Standing With Palestine: A Poem

Muslim Matters - 14 November, 2023 - 05:00
Standing With Palestine

All out for Blue and Yellow, 

fully behind Blue and White 

Jingoes bolster every war, 

reinforce every fight


With hollow words and status quo, 

reassures President Joe

Futile thoughts and worthless prayers, 

from Canada, sends Trudeau


Pardon France, it’s under attack 

from hijabs and bedbugs

Spineless, most of EU 

sends virtual hugs


Rushing to his side

for a prompt morale boost

Rishi stands with BiBi, 

to calm an ego freshly bruised


Modi’s RSS makes light 

of brutal subjugation

Already forgot British aggressions

against their own population?


Turkey flexes some muscle, 

Iran shows some exasperation 

Hezbollah, pundits claim, 

adds to the growing detestation


Ireland and Columbia, 

South Africa and Maldives

possess the moral compass, 

the audacity to say, Stop! Please!


If Egypt, Jordan, UAE, 

Morocco and Bahrain

Recognize Israel, 

they can’t all be insane


The Arabs are not impotent, 

their hands are just tied

Understand their predicament, 

committed to truth they are, deep inside


Investments at home, 

pressures from outside

Tourism is booming, 

why have a dog in someone else’s fight


They are trying their best, 

it’s not courage they lack

Sensitive issues involved, 

please cut them some slack


Saudis were weighing in 

to join the big game

When all hell broke loose, 

what a shame

standing with Palestine

PC: Huzaifah Patel (unsplash)

Rulers don’t care

if masses protest and resist

Knowing full well, 

IDF’s transgressions they dismiss


It takes so much effort, 

manufacturing this consent

On destroying their narrative, 

why are you so hell-bent?


Don’t shift the paradigm, 

try to disturb the zeitgeist

‘Tis no way to fix Bilad ash-Shaam, 

they nonchalantly sliced and diced 


Patience Palestinians, 

America wants a just solution

It’s no easy task, 

vetoing every UN resolution 


Missiles and torpedoes

and warplanes for Israel

It’s war crimes they hide, 

it’s injustices they conceal


Few are fortunate to experience 

Levant’s only ‘democracy’

Supported and abetted 

by Western hypocrisy 


But a free Jewish homeland 

just had to be built

To outsource the ‘problem’ 

to soothe European guilt


Hey shamed witnesses 

of the appalling Holocaust,

You promised “Never again!”, 

Boy! That didn’t last 


Those who denied the Jews 

dignity and equal rights

In their hatred of Palestine

have reached newer heights


Those who once claimed 

that Blacks had no souls,

Are fabricating new stories 

riddled with holes 


Amazing how brazenly 

they all let it slide

To all objective minds, 

what is clearly apartheid


While Gaza is annihilated 

through a calculated plot,

Analysts still debate 

if it’s Genocide or not


Restrict their movement, bomb them, 

lock them up in a cage,

Guess Israel is still the only victim, 

if the oppressed display any rage


They don’t spare anyone, 

the Hawks at ADL

Dare speak truth to power, 

and they’ll raise up serious hell


But Neturei Karta, 

those Guardians of the Gates 

Cry out against injustice, 

God’s covenant as their base


Institutions of critical thought, 

these bastions of free speech

When confronted by students, 

they don’t practice what they preach


Sham podiums 

of de-colonialism

What compels you to sustain 

Israeli exceptionalism?


How are some heinous acts 

above all criticism?

What makes you conflate 

BDS with anti-semitism 


Reporters with legacy media 

engage in fake news

Ignore journalistic integrity, 

just care about more views


What security council?

What international laws?

All completely ineffectual 

for the Palestinian cause

PC: Ahmed Abu Hameeda (unsplash)

You rise up for freedom,

Oh, dear Filasteen!

They crush you each time, 

these wretched shayateen 


They rain on you bombs 

and bring down white phosphorus

Your cries travel far, 

tears fill up the Bosphorus 


Too many terrorists,

amongst the civilians you hide

Use your own as shields,

claims the pro-Israeli side


You behead their babies, 

humiliate their women

Net and Joe have evidence 

you are animals, not men


Why can’t you just live 

in your camps in peace?

