In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Conviction has also four aspects to guard oneself against infatuations of sin; to search for explanation of truth through knowledge; to gain lessons from instructive things and to follow the precedent of the past people, because whoever wants to guard himself against vices and sins will have to search for the true causes of infatuation and the true ways of combating them out and to find those true ways one has to search them with the help of knowledge, whoever gets fully acquainted with various branches of knowledge will take lessons from life and whoever tries to take lessons from life is actually engaged in the study of the causes of rise and fall of previous civilizations . By Hadrat Ali (R)
Since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre’s and the Pentagon in America on September 11, 2001, the occupation of Afghanistan by the American military in October 2001 and the occupation of Iraq by the American and British military forces in March 2003, Muslims worldwide are questioning why they are being targetted by the modern super powers and what had happened to the Islamic Empire that could have defended them and the reasons for its decline?
With regard to the answer to these questions, I believe it has become pertinent for the survival of Muslims in the 21st Century, to determine and to share ideas on how we can critically access the reasons for our decline, our problems and the solutions for our revival and renewal.
It is about 1437 years since the Prophet (S) of Islam brought a dynamic Divine Message and it is appropriate and fitting in times of tribulation, to systematically research and analyse what has happened to Muslims in the condition of history and discover some of the problems that suggests uncertainty for the contemporary Muslim societies.
Will Muslims, question what transpired in their history sincerely and critically pursue the causes that brought about their ignorance and subjugation? Will they continue to ignore the vital signs for change or be distracted by their emotions and overconfidence which in my opinion will lead to more violence, disunity, disillusionment and a further decline? Subsequently to this assessment will the Muslims take responsibility and implement solutions constructively so as to progress on the path of recovery and re-education?
What we do read and hear is that for centuries the world of Islam was the foremost of human civilization, accomplishment and a dynamic way of life. In the designation of history when European history was termed Medieval, Islam was going through its strides of enlightenment and the achievement of a superior and advance civilization.
A Glorious Past Disintegrates
Now, by 1492 the stronghold that was Andalusia (Muslim Spain) had fallen to the Christian armies. Though, the balance of power for the Muslims continued with the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453. By the late 15th Century C.E., the Tartars of the Golden hordes that had converted to Islam in 1252 C.E. were toppled by Russia. This narrowed the Muslim power base to the Ottoman Empire. By 1924 The Ottoman Caliphate was destroyed and there was no longer a central Muslim power or leadership. The Muslims lands were colonised in the 18th and 19th Century by the European powers.
After the demise of the Ottoman Empire, the colonial super powers had created the modern “nation states”, each with a nationalistic flavour that fragmented the Muslim political power base and destroyed the central administration of the Caliphate, an institution that stood for more then 1300 years. These Colonisers begun to systematically hatch their agendas, establish and wield their power in the Muslim lands.
Many Muslim tribal leadership and groupings supported the imperial colonisers due to the violence and difficult conditions imposed by the Ottoman Empire. To site an example is when the British supported the various Arab tribes to unite under the Saudi family against the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire became fragmented and was destroyed politically, ideologically, internally and externally
This British expanded their power in the Middle East by restructuring political leadership of the Arabs and entrenched their interest effectively in these lands. The political manoeuvring of Britain, France, Italy and other colonisers destroyed Muslim brotherhood and the concept of the Ummah.
Muslim countries were ripe for occupation. France colonises Algeria between 1830 and 1962 and Morocco 1912-1956. Italy suppressed Libya from 1911 right up to the Second World War (1939-1945).
A Blind Future
Due to the demise of the central administration and leadership of the Ottoman Caliphate a variety of groups and movements sprouted in Muslim countries, some with good intentions which led to alien ideas that were linear, pedantic and unaware of the current situation and did not analyse the Muslim predicament of the era correctly.
