WHAT IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM?
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Thanks be to God and peace and prayers be upon God’s Prophet, May God bless him and grant him peace, and his family, companions, and those who have succeeded him:
The West and its hypocritical lackeys have tried to intimidate people away from Islam, to spread what they call “Islamophobia,” to distance people from this great religion. Accordingly, many people might buy into fearing Islam. This is the case since they think that peoples choosing Islam and applying the law of God, may He be exalted, is tantamount to cutting off hands and restricting freedoms. They have simply conflated Islam with applying capital punishment. They believe that the choice for Islam is a step backwards for the Muslims, and a return to the gloomy Middle Ages. They have filled the people’s hearts with horror. This view is narrow-minded, and does not do justice to Islam. In light of this, with my words here I want to clarify for you, my friends, and indeed for everyone–just what is Islam?!!
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My honorable brothers: When the revolution took place in our country, I looked at the slogans that the youth and others raised, most of which were: justice–security—combating corruption—equality—economic reform—freedom— and they ranged to many other great and true slogans besides these. When I examined them, I saw that all these slogans are from the great qualities that Islam, that is, our religion, calls for and urges.
Indeed, my brother, don’t be surprised by this. The bases for political reform in Islam are “Counsel—Justice—Freedom—Equality.” This, by God, is Islam…This is God’s law and His path…This is God’s religion.
So, if we choose Islam, these demands would be realized; nay, to go much further even, it would teach Muslims…indeed, it would even teach the world that the first of the many fruits of adherence to Islam is global reform. They would learn that the first of many fruits of judging by God’s law is an honorable, natural life. Thus, what if we choose Islam?
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..THEN WE WILL ACHIEVE THE JUSTICE WE WANT..
Indeed, it is justice which makes the nation’s president equal to the least of men. It makes a nation in which each individual has rights and duties for which he is responsible.
“No” to using the throne and high post to oppress the subjects. In our religion, our Lord—may He be blessed and exalted– in the divine hadith, said: “O my servants, I have forbidden oppression for myself and have made it forbidden among you, so do not oppress one another.”
Do you know, my dear brother, that if we choose Islam, then it would be within anyone’s right to go to an official of Parliament, or to any governmental authority, and demand what he needs from this official. No one would have the right to prevent this. This is perfect justice. Reflect on the Prophet’s hadith, may God bless him and grant him peace: “If someone takes a position of leadership for Muslims and overlooks their wants, their needs, their poverty, or their destitution, the God will overlook his wants, his needs, and his destitution on the Day of Judgment.” Praise be to God! This is the justice of Islam.
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..THEN EQUALITY WILL BE ACHIEVED
between the ruler and the ruled, the honorable and the lowly, the rich and the poor. We will not find nepotism, nor favoritism, nor flattery, for all of us are equal. The foundations for equality were laid down by our Prophet, May God bless him and grant him peace. A woman from Ibn Makhzum’s tribe had stolen something. Usama ibn Zayd, May God be pleased with him who was the beloved of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, came to him. He interceded with the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, asking the Prophet not to punish her. Usama ibn Zayd was surprised with the Prophet’s rejection, may God bless him and grant him peace: “Are you interceding in God’s affairs, Usama! By God, if Fatima, Muhammad’s daughter, stole, Mohammad would cut off her hand.” This is Islam. It is sufficient.
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..THERE WILL BE NO DICTATORSHIP NOR EXPLOITATION OF POWER, NOR INDIVIDUAL DESPOTISM..
But rather soft counsel, mercy, and kindness, for Islam is a religion of true counsel. Reflect on the words of God, may He be exalted, to His prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace: “It was through God’s Mercy that you were lenient with them. Had you been severe and hard-hearted, they would have broken away from around you; forgive them and ask forgiveness for them. Take counsel with them about this affair” [Surat Al ‘Imran, verse 159]. Hence, it was the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, who consulted his companions, may God be pleased with them, as for what to do with the prisoners of Badr, and he took their advice. The Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, even consulted his wife Umm Salama, may God be pleased with her, on the day of the al-Hudaybiyyah treaty, and implemented her advice.
Most scholars agree that the ruler needs to consult experts and specialists in regards to discretionary matters.
