TV Interview: The Islamic Solution For The Ills of Society by Shaykh Ḥasan Ṣomālī on Tobago TV
Bismillah wa-Alhamdulillah wa Salaatu wa Salaam ‘alaa Rasulillah ‘amma ba’d
Muwahhideen Publications organized a LIVE TV interview with our Shaykh and teacher, Ḥasan Ṣomālī (May Allah Preserve Him) on Tobago Updates on Tuesday 26th July 2022. It was an exceptionally outstanding and engaging interview that clarified Islam’s formidable position towards rectifying the ills of society. Below the video are time stamps of a summary of the most salient points covered
WATCH [14:44 Mins]:
[00:53] Sometimes when you have small communities, you have tighter bonds and connections.
[01:01] There was an Islāmic seminar where the community learnt how to get closer to God, Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) [01:05] that means to become better human beings. [01:10] When a person knows that they are going to be held accountable for their actions, it has an effect on their actions and the way that they live. [01:15] It was very productive and very fruitful.
[01:01] Question 1: How The Pillars Of Islām Guide The Muslims When Dealing With The Ills Of Society.
[01:02] Today we are looking at the Islāmic solution for the ills of society. [01:27] would you say that the pillars of the Islāmic faith become very critical [01:30] in guiding the individuals within the faith?
[01:31] Answer 1
[01:33] No doubt, in the Islāmic law, there are 5 objectives;
[01:37] The primary objective is Preservation of Religion. [01:41] If a person knows that they are going to be accountable before God [01:45] then it is going to affect the way they interact with others. [01:52] In Islām, the fundamental of all fundamentals is to worship God (سبحانه و تعالى) alone and to not ascribe any partners to Him. [01:57] Part of that is to believe in the last day as well, that we will stand before God and be brought to account for what we have done in this life. [02:02] So if someone has committed a crime, even if they escaped in this life [02:05] they are going to be accountable in the hereafter. [02:12] I think that has a very profound effect on the individual when dealing with others.
[02:15] Question 2: How Muslims Make A Total Turnaround After Embracing Islām
[02:16] It has also been said that sometimes we have challenges in society [02:22] and there are particular young men that seem to give trouble and nobody can manage them. [02:27] Then they are exposed to the Islāmic faith [02:31] and you almost see what one would describe as a total turnaround [02:35] in terms of now directing that energy with a greater level of discipline and a greater level of focus and development. [02:42] What would you say contributes to that in terms of the experience within the faith?
[02:45] Answer 2
[02:46] There are 4 other objectives, I did not mention them all.
[02:49] Preservation of Life.
[02:51] Preservation of Intellect.
[02:54] Preservation of Wealth.
[02:56] Preservation of Progeny of Lineage.
[03:05] When people learn about these things it is going to help them fulfill the rights of others better. [03:09] We have many examples in the US of people who have gone to prison and totally reformed their life. [03:15] We have in our community, people who have come home from prison after committing crimes, but they are example citizens, [03:18] and models for the community, [03:23] helping Muslims and Non Muslims in life because life is difficult. [03:25] As human beings, we like to be around one another and we have to assist one another.
[03:29] Islām is a religion of rights, the rights of God and how we fulfill them first and foremost, [03:35] and likewise the rights of human beings. [03:38] You have rights upon me whether you are Muslim or not. [03:38] the neighbor has rights upon me.
[03:44] The prophet Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) taught us, no true Muslim can go to sleep and their neighbour goes to sleep hungry. [03:50] How is that the case? Because that person lacks a part of humanity.
[03:57] Question 3: Is Islām Against Criminal Behaviour?
[04:02] Is Islām against criminal behaviour, if so why is it that we find, for example, [04:09] A number of gangs who profess to be Muslim and they almost bring what is an association between criminal behaviour and trying to tie it in towards Muslims. [04:15] How do you respond to that?
[04:19] Answer 3
[04:20] I think criminality is criminality and a criminal is a criminal regardless of what faith they profess. [04:26] Like any other faith, you have pious people and impious people and you have good and bad people. [04:33] Any criminal, even if they ascribe to the Islāmic faith is a bad Muslim.
[04:37] If we are fair if we look at other religions in the past [04:41] they have committed atrocities, [04:46] I think the pope is in Canada at the moment, apologizing on behalf of the Christians [04:48] for the inhumane treatment of the children that attended those schools.
[04:57] Something that the people here in the Islands can relate to are the crimes of the transatlantic slave trade. [05:01] There were Christian scholars justifying that in the name of Christianity.
[05:09] As it relates to various faiths, you have good people and you have people who do not practice that faith. [05:14] The same with the Islāmic faith, you have people that practice it properly and there are people that oppose its teachings. [05:19] There is no such thing as a good Muslim that robs people……[05:22] or kills people……..[5:35] or fornicating and being promiscuous. [05:27] Those things are totally against the Islāmic faith. [05:32] All someone has to do is read the Qur’ān and read the lifestyle of the prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.
[05:37] Question 4: Efforts Made By The Salafī Community In Philadelphia To Improve Their Local Community.
[05:38] Based on your experience particularly in the United States in more recent times, [05:45] Have you had situations where you have had to stand firm to indicate [05:51] that the faith is not about violence, and that the faith is not about negative influences [05:53] but that we are here to support in terms of the development of society?
[05:54] Answer 4:
[05:55] Yes no doubt, in Philadelphia one of the things our community is recognized for [06:00] is its involvement in trying to improve the local area economically and likewise even morally [06:08] in terms of the conduct and behavior of the people. [06:11] We have invested in the community as well [06:14] We have bought properties and renovated those properties, [06:17] We have provided a school for the community and likewise we have just purchased a restaurant, [06:22] there are apartment buildings that we have purchased, we have just purchased a convenient store and other buildings in the area [06:28] to improve the living facilities for people living in the inner cities.
