Archive for November, 2007

O Feminine Ones Sitting!

“And some of those amongst us said to them:

Your Aqidah has some problems

Refuge is sought with Allah from such baseless

slander!

The flames of Shirk are not extinguished, except

by crimson rain.

And can Tawhid be established, except at the point

of a sharp white edge ?

O feminine ones sitting! Take it easy, because it’s

your eyesight which has the problems.”

Sheikh Abdullah Azzam (rahimullah)

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Reid’s Henchmen Assault Muslim Inmates

HMP WandsworthEarlier this week, a large number of Muslim prisoners were racially and physically assaulted by staff at HMP Wandsworth, Surrey.

Officers at the prison ceased the opportunity to use excessive violence on the Muslim inmates after they refused to undergo a degrading strip search.

One of the prisoners was put in a headlock and beaten by the guards. “They twisted my arm and I was screaming out of pain, but they wouldn’t stop. They then pinned me to the floor and one of the officers stood on my neck while the others were punching me.”

“I tried to explain how my religion forbids me to remove my clothes and expose my private parts in front of other people, but they didn’t want to listen. Instead they started swearing at me and my religion and calling me a f***ing Muslim.”

The past few weeks have seen a number of incidents in which Muslim prisoners have been physically and racially abused by White racist inmates and prison guards.

Prisoners at the notorious HMP Frankland have had boiling water and oil poured over them and their cells set on fire. Yet, despite such reports of abuse, the Governor insists the prison is a “safe and secure environment”.

Instead of being transferred to more secure prisons, Muslim victims of racial and religious abuse are kept in segregation (solitary confinement) “for their own security”, where they are deprived of basic human rights and privileges.

An inquest has been made into the attacks, but so far Government and senior officials have done nothing about reported abuse of Muslim prisoners in British jails, allowing them to suffer in silence.

Muslims continue to be victimised even after being punished.

Please write to Abdullah Ibrahim Hassan, one of the victims of the religious attacks at HMP Wandsworth.

Ibrahim Hassan WW7450
HMP Wandsworth
PO BOX 757
Heathfield Road
SW18 3HF

Source: captivesupport.org

Statement By Omar Khyam’s Wife At The POF Event In Slough

For those of you who missed the statement at the event, or couldn’t hear it properly, here it is:

 

In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatu. I am the wife of Umar Khyam and I want you all to know how the prisoners are being treated in prison today in this ‘democratic’ country. As you all may know, Umar was convicted in April 2007. He was then moved from Belmarsh to Frankland on 30th June with is situated in Durham, for all those who don’t know where that is, it is on the border of Scotland. Since he stepped foot into that prison, he has had nothing but trouble. He has received death threats and been treated with hatred. We have seen a pattern in the way that Muslim prisoners are being transferred. It seems so so-called leaders are being moved to Frankland. And if we ask ourselves, why is this happening? And then you see the pattern of how the high security Muslim prisoners are being treated in Frankland. On Friday 6th July Eesa Bharot was horrifically attacked with both boiling water and boiling oil! Hussein Osman had his cell set alight by inmates burning all of his belongings leaving him with no clothes or books or anything. Umar has had to live in such difficult conditions in segregation. But all along the prison service and the prison has been aware of the threats taking place against the Muslims in Frankland, and yet they ALLOWED the attacks to take place and took no steps to protect them.

We then started an urgent action alert to write to the governor and demand for Umar to be moved for his protection, in which the governor gave a very general reply on the prison procedures, but nothing about the actual events that had taken place. Who is responsible for the activities taking place in Frankland? Isn’t it the governor? And yet he is hiding behind the data protection act! But what excuse does he have with the solicitor? Why does the solicitor still have no explanation for what is taking place? But it doesn’t stop here! Even the black non-Muslims feel threatened and claim it is a racist prison. Ethnic minority in Frankland is just 10%, lower than in any other prison. There are racist slogans plastered all over the walls, do the guards and the governors not see these? Of course they do, but they turn a blind eye to it.