Quit missing your groves 

crying for your olive trees


Is it really that bad, 

this settler colonialism? 

My ancestors suffered fine 

through British imperialism 


Slow down. Why the great rush

to escape your occupation?

Help them refine Red Wolf, 

put to good use their ammunition 


You threaten their innocents, 

they have the ‘right to defend’

In white supremacy, 

they have a confidant and friend 


Your fate is decided 

in the halls of Pentagon

Noncompliance punished well 

by Lockheed and Raytheon


You fail to recognize 

your enemy’s illegal existence 

whine about land theft, ethnic cleansing, 

enough of this persistence 


Is breaking free from oppression 

worth all this trouble?

Accept the master 

and embrace your refugee bubble


All the destruction and death 

each resistance brings,

Is still not enough 

to pull at our heartstrings 


How much longer will you endure 

this terrible pain?

What if this sacrifice and suffering 

is all in vain?


The Zionists enjoy 

unwavering supports

Not the least bit affected 

by human rights reports


It’s you alone, 

against God’s chosen ones

Just your brave daughters 

and your valiant sons


Stop rebuking Sykes-Picot,

quit blaming Balfour

How could they possibly predict

the calamity in store 


Or was it their intention 

to pillage and devour all along?

To sow the seed of contention 

between Salam and Shalom 


The design to keep Ottoman lands 

under British mandate,

Did not overtly mention 

birth of a Jewish-only State


Intended to be a safe haven 

for victims of Nazi hate

In a land without people, 

for a people without a state


The Zionist agenda

overlooked the indigenous, 

Conjecturing they would give up 

and leave without a fuss 


The fact that many still 

believe lies so fabulous,

Speaks to their gullible minds, 

it’s simply incredulous


If you are one of those 

who go along with this nonsense

It’s time you brushed up 

on your history, no offense 


All those supporters 

waiting merely for Armageddon 

There is blood on your hands, 

for all the fables you have spun


You don’t mind if they imprison, 

kill, maim, and burn

If it helps hasten the day 

Jesus Christ shall return 


This is not what Eesa,

in his name, would accept 

You are doing God no favor, 

you people inept


If you don’t raise your voice even now, 

you are complicit

If you do, there could be serious repercussions, that’s explicit 


There is no time to waste,

no need to mince words

No excuse to stay neutral, 

no reason to follow the herds

PC: Cole Keister (unsplash)

Persevere! Don’t despair, 

Oh, guardians of Al Aqsa ❤

Don’t ask for God’s wrath, 

Oh followers of Musa


For those who suggest 

peace is improbable in this land

The harmony of Muslim Spain, 

they don’t fully understand


We are all children of God, 

Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Jew

Sikh, Buddhist, Tao 

and yes Atheists too


Enough cruelties 

for ephemeral gain,

Way too many 

have already been slain 


Stop all the bloodshed, 

put an end to it now

If you really have the will, 

you’ll figure out the how


Let mothers smile and children grow 

Let Gaza breathe, let hope flow

Settlements in the West Bank

against the law, all need to go


Grant full citizenship,

with all liberties upheld 

Allow the Right of Return, 

that has been withheld 


Release all the prisoners,

tear down all the fences 

Fold away all the checkpoints, 

no need for defences


Stop sponsoring wars, 

hold the perpetrator accountable for all her offences

Feeling sorry for Gazans, after arming the other side

You deserve an Oscar for your unparalleled pretenses


Don’t pretend you love peace and equality, 

you find them mere annoyances

Hide all you want behind diplomacy,

We are well aware of your unholy alliances


Lifeless bodies, 

shattered limbs

Collapsed houses, 

broken things


You pretend this is new, 

forget the Nakba of 1948

What of the bottomless graveyard, 

beneath the house you create


Determined Path, Defensive Shield,

Autumn Clouds, Summer Rains

War is war, brutal and violent, 

doesn’t matter the fancy names 


Mr. Biden, your time is nearing, 

grow a backbone 

Surely you have a conscience,

or is your heart merely a stone?


