I was inspired to write on this topic after reading a dear brothers site Umarlee and a post he had entitled “The Price of Admission”, there he was commenting on the Muslim Chaplain for the US Marines Imam SaifulIslam. Islam, as my readers should know is the Chaplain and “face” for Muslims in the Marine Corps or so says BBC anyway. I obviously gave my opinions about him and shared my experiences about this particular Chaplain, so I care not revisit those emotions again. However, brother Umarlee caught my attention as he broke down his observations of the Chaplain based off of his own words and experiences. The one thing that stood out was this idea and/or concept of is Imam Saiful a sell-out? The latter being my words based on my “ghetto” 🙂 vernacular I suppose, but the question is a very good one indeed. I don’t want to give away too much of the blog post, because I want you to visit the brothers blog and this post in particular for yourself. Either way it really got me thinking, not so much about SaifulIslam, because I don’t care to decipher his niyyah (intention) I will leave that to God Alone, but I pondered just how much are we Muslims willing to pay to sell out Islam?
A sell-out according to the dictionary is a “corrupt contract that sacrifices public for private interest,” or “prostitute one’s ideals or talents”. What the brother highlighted in his article is that by Saifulislam’s own admission it “appears” that his two homes in Virginia, compensate him well enough and makes him privileged enough, so he doesn’t necessarily have to speak out against things like Gitmo, for example. Like I said whether this is true or not, remains to be seen.
What I want to illustrate is how are we as Muslims being corrupt by sacrificing the public interest (Muslim Ummah) for our private interest? How are we prostituting our ideals (which is supposed to be Islam) for some other ideal? I believe we do this in a myriad of ways. I believe we “Western” and especially American Muslims do this often in our debates about Islam, especially with non-Muslims. I often hear brothers and sisters especially during interfaith, soften Islam so much that it becomes so watered down that it doesn’t even resemble Islam anymore (I have been accused of that before). It seems that we want to allow others to put us in boxes to make themselves feel comfortable and our price is a nice home, recognition, or a seat at the table. Without going into great detail about these examples let me add this caution to my dear brothers and sisters, who like myself are striving hard in the way to clear Islam of falsehoods, bring peace through dialogue, and share in interfaith talks: We have to remember that first and foremost, we are Muslims. Engaging doesn’t mean we have to lower our standard. For instance, we should never allow others to define us. We are not “moderates”, “radicals”, “extremists”, “fundamentalists”, or any other name. We are Muslims plain and simple. Either we be in Allah (swt) and follow the Prophet (saw), or we do not. Or temperament, political stance/leaning, or actions from time to time should be a way to label us. Our criterion is the Quran plain and simple. We have to make this clear. On the issue of violence in the Quran, we have to stop being so weak and timid about this as well, yes there is violence in the Quran, however, so is there in the Tanakh as well as the New Testament. What I’m getting at is the truth stands on it’s own and we have to say it no matter what, no matter who listens, who does not, and no matter how they feel. When we do otherwise, we sell ourselves and our souls out because we have denied Islam for some menial penance. Our reward is with Allah (swt) not with a nice house in the Virginia suburbs, George Bush, or any other created person, place, or thing.
It just seems to me, that many of us are loosing our backbones here in America and the West, what are we afraid of? Either God is who He say He is or He is not and this is all is for naught anyway, but if God be God, the one who has the power to bring death and bring life, who has the power to create and destroy, then we should stand up and one Ummah especially in these times and speak truth to power. How many of us are willing to give up our jobs, homes, and way of life here in America? Especially for the cause of Islam? If your not, truth be told your deen is lacking. There may come a time when we have to, especially if the satanic forces of the so-called Muslims and so-called Mujahadeen attack this country again. What will you do if some mall is blown up and Muslims are blamed? What will you do if a Mosque is blown up on Jummah and Christians are blamed? These are real scenario’s that the enemies of Islam, who by the way oft claim to be Muslims themselves, desire for us. If we don’t let people know where we stand whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim, we sell ourselves not only short, but deny ourselves the blessings of Allah (swt).
And speaking of the so-called Muslims…..Their actions alone prove they are sell-outs to Islam. Think about this? How can you purposefully kill fellow Muslim men, women, and children and yet call yourself a Muslim? How can you wage war in your own backyard and destroy your own countries and still say you do it in the name of Islam? How can these “people” even say they are the best for mankind, when their actions are like those of the wild beasts of the field? They would rather die, kill, and be killed than practice Islam. They would rather care more about their tribe, nationality, ethnicity, or group then Islam. How can this be brothers and sisters? Why are we willing to sell ourselves out? Whether it’s in seemingly “harmless” ways like watering down Islam so others may accept it or you, or in violent, deadly, ways to make a political statement, or retaliate against the boogey man (US and Israel), both are menial prices to pay and accept, when compared to the overwhelming benefits and joy one can receive by practicing Islam as Allah (swt) commands us.
We are to be the best of mankind, that means we are to exhibit those attributes that are superior to all others, and which attributes could be better than those of Allah (swt)? Which names could be better than the names of Allah (swt)? Nothing in this creation can ever touch the Splendor of the Creator and there is no greater title one should seek other than Muslim.
22:78 And strive hard in God’s cause with all the striving that is due to Him: it is He who has elected you [to carry His message], and has laid no hardship on you in [anything that pertains to religion, [and made you follow] the creed of your forefather Abraham. It is He who has named you in bygone times as well as in this [divine writ] – “those who have surrendered themselves to God”, so that the Apostle might bear witness to the truth before you, and that you might bear witness to it before all mankind. Thus, be constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and hold fast unto God. He is your Lord Supreme: and how excellent is this Lord Supreme, and how excellent this Giver of Succour!
وَجَاهِدُوا فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمينَ مِن قَبْلُ وَفِي هَذَا لِيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاء عَلَى النَّاسِ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِاللَّهِ هُوَ مَوْلَاكُمْ فَنِعْمَ الْمَوْلَى وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ (22:78)