Interview by Fauzia Malik
Jazak-Allah Khair for taking time out of your busy schedule to spend some of it with us. You returned from the Hajj recently, and you’ve been previously haven’t you.
What was different this time around as opposed to other times – or is each time different in itself?
I think the Hajj tends to reflect the state of the Ummah. That’s one of the things about the Hajj is that you get to see the Ummah. It’s a microcosm of the Ummahs condition. And I think what you see on Hajj is that the Ummah is not in good condition. What you see is that there is good in the Ummah, but the state, the overall state is not a good state and I think that’s very reflective in the Hajj. One of the things that is very obvious is that there is, in a sense, a loss of what’s called “Ithar”, which is deference to others. One of the essential characteristics of the Muslims is this idea of deference and adab and if you lose adab in the Haram, you certainly won’t have adab in the place where you’re coming from. And so what happens is that you have people who forget partly where they are. Some of the outwardly manifestations of that are a lot of people smoking, publicly, in the Haram, a lot of intermingling between men and women in ways that are inappropriate.
Also a total lack of concern for the cleanliness of the place – garbage is everywhere. I mean, already garbage as a phenomenon, it’s a modern phenomenon. Humans have always produced waste products, but consumer waste products are very different from classical waste products that were by and large, biodegradable – things that would go back to the earth. And here you’re dealing with a lot of plastics and thing that are not…they’re ugly. And there’s just a lot of garbage, and what I’ve think that is indicative of, the fact that the Muslims throw things around, is that there is an assumption that somebody else is going to pick it up. And so really what that’s telling us is that nobody is taking personal responsibility, and I think that is by and large a real crisis in the Muslim Ummah as a whole, that people, individual Muslims are not taking personal responsibility for the condition of the Ummah, they’re expecting that somebody else is going to take care of the problems, somebody else is going to take care of our troubles, and this has led to a type of apathy, and so I think that’s all reflective in the behaviour. At the throwing at the stones, I mean that’s…. I mean, the people that I went with, we all threw our stones without harming anybody, without any pushing and shoving, and we went in and out. But we did it because we were consciously doing that, where as there’s a lot of people there that, there just don’t care about other people, they’re pushing people to get their…to get in and do what they have to do, and they harm other people doing it. You can see this also around the Black Stone, you see it around the Tawwaf, and the trouble is is that by honouring other Muslims, Allah honours you, and by disparaging other Muslims, you only in the end, Allah says “Ya Ayohan nas, Inna Baghiakum a la Anfusikum” – O mankind, your harm of other people is only against ourselves. And so by harming other people, what we’re really doing is harming ourselves, and I think that’s what’s happening in the Muslim Ummah, and that’s why we have this type of oppression in the Muslim Ummah towards one another, which manifests in the corruption within government organisations, the corruption within the private sector.
This is an older one but very intersting and worth another view.
Arab Talk Co-hosts Jess Ghannam and Jamal Dajani speak with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf about Isalm, Ramadan, and being Muslim in America.
Incredible speech! Definitely a must!. … you can also download an ipod ready mp3 file below.