Sunday, February 19, 2006

(16) To boycott, or not to boycott?

At home this weekend, I saw a Jamiat KZN notice on the Musjid board calling for Muslims to continue the boycott on the Sunday Times. Odd I thought, must be an old notice. So I asked the Imaam. He said that he had just received a sms from Jamiat KZN asking for the boycott to continue. But Jamait Gauteng had already called off the boycott in last weeks Sunday Times! And this week they placed the ad again?!
KZN is asking Muslims not to boycott and not to advertise in the Sunday Times and Gauteng Jamiat itself advertises in the paper and calls on Muslims to stop the boycott!

Thought back to the Jumah sermon and recalled the Molvi saying how wonderful it was to see the entire Muslim world uniting for the first time in decades. So what’s going on? A person witnessing this is probably highly confused. Gauteng, where perhaps the majority of the advertisers are based, have been told to continue advertising, and KZN, where perhaps majority of the readership is based, have been asked to continue the boycott..

Do organisations of scholars need to have the same opinions? Do groups of Muslims always have to be in total agreement? I don’t think so. And I think that is the beauty of Islam. Muslims all agree on the fundamentals and on other issues agree to disagree. Look back into history- you always had those who would literally interpret and act upon the injunctions and then you had others who looked at the essence of it and tried to understand what was to be achieved. The familiar example of the Sabaha RA who prayed before reaching a certain place and those who said that they would reach first and then pray. The Prophet SAW said that they were both right.

But isn’t that a bit confusing for those of us who are not comfortable with our understanding of Islam? The only solution then would be for us to study and understand our Islam to the best of our ability. We need to be able to have our own points of reference so that we can be confident and sincere about our personal choices in these situations.

Then only would I be able to look at both arguments put forward from Gauteng and KZN and make up my own mind whether or not to buy or advertise in the paper. And similarly, when an institution says that women should not properly participate in a protest, those who disagree will do so in accordance with proper Islamic decorum. And also those who disagree with an institution certifying ‘Islamic Banking’ products, will put forward their opposing argument in the appropriate manner.

Then only I suppose would this ensure that our new found unity remains. As long as we don’t take our disagreements to the limits of ugly hate speech, characteristic of a certain Mufti’s newsletter, we should be able to ensure that steady progress is made. After all, those sinister enemies of Islam that do exist want us to fight among ourselves. And if we are not smart about our emotional reactions and rehearsed rhetoric, we would blindly walk right into their traps. As has often happened before…

And each one has a goal toward which he turns; so vie with one another in good works. Wheresoever you may be, Allah will bring you all together. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things. (HQ 2:148)

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent article brother!

February 19, 2006 11:15 PM  
Blogger Muhammad said...

Salaams Bilal,

I think a few decisions were made publicly need to be stood by, we were all together when we were against the cartoons , meetings were had with newspapers, decisions were made, etc. We were all looking so united, and now we're displaying a disunity amongst ourselves over an issues which was decided upon.


Are we just kidding ourselves about this? shouldn't we be more united in all decisions? Things like this help no body.

We need to pull together and sort ourselves out other wise we're just gonna look like a bunch of crazy disorganised idiots who rant a lot and do nothing.

Wasalaam.

Muhammad.

February 19, 2006 11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Then only I suppose would this ensure that our new found unity remains. As long as we don’t take our disagreements to the limits of ugly hate speech, characteristic of a certain Mufti’s newsletter, we should be able to ensure that steady progress is made. After all, those sinister enemies of Islam that do exist want us to fight among ourselves. And if we are not smart about our emotional reactions and rehearsed rhetoric, we would blindly walk right into their traps. As has often happened before…"

Hmmm - are were referring to unity within particular groups or unity as an ummah. Somehow I feel the above statements send out conflicting messages and also are meant to undermine the conduct of certain ulama in our society. Nothing positive can come out of such statements. With constant reminder of the alleged faults of ANY of our ulama, how does one expect to find confidence in any without feelings of mistrust? With statements like that I dont think any progress can be made... in actual fact... we would be going nowhere...... slowly.

P.S I also agree with comment by brother Muhammad

February 20, 2006 12:27 AM  
Anonymous SM said...

Bilal

My understanding is that the Jamiat TVL has reached an agreement with the ST - that ST will not publish the cartoon and the Jamiat will not pursue the court action. This is an amicable solution that benefits both parties - respecting 'freedom of speech' as well as the wishes of the Muslim community.

Me thinks that the call for a continuation of the boycott has more to do with personal agendas than for the greater good of the community living in this democracy.

Salaam

February 20, 2006 6:08 AM  
Anonymous tq said...

Dude,
Salaams!

Yep this thing is going to go on for a bit!
A bit of insider information, some of our learned scholars in kzn do not agree with the KZN learned. These are obviously a little more in touch with reality and have a head on their shoulders, with regards to this matter.

And one of the reasons that Jamiat Transvaal (some of these guys still call it that!) are so smoochy smoochy with the Sunday Times is that apparently some of our memebers in Transvaal burnt a whole stack of the paper. Burnt/attacked a van and guys selling the paper on the streets. These dudes (attackers) ran to the ANC offices complaining that Indians are attacking blacks! Can you see how dangerously this can turn out for us, if our members carry on their merry ways.

Someone at CII apparently said on the air that we should not be "irresponsible and irrational", and for these two words he was lambasted for an hour on how he doesnt love the Prophet (SAW)! Dude, we have to do everything in our power to keep a steady boat, else we'll get nuked!

Plz keep thinking, we need to be proactive here as things are on the edge! May Allah save us!

keep the faith!

February 21, 2006 6:56 AM  

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