There is a great deal of gloom and despondency among Muslims. This, despite the fact that we have a tremendous human potential of some 1.3 billion, and are leading the world in growth - especially in productive youngsters. We are also blessed with an abundance of natural resources such as petroleum and natural gas, while inhabiting the most strategic areas of the globe. Place these factors in the context of Islam's uniquely transcendental message, alongside the testimonials of a glorious historic past, and you have all the ingredients for a respectable place in the comity of nations.
Given this, especially in the post-colonial era, we should have taken off on sound footing, building a grand society on our traditional Islamic principles of justice, freedom, peace and prosperity. Yet we did not. And our masses are among the world's poor, hungry, and illiterate. With over a 60 percent illiteracy rate, our people are held backwards and have few avenues of gainful productivity. As a result, nearly 40 percent live below the poverty line (less than $2.00 a day). And while our masses continue to suffer, corrupt autocratic dictators plunder our resources and loot the public treasury. And when they finally leave thrones of power, billions are taken with them to be stashed in foreign banks.
These dictators have perfected the tools of corruption through deceit and nepotism; silencing and terrorizing the masses through coercion, detention and murder, maintaining their status quo by subservience to foreign masters, attending to their interests, rather than the interests of their own people.
In addition, the current havoc wrought on Muslim lands amply demonstrates that it is past time that our masses and genuine leadership take affairs in their own hands; they can no longer afford to leave them to autocratic rulers or their cliques and protgs, and the circumstances that necessarily result. Each and every one of us has to be earnestly committed and involved in all our affairs.
First and foremost, we must acquire knowledge. Indeed, the era of inquiry, inquisition and application started with the first word of Iqra revealed to the Prophet , and he made it incumbent on every Muslim, male and female, to acquire it from the cradle to the grave. This mandate created a great civilization unparalleled in the history of humankind. Unfortunately, this enlightened culture weakened because this noble tradition of scholarship was neglected by rulers of the day, only to be subsequently followed by subjugation by colonialists. And the failed states of the Muslim world today pay no heed to this tradition.
Public education and accessibility to knowledge must now constitute our primary concern since there is no lack of talent among Muslims within and without Muslim countries. And in this age of the Internet, with the free flow of information, one less barrier is breached. Essential is organization by dedicated individuals at the local level. And each and every one of us should be involved in one form or another, in attending or promoting it. Those with means should loosen their purses wide open, for that is best that can be done to uplift their people, while ensuring rewards with the Creator in the Hereafter.
However, it is important for those involved in this endeavor that the information imparted be relevant to our crucial understanding of Islam, offering Islamic solutions to the exigencies of our times, while adopting modern means for their usefulness.
Muslims in the West, while promoting Islamic understanding among them, must develop necessary institutions, and simultaneously play their due role in this effort in Muslim countries. American Muslims, in particular, coming from almost every nation, are in a unique position, representing a microcosm of the Ummah, who can offer solutions for the Ummah's problems as they gather together their large pool of talent and advanced educational resources. American Muslims should develop requisite institutions in the U.S., as well as get involved in collaborative efforts in Muslim countries.
Among the primary institutions to be established and strengthened are those that serve as rights and civil liberties watchdogs; preserve and protect public funds against misappropriation and corruption; maximize public scrutiny and debate; and work for the unity and solidarity of the Ummah.
We must utilize the above means as committed Muslims. It means that we are committed to Allah, our Lord and Creator, put our trust in Him, and know that success will come if we are true believers - that we are conscious of our accountability and answerability to Him for all our actions. Our approach must be in conformity with the maxim - "seeking the good of this world and the good of the Hereafter." This commitment necessarily entails that we root out any and all selfishness, and work hard for the collective good of the community, the Ummah, and humanity at large.
