The Objective of Ramadan & the Muslims’ Failure
Assigned role and the failure
Significance of Ramadan can only be fully understood with the proper understanding of the purpose of human creation. The sole objective of Ramadan is to make believers intensely focussed cum engaged to that Divine objective; and such a relentless adherence to that objective is indeed the true expression of true iman. Those who stay away from Ramadan can’t think of that. Allah SWT made it clear vis-à-vis His vision on human creation even before the creation of the first human. Men and women are created with the sole purpose that they would work as His khalifa on earth. Khalifa is a Qur’anic jargon; and it has a special meaning and context. The term khalifa is used to mean Allah SWT’s viceroy on earth. It applies to all men and women of all colours and ethnicities. It is indeed the highest designation and honour that a man or woman can expect from his Creator. On the other hand, the Creator can delegate such a job of the greatest responsibility and honour only to those who are highly competent and trustworthy. In fact, Islam’s obligatory rituals like five time prayer, month-long fasting, haj and zakat are prescribed only to generate such competence and trust in believers.
Allah SWT used the narrative “khalifa” in the gathering of the angels to express His vision prior to the human creation. In the Islamic history, kahalifa has another connotation: to mean the prophet’s representative after his death -working on his behalf as the ruler of the Muslim ummah. But for a lay man or a woman, the title delegates a binding responsibility to everyone. It is to work as Allah SWT’s viceroy in the midst of billions of other creations. Hence, such a designation on behalf of the Almighty Creator tells a lot about the role that a Muslim must play in this world. Passing every moment on life with deep sense of such responsibility is indeed the expression of true faith (iman). Man and woman can attain the greatest honour both here and in the hereafter only through fulfilling such a role; and any betrayal of such role can only bring the promised disgrace in this world and take to the hellfire in the hereafter.
The term “khalifa” has other connotation. A khalifa can never be sovereign; can work only as the representative or viceroy of a sovereign ruler. The problems start when these khalifas turn sovereign and treacherous against their Almighty Employer. Autocracy is incompatible with Islam; this is indeed treachery against Allah SWT. Such treacherous viceroys always deserve the severest punishment. Allah SWT keeps His hellfire ready for such rebels –as revealed in the holy Qur’an. It is indeed the major crime of the today’s Muslims that they are not playing their role as His viceroy. They have replaced Allah SWT’s sovereignty by their own sovereignty. Even in countries where the elected parliament or President has replaced dictators, the same crime of claiming sovereignty is being committed by such elected institutions. Raising an army of faithful khalifas is immensely importance in any kingdom; it is also important in Allah SWT’s kingdom. The British kings or queens ruled their occupied lands like India through such khalifas -called viceroys. These khalifas were known for their constant submission to the British crown. They were ready to do everything for the Crown, even would sacrifice their life in wars to protect the British interests. Shaitan too has such khalifas and has production sites in every nook and corner to train such khalifas. These satanic institutions train them to make them perfect performer of the assigned jobs. Allah SWT too, wants to bring the glory of Islam through His khalifas. Ramadan indeed raises and trains such an army for His cause.
Humans have different colours, creeds and ethnicities. But they are indeed divided into two broad categories: either they belong to khalifatullah (viceroy of Allah) or to khalifatus shaitan (viceroy of Shaitan). They also follow two different roadmaps with two different destinations: the siratul mustakeem (siratul mustaqeem) toward heaven and the siratul duallins (deviant path) towards hell. In any political arena, the form two warring brands of parties: hizbullah (the party of Allah) and hizbushshaitan (the party of Shaitan). In the hereafter, these two brands of people will have two different labels too: as’habul jannat (the dwellers of haven) and as’habun nar (the dwellers of hellfire). Hizbullah, hizbushshaitan, as’habul jannat and as’habun nar: these are all Qur’anic vocabularies to carry a distinctive massage for the whole mankind. In the holy Qur’an, there is no third category of people, nor does there exist any third type of abode. All states, societies and are indeed the constant battlefield of the two warring groups of khalifas. In such context of constant warfare, the month of Ramadan has a special significance. It provides the month-long intensive training schedule to raise the combative army of Allah. Shaitan has his own network of institutions: these are clubs, pubs, casinos, prostitutions, secular education, secular army, media and bureaucracy to raise his own army. Such institutions work day and night to distract people away from the siratul mustaqeem –as shown in the holy Quran.
