British Muslims are More Happier, More Hopeful & More Charitable

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So says a recent survey conducted by the Institute for the Impact of Faith in Life (IIFL). The survey questioned hundreds of Muslims and non-Muslims about social and moral questions to ascertain the willingness to integrate, engage with the wider society, give charity, family ties, etc. How did the Muslims fair, read on…

Allah honours Muslims in The Majestic Quran with titles like; righteous, truthful, honest, pious, generous, kind, etc. They are aspirational, Muslims are expected to be the light in darkness, just in the face of cruelty and violence, and charitable in times of consumerism and selfishness. Allah said, “You are the best community brought forth for humanity, so long as you enjoin the common good, forbid evil and believe in Allah. Had the Jews and the Christians believed that would be better for them. There are some believers among them, but most are evildoers. They can’t do you permanent harm. Were they to fight you, they would turn their backs and flee, and they will not win” (Ale-Imran:110-111).

Here is a recent survey that captures the mood, behaviours and moral standing of British Muslims. How well does it reflect the Quranic description of a Muslim?

The survey

Here are some of the questions asked and the corresponding percentages of Muslims and non-Muslims who agreed with the statements.

  • Does more need to be done to strengthen community ties? 71% of Muslims agreed compared to 22% of non-Muslims.
  • Do you have a sense of belonging to the community? 51% of Muslims agreed compared to 35% of non-Muslims.
  • Is the UK a good place for Muslims to live? 87% of Muslims agreed.
  • Do you give to charity regularly? 75% of Muslims agreed compared to 68% of non-Muslims.
  • Have you given a monetary gift to a friend? 51% of Muslims agreed compared to 21% of non-Muslims.
  • Do you feel part of a family? 91% of Muslims agreed compared to 86% of non-Muslims.
  • Is marriage and raising children a duty? 70% of Muslims agreed compared to 43% of non-Muslims.
  • Should you care for elderly relatives? 92% of Muslims agreed compared to 81% of non-Muslims.

The survey questions reveal important human relationships and the wish to live in harmony with neighbours; being proud and loyal to your country; being generous towards others; accepting diversity; and caring for family and relatives.

“Future followers will love me”

Here is great news from the beloved Messenger (peace be upon him) about 21st-century Muslims. Long ago, the Prophet (peace be upon him) predicted that he would have the greatest number of followers. His prophecy has come true. Today there are 2 billion Muslims, who love him, follow his words, and copy his actions. His message has been delivered to 195 countries of the world. His extraordinary life of simplicity, serenity and success has a mysterious sway over people’s lives. His laws, manners and morals have influenced and changed humanity.

History has demonstrated his message is life-giving. Today Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) legacy lives on and continues to grow as it envelops the entire globe. He proudly talked about his future followers, yes, he mentioned you and me. The Messenger (peace be upon him) said: ‘I would love to meet my brothers’. The disciples asked him ‘Are we not your brothers?’ He replied, ‘You are my disciples, and my brothers and sisters are those who will believe in me without seeing me’ (Ahmad).

Abdul Rahman narrates that his father asked the Messenger (peace be upon him), ‘What is your opinion about those who believe in you as the Prophet of Allah but haven’t seen you?’ The Messenger (peace be upon him) replied, ‘There is good news for them, they are from among us’ (Tabarani).

In another hadith, it is reported that one day Abu Ubaida had breakfast with the Messenger (peace be upon him) and asked ‘Is there anyone better than us, since we believed and stood shoulder to shoulder with you in the battlefield? He replied, ‘Yes there are those who will come after you and believe in me without even seeing me’ (Ahmad).

Conclusion

The Muslim participants of the survey scored higher than the wider society. This shows that Muslims are law-abiding citizens, generous and peaceful. Dr Jake Scott secretary of IIFL, said “This research comes as a timely intervention in an increasingly refusing public conversation on faith, Britain and Islam. Our survey shows that Muslims feel overwhelmingly optimistic about Britain’s future, are happier here than in most other European nations and feel that they have the freedom to practise their faith whilst participating in public life”.

My experience of English people is that they are reasonable and respectful. It is wrong to assume otherwise, some Muslims are in a defensive crouch and dismissive of others. That’s just wrong. It is unjustified antagonism and that is unislamic. It’s not the way to live in a multicultural, multi-faith society. My approach is to invite people to the feast of Islam. We have so much to offer the lonely, the stressed, the depressed, the needy, the homeless, and the poor in British society.

Let’s be givers, friends and a scaffolding for the broken. The report concludes ‘that whilst many politicians and policymakers speak confidently about the behaviours and attitudes of British Muslims, the majority of the UK population misunderstands and fails to value them’. Let’s change that!