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Fear: a tool to control…

These days the most paramount and overpowering emotions of people in modern societies are of fear and uncertainty. Whenever something happens in the world, due to the easy accessibility to electronic and print media, the scaremongering news is magnified and transported instantly all over the globe. For centuries people were solely dealing with their personal and local issues such as war, famine, plagues, earthquakes and floods. Now, however, with the advancement of modern and “civilized technology”, we are forced to internalise every terrible piece of information from all over the world, each accompanied by horrific images. Strangely, broadcasting of fear is becoming ever-increasingly intense with the media’s decade-and-a-half, daily dose of reporting new terror threats from Muslims.

This fear is so powerful that it is ripping apart the stability of the societies and instilling anxiety in its members. In the basic societies of olden times and even a few decades ago, when people were living in media free societies they were able to cope better with their tests in life due to the strong bonds they had with other fellow human beings. On the other hand, in the complex and fractured societies of today, where individualism is a common trait, the media’s role is becoming increasingly monstrous and more overt in its mission to target Muslims, fabricate lies, spread fear, and hence, cripple the minds of the general population with panic, uncertainty and even hate towards Muslims.

Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion or thought an individual experiences when they are frightened or worried about something dangerous, painful, or negative that is happening or might happen. There exists no doubt that the Media is being used as a tool to spread anxiety and fear among people in order to control their minds. By repeatedly televising and reporting gruesome visual details, through the melodramatic coverage of the incidents rather than reporting on the true severity of the situation, and by supplementing the few facts with more lies, the media has the desired effect on people; so much so that the word “terror” has become synonymous with Muslims and Islām. Nevertheless, in spite of this, there is an amazing and thought-provoking question to be asked by any person of intellect: Why are the people called Muslims, who are in the  media’s spotlight 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, still fully functioning members of society, with smiles on their faces and possessing no sign of experiencing nervous breakdowns at the announcement of “BREAKING NEWS”? Even though Muslims are the “bad guys” and the constant prey of negative PR, they are unlike other celebrities and public figures who fall apart under the media’s scrutiny.

The answer is simple. Being a Muslim means they submit to Allāh. They have The Book of Guidance and the example of their beloved Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). As Allāh says in the Qur’ān.

This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a Guidance for those conscious of Allāh”.[1]

By reading, listening and reflecting upon the words of Allāh, the believers are given all the strength and light they need to get through the most dark and difficult times. The verses of the Qur’ān are the true guidance in the way that illuminating lights give clarity of vision in darkness. In the face of confusion and uncertainty spreading around us, the words of Allāh become clearer, more real, more profound and ever more relevant to our situations. As in the Qur’ān Allāh says,

“O mankind! Verily, there has come to you a convincing proof from your Lord; and We sent down to you a manifest light. So, as for those who believed in Allāh and held fast to (depend on) Him, He will admit them to His mercy and grace (i.e. Paradise), and guide them to Himself by a straight path.”[2]

The Qur’ān is not just a religious book of rituals, this Book is from Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā), the Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise.

The revelation of the Qur’ān is from Allāh, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”[3]

His Book is the pinnacle of any knowledge known to mankind. It not only pinpoints the problems, it meticulously answers every issue which arises. This book of guidance not only teaches believers how to navigate through darkness, it also comforts them in such a way as no one has the ability to do except Al-Wakīl, the Disposer of affairs. In His Book, Allāh says,

“Those to whom the people said, ‘Verily, the people have gathered against you, therefore, fear them.’ But it [only] increased them in faith, and they said: ‘Allah is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs.’ So they returned with grace and bounty from Allāh. No harm touched them; and they followed the pleasure of Allāh. And Allāh is the Owner of great bounty. It is only Shayṭān that suggests to you the fear of his friends; so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are indeed believers.”[4]

These beautiful verses offer such solace and teach us who is inciting the fear and who is taking care of your affairs. The words of Allāh and the lessons from our Prophet Muḥammad’s (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) noble life are sufficient reassurance for the Believers in testing times.

 “And rely upon Allāh; and sufficient is Allāh as Disposer of affairs.”[5]

Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) tells us that

[…] ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shayṭān.”[6]

We can only truly understand the strength and comfort of the ayahs of the Qur’ān when we have experienced fear and uncertainty and have maintained belief in Allāh as our Lord and believed in the “unseen”, as Allāh says about the believers,

Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them”.

We, none of us, have the ability to take care of your uncertainties as you we do not know what the future holds for us. It is only Allāh who holds such knowledge.

[He is the] Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, the Grand, the Exalted.”[7]

Who else do we need to go to when we know our fears and worries are in the knowledge of our Lord?