The duty of Allah’s khalifa is huge -as huge is the reward in return. Witnessing the oneness of Allah (SWT), performing obligatory rituals like five time prayers, fasting in Ramadan, doing haj and giving charity must help Muslims grow up as Allah SWT’s khalifa: but these are not end in itself. A true Muslims’ journey does not end in such rituals. One can play the true role of khalifa only through full engagement in His way with all possible physical, intellectual and monetary potentials. It even needs full readiness to sacrifice his life; and the early days’ Muslims are the perfect example. In return, Allah SWT promises them the unending pleasure in the paradise. To grow such Muslims, it needs Divine institutions and curriculum. The month-long fasting in Ramadan is indeed the part of such Divine curriculum.
Taqwa: the sole objective
The sole objective of fasting is to generate taqwa. Allah SWT revealed, “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may attain taqwa” -(Sura Baqara: verse 183). To put more emphasis on it, Allah SWT has also revealed, “O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and do not die except in a state of Muslim (who surrenders fully to Allah)”–(Sura Al-Imran: verse 102). In the above verse, Allah SWT has asked to attain appropriate level of taqwa; and also warned not to die without being a Muslims i.e. without being in a state of full surrender to Allah SWT’s orders. Hence it appears that taqwa is a key to enter jannah.
The question arises: what is taqwa? Taqwa is commonly understood to be the fear of Allah SWT. But what is the nature of such fear? Human beings fear so many things. They fear death, disease, financial loss, physical harm and loss of dignity, etc. Is it such fear? Such fear comes automatically to every soul. It does not need any Divine warning. Here taqwa has special meaning. It is the fear of disobedience to Allah SWT’s commands. It is the fear of failing in akhera. It is fear of deviating from the siratul mustaqeem. When a man drives his car in a motor war he is constantly attentive to his correct driving. He understands that a slight deviation from the motor way would cause catastrophic disaster. For such disaster, it does not a minute, few seconds are enough. Hence, for every second of his journey, he is very mindful. This is his taqwa as a driver. And as a believer, he must show the same amount of awareness to adhere to every segment of the Qur’anic road-map. Muslim must pass every day and night with the full remembrance of his duty to Allah and constantly following His sharia. His personal, familial, political, judicial, cultural and economic life must comply with the Qur’anic guidance. Any amount of disobedience to such guidance only subscribes to his disbelief and disobedience against Allah SWT. These are punishable crimes. He will be made accountable for such crimes in the day of judgement. Taqwa is the fear of such failing in the Day of Judgement. It is fear of failing to grow up as full Muslim. It is fear of failing to work as anserullah. It is fear of failing to discharge duties as khalifatullah. It is fear of failing to be the part of hizbullah.
How to build taqwa?
Mere belief in Allah (SWT) is not enough to build taqwa. Even before the birth of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), many people had the name like Abd Allah which means slave of Allah (SWT). But such naming did not make them Muslim, neither raise any taqwa in their heart. Mere zikr or remembrance of Allah (SWT) is not enough either. Millions of people recite tasbih (praises) and do zikr. Thousands of sufi khanqas are doing such tasbih and zikr day and night. But how much taqwa are being built through such tasbih and zikr? To build taqwa, Allah (SWT) has His own prescription. The prescription comes in the following verse: “O humans! Engage in ibadah to your Lord Who has created you and those before you so that you can attain taqwa” -(Sura Baqara, verse 21).
