Thursday 27 February 2020

Malcolm X is still misunderstood - and misused

Every semester in which I teach a course on Muslims in the Civil Rights Movement at Southern Methodist University, I give my students a selection of quotes from both Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X and ask them to guess who said what. So for example, I will posit the following two quotes and ask for their proper ascription:

"Ignorance of each other is what has made unity impossible in the past. Therefore, we need enlightenment. We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity. Once we have more knowledge (light) about each other, we will stop condemning each other and a United front will be brought about."

"The majority of white Americans consider themselves sincerely committed to justice for the Negro. They believe that American society is essentially hospitable to fair play and to steady growth toward a middle-class Utopia embodying racial harmony. But unfortunately this is a fantasy of self-deception and comfortable vanity."

And every single time, they have been unable to identify the first quote as belonging to Malcolm, and the second to Martin. But it is not just a few students that have gotten it wrong. The American education system and most mainstream portrayals of Martin and Malcolm have been simplistic and sanitising.

Martin is the perfect hero who preached non-violence and love, and Malcolm the perfect villain who served as his violent counterpart, preaching hate and militancy. The result is not just a dishonest reading of history, but a dichotomy that allows for Dr King to be curated to make us more comfortable, and Malcolm X to be demonised as a demagogue from whom we must all flee. Reducing these men to such simplistic symbols allows us to filter political programmes according to how "King-like" they are. Hence, illegitimate forms of reconciliation are legitimised through King and legitimate forms of resistance are delegitimised through Malcolm X.

Malcolm was never violent, not as a member of the Nation of Islam, nor as a Sunni Muslim. But Malcolm did find it hypocritical to demand that black people in the United States commit to non-violence when they were perpetually on the receiving end of state violence. He believed that black people in the US had a right to defend themselves, and charged that the US was inconsistent in referencing its founding fathers’ defence of liberty for everyone but them.

Malcolm knew that his insistence on this principle would cause him to be demonised even further and ultimately benefit the movement of Dr King, which is exactly what he had intended. Just weeks before his assassination, he went to Selma to support Dr King and willingly embraced his role as the scary alternative. In every interview, in his meeting with Dr Coretta Scott King, and elsewhere, he vocalised that the US would do well to give the good reverend what he was asking for, or else.

But he never actually said what the "or else" was, placing a greater urgency on America to cede to King’s demands. Malcolm had no problem playing the villain, so long as it led to his people no longer being treated like animals. And while King may have been steadfast in his commitment to non-violence, the thrust of Malcolm fully served its purpose.

As Colin Morris, the author of Unyoung, Uncolored, Unpoor wrote, "I am not denying passive resistance its due place in the freedom struggle, or belittling the contribution to it of men like Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Both have a secure place in history. I merely want to show that however much the disciples of passive resistance detest violence, they are politically impotent without it. American Negroes needed both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X …"

But it was not just that Malcolm and Martin had complementary strategies to achieve black freedom, they also spoke to different realities. Malcolm spoke more to the Northern reality of black Americans who were only superficially integrated, whereas Martin spoke to the Southern reality where even that was not possible.

Malcolm also spoke to the internalised racism of black people that was essential to overcome for true liberation. As the late James Cone states, "King was a political revolutionary. Malcolm was a cultural revolutionary. Malcolm changed how black people thought about themselves. Before Malcolm came along, we were all Negroes. After Malcolm, he helped us become black."

That is why, despite the diminishing of Malcolm in textbooks and holidays, he has been consistently revived through protest movements and the arts. He has lived through the activism of the likes of Muhammad Ali and Colin Kaepernick, inspired the black power movement, and been an icon for American Muslims on how to exist with dignity and faith in a hostile environment.

And even in those claims to Malcolm as a symbol, Malcolm himself in the fullness of his identity is erased. In championing his movement's philosophy, some seek to secularise him, intentionally erasing his Muslim identity. And in championing his religious identity, others seek to depoliticise him. This was a tension that Malcolm noted in his own life, saying: "For the Muslims, I’m too worldly. For other groups, I’m too religious. For militants, I’m too moderate, for moderates I’m too militant. I feel like I’m on a tightrope."

