“It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the Deen of truth to manifest it over all deens, although they who associate others with Allah dislike it.” [Deen may roughly translate as “comprehensive way of life”]
Islam is not something written on a golden tablet, hovering in a vacuum where nothing exists but its own magnificence. When we say that Islam is Deen, it implies that it is for human beings, as individuals and societies. All of the major functions of Islam (Da’wah first, then preserving Deen, Life, Intellect, Children, and Material Resources) pertain to establishing that which is beneficial for humanity. Preservation of Deen itself must include preserving the People of Deen; otherwise, Deen could neither continue nor have any purpose. If we allow poor Muslims to die or dwindle into oblivion, particularly converts, we would have no real Islam in ourselves, and would lose those very people who have the most soulful perspective on matters. This is exemplified by the following Hadith:
A man passed by Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) and Allah s Apostle asked (his companions) “What do you say about this (man)?” They replied “If he asks for a lady’s hand, he ought to be given her in marriage; and if he intercedes (for someone) his intercessor should be accepted; and if he speaks, he should be listened to.” Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) kept silent, and then a man from among the poor Muslims passed by, an Allah’s Apostle asked (them) “What do you say about this man?” They replied, “If he asks for a lady’s hand in marriage he does not deserve to be married, and he intercedes (for someone), his intercession should not be accepted; And if he speaks, he should not be listened to.’ Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) said, “This poor man is better than enough of the first to fill the earth.’
There is a great deal of sense in the current trend to revive Islam’s spirituality and intelligence. We live in a world that has long been subjugated by systems and people who exist entirely for material acquisition and development. Humanity has long been deprived of seeking the spiritual and the eternal. The way we think and live reflects the fact that we starve and thirst for more than we have received.
Yet we are daily confronted by very serious problems that require the practical implementation of Islam in order to resolve them. We are experiencing the fallout of failed social systems. Disparities in wealth, income, opportunity, education, healthcare, and social-justice all indicate this truth. We just passed a century that saw the death of nearly 200 Million people from war. The US has seen the longest wars in its history; the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have continued since the 1980’s, are projected to continue another 30 years, and there is no actual forecast for any end. Add to all this the facts that 10 Million people die of starvation yearly, and we will completely destroy our planet over the next few decades. The current systems of society have doomed us, and Islam came to deliver us out of doom and into salvation; in both the Hereafter and in this worldly life. From a well-substantiated perspective, it can be shown that a destroyed state in this life is a good indication of a destroyed eternity.
To say that kufr(disbelief) is at the spiritual and philosophical heart of our problems is honest. It has to also be understood that the disposition of kufr within individuals translates into social systems of kufr, which are the mechanical means of enslaving humanity and destroying lives. Please allow me to offer a brief explanation of capitalism and its effects.
Capitalism is a system we engage our time and effort with everyday. All the moments we spend working for a living, shopping for our needs, educating ourselves and our children, paying taxes, or shaking our heads at the evils of society – all such moments are engaged in and dictated by the rules and methods of this economic system. It is a system that was built by the misguided elite of Europe and America, meaning this destructive monstrosity came into dominance in the last 200 years, after the collapse of Islam’s dominance.
Fundamentally, capitalism is materialism put into economic practice. Those who deny Revealed Law and postmortem Judgment established a system by which those who lust for wealth and dominance could serve their twisted and parasitic self-interest. The capitalist uses accumulated wealth to monopolize the means of producing the commodities that humans need. They drive the independent producers out of business, and employ a fraction of available workers at low “wages”, rather than allowing independent producers to actually earn a standard living. The capitalist sells commodities produced by his/her low-paid workers, and reaps the marginal value as personal profit. It’s through this system that unemployment is perpetuated, poverty becomes more widespread, humans are forced to work more than what life actually requires, and a tiny group of cut-throats continue to increase their wealth and tyranny. 85 people now own half the world’s wealth, while the 7.5 billion of us compete for the other half, we also work to feed those 85 parasites, along with our own families.
The opposite of cooperation is competition, and capitalism reflects both: cooperation exists between the wealthy elite so they can find new ways of exploiting humanity, while extreme competition exists between the working-class people. As a worker, if you don’t prove your “worth” by extending hyper-productivity into long hours of job commitment, you will be eliminated and replaced by someone in the unemployment line. If you are a small-business operator, you must compete fiercely to defend yourself from corporations who encroach upon your particular market, and try to hold on long enough for your local competitors to be eliminated.