Groups as the Ikhwanul-Muslimeen of Egypt, Tabligh Jamaat of India, Jamate-Islami of Pakistan, Wahabism and Salafi movements from Saudi Arabia, Pan Arabism as in Libya, Egypt, etc, the secular Baath Parties in Syria and Iraq and the secular movement of the Young Turks in Turkey, The Algerian Socialist experiment etc, were reformist, resurgent, nationalist, political reactions, unsure of their new ideas divided the Muslim Ummah (Community).
These responses and reactions were narrow and were “a little too late” and brought on the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 by Britain and gave birth to the unresolved issue of Kashmir and the occupation of Palestine by the Zionist with the help of Britain and France in 1948. As there was no central authority of the Caliphate after 1924 or a consultative forum or a united power or political base the Muslims were ripe for the fulfilment of violent agendas of the Western powers and their cohorts, arrogant takeovers which dissolved any ideas of peace in these lands.
In the 1950’s, new Imperialist powers as America and the Soviet Union entered the Muslim lands and continued to fan the flames of Muslim disunity and ignorance. There strategic involvements were Geo-political and an economic one, as oil was discovered in Bahrain (1932) and Saudi Arabia (1936).
Western Politics, technology and greed
Western countries were advancing in the scientific and technological fields in leaps and bounds and they required resources as oil to ensure their growth and enhance their socio-economic and political supremacy. Obviously the oil factor changed the political strategy of the Imperialist and they ensured that cooperative Muslim leaders would make certain that their agendas would continue unhindered.
The colonisers centralised their political authority and policy through the formation of the modern “nation states” which expanded their supremacy. Several of these Muslim “nation states” were founded on greed and Muslim disunity, which brought new found wealth and power for countries such as Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates etc, who pointed their allegiance towards capitalism and free markets systems that were conceptualised and invented by the Western hegemony for their ends.
The failure to deal effectively with the Western challenge and onslaught, without competent leadership and division, created a hopelessness that haunted the Muslim population which led to cataclysmic disorder, economic oppression and tyrannical leaders which has continued in the 21st Century.
The reason why this scenario was allowed to develop was due to the fact that a balance of power was non existent in the Middle-East and the Muslim World. The Imperialist did not respect the dignity of Muslims and considered them a defeated people, who had lost their Islamic heritage, were a backward civilization that must accept and appreciate Western democracy and the rule of Western Law.
It seems obvious that Muslims had slid into decadence even if one skims the surface of recent Muslim history. In the beginning of the 18th Century there was still hope that the Muslim leadership could have reformed and changed the course of history and save the Muslim World the embarrassment that they are experiencing in the 21st Century.
By the 19th Century, it was hopeless and the Muslim leadership and various communities had deviated from the the harmony of the Islamic message which had created a humanitarian people, a powerful civilization and a vibrant culture that the world respected. Corruption and ignorance had set in so deep and it was a matter of time that the technologically superior and a disciplined western civilization out manoeuvred the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) and buried the “sick man” of Europe.
A critique and a discussion
This effort and critique is to find reasons for the quandary that Muslims find themselves in the contemporary era and how to reform themselves in the 21st Century. Nor is the study comprehensive or methodical, but highlights and briefly discusses some of the difficulties and problems that may have led to dysfunctional and fragmentation of ideas that have steered Muslims away from the guidance of the Qur`an and the Prophetic way.
The task and the priority to rekindle the spark of dignity by Muslim experts as anthropologist, sociologist, historians and other specialists individually and collectively pursue, systematic scientific research programs and creative efforts to establish as to why this vibrant culture of the Muslims went into a decline and to find practical solutions for its renewal and revitalisation.
Six topics or issues have been chosen for discussion to find a response for a renewal and hopefully begin a debate which may lead towards a healthy change and revival. - Insha-Allah.
The salient issues in my opinion for discussion are as follows:
1. Towards an enlightened re-education
2. Science and Technology
3. An Attitude towards women
4. An Attitude towards Muslims
5. An attitude towards non Muslims
6. An attitude towards Allah and His Rasul (S)
Towards an enlightened and transformative re-education:
A major problem arose when Muslims scholars and jurist compartmentalised knowledge to what is religious and secular. When this occurred, the order that Allah had instituted in the Caliphate-ul-Ard (the responsibility accepted by Adam (AS) as vicegerent of the earth) could not be fulfilled as our knowledge became more ritualistic and narrow. The responsibility of a vicegerent of the Creator is to take charge of the ecosystems, sustainable development and an equitable socio-economic and a just political system for the happiness of mankind and His Worship.