You permit the murder of journalists, 

doctors and aid envoys

Let them shamelessly flatten hospitals, 

and target fleeing convoys 


Don’t brush this as a “conflict”

It’s an asymmetric war

Would David protect the helpless

Or would he side with the ‘Star’?


Palestinians are human too, 

not deserving of this fate

If not even this, 

tell me what would it take!?


For you to stand up, 

point to the Israeli State

be a man of principle, 

call a spade a spade


Related reading:

Khutbah Notes: Palestine Solidarity

Palestine: Victory Is Already Here!

The post Standing With Palestine: A Poem appeared first on

I was there (at the demonstration)

Indigo Jo Blogs - 12 November, 2023 - 23:00
A demonstration in London, with people holding banners with slogans including "Free Palestine" and "Hands off Al-Aqsa". Some new blocks of flats or offices are visible in the background.The demonstration for Palestine in Nine Elms Lane

Yesterday I went to my first Palestine demo in London since the start of the Israeli genocide in Gaza following the 7th October Hamas raids. The past week, or more, there has been a debate between the Tory leadership, in particular the home secretary Suella Braverman, and supporters of the march which have included the Royal British Legion and the police, who say things such as that the right to free assembly and expression were part of what British soldiers fought for in previous wars and that there was no evidence of any likelihood or intention of trouble from the organisers. Braverman and her supporters call the pro-Palestinian demonstrators a ‘mob’ and their demonstrations “hate marches” or “pro-Hamas” on the basis of a handful of unlawful or offensive posters which had been seen at previous demos, brought to the public’s and police’s attention by people who went looking and posted pictures of them online rather than by them having seen them first-hand. I was there for part of the march and I can say it certainly was not a “hateful mob”.

I came up from south-west London, and travelled to Victoria by rail and joined the march there, because getting to Hyde Park would have been more difficult as the march came down the same road the buses would otherwise have taken. (The District Line was closed, meaning coming straight in from the west was not possible.) The signs mostly said “free Palestine” or “Gaza: stop the massacre”; there were some home-made banners including one I saw that said “Israel kills kids like me”. A few trade unions had their banners; others simply waved Palestinian flags. There are a few pictures in circulation of banners depicting Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman as coconuts (i.e. brown outside, white inside), of people wearing so-called Hamas headbands (green with the profession of faith on it) and of swastikas inside stars of David, and videos of people making the “Khaybar chant”, but these were a tiny minority, maybe a couple of dozen amid hundreds of thousands of people marching for freedom and against the slaughter of innocent Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. We marched over Vauxhall Bridge, down the west side of the Vauxhall gyratory where we heard a speech by Jeremy Corbyn, then on down Nine Elms Lane to where the main stage was, near the American embassy. I heard a speech by an 11-year-old Palestinian boy, some of whose family were killed in the ongoing massacres, but I left the demo at this point as I had to go and eat and did not want to be back home too late.

Politicians, including Sunak and Braverman but depressingly also Sadiq Khan, have issued statements in the aftermath that listed the few offensive banners and the thuggery of the far-right “counter-protesters” who attacked the police and broke through their lines near the Cenotaph earlier in the day. Braverman posted a thread on ‘X’ (Twitter) that talked of “violence and aggression from protesters and counter protesters” that led to multiple police injuries; she accused protesters (meaning the people on our march) of “antisemitism and other forms of racism together with the valorising of terrorism”, and concluded:

This can’t go on. Week by week, the streets of London are being polluted by hate, violence, and antisemitism. Members of the public are being mobbed and intimidated. Jewish people in particular feel threatened. Further action is necessary.

She does not state what the “further action” might be; however, it is reasonable to assume she means further restrictions on the right to hold demonstrations, other than those the government agrees with, which may or may not make it through the Commons if enough of the dwindling group of older Tories who like the idea of a free country rebel and vote against. Still, the people who think themselves to be liberals (connected to Harry’s Place, originally representative of the pro-war left in the 2000s but now nothing more than a Zionist blog that moans about Muslims constantly) who went round snapping pictures of offensive banners and then tagged the police are the people who also brought them to the attention of politicians, so I wonder if it bothers them that they contributed to making this less of a free country. Perhaps they think they will never have to demonstrate about anything.