Unfortunately, while we are good at concentrating on our individual salvation, we waste much time on issues that are peripheral and not of much significance to our collective existence which is at stake. Differences in seeing issues from different perspectives are a healthy sign, but only to the extent that they are not exaggerated to become detrimental to the community. Thus, while welcoming differences in views and ideas and encouraging diversity for the greater good, any sectarianism, discord and conflict must be shunned, and all of our issues resolved through discussion, amicably. Islam places its utmost emphasis on the unity of Ummah, second only to the submission to Allah; and condemns in the strongest terms any willful attempt that causes splitting of the Ummah.
Pursuing the above, Muslims must also be committed human beings, because Islam ascribes nothing more than a sublimation of human values. All it seeks is the good for humanity, in Toto, so we should embrace good wherever it is, irrespective of whence it emanates. This role is in accord with the Quranic message, for example, "You are the best Ummah evolved for humankind; you enjoin what is good and check what is wrong and evil for humankind while having faith in Allah" (Quran, 3:110). Its other characteristic is Ummatan Wastan, a median or balanced community given the responsibility of exemplifying as "witnesses (to the truth) before humankind" (Quran, 2:143). The greatness of Islamic Ummah is contingent upon carrying out this great role for humankind that it is assigned.
Therefore, Muslims must form alliances and coalitions worldwide, especially in the West, with likeminded people and organizations that stand for causes in common between them.
Muslims cannot remain on the sidelines of this movement or only get earnestly involved with a holistic, transcendental vision taking the lead and guiding role. This is because Islam, literally and purposely, is peace, and takes an unreserved stand for justice humankind as a whole. The Quranic injunctions are clear; such as, "Allah commands you to render back your trusts to those to whom they are due; And when you judge between humankind, that you judge with justice: Verily how excellent is the teaching, which He gives you! For Allah is He who hears and sees all things" (Quran, 5:58). Then, further on in the same chapter, it instructs, "O You who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it is (against) rich or poor; for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your heart), lest you swerve, and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do" (Quran, 4:135).
Siraj Islam Mufti, Ph.D. is a researcher and a free-lance journalist.
The brother presents a thoughtful, insightful article.
My concern is 2 fold.
1. While there seem to be many more muslims
individually writing of Islam, and it's strengths, its
glorious purpose, there seems to be still lacking a cadre
of "true muslims" to serve as a catalyst for the millions of
American muslims who desire/need direction &
guidance in order to proceed with ways & means of
strengthening the Ummah, as well as serving as role
models (which to me is the BEST dawah) to our
non-muslim friends and neighbors.
2. My second concern is the the Muslim Family itself,
and what I feel is a deterioration in the practice of our
faith as well as the example, expectations and
education we provide for the muslim youth in this
May Allah guide us in addressing these issues and
inshallah, attempting to concretely begin to address
and begin to resolve these issues on a local, regional,
We also cannot forget the suffering of our brothers &
sisters the world over.
The question now is why is it that we are not promoting the great scientists like Ibn Rushd at schools and colleges. Please visit the website: http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ir/default.htm.
Muslims should not criticise others for criticism itself is a self defeat ideology. However if one has an issue with someone else or someone's culture he/she must look at the issue she/he has a problem with. It might not be the person but for example a statement made or an action done.
For the average person who does not possess the tools of critical thinking(within context of Islam) I would say dialogue is the best method to use. The reason being criticism can bring self defence and hence can create negative output. Example of a dialogue between muslims and Christians:
For muslims Islam is a way of life. The reason being all our guidance comes from the Quran and the teachings of our Prophet Mohamed(peace be upon him). I would say knowledge and Islam are like twins. For example one can visit:
Reading a scholar's statement I strongly agree that we are super computer human beings who has a manual. God designed us in a unique way and sent messengers as software engineers who can interpret the manual(the Quran) and teach us all about it. Let us compare our heart to a software program and the rest to hardware. In Islam all intentions originate from the heart. Also it is a fact that without a manual a computer program is of no use.
Insulting others has no place in Islam but positive dialogue has. In Africa our elders use dialogue to discuss issues and resolve conflicts.
