By Husain Zakariyya Yawale
“Our Lord! Make us not a (test and) trial for the Unbelievers, but forgive us, Our Lord; for Thou art the Exalted in Might, the Wise. There was indeed In them an excellent example for you to follow,- for those whose hope is In Allah and In the Last Day. But if any turn away, truly Allah is free of all wants, worthy of all praise.”[al-Mumtahnah: 5-6]
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah! We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our evils and bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and final messenger to mankind. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers till the end of time.
Today’s discourse is solely meant to address our shortcomings and deficiencies as Muslims, and look inward deeply in order to aptly dispense blames and faults to the entire Muslim Ummah all over the world, and most especially of this nation. I precisely mean to point the accusing finger to the accused, in line with the sacred words of Allah the Most high:
“O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, As witnesses to Allah, Even As against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both; follow not the lusts (of your hearts), Lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, Verily Allah is well- acquainted with all that ye do.”[al-ma’idah: 135]
Today, though it is better to late than never, we must, as a matter of expediency and want of correction, look inwardly in order to ascertain the extent of our faults as they caused serious defects to the world order as they affect religion, politics, economy and social dispensations! To say that Muslims are blameless to the global disorders, insecurities, killings and corruption today, is to repudiate righteousness in its entirety. In fact is to uphold injustice and iniquities to the human race!
Today, the entire world has changed; altered not for the better but for the worst! There are rampant waves of mistrust, suspicions and insecurity.
Everybody is complaining of disrespect of human dignity and violation of personal innocence. Every person is expressing resentment and dissatisfaction of injustices, of economic woes and inequalities, of social injustices and of lack of confidences and sanctuary. The West is accusing the Muslims, and the Muslims are blaming the West. The non-Muslims are directing their accusing fingers at the Muslims, and the Muslims are sentencing the Christian leaders. But the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, the Muslims have their own share of the culpabilities for the present worlds’ disorders! The pre-911 world today has become a tale and legend! Currently many people are asking, usually in disbelief, will there going to be a duplication of a without terrorism? A world which warrants liberty to move around and associate freely? A world which is full of security and trust for everyone and everywhere? A world devoid of terrorists, and without aggressors and tyrants!
Allah (SWT) has elated and elegized this Ummah in the Qur’an in several places more than 1,500 years ago! He says and confirms the equilibrium nature of this in all aspects of human activities; that is to say Muslims are unprejudiced and impartial to all peoples and religions:
“Thus, have we made of you an Ummah justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations…for Allah is to all people Most surely full of kindness, Most Merciful!”[al-Baqarah; 143]
It is this inherent fairness in the Ummah in her relationship with other communities and nations gave her the affirmation to spread the message and teachings of Islam to all the nations. He says:
“Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity.
In addition, the presentation of the truth must be carried out in a manner that is most appropriate and conforming to the realities on ground. Alla says:
“Invite (all) to the way of Thy Lord with wisdom and preaching; and argue with them In ways that are best and Most gracious: for Thy knoweth best, who have strayed from His path, and who receive guidance.”[an-nahl: 125]
Thus, the secret for the accomplishment and triumph of the Ummah is bonded on three platforms;
a. Its ability to sustain equity and fairness in all its dealings, notwithstanding cultural or racial differences
b. Acquiring and equipping with relevant knowledge and education in undertaking the task of spreading and inviting the people to the truth
c. Its commitment to calling others to the way of Allah and His deen in a manner prescribed and taught by the leader of humanity, Prophet Muhammad (SAW)
d. Its perseverance to live as good ambassadors and examples of Islam in all circumstances.
Hence, once the Muslims can remain obliged to these aforementioned determinations, the terror, the hatred and the animosity against Islam and Muslims will cease naturally, and in their stead confidence, love and admiration. Subsequently, Islam will blossom once again; Muslims will then reoccupy their rightful places!
Then Muslim Ummah must raise and live up to its responsibility and obligation as allotted to them by Allah, the Most High! Allah says:
“Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing In Allah. If only the people of the Book had Faith, it would have been best for them: among them are some who have Faith, but Most of them are perverted transgressors.”[al-Imran: 110]
The Muslims of the glorious days when they were sincere adherent of the true and pure teachings of their religion, they were feared, respected and trusted. I remember during my childhood days when I will be making money for slaughtering the chickens of the Christians and non-Muslims during the
Easter and Christmas celebrations living in our neighbourhood. Today, Muslims are not invited to help kill the sacrificial animals and birds of the non-Muslims; the respect and adoration have gone with the winds!
During that sublime period, Muslims were not indulging in guzzling all types of liquor or smoking substances. Muslim women were decently covered with hijabs and move unnoticed in the Ummah. They were modest in their affairs and moderate in their quests; they were not materialistic ostentatiously!
Any nation that lives in accordance with the prescriptions of Allah and His Apostle will forever remain strong, dynamic and prosperous. But, when we make sincere assessment of our state of affairs in relation to this verse, we will surely be disappointed and saddened.
Today Muslims all over the world, in hamlets and villages, in cities and towns, are in different stages of despair, dejection, desolation and dissolution about the chaotic nature of the entire Ummah. We seems to be backward in almost everything aspect of human endeavours! Politically they are disunited and disenfranchised. Economically they are virtually unproductive and recessive. Educationally they are ebbing because their children have taken to drugs and liquor! Today you can only see the children of the Muslims roaming the streets of all major cities and towns either in search for alms or peddling and vending worthless stuffs.
Socially they are retrogressive due to their poor level of exposure and interpersonal relationships! Unfortunately all these negative trends are abhorrent to the very teachings and messages of Islam. Islam is a way of life chosen by Allah for mankind. It is the religion of decency, knowledge, mercy and good human relationship. It is an embodiment of understanding and indulgence.
Similarly, one will be traumatized to find that Muslims’ interpersonal relationships are characterized by distrust, deceitfulness and dishonesty.
Many of them today will never trust their brothers with a coin to keep or to invest; they will rather other people.
Materialism has overtaken most Muslims nowadays. The get rich quick has eaten deep into their psyches. Worst of all without matching struggle to amass the wealth. Indolence and slothfulness still remain the enemies of their progress. The too rich amongst them are readily willing to go any
length and breadth that will excessively increase their ‘fortunes’ without recourse to the Day of Recompense! Today not only money is worshipped, but anything can be worshipped if at the end money will come overflowing!
Next Friday is not far from today; we will continue, in sha Allah!