How will I ever describe a people who cannot respond to a small fire that could be put off in two seconds? I thought of the Day of Judgement when the situation will be infinitely worse that what I had just witnessed. Then I thought, “How about Riba?” These people cannot life a finger to put out a fire, how will they ever do anything to fight Riba and establish the Deen. Riba is infinitely worse than the commotion that the small fire had just caused. Riba is far far worse than prostitution and incest. Riba is far far worse than alcohol and what it has done to shatter families. How will we ever act to eradicate this greatest of all vices after shirk?
A middle-class society needs only courage. If Allah’s name is mentioned, those who love Allah will recognise the seriousness of the situation and come forward to act and respond to the call. Those whose lives are destroyed by a middle-class lifestyle beyond any treatment, some good words of hope and encouragement, and service to them and a little bit of education will help them to live on without complaining. Others who are hypocrites, who justify Riba and find no problem in the ruins it has caused all around the world, and yet call Allah without shame must be left alone to Allah. Those who stand by watching will come and join the struggle later and they will feel that they should have realised the urgency earlier that is much more than the urgency of a fire and should have acted on it.
Singaporeans are a unique people. I love them. But I do not belong to them. This is not a simple short story. This is the state of the people who surround us. Muslims do not have such a character. The over-reacting neighbour, the fellow wearing the fire-fighter T-shirt, the woman who was annoyed that she had to walk a longer way, the fire-trick watchers and those who were performing the fire-worship ritual are all Muslims. I still see them. What has caused them to be indifferent to a burning fire that had just damaged a lift lobby, let alone Riba, is without doubt the middle-class lifestyle the religion of Capitalism has imposed on them.
The only way to free these people is to call Allah’s name to wake them up from the trance of Capitalism they are in, from the utterly despicable middle-class lifestyle they are stuck in and show the way of Islam and the re-establishment of Muamalat that is the very antidote to the cancer of Riba and Capitalism that is based on it.
TTN must expand and readers must make this a daily activity. Shaykh Umar Vadillo mentioned recently,
The activist is not the one who says “we have to clean the river”, but he who is busy cleaning the river. This is a time when people confuse “who they are” for “who they think they are”. If you ask a Muslim, especially those who claim to be most active, “what do you think about Riba?”, most will answer “it is haram”. But if you ask: “what have you done against Riba in the last week, in the last month, in the last year?” The answer is a look of perplexity, and if they have the courage, perhaps a mournful “nothing”.
Be aware of what Proudhon called “weekend revolutionaries”, he also called them melancholic revolutionaries. In today’s language we will call them “bipolar revolutionaries”, jumping form high to low, from mania to melancholy. These people shout loudly revolutionary slogans in the weekend, in their gatherings and in the streets, only to find themselves returning to their miserable job on Monday morning.
It is all about blaming others –what Nietzsche called “the morality of the slave.” Their leaders will say, “the society is rotten and corrupt”. But the next week they will have to scale up their discourse to keep their followers attention: “the system is evil and rotten, and corrupt”; and then the following week, “it is evil, corrupt, rotten and insane”; and so on. Until they ran out of adjectives
–Proudhon says. The true revolutionary is in “his doing”, not in “his saying”. Judge leaders for “what they do”, not for “what they say they do or will do”. And judge yourself for what you do, not for what you say you do.
Taqwa with sincerity leads you to see these things and act upon it.
And Allah Victory belongs to Allah.
This is an important message that I will from now tell myself everyday. We cannot live without dignity not being able to respond to one small fire. We have the greatest fire to put out that has been burning the last two hundred years in all the lands of the world – the fire of Riba and Capitalism.
Readers please come forward to take part in this struggle.
by Hasbullah Shafi’i, Singapore.