Muslims too should be cautious not to sanitise Malcolm, as the US has sanitised Dr King. To restrict Malcolm solely to his Hajj experience is similar to restricting King solely to his "I have a dream" speech. Malcolm was a proud Muslim who never stopped being black. And while he no longer subscribed to a condemnation of the entire white race, he was unrelenting in his critique of global white supremacy.

Malcolm was consistently growing in a way that allowed him to not only champion his own people’s plight more effectively but to tackle a broader set of interconnected issues. And while history seems to posit Malcolm as his polar opposite, Dr King had begun to articulate many of the same positions that made Malcolm so unpopular.

In the words of the great James Baldwin, "As concerns Malcolm and Martin, I watched two men, coming from unimaginably different backgrounds, whose positions, originally, were poles apart, driven closer and closer together. By the time each died, their positions had become virtually the same position. It can be said, indeed, that Martin picked up Malcolm’s burden, articulated the vision which Malcolm had begun to see, and for which he paid with his life. And that Malcolm was one of the people Martin saw on the mountaintop."

Perhaps it is time we ask why we only seem to celebrate one of them.


Wednesday 26 February 2020

Germany shooting: chants of 'Nazis out' at vigils after gunman kills nine

Thousands of people have taken part in vigils across Germany after a gunman with apparent far-right beliefs killed nine people at a shisha bar and a cafe in the city of Hanau.

The suspect, a 43-year-old German identified as Tobias Rathjen, was found dead at his home after the rampage along with his 72-year-old mother in what appeared to be a murder-suicide.

Hundreds of people, many carrying candles or a white rose, gathered in silence in Hanau in the evening to show solidarity with the victims.

Large crowds also gathered in Frankfurt and at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, some carrying signs that read “Take racism personally” or “Never again!”, in scenes replicated across dozens of German cities.

The nine people killed at the two bars late Wednesday evening were aged between 21 and 44 and all had a “migrant background,” although some were German citizens, chief federal prosecutor Peter Frank said.

He added that evidence, including video footage and a “manifesto” found on the suspect’s website, showed Rathjen had “a very deeply racist attitude”.

Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the “poison” of racism, as anger mixed with grief over the deadliest attack linked to Germany’s extreme right in recent months.

Relatives and friends of the victims gathered at the Arena bar on Thursday, an AFP reporter said, tearfully embracing one another.

“I couldn’t be any more upset,” said Inge Bank, 82, who lives near the bar. “We have to nip it in the bud if the Nazi party is coming back.

Steinmeier, who serves as a moral compass for the nation, condemned the shooter’s “brutal act of terror”. But he said he was heartened to see “thousands, maybe even tens of thousands” turning out across the country to honour the victims.

“We stand together, we want to live together and we show that over and over again. That is the strongest way to fight hatred,” he said, to the occasional shout of “Nazis out!” from the crowd.

Elsewhere, Frankfurt’s Eintracht football team held a minute’s silence ahead of its Europa League match against RB Salzburg.

As condemnation of the Hanau attack poured in, the co-leader of the far-right AfD party Joerg Meuthen stood out by saying the shootings were “neither right- nor left-wing terrorism” but the actions of “a madman”.

Politicians from across the political spectrum however accused the anti-Islam, anti-immigrant AfD of normalising hate speech and fomenting anti-foreigner sentiment in recent years.

German police have identified around 60 far-right adherents as “dangerous” individuals capable of carrying out a violent attack.

On Friday last week, they arrested 12 members of a German extreme right group believed to have been plotting “shocking” large-scale attacks on mosques, similar to the ones carried out in Christchurch in New Zealand last year.


Tuesday 25 February 2020

Mosques With Closed Doors

A couple of months ago I decided to take my toddler to attend Friday prayers at an Islamic centre. Unfortunately, we received looks of annoyance and comments as we entered the prayer room and sat down. Furthermore, my toddler’s crying as I attempted to pray was not well received. To add salt to the wound when another child was crying, a man on the brother’s side thought he had the authority to address the mother in the microphone and say ‘Take the baby out of the centre’. Simply put, mothers and children were not welcome and I left the centre without finishing my prayer.

