Being Active in Society

Lessons from Losing my Religion Conference 2017

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اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُم

“This is home.” Wise words by Professor Tariq Ramadan. We were born here, we live here and most of us have no plans to migrate so why are we duped into thinking that our participation is not as valid as others?

Wherever you are living in the world, you belong to that society and they have rights over you , as you have over them. We have to understand that this “them and us” perception is not real. It is a veil of deception set up by some very manipulative self-serving individuals in order to dupe people into thinking that our opinions are not relevant.

As citizens of whatever country we live in, we have common struggles. For example, as working women we have issues with quality, pricing and availability of childcare, whether we are muslims or not. As women, we should be concerned that our female hygiene products are still taxed and seen as a luxury purchase.

Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan said that we cannot separate our Deen/ Religion from our worldly life, and here is one interpretation of what this means: 

  • We cannot stand by and think that politics is a worldly problem that should not concern us.

I know that many of us hate the mention of politics but for me this was the most important point made at the conference so I will try and make it brief in sha Allah.

We cannot stay in our world without impacting others. Choosing not to participate is choosing not to care an I know that we care. As Muslimahs, we care. We go to all these fundraisers and bake cakes for charity because we care about our brothers and sisters throughout the world. We also care about our neighbours, that’s why we agree to water their plants, feed their cats and do the school run when needed. It may not be your personal belief to vote but we have to do so and actively participate in society in order to ensure that there is a sense of fairness in the world.

We are all shocked that Britain voted out of Europe and that Trump was elected but how many of us actually voted? I have heard so many Muslims say that our vote does not matter but were each and every one of us to email our local MP regarding hate crime and Islamophobia, imagine the impact that would have? MEND Community is lobbying on our rights as Muslims very well and I am very happy to see such a well ran organisation trying to change British views regarding Islam. Let’s all join in by ensuring that our Islamic Values are being heard in the next election. I am not saying join a party but please read the manifestos, vote and help raise awareness of the party that will be of most benefit to you as a Muslim and a Citizen. If you have any concerns that your views are not being taken into consideration contact the parties, talk to them. It is important to be active in society. If you want your rights you need to stand up for them. Your views and rights matter. You matter. 

I am sorry if you were expecting a less political view of the Conference, so was I but I actually found this message really inspiring and important. 

I have always been a believer that Allah helps those who actively help themselves. We belong to this society and on judgement day we will be rising with this Society therefore lets make our views matter. I, for one, want to be able to know that I have actively done the best I could in order to ensure that this wonderful multicultural country I live in is as accepting and loving of me as I am of it and that can only happen if I stand with the people in order to stand up to oppression. If you, like me, want to be part of the Muslim movement that wants to make a difference in this world please register to vote in the UK elections here.

You could also volunteer with MEND and help raise awareness of Muslim issues in the U.K. You can offer to volunteer by clicking the word MEND

I have a lot more to say on this issue and I will do so in a few weeks in sha Allah. My next blog post will be about being confident in your place in soviety and lessons learnt from the sunnah and conference.

Let me know your thoughts and what else you’d like to know about the conference. 

Photos taken from MEND Community Instagram. 

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