This is what I have in my in-tray, might not be the same one as I got it from a different group:
as-salaamu 'alaykum wa rahmutullahi wa barakatuhu
two questions were asked at today's talk in birmingham with shaykh nuh ha mim keller which i thought the list would be particularly interested in. the talk was taped, and insha'allah, the audio recordings will be made available. one brother, kind man that he is, was good enough to give me a recording on a cd.
the first related to how in the uk, there were two trends that were being presented as the only two options to take; either to assimilate completely into the mainstream and do everything the mainstream did, or to separate completely and not participate at all. could we get into local councils? government? the army, the police, etc?
shaykh nuh responded that he had discussed this with imam zaid shakir, whose opinion he respected, and that the way to go was to get involved in things which affected your community. your neighbourhood, your city. participate in local politics, but be selective. don't endlessly capitulate and compromise; be principles. he spoke rather dismissively about national politics, though, thinking that there was really nothing to be gained in that ratrace (i am paraphrasing here).
as for the army, police etc; he said that it was probably permissible, and gave the example of the prophet yusuf, alayhi salaam, as an example of someone who was in a high position in government. but he also recollected how shaykh al kurdi once remarked to a officer who came in his uniform to the circle of dhikr, 'may allah free of you of that uniform!'
so obviously, there are better avenues to pursue.
(he did not say this, but i think the implication is that whether you're an officer in the army of the uk, or of syria, or whatever, the issues remain. at the end of the day, whats really the difference. but thats my own commentary.)
the second question was regarding suicide bombers; what is the correct approach to take?
shaykh nuh answered this quite straight and to the point; the suicide operations
must be decided according to fiqh, and according to fiqh, they are haram.
he said that this was because of the following:
1) suicide is haram
2) the rulings of islam forbid the killing of women and children, as omar ibn al khattab (may allah be pleased with him) said, (and he said, let no one mistake that noble caliph as a wimp!)
he went on to say that in shariah, a haram act can become halal if it serves the purposes of shariah (the protection of life, deen, intellect, offspring, and wealth), in some specific circumstances. is there an overriding interest to make suicide bombings, which are haram, halal because they serve a necessary purpose that would otherwise not be able to achieve except through such operations?
he answered his own questions by saying no, and that these 'victories' were only 'propaganda victories' which gave others excuses to kill muslims elsewhere.
shaykh nuh mentioned about the shi'a who committed a suicide bombing operation in beirut, by plunging himself into death, along with the marines. he did not say he approved or disapproved of this act, but he thought that at least in this case, you could make a case for these operations actually being worthwhile, as the americans left afterwards.
he went onto to repeat, though, that in palestine, these were propaganda victories; they were not real victories.
[let no one make the mistake of thinking that shaykh nuh is 'out of it'; he lives in jordan, his arabic is impeccable so he does not live in some sort of weird bubble. he knows whats going on. and he still says that these operations are haram.]
well, no surprises there.
my favourite quote of the evening:
'Nobody elbowed past one another to see the sky!' (al- Ghazali)
hisham al- zoubeir
----- Original Message -----
From: Abu Adam
Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2003 2:16 PM
Subject: [al-Zawiya] Transcript of Shaykh Nuh's talk in Birmingham, UK.
I read a post on this forum about a month ago from a
brother who typed out the Q&A session with Shaykh Nuh
in Birmingham, UK. Does anyone have a copy of that
email I seem to have lost it.