So That We Know Each Other
Taken from a post at "Turtle Island's Native Muslims" Yahoo! group:
Salaam 'alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakatuhu,
Na'm, we are Muslims first and foremost.
There is room for nationality and color in Islam,
walhamdulillaah, because Allaah ta 'ala say in the Qur'an:
"O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you
into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most
honorable of you with Allaah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa.
Verily, Allaah is All-Knowing, All-Aware." (Al-Hujurat 49:13)
So we should be pleased with the way Allaah created us in our colors and
our nationalities. But like Allaah says.. it is the person with
the taqwaa who is most honorable in the Sight of Allaah.
What there is no room for is nationalism and racism.
Many of the Sahabah radi' Alaahu anhu ajma'een were known by their
tribes and nationalities and even by the virtues of their tribes and
nationalities like Abu Musa Al-Asharee, Salman Al-Farsee, etc. And
after embracing Islam, many Sahabah were commissioned by the
Rasoolullaah salallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam to convey the message of Islam
to "their people". Also many of the 'ulema were known by their tribes
and nationalities, like Khateeb Al-Baghdadi, Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab
At-Tamimi, etc. Just a very small example. There were great scholars of
Islam living in tents, huts and yurts among native populations from
which they, themselves, were from, benefiting Islam with their
knowledge, and teaching "their people" the Islam.
But nationalism is a call of Jahiliyyah. It is when
you make this baatil allegiance to your people for the sake of your
people and not for the Sake of Allah, so that you help them in both
goodness and sin and transgression just because they are your tribe,
your race or your countrymen.. . so you follow them upon dalalah, like
that baatil saying "my country, right or wrong".
Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) - rahimahullaah - said (Majmoo'ul-Fataawaa
(3/456)): "Everything which is outside the call of Islaam and the
Qur'aan, with regards to lineage, land, nationality, schools of thoughts
and ways, then it is from the calls of jaahiliyyah. Indeed, even when
the Muhaajirs (those Companions who migrated from Makkah to Madeenah)
and the Ansaars (those Companions who aided and supported those who
migrated) argued, such that one of the Muhaajirs said: "O Muhaajirs!
(implying; rally to my aid)." And one of the Ansaar said: "O Ansaar!"
Upon hearing this, the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "Is
it with the calls of jaahiliyyah that you call, and I am still amongst
you!" And he became very angry at that." (Related by al-Bukhaaree
So we aren't going to call to this Jahiliyyah call to
nationalism or racism, we are going to call to qalla Allaah, qalla
Rasoolullaah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and to the Qur'an and the
Sunnah, inshaa Allaah. This isn't a group for a "Native Americanized
Islam". This isn't a group to exclude other Muslims. In fact, to the
contrary, this is a group to include all Muslims so "that you may know
one another". Because, some of the best da'wah is the upright character
of the Muslim... and this is so true. Whole nations have embraced Islam
just upon witnessing the Muslim character. But the thing here is... how
many Muslims interact with the native people? Many natives stay in
out-of-the-way rural areas, and the only way they may meet a Muslim is
on television.. . and you know how they portray us on television. And
unfortunately, in many Muslim's minds, we are (as natives) the way that
the trespassers, the invaders, these colonizers have portrayed us on
television and their factious stories of us... we are savages and
irrelevant relics of the past. It is almost like
we don't exist in the Muslim's minds.
When Muslims come to this land from abroad, how many do you think think
to themselves "this is native's lands". That they are taking, directly
or indirectly, benefits from resources what rightfully belongs to the
natives. That the natives deserve our good treatment and help and the
right to hear about "La ilaha illallaah, Muhammadar Rasoolullaah" . For
the most part, these things would never cross their mind... and that is
the real purpose of this group... to educate Muslims about natives and
natives about Islam. This group is
that tool inshaa Allaah.
So just because a group comes together, upon birr and taqwaa inshaa
Allaah, and mention a nation, a people or tribe, and they want to focus
on something regarding those people like da'wah, or sadaqah, or
education... they don't automatically fall into nationalism, or racism,
or splitting the Ummah of Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. You
have to look at what they are calling to to really determine that,
As far as what is on the homepage of the group: "The only Yahoo! group
by the American Indian / Native Americans / First Nations Muslims of
Turtle Island, about them and for them." I felt that was necessary
because there were other Muslim groups focused upon Native
Americans that were not managed or moderated by natives, who themselves
were misinformed about natives, and would allow people to say whatever
they like about both natives and Islam . So that statement cuts them off
from the very beginning and they will know they can't come here and
"pull the wool over our eyes" and say whatever it is they want to say
about natives and Islam.
And even though we have this Yahoo! group and we have a website... we
are not a group that makes walaa and baraa upon our group. We are just
trying to bring the people together and work towards certain goals. I am
working right now with my tribe and the brothers at my masjid to get
some donations from 'udhiyah to distribute among the natives of my
tribe. And we are working to get a private question and answer session
with the 'ulema on issues specifically related to natives. Some very
good, knowledgeable brothers have agreed to help on this and they didn't
see it as asabiyyah. The only prerequisite is that we are serious and
that we as natives come together for this.
So I hope this explains our position good enough inshaa Allaah.
wa Salaam 'alaykum wa Rahmatullah