Now they are attacking anybody who is just Muslim. They set Yaqoob’s cell on fire and physically attacked him. He isn’t in prison for terrorism but he is still being targeted. I ask you, how many times do you expect to slap someone before they will slap you back? We tried everything through their method and their procedures and what action was taken? None whatsoever! So now the brother’s are getting attacked just for being Muslim! Not even because they are in there for terrorism but because they are Muslim. The Muslims then had no choice but to fight back! So now there are attacks taking place in Frankland from both sides! So much so that majority of the Muslims have now ended up in solitary confinement due to defending themselves against these attackers! So whose fault is this? I blame the governor. He knew full well what was happening and decided to ignore it. He did NOTHING to protect them so they had no choice but to take matters in to their own hands and protect themselves. They have been backed into the corner and pushed to take such actions. Abu Umamah Bin Sahl narrated from his father that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “He in whose presence a Muslim is humiliated and who does not help him, being able to help him, Allah will humiliate him before all creatures on the Day of Judgment”. (Ahmad)

I have tried all the channels, from MP’s, to governors, to lawyers to getting support from public. And after all this it seems to me that Muslims in prison have no rights! They don’t have a right to be protected and yet paedophiles and rapists have much more rights and protection than Muslims. This is becoming a bigger problem, and so I keep saying but nobody seems to hear me when I keep saying “do something before things get out of hand!”

We as Muslims have a duty to our brothers in prison. Regardless of what they are in there for, nobody deserves such treatment. How is it that the governor is getting away with all of these issues taking place in Frankland? All I ask from you is that you should know that their test hasn’t ended yet; it’s getting more difficult and will continue to get more difficult. For them, they are being tested and Allah is rewarding them for their struggle. But what about us? We walk about through our daily life not having a clue what our brothers are going through! And will Allah not ask us what we did for our brothers when they were being tested so severely? How many have written to them words of comfort? How many have comforted their families? How many have offered advice? How many have made du’aa for them? We need to ask ourselves these questions and reflect. Do not think that just because you don’t know these brothers it doesn’t matter, because whether you like it or not, they are your brothers and you have a duty to them. We requested people to write words of comfort and support to these brothers on the prisoners of faith blog, so they know that they are not forgotten, and yet we didn’t even receive one. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He does not wrong him, forsake him or despise him.” (Bukhari)

The other issue I want to speak about is our brother Moutaz Dabbas. I know that many of you brothers in Slough knew him and many sisters may have heard of or know his wife. He has eight children, MashAllah, and was arrested on 19th March 2005 for extradition to Spain. He was extradited to Spain on 11th March 2007. I have to say that I am very disappointed with those of you who live in Slough and yet had no time to knock on her door and see if she needed anything, those who didn’t have money to give, those who didn’t have time to help her with her shopping, those who had cars but didn’t drive her to see her husband, those sisters who didn’t have time to pick up the phone and make a five minute call to see how she is feeling, those sisters who couldn’t give her a few words of comfort, those who never asked if her children needed anything, those who never even said Eid Mubarak to them, those who never gave them a gift, shame on us all. Do you not fear Allah?

This test is not just for her family, it is for every single one of you in this community! You have a duty to her, in the absence of her husband, should you not take care of her?? And then we wonder why we are in the state we’re in. Subhanallah. We have a lot to answer for. Do you know that she has no family here in the UK? Do you know that she has no support except from a non-Muslim neighbour who has supported her for the last two years? Does that not make us feel embarrassed and ashamed? That this woman can support her and we can’t? That she takes her children to school and baby-sits her children when she needs to go somewhere. She calls her daily even though she is no longer her neighbour anymore. That the children are so close and attached to her now, they have become a part of their lives. Subhanallah, her husband does all the DIY jobs in her house. The neighbours daughter has spent so much time with them that she wants to wear hijab, she tries to pray salah with them. Subhanallah. May Allah guide them to Islam, Ameen. And the Muslim community in Slough is so big MashAllah, but what is the point? When you can’t even give a few minutes to this sister and her children! As far as I know brother Moutaz was a very good brother to you all and how do you think it makes him feel to know that nobody has supported his wife and eight children? The Prophet peace be upon him said: “None of you has eeman (faith) until he desires for his Muslim brother (or sister) that which he desires for himself (or herself).” (Bukhari and Muslim). Ask yourself, is this what you would desire for your wife and children?