Politicians are afraid to admit they got it wrong; the threats from the far right to ‘defend’ the Cenotaph were being made on social media throughout last week, while the record of several demonstrations against the Israeli genocide that did not turn violent spoke for itself, which is why the police did not ban the march given that it went nowhere near the Cenotaph and started after the Remembrance events had finished. Matthew Goodwin posted on Twitter a remark from an anonymous serving police officer that Braverman was right, moaning about “years of wokery and political correctness” and claiming that senior officers were afraid of being accused of racism if “they fully enforce the law against pro-Palestinian protestors”. The fact is that senior officers knew who the thugs were and who were more likely to attack them or start fights with members of the public (indeed, there is a lot of footage of these racists attacking Muslims and others carrying Palestine demo paraphernalia at railway stations yesterday evening). As for this anonymous source, he sounds like the sort who keeps getting exposed for misconduct, everything from taking pictures of murdered women and mocking them on police WhatsApp groups, to abusing their partners or shielding abusive fellow officers from justice, to rape and murder; exactly the type of rogue officer that everyone agrees the police has to free itself from, everyone that is except for the rogue officers themselves.

Some people are asking if it bothers me to be sharing a demonstration with “those sorts of people”. Besides the fact that I did not see any of this at the demo, only online, the simpler answer is that ordinarily I would not, but that extreme situations like this one change things, much as we would not normally hold an anti-austerity demonstration on Remembrance weekend, unless (for example) legislation was due to pass in the next week. In this case, another thousand or more innocent people might have been killed by next Saturday. We’re dealing with a savage bombing campaign that has killed (by Israel’s own estimate) at least 11,500 people, not counting those trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings, which has destroyed hospitals, where journalists, doctors and their families have been targeted, where the leaders of the nation responsible have openly used the language of genocide, where leaders of the “free world” freely give them arms, mouth platitudes about “humanitarian pauses” while insisting that the month-long civilian-targeted bombing campaign is “self-defence” and smearing and threatening to criminalise those who protest against it. It’s not the time to be too picky about who your friends are; let’s remember who we allied with to defeat Hitler.

If there’s one criticism I have to make of the demonstration, it was the lack of any emphasis on the arming of Israel. The posters were the usual “free Palestine” stuff and the slogans were that and “from the river to the sea”, “we are all Palestinians” and (new this year) “we charge you with genocide” but despite the end point being the US embassy, nothing was said about where Israel gets its weapons from. We have seen activists target the actual weapons manufacturers and workers refuse to load ships containing weapons for Israel, so there is awareness about the issue, but it didn’t filter down to the streets where people are shouting the same old slogans. It’s time to think up some new ones, folks.

Possibly Related Posts:

The rituals of Poppy Day are a vital antidote to extreme voices in British society | Sunder Katwala

The Guardian World news: Islam - 12 November, 2023 - 09:00
As we remember the armistice, let’s celebrate contributions from the Commonwealth

A welcome and solemn silence will again fall on Whitehall and Westminster and across the airwaves of the nation at 11 o’clock this morning. Yesterday, two minutes of calm stilled, briefly, the sharp arguments about war and peace, protest and prejudice that dominated the political week – which had created a largely false impression that clashes over Remembrance can tear us apart.

The 11 November 1918 armistice was officially only a ceasefire. So formal celebrations of peace had to await the 1919 treaty of Versailles, marked by Peace Day that summer, with a temporary wood and plaster cenotaph as a centrepiece. There was no particular plan to mark the anniversary of the November armistice too, until the two-minute silence at 11am was proposed by the King and cabinet with a week to go.

Continue reading...

Protests: An Islamic Perspective

Muslim Matters - 10 November, 2023 - 18:37

Originally published at


A protest — also called a demonstration, remonstration, or remonstrance — is a public expression of objection, disapproval, or dissent towards an idea or action, typically a political one. [1]

The term has been in use since the mid-19th century and has developed a legal reputation for the masses to voice their grievances and put forward the change or changes that they desire to see.