Therefore in the light of this huge responsibility, all knowledge that pleases Allah (S) must be pursued and practised and all knowledge that did not please Allah (S) one should at least have knowledge of them so as to understand the difference.
For example a Muslim scientist who uses his knowledge to protect the earth and benefit mankind for the pleasure of Allah (S) should also be classified as an Alim (a person of knowledge) and his or her effort is seen as fulfilling their worship (ibadah). There are many similar examples in the various fields of knowledge as Engineering, Economics, Arts, Philology, Sociology, Political Science and other Sciences, etc. Ultimately Allah is the owner of all knowledge and one of His names is Al Alim (The all Knowledgeable) and he bestows knowledge on Whom He pleases. It is essential that humankind pursues such an undertaking with responsibility, morality and a courtesy (adab) to Him.
The most knowledgeable and perfected person was our Rasul (S) who was sent as a “Mercy for the worlds”. He encouraged his followers to learn, teach and to do things proficiently. The Qur`an and the Prophetic way is a guide to develop educational concepts and systems that will transform individuals and communities for the benefit of mankind.
After the Battle of Badr, The Prophet (S) set many Meccans prisoners free, if they educated a number of Muslims. This standard and action of the Prophet (S) encouraged the early Muslim community in a realistic manner and the involvement of learning in dynamic and difficult conditions.
The Prophet (S) reflected his perfect behaviour as the science of perfecting the “self”. The Rasul (S) was in awe with his Creator and loved His creation. His beautiful character groomed his companions (R) and prepared them for a task to develop a community of super human-beings that were examples for future generations. They were consistent and enlightened through self knowledge and transformed by the message and practice of the Qur`an and the way and teachings of the Prophet (S).
The seeking and practice of Knowledge is the foundation of Islam. There are two categories of knowledge in Islam, Fard e Ayn (revealed) and Fard e Kafaya (acquired). Fard e Ayn knowledge is compulsory for every individual Muslim male and female to acquire. It includes the knowledge about the pillars of the Islam, the articles of faith, and the Shariah (Divine Laws).
On the other hand, Fard e kifaya knowledge is obligatory upon the community. Each community should ensure that there are some people who are knowledgeable in the acquired or intellectual knowledge’s essential for the survival of the society, such as medicine, the arts, mathematics, natural and applied sciences social sciences etc. The Prophet (S) said; seek knowledge as far as China. Concepts as Iqra (read or recite); taffakur (contemplation), tadabur (thinking or deduction) and tazakkur (lightning remembrance of Allah) are Qur`anic concepts and are tools that develop the mind, which is guided by Allah.
A serious note which, should be considered during a revival and renewal of Muslim societies that both these types of knowledge should be taken seriously in the contemporary age for the development of every Muslim male and female in Islam. These forms of knowledge are essential for the development of the “self” which is the idea to creatively develop vibrant and transformed individuals who will steer their families and communities towards a society that will be a healing for themselves and humankind.
Science and Technology
Today, this aspect of “rational” knowledge and learning is mustered by the West. Most of the world essentially receives benefits from these services and comforts from the West. During the early years of Islam, it was the Muslim scholars that translated the Hellenistic knowledge and it was Muslim intellectuality and scholarship that kept the Muslim world ahead and vibrant in the 8th to the 12th Century.
The Muslims of that era did not become corrupted by the Greek way of life; instead they adopted what was beneficial for the evolvement of the Muslim thought and ideas. It was later when Muslims were unable to filter the corruption of their own ideas with the Divine message that decline and decadence of that society set in. Pursuing the potential for reform amongst Muslims, it must be noted that the Islamic message has a self-corrective mechanism within its teaching. If there is any doubts or un-clarity within any ideas that one is pursuing then one rechecks the criteria based on the Qur`an and the Prophetic way.
