Magical Thinking is Haraam
by Mahmoud Andrade Ibrahim
The greatest American boxer ever, Muhammad Ali, said once, while giving a talk to some college students on the importance of getting an education, “ All of us are ignorant at one time or another. If a man walks down a street, he can be the smartest man in his neighborhood and someone comes up to him and throws a right hook, well, if that man doesn’t know how to avoid being hit by that right hook, well in that circumstance, he’s ignorant.”
This idea became very clear to me the other day when in a conversation with a brother who has had over 30 years in this deen and who I must admit is a bit more conservative in his Islamic attitude than I am, when in the middle of our conversation about strategies for the Blackamerican Muslim community, said something that brought the above quote into focus for me.
The way the conversation began was that he, Bro. M. , a few days before, sent me a link to an interview of someone whose position about the troubles in the Middle East was entirely due to the well orchestrated blueprint of the Israeli government and to a greater extent, the U.S. to destabilize that region and prosecute a war on terrorism. ( *see link below ) And so my brother begins to talk about all the conspiracies around the world to incapacitate the Muslim presence.
I then tell him that I don’t take the position of a cheerleader. When Muslim countries do something that is laudable, then it gets my applause. However, when a Muslim country screws up, I’m very critical. Case in point was Egypt. For over 60 years the Muslim Brotherhood has been running around Egypt and the rest of the world chanting ‘Islam is the solution’. Muslims love slogans. Because slogans aren’t subject to inquiry. They sound good. However, as soon as the Brotherhood had the opportunity to govern and demonstrate some of the solutions, they fell flat. The truth is they had no solutions for anything. No plan for Agrarian reform, for unemployment, no plans for manufacture or to industrialize the economy, none for sanitation, healthcare or a reconfiguration of wealth. No Plan. Period. But they did have slogans. And rallies. And more slogans.
But to make myself very clear, I tell him that I’m really not that concerned with the rest of the Muslim world, it will take care of itself. What I’m concerned about is the American Muslim community and especially the BlackAmerican community. What are we doing to make our lifestyle viable and sustainable right here in America.
Bro. M then says that what we must focus on is our aqeedah, our belief system. No argument here. I then said to him, ‘lets make the assumption that you and I are as clear as crystal about our aqeedah, however, when you walk out side your door, both you and your children are black folks in America’. Subject to all the inequitable forces of America as applied to Black people such as; a lower standard of living, low expectations in education, poor housing, low income rates, poor health care, being targeted and profiled by the police, etc. It doesn't matter that your children speak fluent Arabic, have memorized humongous portions of the Qur'an and are well behaved. You are Black in America.
Bro. M. in his pristine white thobe proceeds to talk about the Companions (ra) and that the only option for us, Blackamerican Muslims, is to make hijjrah.
Me: Hijjrah ?
Bro. M.: Hijjrah .
Me : That’s the answer ?
Bro. M.: Yes, that’s the answer.
Me: Ok, so if that’s’ the answer for us, as Black Americans, then that’s the answer for everybody that lives in and a non-Muslim country, right?
Bro. M.: Yes, our Beloved Prophet (pboh) made hijjrah.
Me: Yeah, ok, so the first hijjrah is when a group of 15 people went to Abyssinia with Jaffer ibn Abi Talib as the leader, to a non-muslim country whose leader allowed them to practice their Islam, right?
الملك العادل الذي لا أحد يتعرض للاضطهاد
"A just King (the Negus) under whom no one is oppressed." said our Beloved Prophet (pboh)
Bro. M.: Right.
Me: The second hijjrah is when Prophet Muhammad (pboh) left Mecca after he and the first community of believer were being persecuted and went to Medina, right ? There were probably a few hundred folks that went with him.
Bro. M.: Right. To make hijjrah is sunnah.
Me: Ok, well I can’t believe that this is the answer for blackamericans. This is magical thinking and I don't believe in magic, that would be haraam.
Bro. M.: Whats’ haram ? The hijjrah ?
Me: No, the hijjrah is not haram, but believing that hijjrah is the answer for the BlackAmerican Muslim condition is magical thinking and magical thinking or believing in magic period is haram.
Bro. M.: Why is it haram ?
Me: Because if it’s the answer for Black American Muslims, then it’s the answer for everyone else in the same kind of conditions we have. That would mean that the Muslim Populations of :
China 22 million
Europe 14 million
India 172 million
USA 6 million
Indonesia 202 million
Africa 300 million**
Total 716 million (seven hundred sixteen million)
Let's say only 10% wanted to make hijjrah that would be 71 million 600 thousand.
Who in their right mind thinks that Saudi Arabia or any other (Muslim) country would invite or tolerate over 71 million people from all different backgrounds to inhabit their country without it devastating their economy, infrastructure and governmental resources. And if someone does put forward this as a solution, they are attempting to play a grand deception on some unsuspecting believer and therefore is guilty of practicing magic. And practicing or believing in magic is haraam !
Just look at the problems the world is having with a few hundred thousand refugees from Syria.
The right-hooks that are being thrown at the Blackamerican Muslim community by those inside and outside our communities, are the slogans that makes everything so simple, so easy, devoid of any critical thought and therefore so outside the realm of reality as to readily expose the ignorance among us and our willingness to believe in magic.
** This figure added post original publication