Friday, 6 March 2009

'Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah' Al-Ahzab, 33: 23

We are chasing many things in life. Having the perfect home, perfect family, perfect career. Perfection is a standard which is the requisite which must be met and life's goals become geared into doggedly achieving it, in all spheres. However trying to achieve perfection in the deen is deemed more often than not, as either extreme or escaping life's responsibilities.

To people - You become an extremist when you start bringing Islam into places and things where Islam didn't even seem to fit before, and you start escaping life's responsibilities when you take the brave step of maybe prioritising your deen over acquiring wealth, status, letters after your name or your social life even perhaps. The deen of course is not about abandoning life in this dunya. Rather it is living the dunya with the constant thought of the Akhirah. The point however is, when people decide to make certain sacrifices or choices towards Allah's deen the labels are all too quick to be slapped on.

But striving to achieve the best in our deen is the one worry, which I worry so often, do I worry enough about? How do I know if I have, when it comes down to it, given and sacrificed enough to make my entry into Jannah real?And of course I don't, and I never will, but there are events in people's lives which test them to the core, giving them it feels the echoes of the awaiting news of Jannah.

A friend of mine, is in a state of worry, wondering about the state of her brother who due to speaking out about corruption of a Muslim Government, now has to be in a state of hiding. He did it for Allah's sake, seeking only his reward.
'Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah'
Of all things in life, may Allah make us strong enough, and worthy enough to be amongst the group of believers who have been true to our covenant with Him. And make the strong who speak the Haqq, number many in this Ummah.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Jungle rules

Please read the comments attached to this post at the end, for a clearer political understanding of these events.

The recent massacre in Bangladesh has been heartbreaking. To yet again see faces in anguish, families in peril and most of all bodies after bodies, of people dead puts a rock in your stomach and sinking feeling in your heart. What on earth happened?

As the news goes, a lash out over pay and conditions. An arm of the paramilitary of Bangladesh exasperated with bad pay and conditions and unfulfilled promises, decided to take their future into their own hands and animalistically lashed out, slashing anything that breathed. Clearly not seeking the further support of the state for their requests, but showing people maybe who was boss and that evidently, they had had enough.

The class system in Bangladesh is nothing that even raises an eyebrow. We're all used to it. Even if you do not live in Bangladesh, beckoning your house maid and throwing a couple of taka at your fatigued rickshaw driver - if it hasn't become second nature - swiftly does after a stay in Bangladesh. As that is the way the world works, the poor need to survive, the needy need to earn their bread, so we are all doing them a favour by providing them with these jobs in the first place. And on top of that now, as I have recently heard, the working class have their own store of individualism now and as i was told, if you are too generous too them then they will just abuse you. So it is accepted behaviour to be cruel to the beggar that comes to your door, or grunt at the housemaid rather than talk. And its a believable story in a place like Bangladesh, where surviving is the name of the game, no matter who or what is in your way.

The horrific ordeal that Bangladeshis encountered a couple of days ago, where people where burnt alive and brutally killed no matter who they were or what part they played, I believe was the most painful example of surviving. An arm of the paramilitary in Bangladesh who were seeking better pay for the work they did, and wanted an end to the elitism the main army held, reacted in way where they were sure their voice got heard, being bottom of a heavy heap of hierarchy and class.

They had had enough of trying to achieve change and equal treatment to their army counterparts, through the channels provided. But it became clear that as always, elitism and the class system is paramount. If you mean something in Bangladesh you'll get things, but if you are from the meagre and lowly, then it's a waiting game, or more truthfully - a dead end. In a place like Bangladesh where the poor and working class are routinely exploited and have no proper avenue through which to channel their complaints and grievances, it was only time which was to stand in the way of some sort of crazy mental event such as this, as a reaction to finding their 'dead end'. If you are standing in a room of people and you need them to know something, there is a limit to how much screaming you can do. After a while if they are still ignoring you, your anger and frustration will get the better of you and cause you to react in a way which i'm sure you will regret. Instincts and needs can be dangerous if left to depravation - in both humans and animals. What these men did was animalistic brutality. But we have to be honest, in a jungle nothing else rules but jungle rules.

It is clear that beautifully orchestrated just and fair elections had no real effect on the actual politics and change in Bangladesh, as the problems which existed in Bangladesh (which we are so used to, that they don't even seem problems anymore - poverty, corruption) still exist now that the present government is in place. Whether the recent BDR mutiny was callously planned or not, there is a real question which we all need to ask ourselves, and that is do we want the people of Bangladesh to continue to live in this jungle? Because should it not be, that the job and purpose of any Government, is to take care of the needs of their people and secure these needs?Rather than the PM telling these folk committing the atrocious acts that they were testing her patience beyond tolerance, maybe she should actually review what her tolerance levels have been. To tolerate millions of people living in squalor, subjected to crime, unfair treatment, poor pay, bribery and corruption on a routine basis, I view, as a very generous tolerance level.

Clearly Bangladesh, like many other Muslim governments, has paid lipservice to the real needs of the people they rule over, whilst in reality concerning themselves with pocketing foreign aid, creating ties with foreign nations and embedding 'signs' of progress in the nation, as labelled largely by the West (women working and achieving equality became more of a concern to deal with than actually getting provisions on the tables of the families throughout Bangladesh). Without the resources and concern being utilised to actually really raise the standard of living for the entire population of the country, and not just the rich, the common folk have just been left to fend for themselves. And with no proper rules or avenues of hope it is wholly natural the people have become exasperated.

Gradual, minimal and what we call realistic change will mean nothing if we want to deal with the mammoth problems which face this nation. Rather the vision needs to be drawn massively out, if these are our concerns. For mammoth problems, we need mammoth radical change. A change in politics where the sole concern of the government and the system which it implements is accountability to the Creator of all mankind - of both rich and poor - so that the concerns, rules and laws then are all centred around actually putting the needs of people and justice before anything else. The system of Allah SWT is the only system, which does not put any human being, any group of people before any others. Rather all are rightful citizens and have rightful access to food clothing and shelter, whoever they are whatever background they come from. It is no wonder that in the history of the Islamic State, it is documented that many non-muslims happily lived within the State with all their needs met in plenty, even if they did not believe in a single aspect of Allah's deen. I mean, they were being fed, watered and protected to utter contentment, why would they even care what the Government that looked after them believed in?

The massacre by the BDR has been a unruly and cruel experience of jungle rules. Where in effect there are no rules, or laws, and people have been left to make up their own to try to fend their own flock. May Allah SWT bring soon his rahma and his Ahkam upon us, so that the jungle and lawlessness of human desires are eradicated forever.