By Ust. Hossam Al-Jabri
In reference to the article written by Br Ibrahim Ramey on the terrible news of the Killing of Benazir Bhutto http://iamramey.blogspot.com/2007/12/assassination-of-former-prime-minister.html
A dear young brother posed the question below
salam alikom bro hussam
how is butto’s murder a
terrible day for islam
akhi she is a liberal
secularist that called for wester style democracy and
could not even speak urdu and did not practice islam
and u can ask pakistany brothers if u dont believe me
hope all is well with u
Salamu aliukum akhi al habib:
Jazakah allah khairan for your question. This is a legitimate question that should be asked, and can indeed be confusing to the youth. I would like to share with you some thoughts about this.
The killing of B.B. is a terrible tragedy that should be treated as such for multiple reasons. I will mention the following :
- Islam flourishes and prospers much more in a democracy as compared to an oppressive regime. The “democracy” that is mentioned in your email is a system where Islam may be able to flourish much more than compared to a oppressive dictatorial military regime. I do not want to get into Pakistani politics, nor is this my intention. But at some basic level, the prophet PBUH asked the Meccans to “khalou bayni wa bayna al-nas” : that is “leave me to take my message to the people”. In a democracy, Muslims would be more capable of conveying the message of Islam to the people, and then the people would decide whether or not to accept the message, and maybe even live their lives in accordance to its guidelines. In an oppressive military regime the people have no voice, and Islam will have no voice. The prophet PBUH went to Madina after he was invited and people asked for the prophet to come. Life is not all black or all white. The system in Ethiopia was much better than the system in Mecca, and therefore the prophet asked the people to migrate to Ethiopia. Remember, in the absence of the “ideal” we have to work with what we have.
- More importantly, Islam is wholly against such acts as killing innocent people, without any right, irrespective of their religion, or Islamic practice. It is mandatory to make this fact known because of two reasons:
- Internally it is a shame that some Muslims believe that they can take the law into their own hands and kill others because they differ with them. There are books that can be written about this, but suffice to say the following : the community of the prophet had KNOWN hypocrites. It had individuals who spread rumors about the honor of the wife of the prophet; it had people who accused the prophet of blasphemous things. Allah told the prophet about these hypocrites. How many hypocrites did the prophet kill? None.
- Externally, the situation is as dangerous because of the following: Islam is being accused (wrongly) of causing these killings or other terror around the world. The people who are spreading this perception hate Islam and Muslims, and use the ignorance of some Muslims, and the media machines in order to promote that Islam is a hateful religion. This is serious since it greatly restricts out ability to take the message of Allah to many people. We have to ensure that people realize the truth about Islam as a peaceful religion. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that Islam is a passive religion, you know me better. But what I am saying is that the killing of BB and other similar murders are far far away from any thing Islamic. Islam is a peaceful religion, and uses military Jihad only as a last resort to repel oppression. Even then, there is ample guidance on how and when and who engages in Jihad in order to be within the boundaries of Allah.
- Furthermore, the fact that BB was “did not practice Islam” does not mean that it is wrong to be sad for her death. I may oppose her positions on many things vehemently, but, because of the points mentioned above, would still be sad and angry for her killing. This has roots in Islam. The simplistic understanding of Islam that tries to capture all actions in simple black and white may be appropriate for elementary school, but not for real life, within the fold of Islam. I will mention something to you. Would you ever imagine that a pious person would be truly sad for the death of an unbelieving Muskrik who worships the pagan idols? What if I told you that one of the saddest time in the life of our prophet was the death of such a person, who, in addition to his pagan beliefs, had supported Islam and Muslims. This is the uncle of the prophet Abou Taleb. Now, who do you think may fare better in the Day of Judgment: Abou Taleb or BB. Please do not answer this question, because it is neither for me nor you, but for Allah SWT to answer. But at least BB prayed a couple of Rakas at some point in her life. The serious point that I am making is that our youth must understand Islam as a package, and not be tempted by the simplistic all black or all white answers. There are many variables that need to be understood before a position is taken.
Discussion and dialog about these points is something that is useful, and we should engage in them. I appreciate that you posed the question, and indeed posed it in a most appropriate manner.
Do not hesitate to write me back or talk to me
Your brother who loves you