Khutbah on the issue of racism

Date: June 5, 2020 | Categories: Structural Racism,

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Life: The Simple Freedom that is so often abused

الحمد لله و الصلاة و السلام على رسول الله

Allah SWT says:

مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَٰلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا ۚ وَلَقَدْ جَاءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُم بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فِي الْأَرْضِ لَمُسْرِفُونَ ﴿٣٢﴾

Because of that (killing of Abel by his brother Cain unjustly), We decreed upon the Children of Israel (And by the same token this Ummah) that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our Messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors. (5:32)

Life is our most precious gift:

  • Sad reality is that vast majority of people do not have the slightest idea of the value of the precious gift of life
  • Nor do they know how to use it to get the best out of it.
  • Nor do they respect the life of others
  • Through the system of Taghut; injustice and racism, globally and here in the USA, many people have become victims and lost their lives in the most brutal way.
  • How many people do injustice because of following the system of injustice! Rasoolullah SAS said:

لا تَكونوا إمَّعةً، تقولونَ: إن أحسنَ النّاسُ أحسنّا، وإن ظلموا ظلَمنا، ولَكن وطِّنوا أنفسَكم، إن أحسنَ النّاسُ أن تُحسِنوا، وإن أساءوا فلا تظلِموا.
“Do not be blind followers and say: ‘If people do good, we do good, and if people do injustice, we do injustice.’ Adjust yourselves; when people do good, do good, and when they wrong, do not do injustice.”[At-Tirmithi]

  • How many people, how many ethnicities, how many minorities and individuals have been crushed because one group or one race thinks they are superior over them!
  • May Allah SWT save us from this evil; do or done to!

Police brutality in Minneapolis

  • What has happened in Minneapolis is only one such act of brutality done against another individual George Floyd in broad daylight.
  • It did not happen by accident but based on structured racism that that been the core problem of this society.
  • George Floyd was murdered in broad daylight in the most horrific manner by someone whose job is to protect lives and see that injustice is not done. It could have happened to anyone.
  • Imagine the pain and discomfort you endure if someone were to grab you and choke you even in a brotherly or friendly fight. Within seconds you shout: Surrender! I can’t breathe!
  • But this white police officer choked this individual pinning him to the ground not for 9 seconds for almost 9 minutes till his life was slowly plucked out of his body in the most painful manner.
  • As one Police Chief says: If you think Floyd video shows reasonable force, resign. In other words this act is far from called reasonable. This is blatant murder.
  • We did not know his name before but we certainly know that he too like many before him has become victim of a system of structured racism in this country and in this world.
  • The question is for how long will we need to hear the well too familiar words: I can’t breathe!
  • What do we do as Muslims to help the oppressed?
  • A poet once said:

لاَ تَظْلِمَنَّ إذا ما كُنْتَ مُقْتَدِرًا فالظُّلمُ آخرُه يأتيكَ بِالنـَّدَمِ
نامَتْ عُيونُكَ والمظلومُ مُنْتـَبِهٌ يَدْعُو عَلَيكَ وَعينُ اللهِ لَـمْ تَنَم

Do not commit injustice even if you have the ability to do so

For injustice in the end will come to harm you
Your eyes will sleep but the eyes of the oppressed is attentive
Making supplication against you while the Eyes of Allah is never asleep
For sure the four officers that spent 9 minutes to wring the life out of this poor man will now spend the rest of their lives in torment. And a wise man said, “When you want to do injustice, remember the justice of Allaah The Almighty that will be executed against you. When you want to use your strength to wrong others, remember that Allaah The Exalted has the strength to punish you. Never, be impressed by someone who sheds blood, as his victim never dies.” Wish if this last sentence be placed in every police car.
There are two issues to understand from an Islam perspective
1. Racism – Tamyeez ‘Unsuri تمييز عنصري or also called Jaahiliyyah
2. Injustice or Zhulm ظلم

Zhulm is much wider than ‘Unsuri. In fact, Unsuri is a subset of Zhulm and they go hand in glove whereby all racism is Zhulm but not all Zhulm is racism!

