Muslims’ civilizational failures and the new hope
Dr. Firoz Mahboob Kamal
The core Islamic concept and the Divine obligation
A state is the most powerful institution on the planet. Both the best and the worst can be done by the state institutions. But an institution can’t work on its own, it needs an ideology, a methodology and the right type of people to excel in its works. The ideology decides which way the state should go -good or bad. In this regard, except Islam, all other religions do not prescribe any roadmap for state-building. Nor did prescribe any law or social policy for societal justice. The founding fathers of these religions were not state-builders either. Therefore, they couldn’t present themselves as a role model in politics -the most important aspect as well as the most defining characteristic of humans that differentiate them from other species. Politics is such an integral part of human life that the Greek philosopher Aristotle defined humans as political animals. Hence, a genuine religion must not be silent or non-prescriptive on such a crucial issue. And a man with an iota of humanity must not stay away from politics.
Of all religions, Islam is the only exception that made taking part in politics and state-building a religious obligation. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) -the last prophet of Islam was a statebuilder and was the Head of the state for 10 years. So, he could leave a huge treasure of legacies in statebuilding and running a state. It is indeed the most sacred jihad –a life-long holy struggle. So, a Muslim is faith-bound to invest his talent, time, wealth and even his life in it. How can a man with an iota of responsibility and civic sense withdraw from making a contribution for the betterment of the most important and powerful institution on earth like a state? Moreover, one can’t think of any Islamic polity like an Islamic state, judiciary run on sharia law, hudud, Islamic education, Islamic society and borderless pan-Islamic brotherhood without engaging in jihad. Such indisepensable elements of Islam never come to existence on their own, nor do they sustain without constant struggle for it. Since it is the most important and the most beneficial task for mankind, it is also the most costly one. All Shaitanic forces deploy their all human potential and arsenals to obstruct such a Divine project. The kuffar of Arabian Peninsula left no stone unturned to annihilate Prophet (peace be upon him)’s nascent Islamic state. This is why Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala allocated the highest prize for those who struggle for it and sacrifice their lives for it. Those who give life they get direct entry to paradise. In the early days of Islam, more than fifty percent of the companions of the Propet (peace be upon him) needed to sacrifice their lives. In fact, whenever such struggle (jihad) disappears from Muslims’ life, all other indispensable elements of Islam also disappear. Then, Muslims live a life without Islam that was prescribed by Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala and preached by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) –as has already been the norm in Muslim lives world wide. Then, Islam gets confined only within the rituals like five times prayer, month-long fasting, charity and hajj. And Muslims survive on the mercy of evil forces. In the golden days of Islam, such a betrayal didn’t happen in Muslim lives for a single day. Hence, they didn’t face the defeat, deaths, rapes and humiliation as Muslims suffer today.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not only an Islamic preacher but also a perfect role model both in politics and state-building. He fought wars, made negotiations, signed treaties, executed the judiciary, sent emissaries, punished enemies and ruled as the Head of the State for 10 years. Hence, he is unique and exemplary for all humans. A Muslim can’t claim to be a true Muslim unless follows him fully in politics and statebuilding. Any derailment from his legacy tantamount to rebellion against Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala, hence makes such a deviant a perfect kafir. It is a Qur’anic declaration that whoever follows the Prophet (peace be upon him), obeys Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala. Curently, the absence of Islamic state, sharia, hudud, shura, unity and Jihad in the Muslim life clearly demonstrates that they are not following Prophet (peace be upon him)’s pathway. Therefore, Shaitan has a lot to celebrate his huge victory in almost every Muslim country.
Islam has been designed and assigned by Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala for the betterment of the whole of mankind. It prescribes all the necessary guidelines not only for individuals but also for the good governance of families, societies and states. In this regard, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) worked under the direct guidance of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala and thereby became the perfect model for all humans. Hence he could set perfect examples not only in the field of worshipping the Almighty Lord but also in running complex statecraft and societies. Having been in the driving seat of the state for ten years, he could present himself as the best role model for a ruler. He worked as a close monitor and mentor for his companions. In fact, all the successes of the early Muslims owe to his teachings and mentoring. Muslims are given no other options but to follow the same prophetic roadmap in all ages. Otherwise, failure becomes the guaranteed outcome -as has been the case today.
