The Objective of Islam and the Muslims’ Betrayal
Dr Firoz Mahboob Kamal
The assigned role and the failure
For attaining the ultimate success in life, knowing the right aim of survival is crucial. Otherwise, the whole life with its every potential gets spent on pursuing the wrong or trivial aims. This is why nothing is more important for a man and a woman than knowing the true purpose of survival. But awfully, most people live a life without correctly knowing it. Because of such ignorance, survival for the sake of surviving as a successful doctor, engineer, lawyer, politician, sportsman or some other professional becomes the prime purpose of life. Because of being lost in the world life, the endless life in the hereafter doesn’t stay in the focus. What could be more shocking than the dreadful reality that most people leave this world without knowing why they were created in the first place? Releasing humans from such awful ignorance is indeed the most important priority of Islam. So, it is the most emphatic Qur’anic proclamation that humans are created for no other purpose than ibada. It is revealed, “Wa ma khalak’tul jinna wal in’sana ill li’yabudun (humans and jin are created for no other reason but ibda).” The significance of all forms of ibada like seeking Qur’anic knowledge, five-time prayers, month-long fasting in Ramadan, hajj, charity and glorification of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la can only be understood with the full understanding of the purpose of human’s creation. Ibada has an objective. It is not an end in itself, rather to serve a great purpose. Even before the creation of the first human, Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la made it clear vis-à-vis His vision on humans’ creation. In the assembly of the angels, He declared that men and women would work as His khalifa on earth. The objective of all forms of ibada is indeed to enhance the competence of His khalifa to do the job properly; thereby helping them qualify for the best place in paradise.
Ibaba and khalifa are the two most important Qur’anic jargons. These have special meanings and profound implication on Muslim life. These indeed tell about the mission and the job description of a Muslim. Therefore, to be a true Muslim, one must know the real meaning of these two Qur’anic vocabularies. The tasks of ibaba and khalifa are intertwined in a believer’s life. Because of the immense importance, understanding of ibabah and khalifa must form the foundation of the Muslims’ education system. Only then, a child will be able to understand his role in life. The Muslims’ failure never starts from industry or agriculture, but from schools. And it starts from conceptual failure in understanding ibabah and khalifa. As a result, they stand ignorant of their role and may even turn mercenary for the enemies. The success of the early Muslims doesn’t owe to any economic boom or population explosion, but to a proper understanding of ibabah and khalifa. As a result, they could excel in both fields; everyone became a life-long fighter for the cause of Islam. They were no silent or sleeping Muslim. All were active, and more than 60 per cent sacrificed their life. Such massive mobilisation of people for the Divine cause never happened in the whole human history. So they could be called the best people of all ages. And Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la became very pleased with them –as revealed in sura Bayyimah in the Holy Qur’an.
Ibadah means the full submission to every command of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. It is a total and exclusive slavery to Him. While the Holy Qur’an was being revealed, ibada or slavery was not a new word in the Arabian Peninsula. The contemporary Arabs knew the full implication of ibada and the meaning of abed (slave). Ibada used to mean a full-time live-long engagement to obey every order of the master. The slaves had no liberty to satisfy their own agenda or wish. They had only one agenda in the whole life and that was their master’s one. Any amount of disobedience against the master was a serious punishable 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. The Arab people used to recognise it as the master’s right to punish his slave as he likes. Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la also wants such lifelong full-time slavery from every Muslim man and woman. And He can demand a sacrifice of his wealth and life for His cause. In return, He promises the endless bounties of heaven. It is indeed a solemn deal with the believer that is mentioned in sura Tawba in verse 111. And the earlier Muslims accepted such slavery of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la’ and didn’t hesitate to sacrifice their wealth, energy and life to bring the victory of His religion.
The term khalifa is used to mean Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la’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 or her Creator. The Almighty Creator delegates such a job of the highest responsibility only to those who are highly competent and trustworthy. Therefore, to be khalifa, a Muslim needs to build up his or her competence. In fact, Islam’s obligatory rulings like seeking Qur’anic knowledge, five-time prayers, month-long fasting, hajj and zakat are the effective means to generate such competence. Kahalifa has another connotation. It means the prophet (peace be upon him)’s representative after his death. Hence khalifas are desired to work on his behalf as the ruler of the Muslim ummah. The four kholafa-e-rasheda (the rightly guided caliphs) are the perfect examples.