So, a couple of weeks ago I decided to try out a different centre’s Friday prayers, perhaps this community was different. This time as I sat down my toddler who was fascinated by the scene of prayer mats and chadors started repeatedly saying ‘Allah, Allah’ but a number of ladies gave us stern looks because of the noise she was making so as this room was bigger I moved to the end of the room where I wouldn’t be part of the congregation but at least I could listen to the lecture. One lady came to pray next to us and after several stern looks in my direction she had a full fledged argument with a child who was quietly playing nearby telling him he was distracting her from her prayers and he was encouraging my daughter to move around. Again we did not feel welcome. Both these centres are in the UK and unfortunately these experiences of mine are not unique. Many mothers speak of how members of the congregation make them feel unwelcome in centres here, in a community that calls itself progressive.

In contrast, when I went to Iraq a few months ago I was amazed at how my daughter and I were welcomed in the holy shrines of the Ahlulbayt, which are in fact sacred mosques and not mere centres. Everyone I met there, Iraqi, Iranian, Khoja, Pakistani welcomed my daughter with open arms. During the congregational prayer the whole row I was in would look out for my daughter and pull her back so she wouldn’t go far while we were all praying. We could sit in the shrine for hours and not hear a single complaint. I would take my daughter with me to the actual shrine inside where the grave is found and pray and read, the only things I would receive from others were abundant smiles and sweets. I felt welcome. I had the opportunity to worship without human prejudice.

Our Prophet (pbuh) loved children and he welcomed them into his mosque and showed love and mercy towards them whilst he was praying. The story of Imam Hassan and Hussain (as) climbing on the Prophets back while he was praying is one we must put in to practice. He prolonged his prostration in his prayer just so they could enjoy playing on his back. Children are full of love, joy and they give one immense pleasure. If you look closely, children will show you signs of the Creator, their innocence, their marvel at life and the way they act. They should not be treated as an annoyance or a problem. They and their parents should not be shunned from the centres but must be welcomed.

The Prophet’s mosque in Medina was built to welcome the community of Muslims in to it. People used to go there to pray, to learn, to meet and to build a community. Men, women and children were welcome. What is more powerful than the words of Allah (swt):

[2:114] And who is more unjust than he who prevents (people) from the mosques of Allah, that His name should be remembered in them, and strives to ruin them? (As for) these, it was not proper for them that they should have entered them except in fear; they shall meet with disgrace in this world, and they shall have great chastisement in the hereafter.

Our duty as Muslims is to share our religion, to invite everyone to our faith, to welcome everyone in our centres so that Allah’s message may be heard by all. We cannot bring our children when they are teenagers and tell them that they must attend Islamic programmes now if they have not been nurtured in that environment, they may well protest attending. We must nurture our children in the mosque environment. If mothers continue to be alienated this way then an entire generation will be alienated, the most important generation – our children – the next generation.


Thursday 20 February 2020

Laia Abril: the photographer bearing witness to rape

In a devastating exhibition, the Spanish artist depicts the clothes women, girls – and some men – were raped in. She talks about how her work reveals an epidemic of sexual violence – and how she copes.

What shocks me is how none of this shocks me. It is a familiar story. Weinstein’s team attempt to destroy her in court. Why didn’t she go to the police? Why did she take so long to speak out? Why didn’t she ask a co-star such as Sylvester Stallone to protect her? Yes, she was really asked this. Weinstein denies the charges. The jury started their deliberations on Tuesday.

I am taking in Sciorra’s recent testimony on the way to Paris to meet Laia Abril, a young Spanish artist with a new exhibition – A History of Misogyny, Chapter Two: On Rape. Abril uses photographs, testimonies, framed facts and quotes, archive material and various relevant objects in a way that makes her journalistic training apparent. The boundary between art and activism dissolves as Abril digests stories and then delivers them in ways “that people would be able to relate to” – even if they’d rather not go where they lead.

Given the subject matter, I expect Abril to be sombre. She is the opposite: charming and full of energy and easy to talk to, and I begin to see how so many people have trusted her with their stories and pain. The exhibition is still being installed when I arrive. Downstairs are huge black and white photographs of clothes people were raped in. Above the pictures are their testimonies.