1. Racism Debunked in Islam:
Racism is defined as the belief that one ethnicity is superior to another, or one color of skin is superior to another, or the people of one country are superior to another. Thus to shun racism is part of our faith and to act upon it tantamount to Kufr Billah! May Allah SWT protect us!
In The Qur’an Allah SWT discredits all forms of racism. In fact, our different colors and ethnicities are only for us to recognize HIS Wisdom and Power

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَكُم مِّن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ إِذَا أَنتُم بَشَرٌ تَنتَشِرُونَ ﴿٢٠﴾

And of His signs is that He created you from dust; then, suddenly you were human beings dispersing [throughout the earth] (30:20)
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّلْعَالِمِينَ ﴿٢٢﴾

And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge. (30:22)

Allah SWT further explains that superiority is based not on race or color but on piety only which He SWT can judge. He says:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّـهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ ﴿١٣﴾

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted (49:13)

The same message was expounded by Rasoolullah SAS in the Final Hajj as he condemned the core of racism. He SAS said:

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black, nor a black has any superiority over a white- except by piety and good action.

Rasoolullah SAS did not even allow a statement of racism to get pass. So when Abu Zharr RA addressed Bilaal RA “O son of a black woman” Rasoolullah SAS immediately reprimanded him in no uncertain terms telling him you still have traces of Jaahiliyyah!.

In another narration, the Prophet said:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ أَذْهَبَ عَنْكُمْ عُبِّيَّةَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ وَتَعَاظُمَهَا بِآبَائِهَا فَالنَّاسُ رَجُلَانِ بَرٌّ تَقِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَفَاجِرٌ شَقِيٌّ هَيِّنٌ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَالنَّاسُ بَنُو آدَمَ وَخَلَقَ اللَّهُ آدَمَ مِنْ تُرَابٍ قَالَ اللَّهُ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ وَأُنْثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ

O people, Allah has removed the slogans of ignorance from you and the exaltation of its forefathers. The people are only two kinds: either a righteous, Godfearing believer dignified to Allah, or a wicked, miserable sinner insignificant to Allah. The people are all the children of Adam and Adam was created from dust. Allah said: O people, We have created you male and female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most noble to Allah is the most righteous of you. (49:13)

2. Messengers were sent to eradicate Zhulm- Injustice
The core of the Shari’ah is to establish justice as Allah SWT says:
وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقًا وَعَدْلًا ۚ لَّا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ ۚ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

And the word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can alter His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing. (6:115)

The Qur’an mentions that the purpose of Messengers was to eradicate injustice. Allah SWT says:
وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّـهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ ۖ فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ هَدَى اللَّـهُ وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِ الضَّلَالَةُ ۚ فَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَانظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ ﴿٣٦﴾

And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], “Worship Allah and avoid Taghut.” And among them were those whom Allah guided, and among them were those upon whom error was [deservedly] decreed. So proceed through the earth and observe how was the end of the deniers. (16:36)

Taghut is every system or form of injustice.
At the same time the core task of the Messengers is to uphold justice:
لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَنْزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْطِ وَأَنْزَلْنَا الْحَدِيدَ فِيهِ بَأْسٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَنْصُرُهُ وَرُسُلَهُ بِالْغَيْبِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ [الحديد:25].

We have already sent Our messengers with clear evidences and sent down with them the Scripture and the balance that the people may maintain [their affairs] in justice. And We sent down iron, wherein is great military might and benefits for the people, and so that Allah may make evident those who support Him and His messengers unseen. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might. (57:25)

Thus Allah SWT made Zhulm prohibited to do and to accept:
لَا تَظْلِمُونَ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ
…you do no injustice, nor do you don’t allow injustice to be done to you. (2:279)

Rasoolullah SAS warns:
[اتَّقُوا الظُّلْمَ، فإنَّ الظُّلْمَ ظُلُماتٌ يَومَ القِيامَةِ
“Protect yourselves against doing injustice, for injustice will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection.”[Muslim]

One of the most answered Duas is the Du’a of an oppressed person
Rasoolullah SAS said:
ثَلَاثَةٌ لَا تُرَدُّ دَعْوَتُهُمْ الصَّائِمُ حَتَّى يُفْطِرَ وَالْإِمَامُ الْعَادِلُ وَدَعْوَةُ الْمَظْلُومِ يَرْفَعُهَا اللَّهُ فَوْقَ الْغَمَامِ وَيَفْتَحُ لَهَا أَبْوَابَ السَّمَاءِ وَيَقُولُ الرَّبُّ وَعِزَّتِي لَأَنْصُرَنَّكِ وَلَوْ بَعْدَ حِينٍ

