I got a comment from an Anonymous on PKPIM’s call to boycott Dutch products (among others) as a measure to show our disgust and disapproval on the release of the provocative video clip, ‘Fitna’. Here’s the comment:
“Salaam, just my thoughts: why should we ban Dutch products just because of some irresponsible maniac from Netherlands made that film? isnt it enough that we just ban the film itself? wouldnt we affect the 1 million Muslim (source: wikipedia) population there by doing so? how about the cans and bottles of beer and cigarettes being sold at our local stores? why arent we putting a ban on the clear Haraam items?”
Here’s my response:
Allah S.W.T. said in the Glorious Qur’an, which means:
“And make ready against them all you can of power, including steels of war (tanks, planes, missiles, artillery) to threaten the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides whom, you may not know but whom Allah does know. And whatever you shall spend in the Cause of Allah shall be repaid unto you, and you shall not be treated unjustly. But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and (put your) trust in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (Al-Anfal: 60-61)
The above translation from verses 60-61 of surah Al-Anfal tells us that whenever we face adversaries, we have to make ready with whatever that we are capable of and threaten the enemy of Allah with whatever strength that we have. Note that strength/power here does not necessarily refer to artillery weapons (such as guns, swords and the sorts); it can also refer to whatever means that we have within our circle of influence or power that can help to fight against the adversaries of Allah S.W.T.
I would like to convey a story that happened during the time of Prophet Ibrahim a.s. When our beloved Prophet Ibrahim a.s. was being burned in the large fire (which engulfed his entire body), a little sparrow was looking on. The sparrow couldn’t stand to just look when a prophet of Allah was being burned alive. So, the little sparrow went to a nearby stream, scooped whatever amount of water it can carry in its tiny beak, and flew towards the spot where Prophet Ibrahim a.s. was and poured the water onto the huge flame. The little sparrow continued to fly to and fro, carrying water in its tiny beak and pouring it onto the fire. Some onlooking birds who saw this questioned the little sparrow’s acts, saying that it couldn’t possibly put out the flame with what it is currently doing. But the sparrow replied, “At least, when one day Allah were to ask me what I did when Prophet Ibrahim a.s. was being burned, I can say that I did something...”.
The message that I’m trying to convey here is that we have to at least do something. Let us all ask ourselves, what did we do when Islam was being constantly attacked? If we have done nothing, than perhaps we have no right to question those who are at least trying do something. By “doing something”, I am not implying that “everything” is permissible in this context.
Boycott is usually a temporary act. It is not meant to be prolonged. It is a mean to put pressure on the Dutch government so that they would take firm – I repeat, FIRM – action against the perpetrator of the irresponsible video clip. It is our means of showing that the Muslim ummah is still strong, and that the unity of the Muslim ummah has the potential to “do something significant” so that they would be more careful when addressing sensitive issues regarding Islam. We have to show that we are “strong” and “firm”, which are qualities that begets respect.
However, it has to be noted that what we are calling for is not just boycott. We are also calling for other measures to be taken into account as well. Most importantly, Muslims (including myself) has to learn about Islam and understand Islam thoroughly. This cannot be done merely through self-reading. This has to be done through a learning process; the process where a teacher conveys ‘meaning’ to its students. For, the basis for which Islam is to be upheld is knowledge. The most important of all knowledge is ma’rifatullah (knowing Allah), for that is the main purpose humans and all creatures are created.
As to the question why we aren’t putting a ban on clear non-permitted (Haram) items, ask that to the authorities for that is way beyond our powers. The same goes to Dutch products. We aren’t putting a ban on Dutch products, for that is way beyond our (the people) powers. What we can do is: boycott!