It has been a few weeks since ‘Andrew Tate’s Final Message’ made its way onto the internet. Unlike his previous catalogue of content, this one felt atypical to what we have been accustomed to (that is if you overlook the unrelentless and abstruse narcissism). Ordinarily, an online ban of such an individual would suggest we let the dust settle. The self-proclaimed ‘most famous man on the internet’ drew supporters and critics for much of his unapologetic and gratuitous comments and opinions particularly on issues that threatened the increasingly sensitive dogmas and ambiguous status quo. But just as a volcano erupts and eventually subsides, so too did the presence of Andrew Tate. But will his legacy follow the same pattern?
While it could be due to my own echo chamber, sadly, some Muslims continue to glorify his name, adding to his already-existing renown, making individuals who are uninformed curious to learn more. Young men are his primary advocates. Why? It could be argued that he speaks the primitive, unfiltered impulses of most men. His spellbound lifestyle and wealth are enough to enchant any hormonal juvenile. However, the cornerstone of his appeal stems from him stating what young men once thought but were conditioned by society to suppress if they wanted to prosper. That is why now I feel some prudent intervention is required. As a result, I’ve penned some observations for Muslims to consider, especially for when the next Andrew Tate-like figure inevitably appears, or even if this one makes his much-touted comeback.
Our faith does not require approval from non-Muslims
It is a sad turn of affairs that some Muslims view our religion as something that is weak and inferior to other isms and ideologies. That is why they distance themselves from its teachings (in practice, behaviour, and appearance) particularly during some of the most enjoyable occasions this life has to offer (think of the last Muslim wedding you went to). We see Islam as a barrier between us and everything we like and enjoy. Thus, when Allah, the Prophet ﷺ or the scholars – inheritors of the prophets – tell us something for our own salvation, it is inadequate. When a non-Muslim with a following proports the same message however, we follow it blindly.
Murmurs of Andrew Tate began within the Muslim community after he stated in a podcast that he would bet on Islam as being the religion for the future. We would not be in this situation had Muslims followed the framework of this mentality (i.e., that we don’t need this man’s validation, recognising that Islam is the future, not because Tate believes it so but because it has built into it the propensity to build civilisations, which it has done on many occasions, not to mention that it has been prophesised to be victorious towards the end of times). The podcast in question was recorded prior to his tumultuous rise to global recognition. The clip that circulated should have enhanced our certainty that Islam is flawless. To the degree that a non-Muslim who hasn’t read the Qur’an as we have, who hasn’t learned about the Prophet ﷺ as we have, who hasn’t experienced Ramadan as we have, who hasn’t found comfort in prayer as we have, realises that what we have exceeds all other ways of living
Instead, Tate became the focal point. So began some Muslims’ covert admiration for him, which became apparent whenever another comment overlapping with Islam was made. Our religion does not gain or lose anything by affirmations from non-Muslims (or even Muslims for that matter), but we might lose everything by placing them on such a pedestal.
Imam al-Shafi said:
You can agree and disagree with the same person
When Hitler came into power in 1930s Berlin, he fought the pornographic industry and opposed financial interest (riba), which he believed were both largely manipulated by Jews. He believed that they were undermining the German society and economy. Years later, he orchestrated both World War II and the Holocaust, tragedies that resulted in the deaths of at least 40 million people. What is the point of mentioning these examples from different ends of the spectrum? To demonstrate that it is entirely possible to agree and disagree with the decisions, opinions, and actions of the same individual or group of individuals.
Outlawing pornography and interest, destructive vices in any society, is an idea Muslims would subscribe to even if the one who is championing them does not share the same faith. Despite this, the ex-leader of Nazi Germany is perhaps one of the most reviled historical figures of the 20th century. Mass killings of innocents/non-combatants is a cardinal sin and something our religion contests entirely. Hence, we would never stand in support or defend this act.
Yet moderation continues to allude many Muslims. Our love and hate can never be described as stingy or miserly since we are incredibly generous with both. That is why Umar ibn al-Khattab said, “Do not let your love be infatuation and do not let your hatred be destruction.” When asked about this, he further said, “When you love someone, you become infatuated like a child. When you hate someone, you love destruction for your companion.”
The same methodology can be applied in the modern era to Andrew Tate. We can disagree with the double standards in retributing a man or woman’s infidelity. We can disagree with his mass accumulation of wealth by exploiting and dishonouring other people. We can disagree that ISIS are the true flagbearers of what our faith commands us to do. We disagree with the arrogance, self-admiration and comparing women to dogs.
However, at the same time we can agree with his sentiments towards the war on masculinity and reviving traditional values that would benefit women by prioritising their protection and provision. We can agree that there is a calculated attack on the family unit from multiple camps that have accelerated the destruction of mind, body, and spirit. We can agree that pre-requisites of success are discipline, goal-setting, hard work and tenacity. It is a prophetic trait to notice the good in someone, even if the bad predominantly smears their being.
How should we view influential non-Muslims?
Muslims and popular influence have never been necessarily synonymous. Certain non-Muslims have left outstanding legacies yet died without accepting Islam. What makes this possible? One word; tawfīq. The Prophet Shu’ayb said to his people:
Tawfīq can be translated in different ways, including divine direction, capacity, and success. However, the term in Arabic may signify all of these and much more. Tawfīq is the capacity to achieve a specific objective, as well as all that goes along with it. We are born helpless and will eventually return to that state. Hence Tate’s influence in the world, wasn’t from his ability alone, it was provision from Allah. The same applies to his wealth, status and shrewdness, the latter of which can be beneficial.