And for those of you who are mothers, I am sure you know that bringing up children is not an easy task. Well just imagine eight of them and no support. Imagine being forced to move from house to house. Imagine no husband to do the shopping. Imagine no sisters ever came round for a cup of tea or to get your mind off things. Imagine there was no-one to take your kids out and they keep asking you to take them somewhere. Imagine your kids crying at night, wanting to see their father but there is no-one is your community who is willing to take you. Imagine being all alone, nobody to talk to when things get tough and nobody to turn to except Allah. How would you feel? Put yourselves in her situation, does it not sadden you? We can’t even begin to imagine even one day of her life. Allah gave us an opportunity to gain reward and to help this sister, but we chose not to, and that is a big failure for this community. There is still time for you to come forward and support this sister, because her husband still isn’t here and she still has eight growing children to bring up. May Allah ease her affairs, grant her patience, may He grant her to be steadfast, elevate her status in Jannah and return her husband to her safely, Ameen. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “One who helps a fellow Muslim in removing his (or her) difficulty in this world, Allah will remove the former’s distress on the Day of Judgement. He who helps to remove the hardship of another, will have his difficulties removed by Allah in this world and in the Hereafter. One who covers the shortcomings of another Muslim, will have his faults covered up in this world and the next by Allah. Allah continues to help a servant so long as he goes on helping his own brother (or sister).” (Muslim)

And what about Samina? The one who was abandoned and left alone to face such a trial on her own. She’s the one who spent six months in prison and has been on house arrest for nine months. She is not allowed to step out of the house. She has five random calls per day for voice recognition and if she misses even one, the police will come and take her back to prison. She is not allowed any mobile phones in the house or internet. She is living in such harsh conditions and yet if you ask her who has supported her, who has been to visit her, you will find the answer to be two maybe three sisters and that because they were in prison with her. Subhanallah. Is this what it has come to? Only if you have been in prison then you will support others, otherwise you will just abandon them? And she isn’t the only one. There are more sisters who are yet awaiting trial and been in prison and now either on house arrest or on bail. How many of us know who they are, or what their names are, or where they live? The truth is, we are too busy in our lives and comfortable with the circle of friends we have and don’t make the effort to find out. Do we not feel their pain anymore? Are they not our sisters? Do we not have a duty to them? And who will comfort them or support them in their time of need? They have Allah, and remember Allah will never leave them and they are close to their Lord. Allah only tests those that He loves, and He is washing away their sins. But what excuse do we have to abandon these sisters? Did they really commit such a big crime to deserve our abandonment and this harsh treatment?

In conclusion; I would like to say that always remember one thing, your few words of comfort to these sisters, detainees or families of detainees are more valuable than all the money you can ever offer them. I don’t ask for a lot, but just this, please don’t forget them, don’t abandon them and don’t hurt them, don’t look down on them and don’t judge them. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Do not be envious of other Muslims; do not overbid at auctions against another Muslim; do not have malice against a Muslim; do not go against a Muslim and forsake him; do not make an offering during a pending transaction. O’ servants of Allah, be like brothers (or sisters) with each other. A Muslim is the brother (or sister) of another Muslim; do not hurt him (or her), or look down upon him (or her) or bring shame on him (or her). Piety is a matter of heart (The Prophet (peace be upon him) repeated this thrice). It is enough evil for a person to look down upon his Muslim brother (or sister). The blood, property and honour of a Muslim is inviolable to a Muslim.” (Muslim)

 Please forgive me if I have said anything wrong or offensive to anyone, Wassalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatu.

Support Your Sister Samina

Assalaamu alaikum

We have previously mentioned our sister Samina who has been convicted under the terrorism act and is due to be sentenced on the 6th of December. We ask all of you, brothers and sisters, to please write to her letters of support InshAllah. This is a very testing time for her and her family, as she awaits her sentence. Please make du’aa for her and all the sisters going through similar trials.

Please send your letters to:

Samina Malik

Ahmed & Co Solicitors

67a Camden High Street

London

NW1 7JL

May Allah reward you for your efforts, Ameen.