We can only get closer to Allah through knowledge and Allah is the Guide, the
I READ THIS ARTICLE AND FOUND IT VERY MUCH ALIGN
WITH MY THOUGHTS. BUT I WOULD LIKE TO ADD FEW NOTES WHICH I THINK IS MISSING:
1)MOSLIMS IN WORLD NEED TO FIND MORE COMMON GROUND THAN DIFFRENCES,LETS FORGET ABOUT ALL DIFFERENT MAZHABS, JUST STAY WITH ALLAH AND QURAN AND MOHAMMD(PBUH)AS THE PROPHET.
2)UNFORTUNATLY THERE ARE TOO MANY VOICES IN ISLAM WIT DIFFRENT INTERPRETATION OF THIER OWN OF QURAN
OR HADITH, LETS HAVE ONE COMMITTEE OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS AND THEY COME OUT WITH FINAL WORD TO THE WORLD AND EVERYBODY TO ACCEPT THAT(OF COURSE WITH TIME AND DIFFRENT ATMOSPHERE THESE CONCULOSIONS CAN BE MODIFIED).
3)WE AS MOSLEMS AS YOU MENTIONED NEED TO FIRST EDUCATE OURSELVER(MALE AND FEMALE,UNLIKE TALEBAN WHO WOULD NOT ALLOW GIRLS TO BECOME EDUCATED),THEN
WE NEED TO STOP SEEING OURSELVES AS SAVIOR OF THE WORLD, WE NEED TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR ME BEFORE EXTEDING AND PUSHING MY RELIGION ON OTHERS.BEHAVE HONEST AND HUMBLE.
4)AND LAST OUR RELIGIOUS LEADERS NEED TO STOP USING OUR YOUNG PEOPLE AS THIER OWN TOOL TO REACH THIER OWN POLITICAL GOAL, AND SHOW THEM HOW TO BE WISE AND DO NOT RESPOND TO THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT.
I HOPE GOD BRINGS PEACE AND UNDERSTANDING TO THE WORLD. THANK YOU
I saw your atricle. You are perfectly right.
I appriciate the diagnosis of the muslim community. It is really an eye pener. Keep it up.
The spirit of mankind community
Where intellectuals and the layman gather
From all walks of life
To discuss the issue common to mankind
Poverty; health; education; spiritual guidance
Can I say more
Souls so diverse
Yet so connected
Oh Allah source of all our knowledge
The Creator of Mankind
Through your knowledge we will discover all our talents;
For knowledge is in itself power
Power so vast yet so untapped
Power that no woman or man can own
For owning knowledge is in itself a defeat and hence ignorance;
We are like children for the more we learn
The less we know;
Oh! Allah the Lord of the Worlds
The Most Beneficent The Most Merciful
You have set us a maze
A maze of knowledge
With Your help we will find every clue for ourselves;
Surely in the end we will all join you
Oh our beloved Allah
The Lord of the worlds
We thank you for bestowing Your Mercy on us
To help us, help one another through ICT
A communication so unique
Where no one sees one another
Yet our souls are united to help and solve mankind's problem;
It does not matter what colour, creed or religion one comes from;
We are all here to help
To put a smile on someone's face
To feed the poor so that they can have a basic decent life
To educate those who are not fortunate to have basic education;
Oh Allah the list is long and there are more challenges ahead of us;
But with Your Mercy and Help we can break barriers;
Oh Allah, we thank you for all that You have given us...
The digital divide issues(computer have's and have nots) is one area where individuals and organisations can contribute to promote illiteracy, health, education and so on using ICT. One should not forget that computers, emails, internet, telecommunication are all part of ICT. The tools of ICT can be used to empower poor nations across the globe. Also to preserve our cultural heritages such as books and printed materials that are out of date can be digitised and published on the internet.
The global world has connected in a unique way using ICT such that distance is not a barrier any more. Discussion lists or forums which are moderated have been created to discuss different issues related to ICT. Organisations and individuals can join in to promote ICT.
You can find out how ICT is reshaping the global world:
You can even create your own expertise section.
