Recently Brother Nouman Ali Khan came over to this country. He told us, “When I take a ride in a taxi, I would ask the driver to switch on the radio. I wanted to hear what you guys listen to in the news and the music.”

O’oh. I started to cringe.

“You guys listen to the same filth as people do in the US!”

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I became angry, sad and confused when I read the news about Syrian refugees recently.

At first I saw that Western media claimed the Gulf countries did not welcome any of the refugees, worse being Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Then there are some Muslims who were kind enough (some might say naiive) to back the Gulf countries up, saying that they do help set up refugee camps but not within Saudi Arabia itself. Furthermore it makes more sense to walk in a cool weather into Europe, than walk in the scorching heat of the desert into Saudi Arabia.

Then there is a third group of, sadly, Muslims, who said that there might as well not be Hajj season this year and next year, so that the camps in Mina could be used to house refugees, rather than pilgrims.

Wait…WHAT???

Now, I’m not in the position to comment whether or not any of those reports are true. Neither do I have the reliable sources to investigate the truth of the matter.

My issues are:
(1) Let’s face it. CNN, Fox News and whatever else Western media agents has been spreading lies upon lies about us, Muslims. We all know for a fact that they have a propaganda against us. They made ignorant (and some innocent) people believe that Islam equals to terror.
Now, the same Muslims BELIEVE the news they spread about Gulf countries NOT helping out on Syrian refugees, just because “it looks like it”?
Is there any logic behind believing a known liar?

(2) I believe there is some rational behind deciding which path to walk through – short journey, lined with trees, rivers, cool weather, OR long route, no trees, no rivers, just mirage, on a scorching hot desert.

(3) If you put the three-question rule into play, on whether or not to believe in a certain news, you may find one news is better than the other.
The three questions would be: (i) Is it true? (ii) Is it good? (iii) Is it beneficial?
If we look at the news from Western media…is it true? I don’t know. Is it good? No. Is it beneficial? I don’t think so.
Now the other news…is it true? I don’t know. Is it good? Yes. Is it beneficial? Maybe.
So there is more reason to believe in the latter news about the Gulf countries helping out, isn’t there?

(3) I know many Muslims are angry with the Saudi government, whether or not influenced by Western media, for their own reasons. But can we not lash it out to the pilgrims and the Hajj system altogether?
We all know that Hajj is an obligation for a Muslim to perform at least once in a lifetime. And it HAS to be done where Prophet Muhammad SAW did it all those years ago, which is in Mecca.
We can’t deny the rights of those Muslims who could afford it to go whenever they can, because God knows maybe next year they would not be alive anymore. And we all know stories of people who spent their lifetime saving for this long-awaited trip.
Most of them are not rich people.

It so happens that at this moment, that area is ruled by this current government which SOME Muslims believe are making money out of these trips. It so happens that the current governing people is claimed to be “ignorant and greedy” by many.

It does not change the fact that Hajj season has to go on no matter what. The blessed month of Dhulhijjah is going to come every year no matter what. I know there are many who agreed that “the welfare of a society preceeds the welfare of individuals.” But rather than denying pilgrims altogether, why not suggest building similar amount of tents outside Mina, to house the refugees? I am pretty sure the Arabs have more than enough money to do that.

(4) It is also unfair to judge all the Arabs by some photos or videos that we have seen. We have seen some pretty disgusting videos of what they do in their free time, but just look back at ourselves: don’t we all have disgusting videos from our countries too?
Refer back to the things that Brother Nouman said, right at the beginning of my rant here. About the people of this country listening to the same filth the US are listening to.
Imagine people thinking that ALL of us listen to the same thing. While we know there are Islamic radio channels, and some of us do listen to Islamic lectures on CDs or smartphones on their way to and from work.
We all know, while there are corrupt leaders and people in a country, there are honest leaders and people in that country too.
When evil seemed to overshadow all else, there are good people who try their best to fight this evil in their own little ways.
There are people who take it in their own hands to educate the masses, when the government failed to provide quality education (in terms of honesty, integrity and good character).

Just look at Brother Ahmad As-Shugairi. He has travelled the world, filming, to bring back to Saudi Arabia and show his people the good culture of the countries he visited. He worked hard to open the minds of the Arabs, to wake them up, for them to realize their true excellent potentials.

(5) Simply believing any news that came to us, and further condemning what seemed to be “the truth”, reflects the state of the ummah now.
We don’t trust our own brothers, and we don’t even make ourselves trustworthy.
We’d rather believe in compulsive liars, than open our hearts to give hope for our own brothers.
Perhaps we did not give others the reason to trust us anyway.

* * *
What shall we do now?

First we have to remember the ayat in the Quran:
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It is as clear as the sunlight. There is no need for further explanation.

Since none of the news sources are entirely trustworthy, we shall not spread them further, nor shall we make a judgment out of those news.

How to help the refugees? Honestly, I have no idea. The most that a small person like myself could do is perhaps find a trustworthy charity organisation, and donate throught them. We could also send lots of prayers for their safety in this world, and the hereafter. We could also pray that the Muslim world will wake up from our slumber and start moving towards peace in this world, not only racing amongst each other to build the tallest building in the universe.

One major contribution that all of us could give is with education. Educate the people around us, young and old, about kindness, about living in peace and harmony, about respect, about appreciating and handling differences of opinions, about the dangers of greed, ignorance and even gluttony. Personally, I think, education is the only way to stop the wars from continuing, prevent wars from starting, pave the way for a harmonious life in this world.

As Muslims, we should stand shoulder to shoulder. Encourage everyone to pray jamaah in the masjid. Prophet Muhammad SAW told us to stand close to each other and keep the congregation in a straight line “so that you will stand united in thoughts and believes.”
If there is not even a congregational line to begin with, how can we stay united, then?

* * *
This is the theme song for the TV series Khawater season 9.
Khawater 9 theme song by Maher Zain.

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Together, we’ll become stronger.
Disunited, we break.

Indeed Allah has chosen us, with sound minds, to govern this world.
To fulfil the needs of this world and help make it prosper.
Can’t you see, at this age, human beings often change their minds?
Indeed, we have not used our minds to ask for guidance, to ask, to hope and to think.
Our ignorance is worrying because we do not care about this world around us.
Hence the light of goodness is no longer seen.
And the thirst for knowledge, have gone to waste.
The news and knowledge from outsiders are those we honor more.

We shall contribute our thoughts.
We could only be freed from ignorance when we start to seek knowledge.
In life there should be goodness, knowledge will bring good to us, and in turn we could bring good to our people.

Allah has chosen us, who have sound minds, to lead and to think wisely.

The worry of being ignorant would enlighten us.
To do good and ask Him for guidance.

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