The Children Of Filasteen

I had a dream in which there is an Islamic gathering. A sister approaches me and tells me she wants to show me something. She sits me down and plays a DVD on her laptop. There are three young boys, one around 12yrs old, 10 yrs old and 8yrs old. One of the boys says, “Do you know who we are? We are in Palestine and have been suffering for so long. Do you have any idea how long its been?” He starts crying, so the other boy takes over and says, “This is for Umm Ibrahim, we are happy with what you are doing, but what about us? There is no brotherhood left! All the men are getting killed, whenever there is a strong group formed, they are killed. There is no brotherhood left”. He starts crying, sobbing. “It is now down to the children, we are suffering so much. The children are getting killed. There is no brotherhood left….” And the boys are all crying. the sister closes the laptop and walks away. I feel, at this point, a tremendous amount of fear, I have abandoned my brothers and sisters in Palestine, its such a strong overpowering feeling. I stop the sister and ask her to give me the DVD. At this point I woke up. I felt as though somebody had physically shook me to remind me. There was a strong feeling of fear still lurking over me and only one question on my lips;

 ‘Have I abandoned my brothers and sisters in Palestine………….’

We are working constantly for our brothers imprisoned in the UK, but we shouldn’t forget the suffering of our brothers and sisters world wide. We are one Ummah and should never forget the suffering of ANY Muslim wherever he may be. May Allah forgive us for our shortcomings and relieve the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Palestine and wherever else they may be, Allahumma Ameen.

Nu’man b. Bashir reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The believers are like one person; if his head aches, the whole body aches with fever and sleeplessness. (Sahih Muslim)

Written By Umm Ibrahim

Algerian Expelled From UK Failed For Terror Links

 Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:29pm GMT

ALGIERS (Reuters) – An Algerian expelled from Britain this year after being arrested for embezzlement was sentenced to eight years in prison on Thursday on terrorism charges, Algerian state news agency APS reported.

Britain repatriated Dendani Reda on January 20 and Algerian police then identified him as Mihoubi Sofiane, a prominent member of a terrorist group active in Britain led by Makhlouf Ammar, APS cited court documents as saying.

The criminal court in Algiers jailed Reda, 32, for membership of a terrorist organisation active abroad.

Reda learned to use weapons and make explosives and poisons in Afghanistan before travelling to Britain where he collected money using forged bank cards and forwarded it to Chechen fighters and the Taliban in Afghanistan, APS said.

British police arrested Reda and a court sentenced him to three years in prison for embezzlement, then expelled him to Algeria.

Reda denied being a member of a terrorist group and said no charges were brought against him in Britain and he had returned to Algeria of his own free will, according to APS.

It was not immediately clear if Reda was among a group of unnamed Algerians deported by Britain early this year and cited by human rights group Amnesty International as being at risk of torture in their home country.

Last year, London and Algiers agreed a framework to make it easier to deport individuals based on assurances from the North African country that suspects would not be mistreated.

(Writing by Tom Pfeiffer; Editing by Charles Dick)

http://uk.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUKL2260212620071122

Building Bridges Or Building Reputation?

I attended a meeting called building bridges day, which was set up by various organisations. Mainly, HM Prison Service, NOMS (National Offender Management Service), MCA (Muslim Chaplains Association) which is aimed at communities working together to stop re-offending and to provide better services within the prison system. Many other different organisations, MP’s and volunteers attending and there were roughly three hundred people present at the meeting. I went with an open mind and my initial thoughts on this meeting were that it is an excellent attempt to bring together all the people that mattered and were capable of making a real difference and reflected sincerity on all parts. There were Imams from prisons involved speaking about progress and there were representatives from HMP Service. After hearing these people talk I was very impressed as they sounded sincere as though they really wanted a change and were reaching out to the Muslim community.

Throughout my campaign against racism and protection for those prisoners who require it most, all I have ever wanted to do is have my voice heard. The opportunity to be present with all of these people, all under one roof was almost like a dream come true for me. I have attempted writing to MP’s, Governors, and the HMP Service and felt nobody was listening and I never got an adequate response.

After a series of introductions there were workshops in which again organisations were speaking about how they want to go forward and help in any way they can and attempts that have already been made. I then heard a talk which inspired me with hope and confidence that there was light at the end of the tunnel. Nick Pascoe, the London area Manager of HMP Service spoke about Zahid Mubarak and how he was delighted to have this opportunity to work with all these organisations and with Muslims and how he aims to tackle the very same problem that I am addressing. After hearing this speech I was expecting some sort of discussion, or questions and answers, but there wasn’t any. However, I had made my mind up at that point that I would address my problem to him personally as he sounded both sincere and passionate about his work and we both were tackling the same issue.

