A Moment with Our Prophet, Muhammad (S)
By Imam Zijad Delic
Day 253: Political Advocacy: An Urgent “MUST” for Canadian Muslims
Narrated by Jabir (r) that the Prophet (S) said, “The best of people are those who are most beneficial to (all) people.”
عَنْ جَابِرٍ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَخَيْرُ النَّاسِ أَنْفَعُهُمْ لِلنَّاسِ
Source: At Tabarani, al-Mu’jam al-Awsat
Transliteration: “Wa Khairun Nasi Anfa’uhum Lin Nasi.”
Speaking frankly about the subject of the Election in Canada, I do not see how we – Canadian Muslims – can survive as a healthy Canadian Muslim community, one that remains faithful to its faith heritage as well as to this great nation, without moving to a planned and conscious state of political involvement.
If we do NOT, how can we expect to exert any influence or control over our own destiny here?
If we do not get engaged politically, someone else is going to do the policy planning for us, be it good or bad, useful or useless, beneficial or harmful.
If we fail to increase our political awareness and involvement, if we fail to participate with other Canadians in creating a better and healthier environment for all, then our very existence – existence of all – is threatened.
As the foregoing clearly illustrates, taking part in political and social activism for the good of all passengers on the ship of state (in this case Canada) fulfills the totality of Islam.
This is understood as the realization of our faith’s basic principle “enjoining and spreading goodness and opposing corruption and injustice coupled with the belief in Allah.” (Qur’an 3:10)
كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ
With political candidates who walk-the-talk, speak an ethical language and who possess moral consciousness, we would be able to communicate to all Canadians what really matters to us as citizens and what matters to Canada as our nation.
Until we are fully and truly engaged with the system, we will not be taken seriously or we will not be trusted by others in the society.
And sadly, we are still not trusted by some segments of the nation’s population!
We have many things to offer to Canada’s great multicultural society, as we do, yet we sometimes hold back and hide so much of our potential.
The result is that we are not heard, seen, or appreciated.
That leaves us unaware of how much we can benefit ourselves and Canada if we emerged from hibernation and became fully proactive in supporting what is right, fair and important to all.
The potential good we can do here in an atmosphere of freedom of expression and religion, of open-mindedness and justice, far exceeds what Muslims have been able to achieve elsewhere, especially in majority Muslim countries.
But again, it takes our involvement and commitment in politics, advocacy, social justice, interfaith work and all other beneficial causes to be able to help ourselves and others.
We may not be able to improve and save the entire world (not all at once!) but we could be part of the groundswell of needed change and bring a new spark of hope to many in need of that.
It has to start somewhere!
And Canada deserves to be that starting point!
It perhaps goes without saying that there’s a big difference between those who try doing something positive in life and those who do not!
Similarly, there is a big difference between those who are active and those who are not!
There is also a big difference between those who act properly and ethically and those who couldn’t care less!
There is a big difference between those who help themselves toward greater achievement and those who don’t care about what happens outside their own doors!
All of us who came to Canada from other parts of the world have chosen willingly to live in this great nation of many opportunities – the nation of plenty.
It has been our choice to stay here rather than seek somewhere else to call our home.
If that is the case, then let us involve ourselves wholeheartedly in Canadian society and be unhesitating in our commitment to promoting goodness, justice, and fairness for all.
For if we hold back and neglect, for example, the privilege and duty of voting, the consequences of our carelessness will affect us all — our families, our Canadian Muslim community, and all other Canadians.
Ya Rabb! Guide us to be faithful believers and contributing and the most beneficial citizens of our nation – Canada!