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What Is The Point of Demonstrating?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Feb 19, 2017

Question

What do you think is the use of demonstrations? What impact does Islam lay on such demonstrations?

Consultant

Answer


Salam, 

Thank you for your question. 

It is a fact that demonstrations and peaceful marches are sometimes the only way possible to express public opinion in many countries. At least, you do not internalize the frustration. 

Your participation can be more beneficial to the individual, as one realizes that one is not alone. In this manner, protest can offer a sense of clarity on an issue that was previously not so clear. Networking is important for a wide civil movement against injustice and war. 

Never underestimate your power as a citizen. Now, setting this on the global scale in which it is happening, just goes to show the parting of the ways between governments and the people.

The sense of democracy fought for, on many levels in the later half of the 20th century, may have come to an end in terms of international law. Yet, it still means something to those that are affected by any loss of liberty – the people! 

In this context, surely, governments serve to benefit by being reminded of these rights, by their voters.

The religion of Islam is founded on the rights of man, woman, and child. Hence, these rights are the subject of the guidance of the Quran and this is supported by hadiths of Prophet Muhammad. 

The demonstrations around the world are a statement on human rights that have been taken away! So the ‘joining of hands’ – figuratively speaking – of one community with another is like a global wish for citizens of the world. 

There is a hadith of Prophet Muhammad (pbhu), which advises: 

Whosoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith! 

So here, we have been given the tools, by which to effect change. Working backwards with this hadith, when our hearts were weak and consumed with self-interest, the governments that we have voted for have sought their own self-interest. They did this, ignoring the liberties of the citizens on many levels of society. 

The tongue is what we are using now, as we give voice to our concerns in the process of waking up to what we stand to lose. The hand can be interpreted as physical action in self-defense, the strongest of actions, which can reflect our true intent. 

If our true intent is to defend justice, then justice stands a greater chance of remaining among the people, from which it came. However, it does not just end there, because as humans we tend to err. That is why the free will granted by God is to help us train or develop a will greater than us. 

The objective guidance by our Creator, Allah Almighty, reminds within the laws of nature or the universal laws, what is important and what is necessary to maintain human existence and brotherhood. The Quran says:

{And there is no animal that walks upon the earth nor a bird that flies with its two wings, but [they are] kinds like yourselves […]} (Quran 6:38)

Therefore, in the knowledge that all life is interdependent and related, by neglecting or abusing one life, we set up a scale of imbalance elsewhere.

It is therefore, necessary for those that recognize this to defend each and every one of us. This is because we will all be affected eventually. We are again reminded of this in the Quran:

{[All] people are a single nation; so Allah raised prophets as bearers of good news and as warners, and He revealed with them the Book with truth, that it might judge between people in that which they differed; and none but the very people who were given it differed about it after clear arguments had come to them, revolting among themselves; so Allah has guided by His will those who believe to the truth about which they differed; and Allah guides whom He pleases to the right path.} (Quran 2:213)

This tells us much about humanity, especially in relation to Islam. The Book and the judge is the Quran, which reinforces the emphasis towards reconciliation through a process or by which different views are expressed. 

There is also the reality, that reconciliation can only take place if we believe in the truth. Without that belief or need for the truth, how can we ascertain and recognize the truth? 

One might look with awe at the fact that, around the world, humanity is speaking with one voice! We have been told of this time in many hadiths … Allah guides whom He pleases to the right path! 

So, the final answer to your question is: Yes! We should keep on working toward justice with the tools we have available. If people give up, then there is no reason to try and defend what the world-at-large stands to lose.

If we are not ready to do this, then the unthinkable will take its place, which is precisely why many find it hard to come to terms with what is happening in the 21st century! 

May God bless you in your quest. Thank you and please keep in touch. 

Salam. 

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Women’s March Set to Protest Trump’s Inauguration

Muslims Protest Mosques’ Closure At Rome’s Colosseum

Bosnian Women Protest Hijab Ban

Muslims Protest Rohingya Persecution in Burma




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