When the break came, I realised there wouldn’t be any opportunity to air my concerns, so I approached him personally. I introduced myself and told him exactly what had happened with Omar Khyam, Eesa Barot and Hussein Osman. I spoke for a good five minutes and I received no response from him. I spoke about how the prison was racist and horrific attacks taking place and the Governor knowing full well this was taking place and the Prison service’s lack of concern. But sadly, it appeared as though my words fell upon deaf ears. There was no expression of remorse that these horrific incidents were taking place and the first words that came out of his mouth were; “There are racist people everywhere, there is not much we can do about that”. I was shocked that this same man who stood up in front of everyone and spoke about Zahid Mubarak’s racist attack about wanting to eradicate racism and was in a position of influence, being the area manager, a person who could make a change, responded in this manner. I then went on to say, the guards and the governor are aware that Frankland is a racist prison and I believe moving them there was done on purpose and that Nick Pascoe was not taking me seriously and will only take me seriously when my husband is killed, and will become another Zahid Mubarak for them to talk about. And why does it have to come to that to get action or concern from them. He didn’t say anything. I even said I hold him, HMP Service, and the governor of Frankland responsible for the attacks taking place. And I kept trying to explain the seriousness of the situation and asked him at least to say he will speak to somebody for me if he can’t do anything for me. He then said he would talk to somebody but not in a very reassuring tone. He was then called away and I didn’t get an opportunity to get his contact details. At this point I was really disheartened and began to question the motive of this meeting. Was it really to build bridges? Was it really to bridge the gap? Was it really to establish a solution? Or was it simply to build a reputation? 

Further to my disappointment was the response from the Muslim Imams from the prisons. They made mention of the minor  issues, but when we brought the bigger issues to their attention, they avoided the major issues at hand. It felt that nobody really wanted to deal with the real problems we are facing. I left early as I couldn’t stand to be in this fake environment anymore.

 There is an article in the Guardian (click here to view article) in which Phil Wheatley, the director general of HMP Service, has spoken about issues in prison.

He warned against a strategy of concentrating convicted terrorists, arguing that the experience of the H-blocks in the Maze prison in Northern Ireland had shown that it led to their forming tight cells in which they could plot further acts in and out of prison and radicalise others. “If we have a very large increase that takes us beyond our current category A capacity then we would have to build more high-security prisons or convert existing prisons, giving them extra security,” said Mr. Wheatley. “I am confident we would not be left trying to look after category A prisoners with no prisons to keep them in.” He said the balance in the argument lay with dispersing convicted terrorist prisoners throughout the high-security prison estate, with renewed efforts to monitor their activities and counter any attempts to radicalise others.

Previously, the HMP Service claimed their reasons for moving these prisoners to Frankland were due to no space, where as in this article, he clearly states that there’s plenty of space and not just that, but they are dispersing them on purpose. And in particular cases, to racist prisons. The question still remains, who will protect the prisoners in the prisons if the authorities are evading the issues?

Written by Umm Ibrahim

“Am I one of the oppressors…?”

When Ahmad bin Hambal was imprisoned, one of the prison guards came to him and asked him:

“O Abu ‘Abdillah! The hadith that is narrated regarding the oppressors and those that aid them – is it authentic?”

He said: “Yes.”

The prison guard then said: “So, I am considered to be an aide of the oppressors?”

Imam Ahmad replied: “No. The aides of the oppressors are those that comb your hair, and wash your clothes, and prepare your meals, and buy and sell from you. As for you, then you are one of the oppressors themselves.”

[‘Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad’ by Ibn al-Jawzi; p.397]

A Poem Dedicated To All Prisoners

My dedication to all prisoners of faith:

