Thank you for picking up the 4th edition of ISLAM HERE. Reflecting on current events in the world, both the good and the bad, has left me with a sobering thought. I remember
hearing a quote from el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz otherwise known as Malcolm X, in high-school when I was decidedly more angry and opinionated about pretty much everything. Here is what Hajj Malik had to say to my young mind:

“Who are you? You don’t know? Don’t tell me ‘Negro’ that’s nothing. What were you before the white man named you ‘Negro’? What was your name? It couldn’t have been ‘Smith’ or ‘Jones’ or ‘Bush’ or ‘Powell’ that wasn’t your name. They don’t have those kind of names where you and I come from. No, what was your name? And why don’t you know what your name was then? Where was your history? How did a man wipe out your history? How did the man, what did the man do to make you as dumb, as you are right now?” 

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Hajj Malik also believed that history is a people’s memory, and without a memory, man is demoted to the lower self. As an [un-drugged] teenager, this is explosive. It deconstructed the mass mind, enough for me to see glimpses of myself I recognised but did not know. I understood the connection between my ignorance and my current condition. “Who are you?” he said. You have to start there. Of myself, my Deen it is clear I am wholly ignorant. In search of knowledge as a remedy, the further I look ahead, the more I see people ahead of me still in deep study. What is only established so far, is that the condition of one in learning deeply effects his/ her behaviour. As more of these people group in a place, a most astonishing thing begins to take place. That behaviour begins to rub off on others. Knowing yourself and where you come from, is of vital importance to anyone desiring more of his or herself. It sets the foundation for great things. But we have to see both the good with the bad. Because that is the human situation. There will always be both good and bad as it is in Allah’s decree. Which according to our Aqida, we completely accept.

astrolabeWhat Hajj Malik had to say long before I was born, was to help lift a young individual, trapped in a historically disadvantaged narrative, to open a way forward. As Muslims, what we must realise, historically speaking of course, our great and momentous memory. We must remember. Because of our great explorers, we pioneered in history itself. We pioneered in almost every scientific field, Physics; Medicine; Mathematical algorithms; Sociology. Art had reached a peak of refinement built entirely around the context of the Muslim lived experience. It effected everything to how a person entered a room or changed his or her behaviour from one zone to another in a building to being a philosophical discussion on the Universe. Volumes could be written on it and they have. We pioneered in state administration and the harmonious movement of people from different cultural backgrounds on a large scale. We have some of the only moments in history in large empires where poverty was completely  eradicated. We have a moment in history, where there was a man, whose generosity on his way to the Hajj deflated the value of gold in Egypt. In any case we do not inherit narratives, we are the ones who write them.

 

muslim-population-3-2The recent report on the forecast of Muslim populations globally for the next 30-50 years, shows us signs that the current narratives worldwide effecting Muslims are changing. Even more so when one realises that currently 60% of the global Muslim population is below the age of 30 years
old. The inability of an already outdated modernism to adapt to this is evident in its failure to  accommodate its own Muslim citizenry. Which in the case of the politic in Europe, has only increased its ineptitude by repeatedly visiting the same narrative as before out of touch with a changing reality.

What follows from this? We have to focus on a new paradigm. A collective spirit with a common goal. We have to look after our people. We have to see to each other’s needs. We must build more orphanages, hospitals and learning institutions. We must take care of the poor. Rasullulah, May Allah bless him and grant him peace, said that we will find him amongst them. We must make specific effort to make dawa to the people of South Africa that have not yet entered the Deen. The Muslim’s of South Africa are a special community. The memory of our past here is evident in the shape of the country you see today. It is not that the Muslims were so politically active during apartheid because that is the narrative we were given, it is because that is the narrative we took on to change.

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Really, how lucky are we as Muslims that we do not have to look so far into ourselves to see light within. We have everything in our hands by a Merciful Lord and everything in our path by a messenger who is a lived example of everything that can be. A complete blueprint, to traverse a vast, wonderful desert beyond understanding and yet still be able to see the end right from the beginning. May the reader find the Help at every waypoint from Allah, glory be to the Most High. And may you find that all your actions for the sake of Allah be met with Success. May Allah protect you and your family, both from inward and outward harm. Amin
Assalaamualaykum.
Nabeel Abdalhaqq
Editor