zakat

All Politics Is Local

August 17, 2006 by  


By Imam Abdullah El-Amin

How do you, as an individual, contribute to positive world change? Things seem so much bigger than we are.

There was a politician (I forget exactly who) that coined the phrase, “All politics is local.” This phrase has a profound meaning in that whatever happens internationally affects you at home, and the actions you perform at home can have an enormous impact on world events.

This applies to us especially as Muslim human beings. “Local” can be interpreted as thoughtfully applying the tenets of our religion to every thought and action we make. For instance, we make our prayer in the morning as a ritual and a duty to start our day. As we recite Al Fatiha and other surahs and verses, we are merely recognizing that ALLAH, and only ALLAH is Supreme and we ask Him to give us guidance. Then we use that guidance to give us strength to do what we know and feel is the right thing to do.

It gives us the strength to look at great superpowers and still stand up for our own points of view. When it starts locally, you utilize the pure human instincts, instilled by ALLAH and enhanced by study of Qur`an, to walk intelligently unafraid wherever life leads us.

As we look at the international problem facing the world today, emanating primarily from the Middle East, we may have a tendency not to look harshly at the wrongs coming from “our side.” Looking the other way and ignoring wrongs can be as harmful as committing wrongs yourself. That actually gives people a false sense of righteousness. Righteousness is behaving the way ALLAH directs and the way the Prophet Muhammad (s) operated. This has tremendous power. If the Prophet (s) would not have done it…don’t you do it.

Similarly, being afraid to utilize the strength given by ALLAH, gives your enemies more freedom and ammunition to use against you and oppress you even more. ALLAH has given one Muslim the power of ten non-believers, but sometimes we look at what the enemy has and get awestruck and afraid to move. As a result, we may find ourselves excusing and protecting the enemy so as to not make him more terrible and brutal than he already is. This can be a terrible mistake that will enhance your position of weakness and lower the respect you are due.

The Muslim leader, Imam W. Deen Mohammed said years ago that we have the power to “walk up to the beast that is the most abominable; reach into his throat with our ‘right hand’; and snatch out his vital organs.” (The Need for Leadership: 1975)

Now that’s all symbolic. Imam Mohammed, nor I, mean for anyone to physically try to snatch out someone’s tongue. You do it with your mind. You first know what ALLAH says, you ingest and invoke the power from Him, and then you’re able to walk like Daniel, into the lion’s den, unafraid, and they can’t touch you. You are able to influence them, change their mind, and win the war.

ALLAH has given the Muslims great hearts. I don’t think this girl Jill Carroll would have been treated with such respect if she had been an Iraqi girl in the hands of the “liberators.” They gave her the best food, best living quarters and, considering the situation, the best human treatment. The same thing was said by the African-American lady soldier captured in Iraq. She said they took great pains to give her respect and privacy for personal needs. Very different from the sexual abuse of men and women prisoners at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere.

Like I said, we have the best of everything, but it all starts locally—with you. Don’t be afraid to stand up for the good in the Muslims. Go forth…ALLAH will protect you.

As Salaam Alaikum
(Al Hajj) Abdullah Bey El-Amin •

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