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..THEN GOD WILL REFORM THE ECONOMY, AND GOD WILL REWARD THE WEALTHY MAN WHO IS HONORABLE TOWARDS HIS SERVANTS
Islam forbids wasting money and urges defending it. Indeed “whoever dies without his money is a martyr” as it says in the hadith. Likewise, Islam combats usury and consuming people’s money in vain. God, may He be exalted, has threatened whomever deals in usury when He said: “If you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allah and His Messenger but if you repent, you will have your principal. Do not treat others unjustly and they will not treat you unjustly” [Surat al-Baqara, verse 279]. The best European economic specialists have said “We need to strictly apply Islamic economics to get out of the global economic crisis, so let us lower the interest to 0%.”–This is a respectable loan—“and let’s impose a tax on the rich of 2-3%” This is the alms-tax in Islam.
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM.. THE QUALITY OF LIVING WILL INCREASE, AND GOD’S INDESCRIBABLE GRACE WILL BLESS US
As God almighty has said: “Had the people of the towns believed and been God-fearing, we would have opened for them blessings from heaven and earth. They had been lying, however, so we took from them what they had amassed” [Surat al-A’raf, verse 96]; “Had they observed the Torah, the Gospel, and what was sent down to them from their Lord, they would have eaten what was above them and what was underneath their feet” [Surat al-Ma’ida, verse 66]; “If they were to go on the straight path, we would have given them water in abundance” [Surat al-Jinn, verse 16]; “I said: ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord. He is Forgiving. ‘He will send rain to you in torrents, support you with wealth and children, grant you gardens. and grant you rivers.’” [Surat al-Nuh, verses 10-12]. These are the blessings of God which, in the era of ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, made a kernel of wheat as big as a date pit. He had written on it: “This was what would grow during the time of justice”.
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM.. THEN CORRUPTION WILL STOP, AND WE WILL SEIZE OUR RIGHTS FROM THE CORRUPT
because Islam imposes capital punishments for theft, if it was done by those who harm and kill or those who have corrupted the land and have oppressed others, as it says in word of God, may he be exalted: “The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger or cause mischief in the land is that they will be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on alternate sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and in the next world they will have a terrible punishment” [Surat al-Ma’ida, verse 33]. At that time the wealth of Egypt will be returned to its needy, downcast people. Salaries and incomes will increase.
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM.. THEN WE WILL ATTAIN FREEDOM
Yes, all of you who want freedom, it is indeed found in Islam. Islam says that: “Since when do you enslave people even though their mothers gave birth to them as free people? You shall not be a slave to money, nor to a wife, nor to a president, nor an officer.. you will be liberated from all of this and you will be a servant to one only, God, the Great and Almighty. This is total freedom.
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM.. OUR HEARTS, STREETS, AND PUBLIC SQUARES WILL ALL BE CLEANED, AND OUR PATHS TO GOD LEVELED.
For, Islam is what teaches you to take an honest wage for clearing damaging things from the path to God. Indeed, a man entered paradise for removing a forking branch from the people’s path. In fact, a ruler should worry that if he does not pave paths for his people, or even for livestock, then God will ask him why the path was not fixed for them, as ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, May God be pleased with him, said.
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM.. WE WILL OBTAIN SOCIETAL GUARANTEES
The alms tax, a cornerstone of Islam, is taken from the rich. Unlike the oppressive taxes of today, it does not go into the pockets of state officials but rather it goes back to the poor. This ensures that money will not be monopolized by the rich. The door of charity is wide-open. Islam wants donations of any size, even as insignificant as a date pit. Islam calls for sponsoring orphans, and whoever adopts an orphan will be the Prophet’s companion, may God bless him and grant him peace, in paradise. Islam says: Whoever has excess should give it to those who do not.”
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..THEN OUR HOMES WILL BE REFORMED AND THE FAMILY BROUGHT UPRIGHT
The son will honor his father dutifully, and the father shall care for his son dutifully. Through Islam one retains one’s dignity and does not smear it with adultery. Through Islam one is happy in marriage, and the door of the forbidden is closed.
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..ALL DETAILS OF LIFE WILL BE ORDERED.
Indeed, details both small and large. Our lord said: “We have sent down to you the Book as an explanation of everything” [Surat al-Nahl, verse 89].
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..ALL OF SOCIETY WILL BE REFORMED.
A man will feed his neighbor since this grants him a reward. A homeowner will honor his guest because there is faith and virtue in this. Indeed a strange traveler will be happy eating and drinking so that he becomes satisfied, since he has a right in Islam.
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..THEN OUR MORALS WILL BE RETURNED TO US, WHICH THE EAST AND WEST HAVE STOLEN
from us, for there are no lies in Islam, rather truth and wholeness comes from it. There is no obscenity nor libel in Islam..rather, there is communication and charity. There is no fleeing responsibility…rather there is integrity and soundness in actions.