The title of khalifa also delegates an obligatory responsibility to every Muslim man and woman to work as Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la’s viceroy in the midst of billions of other fellow creations. Such a designation on behalf of the Almighty Creator tells a lot about the role that a Muslim must play in this world. Investing every moment of life with a deep sense of such responsibility is indeed the expression of true faith (iman). Men and women 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. “Khalifa” has another binding political connotation. A khalifa can never be sovereign; he can work only as of the representative of a sovereign ruler. The problems start when these khalifas turn sovereign and work treacherously against the Almighty Employer. This is why autocracy is incompatible with Islam; this is indeed the ugliest treachery against Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. Such treacherous viceroys always deserve the severest punishment. Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la keeps His hellfire ready for such rebels –as revealed in the Holy Qur’an. It is indeed the major crime of the Muslims today that they are not working as His viceroy. They have replaced Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la’s sovereignty with 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.
Taqwa and the failure
Taqwa is a key to paradise. So, Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la warns not to die without attaining taqwa (fear of Allah). So it is 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 Sub’hana wa Ta’la has asked to attain the 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 Sub’hana wa Ta’la’s orders. The sole objective of all forms of ibada is to generate taqwa. Fasting in Ramadan is a powerful tool to enhance taqwa. Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la 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).
Taqwa is commonly understood to be the fear of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. But what is the nature of such fear? Human beings fear so many things. They fear lethal virus, man-eating beasts, death, disease, financial loss, physical harm and loss of dignity, etc. Is such fear is taqwa? Such fear comes automatically to every soul. It does not need any Divine warning. Here taqwa has a special meaning. It is the fear of disobedience to Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la’s commands. It is the fear of deviating from the siratul mustaqeem, therefore to qualify for the hellfire. It is the fear of failing in akhera. 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 motorway can cause catastrophic disaster. For making such a disaster, it does not need a minute; a 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. Therefore, a 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 against such guidance is tantamount to disbelief and disobedience against Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. These are punishable crimes. He or she will be made accountable for such crimes in the day of judgement. Taqwa is the fear of failing in the day of judgement. It is the fear of failing to grow up as a full Muslim. It is the fear of failing to work as anserullah (helper unto Allah). It is the fear of failing to discharge duties as khalifatullah. It is indeed fear of failing to be a part of hizbullah.
The Muslims’ failure to attain taqwa is huge. How a man with taqwa, stay complacent in a state that is known for its non-compliance with sharia? What is the contribution of 1.6 billion Muslims as the khalifa of the Almighty Lord? The non-existence of sharia in Muslim states gives strong testimony to the fact that taqwa didn’t work to make Muslims dutiful to their Lord. There are some missing elements. Mere belief in Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la is not enough to build taqwa. Even before the birth of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the people of Arabia believed in Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. Many people had the name like AbdAllah which means the slave of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. But such naming did not make them Muslim, neither raise any taqwa in their heart. Mere zikr or remembrance of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la 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 is being built through such tasbih and zikr?
Taqwa is the Allah-fearing state of the human soul. To build taqwa, the Qur’anic knowledge is indispensable. It is indeed the most basic ingredient to build up taqwa. So it is revealed, “Only the people with knowledge fear Allah (innama yakhshAllaha min ibdihil ulama).” So, ignorance (jahaliya) makes it impossible to attain taqwa; it works as a bar against becoming a full Muslim. This is why seeking Qur’anic knowledge was made obligatory on the first day of Islam; five-time prayer and month-long fasting were made obligatory more than a decade later. Since the Muslims stay away from understanding the Holy Qur’an, for them, attaining taqwa remains a distant possibility.
