Western Muslims and Islamic Ties

Question and answer details
As-Salamu `alaykum. I am so troubled by my conscience. After what is happening to Muslims all over the world, I’d like to know we, as Muslims living in the West, how we can support the oppressed Muslims all over the world. As Muslims let’s share their miseries with them. May Allah bless us all if we share even the feelings of misfortune. What can you tell me about that?
Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
Ahmad Kutty

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

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Dear questioner, we are really impressed by your question, which shows how concerned you are about the affairs of your fellow Muslims and your interest to abide by the Shari`ah in all aspects of your life. May Allah help us all lead a righteous life based on Islam!

It is the duty of every Muslim to lend his fellow Muslims all forms of support, each according to his means. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: “The Muslim is the brother of his fellow Muslim. So, he should never oppress him or hand him over (to his enemies) or forsake him (in times of difficulty).”

Muslims constitute one brotherhood and one body; when one organ aches, all the other organs feel pain. In this sense, all Muslims feel the pains of one another and try their best to help alleviate the sufferings of their Muslim fellows in every part of the vast Muslim homeland.

In this regard, we would like to cite for you the following fatwa issued by the eminent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, in which he states the following:

We are all Muslims as you all see, 

Regardless of the place where we may be. 

Brother in India, in Morocco and wherever! 

To me you are my heart and liver. 

Climb the hill and cry for sure, 

“I am a Muslim” and nothing more.”

Thus, a Muslim who wants to back his fellow Muslims who are oppressed everywhere should firstly try his best to reform his own self and stand firm on the straight path. His first concern should be drawing near to Almighty Allah and observing the rulings of His religion and avoiding the traps of the accursed Satan. Never allow Satan to overcome or mislead you. This is, indeed, the first step towards giving support to your Muslim brothers.

Secondly, let every Muslim try to make da`wah in his surroundings and call others to have a better and true understanding of Islam. In doing so, a Muslim should offer the best example of abiding by the teachings of Islam, because example is better than word.

After this comes the role of making du`a’ for all Muslim brothers and sisters who are suffering everywhere and implore Allah to grant them a way out and overwhelming victory. This is another way of alleviating the sufferings of those Muslims. If one is capable of offering financial support, then he should not hesitate to offer them a helping hand. If not, then du`aa will be sufficient. Right after this comes offering tahajjud Prayer (Night Vigil) and imploring Allah to help remove the cries of the oppressed, the sufferings of the wronged and the estrangement of the homeless.

It is true that people in the West generally have higher incomes than those in undeveloped countries. Muslims living in the West should have no qualms about earning large salaries as long as the money is made in a halal manner. However, they should have qualms about spending that money to live ostentatiously. It would be far better for the Ummah if well-to-do Muslims lived a simpler life and used the money thus saved to help their fellow Muslims — in the West or elsewhere — by giving to individuals in need or to charitable organizations.

Furthermore, Muslims living in the West should take advantage of their civil liberties and freedom of speech to give a political voice to their own communities and to advocate for their Muslim brothers and sisters abroad.

Moreover, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, adds:

You have raised a very touching issue. Every Muslim and Muslimah with the clear Islamic conscience should consider this issue seriously. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Whoever does not have any concern for the condition of his fellow Muslims, he does not belong to them."

Therefore, it is imperative for us to do everything we can to share with all afflicted Muslims their pain and suffering and seek to alleviate their suffering as best as we can. In fact, we are in a better position to help our fellow Muslims by the mere fact that we are here and we have a lot of opportunities to do so. The problem with the Ummah today is our apathy and complacency.

It is, therefore, important that we organize ourselves in order to fight for our rights and the rights of our fellow Muslims all over the world by using all the available means and resources (constitutional, economic, legal, media, etc.). If we struggle hard, eventually Allah will grant us victory. It is just a matter of time. Allah says, (Those who struggle in Our cause, We will surely guide them unto Our ways. Surely, Allah is with those who strive with excellence.) (Al-`Ankabut 29: 69)

Allah Almighty knows best.