But what is the meaning of ibadah? Ibadah is an Islamic jargon which means full submission to the Lord Who is the sole creator of the whole universe. It is a total slavery. While the Qur’an was being revealed, ibadah or slavery was not a new word. The contemporary Arabs knew the full implication of becoming an abed (slave). It used to be considered a live-long fulltime engagement to the master. The slaves had no liberty to satisfy their own wish. They had only to fulfil their master’s wish. Any amount of disobedience against the master was a serious offence. The master had the full right even to kill the rebellious slave. In those days, such punishment couldn’t be challenged in any court. Allah SWT wants such lifelong fulltime total commitment from His believer too. In return, He promises the endless bounties of the heaven. And the earlier Muslims fulfilled Allah (SWT)’s wish, indeed they were such perfect slave. Generating Taqwa is the prime goal of all sorts of ibada. Worshipping Allah SWT any form is a gateway towards acquiring taqwa. Hence, the verse has other implied message: ibada that does not enhance taqwa cannot be called as ibada. In such context, Ramadan has special place in Muslim life. Since it increases the level of ibada, the chances are quite high that it will also increase the level taqwa.
Ibadah not only needs sincere intention, but also investment of time, energy, wealth, intelligence and even life. The value of ibadah depends on the degree of the investment; and taqwa develops in proportion to the level of investment. Salah, fasting and haj need invest of time, energy and money, but does not cost one’s dearest life. But jihad in the way of Allah SWT needs full readiness to sacrifice life. Hence the highest amount of taqwa is build up in the field of jihad, and not in mosque, madrasa and sufi khanqa. This is why, the companions of the prophet (pbuh) attains the highest level of taqwa. They showed their all-time readiness to sacrifice their lives. In fact more than 70 % of them become martyr. Hence in martyrdom, the level of taqwa is so high that Allah SWT will honour them with direct access to heaven without any accountability. In countries where there exist no jihad; the people suffer from serious crisis of taqwa. Such people make records in corruption.
The engine of revolution
Taqwa doesn’t survive silently in a believer’s soul, rather shows forceful expression through the actions and the behaviour. It works as an engine of moral, cultural and political revolution. Establishment of an Islamic state by the early days’ of Islam was indeed the manifestation of taqwa. If a Muslim fails to engage in such revolution, then it raises doubt his taqwa. Taqwa propels believing men and women to strongly adhere to the Qur’anic guidance, hence generates full compliance with sharia. Therefore, presence of non-sharia law in a Muslim country is an incompatible anomaly. It is indeed a display of blatant disbelief. Absence of sharia in a country gives an accurate estimate that how far its inhabitants have deviated from the Divine roadmap. It is a clear betrayal of Allah SWT’s objective. A true believer can’t think of it: jihad instantly starts against such betrayal of Allah SWT. On the contrary, taqwa creates a strong urge in believers’ heart and mind to search for more Qur’anic orders and the prophetic traditions to comply with. His vigilant mind stays fearful that some of commandments of Allah SWT may remain unpractised. Any non-compliance with the sharia law only exposes the hypocrisy. In the holy Qur’an, in sura Maida, Allah SWT has labelled them kafir, fasik and jalem. Such non-compliance was non-existent in early days’ Muslims.
Taqwa has other forceful expressions. It inspires people to move beyond the ethnic, linguistic and geographic boundaries to embrace their fellow brothers in Islam and emerge as united political force. Hence dismantling the divisive boundaries of so-called nation states becomes a non-negotiable political agenda of the true believers. It becomes the part of their iman. Such pan-Islamic brotherhood was the most common ingredient of Muslims’ politics in the early days, and made them the number one world power. Creating and continuing the divisions can only add humiliation –which is the major problem of the Muslims today. With such divisions, no amount of prayers will help them add any glory.
All over the world, millions of Muslims are fasting in Ramadan. Crores of people are attending five times daily prayers. Millions are performing haj. But where is taqwa? Taqwa must be visible in Muslim life through the full practise of Islam’s own systems. But where is the compliance with the Islamic systems? Out of 57 Muslim countries, Allah SWT’s sharia law does not exit even in one! Allah SWT has warned the Muslims not to be divided. But remaining divided has been the Muslims’ politics and culture. Instead of having any remorse, in fact, the Muslims are very proud of such division. They celebrate the creation of such division in the name of ethnic, tribal, linguistic and geographical nation states. Khelafa has been dismantled about 90 years ago by the hand of the secularist and nationalists enemies of Islam. But how many of the fasting men and women pay any heed to resurrection of this very fundamental Muslim institution? Khelafa also collapsed once in the past under the barbaric attack of Mongols on Baghdad. In the absence of khalifa, there was no jumma prayer in those days. The contemporary Muslims came to the forefront to resurrect this basic Muslim institution. But the present day Muslims have fully forgotten their duty and are happy with living in tiny nation states. The issue of khelafa and the Muslimhing unity are no matter in their life!