Ibadah is another effective tool to build up taqwa. In fact, the Qur’anic knowledge and ibada work together to grow taqwa. Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la reveals: “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). In fact, generating taqwa is the prime goal of all sorts of ibada. Ibada is indeed the gateway towards acquiring taqwa. The above verse has another implied message: ibada that does not generate taqwa can’t be called true ibada. Because of the intensity of ibada in the month of Ramadan, it has special importance in Muslims’ life. Fasting is indeed the longest episode of ibada. Moreover, since the sole purpose of fasting in Ramadan -as per Qur’anic revelation is to build up taqwa, it has special importance. It is highly expected that it will increase taqwa. But what is success? Hundreds of millions of Muslims keep fasting in each year, but what is the visible expression of taqwa? Taqwa can be rightly measured by the degree of submission to the agenda of Allah Sub’han wa Ta’la. Taqwa should have led to the full implementation of the prophet (peace be upon him)’s Islam that entails the establishment of an Islamic state, practice of sharia and hudud, rule by shura, Islamic unity, and jihad. But such original Islam doesn’t exist in any of the 57 Muslim countries.
Since ibada builds taqwa, deficiency of taqwa indicates faulty ibada. The failed ibada has its own pathology. Ibada must have the deep Qur’anic knowledge at its core; such knowledge indeed plays the most crucial role to build taqwa. The output of ibadah called taqwa depends directly and proportionately on the degree of the believer’s Qur’anic knowledge. Taqwa also depends directly and proportionately on the level of investment of time, energy, wealth, intelligence and even life. Five-time prayers, month-long fasting, charity, and hajj need the investment of time, energy, and money, but do not cost one’s life. But jihad needs full readiness to sacrifice life. Fear of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la and the intention to please Him work intensely in Jihad. Hence the highest amount of taqwa is build up in the field of jihad, and not in a mosque, madrasa, and sufi khanqa. This is why the companions of the prophet (peace be upon him) attain the highest level of taqwa. They showed their all-time readiness to sacrifice their lives. In fact, more than 60 percent of them become martyrs. 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 exists no jihad, the people suffer from a serious shortage of taqwa. In fact, the Muslim people of these so-called Muslim countries score very high in corruption.
The failed engine of revolution
Taqwa doesn’t survive silently in a believer’s soul, rather shows powerful expression through his actions and behaviour. It works as an engine of moral, cultural and political revolution. The 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 a revolution, then it raises doubt in his taqwa. Taqwa propels believers to strongly adhere to the Qur’anic guidance, hence generates full compliance with sharia. Therefore, the presence of non-sharia law in a Muslim country is a robust incompatibility anomaly. It is indeed a display of blatant disbelief. The 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. In fact, jihad instantly starts against such a betrayal of Allah SWT. Taqwa works as such an inherent phenomenon that creates a strong urge in believers’ heart and mind to search for any undiscovered Qur’anic orders and the prophetic traditions to comply with. His vigilant mind stays fearful that some of the commandments of Allah SWT may remain unpractised. Non-compliance with the sharia law in a Muslim country only exposes the hypocrisy. In the Holy Qur’an, in chapter Maida in verse 44, 45 and 46 Allah SWT has labelled such non-compliant people as kafir, fasik and jalem. So such non-compliance was not only non-existent but also unthinkable in the life of the early 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; thereby help emerge as a 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 part of their iman. Such pan-Islamic brotherhood was the most common ingredient of Muslims’ politics in the early golden days and made them the number one world power. Creating divisions in the name of language, land, and ethnicity could only add defeat and humiliation –which is the major problem of Muslims today. Because of such divisive geopolitics, enormous prayers, mosques and madrasas couldn’t help them add any glory.
Taqwa isn’t invisible. It becomes highly visible in Muslims’ life through full compliance with the Islamic prescription. But where is such compliance? Allah Sub’han wa Ta’la made a stern warning against creating division among the Muslims. To receive Divine punishment, one doesn’t need to be an atheist or idol-worshipper. Causing division in the Muslim ummah is enough to qualify for such punishment –as revealed in chapter Al-Imran, verse 105. But staying divided in the name of language, land and ethnicity has been the Muslims’ political 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, or linguistic nation-states; therefore qualify for the punishment. Khelafa was dismantled about 100 years ago by the home-grown enemies of Islam like the secularists and the nationalists in collaboration with the foreign kuffars. Awfully, those enemies are honoured as heroes and the haram creation gets sanctity in the Muslim lands.
