The Fate of Muslim Ummah

Thinkers have coined a new term ‘endism’, which means that all ‘isms’, all ideologies, all systems, have exhausted their credibility as modern man’s ideal. Endism is the belief that something of significant scope and duration is coming to an end.

Muslims generally see these changes as a tide that is going against them, as a danger, in fact, to Islam. This kind of thinking is quite wrong and is no doubt against the teachings of Islam. The Quran says: “Surely with every hardship there is ease.” (94: 6) It means hardships and ease inevitably coexist. They have been ordained inseparable.

Modern changes have brought problems in their wake for Muslims, but these changes have also created new opportunities. Fortunately the opportunities far exceed the problem.

Video Transcript
Video Transcript

Dr Mohamed Morsi is the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. He won the election and was appointed as the President of Egypt. But after one year as President he was deposed by the Egyptian army. Now he has been put in jail. This event was a very provocative for the Muslim people all over the world. The whole Muslim world turned angry. On reading Muslims’ magazines, papers, you will see that everywhere they are issuing fiery statements against this deposition. I have read many of these statements. The gist of these angry pronouncements by Muslims is their claim that when the Muslim Brotherhood gained power in Egypt, the western world took it as a danger. Muslims are saying that the West felt that the history of the Crusades was being repeated. Thus, for Muslims the western nations hatched a conspiracy, and certain Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia supported their designs. By the support of all these anti-Islamic forces, the Egyptian army deposed Morsi. So according to the Muslim leaders, this event was a conspiracy hatched by anti-Muslim forces.


Where is God’s Help?

If it were a fact that what happened in Egypt was an act of enmity of western nations and Israel, then the question arises as to where God Almighty is. The Quran says that God never goes to sleep. (55:29). Also there are dozens of verses in the Quran that tell us that God will not allow anti-Islamic forces to overpower Muslims. There are numerous such verses. Then why does God Almighty became indifferent in the matter of Egypt? Why did Muslims fail to receive the help from God? How did this come about?

According to my knowledge of the Quran, I can say that the kind of reaction given by Muslims to Morsi’s deposition is baseless. This event invites Muslims to reset their goals, revise their policies, and to rethink their situation. Their protests and demonstrations will not do. I have studied a lot on this matter. I can say that the root causes lies in the Muslim themselves. Here I would like to recall the history of Muslims. The history of Islam began in Arabia in the first quarter of the seventh century. Then Islam had spread with great speed throughout the world, and now there are more than one billion Muslims throughout the world.


Revival not through Jihad

But there is a law of nature with regard to nations. This law covers all the nations. And Muslims are not an exception. This is the law of decay. When we talk about other natural phenomena, we can say that they undergo decay. But when we refer to the human condition, we describe this law of decay as degeneration. So, after some centuries, the Muslims underwent the process of degeneration. This process reached its culmination in the eighteenth century. This was the century of decline for Muslims. Now the time was to revive Muslims again. However, what was this scheme of revival? All the Muslim leaders adopted one method, that is, the method of jihad. Their diagnosis was that Muslims were surrounded by enemies, who had destroyed the Muslim empire and had oppressed them. So, for Muslim leaders they were facing the phenomenon of enmity by an anti-Muslim world. Thus they started jihad against the “enemies”, that is, they adopted the political method for the purpose of revival of Muslims. The political method is inherently a confrontational method. Therefore, it was but natural that there ensued fighting, violence, and war. Muslims were engaged in such violent activism. But all their efforts failed. They sacrificed a lot in terms of time, money and life. However, their jihad completely failed. Here the Muslim leaders should have introspected, studied the Quran and found out where they were wrong.


Dawah, Not Political Empire

The mistake was that the Muslim leaders adopted the wrong method, they wanted to regain the political empire for Muslims. This was a wrong goal. Political power needs a political team. If you have a prepared political team, then you should aim at establishing power otherwise not. Muslims in the eighteenth century were reduced to a degenerated lot, they were in the worst state of their decline. This kind of ummah couldn’t rule the world. This was impossible for it to do. Therefore, they did not receive God’s help and failed in their endeavour.

The real goal for Muslims was dawah ilallah. All Muslim scholars must issue a fatwa that we should adopt the same method which the Prophet had adopted. He started his mission as a dayee. The Quran says: “O Prophet, We have sent forth you as a witness, as a bearer of good news and a warner. As one who calls people to God by His leave, and guides them like a shining light.” (33:46). This was the way in which the Prophet started his mission, and received gradual achievement. Finally, Muslims achieved political power. But, they didn’t achieve it in the beginning. This was the final stage of the prophetic endeavour. One great Muhaddith has said that the Muslim ummah must adopt the same method which the Prophet had adopted. When the Muslims degenerated and became a spent force, the time came to return to the Makkan strategy. It was not the time to wage jihad or establish political power or regain Muslim empire. This choice was quite wrong. The Muslims must go back and adopt the same method that was adopted by the Prophet in Makkah, which is the method of dawah.