Given the current heartbreak witnessed daily, and the devastation and oppression being endured by the elderly, babies, and entire families in occupied Gaza and the West Bank, the question about protests in Islam has been asked by Muslims across the world, as the masses of nations, irrespective of religion and -isms, plan mobilisations for the sake of humanity.

Qualified and responsible approach required

I have been inundated with questions and arguments about the situation, from people for and against protests, and I believe it would be beneficial for all of us to understand the matter at hand, to foster understanding of the reasoning behind the views of scholars who are for it, and those who are against it.

Before delving further, it should be noted that in the context of Islamic jurisprudence, the ruling on protests involves a qualified and responsible approach towards the Islamic evidences, especially given the propensity of the laws of Islam to be a means of transformative guidance until the Day of Judgment, given that Muhammad ﷺ is the Final Messenger, and the Qur’ān is the Final Testament.

Consequently, it should also be noted that the ruling on protests in Islam is a delicate ijtihādi matter that juggles various competing considerations. These include acknowledging the evolving socio-political dynamics, both locally and globally.

Accordingly, the concluding opinion on the ruling of protests in Islam is a matter of local jurisdiction. My personal conclusion and opinion, one way or another, is not relevant in a matter that is up to responsible, knowledgeable scholarship in their respective regions to decide based on their own scenarios and competing considerations.

As such, everything mentioned is not shared in order to create unnecessary discord between congregations and their leaders, so please consider this short article a complimentary piece towards the rich efforts of your local jurisdictional scholarship.

Scholars agree on more than they disagree

It is imperative to note that irrespective of scholastic conclusions on the topic of protests, those scholars who opined for and against protests are agreed that from the fundamental objectives of the Sharī’a is the preservation of life and wealth.

Such scholars also agree that out of two necessary harmful choices, one has to choose the lesser of two harms in order to avert the greater one.

In addition, they all agree that the example of the believers as regards to being merciful among themselves, showing love among themselves, and being kind and supportive to each other, is like the example of one body.

If any part of the body is not well, then the whole body becomes activated with sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever, until the ailment disperses and the body settles.

They all agree that the followers of Muhammad ﷺ are the best of all nations because they are advocates for justice and adversaries against oppression, irrespective of the shape and size of the justice or oppression.

They all agree on the mandate of Verse 72 of Surat al-ʾAnfāl, in which Allah (subḥānahu wa ta’āla) instructs us,

وَإِنِ ٱسۡتَنصَرُوكُمۡ فِي ٱلدِّينِ فَعَلَيۡكُمُ ٱلنَّصۡرُ إِلَّا عَلَىٰ قَوۡمِۢ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَبَيۡنَهُم مِّيثَٰقٞۗ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ بَصِيرٞ

“And if they seek help of you against persecution, then you must help, except against a people between yourselves and whom is a treaty. And Allah is Seeing of what you do.” [2]

The fulcrum of the difference

The differences in the conclusion of the jurists on this topic occur due the foundational methodology in concluding an Islamic ruling of this nature.

Such differing conclusions are also a result of scholars having to juggle the various ethical considerations (masālih), their respective implementation in real-life scenarios, and the analysis and weighing up of various harms — whether “major” or “minor”, for example.

These differences are only natural from the perspective of Jurisprudence Methodology (Usūl al-Fiqh), and also as Allah (subḥānahu wa ta’āla) has created us all with different personalities and dispositions, we naturally interpret a situation in different ways.

This is partly why large-scale decisions should be made by groups of jurists coming together, mitigating each other’s variations, the pinnacle of which is ijmā’ (unanimous consensus), which is a binding proof of what Allah (subḥānahu wa ta’āla) intended to be said on His behalf on any given matter.

Arguments for and against protests A view in opposition

Protests are from the ta’abbudi genre of actions, and require evidence in order for them to be a valid practice in Islam.

