Action is Required; Despondency is Not

    Generally speaking the aggressiveness that one used to witness in the writings and speeches of “Muslim Scholars” all over the world is at the very least significantly subdued. The sermons on Jihad, destruction of Israel or the “Shaitan Western Governments” groups is low-keyed, sporadic or altogether missing. Cursing or seeking destruction of a whole group of people just because they are causing unjust harm to Muslims in their ignorance is not the tradition of our beloved prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). No Muslim needs to be reminded what the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did after the people of Taif severely ill treated him. Muslims, for whatever reasons are showing signs of restraint in response to the unjustifiable actions of the kuffar. These are good signs. Extremism and Islam do not mix. Allah describes very clearly the Muslim Ummah thus: “And thus have We made you an Ummah justly balanced (moderate) that ye might be witnesses over the humanity and the Apostle a witness over yourselves;…..” Al-Baqara, 2:143

    Unfortunately moderation and the “Muslim leadership” for the last few centuries, at least since the actual colonization took hold of Muslim lands, has been a rather rare commodity. Even today, while muted by the pressures of the time, this tendency to covet extremes is not totally nonexistent.

    We have among us people who are exploiting Islam for their personal interests. Such people have to hide behind Islam to save their personal interests. They may not even be averse to being involved in some extreme and Islamically unjustifiable activities. Then among us there is another extremist party - those of us who tirelessly keep themselves busy in projecting these “extremist elements” as the sole representatives of Islam and in as negative a manner as they could to please their neocolonial masters.

    So there are two extremes at work in Muslim societies: the one that hides behind Makkah projecting Islam to be their inherited property and trying to “defend” it by any legal or illegal means and the other that hides behind Washington, rejecting Islam as much as it feel is necessary for staying in the good books of kuffar and their agencies. Both claim that the majority of Muslims are behind them. In fact, the majority suffers, largely without a voice of its own and crushed between these two extremes, one helping to please its extremist domestic constituency and the other struggling to please the masters and foreign sponsors.

    This dichotomy afflicts us not only on the national level but even at party and community and masjid level the symptoms of this sickness are plain to observe. It is a vestige of the colonial domination in our behavior and it is responsible for our failure to build and strengthen our communities according to the Islamic code of life and to set a working example of a functional moderate Muslim society. Only despondent people go to extremes. People who are promised salvation and deliverance do not resort to extremes, neither are they despondent. Allah does promise those who are moderate salvation and deliverance: “But Allah will deliver the righteous to their place of salvation: no evil shall touch them nor shall they grieve.: Az-Zumar, 39:61.

    Muslims have failed to successfully implement the orders of Allah, that we are one Muslim united nation, not fifty-six isolated helpless nations or millions of independent quarreling masjid communities. “Verily this nation of yours is a single nation and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore serve Me (and no other).” Al-Anbiyaa, 21:92. “And verily this nation of yours is a single nation and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore fear Me (and no other).” Al-Muminun, 23:52

    We have failed in nation-building because we have failed miserably in community building. There is not one viable Muslim community or party that is self-sufficient, self regulating and self governing and totally, voluntarily practicing the rules of Sharia in their entirety and exclusively to please Allah. This situation has generated desperation. A desperate people, crushed between the two extremes, cannot be made into a solid and cohesive state. Especially when the “governments” which supposedly represent Muslim interests are themselves riddled with contradictions under the influence of external forces and the agendas of those who can make a difference are only for addressing their vested interests. Consequently, during most of the time since our so-called independence in the last century Muslims could not create a viable Islamic state. What a shame.

    The problem really lies with Muslims, with us. We must begin grassroots movements to build “Muslim Communities”, Ribaat if you prefer, self-sufficient, voluntarily self-regulating, self-governing and above all trying truly to imitate the mercy and kindness of the last Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who was sent to all the universes. “We sent thee not but as a mercy for all universes.” Al-Anbiyaa, 21:107.

    Our situation demands an action not despondency.


Published: April 2005