who is going to ork on my liver is a partner to the queen's surgeon.! But what of my sisters, the Fathimas', the Ayshas' that scream in pain or just rock back and forth. I think of them and tears come to my eyes. I want to see the coming of the Khilafah. The lifting of this oppression sobadly. How blessed are we?

By he mercy of Allah (swt) I get through the pain, I pray the duas that are there to relief them. I drink my Zam Zam [water] and pray "O Allah! You are the curer, the healer, and the reliever of pain, so cure me, heal me and relieve my pain."

1st Dec 08

They are going to let me go home today InshaAllah. I am really looking forward to it. It is quite funny I have lived off a few things in a cupboard and some stuff on a table for about six weeks. [In hospital] Just goes to show all we need some food, clothes and shelter. I just wanted to write a bit about the overwhelming support I have had from my sisters who love me for the sake of Allah (swt) and the brothers that pray for me and show support to Ferdeous. How fortunate am I, SubhanaAllah! I feel so blessed, so many people are making dua for me, may they all go to Jannatul Ferdoeus., their sins be forgiven and their personal duas be answered. I love them all for the sake of Allah (swt). It reminds me of the hadith where two people love each other without having any family ties, purely for the sake of Allah (swt) [1] . InshaAllah, we fall into this category . I think about people who are alone and go through the same thing and l o about myself. What if I wasn't practicing [Islam] with so many sisters and brothers like I have now. Who would have been there for me? Who would be praying for me? We are so blessed. Allah (swt) is really taking care of me.

[Cemaliye 'Jem' Beyzade, Umm Hakim. Age 36, d. 28 Muharram 1430 AH /> 26 January, 2009]

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Our neverending desires

The recent report from the Children's Society has only reaffirmed the doubts many of us have had about the effects of the society we live in on our precious, innocent children. That the impact of living in a society where the adults amongst us have been led by an ever growing need to appease our own desires, has been catastrophic. Family break-ups, working mothers, excessive materialism are all factors which, in three years of research by the Society, were found as contributing to children today being more anxious and troubled.

Ideas such as liberalism and freedom we see are cornerstone in Western society, people live by them, politicians and the media advocate them. These values, are the values which are said to make people happy and content - People have the freedom to eat, dress, live and worship whatever and whoever they want, as long as they do not directly harm anyone else. We are all individuals in this society who have the freedom to live however we want to. These values have not only be thoroughly adopted here, but have been exported to the Muslim world as the values which should be adopted if those societies wish to progress.

However, there is a big but, the but, which whilst everyone has been busy being in the relationships they want, and walking when they want, being in the job they want and career they want to trying to have all the material things they want; has been silently festering away. The but of the impact of continually self-indulging behaviour.

It is true capitalist systems view their societies in this way and recognise them as being made up of a group of individuals. The reality is however, we don't live in isolation, we live as human beings in communities, come from families and build friends. Our actions not only impact our own selves, but impact those around us. And this could not be more true for anyone than our own children.

The Prophet SAW narrated in a hadith that for the woman, looking after her husband's home and children, is not only rewardable but the weight of this work equates with the work of the men who march forth eager to sacrifice their lives for the sake of Islam. Allah SWT knows the needs of our children and he has thus laid out for us the priority we should hold in securing their needs. He has set out the whole female sex, the mothers, as prioritising the upbringing of children as their primary role. The neverending greed and desires of adults, can never be the basis upon which we decide how to bring up our next generation, as we have seen in this society, if it is; they will always be put second after careers, the latest romance and wanting to have fun.

This report has surfaced the ugly realisation that the grossly individualistic culture that is engulfing British society, is damaging the wellbeing of the next generation. Although the report makes a series of recommendations such as civil birth ceremonies to attempt to combat this ailing culture for our children, nothing recommended actually begins to tackle the real problem at bay here. Giving parents better access to information and trying to curb commercial advertising to children may help the situation, but at the end of the day as long as parents in society believe in freedom and individualism, the danger of individual needs and desires dictating the way family lives are led, will always be. I'm not saying here that everyone in British society are gluttonous ineffective parents, but that the values upheld in society are conducive to adult behaviour which puts oneself first knowingly or unknowingly. We may not all be like parents of Baby P, but unless we have a yardstick and measure with which to judge our actions by and guide us, how do we know whether we are really meeting the needs of those we are responsible for?

The report recommends that our selfish adult behaviour has to stop. But I say, why blame the people who are simply living by the norms of the society and system which propagates them? Rather it is not the average parent we should really be blaming for this particular lifestyle people lead, but we should be looking at the society and values which promote and uphold such ideas of putting oneself continually first. Thus the release of this report has reinforced the need of an alternative system for us to live by which promotes a whole new set of values, not just prioritising the accumulation of capital and wealth, leaving society to rot. A system with values which allows the Creator who created us from nothing to dictate how we manage our relationships, is integral now if we want harmonious and secure family relationships to return to the face of this earth.