Friday, 12 January 2018

Can a Muslim be a Communist?

By Imam ʿAbdul Ḥalīm Mamūd (born 1328AH/1910), may Allah have mercy on him, the Sheikh of al-Azhar from 1393AH/1973 until his death in 1397AH/1978.

Figure 1: Anglosphere Muslims marching with Socialists  Source:

One day, Brother Muḥammad ʿAbdur Raḥmān came to see me, and he works in journalism. He started talking with me about a number of issues and I started answering him, and this is something we normally do from time to time.

Amongst these questions was a question about communism. The full text of the question and the answer to it is as follows:

Question: Is it possible for me to be a Muslim and a communist? Why?

Answer: A sincere Muslim’s Islam means that he doesn’t need any other doctrine. Allah, Glorified and Exalted is He, has made this unequivocally clear:

“Today I have perfected your religion for you and completed My blessing upon you and I am pleased with Islam as a religion for you.”[1]

Allah has completed and perfected the theology of this religion.

And it is known that communism wages war against religion. It wages war against it with every possible means. This has been declared by its most prominent leaders, and it is well-known what Karl Marx said.

At first, he said, ‘Religion must be removed from society.’ When it was said to him, ‘Man must have a belief. What alternative is there to the belief in God?’, he said, ‘Distract them with theatre, and have a lot of theatre. Whenever you have a lot of theatre, the people start talking about the play’s success or failure, about the success or failure of the actors and actresses in their roles, and they forget about religious beliefs.’

He is the one who said, ‘Religion is the opium of the masses.’

The other leaders of communism have made similar statements. Even if they are not word for word the meaning is the same. All of them agree on this and their actions absolutely corroborate it. The most atheistic and the most anti-religion of them is the one who advances through the party ranks and becomes a leader.

Their newspapers earnestly call for all the remnants of religion to be gotten rid of. A number of times we have read in our newspapers, quoting the Russian newspapers, that there are still remnants of religion and they must be gotten rid of. Officials are blamed for not being more active, so that the last residue can be done away with as soon as possible.

The masjids in communist Albania are closed. Whoever appears to be religiously inclined is severely punished. You could have bullets fired at you. If someone is religiously inclined, they cannot occupy a distinguished position in any communist country.

The communists have a specific way of attacking religion.

The first step in attacking religion is to make fun of its scholars, to mock them and criticize them, and they attack them with every means: caricatures, plays, films, jokes.

The initial plan is to weaken the scholars of religion with every means.

They inflate that which is small, they bring into existence that which doesn’t exist and they constantly spread rumours.

Carried away behind them are the naïve and simple-minded, the naïve and simple-minded of every people and nation.

When the men of religion have been weakened, they attack some of the branches of religion. This is the second step. When it has been completed, they attack religion directly.

They study these stages of theirs patiently. They have a set plan for each step, with written talking points and many things prepared in advance. This is as far as belief goes.

If Allah the Exalted has completed and perfected the religion in terms of theology and beliefs, He the Glorified has also completed it and perfected it in terms of economics.

Islam has legislated for the purposes of wealth. It has legislated for the purposes of trade, agricultural property, renting, buying and selling. It has made it abundantly clear how a debt is to be written and it has done the same with regards to inheritance, as well as zakāt and how it is to be distributed.

The actual foundation of Islam is the freedom of the individual in relation to wealth, within the framework of the general principles of Islam.

Something that should be seriously considered is the fact that ʿAbdur Raḥmān ibn ʿAwf, ʿUthmān, az-Zubayr and Ṭalḥah, may Allah be pleased with them, were millionaires[2] and despite that, they were amongst the ten promised direct entry into Paradise. Abū Dharr, Bilāl and Ṣuhayb were not amongst the ten promised direct entry into Paradise, and there is no doubt that they were at the forefront of righteousness and piety, and that Paradise, by Allah’s grace, is their destination. However, despite that, they are not amongst those promised direct entry into Paradise.

If the foundation in Islam is the freedom of the individual in relation to wealth within the framework of Islam’s general principles, then communism vehemently opposes it.

[Translated from Maqālāt fī al-Islam wa ash-Shuyūʿiyyah (i.e. ‘Essays on Islam and Communism’) by Imam ʿAbdul Ḥalīm Mamūd (Cairo, Dār al-Maʿārif, n.d.) p.5-7]

[1] (tn): Sūrat al-Māʾidah 5:3
[2] (tn): or even billionaires by today’s standards

Related Post:
Cultural Marxism 

Related Podcast:
Islam, Communism and Cultural Marxism (Postmodernism) 

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