Ta’abbudi refers to actions that entail the worship of Allah in and of themselves and require sound evidence that do not have to be fathomable in nature. This means that they do not have to contain meanings and directives that we necessarily comprehend.

Examples of ta’abbudi acts would be our five daily prayers (Salat), their specific timings, and their varying units. Another example would be circumambulating the Ka’bah seven times in an anti-clockwise manner.

We do not need to understand why the Fajr prayer consists of two compulsory units, or why we circumambulate the Ka’bah in an anti-clockwise manner instead of clockwise.

Such actions conditionally require specific evidence(s) permitting them, for them to be acceptable actions in Islam, irrespective of our understanding of their underlying reasoning.

Those who are against the permissibility of all protests from Islamic scholarship positions consider protests to be “a means to an end” (الوسائل), and consider the “means” to be ta’abbudi in nature. Therefore, for protests to be allowed in Islam, there is a need for specific authoritative evidence admitting it as a part of Islam, and since we do not have evidence permitting protests, engaging in it would entail innovation within the religion (bid’ah).

A view in support

The scholars of this view partially disagree with the discourse laid out by the scholars of the first view.

They agree that protests are means towards achieving an end, also making it from the genre of actions in Islamic jurisprudence known as الوسائل (“the means to an end”), but they disagree on the point of all “means” being ta’abbudi.

According to the scholars of this group, protests are from the genre of actions that are normative in reality, i.e. a part of our norms and customs, and these types of actions do not require specific authoritative evidences in order for them to be permissible to act upon.

Consequently, since protests are considered to be a legal manner to voice expression of a view or stance to those whom it may concern as per the norms of certain societies, evidence to prove the validity of protests as a valid means from an Islamic perspective would not be a requirement. Rather, protests would be permissible as a default rule from the outset. As such, the only way for protests to be forbidden in Islam would be via evidence invalidating it as a permissible action.

The words of Imam Shāṭibī

In differentiating between the two genres of actions (ta’abbudi and norms) and the impact of Islamic law upon both, Imam Shāṭibī (raḥimahu Allah) said,

“Thus, innovation (bid’ah) is a fabricated methodology in the religion which emulates the Law (Sharī’a) and whose practice intends to exaggerate servitude to Allah.

“This is in accordance with those who do not include customs (‘ādāt) within the meaning of bid’ah, and instead exclusively define it within ritualistic worship (‘ibādāt).” [3]

Ruling on legal peaceful protests for the oppressed

Given the multilayered process that is required in the field of jurisprudence and in jurisprudential decision-making, especially in contemporary matters, and the ruling on legal and peaceful protests being ijtihādi (a matter of scholastic reasoning), the scholars are accommodating within themselves of each other’s conclusions.

In terms of my personal treatment and leanings on the topic of peaceful and legal protests in countries permitting them as a valid means of expression, I consider them permissible, from the outset, with considerations, the details of which are listed in the following points of consideration:

1 | Protests are not a form of “means” connected to worship

Protests are not a form of “means” connected to worship, but from the genre of actions that are normative and customary.

As such, peaceful and legal protests for the oppressed are not from the ta’abbudi genre of actions. Rather, they are a “means to an end” (الوسائل), with that “end” being the creation of awareness about the existence of unprecedented harm, showing solidarity with the oppressed, and informing those of authority in a legal manner — a manner approved by those of authority — of the view and mood of their constituents.

Accordingly, this would cause this form of protests to be from the genre of actions connected to considerations of public interest — المصالح المرسلة. This refers to an action (non-worship) not having any authentic and authoritative evidences in Islam approving or disproving it, but the action itself, as per the view of a scholar, has a real propensity to achieve an outcome that Sharī’a as a whole seeks to achieve, such as the preservation of life and wealth, for example. [4] [5]

2 | Default rulings of permissibility for actions of this genre

The Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) maxim regarding normative actions states that,

“…the default ruling of permissibility applies, except if proven otherwise with evidence.” [6]

Accordingly, in the absence of evidence stating otherwise, the default ruling of permissibility would remain.