Be Well-wisher and Abandon Violence

But dawah is not a simple act. It requires some conditions to be fulfilled. For example, you will have to act as nasih, or well-wisher for the madu or mankind. It was time to repeat this history. Muslims have developed hate for other nations. After the eighteenth century came the age of the printing press. This was a great blessing for the Muslim leaders. It was a great opportunity to spread the message of Islam, to train and educate Muslims. However, the leaders utilized the press for spreading hate and negativity for other communities. The whole of Muslim ummah developed hatred for the rest of the world. This is against the dawah spirit. Now if we want to repeat the history of the Prophet, we will have to give up all negative propaganda for our madu. We have to show the spirit of well-wishing towards all these people. This is the first condition for doing dawah. Without inculcating the spirit of well-wishing in your heart, you cannot do dawah.

The other condition is that Muslims must abandon all kinds of violence. For example, in several countries there are Muslim groups which have acquired arms. First of all you will have to disarm all these groups. Simply talking about peace is not enough. Unless you disarm all these Muslim groups which are engaged in violence, no plan for peace will work. You will not be able to achieve ant kind of positive goal.

First is to reset your goal, that is, you have to adopt dawah as your target. Then there are two conditions. First, to behave in a friendly manner towards all mankind. You have to inculcate the spirit of well-wishing in your heart. Then, you have to abandon all kinds of violence. Even to talk in violent terms should be abandoned. There are two kinds of violence: passive and active. Those who are not engaged actively in violence but talk of jihad or enemies, are actually engaged in passive violence. The other kind of violence is active. There are groups in Muslim countries which are actively engaged in violence. Muslims must adopt pacifism as a policy, or peaceful activism as their policy. Otherwise, there is no hope. You will never receive divine blessings. Without divine blessings, there is no success.

The history of two-hundred years of Muslim condition, that is, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, are witness to this. For example, Amir Shakib Arslan published a book: Why Have the Muslims Become Backward While Others Have Advanced? He suggests that Muslims should do jihad to regain their position, they are not succeeding because they are not doing jihad. This author was not directly engaged in violence, but in this book he is passively talking about violence. Then there are some other groups in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., which have organized themselves into armed groups. They are actively engaged in violence. This is the picture of the whole Muslim ummah.

Without dawah Muslims cannot receive divine blessings, and without receiving divine blessings there is no success. I will say in the strongest terms that if Muslims want to receive divine nusrah, they must adopt the path of the Prophet. That path was the path of peace. The Prophet of Islam was a pacifist. His method was the method of peace. Ayesha says, “When the Prophet had to choose between two, he chose the easier option over the harder option.” (Bukhari). The easier option means opting for peace and the harder option means opting for violence. This was the Prophet’s method. He always opted for peace while Muslims today have opted for violence. Unless Muslims abandon this policy, they will not receive divine blessings. I will strongly urge Muslims to reset their priorities and goals, and abandon hate or violence, and engage in dawah work


Questions and Answers

Q1. Why do Muslims adopt two different methods: one in personal life and another in social life?

A1. When a community becomes degenerated it adopts double standards. It adopts for its personal life what is better in terms of results. But, when it comes to the community issues, they adopt stage activism. In their personal matters they adopt the right method which yields positive results. However for community matters they issue statements, talk in fiery terms, do demonstrations. These double standards are a result of degeneration.


Q2. What is your opinion about dialogue between Israel and Palestine?

A2.  The first condition is to disarm the violent groups working in Palestine. Simply dialogue and negotiation will not work. Without disarmament no result will be yielded. These people are unaware of the root cause of the problem. Dialogues will not do if the non-state actors continue to possess arms. Dialogue is not the beginning. Without disarming the violent groups, dialogues will prove to be futile.


Q3. Why did Muslims not understand the prophetic method?

A3. The root cause for this is reaction. The Prophet of Islam started his mission as a positive action. But now the situation is different. In 19th and 20th centuries, Muslims adopted the method of reaction. This is the basic reason for deviating from the prophetic method. Reaction always leads to anger and violence. And positive action leads to peace and love. When Prophet started his mission there was no background of having lost political power or status. But in the modern times the situation was different, that is, Muslims lost their earlier status as political powers. So they developed hate for those who took away their power. This was the time to restudy the Prophet’s method instead of simply reacting violently to loss of political power.

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