Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Message for Friday - Help the oppressed and the oppressor

Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) said, "Help your brother when he is an oppressor and when he is oppressed."

And man question, "Oh Messenger of G'd! I help him that is oppressed, but when I see him oppressing, how do I help him?"

He (SAAS) replied, "You block or repel his oppression, and that is how you help him."

The believer in Islam is commanded to help the oppressed irrespective of their religion or whether the oppressed ask for assistance or not. In the struggle to help the oppressed, this automatically puts liberators and oppressors at odds.

Helping the oppressed takes moral strength and conviction, for liberators must be willing to put their wealth, reputations and possibly their lives in peril. When the oppressors, however, have close relationships, even the same faith, as those who seek to liberate the oppressed, there is a tendancy for many to blind themselves to the oppression.

In the Muslim world today, many of the governments are ran by oppressive regimes. From Algeria and Tunisia in North Africa to Turkmenistan in Central Asia, Muslims are being oppressed by fellow Muslims while most of the Muslim world passively watches. Business transactions and investments go undisturbed by rich businessmen while private dismay by some behind closed doors translates into idleness.

Perhaps, this could be one of the biggest challenges for Muslims today is to resist oppression within its own ranks without bringing about anarchy within their own societies.

Although American Muslims lack the power to physically remove oppressors, the community should at least have the moral strength to speak out against these forces and divest their resources from the reigns of the oppressors.

And surely G'd knows best.

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