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When the Ummah is tested: Causes & Solutions

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When the Ummah is tested: Causes & Solutions

By: Mufti Muhammad Fārūq Meeruti (Rahimahullah)
 
“Verily Allah does not change the condition of a people unless they change it themselves.” (Qur’an 13:11)
 
The Muslim is daily faced by a host of new problems and difficulties. Their lives, property and self-respect is trampled upon and worse than that, their religious matters are tampered and interfered with, their Masjids are under constant threat and are disallowed proper implementation of their Islamic law.
 
Our Blindness
Despite this, the Muslim considers these to be chance occurrences or mere coincidences, thus never pausing to even consider the actual cause and reason behind this suffering. At the most, a few concerned souls, who are momentarily stirred by this state of affairs, call up some fancy conference, pass a few vague resolutions and disappear back into oblivion, contented that they have fulfilled their duties towards Islam.
 
The Diagnosis
A dire need exists for us to study the Qur’an and Hadith and thereby realize the primary cause for our disgrace and downfall. It is an undisputed axiom of reality that no incident occurs in this universe accidentally. Allah and His Messenger Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam have explained to us in the Qur’an and Hadith:
 
“And whatever calamity befalls you, it is due to your own doings and Allah forgives many of your shortcomings.” (Qur’an 42:30)
 
“Corruption has spread on water and land due to the doings of mankind in order that Allah make them taste the penalty of some of their doings. Perhaps they may retract (from their disobedience).” (Qur’an 30:41)
 
Gratefulness
Proper appreciation of Allah’s bounties is the correct utilization of these favours. To utilize life, health, faculties of sight, hearing, feeling, thinking, locomotion, finances, status and position, all for the pleasure of Allah and in accordance with His commandments is true appreciation of Allah’s bounties. The anti-thesis of this is ungratefulness, which invites the wrath and displeasure of Allah.
 
Heavenly Blessings (Barakah)
Adopting a life of Taqwa (piety) i.e. fulfilling all the commands of the Shariah and abstaining from the prohibitions is the cause of blessings descending from the heavens.
 
“If the people of the locality had believed and adopted Taqwa (piety), We would have opened upon them the blessings of the heavens and the earth; but they denied and falsified, thus We seized them due to their actions.” (Qur’an, 7:96)
 
The Consequences of Sin
With regards to the verse, “And whatever calamity befalls you, it is due to your own doings.” (Qur’an 42:30), Rasulullah (Allah’s peace be upon him) explained the tafsīr of this verse to Hadrat Ali (may Allah’s be pleased with him) thus:
 
“O Ali! whatever calamity befalls you: illness, affliction or any worldly calamity, it is the earning of your own hands.”
 
Once Asmā bint Abi Bakr Radhiyallahu Anha experienced a headache. She exclaimed, “This is due to my sins.” (Durr al-Manthūr, Ibn Kathīr)
 
Our Condition
Let us now examine our lifestyles. Salaah, which has been described as the criterion between Imaan and Kufr (disbelief), how much does it feature in the life of the Muslims? How many adhere to the other basic requirements of Islam such as fasting, zakat, and hajj? On the other hand, consider the prohibitions of Islam, how many Muslims are engrossed in these day and night? How many have adopted these as part of their lifestyle? Liquor, Interest, Adultery, Bribery & Corruption, Disobedience to Parents, Enjoining Right and Forbidding Evil, Oppression and Injustice, Dishonouring the Ulama etc. are being perpetrated by Muslims on a daily basis.
 
Our Example
How cruel have we been upon ourselves that due to our sins we are constantly involving ourselves in disasters and calamities? At the same time, we continuously lament and wail away at our pathetic condition. Our example is like that of a person suffering from diarrhoea and yet continues to take laxatives, complaining all the time of diarrhoea. What could be said to such a fool?
 
Oppressive Leaders
In a similar way, today we complain about the oppression of our leaders, whereas these leaders have been appointed over us due to our transgressions.
 
Rasulullah (Allah’s peace be upon him) said: Just as you (i.e. your actions) are, so will your rulers be.
 
It is a popular adage: “Your actions are your rulers.” In other words, [based upon] your actions will your rulers treat you.
 
This is the example of the Muslim Ummah. If we are disobedient to Allah, He appoints the weakest of nations upon us. They torture and oppress us most mercilessly. Our only salvation is by turning to Allah in sincere regret and repentance. Then no nation – not even the so called superpowers – will have the courage to stare at us!
 
Time and again, we are crushed by disasters and calamities. Our laments, complaints, and wailing never end. Yet, when our shortcomings are pointed out to us, we remain totally indifferent and heedless. Never have we even attempted to bring about any reform within ourselves. Never have we attempted to avoid those destructive sins and crimes that are the direct sources of our misery and suffering. It is most astonishing that when an ordinary doctor warns of some epidemic, we are hasty to inoculate ourselves. Yet, when Allah and His Rasul (Allah’s peace be upon him) are consistently guiding us towards our success and warning us against our destruction (with the greatest of concern and sincerity) we remain totally unmoved and heedless, and we plunge headlong into those very pitfalls of destruction.
 
