Quarterly: Issue No 53
ALLAH’S PUNISHMENT - BE WARNED
Currently, Muslims are going through a very difficult period and there are very few occasions in the entire history of Islam where Muslims have encountered as much suffering as we do today. It seems that all the satanic forces have now come out of their hide outs, unmasking their hatred for Muslims and Islam, and exterminating our people in various parts of the world. Their frenzy reminds us of a saying of our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam (SAW), the best warner of mankind, as narrated by his companion Thawbaan (ra): The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
The people will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their dish. Someone asked: Will that be because of our small numbers at that time? He replied: No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be scum and rubbish like that carried down by a torrent, and Allah will take away fear of you from the breasts of your enemies and embed enervation (wahn) into your hearts. Someone asked: What is wahn (enervation)? The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied: Love of the world and dislike of death.
(Abu Dawood : Kitab-ul-Malahim : Book 37 : Hadith 4284)
We Muslims comprise approximately 28% of world population, more than a billion. But look at the suffering of our people in the hands of non-Muslims and even non-Islamic governments ruling over us. Our collective strength has now become zero. As to the tyrannies perpetrated by our own non-Islamic governments, acting as stooges for the kuffaar governments, we are reminded by a prophetic Hadith of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW), narrated on the authority of Sayyiduna Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman (ra): The Messenger of Allah (SAW) was reported saying:
Prophethood will last among you for as long as Allah wills, then Allah would take it away. Then it will be (followed by) a rightly-guided Khilafah upon the way of the Prophethood. It will remain for as long as Allah wills, then Allah would take it away. Then there will be a biting rule which will remain for as long as Allah wills, then He will lift it if He wills. Afterwards, there will be oppressive rule, and it will last for as long as Allah wills, then He will lift it if He wills. Then there will be a rightly-guided Khilafah upon the ways of the Prophethood, then he kept silent. (Musnad of Imam Ahmad)
It is also reported through Abu Ubaidah (ra) and Muadh ibn-Jabal (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
This affair (Islam) certainly began with Prophethood and as a mercy. Then it will be mercy and caliphate, after which it will change into a biting monarchy, and finally into iniquity and tyranny. (Al-Jami' al-Saghir, no. 3336; Ibn Hanbal, 4:273; Ibn Hibban, Sahih, 8:227; Abu Dawood, Sunna, 8; Tirmidhi, Fitan, 48)
Which student of Islamic history can deny the truth of these prophetic traditions? What went wrong? Did we love this World (Dunya) at the expense of the Hereafter (Akhirah) so much so that we neglected our duty to obey Allah and His messenger? Why did we not benefit from the lessons of history, especially the ones related to the ummah of other prophets? Did not our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) warn us that if we did not follow Allah's commands, then we would repeat the mistakes of past people; as narrated by Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri (ra) when he said that the Messenger of Allah said:
You will follow the ways of those nations who were before you, span by span and cubit by cubit (i.e., inch by inch) so much so that even if they entered a hole of a lizard, you would follow them. We said, "O Allah's Apostle! (Do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?" He said, "Whom else?"
(Sahih Al-Bukhari : Book 9 : Volume 92 : Hadith 422)
And how true was Rasoolullah (SAW)? Abdullah bin Amr bin al-’Aas (R) reported the Messenger of Allah (SAW) as saying:
My Ummah will undergo and experience all those conditions which were suffered by the Banu-Isra’eel in a manner of resemblance in which a shoe of a pair resembles the other shoe. (Tirmidhi)
Is there some parallel between what is happening today to us Muslims with those of children of Israel? Let us look at some historical evidences to answer this question. Let us start with a minor historical background of the Banu-Isra’eel.
First, we must note that the key ingredient for success as a community lies ONLY in following the commandments of Allah Subhaana Wa Ta’alaa, especially in encouraging each other to goodness and in fighting out evil. As long as the Banu-Isra’eel followed these commands, they were showered with enormous bounties and favours from Allah. But when they rebelled, they were punished severely.