Also others organisations bridging the digital divide issue:
Digital divide network
Digital Divice Partnership Online
Canada's ICT week:
Faith Science: The "Yoga" of Islamic Prayer
Global Muslim Ecommunity:
The list is huge but by taking part in global efforts we can chan
I've just read COMMITMENT WITH UNDERSTANDING an article by Siraj Islam Mufti, a really nice article touching on contemporary issues. I agree with him in everything excepyt this: that we cannot wait until we are all fully educated. Sample this: During apartheid, ANC leaders had a meeting in which some officials suggested that the the military wing stop its activities till they the blacks in South Africa got fully educated. one memeber, i think Sisulu, rejected this and authorised the beginning of vilent resistance.And we now know what happened next. imagine if they sat back to educate the populace-may be they would still be servants in their own country.... Pliz consifdr this.
I think that we find the answer in the remarks of Riffat Hassan, who described a familiar story, at least familiar to most reasonably well read people:
"What these dialogue participants need to realize is that the Muslim world has not gone through the paradigm changes that the Western Judeo-Christian world has, and that it is, therefore not appropriate to compare either largely uneducated Muslim societies with much better educated Western societies or Muslims who have been educated in the pre-Enlightenment, perhaps even the pre-Reformation mode with Westerners who have been educated in the post-Enlightenment, perhaps even post-modern mode. It is a sign of insensitivity if not arrogance to expect Muslims who have not had the opportunity to go through the process of becoming critical thinkers to engage in a dialogue..." (Education for Peace, eds. Haim Gordon & Leonard Grob, 1987, p. 97)
Fair enough, though it is more a result of clinging to a pre-modern religion than anything to do with "cultural imperialism" as she later claims.
However, the more interesting facet of this issue is why educated Muslims, or those educated in the professional and technical fields at least, prove almost equally unable or unwilling to become critical thinkers, and actually attempt to look at all sides of an issue, and rationally arrive at a view. Instead, we usually find them dogmatically quoting the Koran, making value judgments of others and other cultures soley on the authority of the Koran, or simply insulting people. It doesn't take much intellectual wherewithal to do that, but it does to give an argument.
I agree with the matters you pointed But how can we getaround the SHAMES . In all our great Organisation are managed by NON MUSLIMS
I expect from you good uggetions to overcome our SHAMES
Lets just start with going to our community centers (The Mosques), an easy way to do this is to start praying 5 times a day, and not quickly head out after each prayer but spend some time mingling with our Muslim borthers & sisters. This act increases our understanding of the community and its problems, its character and its constitution (both in terms of human and other assets). This is the first requirement for formation of a community and once we have a functioning community only then can we have collective action.
We also need to try to bring more and more people into this collective. It helps to understand this as a process and a reward in itself; I say this because, all of us have the need of looking for a quick wordly reward, but the reward here is far reaching. We don't want that thought process interfering with this. Allah's hand is on the Jama' and we need to continue to foster it and keep on making it strong, sometimes at the expense of our egos and prides, and committments of time and money etc. etc. Once we have this worked into our lifes other things will flow out of it automatically.
I can go on and on about the benefits that this process offers but, I would rather use up the last few words to stress again that the reward may come after a lot of hardwork and a long time, but it will, and my generation may or may not be there to reap it but we will have laid a foundation for the coming ones to build upon and ultimately succeed.
For what are Muslims to pray, in these days?
What do they lack most?
What do they need most?
Which concrete and sincere one wish, if realized, would truly help to strengthen the good values of Islam?
Which thought, if dedicatedly meditated upon by most Muslims, would lead their community along a path of renaissance?
Which prayer would surely bring the correct inspiration?
Mash-Allah! This is an EXCELLENT article; I cannot say enough good about it. All Muslims need to read and think about it. It's not bashing, not siding with one line of thought or another, but putting Islam first in all things for the betterment of the ummah and mankind. It addresses so many things I've been upset and worried about in our ummah, and is written from the perspective of one who knows and understands our deen. May Allah bless and reward author Siraj Islam Mufti; there is much good to come from this article, al-hamdu lillah!
