Rohingya Massacre: Charity and dua alone?
Amazing scenes of goodness
Maybe it was because we were in the middle of the blessed month of Ramadhan where our feelings of brotherhood are heightened. The heartbreaking YouTube videos and the news report of crying and pleading Rohingya Muslims being turned back by Bangladesh borders guards definitely contributed to the amazing scenes I witnessed a few weeks ago. Scenes which made you and I proud and honoured to be part of this noble ummah, alhamdulillah. What I witnessed was that as the horrible suffering and persecution of our Rohingya brothers and sisters started to become known within the Muslim community here, there was a demand for action. People called in to the phone programs on local Bangladesh satellite TV, crying and donating generously to the many charity appeals. Masajids were making duas and hundreds joined a demonstration we held outside the Bangladesh embassy demanding that sheikh Hasina’s government opens the border to fleeing Rohingya refugees. Several Muslim individuals and groups also organised other demonstrations. The bonds of brotherhood, the goodness in the ummah and the desire to help our brothers and sisters were so evident amongst the Muslims. May Allah (swt) reward and strengthen such feelings and care. In many discussions, I found that people wanted ‘to do something’ for the Rohingya Muslims. People wanted action.
Limiting our thinking, limits our actions
As you watched the many charity appeal programs on the many satellite stations or listened to the khutbahs in the masajids, you heard the overwhelming majority of imams, shuyook, activists and khateebs echo the same message; make duas and give charity. Some also supported demonstrations against the Bangladesh government’s closure of the border to Rohingyas, but the overwhelming message was that people should make duas and give charity. Would this end the suffering? What about the fact that the Bangladesh government then banned aid agencies working in the refugee camps for Rohingyas already in Bangladesh?
Don’t mention the rulers
While it was clear that a political actor, the government of Bangladesh (a Muslim country) is colluding with the Burmese government in its persecution of Muslims, most scholars and khateebs refused to address this or promote the Islamic duty of accounting such rulers and working to replace them with a sincere Islamic ruler (Khalifah) to unite us and fulfil the duty of using every means to aid and liberate the persecuted. Why this silence? While we were reading the whole of the Qur’an and studying the sunnah in the blessed month of ramadhan, it was as if Islam had nothing to say about the unity of the ummah, the application of the shariah rules to solve such problems, or the role of the Khalifah to defend and unite the ummah? Have they forgotten that in Makkah, Prophet Muhammad (saw) was unable to defend Sumayah (ra) as she was killed by the Quraish, but when he established the Islamic state in Madina, he lead the army to defend the Muslim woman assaulted by banu Qaynuka?
Have they forgotten the hadith in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad who reported that the Prophet (saw) said : “By Allah you have to enjoin good (Maroof) and forbid evil (Munkar), and hold against the hand of the unjust ruler (Zalim), and force him on the truth strongly, or you have to limit him to the truth”. So how come the silence about the need to account the Muslim rulers and to call for the Khilafah system that applies the shariah of Allah (swt)?
- May Allah reward Muslims who continue to make dua for the liberation of our brothers and sisters in Palestine, Kashmir and now Burma but that is not enough when we neglect the work to re-establish the Khilafah that rules by the shariah Allah sent, implements all of the Deen and mobilises the resources of the ummah to care for and liberate the oppressed.
- This has allowed Muslim rulers to get away with also simply calling for charity and duas. Some governments open bank accounts and ask people to donate rather than mobilising the state’s economic, diplomatic and other resources to help the oppressed.
- Neither Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey or any other Muslim government has broken relations with the brutal Burmese regime. Recep Tayep Erdogan sent his wife to Burma and we all saw her weeping with Rohingya women which gained him a lot of popularity. What was not mentioned was that the Turkish government also met the Burmese government and reassured them that good relations must continue between both governments. The Rohingyas need liberation, not just tears and a photo opportunity with the Turkish Prime Minister’s wife and warm handshakes with their oppressors.
- We must remind the Muslims that Kashmir, Palestine, Afghanistan and other lands are still occupied despite the charity that sincere Muslims continue to give to aid our brothers and sisters there. Charity helps to relieve some of their suffering. However, it is the sincere Islamic leadership, the Khilafah (the ummah’s shield) that can solve their problem by liberating those lands. Occupation exists because the Muslim world lacks the Khilafah system as Prophet (saw) described the Khailifah as a shield. Muslim narrated from Al-Araj on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (saw) said, “Indeed the Imam (Khalifah) is a shield, from behind whom one would fight, and by whom one would protect oneself.”
- The current Muslim rulers are part of our problem. Rather than defending the ummah, our so called rulers maintain relations with the governments occupying our lands and oppressing our ummah. Until we are rid of them, our problems will continue and the latest such tragedy is that of the Rohingya Muslims. That is why we must raise our voices and motivate every Muslim to demand the return of the Khilafah so this becomes the demand everywhere in the Muslim world.
The Islamic Khilafah system is like the fire brigade
Imagine a child fell into a well, and someone said we should not call the fire brigade, though it is the body that has trained rescuers, long ladders and expertise to pluck the child out of the well and return him safe to his mother. Imagine if that person then said that all we need to do is to lower a bottle of water or some food to the crying child. What would we say to that person?
Yes, while we wait for the fire brigade, it is our Islamic duty to lower water and food and offer words of comfort to the crying child, but we must call for the fire brigade to rescue the child otherwise what is our defence before Allah (swt) and how can we put an end to his ordeal? Similarly, we must commend people making duas and giving charity to our brothers and sisters in Burma, Kahsmir, Palestine and elsewhere but we must motivate them to raise the call for the removal of the 50 plus regimes that do not rule us by what He (swt) revealed and for them to be replaced by a sincere Khalifah who cares only to apply the shariah solutions, implement the Deen, unify the ummah and mobilises her vast resources for the service of Islam and Muslims.
We have to broaden people’s horizons. We have to engage and convince every Muslim man and woman, scholar and khateeb to call for the Khilafah so it becomes the demand of the ummah everywhere. May Allah (swt) aid us all in this task.
Media Rep. Of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain
9 Shawwal 1433
27 August 2012