This is not what I was expecting. I have seen shows featuring such clothing before, but there is something about how they are presented here, as objects in their own right, that dislocates you, makes you look anew. Their owners’ testimonies then provide the gut punch. Take the beautiful wedding dress from Kyrgyzstan. It was worn by Alina, who was a victim of ala kachuu, a form of bride kidnapping that is still practised in the country. She was captured and then made to marry the man who “ravished” her.

“I was a 21-year-old student in my fourth year at Arabaev University,” her testimony relates. “I wanted to be a fashion designer.” After the attack, she feared being a cause of shame: “My grandmother asked me not to disgrace the family.” So Alina put on the dress and married the man who raped her.

A photo of a US military uniform brings me up short. Meredith says being in the army means everything is “mission first”. In such a world, a woman does not want to be seen as “weak and emotional”. Meredith knew she had to downplay any injuries – and spent a year being raped by her commander, not wanting to think of it as rape, nor of herself as a victim. I walk past a nun’s habit belonging to a mother superior who abused novices, then a burqa belonging to a woman who was raped continually in a forced marriage in Afghanistan. “It was not sex,” she says, “it was marital rape.”

It took two years for Abril to develop enough trust with these women for them to send her their clothing. “It’s a collaborative process,” she says. Sometimes she talks to them through such intermediaries as psychiatrists. She does not want to subject anyone to yet more trauma.

As we chat, she tells me about the things that motivate her, in particular the infamous “wolf pack” case in her native Spain. In 2016, an 18-year-old woman was gang-raped by five men who were later tried and found guilty only on lesser charges of sexual abuse, as the prosecution could not prove they used violence. One judge said they should all have been acquitted and their only crime was the theft of the teenager’s phone. Last year, after a public outcry, the Spanish supreme court found the men guilty of rape.

In 2018, Amnesty International looked at rape legislation in 31 countries across Europe. Only eight have consent-based definitions. In the remainng 23 countries, if the offence does not include physical violence, it is not classified as rape. What Abril pushes us to confront, then, is rape as an institution, one that is both historicised and normalised. She gives the individual stories context, detailing all the methods that are deployed to blame rape on the woman, from lawyers pointing out that a victim may have been wearing a thong (one is photographed) to “the two-finger test” still used in India, Pakistan and Morocco. This procedure is to determine if a raped woman’s vagina is “habituated to intercourse”. If two fingers can be inserted, the argument goes, it indicates that the sex was consensual.

Then there is the thriving new industry of repairing hymens – or “rebuilding honour” as it’s called in some of the images, adverts, texts and pictures collated by Abril. Not to mention the chastity belts and the strange machines invented to cure frigidity. A vagina can be brought to erotic life by, you guessed it, rape.

There are signs of resistance, though. Abril pays tribute to the wonderful Gulabi vigilante women of India, with their pink saris and huge sticks to beat rapists. There, encased in glass, is one of their wooden weapons. There are also projections from various revenge movies, including I Spit on Your Grave and Ms 45, about a mute woman who goes on a killing spree after she is raped twice.

A triptych of hundreds of blurred faces stops me dead. All of these men, found guilty of abuse, were priests in the Catholic church – not all of the victims in this show are female. How does Abril cope with these stories? “Don’t worry,” she says. “I have two therapists now. When I was working on abortion, for Chapter One, the issue seemed fixable by law, by decriminalisation. But this – rape – is global.” She gestures around the room at all the evidence of horrific acts. “This is an epidemic.”

It is also a war crime, something Abril is well aware of, having visited Bosnia and heard how rape was used as a weapon of war during the 1992-95 conflict. Under the title Rape Camps, she has placed the words: “Serb troops violated between 12,000 to 30,000 Bosnian women.” She also heard stories about Serbs forcing brothers to rape their sisters in front of their parents. “The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia,” she records, “declared that ‘systemic rape’ during wartime was a crime against humanity.”

