In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh
I kept my disagreements private. Now that the issue is out in the open and Tariq Ramadan has decided to publicly disagree with it, I see no harm in making my thoughts public…
I read the following statement from our respected Scholars in Islam and I fundamentally disagree with their (political) stance.
They have the right to take a political position and I have the right to disagree with it. As I understand it, these Scholars are refusing to lead the funeral prayers and urging others but they are not refusing that funeral (prayers) should take place.
I am a military veteran, an Ex-Medic and my guiding principle is the Geneva Convention. I was trained to treat an injured human and provide assistance no matter how deeply and fundamentally I disagree with their ideology or action.
I deeply, fundamentally and entirely disagree with those attacked civilians in London or those who attack innocent people anywhere in the world. There is no basis in Islam for these attacks and there is no room for such actions. Those who perpetrate these crimes should be swiftly brought to justice and punished to the (full) extent of the law. I believe in bringing them to justice, without question and without ambiguity.
Mankind has viciously disagreed and ferociously fought against each other throughout history. Aid has always been provided to the injured, regardless of ideology.
By extension, last rites to the bitter enemy or returning their body to the other side has never been denied.
Many states in America kill those who perpetrate the most heinous and despicable crimes but last rites are not denied.
NHS will not deny treatment to a human being simply because his or her ideology or views are despicable.
NHS will neither deny nor will the chaplain refuse last rites of a dead man because of his or her ideology.
Our (honourable) scholars have started a trend which will be used as judgement against other scholars. British Government did not ask to make this call. The Media did not ask them to make this call. They voluntarily (opted) to thrust this opinion and plant this thought into minds of British population. They also voluntarily (opted) to thrust their choice upon other scholars. Contemporary scholars are now put in a difficult position, if they choose to fulfil their duty (as a Scholar and perform the funeral rituals) they will be labelled as “Terrorist Sympathisers”, if they choose to address the topic from an academic perspective they will be labelled as “Terrorist Sympathisers”.
Let me repeat this again, our (honourable) scholars have voluntarily put a statement out there and started a conversation which was not needed. They have voluntarily planted this idea in the minds of British public. They didn’t merely stop at personal statements about refusing to lead funeral prayers, they have set aside a chain of events which can be used as a judgement call against other scholars (their own fraternity and colleagues).
Where will this end? Where do we draw the line? Which violation of “British Values” will result in invocation of this principle of refusing to lead the funeral prayers?
I am disappointed and regard this as the thin edge of the wedge.
I see some of the signatories and they are respectable, decent, honourable men who are held in good regard by majority of Sunni Muslims in Britain. MCB is not! MCB is often regarded as aloof, disconnected and not representative of grass root (Muslim) views. MCB may be representative of a cross section of (London) Muslims but it most certainly does not represent the views of an overwhelming majority of British Muslims, particularly both conservative and (grass root) politically active Muslims.
I am afraid that some of these Scholars may become a clone of (Maulana) Ibraheem Mogra by chasing MCB into a rabbit hole. Majority of conservative Muslims fundamentally and vehemently disagree with him in our communities. They may not be able to express their views due to PREVENT and/or other reasons but the feeling is genuinely there.
Our (honourable) scholars need to understand that it is the “Muslims” they are supposed to represent and their influence and recognition comes from “Muslims”. Do not go so far in chasing organisations like the MCB that you erode your grassroots support and destroy your credibility.
We (Muslims) are vulnerable, we are under attack, we are gagged, we are bound and we are unable to express our views out of fear of being victimised and targeted. Not many Muslims will express (similar) views because they are fearful of being labelled as “Terrorist Sympathisers”. Not many Scholars will express (similar) views for the very same reasons.
I have checked multiple sources, consulted multiple scholars and there are no solid Islamic reasons, precedence or justification for your actions. You have performed an “ijtehaad” and it should have remained with you. However, you have decided to thrust it upon 3 million British Muslims for us to be judged by it by the (British) society. You have given (another) stick to the Media to beat us with. We (Muslims) detest and abhor what is being done in our name and in the name of our religion. Now, you have planted the idea that we are not doing enough and we need to distance ourselves even from a dead-terrorist!
Next time, when a Mosque or an Imam performs a funeral prayer don’t be surprised if the Media turns up and demands why the funeral prayers were not denied? What will happen when a member of the Rochdale Grooming gang dies? Why should a Muslim Imam offer funeral prayers over them? Their crimes are also heinous and despicable may be not to the same degree but surely paedophilia and grooming girls should amount to something in MCB’s ethical code?
We (patiently) await more press statements from the MCB.
What is the likely cause of our (honourable) scholars issuing such a statement? Because our Ulama and Mashaykh lack those with the necessary skillset to provide effective consultation.
A diligent (and sincere) group of individuals would have advised our Ulama and Mashaykh and (politely but respectfully) reminded them of RULE NUMBER ONE of Media relations:
“Don’t put out statements when there is no need. When asked, be precise and to the point. Don’t create issues which don’t exist”.
The perception of the King (to the masses) is the result of consul of the Wazir (wise minister).
Faces have changed, characteristics have not.
Decisions have changed, repercussions have not.
If Deobandees want to fix things, they should assemble a team of people around them who will not be afraid to warn and disagree (with courtesy and respect). Above all, gather people who have the skillset and the talent to do the job and not because they happen to be Mureeds of a certain Shaykh or went to a certain Darul-uloom or students of a certain Shaykh. If right people have those affiliations (in addition to their primary skills) Allah Ta’ala has blessed you but choosing affiliations over skills is a disaster.
Many of the Muslim countries (like Pakistan) are a basket case because people are not selected based on skills and talents.
I would have been proud of our Scholars if they would have said:
We fundamentally disagree with the actions of those who attack Civilians
We regard their actions to be outside the fold of Islam.
But we disagree with the calls to deny them their last (funeral) rights. It is the most basic human right to treat those who are injured or those who have died to be accorded last rites.
We are better than ISIS, we are not inhumane and we will hold onto our basic human value and decency.
We will continue to show our humanity and our decency despite our fundamental differences. We will not become like THEM!
07th of June 2017