It’s called Dog-eat-Dog for a reason. Capitalism is social-Darwinism. “Live and let die” is easy to do, unless you’re the one who’s doing the dying. It’s a system that functions like a Play-Doh factory: you put pristine human children in, give it a few cranks, and it spits out adult dogs and baboons. And Islam doesn’t allow such a mentality, nor such a lifestyle, nor such an economic system. In Surat Ya-Sin, one of the most often read parts of Allah’s Book, He tells us:
And when it is said to them: “Spend of that with which Allah has provided you,” those who disbelieve say to those who believe: “Shall we feed those whom, if Allah willed, He (Himself) would have fed? You are only in a plain error.”
In this verse, our Creator has made it clear that “live and let die” is the philosophy and practice of Kufaar; those who neither believe in nor fear Allah. Yet we “muslims” are living under a system that is rooted in Kufr, manifests Kufr through all levels and systems of society, and engages us daily in its methods and mentality. It is a system that is destroying all of us, destroying the future of our children, and destroying the planet they will be living miserable lives and dying upon. If we don’t believe in confronting this, Islam is not our Deen; we are not even human.
Say, “Shall I inform you of [what is] worse than that as penalty from Allah ? It is those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He became angry and made of them apes and pigs and slaves of Taghut. Those are worse in position and further astray from the sound way.”
Have you seen those (hyprocrites) who claim that they believe in that which has been sent down to you, and that which was sent down before you, and they wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) to the Taghut (false judges, non-Islamic systems, etc.) while they have been ordered to reject them. But Shaitan (Satan) wishes to lead them far astray.
In the first verse, there is an included story of a community of Israelite Muslims who disobeyed Allah by finding weaselly ways to avoid His Law pertaining to working for a living on Saturdays. Allah turned them into qirad (monkeys, apes, babboons) as punishment, though it should be understood that the disobedience of Allah brings its own evil transformation of the self. This is the major point I am trying to make: if we continue living as Muslims under capitalism, we will continue to be transformed into beasts, as well as failing in dozens of obligations, and perverting ourselves away from Allah’s Deen and true human nature.
Our “communities” and “masajid” are also guilty of practicing the Kufr of “live and let die”. While they commit $xyzMillion to adding square-footage for the sake of establishing “islam”, many Muslims including Converts are left unmarried, alone, sick, starving, homeless, abandoned, and even suicidal. And for all their “islam”, I rarely find “muslims” at the rallies that protest the existing system, writing articles in protest, or even expressing an understanding of capitalism’s failures. The general mentality is “I have my job, my house, my family, Islamic schools for my children, my “masjid”, and my beard. The rest isn’t MY problem.”
So, allow me to state something as clearly and unequivocally as I can, and I’m gonna put it in quoted notation to emphasize it:
“If your deen and your community do not provide security for its adherents and allies, especially its converts, Islam is NOT the deen of your community. If Islam is not the deen of your community, YOU have a serious problem, as Allah has commanded YOU to establish His Deen.”
At this point, most of us “muslims” will be thinking an easily contrived scapegoat response to the current state of affairs: “well, what can we do about it?” I would suggest we become Muslims, accept Allah’s Guidance as our Deen, and do what our Prophet and his Companions did; stand up on Truth, confront Reality, determine to establish Allah’s Deen (in its entirety), and commit to whatever effort and resources are necessary to replace capitalism with Islam. The Prophet’s community provided security for those First Converts, and the Muslims of Medina strove, sacrificed, bled, and died until the complete Deen of the world was Islam.
And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrong-doers.
And until Allah gives us victory, we are obligated to care for the poor, the lonely, the unmarried, establishing them as equals with ourselves, just as the Sahabah did. Yes, my dear Brothers and Sisters: being a Muslim requires you to liquidate that huge house full of furniture and spend the wealth Allah has given you for the care of the poor, and the establishment of the Community of Believers. It is also your obligation to strive and fight to replace capitalism with Islam.
Once Sa`d (bin Abi Waqqas) thought that he was superior to those who were below him in rank. On that, the Prophet (s.a.w.) asked “Are you given help or provision(by Allah) except for the sake of the poor and weak among you?” – Bukhari, Book of Jihad
Allah created us as human beings. If we return to him as dogs, baboons, and swine, there’ll be nothing to blame but our own acceptance of this corrupt system called capitalism.