The following thought provoking article is By Abdullah Al Andalusi.
Everyday Muslims pray for peace, security, unity and respect for Muslims and Islam. And everyday, the treatment of Muslims in Muslim-minority countries gets worse. Everyday, Muslim majority countries become more unstable, rupture into sectarianism, internecine warfare, or their arise even more vicious dictators than before.
People hold their hands up to Allah (swt), yet see no improvement and then wonder why.
Many seem to forget why Allah (swt) made Insan (mankind). Allah (swt) did not make mankind so that mankind could do nothing and have Allah (swt) serve them – let alone only answer their prayers when they do nothing and then pray for luxuries and comfort. Allah (swt) made us to revolve our entire lives around Him, and commanded us, as one people, to unite (in our affairs – i.e. politically) with each other, protect, help and excel with each other.
The more Muslims persist in being individualistic, sectarian, compromising to foreign powers, unable to debate with each other without fighting and insulting, and abandoning the Islamic world project that the Prophet Muhammed (saaw) passed on to us – the more wars will happen, more exploitation, more sectarian fighting, and more instability.
This is evident in that many Muslims don’t want to challenge Asabiyah, like nationalism, believing it to be harmless, yet it is nationalism (under the guise of ‘national interest’) that makes Turkey and all the Muslim countries not make a serious attempt to rescue Aleppo (how is that possible against Assad? Well remind yourself, what did the Muslim countries do to rescue Afghanistan from Soviet Union?). Nationalism made Iran rescue its secular Ally (despite decade-long claims Iran wants ‘Islamic revolutions’). It’s nationalism that made the Kurdish YPG help Assad close off Castello road and starve over 250,000 men, women and children. Nationalism made Jordan stop the southern pressure against Assad (at the behest of the US to prevent the fall of Assad). Nationalism split Bangladesh and Pakistan. Nationalism makes some Muslim Baloch groups fight against their brothers in Pakistan and Berber groups feud with Arabs in Algeria. The list is endless. And everyone sides with America or other historical foreign powers against each other, because America always offer short-term benefits to them – while in the long term they collectively will lose.
Sectarianism (another form of Asabiyah) makes Muslims turn a blind eye to the massacres done against sects they do not approve of, but complain when it is done to their sect. Sectarianism makes so-called ‘religious’ groups ally with rabid Secularists against their brothers and sisters.
We complain when the world doesn’t show us respect, despite the fact that we do nothing to earn it. In fact, many Muslims believe if they compromise enough, and assimilate themselves enough, they will be respected. But when has a people who change their beliefs, culture or practices to pleases others ever been truly respected in the history of mankind? If a person is bullied, does the bully begin to respect the victim, because the victim gives the bully their money, or possessions in return for not being bullied? No.
We know what we have to do to change things, but we don’t want to give up our small pathetic comforts that were passed down to us by our colonialised predecessors. Many don’t want to give up nationalism, many don’t want to give up sectarianism, many don’t want to trust in Islam and put our minds to work to create a viable society and government that operates on a completely different basis than just power and social status (as our societies currently operate on). It is not our incapacity that causes all this, but the biggest lie and biggest obstacle we put upon ourselves – our own justifications of all of this.
We justify why our ‘nation’ should be selfish for its own ‘national interest’ arguing that what materially benefits themselves is surely the ‘wisest action’, and doing otherwise will cause material harm to befall us. We justify why we should be sectarian, by arguing that even though foreign powers who reject the Prophet Muhammed (saaw) are better than our brothers who love the Prophet but who follow a different interpretation in some of the branches of Islam. We justify to ourselves that Islamic government is not good, because it is impractical (i.e. difficult to implement, and disliked by foreign powers who we simply ‘must’ please in the hope they might one day let us shine their shoes).
And when trials and tribulations befall us, some of us lie against Allah (swt) and say ‘this is not to teach us a lesson, but only a sign of the end times, so there is no point changing anything’. As if they were greater than even the Prophets of God who themselves didn’t know when the end times were coming. This was just as silly now as it was when some defeatist Muslims thought the loss of Al Andalus, the Levant to the Crusades and the destruction of Baghdad by the Mongols meant the imminent arrival of the end times…and that was 700 years ago.
You see, like a pampered, lazy and jobless (out of choice) adult who lives off his parents because he was spoilt by them, and who makes excuses not to find work, it is our lethargy, desire of easy comfort, and refusal to broaden our minds and understand the world that makes us want just wallow in our routine, repetitive and pointless lives – regardless of how increasingly backward and humiliating it is.
The cure for a pampered, spoilt, lazy and lackadaisical adult, is to remove their privileges and make them strive to build up independence for themselves and seek out a future for themselves.
So Allah (swt) in His wisdom is putting us through trials, trials that will take away everything from us, stability, peace, wealth and respect – until we lose the comforts that we depend on, and are left with only Him (swt).
The issue Muslims must learn, is not only action, but wisdom. Wisdom to know just how highly potent the unused solutions we have in our own hands. We may get money from selling our resources to foreign powers, but we then buy at much higher price, manufactured goods from them too – wasting our money. Countries become wealthy by investing their resources in their own industry and building up their own self-sufficiency (I mean, does anyone ask what America actually does with the oil it imports?). Muslim lands should develop our own technological base building everything they need for defence and developing our own scientific research with homegrown scientists who do not need to be sent to Western universities for training. We can put our minds on creating an alternative economic system based upon investment driven co-operation and not unstable (and inequality creating) interest-based loans, fiat currency or stock markets. And this is just a small taste of what a revived and self-sufficient people could look like. Muslims could elect a united government that could provide equal treatment for Muslims of all schools of thought, while implementing Islamic laws and rules (which are mostly commonly agreed between the schools, and have more agreement between the schools of thought than any other political ideology or religion, including Secular Liberals [who infamously only agree on the name of their ideology]). Imagine a government when power wasn’t based upon the support of a majority sect or minority ethnic group, but based upon the religious obligation of all Muslims to support it? Would it be more just and stable or less than the current governments in the Muslim world which depend or ruling families, factions and ethnic groups?
So blame not Allah (swt) for our predicament, Allah (swt) is only giving you the opportunity to help yourselves by taking away the things that imprison you until you choose to free yourselves. So blame only yourselves. And if you think it will pass if you keep your head down, then know that this is the same thing your immediate ancestors had said before you, and those before them, and those before them for the past 200 years. Have things got any better?
The Prophet Muhammed (saaw) is narrated to have said: “By the one who my soul is in His hand, you shall enjoin the good and forbid the evil, or Allah will be about to send a punishment to you from Him, then you will call Him and He will not answer you” (Reported by Tirmidhi)
The Prophet Muhammed (saaw) is narrated to have said: “Allah does not punish the general masses for the sins of the few evil-doers, until they see the evil apparent and they are able to forbid it (but they don’t). If they do that (not forbid the evil) then Allah will punish the general masses along with the few evil-doers” (Reported by Ahmad)
Ali ibn Al-Husain said, “The one who abandons enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is like the one who discards the book of Allah behind his back”
‘Why were there not, among the generations before you, persons possessed of balanced good sense, prohibiting (men) from mischief in the earth – except a few among them whom We saved (from harm)? But the wrong-doers pursued the enjoyment of the good things of life which were given them, and persisted in sin. And your Lord would not have destroyed the cities unjustly while their people were reformers [of the people]’. [Quran 11:116-117]