The most difficult task
Reconstructing human belief, behaviour and character has been always the most difficult task in human history. It is a huge job, needs to higher human and moral quality. Even thugs and murders like colonialists could build empires and bring industrial revolutions. But they utterly failed to bring any moral revolution. It needs not only Allah SWT’s guidance, but also His persistence assistance. Human beings can grow up in billions, but very few are capable to grow up as true human. This is why the world is infested with blood-letting criminals, aggressors, occupiers and ethnic cleansers. In the past, Allah SWT had to send thousands of prophets with guidance to bring them to the right path. Calling the deviating people to the right path is Allah SWT’s own mission. “Inn alinal huda”: Certainly Muslims assigned mission: it brought moral and spiritual failure. The outcome is catastrophic. Civilisation fails, true religion get corrupted, humans become devils and the planet gets covered with human flesh and blood only due to such moral failure. Only in the last two World Wars, 75 million people were killed. And such killing machines are still active in different parts of the world. Moreover, such failure brings Divine punishment; both here and in the hereafter.
Humans are created with body and soul. Like human body, soul too needs regular feeding and training. Otherwise souls cannot survive to meet the enlightened human standard, rather becomes the nest of the Shatan and his ugly aspirations. And the nourishing feed for the soul comes only from the Divine knowledge and deep contemplation (tafaqquh). And the holy Qur’an is the source of such Divine knowledge. Hence the journey of Islam did not start with salah, fasting or haj, but with Divine knowledge –the revelation of the holy Quran. And here is the significance of holy month of Ramadan. It is attached to the most important event of human history. The greatest gift of Allah SWT came to the mankind in this holy month. The Qur’an shows the siratul mustaqeem. It is the rope of Allah SWT to connect the people with His guidance. And the month of Ramadan executes the Divine training to connect the true believers to their Great Lord, and provides the nourishing feed to their thirsty souls.
Human mind is very forgetful, as well as very ungrateful. Even many people forget their parents and show them ingratitude when they grow up as adult. They even forget their Creator too. As if the whole universe is created without a Creator. The holy Qur’an depicts revealing stories of such ugly forgetfulness and ingratitude. The story of Bani Israel is a perfect example. Allah SWT rescued the people of Bani Israel from Pharaohs’ killing machine. He made a wide dry road in the middle of the sea to give them quick escape route. They were given shelter in Sinai desert under the canopy of thick cloud. Manna and salwa came down from the sky to feed them. They did not need to work for many years. But still they were very quick to forget the blessing of Allah SWT and made idol of a cow object of worship.
To keep humans the Divine path is not an easy job. Mere attendance to the church or synagogue weekly is not enough to do the job. Islam addresses the issue by intensive program around the year. It brings people five times a day to the mosque, takes them to the haj and makes giving charity to the poor as an obligation. It has also prescribes jihad. In the holy month of Ramadan, such training gets more intense. Along with month-long fasting, this blessed month brings the regular spiritual feeding in other ways. It arranges long recitation of holy Qur’an in tarabih prayer and also encourages understanding of Qur’an individually. Islam thus imprints the Qur’anic knowledge and its Divine road map in the believers’ heart. Moreover, this month has the blessed night of lailatul qadr –better than 1000 nights.