It was western technology through the age of the Renaissance and the Industrial age that subsequently left the Muslim cultural heritage far behind. This is illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman Empire when the West showed superiority in the sea faring adventures due to their exploits of the unknown world (the America’s). The newfound technology in the West began to challenge the Muslim military prowess.
Militarily, the Ottomans lost Vienna and by 1696 C.E., they were ready and forced to discuss peace. The Ottomans had suffered serious territorial losses and for the first time in their history, signed a peace treaty at Carlowitz in 1699 C.E. The peace signed was the first military defeat and humiliation for Muslims by the superior Christian adversaries. This peace sealed the fate of the Ottoman Empire as a great power and it was the beginning of its slow decline which led to the distressing position of Muslims in the 20th and the beginning of the 21st Century.
The Ottomans were slow in catching up with scientific developments, which were taking place in Europe fuelled by the Renaissance and the Industrial Age. The West improved agricultural methods while technology and industry advanced rapidly in all endeavours. The printing press was invented and many Islamic books were translated into German and French that contributed to the intellectual rise and vibrancy of the West. There intellectual accomplishments and grooming developed various schools of philosophy and thinking as the enlightened age, the rationalist, the empiricists, modernism, the positivist, post-modernism, structuralist and post structuralist, deconstructionist etc, that gave them further superiority in the various sciences and ultimately in the political and economic world.
An Attitude towards Women
Our views and treatment of women was brought into focus in Afghanistan recently during the rule of the Taliban (1994-2001). The Taliban closed educational institutions and in most cases women were not allowed to pursue progressive education and learning. Although there are many unanswered question with regard to the socio-political environment in Afghanistan it is evident that the grooming, education of women and families were remote from the teachings of Islam.
A Western comparison was in 1665 C.E. when A Turkish writer Evliya Celebi visited Vienna and he saw that whenever the emperor met a woman in the street he would take his hat of his head to show respect. In the Christian lands, this respect for their women was due to their love for Mother Mary (Maryam (AS)). This action emphasised rights and acceptance of women in modern Western societies although many views can be seriously debated and the outcome is far from clear or just.
Muslims must understand their responsibilities and emulate our Beloved Rasul (S) on the treatment of women. He paid as much attention to the education of women as to that of men and even developed a close social, relationship with many women. He gave them dignity, equal to men in the Islamic community. In his sight, women and men were equal members of the society, each contributing to its growth, prosperity and development in their own sphere and in their own way, being neither superior nor inferior to the other. The Prophet (S) brought a standard for the rights of women unequaled hitherto in the contemporary era.
Consider Aysha’s (R) and Khadija’s (R) (wives of the Prophet) role in the Rasul (S) life, then one may appreciate his close association with women. It was from his wives narrations and wisdom that we have learnt and gained insight about the Prophet (S) personal life. Their views have benefitted scholars and knowledgeable people to discover and practice the tenets of Islam accurately and in detail which impacted vibrantly on their lives.
An Attitude towards Muslims
The Caliphate under the Ottomans in the beginning was an excellent example of a just administration and government. Later on it was mostly despotic and corrupt and did not last. They did influence Eastern Europe but they were nationalistic as the Arab’s rulers were in Spain. The Arab who conquered Spain with the Moroccans and North Africans did not appreciate the full potential of diverse cultures and brotherhood. They dominated the leadership, government and were not even-handed or very sincere with the people they governed. This cultural shock and narcissistic behaviour continued with the Turks as they fought not only the Christian West but the Muslim Arabs and Muslim Persians as well.
Egotistical, cultural blockages and narrow mindedness are the results of our interpretation of Islam. We repeat this violence today and this is how history “repeats” itself. This errant behaviour has brought our destruction, fanaticism and ignorance.
