Muslims shouldn’t pray for victory over non-Muslims – My appeal to Islamic clerics in The Toronto Sun

“O Allah, pour patience upon Muslims, strengthen their feet and give them victory over ‘Qawm el-Kafiroon’ (Non-Muslims). “O Allah, give victory to our brothers the Muslims, the oppressed, the tyrannized and the ‘Mujahedeen’ (those who fight jihad against non-Muslims)”.

Masthead

January 14, 2015

Tarek Fatah
The Toronto Sun

One of the reasons I avoid attending Friday congregations at mosques is a specific ritual supplication uttered by Imams at many mosques in Canada and around the world, just prior to our formal Friday community prayer, the Juma’a.

In the supplication, the cleric prays to Allah for, among other things, to grant “Muslims victory over the ‘Qawm al-Kafiroon,’” the Arabic phrase that lumps all non-Muslims — Jews, Hindus, Christians, Atheists, Buddhists and Sikhs — into one derogatory category, the “Kuffar”, or non-Muslims.

muslims prayingThis supplication is not obligatory. Not uttering this prayer would in no way adversely affect the holiness or solemnness of the collective community prayer.

I have long argued with my orthodox and conservative Muslim friends and family that at least when living among non-Muslims, we should avoid praying for their defeat at the hands of Muslims.

They agree, but it comes down to the challenge: Who will bell the cat?

Last Friday, the world was still in shock over the Charlie Hebdo massacre when news came that another jihadi terrorist had killed French Jews inside a kosher grocery store in Paris.

Enough, I said. I decided to ask friends to take the challenge to a local mosque and stand silently with “I am Charlie Hebdo” placards.

I wanted to encourage Muslims entering the mosque to join those Muslims who renounce jihad, denounce Islamist terror and stand by the right of free expression, even of people who insult our Prophet.

Only a handful responded to my call.

Most of my comrades from our life-long struggle against Islamism were terrified and bailed out at the last minute.

Only the president of the Muslim Canadian Congress, writer Munir Pervaiz, and two Kurdish exiles, Keyvan Soltany and Hadi Elis, braved the snow to stand beside me.

Inside the mosque, I was hoping that in wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the cleric would have the good sense not to speak about non-Muslims as adversaries or enemies, but my hopes were dashed.

Far from condemning the acts of terror, the cleric, speaking in English, thundered that Islam “will become established in the land, over all other religions, although the ‘Disbelievers’ (Jews, Christians, Hindus and Atheists) hate that.”

I could not believe my ears.

There was no indignation expressed at the taking of Jews as hostages by a French jihadi that morning.

The imam did ask us Muslims, that in reacting to insults we should take the example of Prophet Muhammad himself and follow in his footsteps.

The problem with that suggestion is that while there were indeed times when Prophet Muhammad forgave those who mocked him, there were others when he ordered them killed.

At the end of his “khutba” (sermon), the cleric repeated the ritual praying to Allah to grant Muslims victory over non-Muslims. That prayer is:

“O Allah, pour patience upon Muslims, strengthen their feet and give them victory over ‘Qawm -el Kafiroon’ (Non-Muslims).

“O Allah, give victory to our brothers the Muslims, the oppressed, the tyrannized and the ‘Mujahedeen’ (those who fight jihad against non-Muslims)”.

Then we all stood up in orderly rows, turned towards Mecca and followed the imam as he led us in the ritual prayer that is obligatory for all Muslims.

As I left, I knew I would not be returning to that mosque again.​

7 comments for “Muslims shouldn’t pray for victory over non-Muslims – My appeal to Islamic clerics in The Toronto Sun

  1. Muhammad
    January 15, 2015 at 9:14 AM

    Quote: “Enough, I said. I decided to ask friends to take the challenge to a local mosque and stand silently with “I am Charlie Hebdo” placards”.

    I agree Muslims should condemn the attack on Charlie Hebdo. I believe there are more rational ways other than murder to resolve such issues, however, to say that ‘IamCharlie’ is committing kufr in supporting blasphemy on the Holy Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)!

    As a Muslim how can I be ‘Charlie’ when they are openly making fun of Islam? How can I be ‘Charlie’ when they are doing pornographic cartoons on the Holy Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)? Is this not EXTREMISM?

    Muslims hold the Holy Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him) very close to their heart and he is dearer to them than their own parents. Making cartoons of the Holy Prophet is of the greatest insult to the Muslim community worldwide and will surely result in anger.

    Lets put things in a different context: would you still be happy and support someone who was to draw and publish pornographic cartoons of somebody very dear to you?…No surely not.

    • Pierre Masson
      March 13, 2015 at 7:40 PM

      You do understand that it could easily be argued that Muslims deeply offend all Christians when they claim that Jesus is just a prophet, that he thus is not God (part of the holy trinity). How should Christians react to such offensive language? By killing imams?…

    • Raj kumar
      January 11, 2016 at 12:23 AM

      Just think why they need to draw cartoon.

      In response to your extremism .

      You people always forget the cause and lamenting and revenging over action.

      If you are peaceful and tolerant , give proof.

      West and islam make fun of hindu gods . But hindu have not killed anybody in revenge , it does not mean they have not courage. They know that they are peaceful and it will not make any sense in killing. God ‘s greatness can never be affected by any such incidents.

  2. Martin
    January 16, 2015 at 5:31 PM

    Dear offended religious people,

    Please stop the hypocrisy. The right to offend is not exclusively yours.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2015/01/guest-post-dear-offended-religious-people/

  3. Jitendra Kaushal
    January 19, 2015 at 8:10 PM

    What you are driving at is reformation in Islam. Surely, the pillars of the existing establishment can not be expected to oblige with a walk over.

    Enlightenment’s march over ignorance is bound to be a slow and exasperating process. Like Voltaire a thinker must be satisfied to hold a torch agains the tyrany of darkness and trust the forces of history to herald a renaissance some day. It is for the said forces of history to annoint the flag beares of a new dawn.

    The world of Islam will need dozens of Mahatma Gandhis of its own to use spiritual force to rebuild the moral fibre of suppressed and subjugated Muslim laity and marginalise the entrenched cunning and crooked clergy.

    The right to act alone is in your domain and the fruits thereof are not for you to name cautions Thr Gita.

  4. Justin Burch
    January 21, 2015 at 11:28 AM

    Bravo and well said. Thank you Mr. Fatah. You are the answer to those who say we need to deport all Muslims from Canada.

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