The supplications of three persons are never turned away: a fasting person until he breaks his fast, a just ruler, and the supplication of the oppressed which is raised by Allah above the clouds, the gates of heaven are opened for it, and the Lord says: By my might, I will help you in due time. (Tirmidhi)

Worse of all Allah SWT curses those who commit injustice:
وَنَادَىٰ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ أَصْحَابَ النَّارِ أَن قَدْ وَجَدْنَا مَا وَعَدَنَا رَبُّنَا حَقًّا فَهَلْ وَجَدتُّم مَّا وَعَدَ رَبُّكُمْ حَقًّا ۖ قَالُوا نَعَمْ ۚ فَأَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ بَيْنَهُمْ أَن لَّعْنَةُ اللَّـهِ عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿٤٤﴾

And the dwellers of Paradise will call out to the dwellers of the Fire (saying): “We have indeed found true what our Lord had promised us; have you also found true, what your Lord promised (warnings, etc.)?” They shall say: “Yes.” Then a crier will proclaim between them: “The Curse of Allah is on the Zalimun (44)

As Muslims what is our responsibility?

    • We must make genuine effort to identify within ourselves where we are with regards to racism and doing injustice to others
    • We must make every effort to erase both racism and injustice from ourselves
    • Let us stand firm for justice in our society as Allah SWT commands:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاءَ لِلَّـهِ وَلَوْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ ۚ إِن يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقِيرًا فَاللَّـهُ أَوْلَىٰ بِهِمَا ۖ فَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا الْهَوَىٰ أَن تَعْدِلُوا ۚ وَإِن تَلْوُوا أَوْ تُعْرِضُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. (135)

  • Let us carry out the advice of Rasoolullah SAS he gave to this Ummah during the Farewell Khutbah in which he said:

Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.
O people, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born.
Reason well, therefore, O people, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qu’ran and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.
All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed your message to your people”.

He SAS also says:
مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُمْ مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِقَلْبِهِ وَذَلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الْإِيمَانِ

“Whoever among you sees evil, let him change it with his hand. If he is unable to do so, then with his tongue. If he is unable to do so, then with his heart, and that is the weakest level of faith.” Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim

Rasoolullah SAS said,
انْصُرْ أَخَاكَ ظَالِمًا أَوْ مَظْلُومًا‏ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ هَذَا نَنْصُرُهُ مَظْلُومًا فَكَيْفَ نَنْصُرُهُ ظَالِمًا قَالَ تَأْخُذُ فَوْقَ يَدَيْهِ
وفي رواية أخرى قال تَحْجُزُهُ أَوْ تَمْنَعُهُ مِنَ الظُّلْمِ فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ نَصْرُهُ

“Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or is oppressed.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, we help the oppressed, but how do we help an oppressor?” The Prophet said, “By seizing his hand.”
In another narration, the Prophet said, “By restraining him or preventing him from committing injustice, for that is how you support him.” (Agreed Upon)

Rewards of standing up for justice
Rasoolullah SAS said:
إنَّ المُقْسِطِينَ عِنْدَ اللهِ على مَنابِرَ مِن نُورٍ، عن يَمِينِ الرَّحْمَنِ عزَّ وجلَّ، وكِلْتا يَدَيْهِ يَمِينٌ، الَّذِينَ يَعْدِلُونَ في حُكْمِهِمْ وأَهْلِيهِمْ وما ولوا.
Behold! the Dispensers of Justice will be seated on the pulpits of light beside God, on the right side of the Merciful, Exalted and Glorious. Either side of the Being is the right side both being equally meritorious. (The Dispensers of Justice are) those who do justice in their rules, in matters relating to their families and in all that they undertake to do.

Consequences of remaining silent
Injustice has the catastrophic consequence Allah SWT says:
وَتِلْكَ الْقُرَىٰ أَهْلَكْنَاهُمْ لَمَّا ظَلَمُوا وَجَعَلْنَا لِمَهْلِكِهِم مَّوْعِدًا ﴿٥٩﴾
And those cities – We destroyed them when they committed injustice, and We made for their destruction an appointed time. [18:59]

Are we then surprised for all the calamities that face us here in America as well as what is currently happening in the world?
May Allah SWT save us all from committing acts of Zhulm and racism and may He SWT protect us from it done to us!