In the 21st Century, Muslims are extremely disunited and the institution of the “Ummah” (Muslim community) exists only in name. To show some of our divisions and to realize the efforts required for unity is huge and horrendous because of our intolerance towards each other. Consider the difference between the Mazhabs (Muslim schools of jurisprudence) and the many sects that have proclaimed themselves as the only ones to be followed. The various movements and organisation all claim and profess being correct.
Considering our present condition and a question as to who is correct is sometimes seen to be far from the Original, Living and enlightened Islam of The Qur`an and the Prophetic way. What did the Noble Prophet (S) suggest when he said that there would be 73 sects in Islam and only one will be correct? In my opinion, he was seriously misunderstood with regard to this Hadith (The Prophets (S) written words). What he meant was that any person or group are correct if they follow the Qur’an and his Sunnah. This point can be emphasised when so many Mazhabs, Sufi Tariqas and individuals who sincerely follow these principles. This diversity is part of the single unity which is the correct path - Islam.
Groups, organisation, movement and people become a sect when you have to follow them, and they take from Allah’s message what they like and discard aspect as they deem fit. They become the power that must be followed.
It is Allah (S) who is the power behind all power. It is essential that we understand the nature of belief and accept the total and comprehensive message of Allah (S) and His Final Messenger, the Prophet Mohammad (S).
An example that can be appreciated is that of Sheikh Abdul Qader Jilani who never wanted anyone to follow him, but to teach and present in a humble and enlightened way the message of Islam. He could not be followed as he himself had to follow the message of Islam. Similary organisation or individuals can be respected, but one has to be careful not to follow them as they may be extinct in the future and Allah’s message lives forever.
The Din (way) of Islam is a way of life and characterises a total Worship of Allah that was perfected by the Prophet of Islam (S). Our education, politics, economics, social structure, justice, behaviour, our living and dying, responsibility of the earth and responsibility of Allah’s creation are all for the pleasure of Allah and must be within the boundaries of the Divine Laws. We do not worship the Divine Law as they are a means to Allah. We use these Divine laws as a guidance to ensure our worship, our character, behaviour and our happiness are for the pleasure of Allah.
An attitude towards Non Muslims:
Muslims have been calling Non Muslims barbarians and infidels from the time of the Crusades. Muslims should remember that students came from the Christian lands to the courts of Andalusia in the glorious days with Muslim dress and turbans. They enthusiastically emulated our vibrancy, scholarship and calmly developed the Industrial Revolution and the enlightened age that led to the Rise of the West.
Non-Muslim merchants travelled far and wide in Muslim lands, whereas Muslim had an extreme reluctance to travel in the West.
Who are the philosophers, historians, sociologist, scientist, nature preservers, economist and strategist in the modern world? Did Islam not say to Non Muslims, that you do not follow what we follow and we will never follow what you follow? So peace to you and go your away and we ours.
The Glorious Qur`an says that there is no compulsion in religion. This beautiful injunction clarifies that no one can be forced to do something that he does not want to do. This concept of “no compulsion” is critically expressed in the confidence of the Islamic message that teaches correct behaviour so that anyone can be convinced by its sheer beauty, majesty and practice of its guidance. This explains why the Wise Qur`an instructs all Muslims to make Dawah to non Muslims, but it emphasises that it should be done with wisdom, beautiful exchanges and discussion.
Muslims have to produce a superior civilisation and behaviour from the teachings of the Qur`an and the Rasul’s character for humanity to understand and appreciate the “wonder” that is from Allah. The Prophet of Islam was sent by Allah as a “Mercy for all Mankind”. His message is for Muslim and Non Muslims. That is our legacy and that is our heritage.
An attitude towards Allah and His Rasul (S)
Allah is the Reality – a Muslims faith (Iman) must facilitate his education, he must be intelligent, honest, sincere, have insight (basira), be cautiously aware of Allah (Taqwa) which will lead to an extreme closeness with his Lord.
An important reminder specially, during anxiety, calamity and the seeking of sustenance (rizk) one must rely totally on Allah who is the Sustainer, Protector and Provider. Muslims requires a higher education in Iman, Islam and Ihsan, to show that during tribulation and admonition in life that Allah is the Reality.