3 | Actions taken as means to achieving specific ends

There is another jurisprudential maxim that calibrates the ruling of any action taken as a means towards achieving an end.

It states that,

الوسائل لها أحكام المقاصد ما لم تكن الوسيلة محرمة

This means, “the ‘means’ carries the same ruling as the objective it aims to achieve, on condition that the ‘means’ is not evidently forbidden.”

The default ruling for norms and customs has already been established as permissible. In terms of this Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) principle, it highlights two further considerations as follows.

First consideration

If the objective of the means is recommended (mustaḥabb), the means towards achieving the objective will also carry the ruling of being recommended, and if the objective of the means is compulsory (wājib), the means towards achieving the objective will also carry the ruling of being compulsory.

An example to help clarify this consideration would be the use of an alarm clock to aid in waking up for the Fajr Prayer. Since praying Fajr is compulsory, in the event of a person not being able to wake up for the Fajr prayer, except through using an alarm clock, then using an alarm clock as a means of waking up for Fajr would be compulsory as well.

Second consideration

The exception to the above consideration will only be if the means is haram in and of itself.

So, for example, practising impermissible khalwah (seclusion) as a means in order to guide someone to Islam (objective), as the fathomable evidences prohibiting certain means teach us a principle that: the ends do not justify the means, from an Islamic perspective.

Accordingly, peaceful and legal protests would be permissible as a default rule, or possibly recommended (mustaḥabb) or even compulsory (wājib) depending on the rule of the objective they seek to attain from an Islamic perspective. However, if protests were illegal in a country, or were carried out violently, then all the scholars agree that it would not be a permissible means in that country.

UK protests for Palestine are aiming to achieve a supported objective (end)

In terms of the topic at hand, it is important to note that protests being arranged for Palestine aim to achieve an objective that is not at odds with the Sharī’a, i.e. the preservation of life, and the lifting of oppression.

In addition, protests in the UK are legal, which accordingly does not bring about legality issues from the perspective of Islamic jurisprudence, as it does not entail going against the laws of the land.

Likewise, since protests are not from the ta’abbudi genre of actions, the condition of validating evidence in Islam for it does not apply.

Principles pertaining to legal protests with correct intentions

A question applies,

“What is the evidence prohibiting protests from the outset, if carried out legally in a country with the objective of raising awareness of oppression and aiding the oppressed?”

And on the other hand,

“What if they are vices as prohibited by the Sharī’a that are not an intrinsic part of protests, but are generally accompanying vices of the protest?

“For example, the presence of music, intermingling, and so on?”

In this case, we have three guiding jurisprudential (Fiqh) maxims.

First principle | يغتفر في الوسائل ما لا يغتفر في المقاصد

The maxim states that leniency will be applied to the Islamic ruling of the “means” in a manner that does not apply to the “objective” (ends). [7]

Accordingly, Islamic jurisprudence possesses the scope for the certain vices that accompany a protest to be temporarily overlooked and not be a burdening consideration that would overturn the default ruling of the means, i.e. permissibility, due to it being a separable accompanying issue to the means and not an intrinsic part of it.

Second principle | إذا تعارض مفسدتان رُوعي أعظمُهما ضررًا بارتكاب أخفهما

This principle states that if a person is faced with two harms, then they should adopt the lesser harm in order to avert the greater harm. [8]

This is because the Sharī’a intends to bring about benefit and to make it abundant, and it came to reduce harm and eradicate it.

To this end, if the general preponderant feeling of the scholars of a jurisdiction was that protests are a means of lifting harm or reducing it — and that the harms of not protesting are greater than the harms of protesting — then the concluding advice would be to adopt the lesser harm, i.e. protesting in order to avert the greater harm (continued and/ or increased oppression).

Third principle | درء المفسدة مقدم على جلب المصلحة

If someone individually feels that the accompanying vices of a protest will harm their own faith, due their own unique circumstances, then the application of the “Maxim of Harm” applies to them.

This states that the prevention of a harm takes precedence over the attainment of a benefit.

As such, the prevention of harm — i.e. harm as a result of the protest — will be given more importance than the attainment of the benefit of the protest in their individual case, especially since their absence would not entail the closure of the means towards lifting or reducing of oppression.