Jazzak Allah Khair - please let me know when Siraj Islam Mufti has other articles.
we have to checkout ourselves..then we can do our deen perfectly
Allah's Messenger (sallAllaahu 'alaihi wasallam) said: The best of
your rulers are those whom you love and who love you, who invoke
God's blessings upon you and you invoke His blessings upon them. And
the worst of your rulers are those whom you hate and who hate you and
whom you curse and who curse you. It was asked (by those present):
Shouldn't we overthrow them with the help of the sword? He said: No,
as long as they establish prayer among you. If you then find anything
detestable in them, you should hate their administration, but do not
withdraw yourselves from their obedience.I think when you can obey the kuffar goverments rules and relugations then there is no harm in obeying a aggresive muslim ruler. ther is no ppoint in calling the taliban as terroist or saddam as terrorist to make kafir hapy. that is shear hypocrisy according to rasullalah there is no hope for people who cannot say the truth in front of tyrant. and oppose his actions by word and deed
Wow! Well said.
i am indeed sad to note the activities of our so called rulers, how the sadly misrepresented islam and its clean values, i am in total support of general rethink on the pat of the ummah. Muslims all over the world must wake up and challenge injustice and bad leardership. we must all remember that Allah SWT will call us to account.
thank and may Allah continue to grand victory to us.
An excellent article of great benefit!!! However, I must express concern about public education existing as our primary concern in accessing the talents of our youth. The public education system is half of what brought us to the fine predicament we are in to begin with.
Our effort is not to raise a good "citizen of the state" , but moreover to raise a "good human being". A good human being requires the faculties of critical and independent thinking. Whereas a good citizen of the state may involve being a "good" or "bad" human being. We muslims should be inculcating in our youth the ability to make sound judgements based on independent, moral thinking. Public and western secular education is robotized and anti-independent.
Thank you for this wonderful article.
Give me your e mail adress I promise to post my views insha allah.
the first verses wich was revaluated to prophet(pbuh)"read or proclaim in the name of ALLAH". state the importance of acquiring knowldge.
as we see the dictators among our muslim naton(s)
the fact i dont understand is are these people realy following the islamic democracy or.....
TAKING ABOUT PERCENTAGES? WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE MUSLIM UMMAH PRAY SALAH 5 TIMES DAILY? SOMEONE CAME UP WITH A FIGURE OF 5%. EVEN THE JEWS SAY, AND I QUOTE "WHEN YOU MUSLIMS START PRAYING YOUR SALAH, JUST AS YOU PRAY ON FRIDAYS, EVERYDAY, 5 TIMES, THAN WE WILL HAVE SOMETHING TO FEAR ABOUT, UNTIL THAN YOU ARE LOSERS".
SO MY HHUMBLE ADVICE TO ALL BROTHERS AND SISTERS IS, LET US ALL REPENT AND MAKE A FIRM INTENTION TODAY, TONIGHT, NOW THAT WE WILL NOT MISS A SINGLE SALAH. PRAY IN THE MUSJID WHENEVER POSSIBLE, NEXT PRAY AT WORK OR SHOP IN JAMAH, SISTERS AT HOME PRAY AT HOME.
LET US ALL SUBMIT TO ALLAH FOR GUIDENCE TODAY NOW EVERTIME. WE NEED ALLAH ALLAH DOES NOT NEED US.
Brother Mufti's article has inspired me.
With great pleasure i write this note. This article i hope brings out a lot of details to us, the person who wrote it is a very learned person, with excellent understanding and wisdom (Hikma from Allah) Allah has bestowed upon him. It is also essential to understand the open-mindedness the Quran creates in a human being, be it in dialogue or building a world with justice, freedom and peace or any other thing that we can think of. It tells certain chosen human beings who have attained that level of intellectual excellence and wisdom, to serve the people in a just way, and build a moral society. And to those who are still on their way to attaining it to follow the righteous path of guidance.