The Noble Qur`an in Surah 48 Al Fath (The Victory) Verse 10 tells us:
“Those who pledge you (Muhammad) their allegiance,
pledge allegiance to Allah.
Allah’s hand is over their hands.
He who breaks his pledge only breaks it against himself.
But as for him who fulfils the contract he has made with Allah,
We will pay him an immense reward.”
Whatever Allah (S) tells us in the Noble Qur`an one should accept without dissatisfaction. When we do not comply with Din (Islam) then there are questions about our belief (Iman).
To follow principles that acknowledged Allah and His Rasul, holistically means that we do not take what suits us or suit others. We must take the entire message for our guidance and implement it in our lives. This is essential for the revival of Muslims.
When a person pledges allegiance to the Rasul (S) he pledges his submission to Allah (S). Allah (S) will reward that allegiance and protect such a person. After the Noble Qur`an we emulate the Prophetic character and his teachings.
Serious efforts and solutions
Some solutions and opinions have been illustrated but it is urgent and important that a serious effort, discussion and comprehensive evaluation are pursued in the 21st Century by all Muslims to use the correct road map which can be implemented for their revival and integrity.
Firstly, Muslims must be groomed perfectly, so that they are transformed by the knowledge of the self and emulate the behaviour of the Prophet as the Walking Qur`an.
Secondly, to groom individuals who will reflect this behaviour within a family, community and nation. This will be the Madinah behaviour, with its vibrancy dealing with new challenges creatively and cautiously in the contemporary era, pleasing Allah and following the character of the Rasul (S).
Thirdly, this behaviour must appreciate the institution of the Vicegerent and inculcate values that protects, sustains and nourishes the earth and all Creation for the pleasure of Allah.
Fourthly, to progress all knowledge that benefits mankind and pleases Allah. Every faculty of Knowledge must be suitable for the well-being of Allah’s creation and for His worship and pleasure within the domains of the Qur`an and the Prophetic way.
Fifthly, Muslims can have creative ideas and potentials, but must unite under the banner of the Shahada and within the broad values of Islam, Iman, Ihsan and the Last Day.
Lastly, the Qur’anic worldview is a message for all time; therefore it continues to refresh our ideas based on the issues and condition of today. It acts as a reservoir of solutions based on our relationship with our Creator and the respect we have for our Rasul (S). The Qur’an is timeless and does not contradict its own correctness thus it ensures a message for our guidance and our healing for all time and for all people. Therefore it is of utmost urgency that a Qur`anic cognitive educational system is formulated and structured for the present generation of Muslims which will deal with issues that concern them.
A return to Blessed States
When Muslims accept Allah’s rules and His Rasul’s judgement completely, then He Blesses them with the following states:
1. The Nur of Allah will cover you internally and externally
2. Understanding - fahm
3. Patience - sabr – He will not test you more that you can bear
4. Strength - Kuwa
5. Mercy - Rahma
6. Knowledge - Ilm
7. Unveiling, revealing the face of Allah
8. Absolute support of Allah
9. Total satisfaction - Rida – happiness and
10. Opening the secrets – E.g. When one observes a man making Wudu one sees his sins being washed away or when one shines one’s heart with the remembrance and consciousness of Allah then He allows you to reflect each other’s heart, to reveal inner intentions and agendas.
Test and tribulations with patience:
When one is on this path of perfection we must know that Allah (S) will test ones credibility, belief, behaviour and especially one’s patience on the path of Islam. And the test will not be more then one can bear. The following are the types of tests and tribulations that one can be challenged in life.
2. Extreme wealth
6. Shortage of everything
Who is to blame?
When we consider our history we may blame many nations for our problems. First, we said that it was the Mongols who eroded our heritage in the 13th Century. Then the Arabs could lay their blame on the Turks. The Persians could blame the loss of their glorious period on the Arabs, Turks and the Mongols.
Today we blame the imperialist, the Americans, The Russian, The British, The French, the Zionist etc, but it is giving into a more a self-critical approach, which will return us to Allah our Creator. Muslims must change their lives by worshipping Allah as enlightened human beings.
