Safe Spaces are a priority to combat knife crime

Protecting our youth

 

Glorified is the One who has sovereignty and He is able to do anything. The one who created death and life in order to test you, who among you is best in conduct and He is All Forgiving Almighty. (67:1-2)

Among the incidents that are sadly taking place everyday in London, we tragically lost a 17 year old boy from the Kurdish community. Of course our heart goes with his family and friends. May Allah have mercy on him and shower him with blessings.

Death can claim us at any time. It might come now; it might come tomorrow. No one knows when his death will be. No one is too young and no one is too old. Your destiny is your destiny.

Life is a test and death is a test. How do we prepare for this test? Are you ready to meet Allah Almighty now? More likely the answer is no. Most of us have plenty of short comings.

The Prophet (peace be on him) said that when Allah Almighty loves someone he inspires him to do good. We should always be engaged in good as our destiny might be today. And He said He is testing YOU to see who is best in conduct.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

When Allah wants good for a slave, He makes him like the honey.

It was said: What does it mean O Messenger of Allah?

He said: By inspiring him to do righteous deeds before his death.

(Ahmad)

So many people fled their country because they were longing for safety. Yet they came here and died. You cannot escape your destiny. But you need to be prepared for your destiny. So how do we prepare?

Preparing for life

  • Short term plan

The government has a responsibility to protect our community. However, under the Tory government 20,000 police have been sacked as part of cost cutting and austerity measures. Day in and day out we are losing our hearts and our children from the community and our future. What the government is doing is not enough. They have to put more police on the streets. The police have to be more visible. This is the short term plan.

  • Long term plan

The responsibility for our safety does not rest on the police’s shoulders alone. We need to  provide support to troubled families. Single mothers and broken families are one of the major reasons why we have the proliferation of gangs. We need support for these families. This is a life long project.

Thus the long term plan is addressing the root cause of the problem and the short term plan is minimising the problem and ensuring that our children and communities are safe.

Otherwise we are killing our future under austerity measures. With the Brexit Curse no one knows what is happening. We need to raise our voices as we are all being affected. It is not just one family. All the community is affected by these stabbings and crimes. We need to protect our children. And monitor them and deter them from joining gangs.

Preparing for death

We also to be spiritually prepared. We do not know how we will die – it might not be stabbing, it might be a heart attack. So when we wake up everyday we make the supplication:

Praise be to Allah who gave us life after death and to him we will return. (Bukhari).

We start our day with the Prophet’s (peace be on him) supplication. When we have deep conviction we will meet Allah Almighty then whatever we say or do will be in line with what pleases Allah Almighty.

Fixing our connection with Allah Almighty

The highest form of obedience to Allah is salah. Some of our youngsters and elders do not pray. How can you meet Allah if you are not praying? Salah is the core of our religion.

We have to be connected to the Quran- the final, complete and perfect revelation which Allah Almighty sent for us to recite with ikhlas (sincerity). Our connection with the Quran has to be on a daily basis, not just during salah but outside of salah. Connect with the Quran to connect with Allah Almighty. Whoever wants to converse with Allah let him recite His book. It brings tranquillity to troubled hearts. It brings peace for those who are longing for peace. It is not pills which bring real peace to your heart. Take medication by all means for anxiety and depression but spiritual healing is through the Quran. The Quran the antidote to tantrums and anger. We should be always connected to the Quran.

Obedience to parents

Obedience to our parent

‘wa bil walidayini ihsana’ (be good to your parents) 17:23

has to be part of our preparation for the akhirah. We often fail to listen to them because we think we are old enough to make our own decisions but they have wisdom, experience, love and care for us, so listening to our parents is important.

Safe spaces and halal alternatives

Having alternatives is very important. We need safe spaces for our children where people can enjoy themselves in a halal way. Like-minded people can get together inside the mosque, or at safe clubs where there is nothing impermissible.

Being creative and bridging the gap

It is not just up to the government but also our responsibility to provide these spaces for our youth. In fact, not just the spaces, but provide relevant and engaging programmes for them. Our youth often see us as irrelevant and feel they cannot communicate with us. We have to bridge the gap. It’s a serious matter. The gaming industry is controlling our children whether we like it or not. We need to do something. We need to create some exciting programmes. Children will not sit and be lectured to. That is the old way. It no longer works. We need to be creative. Evil is more creative than us. We need to fight evil with creativity.

I am sure we have very creative people in our community. We just need to join the dots. We need to finance it. We have creative people but no funds to make their ideas reality. It is a long-term plan. If we are not thinking ahead, then problems simply increase. We are witnessing this. It is time for action. The community has to do something. The mosque here is very accommodating and open to new ideas and new programmes. We need people to come on board and have joint ventures. The financing will fall into place later. We need the right mindset and sincerity. Doing this purely for Allah’s sake not for any credit. But because we believe we have a duty to our children and our community. Delivering the right education to our children in the right manner.

Some of our children are in gangs and some are their victims. Some are going into atheism and some are going into extremism. Whether you like it or not they’ve been hijacked. We need to fight back. And the only way is if the community comes together and addresses these issues. We cannot wait for another crime to happen and wish we had done something. It is our responsibility.

We ask Allah Almighty to enable us to always be the promoters of goodness, the followers of the Prophet (peace be on him) raising the flag of fairness and justice and goodness. Ameen.

 

Khutbah delivered by Shaykh Haytham Tamim on 13th September 2019 at the UKAMCCC. Transcribed by Ayesha Khan.

 

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Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001.His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College).He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.

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