Despite all the blessings and intensive trainings, the Muslims still show betrayal of the assigned mission. They have failed to discharge their duty as Allah SWT’s viceroy. But it is not the failure of Islam and its Divine prescriptions, rather the institutional failure of the Muslims countries. The recitation of holy Qur’an, the five times daily prayers, fasting in Ramadan and haj cannot achieve the goal on their own. It needs all inclusive institutional supports. Islamisation of people and the Islamisation of state are mutually contributory. One develops with the contribution from the other. It also needs to dismantle all elements of Satanic army and the devices that distract people from the siratul mustaqeem. It needs the full mobilisation of all societal, state and religious institutions to put their collective energy to keep the people in the right track. It also needs to destroy all the wrong tracks that are built to take people to the hellfire. Healthy living is impossible with the lethal bugs inside. Hence the prophet (pbuh) of Islam and the rightly guided khalifas did not allow any Satanic institutions to function inside the Islamic state. The prophets expelled all the Jewish people from the vicinity of Medina for their stubborn opposition to the Islamic state. But afterwards, the Muslims rulers became engaged only to protect their own rule. Rather they turned against Islam.
Building Islamic state and Islamisation of the state institutions are not fanaticism –as labelled by the enemies, rather an indispensable Islamic need. To create and protect such a state, Jihad becomes an obligatory duty. A Muslim man or woman cannot fully practise Islam without the support of such state and state institutions. All state and non-state institutions must work together to spread Islam and protect the Muslims. It is so important that the prophet of Islam (pbuh) and his companions had to make heaviest sacrifices to make such a state. But such state and state institutions are non-existent today. Rather in most cases, these states and their institutions are working against Islam. Here lies the main difference between the early days’ Muslims and the Muslims of today. It also displays the greatest failing of the modern days’ Muslims. Hence, the Muslims are defenceless and Islam lost its past glory.
Allah SWT revealed not only the prayer rules, but also prescribed the judicial, political, economic and cultural rules. Sharia is Islam’s judicial system and khilafa is its political system. And it has also a distinctive economic system which forbids usury, bribery, hording, trafficking, gambling, monopoly, oligopoly and capitalistic exploitation of the workers and the consumers. The Islam had its distinctive culture to. It forbids free mixing of sexes, extramarital sex, exhibitionism, obscenity, adultery, pornography and displaying any sort of vulgarity. It strongly prescribes strong family bondage, marital bondage, hijab, respect of elders and love for the youngsters. But, how much of these Islamic prescriptions are being practised in Muslim countries? Millions of Muslims keep fast and offer prayers with all such forbidden practices in their midst. Keeping intact the brothel houses, clubs, casinos and other institutions of sin have been the part of their economy. To make more money, the Muslim countries are inviting the sex-tourists from abroad to make use of their sea shores and the tourist spots. Thousands of non-government and government organisations are working in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and other Muslim countries to teach the Muslim boys and girls how to dance, sing and entertain others. Is it the display of taqwa? What can be more betrayal of Allah SWT’s command? Only Shaitan and his friends can be happy with such projects of distracting the Muslim children from Islam.
Every disease has its underlying cause and the pathology. The absence of sharia, khelafa, Muslim unity, Islamic culture, Islamic education and Islamic economy is the proof of the catastrophic disease that has engulfed the whole Muslim world. These are the symptoms. But the real cause lies in the absence of Qur’anic knowledge and non-adherence to its teachings. The holy Qur’an is only recited, but not understood. Once it was a book of guidance, now it is a book of mere recitation. The present day Muslims study and take guidance from the books written by the kuffars. Those who have already decided not to take any guidance from Qur’an, do they feel any need to understand the holy Qur’an? The roadmap they are currently following in their politics, judiciary, culture, education, economy is not the same as was in the days of prophet (pbuh). Hence, the consequence is not the same either. They brought glory, and raised the finest civilisation on earth. But today’s Muslim are adding only the disgrace. They spread Islam. But now, they spread corruption. Recitation of the holy Qur’an, five times daily prayers, fasting in Ramadan, haj and giving charity have turned only rituals, and generate little taqwa. This is the real problem of the Muslims. So, Ramadan is coming and going, but the Muslims seldom move any further with the sole purpose of their creation. 16/07/14; edited 29.05. 2019.