Message to the Muslims in the West

    The wind of adversity is all over the world against those who profess that Allah is One and believe in all messengers of Allah, from Adam (peace be upon him) to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). This adversity is temporary and fleeting. Such tests have come to Muslims before. In the past they did not succumb under pressure and did not accept the pagan alternative. Now we too have to do the same.

    Muslims have nothing to do with terrorism, with the ad hoc violence and mischief that is spreading from one end of the earth to the other. This is the work of the traditional mischief mongers. They did it at the time of Musa (peace be upon him), they did it at the time of Isa (peace be upon him), and they have been doing it throughout the tenure of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).  So the enemies of themselves are doing what they know best to do: causing mischief in the earth. It will not stop until Isa (peace be upon him) comes back and by Allah’s permission puts an end to it. Our job as Muslims is to practice and preach what we have been commanded and be steadfast and patient and stay the course. Allah’s promise of victory and dominance for His deen is unchangeable. Allah says, “Say: Obey Allah and obey the messenger. But if ye turn away, then (it is) for him (to do) only that wherewith he hath been charged, and for you (to do) only that wherewith ye have been charged. If ye obey him, ye will go aright. But the messenger hath no other charge than to convey (the message), plainly. Allah (the Exalted and Glorified) hath promised such of you as believe and do good works that He will surely make them to succeed (the present rulers) in the earth even as He caused those who were before them to succeed (others); and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He hath approved for them, and will give them in exchange safety after their fear. They serve Me. They ascribe no thing as partner unto Me. Those who disbelieve henceforth, they are the miscreants. So establish regular Prayer and give regular Charity: and obey the Apostle; that ye may receive mercy.” (An-Nur, 24:54-57) Have we not read these verses many times? This message for Muslims is summarized by Maulana Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali an-Nadwi in a lecture he directed towards us. He used to remind Muslims to be together, have strong faith, work together, forget petty differences and stand for Allah’s message and guidance.

Message to the Muslims in the West

To my brethren who are not seeing me and whom I am not seeing, greetings of Salaam upon you.

    You are very fortunate indeed, as Allah has placed you at a new gold mine, or rather at a new mine of jewels. This is the mine of searching human souls, agitated hearts and restive minds that are looking for a path, a way that will restore to them faith and certitude, establish their link with the Creator of the Universe, make them understand His qualities and attributes, and His unique relation with His creation. They are looking for a path, a way that can create in them the exalted motivations to grasp the expanse of the cosmos, the depth of the human soul, and the flights of the human spirit. Allah has given you this opportunity, which was not accessible before to many scholars and pious figures. They used to long that Allah would give them the opportunity to introduce some new spirits to Islam, to build their confidence in Allah and establish their contact with Him. They used to pass ages without finding such an opportunity.

    Allah has sent you into that land. I do not subscribe to the logic of accidentalism. My mind cannot accept that anything in this world can happen without the will and plan of Allah. I believe that Allah has chosen you to live in that land, in the New World so that you may discover that New World. It is time now that the New World be rediscovered. It is time that every one of you seeks the discovery of a new world. You have a golden opportunity to discover a new world. The “new world” that I am talking about is not a continent, but a world of humanity, human progress, and human perfection. Whosoever will discover this new world will do a favor to humanity greater than what Columbus did. To discover a new continent for the exploitation of one’s nation and its conquests is not a favor to humanity.

    You must protect your own faith. The word ‘protect’ however, I consider below the rank of a Muslim. A Muslim is the protector of the faith of the nations of this earth. He protects their proper relationship with Allah. To tell a Muslim to protect his own faith is below the rank of a Muslim. But the winds of faithlessness that are blowing around, and the new mental and spiritual unrest that is prevalent, especially in America, makes me say that you must protect your faith there. You must in fact increase your faith. The failure of western culture, and the inadequacy of science and technology to fulfill those objectives of life that bring peace and satisfaction should urge you to present to them the noble message of Islam.

    As the Arab envoys said long ago, we came to free men from being slaves of other men to becoming the servants of Allah, and to free them from the narrowness of the world to the vastness of the world. Today, this mission is as important as it was in the seventh century after Christ (peace be upon  him); indeed, it has become even more important now. It is possible to fulfill this mission today as it was in the sixth and seventh centuries.

    This mission was accomplished then by human beings, by the members of this ummah and not the prophets. Those desert dwellers of Arabia, the camel riders and tent makers, they went to the courts of Caesar and Khosro and presented this message to them. They entered Rustam’s palace which was especially decorated for that occasion and when they were asked, “Why did you come here, and what has brought you over here?”, theirs was a terse, bold answer without hesitation: “Allah has sent us and appointed us that we may, by His leave, liberate mankind from being slaves to each other to being the servants of Allah and from living in the narrowness of the world to living in the vastness of the universes.” They meant to say that what you consider as the world is very small and narrow. Your world is only the world of food and drinks, of luxuries, of fulfillment of material needs. Your world is limited to some families, some factories, or to some fun places, but the real world is much bigger and greater than that. It is the world of spirit, of Iman, of divine love, of human compassion, of universal brotherhood of man, and the world of efforts and labors to bring happiness to the hearts and souls of others. This world is greater than your continents. If your continent were to be thrown in the ocean of this vast world, it would be no more than a small pebble.

    This is our message to all Muslims. One of your brothers without seeing you, but trusting your faith, asks you that when Allah has sent you to this new land, you become the ambassadors of Islam there. You are the unofficial ambassadors. You are not paid any salaries, or have any formal contact with any government, but you are the direct ambassadors of Islam; ambassadors of faith, morality, and goodness. Wherever you are, and whatever social or economic levels of life you are in, you must consider yourself as the representatives of Islam and its religious ambassadors.


Published: August 2005