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..THEN WE WILL BECOME THE LEARNED ONES OF THE WORLD
just as we used to be. Progress and civilization will spread since the first word mentioned in Islam is “Read.” Indeed, it is knowledge, upon which the call to Islam is based.
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..THEN ALL WILL BE HAPPY, EVEN ANIMALS
There is no “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals” in our society, because that is our religion itself, in which God commands kindness toward animals: give a dog to drink and you will enter paradise. Show a cat mercy and give him a bite to eat and your sins will be forgiven.”
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..THEN WE WILL OBTAIN HARMONY BETWEEN BODY AND SOUL; BETWEEN THIS WORLD, AND OUR RELIGION.
For our Islam commands us: “You belong to your lord”—and at the same time—“You belong to your body and your family, and you belong to your guest”.
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..WE WILL OBTAIN SECURITY, MAKING US AND OTHERS SAFE
We will take the hand of those who have strayed from the path and the hand of criminals. Preserving one’s soul, property, money, and religion is among the fundamental goals of Islam.
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..THEN THERE WILL BE SECURITY FOR CHRISTIANS FOR THEMSELVES, THEIR FINANCES, THEIR PLACES LIVING, AND EVEN THEIR CHURCHES.
For, whoever harms them while they are in our lands, we will wage war against them. This goes along with our beliefs that “you have your religion, and I have mine” and “there is no compulsion in religion.” Recall that Islam’s prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, said: “Whoever breaks a pact shall never smell the fragrance of paradise”
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..WE WILL NOT VIOLATE A PACT OR A TREATY..NOT EVEN WITH THE JEWS
Otherwise, when we violate these pacts or treaties with them, God says: Except those of the polytheists with whom you have a treaty, and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor have supported anyone against you. So fulfill their treaty to them for the end of their term. Surely Allah loves the pious [Surat al-Tuba, verse 4]. Piety to God is our upholding our treaties with them and others.
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..THEN WE WILL EXERT OURSELVES ALONG THE PATH TO GOD
“No” to bloody predispositions, but instead, the path to stopping bloodshed, reclaiming our rights, opening the doors of preaching, and responding to injustice. Whoever is surprised that when we capture a prisoner of war who wanted to kill us, we treat him well and feed him, he should know that it is because our Lord has said : “Out of love for him they give food to poor, the orphans, and the captives” [Surat al-Insan, verse 8].
IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..THEN WOMEN WILL BE HAPPY.
Their legacy is protected, and no one would violate this except an oppressor. Her honor and dignity would be maintained. Whoever slanders women is to be whipped eighty lashes. A woman has no obligation to support anyone, but rather someone should support her. Her share is equal to that of a man, as is well known: “A woman’s share is the same as that of a man.” The best person is the one who treats women well: “The best of you, the best of you should marry their women.”
..IF WE CHOOSE ISLAM..
Then we will communicate with God through the five daily prayers, without tiring, for who is unable to pray unless he is asleep?
We will sympathize with the poor, so we will fast…and he who falls ill will be prepared for other days.
We will go on pilgrimage on the Hajj. Anyone unable to do so is not required to go.
There is no burden in these obligations, nor difficulty. If this were not the case, it would not be required:“What religion causes you in terms of difficulty” and “God wants ease for you, not hardship.”
Finally, I say that nothing will reform this nation except the religion of God, may He be blessed and praised.
Nothing else will reform this nation unless it does what Islam would do. Believing in Islam and applying God’s law are neither extraneous nor desired, but rather it is an inevitable, obligatory imposition. God, may He be exalted, has said: “There is no God but God.” Likewise He said: “There is no judgment except by God.”
So we ask God, may He be exalted, to endear the nation to His law, May His Qur’an and the Sunna of His Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, be made our laws. We ask Him to guide us properly towards Him. We ask Him to appoint the best of us as our leaders and to not appoint the worst. We ask Him to reform our religion and our world, along with the shepherd and flock. This He has commanded. He is the greatest Ruler and the best Helper.
May God reward he who helps to spread Islam in speech, in print, and through signs.
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“The latter generations of this community will not succeed except by that which made its first generation successful” – Imam Malik
All Qur’anic verse translations are based on the translation published by Alan Jones (Cambridge: Gibb Memorial Trust, 2007).
Acquired 15 April 2011
Translated by Alexander Brock
Translation reviewed by Elias Saba