After the establishment of the Davidic (Prophet Dawood - Alayhis Salaam) dynasty in Palestine, gradually the Banu-Isra’eel started drifting away from their religion, brought by their Prophets. The kingdom got divided into two, each vying for supremacy, even by collaborating with the heathens. Not only that: in their selfish desire of material happiness, the Banu-Israel ascribed partners to Allah (SWT), by worshipping a multitude of gods. Note that there was a psychological phenomenon linked to their inferiority complex. When the Banu-Israel became weak and realized that polytheists were stronger they started believing the idols of polytheists (pagan gods) to have more power than their God - YHWH, and that YHWH was weak. A multitude of prophets came and warned them of their abominable acts. But by then false prophets had also emerged, misguiding them against the true prophets of Allah. There was hardly a sin that the Banu-Isra’eel did not indulge in. As a result, Allah's anger and wrath fell upon them. Allah describes this in the Noble Qur’an:
And We decreed for the Children of Israel in the Scripture, that indeed you would do mischief on the earth twice and you will become tyrants and extremely arrogant! So, when the promise came for the first of the two, We sent against you slaves of Ours given to terrible warfare. They entered the very innermost parts of your homes. And it was a promise (completely) fulfilled. Then We gave you once again, a return of victory over them. And We helped you with wealth and children and made you more numerous in man power. (And We said): "If you do good, you do good for your own selves, and if you do evil (you do it) against yourselves." Then, when the second promise came to pass, (We permitted your enemies) to make your faces sorrowful and to enter the mosque (of Jerusalem) as they had entered it before, and to destroy with utter destruction all that fell in their hands. [And We said in the Taurat (Torah)]: "It may be that your Lord may show mercy unto you, but if you return (to sins), We shall return (to Our Punishment). And We have made Hell a prison for the disbelievers. (Surah Bani-Isra’eel 17 : 4-8)
Similarly, the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has also undergone two periods of chastisement.
The first chastisement of the Muslims came in the late 11th century (1099 C.E.) and continued to the 13th century. First, it was in the hands of the Christian Crusaders (just as Allah had chastised the Israelites before with Kafir Assyrians). More than 70,000 unarmed Muslim civilians, mostly elderly men, women and children, were massacred by the savage Christian Crusaders in Jerusalem. (Refer to Anthony Nutting's account on Christian cruelties in "The Arabs"). This was the time when the Abbasid Caliphate was already in its death-bed. Eventually, the non-Arab leadership of Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi (RA) rescued the Muslims. Thereafter, the Mongol invasion came. In 1258 C.E., the Mongols, after ravaging initially Afghanistan and Iran, and finally the capital city of Baghdad, massacred millions of Muslims. (This was very similar to Nebuchadnezzar's invasion and destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.) The heart of the Muslim land was so much devastated that it reminds us of that person among the Banu-Israel who while passing through the ruins of Jerusalem remarked: "Who is going to revive this dead city?" At the end, Allah showed His mercy on us. The Abbasid Caliphate collapsed with the fall of Malik Mu'tassim, the Muslim Caliph. In 1260 C.E. the non-Arab Muslims checked the Tartar invasion of the western Islamic world. The leadership of the Muslim Ummah was then transferred to non-Arabs, especially to the posterities of Tartars. One branch of Tartars - the Taimuri Turks took control over India, the other branch - Uthmaniyyah Turks, took control over the Asia Minor and the northern Africa.
The second chastisement of the Ummah began with process of colonization. With the birth of European Imperialism and colonization of non-European territories, the wings of the vast Muslim empire (to the east and the west) were first lost, while the heart (central) land managed to survive. First, the feeble Andalusia (Spain) was lost to the Catholics. With the Spanish Inquisition not a single Muslim soul survived in Andalusia. In subsequent centuries Indonesia, the Philippines (Mindanao), Malaysia and India were lost. So were lost the entire North Africa, including Muslim countries of West and East Africa. During this period, although the Uthmaniyyah Empire managed to keep its central (Turkey and West Asiatic) territories, it became the "Sick Man of Europe", with a total incompetency to protect its own once held vast territories. The last days of Uthmaniyyah Empire were similar to those experienced by the Abbasids nearly eight centuries ago. Muslims were once again without any leader or guide.
One interesting feature of the Islamic Caliphate is about the capital city of the Islamic Empire. During our Prophet’s (SAW) time, it was Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah. It was then moved to Kufa during Sayyiduna Ali's (R) Caliphate. During the Umayyad period, the capital moved further away to Damascus. It then moved to Baghdad during the Abbasid period and finally to Istanbul during the Uthmaniyyah period, moving further away from the heartlands of Islam - Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Madinah Al-Munawwarah.
