Boycott & Muslim interests

Since 2012-12-23

No doubt that there are various means to help and support Palestine and its people. These means differ from one Muslim to another.

No doubt that there are various means to help and support Palestine and its people. These means differ from one Muslim to another. The people of Palestine have duties in order to achieve victory. Their duties are different from those of Muslims who live in other places of the world. By the same token, the duties of the Muslims who live in Muslim countries are different from those of Muslims who live in non-Muslim countries. Each one has his own role and duty.

In my view, the roles and the duties that Muslims, in general, should undertake are:
First: Keep the Palestinian case alive in the hearts of the Muslims. This necessitates that our concepts about the case and its roots should be true and unmixed with any non-Muslim ideas. To fulfill this, we need to study the case in a comprehensive and realistic manner while benefiting from the analyses of the trustworthy experts.
Second: Spread the hope among the Muslims and assure them that Palestine will be liberated and remove despair from the desperate hearts. Moreover, remind people that Allah, the Almighty, does not waste the rearward of those who strive in His cause and that Allah has full power and control over His affairs, and even if the disbelievers hated it.
Third: Give money to trustworthy Muslims in order to deliver it to our needy brothers in Palestine.
Fourth: Keep asking Allah and praying to Him to make our brothers victorious over the enemies. The arrows of divine destiny never miss their targets.
Fifth: Boycott the Jewish and American products. I would like to discuss this point in detail. However, I will focus on refuting an allegation that is widespread among people and backed by the big international companies whose products are being boycotted. This allegation states that Muslim interests will be negatively affected by such boycott in a higher degree, even more than the foreign companies themselves. Moreover it states that the workers who work in these companies are 100% national workers and in this will lead to closing shops, the matter that will consequently lead to unemployment of thousands or even millions of Muslims as well as great loss of money especially for the dealers and distributors.
I respond to the previous allegation as follows:
1- We agree that any foreign company does not establish a branch in a Muslim country, spend a lot of money, and exert a lot of efforts except for the aim of making profits and collecting money. It does not do this out of caring about the interest of such Muslim country or out of aiding the poor. Also, it does not make deals with the Muslim dealers out of caring for them.
We agree, then, that our employment and work in their companies will inevitably lead to their strength, the accumulation of their wealth, and the prosperity of their business.
In fact, we should not do this, in case if we are sure about their enmity towards us or if it is proved that they help our enemies, especially at the time of war or crises.
2- Where did those Muslims work before such foreign companies open these branches? Is not it true that this worker who works in an American shop that sells chicken or pizza used to work in a national shop?! Is not it true that the seller who sells in a foreign supermarket used to sell in a national one?! Is not it true that the worker who works in a foreign gas station used to work in a national one before?! Etc.
3- The expected decrease in wealth, which such workers and dealers may suffer, is a small one. We are facing conspiracy, war, and plots made by our enemies. Such are aimed at the Muslim Ummah as whole, not only Palestine.
Think! When an enemy attacks your country, would you fight him back or would you say that fighting will cost you weapons, money, and death of some people? Surely, you will fight him back with no mention of the losses that you may suffer.
By analogy, the expected loss that some Muslims may suffer as a result of the boycott is acceptable. The reason is that such boycott is like fighting back for the sake of Muslim economy and the Muslim peoples. Such loss is a temporal one. In case if the national production increases, the situation will be better than it was before the boycott.
4- We -the Muslims- differ from the others when it comes to this specific belief: we believe that our provision is totally granted by the Lord of the universe. Allah says: {And in the heaven is your provision, and that which you are promised.} [Az-Zâriyyât 51:22]
{وَفِي السَّمَاءِ رِزْقُكُمْ وَمَا تُوعَدُونَ} الذاريات: 22
Transliteration: Wafee alssamai rizqukum wamatooAAadoona
No one will die until he consumes his/her provisions and completes the duration of his life. Fear Allah and request in good manner. The Muslim is convinced that his provision, which Allah decreed from him, will never decrease by moving from a job to another. If it is said: Working in these foreign companies is a means of provision. I will reply: O Allah! Do not make the means of our provision in the salaries that we may receive from our enemies. For, it is not requesting of provision in a good manner when I request it from the killer of my brothers.
5- The national dealer, when he sees people boycott the products of such foreign company, will think over and over before he makes any deals with a foreign company. With the passing of time, such national dealers will find proper alternatives to invest their money, but this time it will be for the interest of the Muslims.
6- Do not those Muslim workers, who in companies that support the Jews, feel shame and misery because of their work that directly or indirectly helps their enemies?!