How many of the fasting men and women and of those who offer five-time prayers want to go back to the prophet (peace be upon him)’s Islam? How many of them pay any heed to the resurrection of this fundamental Islamic institution? How can one be a true Muslim with the disconnection with the prophet (peace be upon him)? Can a true Muslim ever accept the dissolution of the institution that the prophet (peace be upon him) established? This is a serious issue. Such a disgraceful disconnection from the prophet (peace be upon him)’s Islam can only please Shaitan. The collapse of khelafa is not new; it was once dismantled by the barbaric Mongol occupiers. In the absence of khalifa, there was no jumma prayer in those days. But the Muslims of those days didn’t betray the cause of khelafa. They were quick to resurrect it. But today, the Muslims have established their own brand of Islam; they show little adherence to the prophet (peace be upon him)’s Islam. So they live without khilafa, sharia, hudud, Muslim unity, jihad and other fundamentals of prophet (peace be upon him)’s Islam. They even prefer to live with foreign occupation and humiliation. Many of them even prefer embracing occupying Israelites and American as friends. So in Afghanistan and Iraq, there are many who strongly oppose the withdrawal of the occupying kuffar foreign forces. The issue of khelafa, the Muslim unity and dignity have no importance in their life!
The moral failure
Reconstructing human belief, behaviour and character as per Divine guidance has always been the most difficult task in human history. It is a huge job; needs higher moral quality. It has been the task of the prophets. Even thugs, thieves, murderers and ethnic cleansers like the European colonialists could build empires and bring industrial revolutions. But they utterly failed to bring any moral revolution. Moral revolution doesn’t generate in industries. It needs not only Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la’s guidance but also His constant assistance. Humans can grow up as farmers, politicians, traders and scientists but very few are capable to grow up as real moral being. This is why the world is infested with blood-letting criminals, aggressors, occupiers and ethnic cleansers. In the past, Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la had to send more than a hundred thousand prophets with the guidance to bring them to the right path. Calling the deviating people to the right path is Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la’s own mission. So He declares: “Inna alinal huda (certainly guiding humans is My duty). The prophets used to do the job on His behalf. As His khalifa, the Muslims are duty-bound to carry out the same Divine mission. In fact, aligning with Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la’s mission is the topmost work of piety on earth and the best way to get closer with Him. In fact, the honour of the best nation on earth (khaira ummah) is reserved only for the true Muslims –as revealed in sura Al-Imran verse 10); because they are the only people who take it as a mission of their life. But where are those Muslims who could claim such a Divine title of honour? Truly and awfully, the Muslims do not live with such a mission anymore!
A man is created with a body and a soul. Like the body, the soul too needs regular nourishment. Otherwise, the soul can’t grow up to meet the desired standard of enlightenment, rather becomes the nest of the Shaitan and his ugly aspirations. The nourishment for the soul comes only from the Qur’anic knowledge. Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la has His Own special narratives for His Holy Book. The Holy Qur’an has also been described as the Light (noor), the Guidance (huda), the best Sermon (maw’ezatun hasana), the Reminder (zikr) and the Rope of Allah (hablillah). The Qur’anic knowledge is so crucial that the journey of Islam didn’t start with five-time prayer, month-long fasting or hajj, but with the revelation of the Holy Qur’an. The word “iqra” (read) is the first Qur’anic ruling. So, seeking Qur’anic knowledge became the first obligation on the Muslims. In this regard the importance of the month of Ramadan is huge. In this month, the greatest gift of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la –the Holy Qur’an was delivered to mankind. This is why Ramadan has been described as the month of rahma (blessing). The month of Ramadan executes the Divine training curriculum to connect the true believers to their All-Powerful Lord and provides the nourishing feed to their thirsty souls. Hence the activities in Ramadan constitute the greatest event in the whole year. In this month, the Holy Qur’an -as His rope connects people with His guidance.
