Protesting in Islamic tradition

Given current events relating #BlackLivesMatter protests and some misinformation being promulgated by a few leaders of Muslim organizations, the following will give a few points on protesting from the Islamic tradition.

In surah 4, ayah 148, Allah (SWT) says Allah does not love the publicizing of evil except for whoever has been wronged, and Allah is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.  Ibn Abbas (RA) stated that one meaning of this is that the oppressed can make du’a for assistance against the oppressor.  Al-Hasan Al-Basri (RH) stated the oppressed can seek assistance pertaining to the oppressor.

Musa (AS) is the most mentioned prophet in the Qur’an.  Musa (AS) was involved in protesting systematic abuse from Fir’awn.  It was more than a policy that Musa (AS) protested but an entire system that was designed to oppress the Children of Israel and those who disagreed with Fir’awn.

Thousands of years later, the People of Al-Madinah protested the governance of Yazid bin Mu’awiyah, who was a wine-drinker and did not uphold the five daily prayers.  Up to ten thousand Madani people, which included some Sahabah, were martyred over a three day period for their protesting Yazid. Of course, there was the protest of Al-Husayn bin Ali (SA) against Yazid’s government, which led to his and his followers being martyred at Karbala. Those noble souls preferred to protest and face death with dignity than to just have a “seat at the table” of corruption.

There are more stories from the history of prophets, Salaf and the imams of fiqh where public challenging of systemic injustices was voiced.

There are times when those who lack positional power whose grievances are continuously ignored have no option but to raise their voices in public dissent is the point.  Hence, this is why people including many Muslims have taken to the streets in #BlackLivesMatter protests.

 

2 thoughts on “Protesting in Islamic tradition

  1. Dear Mr. Waild,
    I think you are a great spokesperson for the Islamic persons in your community and throughout the world! If people would take the time to understand the Koran and its teachings, they would know it’s not violent but good in nature. It’s the ignorance of people that causes this intolerance of your beliefs! I am a white Catholic woman but I respect all people and religions. I am sorry for all your community has been subjected to, just like the Japanese and German communities of past times. Keep up your dignified work!
    Best Regards
    Patricia Strnad
    Irvine, ca

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