[06:30] What Leads To Crime?
[06:31] If we look at crime there are a number of factors that lead to it. [06:36] Poor education, poverty, lack of opportunities and these types of things that are present in many communities all around the world. [06:46] They are complex issues and people see in our communities that Muslims, if we pull up our sleeves, [06:53] we have many solutions that can address those ills that are present today in society.
[06:57] Question 5: The Growth And Progress Of The Salafī Community in Tobago
[06:58] If we were to make the comparison, and you have been here several times in Tobago, [07:06] how would you describe the development and progress in terms of Islām here within the Tobago space? [07:13] Would you say it is meeting the objectives and expanding?
[07:24] Answer 5
[07:25] No doubt Yūsuf, may Allāh reward him, has put a lot of effort in inviting people. [07:28] His community has actually built a masjid. When I first visited, they did not have a mosque. [07:34] They have even provided jobs for various community members, [07:38] And he (Yūsuf حفظه الله)) is well known in the community amongst Muslims and Non Muslims. [07:43] When I was walking with him I thought he was the mayor. [07:48] Last night we were at the restaurant, because he has a restaurant ‘Skewers,’ [07:55] there was an elderly man that you could see was experiencing some challenges in life. [07:59] He asked for some food and we said, ‘speak to Yūsuf.’ [08:00] He said, ‘no, I am going to leave Yūsuf until later on tonight.’ [08:04] There is already a relationship where Yūsuf is assisting him through these difficult times. [08:13] I definitely see growth and good community relations. There is a good understanding and it is very welcoming. [08:14] It is very inspiring to see this type of behavior in Tobago. [08:24] If other places in the world can see that Muslims lived along Non Muslims for hundreds and hundreds of years [08:28] and there were no problems, rather, the Muslims, Christians, Jews or other than them [08:38] were dealt with based on principles of Islāmic law, and the principle is fairness. [08:40] There is a verse in the Qur’ān that the companions said is the most comprehensive verse in the Qur’ān:
[08:47] ﴾إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ﴿
[08:49]“Verily, Allāh enjoins Al-ʿAdl (justice) and Al-Iḥsān [good coduct].” [Sūrah Al-Naḥl 16: 90]
[08:52] Justice firstly when it comes to giving the rights of God to God, which is to worship Him alone. [09:00] That is the basis. And then after that, to give everyone their due rights.
[09:10] If you see a Muslim that is unjust or oppressive and tyranical, they only represent themselves and not the Islāmic faith. [09:13] It is important to make that separation.
[09:21] There is a level of Islāmophobia in the media.
[09;24] When a Muslim does something wrong, [09:25] it is highlighted ‘Muslim gang, Muslim pedophile. [09:31] What does Islām have to do with those filthy Behaviors? [09:30] Nothing!
[09:38] They do not say Christian Massacre.
[09:52] Question 6: How the Islāmic Responsibility Goes Beyond Serving The Muslim Community.
[09:53] What is important not withstanding the challenges that are afforded in terms of branding or giving a particular title [09:57] that there is still that level of commitment to the society. [10:03] You see when a person goes through the faith, that commitment is not only within. [10:10] There seems to be that obligation going beyond Muslims. [10:17] A person may have come in, he might have been a menace to society initially, and you assist [10;26] in bringing that individual to a greater level of responsibility. [10:36] I have one or two friends that have told me that the commitment when one gets to a more comfortable place in terms of knowing one’s self, [10:41] is not just to the faith. [10:45] But you now have a greater responsibility to the society and people who are not even Muslim. [10:50] Tell us about that experience in terms of the community support going beyond the Islāmic faith.
[10:55] Answer 6
[11:00] When you look at the example of the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), you see many people embraced Islām just based on how he dealt with orphans, [11:04] How he dealt with the needy, the widow, with women.
[11:22] There is a saying in Arabic and it is in English as well
[11:24] ان الافعال احيانا ابلغ من الاقوال
[11:28] Your actions speak louder than words on occasions.
[11:42] Some politicians say what is needed to be elected, not what is right.
[11:48] We need politicians to say what is right even if it is against the sentiments of the majority.
[12:05] We need leaders that are going to be honest with the people.
[12:21] A lot of the problems found in society are caused by the collapse of the traditional family structure.
[12;55] A good Muslim is someone that fulfills the rights of God and worships God alone, [13:01] After the rights of God, he fulfills the rights of human beings, and Islām makes you a better human being.
[13;20] Islām, if someone has good qualities, it improves upon them. If someone is lacking certain qualities, it refines them. [13:28] In America, in the criminal system, Islām has transformed the lives of many people and improved their lives
[13:41] With regards to extremism, when people feel like they are being marginalized or being oppressed, [13:47] any community could turn to certain trends that are not productive. [13:54] But Islām, upon the orthodox and authentic way of the Salaf, meaning the disciples of the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) [14:01], has prevented many people from extremism and joining extremist groups. [14:08] But you do not hear how we have helped to combat that. [14:10] They only celebrate people that have already gone down the road of extremism, [14;14] and are no longer an extremist. [14:22] I think the better ones are the ones that are prevented from the beginning.
We at Muwahhideen Publications are an Islaamic Organization founded in the Caribbean Island of Tobago, Trinidad &Tobago and dedicated to propagating the pure Islaamic creed, based on the correct and authentic teachings of the Qur'aan and the authentic Sunnah, according to the understanding of the pious predecessors i.e. the first three generations of Islaam and those who follow their way until the day of judgement.