Restrained in a chair, tied too tightly from the wrists

I screamed with pain as they threw their heavy fists

Deep into me, toppling me to the hard wooden floor

One kicked my body and asked if i wanted some more

So tired and beaten, no escape from this ongoing Hell

The interrogation finally ended & I returned to my cell

An evil leader some years ago sold me off to the USA

To be shackled and hooded, and flown to Camp X-ray

Here I waited, beaten and humiliated by the shayateen

Forced to view sick images that I had never before seen

What crime had I committed, what wrong had I done

To be imprisoned for years, distanced from my son

I longed to converse with my fellow brothers detained

All the same, physically abused and mentally drained

I looked down at my own body scarred and tortured

O Allah! You are a Witness to all that I have endured

Sodomy being a norm for the perverted soldiers here

I prayed the punishment of Lut be on them severe

I stared blankly at the cell’s heavy mesh-sided walls

Recalling my pre-imprisonment dreams & future goals

From being a Qur’an Hafidh to a dedicated family man

They’d stolen my dreams but strengthened my iman

I smiled at the memory of my faithful, loving wife

So beautiful and optimistic in her outlook on life

Never once had she wavered in her loyalty to me

Her letters brought me hope, patience & certainty

That this test is hard and the loneliness so great

But we cannot change what’s written in our fate

Allah swt decides for us only that which is good

And I accept His Decree as a true believer should

Yet I dream of a day when I’ll walk freely like you

But will I be so happy & carefree, really like you?

My life is shattered and I am mentally scarred

Picking up the pieces seems incredibly hard

Which brother would I turn to if ever in need?

He who neglects my family out of fear & greed?

Shunned & abandoned by the ‘Muslim’ community

Our children cry helplessly while you call for Unity

What good is your Unity when you ignore their tears

Of this great injustice the Almighty Watches & Hears

A day may come when you too call out in desperation

When your heart bleeds from a similar painful seperation

Help support us & our families, O Muslims to you we turn

Do what you can by showing genuine brotherly concern.

By UR (Nelson, uk)
RiseOmuslimyouth@hotmail.co.uk

A Call To Support Muslim Prisoners


In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

May the peace and blessing of God be upon you,

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds and prayers and peace on the most honourable of prophets and messengers, Muhammad, his family, his companions and anyone who follows his guidance and follows in their footsteps until the Day of Judgment.

What we have seen, witnessed and heard about the violations of the religious and civil rights suffered by our Muslim brothers and sisters in western jails is saddening and hurtful. I was personally a witness to this tribulation for five years when I was a prisoner. As informing someone of an event is not the same as experiencing itself, I started hastily writing this legitimate urgent appeal, quoting from the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), to seek help from those who can appreciate the awful, disgusting treatment Muslim prisoners face in British jails. This was after I heard from a Muslim sister, who is the lawyer of a Muslim brother who was convicted of terrorism charges, that her client had been subjected to a savage attack by some prisoners; they poured boiling oil on his head which caused severe burns to his head and other parts of his body. He is now is in a pitiful state and has been returned to jail even though he did not receive enough medical care and time to recover in an outside hospital. Worse than that, he is still in the same prison in which he was attacked and with the same prisoners who still harbour hate for him and wish to kill him and terrorise him, which the prison administration and the government are aware of.

Imam Ibn Al-Athir said in his book Al-Kamil Fil Tarikh, that when Yusuf (AS) left prison, he wrote on the door of his cell, “this is the grave of the living, the house of the dejected, the place of trial for friends and a blow upon the face of enemies”.

Prison is the worst, basest place a person can ever be put in, where his freedom is wrested from him, his dignity is humiliated and his honour is defeated. His faith and religious practices are attacked. It is for this reason that Muhammad (SAW) often used to seek Allah’s protection for prisoners to protect them against fear.

This is why hadith scholars have spoken at length about this issue.

The religious texts which urge Muslims to help each other clearly include texts about helping Muslims prisoners as a priority, including:

The Muslim nation is one as Allah (SWT) says: “this nation is one nation and I am your Lord so worship me” and He said, “verily, the believers are brothers”. Al-Qurtubi said in his interpretation of this verse (16/322), “’verily, the believers are brothers” in faith and in respect, not in blood. It is said, brothers in faith are closer than blood brothers as blood brothers may fall out over differences in faith whereas brothers in faith are not affected by differences in lineage”.

In the Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, it is narrated from Abu Huraira (RA) that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He does not wrong him, forsake him or despise him.”

Imam Nawawi commented on this hadith in Sharh Muslim (16/120) saying, “the scholars said, “forsaking him is leaving him when he is in need and despising him means, if he asks for help to remove an evil in his life, he must help him if he can and if he does not have a legitimate excuse not to”.