It is of utmost importance that Muslims remain vibrant, steadfast and creative during tribulations and difficulties. It is in these trying periods that the best must be achieved and not to be complacent or lose hope. It is essential to visualise the future, to plan and remain ahead. Consultative decision processes and solutions must relate to the current problems within the condition of history for our renewal and transformation. We must develop self organising; lateral and creative systems of thinking and action that will manage new enlightened educational methods in a practical and systematic manner that will lead the way to change and a renewal.
In the contemporary era our transformation and its method must embrace the entire message, teachings and practice of Islam. Muslims are failing to understand the inner meanings and dimensions of the Islamic message which perfects a character that Allah Loves. Muslims must find the balance between the self and their role in the world and in conjunction with the Divine Laws. Allah is Harmony and those that worship Him will suffer the most if they break that harmony.
It is said that if a people were to “occupy a state” in America and proclaim it as their democratic country. What do you think will happen to this occupation? In my opinion they will face the full might of the American “Armada” which will destroy the very idea of this “so called’’ democratic state and blow it into oblivion. But when Palestine was occupied by the Zionist in 1948 the super powers supported and recognised it. The reasons were obvious, because there was no balance of power and as far as the hegemonies of the world were concerned, no response is required for a people that are disunited, squabble amongst themselves, hate and destroy each other, are ignorant, greedy and a weak people who were defeated.
How long and what will it take to reorganise the Muslims to regain their dignity and resilience which will resemble a humanitarian heritage who made an impact for a thousand years? Rasul (S) through his correct conduct and behaviour towards Allah and His creation transformed his people within 23 years and became the leaders of the world. Allah was pleased with them and they were pleased with Him.
It was an “Iqra”, learned and an Allah conscious (Muttaqee) leadership and people that contributed to the rise of the early Muslims and later influenced the West from Andalusia (Spain). Subsequently, due their own folly, ignorance, narrow mindedness and disunity brought their decline and the continuing disillusionment in the beginning of the 21st Century.
Therefore, Muslims have to take responsibility for “what they did not do right” and this admission will be the beginning of change for a vibrant renewal. It is essential that Muslims sincerely understand that they must first return to Allah, for Him to return to them. This foundation must be laid on a Tauheedi principle (unity of Allah) which must be solid and led by the people and friends of Allah.
May Allah keep us in His Presence and in the company of the Salihun (The righteous) and the Siddiqun (The truthful) and the Auliya (His friend). He sent the Last and the Final Messenger, Muhammad (S), the Prophet of Islam who is a blessing and mercy for all the Worlds.
To Allah belongs what is in the heavens and the earth. He is the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful, He is the First and He is the Last, He is our Guide, He is our Protector and He is our Sustainer. We worship Him and we ask Him for His Help with cautious awareness and beg Him to keep us as a believing Creation. Protect us from the tribulation of the grave and the fire of Hell. May He forgive us and give us redemption in this World and the Hereafter from our weakness and shortcomings. Amen.
A Future Article: How we can do things right…. Insha-Allah
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA.
Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri
Sister Najma Ansari
Brother Yusuf Nazeer
1. Spanish Islam By Reinhart Dozy
2. The Ottomans By Andrew Wheatcroft
3. A History of the Middle East By Peter Mansfield
4. Beyond the Muslim nation-states By Kalim Siddiqui
5. Seven Pillars of Wisdom By T. E. Lawrence
6. What went wrong? By Bernard Lewis
7. The Taliban By Ahmed Rashid
8. At tanvir fi Iskat at Tadbir By Ibn Ata’illah Iskandri
10. The Noble Qur`an Translated by Abdalhaqq and Aisha Bewley
11. Blood on the cross By Ahmed Thomson
12. The History of Western Philosophy By Bertrand Russell
13. The Universe in a Nutshell By Stephen Hawkins
14. Islam the natural Way By Abdul Wahid Hamid
15. Islam By Fazlur Rahman
[Added September 24, 2004]
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