In the midst of strong Satanic temptation, the chances of deviation towards hell are quite high. To escape deviation, it needs relentless connectivity with Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. Such connectivity brings rahma (blessing). Remembrance of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la sets such connectivity. Any disconnection brings His promised punishment. Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la warns about such an awful consequence in the following verses: “And whoever turns away from the remembrance of Allah, we appoint Shaitan on him and Shaitan becomes his companion. And certainly, they turn them away from the right path; and they think they are rightly guided.”–(Sura Zukhruf, verse 36-37). Therefore, living every moment with the remembrance of Allah is very crucial. All the Islamic obligations have been prescribed to address this issue. Studying Qur’an, five-time prayer a day, month-long fasting each year, hajj, charity, tasbih and other Islamic practices help sustain such remembrance. In the month of Ramadan, such remembrance gets more intense. Along with month-long fasting, this blessed month brings the regular spiritual feeding in other ways. It arranges long recitation of the Holy Qur’an in the congregation of tarabih prayer and also encourages every individual to understand the Qur’an. Islam thus instils 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 Divine blessings and obligatory training curriculum, the Muslims’ betrayal of the assigned mission is huge. They have totally failed to discharge the duty as Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la’s khalfa. It is the failure not only of the individuals but also of the institutions of the Muslim countries. The Qur’anic knowledge, five times daily prayers, fasting in Ramadan and hajj can’t help achieve any civilizational goal on their own. It needs institutional supports. For that, an Islamic state is indispensable, Islamic state works as the engine to take the ummah to victory. If every one of 1.6 billion Muslims attains perfection in Qur’anic knowledge and ibada, they will not be able to gain any glory or get any victory over the falsehood. For that, they will need an Islamic state. Even the prophet (peace be upon him) needed that. But the Muslims have failed to understand this basic truth.
Islamisation of people and Islamisation of state are mutually contributory. One helps the other. And the corruption of one corrupts the other. Islamisation of the state is impossible without the Islamisation of people. And full Islamisation of people is impossible without the Islamisation of the state. Therefore, a believer must work for both. It needs full mobilisation of all societal, state and religious institutions to put their collective strength to keep the people in the right track. It also needs to dismantle all the Satanic institutions that distract people from the siratul mustaqeem. It needs to destroy all the wrong tracks that are built to take people to the hellfire. Saving a life is impossible with lethal bugs inside the living premises. Hence the Prophet (peace be upon him) 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 Muslim rulers became engaged only to protect their own rule. They even turned against Islam to save their tyranny.
Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la revealed not only the prayer rules but also prescribed the judicial, educational, political, economic and cultural rules. Therefore, a Muslim must live not only with the Islamic rituals but also with the Islamic rules. Sharia is Islam’s judicial rules and khilafa is its political system. And it has also a distinctive economic system that forbids usury, bribery, hoarding, trafficking, gambling, monopoly, oligopoly and capitalistic exploitation of the workers and the consumers. Islam had its distinctive culture too. 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? The Islamic rituals still survive, but not the Islamic rules and systems. Millions of Muslims keep fast and offer prayers, but the forbidden practices also survive in their midst. The institutions of sins like brothel houses, clubs, casinos, retailing alcohol and exhibition of obscenity have become parts of their economy. To make more money, the Muslim countries are inviting the sex-tourists from abroad to make use of their seashores and other tourist spots. Thousands of non-government and government organizations are working in the Muslim countries to teach Muslim boys and girls how to dance, sing and entertain others. Is it the display of iman or taqwa? Is it compatible with the Islamic faith? What else could be the worst betrayal of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la’s command?
The disease and the pathology
The absence of sharia, khelafa, Muslim unity, Islamic culture, Islamic education and Islamic economy is the symptoms of the disease that has engulfed the whole Muslim world. The real cause of the disease 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 Muslims take guidance from the books written by the kuffars. Those who have already decided not to take any guidance from the Holy Qur’an, how can they be interested to understand this Holy Book? The roadmap they follow in politics, judiciary, culture, education, economy is not the same as was followed by the prophet (peace be upon him). Hence, the consequence is not the same either. They earned glory. They raised the finest civilisation on earth and spread Islam. But today, the Muslims earn defeat, disgrace and the enemy occupation. Islam survives only in the Qur’an, the Islamic mission has long been abandoned. So the betrayal continues.16/07/14; 2nd edition 29.05. 2019; 3rd edition 9.05.2021.