What Abril sees – and makes us see so clearly – is the institutionalisation of rape through such things as marriage, the military and the church. I am not sure I like the phrase “rape culture” but she does. Rape is the culture, it seems. There are quotes on the wall from Donald Trump (“Grab ’em by the pussy”) and US congressman Steve King, who last year asked if there would be any population of the world left if it wasn’t for rape and incest.

All of this arouses emotion – and it’s meant to. I return to a picture I had avoided earlier. It’s a tiny dress belonging to a five-year-old who was sexually abused by a teacher at her school in Colombia. The other parents turned against the girl’s mother when she complained. Abril describes opening the parcel when it arrived. “The dress was so small,” she says. “I went into meltdown.” It was a while before she could photograph it. Yet, she says, something happens as the work goes up on the walls. All of these stories, all of this information changes her. “ I begin to feel lighter,” she says, and I can sense that.

Education is part of the answer, we agree, but the focus on individuals is not enough: rape happens because it is embedded in the culture. The #MeToo movement may have alerted us to this, but Abril’s work carries a terrifying message: that rape is normal, that it is a system, a way of controlling women across time and culture. You can look away, and I wouldn’t blame you, but Abril refuses to. “I want to understand,” she says. “I want people to understand.”

Some letters have fallen off a wall and she goes over to pick them up. I can’t help noticing that it’s almost all the letters from the word “rapist”. “Isn’t it strange that those are the letters that are falling?” says Abril. We both laugh uneasily.


The Muslim on the airplane | Amal Kassir | TEDxMileHighWomen

Sunday 16 February 2020

Is Coronavirus in China a punishment from Allah?

We do hear people mention that coronovirus in China is a punishment from Allah for the things the communist party has been doing to Uyghurs Muslims. We do not agree with that. Here is a statement from Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi that we came across regarding this issue.

A lot of people are forwarding messages from scholars (or others) who are claiming that the coronavirus spreading in the city of Wuhan is a Divine Punishment upon the Chinese people for what is happening to the Uighurs.

This type of categorical declaration is not only unbefitting from a theological perspective, it is also unbecoming from a humanitarian perspective.

No one amongst us is qualified to speak on behalf of Allah. We are not in a position to declare why something is happening, or to link a general tragedy to a specific evil. And we are not demonstrating mercy when we claim all the people being subjugated to this are being punished for a crime most of them have nothing to do with. Imagine if (may Allah protect all of us!) something happened in your city and to your family, and others said this was because of something your government did!

Rather, we say as the Prophet (salla Allah alayhi wa sallam) said, when our mother Aisha (ra) asked him about plagues: "This is a punishment that Allah sends upon whoever He wishes, but Allah has also made it a mercy for the believer. So whoever is afflicted with a plague in his town, and he remains in it, patient, expecting Allah to reward him, knowing that nothing shall happen to him except what Allah has decreed, shall be rewarded the rewards of a martyr!" [al-Bukhari].

So we learn that yes, every single disaster, personal or communal, can be a result of sins, and has the potential to be a punishment, but we don't link it to any one sin or crime. And we also give hope to those who are in such places: turn to Allah, seek His help, be patient, and know that nothing happens except with the Decree of Allah. We do not cause them to feel bad or claim they are all being punished or - God forbid - gloat over their tragedy as some seem to be doing.

Every single disaster, personal or national, has the potential to be a punishment, or a means of mercy. It is how we respond that dictates which of the two it falls into.

And Allah knows best.

Note: It's actually sad that I need to make this disclaimer but some people always read in the worst: my support for the Uighurs has been loud and vocal, and I have given khutbahs, raised awareness, and made qunut for them. Of course we are enraged by what the government is doing, but we do not gloat over any communal disaster as a response to our anger.

Friday 14 February 2020

The actual date of birth of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

I intentionally did not want to write about this in Rabi-ul-Awwal because I did not want to hurt anyones feeling. The fact is that it has to be said. A lot of Muslims celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). First, there is no Islamic basis for this celebration. The second is that the data it's celebrated on is the 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal. There is a lot of controversy around this date.

The only mention of this date is in the book of Ibn Ishaq but it is mentioned without any chain of narrators. There are other dates like 2nd, 8th, 10th, 17th & 22nd that have a lot more backing.

