Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulallahi wa barakatu,
We have all seen the horrifying and heart-breaking news of George Floyd’s death. The struggle for justice has been ongoing and requires the utmost support to prevent further heart-breaking news about the loss of another innocent life.
In light of the protests arising globally in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the flood of information on social media, the hadith stated below highlights the importance of non-black Muslims to be vocal in our opposition to oppression.
On the authority of Abu Sa`eed al-Khudree (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah SAW say,
“Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]
As a community group that represents the Muslims of our local community, it is our responsibility to act and speak out against all injustice and oppression. We must stand in solidarity with those who want to affect change in our society by being actively against racism. We as individuals can all do our part in fighting the racial injustice that is once again reminding us that Black Lives also matter. For non-black individuals in our community, it may seem that the events occurring in the United States have no implications on us or our family members, however, our black brothers and sisters know too well the racism that is deeply prevalent here in the UK. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye – to the racism, inside and outside our community as well as within ourselves as individuals. You would be surprised how these events are having an impact on the black people around us and in wider society. So, we encourage everyone to please make sure that we are checking up on our black neighbours, friends, and colleagues as this has been an emotionally exhausting period and most importantly make dua for them and this wider issue. However, please do not stop at dua, and refer to the hadith above.
We must all educate ourselves. Lives are depending on it. There is no real excuse for being ignorant of the struggles that black people are facing and the effects that this racism is having on our communities and our society as a whole. This is not to say that people of other races, or causes/issues other than racism don’t deserve our attention and time, of course they do. Similarly this is not a ‘black lives matter’ versus ‘all lives matter’ debate.
The Messenger of Allah SAW described the Ummah as one body:
“The believers are like one body; if one organ complained, the rest of the body develops a fever.” [Muslim]
The situation is that black community is hurting right now and we must sympathise with the pain they are dealing with, and more importantly, do everything that we can to support those who are suffering and are in need. We must fight for justice with the black community and ALL of us need to do our part.
Below we have provided a range of introductory resources that can be utilised to educate ourselves on issues concerning racism and how we can address these issues within our respective communities. We must start by having those difficult conversations about anti-blackness and anti-racism with our families, friends, and loved ones. Non-black people must understand and use their privilege to seek justice for black people. Our voices hold weight, so let’s use our voices to communicate the importance of anti-racism and to challenge harmful and damaging anti-black rhetoric.
We need to actively work on making our communities open for our black Muslim brothers and sisters too, we trust and believe in the sincerity of this community to be able to do this. We also need to make sure that the work we do is proactive and not reactive. Our ultimate aim is working towards a community where ‘la illaha illa Allah’ becomes the most important principle that unifies us whilst also appreciating the beauty in the differences in which Allah (swt) has created us with.
We understand that this may not be an easy issue to address and so we would like to try to help you in this! Below we have compiled a list of resources to help us all learn and take action.
Resources for Adults
Autobiography of Malcom X- available to buy on Amazon
Resources for Children
Drama Mama explains about race, racism, and racists: https://youtu.be/sTdB9zANmZo
Sesame Street characters talk about protests and racism: https://youtu.be/aGcGXXCRrow
We have created this children’s book list on Amazon that can be shared with your children: https://amzn.eu/fUaly4q
A book list created by a black teacher in America: https://www.mother.ly/lifestyle/childrens-books-about-race
This blog post was written by sister Momtaz who is a valuable member of our TMPS volunteer team.