Verily, those who fear their Lord unseen, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward.  And whether you keep your talk secret or disclose it, verily, He is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts. Should not He who has created know And He is the Most Kind and Courteous, All-Aware?”[8]

As such, as opposed to breaking down in despair, Muslims are consoled regarding their fears and uncertainties by connecting to Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) through the Qur’ān, the Sunnah, Salāh, the remembrance of Allāh and by the constant recitation of duʿā’s from Qur’ān and Sunnah. Believers put their trust in Allāh and never despair as they turn to the example given in the Qur’ān of the Prophet Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi al-Salām), when he said to his sons,

“O my sons! Go you and inquire about Yūsuf and his brother, and never give up hope of Allāh’s mercy. Certainly no one despairs of Allāh’s mercy, except the people who disbelieve.”[9]

By completely and entirely placing our trust in Allāh’s Mercy and Protection we say,

“Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!”[10]

 

“Our Lord, grant us from Yourself Mercy and prepare for us from our affair right Guidance.”[11]

 

“Verily, those who say: ‘Our Lord is [only] Allāh,’ and thereafter stand firm, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. Such shall be the dwellers of Paradise, abiding therein (forever) — a reward for what they used to do.”[12]

May Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) make us from amongst them, Āmīn.

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] Al-Qur’ān, 2:1

[2] Al-Qur’ān, 4:174-175

[3] Al-Qur’ān, 39:1

[4] Al-Qur’ān, 3:173-175

[5] Al-Qur’ān, 33:3

[6] Al-Qur’ān, 4:76

[7] Al-Qur’ān, 13:9

[8] Al-Qur’ān, 67:12-14

[9] Al-Qur’ān, 12:87

[10] Al-Qur’ān, 2:201

[11] Al-Qur’ān, 18:10

[12] Al-Qur’ān, 46:13-14

About Shamim Alam

One comment

  1. The West has never been at ease with Islam since the Crusades. It is unfortunate that huge oil supplies lie under the Arabian Deserts. It is the West that stirred the trouble that led to 9/11. That attack was a desperate act of by men prepared to lose their life. We need to get to grips on who is the terrorist? On 24 November 1963, Lyndon Johnson said, “the battle against communism… must be joined… with strength and determination. Some three million lives were lost in the consequential battles. The US had to pull out due to Public Opinion. Communism lived on. So who was the terrorist?

    Muslim youth are born into British society and socialized in British schools, or naturalized after years of residence and integration, but endure frustrating barriers to socioeconomic mobility and face discrimination as members of an ethnic minority. And though a majority identify as British, a 2006 Pew survey shows how British Muslims maintain attitudes of disaffection and alienation more than Muslims in other European countries. Opportunistic imams can then mobilize a minority of impressionable youth toward a fundamental practice of religion. In fact, former Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells directly attributes the threat from British-born Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq to not dealing with their radicalization in the U.K.

    The British establishment is wrong in thinking that Imams are to blame for extremism. Imams are not solution to the problem for extremism. Extremism is nothing to do with Imams. Extremism is not created from abroad, it is coming from within. Britain fails to help Muslim communities feel part of British society. Race trouble is being predicted by the Daily Express, because of an ethnic boom in UK major cities. Muslim communities need imams for the solutions of their needs and demands in their own native languages. Muslim parents would like to see their children well versed in Standard English and to go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. The fact is that majority of Muslim children leave schools with low grades because monolingual teachers are not capable to teach Standard English to bilingual Muslim children. A Muslim is a citizen of this tiny global village. He/she does not want to become notoriously monolingual Brit.

    None of the British Muslims convicted following the riots in Bradford and Oldham in 2001 or any of those linked to the London bombings had been to Islamic schools. An American Think Tank studied the educational back ground of 300 Jihadists; none of them were educated in Pakistani Madrasas. They were all Western educated by non-Muslim teachers. Bilingual Muslim children need bilingual Muslim teachers as role models. A Cambridge University study found that single-sex classes could make a big difference for boys. They perform better in single-sex classes. The research is promising because male students in the study saw noticeable gains in the grades. The study confirms the Islamic notion that academic achievement is better in single-sex classes.

    None of 7/7 bombers and British Muslim youths who are in Syria and Iraq are the product of Muslim schools. They are the product of British schooling which is the home of institutional racism with chicken racist native teachers. It is absurd to believe that Muslim schools, Imams and Masajid teach Muslim children anti-Semitic, homophobic and anti-western views. It is dangerously deceptive and misleading to address text books and discuss them out of their historical, cultural and linguistic context. It is not wrong to teach children that Jews are committing the same cruelty in Palestine what German did to them before or during Second World War. It is not wrong to teach children that anti-social behaviour, drinking, drugs, homosexuality, sex before marriage, teenage pregnancies and abortions are western values and Islam is against all such sins. This does not mean that Muslim schools teach children to hate westerners, Jews and homosexuals.

