Maria Akbar says Humza Yousaf’s shameful denial of Islamic values is a lesson to us all – if we sell out Islam in a desperate attempt for validation and acceptance it will only bring us disgrace.
Hamza Yousaf has succeeded Nicola Sturgeon as Scotland’s First Minister after defeating his rivals Kate Forbes and Ash Regan, becoming the youngest First Minister at the age of 37.
But despite being the first Muslim to lead a major UK party, I personally feel nothing but despair and outrage at his appointment, even though I realise the reaction of other Muslims does differ – some are pleased for him, whilst others remain indifferent.
His proclamation of being a “proud Muslim” and at the same time expressing views such as “there is nothing wrong with LGBTQ or abortion” deeply bothers me. He was also seen posing in a turban during a visit to a Gurdwara in Glasgow alongside two young Sikh children, depicting inclusivity and tolerance of all faiths.
Of course, as an individual, behind closed doors, he can believe and do whatever he pleases. However, standing in the public sphere and loudly proclaiming that you are Muslim then supporting values that go directly against Islamic teachings is extremely offensive and an utter disgrace to everything Muslims stand for.
Specifically, it can be damaging for the da’wah when things like this happen, and it is confusing for non-Muslims with regards to what Muslims actually believe. On one hand you have the likes of Hamza Yousaf saying that it’s ok to support certain things, whilst others work tirelessly in the da’wah against them.
And so in the eyes of the non-Muslim, it is not really clear what Muslims believe at all. In fact, Hamza Yousaf may appear as the more relatable, normal one, whilst the rest of us mainstream Muslims will appear as extremists.
Yet it is undeniable that there is this trend of some Muslims who compromise on Islamic teachings, or shy away from saying things as they really are, in attempt to seek acceptance and validation from the wider non-Muslim community.
But this validation or acceptance will never be attained unless certain values are compromised. Today it is LGBTQ, tomorrow it will be something else. Until before you know it a Muslim will sell out all of his or her values and not attain anything in this world or the next.
Some of these compromisers are of the view that there will be benefit for the Muslims as a Muslim is in power so he can do things to benefit the Ummah. But we must bare in mind that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “There is no obedience to any human being if it involves sin; obedience is only in that which is right and proper.”
Hamza Yousaf has blatantly rejected a law of Allah SWT, and amongst the scholars, rejecting a law of Allah SWT is kufr. In fact, ruling by other than what Allah SWT has revealed is in of itself kufr, so what he has done is incorrect in every sense from the perspective of Islam.
In fact, the Quran mentions the act of compromising with non-Muslims at the expense of one’s religion. Allah SWT says (interpretation of the meaning): “They wish that you should compromise (in religion out of courtesy) with them, so that they (too) would compromise with you.” [al-Qalam 68:9].
And throughout the Seerah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) we can see that he always remained firm, though it wasn’t easy. There were times when the Muslims suffered and faced persecution for many years. The Quraysh in Makkah made attempts to get the Prophet (pbuh) to compromise on his da’wah for the sake of peace between the Muslims and non-Muslims, but he did not waver from the truth. And ultimately victory was for the Muslims.
Know that if Allah SWT has legislated something, there is nothing you can do that would bring a more desirable outcome for you if you move away from it. So ignore those who give you “logical reasons” to compromise, or change principles to suit others, for the “greater good.”
It is mentioned in a popular narration regarding the retrieval of the keys of Al-Aqsa by Umar Ibn al-Khattab (ra): “Verily we were a disgraceful people and Allah honoured us with Islam, if we seek honour from anything besides that which Allah honoured us with, Allah will disgrace us.” Likewise, if we sell out on Islamic beliefs and values, in attempt for validation and acceptance, it will only bring us disgrace. Rather Muslims should stand firm for the truth and what we believe in.
Personally I think the weak-minded mentality of the compromisers relates to the generational baggage that some may carry from parents and grandparents who came to this country for a better life.
Our parents found that they did not fit in as their culture was entirely different, and in most cases they didn’t even try to fit in as the difference was too big. So they retrenched into their own culture and religion.
However, as the next generations were born, they become torn between their culture and religious values being taught to them at home, and the completely different reality outside the home. So they attempted to fit in and be accepted by wider society, compromising on both cultural and religious values in doing so.
But compromising or remaining silent when Muslim public figures trash Islam will contributes to the problem. The Ummah needs a revival of Muslims, standing firm together, not wavering or showing tolerance towards injustice. Once Muslims stand firm and united alongside our God-given values, the Ummah will flourish and succeed in all aspects of our lives, God-willing.