A state: the most powerful tool both for crimes and for good deeds
If a state becomes a tool in the hand of devils, then it becomes a tool for committing terrible crimes. Such a usurped state then turns to be a punishing hell for all men and women living in that state. Then, the state institutions like the army, the police, the bureaucracy and the judiciary are used as the tool of violence, oppression, exploitation, genocide and other dreadful atrocities. In fact, most of the brutal crimes in human history have been done by the criminals sponsored by the states and not by beasts, bugs or natural disasters. In the past, lethal ideologies like racism, colonialism, imperialism, supremacism, communism, and fascism could execute ethnic cleansing, class wars, genocides and global terrorism only because of the state power. More than 75 million people were killed by state institutions in only two World Wars. And the state-sponsored killing, torturing and arson are still on-going in different parts of the world.
On the other hand, if a state is run by Allah-fearing people adherent to the Qur’anic guidance and the prophetic methodology can do miracles. The early Muslims are the examples. They could achieve wonders by eradicating crimes, enjoining justice and ensuring equality between race, colour and gender. They could bring immense human, moral and social development. They could emancipate the women, eliminate slavery, and ensure security to human lives and chastity. In those days, the Whites, the Blacks, the Arabs, the non-Arabs, the Muslims, the Non-Muslims, the Asians, the Africans and the Europeans could enjoy an unfettered opportunity to roam over the vastest state in the contemporary world and could settle anywhere they liked. Because of Islam’s social welfare policy, vast areas of Asia, Africa and Europe could achieve freedom from endemic genocidal wars, inter-tribal feuds and atrocities of the brutal autocrats. This way they could showcase beauties of Islam. As a result, the local people were attracted to Islam. They also opened safe intercontinental trade routes like Silk Routes and others. For the first time in human history, people could enjoy real cosmopolitan life. So, the cities like Baghdad, Damescus, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Aleppo and many others were real cosmopolitan with people of different race, region, language, and faith. Others could build Pyramids, Great Walls, hanging gardens, monumental churches and temples, but Muslims are the only people who could add humanitarian, moral, and social dimensions to mankind. Even the Jews who were persecuted throughout the whole of their whole history, enjoyed not only full security of life and property but also flourished as the valued citizens of the Islamic khilafah. As a result, prosperous Jewish communities developed in cities like Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo, Granada, Cordova, Marrakesh, Istanbul and many other Muslim cities.
Absence of caliphate and the calamity
One can feel the importance of oxygen only when he runs out of it. The same is true with an Islamic caliphate. In its absence, the Muslims now suffer from a chain of relentless calamities. Such an institutional collapse and the division of the Muslim World into 57 tribal or national states have indeed generated a perfect recipe for enemy aggression, occupation and an unending catastrophe. The imperialists’ exploitation, genocides, mass rape, evictions, destructions of cities and villages are now common in the Muslim lands. The demographic surge of the Muslims, the huge number of mosques and madrasas around the world, the bulging per capita income in some oil-reach Muslim states and even nuclear bombs couldn’t work as the substitute for the Islamic khilafa.
The collapse of khilafah has indeed precipitated the collapse of the Muslim ummah as a civilizational force. The fall-out of such a collapse has been so awful that it made almost 1.5 billion Muslims the real orphans. The people of every faith have at least a civilizational state. The Hindus have India, the Christians have the USA and the EU, the Chinese have China and the Jews have Israel. But the Muslims have none. A tribal or national state can’t carry out the responsibility of a civilizational state. Such a state has no moral and legal acceptance globally either. In absence of such a civilizational core state, the Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Chechnya, Palestine, Xinxiang and many other parts of the world now suffer from unending persecution, humiliation and deaths. No state on the world stage raises any voice or takes any step to stop the ongoing atrocities against the Muslims. They are deprived of any voice in the most powerful world body –the UN’s Security Council. A country like the UK or France of about 75 million can block any UNO move, but 1.5 billion Muslims have to beg permission to raise any Muslim issue in the UNO. This is indeed a definitive expression of powerlessness of Muslims. So, the persecution of Muslims in Palestine, Kashmir, India, Myanmar, and Xin Xiang continues unabated. In the dark tunnel, no one can see any ray of hope.
Muslims without Islam!
