On Thursday 19th May 2016 a group of senior Imams and Muslim leaders gathered at City Hassanat College (Birmingham) to launch the campaign to encourage British Muslims to celebrate the Queen’s birthday on Friday, 10 June. This was organised with the support of ‘One Britain One Nation‘.The following is a transcript of my talk on that occasion.
We fully support the concept of ‘One Britain One Nation’
The Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) did everything in his power to bring about peace and harmony among the Arab tribes, like Jesus Christ the Prince of peace, the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) was given the beautiful title of ‘The Prince of kindness for all people’. When he migrated to Medina from Makkah making it his new home the first thing the Prophet (peace be upon him) did was to build peace and unity among the different people of Medina. This was known as the treaty of Medina. He gathered together the Arab pagans, the three Jewish tribes and the Muslims and declared ‘we are one nation’. Therefore Muslims, pagans, idolaters and Jews were one community in the eyes of the Prophet of Islam.
There is need for all to work together in the interest of our nation
There is no better time than now for the British Muslims to show their enthusiasm and passion for being loyal and patriotic Brits. When there are people who think we are the fifth column of society, and doubt our loyalty. It is doubly important for us to show that we love our country its institutions and its leadership. This is part of our faith. There is a famous Arabic saying ‘Hubbul Watan min al Iman’ love of country is part of faith. Although this is not a saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) it appears to be based on a saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he said ‘love of the Arabs is part of the faith’, in another version he mentions ‘love of the helpers of Medina is part of the faith’. One thing is clear that love for a homeland is natural and part of human condition. The reason for loving one’s homeland is that it brings us together, we all own it, we respect it, we instinctively know that the prosperity of our country depends on these sentiments. Therefore we must all take responsibility to build this country together in the interest of our future generations, our children.
Tribute to her Majesty the Queen
Our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) showed respect for all human beings. Hatim Thai was a legendary figure in Arabia, he was titled Karim ‘the generous’. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to talk about his generosity and one day when Hatim Thai’s daughter was presented to him he (peace be upon him) stood up, took off his cloak and laid it on the ground and requested her to sit on it. This was his way of showing respect for her wonderful father.
The Prophet’s (peace be upon him) philosophy was very simple, “the best of all people is the one who benefits humanity most”. Based on this I conclude that we must show respect for all those people who do good work. The Queen has been at it for more than 64 years. At the tender age of 21 years she pledged “my life will be to serve our people and I ask for God’s help to make good that vow”. As we celebrate the birthday of our Queen we can all confirm how honest and dedicated she has been to that vow. During her long illustrious reign she has inspired countless millions of people all over the world. The Prime Minister David Cameron in his tribute to the Queen rightly said, “The Queen has answered 3.5 million pieces of correspondence, sent more than hundred thousand telegrams to centenarians met more people than any other monarch in history”. That is why we as Muslims want to express our respect and tribute to this amazing lady. Shakespeare eloquently summed it up:
So, most mighty Queen we pray, like the dial day by day
You may lead the seasons on, making new when old are gone
By showing enthusiasm and passion for our country and Queen we will give a very powerful message to our children that this is our beloved country, this is truly our home, we owe this to our children.
On 10th of June let us showcase pride and passion for Great Britain in an Islamic way
Our way is the way of prayer, wishing well and showing kindness and being passionate about where we live. In another saying the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever spends a night guarding the borders of his homeland will receive reward better than everything in the world”. What an encouragement to be true loyal and patriotic citizens of our country. We are recommending that people make a special prayer for our nation and all it’s people. Here are a couple of things that I recommend we do:
- Mosques should organise an Iftar celebration by inviting people from our diverse communities.
- Muslim households in the country should invite friends and colleagues on this day to join them for the Iftar celebrations at home.