The Prophet ﷺ said:
A believer, according to this Hadith, is always on the lookout for a wise statement, just as he would search for lost property. A wise word is the inheritance of all humanity. Wisdom should be sought wherever it may be found. There is nothing wrong in mentioning the merits of non-Muslims while detesting the disbelief that they are upon. A Muslim should be open to learning from different religions and cultures because all truth, no matter where it is discovered, comes from Allah.
As the Arabic adage reads:
Why Andrew Tate was good for Islamic discourse
Will Smith was trending on social media earlier this year. Not for his first Academy award, but for what will go down in history as his notorious slap on the show’s host. It was all anybody could talk about for the next few days and even weeks. That incident, nevertheless, had a silver lining. I had recently started working in a new department and the head of that department was rather intimidating. She was friendly, but her job was quite stressful and didn’t allow her much spare time, so it was best to stay out of her way unless there was an emergency.
The day after the slap, most of my colleagues were speaking about it. Towards the afternoon, I found myself in the staffroom with the head of department who was speaking to another member of staff about it at the time. She then turned to me and asked my thoughts on the event. I attempted to be as succinct as possible in offering an alternate Islamic perspective that she might not have heard before. I emphasised Hollywood’s lack of morality which allows them to nonchalantly mock other people’s flaws, generating societal disorder, the surprising liberty to insult others in comedy, the absence of protective jealously over their women, and how distracting the entertainment business can be (nobody was talking about COVID or the Ukraine war anymore).
Only Allah knows if a seed was planted in that talk, but the incident manufactured the encounter. Controversy generates reactions, and reactions generate discussion. They provide a channel for us to express our point-of-view without fear of being criticised or mistreated. It is a free pass to elucidate our religious beliefs. Some of Andrew Tate’s hyperbolic claims and even compelling theories have undoubtedly sparked debate and discussion. Only the astute would utilise this to benefit our non-Muslim and Muslim friends, neighbours, and colleagues – by offering reason and evidence for what we agree on and correcting what we disagree on.
The Prophet ﷺ said:
This hadith refers to any beneficial statement – to convey it from our tradition to those who are unaware. However, because Muslims are constantly scrutinised, we often avoid sharing anything that may be detrimental to our social or professional lives. That is why, as strange as it may sound, Andrew Tate was good for Islamic discourse, particularly within certain echelons in society.
His ban from social media is bad news for Muslims
Tate stated in his final message that he was a “victim of his own success.” What catapulted him to public attention was ultimately responsible for his expulsion. What this signifies is that social media companies have grown so powerful that they now own the narrative through stifling dissent. Shaping public opinion and policing morality have far-reaching consequences, such as skewing a person’s understanding of a matter, affecting their individual views, beliefs, and political fidelities.
If you don’t say what they want you to, you can’t have a platform. Instead, you will be banned, imprisoned, or otherwise neutralised to prevent you from becoming a threat. Look at the treatment of Saudi scholars in the last decade, may Allah hasten their release. Shaykh Saleh Al-Talib, the Imam of the Haram, became the latest victim of the torrid regime, after he was sentenced to 10 years in jail for speaking out against oppressive and absolute rulers. The British empire adopted the same inequitable techniques when they colonised India. They were caught off guard to see Hindus and Muslims fighting alongside each other against the British. This horrified the British administration so profoundly that they decided to implement the divide and rule doctrine. British colonialists used the power of television to spread their message and undermine the men who could fight their tyranny.
The greatest victory today is to be an independent thinker. Tate was undeniably this, and therefore a hindrance to the establishment. He introduced uncomfortable realities into mainstream discourse and was subsequently banned – a decision tantamount to intellectual theft. A person or group can now be ‘cancelled’ if their presupposed views do not coincide with the propagated way-of-thinking. To this self-described “enlightened” and “liberal” worldview that is being promoted, our Islamic thought is the most susceptible to this line of assault. The Prophet ﷺ said:
If we lose or forfeit our ability to choose our own opinions based upon evidence, we have embraced a contemporary but subtle version of colonialism.
A message to Andrew Tate
Tate was not the first, and he will not be the last. He is not as the mass media have reported him to be, another misogynist with a cult following, or an internet idol for a fractured generation. Typecasts aside, Tate’s persona is an intriguing character study. He is one of the top marketers in the business, and Muslim organisations and dawah facilities could learn a thing or two from him.
But Mr Tate, I have a message. An invitation rather. If you truly believe Islam is the future and that it addresses many of the world’s issues (and this wasn’t a marketing tactic), then embrace it. Submit to the creator of the heavens and the earth. Satisfaction can only come with Islam. If you truly want to help others, why not use the most powerful tool available?
Don’t just use Islam as an aesthetic, learn about it. Learn about the Prophets and the early Muslims, including one whose biography I believe you will love, the second caliph of Islam and one of the Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ most treasured friends. His name was Umar, the son of al-Khattab (who was previously quoted earlier). He was known for his physically dominant stature, his necessary harshness at times, but most importantly, he was an exemplary beacon of justice. Couldn’t it be argued that justice was the underlying subject of all your messages?
That is why, in my humble view, Andrew Tate, as you are, have been beneficial to Islamic discourse, but as a reformed and galvanising Muslim, would be even better.
 I am not a supporter of Andrew Tate or the red-pill movement, nor have I ever been one. Though I do respect Tate’s intellectual prowess; his potent arguments, amusing rebuttals, and mastery of the English language – skills that someone in his position would not commonly possess.
 Siyār alam al-Nubula 10/42
 Al-Adab al-Mufrad
 Al-Qur’an, 11:88