Ibn Rajab said in Jami Al-Ulum Wal Hukum, p. 333), “by this, a believer forsaking his brother, it means that the believer is commanded to help his brother as the Prophet (SAW) said, “help your brother, whether he is the oppressed or the oppressor”. He was asked, “O Messenger of Allah, help the oppressed but how do I help the oppressor?” He said, “by preventing him from oppressing. This is how you help him”. Narrated by Anas.

Abu Dawud mentions the hadith narrated by Abu Talha Al-Ansari and Jabir Bin Abdullah, that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “No man forsakes a Muslim when his rights are being violated or his honour is being belittled except that Allah will forsake him at a place in which he would love to have His help. And no man helps a Muslim at a time when his honour is being belittled or his rights violated except that Allah will help him at a place in which he loves to have His help”.

Ahmed reported that Abu Umamah Bin Sahl narrated from his father that the Prophet (SAW) said, “He in whose presence a Muslim is humiliated and who does not help him, being able to help him, God will humiliate him before all creatures on the Day of Judgment”.

These are general texts which urge Muslims to unite, work together and help each other, as is established in the Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim in the hadith narrated by Numan Bin Bashir in which he says that the Prophet (SAW) said, “The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs is afflicted, the whole body responds to it with sleeplessness and fever”.

What saddens us is that some ignorant people ignore this completely and say that “the prisoners are suffering because they are confused about their religion and have followed a path other than that of guidance. They deserve everything they get and thus they must bear the consequences of what happens to them”.  In saying such things, ignorant people ignore texts that generally and specifically concern helping these prisoners of faith who are our brothers in Islam. These reasons are all materialistic, worldly excuses; if these prisoners are not the most deserving of our help, then who should we help?

The scholars stated in a statement on the obligation of freeing Muslim prisoners and trying to help them in all matters.

Imam Malik said, “it is obligatory on the people to redeem (buy the freedom of) prisoners with their money. There is no contention on this point”.

Ibn Taymiyya said in The Fatwas (28/635), “freeing prisoners is one of the greatest obligations, and spending money in this matter is one of the greatest sacrifices”. Ibn Taymiyya himself made great efforts to free Muslim prisoners and save them; in Rajab 699H, he went to the camp of a Tatar commander and met him to discuss releasing the Muslim prisoners he was holding. He saved many of them from their hands.

They were concerned with saving their Muslim brothers who were prisoners. Of course, many of you will say that this all happened in a time when the Muslims had a state and power. So what can we do now at a time when the Muslims have sunk to such a lowly state?

What I am telling you is that the least you can do is help them with your words and your actions, and this is the weakest of faith, as Ibn Taymiyya wrote in his lengthy letter to the King of Cyprus, Johan de Giblet, a Christian king, concerning the Muslim prisoners held by the king. The letter included an invitation to Islam and to worship Allah alone and mentioned His mercy and that He loves all people to be treated well. He also mentioned his efforts with the Tatars to have the Muslim and Christian dhimmi prisoners released.

He wrote, “Does the king not know that we have in our lands Christians who are dhimmis (protected non-Muslim citizens in an Islamic state) and no one knows how many of them there are except Allah? How we deal with them is well-known so how can they deal with the Muslim prisoners they have in a manner that shows a lack of humanity and faith? Are the prisoners not under the protection of the king? Have not those who follow Jesus and the prophets been told to do good and act justly, so where are these good actions?”

There are many similarities between the situation of the Muslims in the 8th century Hijri (thirteenth century CE) – Ibn Taymiyya’s time – and in our current times, in that we can see the importance attached to these prisoners and the harsh treatment meted out to them from the time of Ibn Taymiyya, however there is no one crying for the Muslim prisoners today. Where is the displeasure shown at their cases? Where are the demands for them to be given their rights? Where is the call for justice for them and for them to be treated fairly? Where are the prayers to Allah asking for them to be released?

Finally, I ask you, the good people who are taking part in this campaign led by our sister, the lawyer, Mudassar Arani, the lawyer of the brother who was attacked, to improve the situation of the brother who was attacked in the prison and all the other Muslim prisoners to have them relocated to a safe place away from the terror they face from the other prisoners, please do your best to write to them and help them and stand by them even if you think they are wrong. Every person is a sinner and the best sinner is the one who repents.

May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon you.

Faraj Hassan, former detainee

Source: Cage Prisoners

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