Privilege is from Allah
A new trend that popped up in recent times is complaining about privilege. Young people have taken to complaining about the privilege that others enjoy because of their gender, race, beauty, intelligence, or background. Muslims seem to have jumped on this bandwagon too. (Of course, they have. They want to follow the disbelievers into the lizard hole)
Now SOME of these complaints are legit, but many come across as whiny and petty. Complaining that someone else is pretty or handsome, so they are privileged is petty. Complaining about someone else being more intelligent than you and using that to get ahead in their career is petty. But it is more than just pettiness that is a problem here for Muslims.
A Violation Of Islamic Fundamentals
This attitude of complaining about someone else’s privilege is flat out unislamic and violates four key principles of Islam:
- Accepting one’s destiny (Qadar)
- Understanding that all Rizq is from Allah i.e. each person is given by Allah what Allah believes is best for them
- Being content with what Rizq Allah has given you
- Avoiding jealousy for the Rizq Allah has given to others
Again, I am not talking about every complaint of privilege. Some are legit. For example, complaining about white privilege in a clearly racist society is understandable. (Understandable but still not the best course of action) However, complaining that wealthy people being privileged is against the above four principles of Islam.
A religion of action, not complaining
Islam does not encourage complaining and whining. The modern attitude of complaining about every little thing on Twitter is unislamic and doesn’t solve any problem. Islam is a religion of action.
Simply put: life is a test. Allah puts us in situations to test how we will deal with these situations. Complaining about Allah putting you in the situation is unislamic. Finding a solution and working towards it is Islamic.
Example: Yes, a wealthy person has several privileges that a less well-off person does not have. They also have tests from Allah that you do not have. He has his test in life, and you have yours. Focus on passing your test, instead of complaining about the cards you have been handed.
Privilege is part of Rizq
Rizq is not limited to money. Whatever Allah has given his Creation is called Rizq. And Allah has purposely distributed each gift unequally, as each human has a unique life, unique test, and unique gift. It is unequal, yet just. Because Allah is Most Just and He knows what is best for each person.
Rizq includes all of the following: your wealth, health, lifespan, intelligence, access to resources, education, time, youth, beauty, and anything else that people receive without being able to choose. Simply put: the majority of types of privilege are part of the Rizq that Allah has given to some of his servants, and not others.
This is confirmed by the following verses of the Quran:
Say, “O Allah, Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honor whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent.
You cause the night to enter the day, and You cause the day to enter the night; and You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living. And You give provision to whom You will without account.”
(Surah Aale-Imraan 3:26-27, Saheeh International Translation)
These verses confirm that all things we receive are from Allah and part of our Rizq. Wealth, power, authority, honor, social status, there are all part of our Rizq. Allah gives it to whom He wills and withholds it from whom He wills.
Complaining About Allah
As a result, complaining about privilege can, in many if not most situations, become complaining about Allah and his distribution of Rizq. It can become complaining about Qadar, malcontent and jealousy for the gifts Allah has given other creations.
The problem with modern theories is that they are divorced from the Divine. Allah is not factored into the equation and this causes people to take up opinions, theories, and ideas that are insulting to Allah, and unislamic. The solution is to become grounded in Islamic Theology and choose one’s words and actions accordingly.
What to do instead
Instead of complaining about the Rizq Allah has given others, a Muslim must do the following:
- Accept that this world is a test and never going to be perfect. Some people will always have a worldly advantage over others.
- Accept that your situation is your test, and you need to deal with it accordingly. It can change with effort, dua and hard work, but not with complaining.
- Believe that this world is temporary and the Afterlife is our priority. Give preference to preparing for the Afterlife over trying to make this life perfect. Don’t spend so much time arguing about why things are unfair in this world, that you forget to pile up good deeds for the next world.
- If something is a genuine Islamic concern, possible to change, and within your abilities to do so, then work on changing it from within an Islamic framework with Allah’s Help.
Our generation spends too much time fighting and arguing on social media over why this person has this advantage or that advantage. We need to stop these petty fights and focus instead on what matters: our relationship with Allah and our preparations for the life to come.