    Terrorism and sexual grooming is nothing to do with Masajid, Imams and Muslim schools. Those Muslim youths who have been involved in terrorism and sexual grooming are the product of western education system which makes a man stupid, selfish and corrupt. They find themselves cut off from their cultural heritage, literature and poetry. They suffer from identity crises and I blame British schooling. French terrorists were the product of the French education system. They were well versed in French and not in Arabic. They find themselves cut off from their cultural heritage and are unable to enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry.

    Terrorism, the use of violence against civilians is not new and it is not unique to Islamic extremists. Though we are hyper-aware of this threat from groups that view themselves as the only true Muslims, let us not forget that assaults on civilians have been used widely throughout human existence and was a widespread occurrence in the last century. Dresden, The Holocaust, Biafra, Rwanda, Cambodia, Oklahoma City… None of these had anything to do with Islam. The problem is not that Islam harbours fanatics, that Europeans allow Muslim immigrants to dwell in impoverished ghettos, or that the Western Nations support despots to ensure access to the oil of the Middle East, though all are true. The problem is that people, and states, are all too willing to use violence to advance their own self-interest. Until we eschew violence, it will always be a weapon easily adopted by the least among us to strike at the privileged.

    Charlie Hebdo is a disgusting, racist and bigoted satirical publication that has been inviting such a tragedy for many years. What is the point of humour at the expense of others beliefs? The reason we’re not allowed to depict our Prophet graphically is through his own instruction. He did not want to be “idolized” in any way. He even said himself “i am just a man”. These terrorists have done the exact opposite – they have idolized him by claiming a false “vengeance”. Still, i despise Charlie Hebdo. They were asking for it knowing full well the state of extremism in the world today. Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, it has to do with societal problems. That makes sense. That is why we see so many non-Muslim, poor Latin Americans, Africans and Indians resorting to terrorism as a means to vent their anger, right? The murdering spree by two gunmen on the offices of a French satirical magazine have incited horror across the world. That’s completely justified. But what’s been lost in the mass outpourings of solidarity and condemnations of barbarity is the fact that so few of the terrorist attacks carried out in European Union countries are related to Islamist militancy. In fact, in the last five year, less than 2 percent of all terrorist attacks in the E.U. have been “religiously motivated.”

    How many people this ‘extremist liberal’ magazine killed with their cartoons? Answer is none! How many people these radical Muslim killed in France yesterday? Answer is 12 . So how are both extremist liberal and radical equally dangerous? Blaming all Muslims for the actions of radicals is like blaming all westerners for the self-serving racist attitudes of some. I detest what those fanatics did and this is not for sure what Islam teach. However, the act of some fanatics and idiots cannot be a base to insult any religion or their religious personality. I consider this attack more of a religious clash than a terrorist attack.Yet it can’t be justified.Prophet himself during his life faced many opposition and blasphemy to which the Prophet reacted in the most forgiving manner. ..It is not the religion that is the problem..it is these idiots who makes fun of the religion. The important question that every Muslim must ask himself/herself in that moment of rage when he/she sees something as insulting to Muslims’ faith is ‘What Would Mohammed Do?’ Every Muslim is taught from the childhood, apart from a lot other forgettable nonsense in the name of Islam, how tolerant the Prophet was to criticism and abuse. Mocking someone’s Race is far, far different than mocking someone’s Religion.

    A terrorist may come up with a reasoning that it’s his freedom of expression. They got hurt mentally and they expressed their freedom which hurt others physically. Mocking religion can’t be a right way of freedom of expression when religions talk about peace. if people distort the religion to suit their own needs that doesn’t mean it’s the problem with the religion rather it is the problem with those sick minded people who distort that religion. Having and sharing fun is good but making fun of others is not. You can be satirical on something that is wrong, to attract attention but bringing in religious figures who stand for peace and tolerance is not right. Now roadside Romeos can use the freedom of expression to pass lewd comments on women and they too can say, well if u don’t like it close your ears. What if this is defended as freedom of expression? There has to be a boundary for freedom of expression too.

    In Islam there is no commandment to kill people by making such allegations against them. The cartoonists had exercised their freedom of expression, and freedom of expression is totally allowed in Islam. Even during the Prophet’s time there were several instances of ridicule, however the Prophet and his Companions neither punished such persons nor asked anyone to do so. On every occasion of this kind, the Prophet’s Companions always tried to positively disseminate the message of Islam. They never tried to punish these people. The killing of those people who had published the cartoons is a gravely un-Islamic act in the name of Islam.
    IA
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

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