Our only road to success and glory is total obedience to Allah and His Rasul (Allah’s peace be upon him) and following step-by-step the path tread by our pious predecessors.
 

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Part 2

Jungles Cleared
History proves that this is how the Muslim will attain victory and glory over the world. This is how the Muslims of yonder, despite being in the minority, conquered city after city, country after country, and ruled the world over centuries. Then not only did they rule over land and people; they even ruled over animals and the elements of nature.
 
When the army of the Sahabah stood on the shore of Africa’s formidable jungles, then the commander-in-chief, Hadrat Uqba (may Allah’s be pleased with him) made an announcement to the speechless inhabitants of the jungle: “O residents of the jungle! We are the Sahabah on our mission. We request you to clear this jungle. After this ultimatum if any of you are found herein, we will kill you!”
 
Hardly was this announcement completed that streams of deadly animals, herding away their young ones, were seen exiting the jungle as swiftly as possibly.
 
Lions Tamed
A Sahabi, Hadrat Safīnah (may Allah’s be pleased with him), once lost his way and strayed away into a jungle. Suddenly a lion appeared. He introduced himself to the lion and explained his plight to it. Waging its tail like a subdued puppy, the lion led the way for him, growling away any would-be attackers, and finally led him to a clearing where an army of the Sahabah (may Allah’s be pleased with him) was encamped.
 
Seas Subjugated
In the battle of Madāin, the Sahabah needed to cross a stormy sea in order to reach the enemy shores. There were no ships available. Hadrat Sa’ad (may Allah’s be pleased with him) instructed his army to plunge into the sea in pairs of two. The horses pranced across the water most calmly. Hadrat Sa’ad (may Allah’s be pleased with him) was heard saying, “Verily Allah will certainly assist His friends; Allah will certainly grant them victory over their enemies until they do not commit injustices or until their vices do not overpower their virtues.”
 
Similar is the incident of Hadrat Ala bin Hadhrami who crossed the sea with an army of four thousand soldiers. Such was their crossing that not even the hooves of the horses became wet.
 
Oppression – Its Results
History is replete with incidents of the destruction of the oppressor and the alleviation of the oppressed. Did Allah not disgrace Namrūd at the hands of his populace and destroy him through an insignificant mosquito?
 
Did He not protect His friend, Hadrat Ibrahim (peace be upon him) from the blazing inferno and convert it into a garden of bliss? Thus Allah assists the oppressed and destroys the oppressors.
 
Did Allah not crush the proud and mighty Pharoah and elevate the oppressed and down-trodden Bani Isrā’īl?
 
History bears ample testimony to the fact that so long as the Muslims continued to uphold the Qur’an and hadith in their daily lives, countries – nay, empires crumbled at their feet. Small bands of devout Muslims were sufficient to awestruck and demolish mighty forces. Emperors of superpowers trembled at the mere thought of the Muslims.
 
Yet these very victors of mighty empires, when they succumbed to comforts and luxuries, discarded the Qur’an and hadith, resorted to oppression and cruelty of their subjugates, became power-drunk and arrogant and indulged openly in wine and women, fell from the glorious pinnacles of civilization and progress into the abyss of disgrace and stagnation.
 
Slumber of the Muslim Nation
With great regret and sorrow it has to be noted that despite all these upheavals, the Muslim nation continues to slumber away. Never have they taken lesson from their past and never have they formulated a directive and a goal for the future. Never have we pondered over the vicissitudes of life, the daily lessons of the change of tides in the affairs of the world. Despite being totally insignificant in the affairs of the world and in the eyes of non-Muslims, we continue to labour away in this false sense of pride that we once ruled the world. The Muslims continue to lead a sedentary existence of listlessness, heedlessness, indulgence in luxuries and pleasures, false pride and vain glory, sin, crime and transgression, oppression and exploitation, ignorance in trade, commerce, science and technology. On the other hand they are involved in mutual hatred, enmity, racism, discrimination, embroiled against each other in court cases and lawsuits.
 
Their ignorance of religion compels them to uphold meaningless customs and rituals; and competing against each other in these, they spend lavishly and large sums of money, involving themselves at times in massive debts accompanied by hefty percentages of interest. Ultimately they have to sell hearth and home to alleviate these crushing financial disasters and land up as penniless paupers on the side of streets. Due to lethargy and indolence they are not prepared to undertake labour or any menial occupations and finally end up as the scum and scavengers of society: abject beggars at the doors of all and sundry. What a dismal picture! When will we awake?
 
The Cure
This is merely a framework and a totally elementary program for general upliftment and reform of the Muslim Ummah:
  • Every Muslim, male and female, must immediately resolve to at least fulfill the basic requirements of Islam, especially Salah.
  • A massive educational program to be specially launched on an organized basis with emphasis on religious education and more so education of adults.
  • Basing our social life on the Sunnah and our economic activities solely on the laws of the Shariah.
  • Total abstention from mutual conflicts and in-fighting.
  • In case of contention, to amicably solve any problems through proper arbitration.
  • Dissociation from all customs and rituals at the time of birth, marriages, funerals, and other occasions.
  • Particular emphasis on cleanliness, health education, and physical fitness.
 
May Allah grant all Muslims the good of both the worlds.

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)

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