Alternatively, a person can find or plan a different means to be an adversary to the harms that protests are trying to avert.

For example, a community in Ireland recently arranged a drive-through protest with cars wrapped in the Palestinian flag in order to protest against the killing of babies and the innocent en masse and, through this, mitigated certain harms they felt were too difficult for them to manage.

Imitating non-Muslims by protesting?

Another query regarding the act of protesting is on whether a person would be involved in imitating the actions of a people of other beliefs.

For example, a recent question received stated,

“Is participating in protests a form of emulating non-Muslims in practices specific to them, since Islam does not have a history of Muslims protesting?”

In response, we may say that whilst it is true that Islam does not have a history of protests upon its current modern formation, the idea of legal peaceful protest does have a historical presence with Muslims since the time of the Sahaba.

This is not surprising and only natural since, as we have concluded, protests are from the normative actions of a people and not from the genre of actions considered worship.

‘A’isha (radiy Allāhu ‘anha) engaged in peaceful protest

In one example, during the time of the Sahaba, hundreds of Companions, and from them the Mother of the Believers, ‘A’isha (radiy Allāhu ‘anha), travelled from Hijaz to Iraq in order to peacefully protest. As explained by the scholars of Islam, they desired for the murderers of Uthmān (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu) to be brought to justice, sooner rather than later.

Peaceful Egyptian protest during 4th year after Hijrah

Another example would be the Egyptians’ peaceful protest during the 4th year after Hijrah, when the community gathered to voice their lengthy complaint about their financial plight to the ruler of the time, due to the unaffordability of bread.

That said, even if we do not have a history of manifestations of protesting by the Muslims, the default ruling related to actions that are not from the genre of worship would apply, as discussed earlier.

And in terms of the topic of emulation, its ruling would not necessarily be deterred, as Islamic jurisprudence facilitates leniency for Muslim minorities in externalised manifest norms of their place of stay.

To this end, Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (raḥimahu Allah) said,

“Directly going against their (i.e. non-Muslims) norms is only when the religion is manifest and uppermost…

“When the Muslims were initially weak, opposition [to the norms of the non-Muslims] was not legislated.

“Once the religion was complete, manifest, and uppermost, it was legislated.

“Likewise, today: if the Muslim is in an abode of war, or (living as a minority) in a non-warring abode, he is not commanded to oppose them (non-Muslims) in terms of externalised norms (al-Hādī al-Zāhir) due to the harm/ disadvantage he incurs in doing so.

“It (also) may be legally recommended (mustaḥabb) or even obligatory (wājib) for one to join them (non-Muslims) on occasion in their external norms, if this begets a religious benefit…” [9]


In the end, this is what Allah Almighty has facilitated and made easy for me to share, in light of the many questions asked by the community on this topic during this very difficult time.

However, before signing off, I share a word of caution.

From the negative results of protests is that it distracts us and even pacifies us from completing actions that are highly impactful in terms of achieving the change that one wishes to see.

Because of this, it is very important that the right frame of mind is applied when participating in protests, lest it becomes a means of just “releasing steam” with no real traction following on in terms of facilitating transformative outcomes.

May Allah Almighty lift every ounce of oppression off the face of the Earth and always make us a means for the benefit of the oppressed. Amīn.

And Allah (subḥānahu wa ta’āla) knows best.

Source: Islam21c



[2] al-Qur’ān, 72:8

[3] Kitāb al-I’tisām, 1/37

[4] Majmū‘ al-Fatāwa, 11/342, 343

[5] Qawā‘id Ma‘rifat al-Bida‘, p. 19,20

[6] al-Ashbah wan-Nathāir, Ibn Nujaym (al-Hanafi), p. 60

[7] al-Ashbah wan-Nathāir, al-Suyūti, 1/144

[8] al-Ashbah wan-Nathāir, Ibn Nujaym (al-Hanafi), p. 76

[9] Iqtidā al-Sirāt al-Mustaqīm by Ibn Taymiyyah, p. 459

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