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In Trump’s America, I’m Scared for the Future of Muslims

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Nov 13, 2016

Question

As-Salamu Aleikom dear counselor. I am an American Muslim. As you know, Trump has just been elected, and I really scare for my and my husband’s life and the life of other Muslims here and around the world. I am a hijabi Muslimah, my husband is an immigrant from the Middle-East. I have already been bullied in the workplace due to being a Muslim. I do not want to take off my hijab, I trust Allah, but maybe I will have to. I am just scared of the future. I am also scared that they might not renew my husband’s papers and would send him back to his country. We cannot live there as the situation there is completely unstable. What do you advise me?

Counselor

Answer


In Trump's America, I'm Scared for the Future of Muslims

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaikum sister,

A lot of fear has been elicited as a result of the recent US elections. However, there is much advice that we can take from the Qur’an and Sunnah on how we can deal with this situation in the most effective manner.

Naturally, Muslims living in the West will face difficulties anyway, regardless of who the president is, simply because the Islamic way of life can be a very different culture in some ways which can be hard for the Muslims (as well as for the residents of the country) to manage and understand. It is, therefore, important to understand why people might look like so unwelcoming as they may feel like strangers have been taking over their territory.

In individualistic cultures, like those in the West, this can be more of an issue than in Islamic cultures that have a more collectivist approach to life. These differences could simply be a result of differences in perspectives that are so embedded into our way of life.

Whilst this doesn’t take the fear away from the Muslims living in the West, it can help to see the situation in a different light. People hold nothing personally against you; it’s simply a different perspective on the general way of life that is incompatible and, therefore, results in this uncomfortable kind of friction.

In addition, it is important to remember that when we chose to live in a different country, we have to respect the rules of that country. The people of the USA voted for him as their next president and, therefore, their choice of president should be respected.

Another thing to remember is that it may be that people did not vote for him because of his statements against Islam, but simply because they were fed up of the system that was not working for them and saw Trump as an alternative way to overcome the existing problems.

So, we also need to understand that this is not necessarily a vote against the Muslims, but potentially a vote against a system that they feel is not working. Continuing on in the mindset that the results were entirely a vote against Islam will only lead to one of two things: either an increased feeling of oppression or hatred towards Muslims and, therefore, fighting back and rebelling in an unislamic manner that will only reinforce any negative beliefs about Islam, or hiding away and not integrating into the community anymore for fear of being attacked. Neither approach are in line with an Islamic response.

If we refer back to the Qur’an and Sunnah, however, we can deduce the best way to respond to this situation that will not only bring us strength individually and as an ummah, but will portray Islam in the beautiful was that it truly is.

Remember that Allah (swt) is the one in control of all affairs and is the best of planners. We should always remember that He (swt) is our Protector in difficult times, especially those of oppression:

“Say, ‘Never will we be struck except by what Allah has decreed for us; He is our protector.” And upon Allah let the believers rely.’” (Quran 9:51)

You might not be happy with the way things have turned out for fear of what the consequences may be, but it may be something that will ultimately be good for us as an ummah, even if it is just that we become united in facing any oppression and managing potential difficulties that face us as a community.

“O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality. And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” (Qur’an 4:19)

Accepting it as a test from Allah (swt):

“And We shall certainly test you by afflicting you with fear, hunger, loss of properties and lives and fruits. Give glad tidings, then, to those who remain patient.”’ (Quran, 2:155)

And trusting the will of Allah (swt):

“His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, “Be,” and it is.” (Qur’an 36:82)

Ultimately, remain positive in the times of difficulty:

“So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers.” (Qur’an, 3:139)

Keeping these Islamic teachings and values in mind will enable us to stay in the line of Islam without having to resort to things like removing our hijab, which would actually take us further from the commands of Allah (swt).

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, 33:59)

However, being bullied at work is unacceptable and is something that should be reported. But don’t fall prey to the stereotypes of Muslims and instead be a good example, serving as an act of da’wah to correct misconceptions that might exist in your community

“And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.” (Qur’an 41:34)

May Allah (swt) bring you ease in your affairs and help you find comfort in His (swt) remembrance.

Salam,

***

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About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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