A fish can’t survive without water. Likewise, a Muslim can’t live as a full or true Muslim in a non-Muslim state. It is equally impossible even in a Muslim state under the occupation of anti-Islamic forces. The ruling clique of the non-Muslim states as well as of the un-Islamic Muslim countries permit practising rituals like five times prayer, fasting, charity and hajj, but never offer any space for practising other Islamic obligations like Qur’anic education in schools and colleges, sharia and hudud in courts, interest-free economy, jihad against persecution and many other basics. Some counties even put a ban on wearing hijab. How one can be a true Muslim without practising such Islamic fundamentals? Enjoining the right (a’maru bil ma’ruf) and eradicating the wrongs (nehi anil mukar) is the two-prong Islamic mission. A Muslim is faith-bound to work as His Lord’s viceroy to carry out this mission, otherwise gets labelled as a rebel. Muslims are honoured as the best people (khaira ummah) only because of pursuing this divinely assigned mission –as revealed in Surah al-Imran, verse 110. Only this way a Muslim registers himself as a helper unto Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala (ansaerullah). Thus he works as a khalifa (viceroy) to fulfil His vision that establishes Islam as the overwhelming belief over all fake religions and ideologies (li’yuzhira’hud’dini kullihi).
The anti-Islamic occupying forces permit only to be helpers of the occupying forces. Any visible pursuance of full Islamic mission that entails Islamic state, sharia, and jihad is considered a punishable crime. Thus, standing for the agenda of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’ala is labelled as terrorism. Innocent people are brutally tortured and killed even for raising voice for religious freedom, let alone practising full Islam. While the people in Gaza were being bombed by Israel, protesting rallies were not allowed in neighbouring Egypt and in most Arab countries. More than a million Muslims in China are taken to concentration camps to unlink them from the Islamic faith and practices. It has been very endemic to burn down mosques, religious schools and Muslim businesses in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, India and many other countries. But while all these atrocities go on, the Muslim World continues to keep its conspicuous silence.
The last Prophet (peace be upon him) had to face the same brutal hostility; Islam wasn’t acceptable to the enemies and wasn’t given any space for its full practice. So the Prophet (peace be upon him) had to migrate to Medina and establish an Islamic state to provide Muslims not only a safe haven but also land for Islam’s full practice. In Islam, building such a state is a religious obligation. And making all efforts for it is holy jihad. Other people fight wars and get killed in the name of race, land, monarch, language and economic interest; and at the end go to the hellfire. But the Muslims fight wars and make sacrifices to live with full Islam, and in the end, enter into paradise. Because of an Islamic state, the Muslims could practise full Islam and showcase its beauty to others. It was indeed the most significant event in the whole human history and opened floodgates of conversion to Islam. Because of the supportive state infrastructure, Islam could become the fastest-growing religion in human history. In all places and in all ages, engaging in such state building remains the only option to achieve success both here and in the hereafter.
Why so enmity against an Islamic state?
Even a plant needs a conducive climate, soil and protection to show its full potential. Islam too, needs supportive state institutions to deliver its full potential as the most powerful humanising force. In fact, all the civilizational excellence of Muslims in the past owes to the infrastructural backings of a strong Islamic state. The substitute of a state is a state and not even millions of mosques and madrasas. This is why all the anti-Islamic forces are deadly against the creation of an Islamic state in any part of the world. They consider such a state a threat to their global hegemony. They want that the organisational power of a state must not be in the hand of the Islamists; and Islam must be confined within the walls of mosques and madrasas. They know that the emergence of the first Islamic State in the Arabian Peninsula caused the collapse of two contemporary world powers -the Persian and Roman empires. History can repeat again and again. This is indeed the basis of Islamophobia hype in the psyche of the anti-Islamic forces all over the world. Because of that, the former US President Donald Trump said in public that the US Army will bomb down to ruble any Islamic state anywhere in the world.
For sustenance as a civilizational force, an ideological backbone is crucial. Ideology makes people the formidable fighting force for an ideology. The economic and technological might can’t be the substitute. The USA spent one million dollars per soldier to keep the Army on the battlefield of Afghanistan and Iraq. But Islam makes people whole time fighter at their own cost. Thousands of Islamists joined the battlefield in Afghanistan and Syria voluntarily. But none of the contemporary world powers owns such an inspiring and energising ideology. The communist world has already collapsed because of its ideological falsehood. The capitalist world survives only on wealth, technology and global terrorism. Its ideology is also flawed. Only the Muslims stand with a strong ideological backbone that could defeat the UK and Soviet Russia in Afghanistan in the past. They could also defeat the US Army in the same battlefield. Along with the Armies from more than 50 partner states, the USA fought for more than 20 years and spent 2.2 trillions, but couldn’t win against the poor Mujahideen. So, it proves that a huge Army, an enormous wealth, and the high tech weapons don’t work against a Divine ideology like Islam. Here lies the great hope for Islam’s victory in the near future.