The greatest blow to the Ummah came with the establishment of the state of Israel in Palestine and the capture of Jerusalem by the Zionists at the end of the Six-day war in 1967. This alone resulted in the uprooting of millions of Palestinian Muslims. In this way, the second retribution upon the Muslims (similar to the experience of the Jews, when they were totally displaced from Jerusalem and its neighbouring territories after 70 C.E.) was completed.
In the post-colonial period, the entire Muslim world was fragmented into pieces, with artificial boundaries. People, who have for centuries lived as brothers, were, all on a sudden, forced to believe that they were ethnically different. Thanks to the Divide and Rule policy of the European Imperialists; Even an ethnic community was divided up among many nation-states. Thanks also to the western education system and the destruction of Islamic Institutions of learning during the imperialistic rule of our territories. The entire political, economic, social system was replaced with an alien system in direct conflict with previously established institutions within the Islamic world.
European military and economic adventurism left in its wake a trail of blood and human misery. The once powerful Islamic world was reduced to "backward" and "poor" countries, always at the mercy of the West for their mere survival. What a tragedy! What a price we are paying for the mistakes/blunders of our ancestors. In the newly emerged nation-states, power was given to those who either had previously collaborated with the imperialistic governments, or to those who were culturally "French-fried" (western, secularised groups of individuals).
As a result of this western imposed political surgery and the artificial implantation of foreign, atheistic, materialistic, bankrupt philosophies in the body of the Ummah, our leaders have tried everything that the West had produced, from western style democracy (parliamentary or presidential forms) to socialism/communism to military oligarchy (pertaining to government by a few elite group), but Islam. The end result has been a dismal performance in all of our nation-states.
The process of revitalization, therefore, may take a long time. In the past, the process of revitalization was always aimed at the defence and protection of the Muslim land. The religion of Islam in itself was not much threatened - with the possible exception of our intellectual demise, caused as a result of destruction of Baghdad with its many libraries of higher learning by the Mongols.
Currently, what we are witnessing is something new - vicious attacks against our very Deen, Al-Islam. One can see such attacks by reading the media and browsing the internet websites where our enemies are displaying their demented lowliness. These vicious attacks against the very Deen of Islam are very saddening for any Muslim. Many have tried to alienate by distancing themselves from Islam, fear of being labelled as "fundamentalists". Some are trying to assimilate like the Diaspora Jews of old. In these times, education is the best medicine for all, especially those suffering from amnesia. Every possession that you have (including your very own self) can be enslaved - except your mind - unless you allow it to happen. Know that once you allow your mind to be controlled, there is nothing left of you to be controlled. Therefore, let us not allow our minds to be controlled by others. Assimilation has NEVER worked and will NEVER work. Sayyiduna Anas (ra) narrates that Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:
Such a time will come upon people that it will be as difficult for them to remain on Deen as it is for a person to hold a burning coal in his hand. (Tirmidhi)
We can be sure that Islam, in recent years, has become like a "burning coal", too difficult to hold onto or nurture. Yet, it is absolutely necessary for all Muslims to hold on to it, because in Islam lies hope for Muslims in particular, and for humanity in general. The Western society can gain a lot through its contact with Islam. Islam can truly solve many man-made problems haunting the western society. That is why it has become more important than ever before to work towards revitalization of the Ummah.
Know very well that the disbelievers (kuffaar) are very weak. Therefore, we should never give up hope in Allah. Let our goodness surpass the goodness of every other human being on the face of the earth. Let us command the respect of others through our good deeds. Know that Muhammad (SAW) said, as reported by Abu Umamah (ra): When your good deed pleases you and evil deed grieves you, you are a Muslim. (Ahmad)
May Allah guide us to follow His Deen in pristine purity by enjoining each other to good and preventing each other from all evil and falsehood.
May Allah weaken the hands of the kuffaar by the rise of another Salahuddin Ayyubi and ease the tasks of our rulers in carrying out Allah’s command of establishing the proper Islamic Caliphate in its pristine purity like that of Caliph Umar (ra).
May Allah, the Most Merciful, also give us all the love to tread the Path of Taqwah to the best of our ability. Ameen!
Requesting your humble duas!
Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir,
Umhlanga Rocks, KZN,