So why is this date so popular. Below is a talk by Saikh Yasir Qadhi on this topic. Here is an article on this topic.

Tuesday 11 February 2020

Be charitable in your actions

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) has said: “Every single Muslim must give charity every single day.” When asked who would be capable of doing such a thing, he replied, “your removal of an obstacle in the road is a charitable act; your guiding someone is a charitable act; your visit to the sick is a charitable act; your enjoinment of good to others is a charitable act; your forbidding of others from wrongdoing is a charitable act, and your returning the greeting of peace is a charitable act.” (Biharul Anwar: Volume 75, Page 50)

Saturday 8 February 2020

Muslim Languages and Kuffar Languages

I heard a story recently of a small boy whose first language wasn't Arabic but he picked up Arabic and now insists on speaking it. He mentions that Arabic is the language of Islam while other languages are Kafir languages. This reminded me of Surah Rahman (55). A tafseer by brother Nouman Ali Khan here explains the Ayah 4 I was thinking about nicely.

Ayah 1:
The Abundantly Merciful

Ayah 2:
عَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ
'Al-lama al Qur'an -
He taught the Qur'an.

Ayah 3:
خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ
Khalaq al Insaan -
Created the Human being.

Ayah 4:
عَلَّمَهُ الْبَيَانَ
'Al-lama hu al Bayaan -
Taught him the Beautiful Conveyance of Speech.

To make the human capable of understanding the Qur'an, Allah gave us the ability to speak in eloquence and to understand such speech.

For teaching the Qur'an, Allah said; 'Al-lama (Taught).

For teaching Bayaan/Eloquent speech - Allah also said; 'Al-lama (Taught).

This shows us that Allah taught us both the Qur'an, and also all Languages.

Allah taught Adam the name of all things:
وَعَلَّمَ آدَمَ الْأَسْمَاءَ كُلَّهَا
And taught Adam the names of all [things].. [alBaqarah 2:31]

Which shows that the honour of humans speaking -while knowing what they are saying- is an honour which belongs to Allah. So humans should be thankful to ar-Rahman (the Abundantly Merciful) because He has given us humans what no other animal has the ability to achieve [- to speak/communicate eloquently with understanding of what we are saying].

This shows that this honour of speech should be used for good and beautiful speech, and for reciting the Qur'an. Not for insults, swears and dirty language - since that is a sign of being ungrateful of Allah's favours.

Of all of the languages Allah taught; Allah honored the language in which He sent His final message; the Qur'an in Arabic speech.

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ
We have surely revealed it in an Arabic Qur'an that perhaps you might understand. [surah Yusuf 12:2]

We see a Recurring Theme in these aayaat of Extreme and Magnificent Blessings of Allah;

Ayah 1: the Abundantly Merciful.
Ayah 2: the greatest manifestation of that Mercy = the Qur'an.
Ayah 3: the Greatest creation of Allah = Insaan (humankind).
Ayah 4: The Ability for us to Speak and Communicate with each other in Language.

Even Modern Philosophers are saying; the Root of all knowledge is language - that is the key. Just as Allah already told us.

One of the signs of being the best is to have speech, then to reach the best of the best is to become a student of the best speech - the Qur'an.

All languages are taught by Allah عزّ وجلّ and we should respect them whether it is English, French, Swahili, Afrikaans, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Punjabi, Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, etc. There are no Kuffar languages.

In Surah 49 Verse 13, Allah عزّ وجلّ says:

يا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْناكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ وَ أُنْثى‏ وَ جَعَلْناكُمْ شُعُوباً وَ قَبائِلَ لِتَعارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَليمٌ خَبير

"O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted."

Here again, Allah عزّ وجلّ says that he not only gave us different languages but also made us different races, different tribes, etc. In the end, we are all children of Adam (peace be upon him)

A very old video from Ustadh explaining Ayah 4 from Surah Ar-Rahman.


Tuesday 4 February 2020

Supplication of the Oppressed

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, even if he is an unbeliever, for there is no barrier between it and Allah.”
Source: Musnad Aḥmad 12140