Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Our Minorities in the World (Translation)

Source: “The Islamic Minorities in the World”, by Muhammad Ali Danawi
Translated from Arabic to English by Abu Abdullah
In the past, many Muslims emigrated from their countries for education, work or propagation of Islam. Islamic propagation was the best goal for the emigration and journeys in the past. These emigrations took place to propagate Islam in many parts of the world. In modern times, many of these people remained in non-Muslim lands and so became minorities there. The Muslims in the new country and the natives who accepted Islam face a number of difficulties. The most important of these are:

First: Difficulties in Worship

From among the biggest difficulties, is that the Muslims sometimes do not find a masjid or prayer room there, even if they are in their homes, their work or their places of education. In some cases, they find masjid or prayer hall, but they do not find a scholar who knows their Islamic religion, to whom the Muslims can refer to their small or big matters. In other cases, some Muslims find difficulty in performing prayers during their work hours, as the establishments and companies prevent the Muslims to leave to perform prayers.

Second: Difficulties in Dealing with Personal Matters

The Muslims face numerous problems in their lands of emigration. These include those related to marriage, divorce and inheritance, and the relationship of children with parents. These countries try to deal with these according to their culture until the Muslims integrate with the new societies. They are afflicted with dangerous symptoms which include:
  a. Weakening of the authority of the father and mother on their children
  b. The father does not become the leader in his house
  c. Civil marriage becoming common, which are not according to Islamic law
  d. Marriage of Muslims to non-Muslims.
  e. Women divorcing their husbands, without considering it bad. The husband is not capable of   divorcing without the involvement of the court.
  f. Prohibition of multiple marriages, even if there is a Islamic ally legal need for it.
  g. Division of inheritance, according to civil law, and not according to Islamic law.

Third: Difficulties in Education

The Muslims face numerous problems in educating their children in the lands of emigration. The proportion of the sons and daughters of Muslims who graduate from university is very small. Likewise, many Muslim children do not complete their basic general education, in order to work for the sake of earning a money which is very little, but is needed by their families.

The Muslims try to teach the Arabic language to their children in their lands of emigration, and resort to many means with this respect. Among them: helping them in memorizing part of the Book of Allah, and some sayings of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). They speak with them the Arabic language and not the language of the land where they are living, or send them to masajids to learn Arabic on the weekends, or sometimes request the Ministry of Education of the country where they are living to specify a special day in the week for teaching the Arabic language. They build special schools for teaching the Arabic language. In reality, these important means do not provide a beneficial solution for this problem.

Fourth: The Social Difficulties

Among the most important social difficulties faced by the Muslims in the lands of emigration are as follows:

a.      Free Mixing
Most lands of emigration allow mixing between men and women without restrictions. In Islam, there is a different point of view regarding the subject of mixing, as it does not allow it except in certain conditions due to necessity.

b.      Veiling
The non-Muslim societies do not accept the concept of veiling, and fight it with numerous means. The matter has reached the stage that veiled students have been expelled from schools, and veiled working women have been expelled from their work, if they do not discard the veil.

c.       Food and Drink
There is a special system for Muslims in their food and their drink, for there are a few things that are not allowed to them, and there is a special methodology in slaughtering meat, which is not followed in non-Muslim countries.

 d.    Burying the Dead
Muslims in some countries face great difficulties in what relates to burying the dead, since in Islam it is important to hasten in washing, shrouding and praying for the dead, and not putting it in a box or a coffin. It is better that way. Sometimes there are no graveyards specially reserved for Muslims.

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