Egyptians used to consider it shame to work in the companies and places owned by the English occupiers, because they were occupying Egypt. So did the people of Libya with the Italians, and the people of Algeria with the French. What is the difference now? Is it that the circumstances changed or the humans?!
Is it not more comfortable for one's soul to work in Muslim companies? If the price of such comfort is the little decrease in one's salary, then it is a cheap price. It is a price that everyone can afford.
7- Consider that such decrease in your salary is a charity for the strivers, contribution for the Palestinian case, and kind of spending in the cause of Allah. No money ever decreases because of charity. No believer doubts that your money will increase through other means.
Finally, I would like to record my rejection of the sayings who allege that boycotting the products of our enemies is a religious innovation that has no basis in Islam.
By Allah! This is the real weakness. How can it happen that a Muslim may adopt this view? Boycott is not a mere means of war that you may use or not according to your wishes. Rather, it is a prophetic Sunnah and an act of worship that you do for gaining the reward from Allah. Here is the evidence from the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him:
The tribe of Banu Hanîfah used to live in the area of al-Yamâmah, which was known for its abundant food products and grains. In this 7th hijri year, the chief of Banû Hanîfah, Thumâmah Ibn Athâl, accepted Islam and went to Mekkah in order to perform Umrah. He swore, in the presence of the chiefs of Makkah, saying: “By Allah! You will not receive a grain of wheat except by the permission of the Prophet of Allah.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
«لا والله، لا يأتيكم من اليمامة حبة حنطة حتى يأذن فيها النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم» رواه البخاري
Despite the fact that Makkah is prosperous market for Thumâmah and his people to sell their products, Thumâmah did not accept to trade with people who fight Allah and His Messenger, even they were in the time truce of al-Hudaybiah!
Al-Bayhaqî mentioned in his book of Sunnan that the boycott of Thumâmah against Quraish lasted for long time “till the tribe Quraish was in affliction because of such boycott. Quraish sent a delegation for the Prophet asking him, by the ties of kinship, to tell Thumâmah to sell them food, a request which the Prophet answered.”
If the Prophet viewed the boycott of Thumâmah as a sin, he would have asked him from the beginning to stop it. However, what happened is that the Prophet showed mercy to Quraish out of compassion, so he ordered Thumâmah to stop his boycott. The silence of the Prophet in the beginning means his consent towards what Thumâmah did. It is known that the Sunnah is defined, according to the scholars, as every saying, deed, or consent (even by silence, smile, etc.) made by the Prophet.
Boycott, then, is not a new means of war. Also, it is not a religious innovation, as some people claim. It is a prophetic Sunnah through which the Ummah may face the tyranny of its enemy; in case that the Ummah is not able to military fight such enemy.
There is great difference between the noble situation of the honorable Companion, Thumâmah Ibn Athâl and the situation of those Muslims who do not care about the cases of their Muslim Nation and the conditions of their brothers.
It is not only about religious obligations, but also about humanitarian obligation. Such boycott reflects how deep your care about your Muslim brothers is. For example, if your neighbor (even if he was a Muslim) broke into your house. He hit and cursed you in front of your wife and children. For some reason you could not defend yourself. Suppose that such situation occurred in the beginning of the day. If such neighbor has a shop, will you buy the supper from him by the end of the day?!
No one dares to blame you for boycotting him. No one dares to say that you go against the Sunnah when you boycott him and order you children not to buy anything from him.
In case if such neighbor was non-Muslim and he broke into your house. He killed your wife and children, insulted you, stole your money, and he kicked you out of your home. In a moment you found yourself homeless. For some reason, you could not revenge or get your properties back. You kept walking in the street and you felt hungry. At this moment you found yourself in front of his shop. Will you buy food from him? Will any sane do this?!!
The only explanation for our buying of the Jewish, American, and English products is that we do not really feel that those who live in Palestine are our brothers and sisters. We do not feel that we are linked with them by the ties of Islamic doctrine. We do not taste that we have one Book (the Qur'an), one Qiblah (Prayer direction), and One God.
We may not taste or feel all these ties as long as we deal with our enemies, despite the fierceness of the war between us and that enemy.
I do know that we might be necessarily obliged to buy some products from our enemies because we do not have a substitute for such specific products (due to our industrial and technological deficiency). However, such specific products are very few ones. What about the rest of the products? Why we buy them?
Some people try to stir doubts about the usefulness and the positive results of boycott. They claim that it does not affect the economy of the enemies of the Muslims. I will say to them consider what happened to Denmark when the Muslim world boycotted its products. It is more appropriate, then, to boycott those invade Muslim lands, take Muslim's money, and shed blood day and night.
I ask Allah to show us the truth and to give victory to Islam and the Muslims.
Dr. Ragheb ElSergany
Source: Islam story website


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