Anti-Muslim groups blocked an entrance on February 17 during the Friday prayer at a Toronto mosque. This is indisputable evidence that Islamophobia is, in fact, real.
As Muslims, our role is to support the rest of our community. Retweeting and sharing posts is just the bare minimum that we can and should do. We must ask ourselves, what have we done to make the situation better? What could we do to ensure the security and safety of our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters? We have to stand up for Islam however, in order to do so, we must first gain ilm and further apply it in our lives.
A way in which many of the Lower Mainland brothers and sisters gain ilm is through our weekly Ilm Circle Halaqat that are developed by NYM ink and led by our teacher, Dr. Syed Ibn Iqbal. In the halaqat we discuss various topics and work through a variety of courses, including the current events surrounding Islam and Muslims. Through this halaqah topic, we were able to better understand the role that ilm can play in bettering the situations Muslims face, similar to the Toronto incident previously mentioned.
In Surah al Mujadila, Verse 11,
“Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe and those who have been granted knowledge.”
Evidently, ilm plays an important part in activism and dawah work. As an ummah we must learn to be self reliant and strong in our faith and identity as Muslims.
But how exactly do we do this? In our halaqa we were provided with a list of ways of how as Muslims we can achieve self reliance and empowerment:
- We need to know our deen.
- We need to know our principles and what we stand for.
- We need the knowledge base to effectively oppose many of the challenges that we are facing or the opposition we are facing.
- We need to educate ourselves on issues of the dunya.
- We need to have self confidence and strong self esteem to question the distorted narrative from mass media.
- We need strength to oppose that and say “No” this is not true— academically, logically and rationally this doesn’t make sense.
By taking these steps we can be of importance to the society and have our lives as Muslims and as humans matter. Knowledge is power and we cannot fail to minimize its benefits and applications.
In Chapter 35, Verse 28, Allah (SWT) tells us:
“Only those who have knowledge are the ones that truly fear Allah (swt).”
Allah (SWT) has given us the ability to understand and obtain this ilm and to stand up for this deen. Having been provided with this knowledge, the next step is to take action… so what are we waiting for?