It is a known fact that reading broadens one's knowledge and thinking, and it is also a known fact that as Muslims it is our reponsibility to help the masses get the most authentic information be it muslims or non-muslims. I am deliberately not giving a solution to the above two statements that i made, on how to solve the problem of distribution of knowledge, which is my intent, because i want everyone to "THINK" of how to do it, if one does not know how to do it then join the group of people who know how to do it and "LEARN". We have been given "GUIDANCE" and a "BRAIN". Now what we need to do is open the "EYES OF OUR MIND". Now is better than later or never. May Allah forgive me for my shortcomings and mistakes. Any good understanding that comes out of these comments is because of Allah and any wrong understanding that comes out of this is because of me.
Projecting pessimism onto the Ummah of Muhammad(SAW)is now a thing of the past. Today Muslims rejoice in universal political awareness post Bush and Blair Crusades.
Colonial intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq shows the kuffar fear for their puppets and global influence in the face of the march of political Islam towards its ultimate goal - one state which is Shara for all Muslims.
Morale is soaring in Muslim lands demanding the removal of their tyrant rulers and Western backers.
Recently, US crusaders partially removed themselves from Makka and Madina and redeployed their troops to other lands such as Iraq as a ruse to help keep their Saudi allies in power. Muslims now know that oil is only half the story.
Muslims in the West should focus on unifying the Ummah under one banner; not dividing her on pessimism. The Ummah is on the march and nothing the crusaders can do will stop her now they have set fire to believing Muslim hearts.
We in the West have a duty, and an obligation, as part of the Ummah of Muhammad(SAW)to strive for unity and solidarity where ever we find ourselves; to stand with our Muslim brothers in the fight against the crusader as one believing nation.
It is only a matter of time, inshallah, before this Islamic Ummah shakes off the hydra's head that the West has superimposed on her body and replaces it once more with one Amir-Al-Muminun uniting all Muslims under Sharia.
The Kuffar tremble at the example of political Islam. Their own system is a deep quagmire of corruption, plummeting economic, social and moral decay.
"So do not become weak against your enemy, nor be sad and you will be victorious if you are indeed true believers. If wounds and death have touched you, be sure the same wounds and death have touched them. Thus the days, some good, and not so good. We give to men by turns that Allah test the believers and take martyrs from amongst you. And Allah likes not the zalimun
It is absolutely the reponsibility of the scholars to be our guides, as the scholar should be our Amir in every aspect of society to show fellow Muslims the path towards righteousness through leadership. Through Islamic knowledge, we know that it is not just the pious Islamic scholar who has dedicated his life to spreading knowledge who will be judged before Allah, Subhana wa ta'ala, but so will the Shaheed, and so will the Muslim who has spent his life in giving Zakat. All three of these men will be the first to stand before Allah (SWT), and be judged by Him, just as everyone else will, but, based on our INTENTIONS, not on what we have DONE, but for whom we worked in our lives for.
Alhumdulilah, as far as it goes concerning coalitions in the West, as I'm Toronto Canada I see an upsurgance of great unity between the United Church, Masjids, and even Synagogues, all joined forces in their protests against the invasion which happened in Iraq...adn continue to protest against the now occupation of Iraq. Mash-Allah I have seen some very prominent Islamic organizations involving youths in Canada and the USA who are well educated, yet are on the straight path of clinging to the Ummah, following the prophet's Seerah, and being well-educated with Quranic understanding...that is an ongoing process.
May Allah raise the Iman of all those who read this article so that they may take a more active role within their communities!
In a Hadith (Ibn Majah): Aa'ishah (rda) says: " Once the Nabi (saw) entered the house and I guessed from his face that something of great importance had occured. He did not talk to anyone, and after making ablution he entered the masjid. I stood behind the wall to hear what he said. He sat on the mimbar and, after praising Allah Ta'ala, he said; 'O Muslims! Allah Ta'ala has commanded you to call people to good deeds, and prevent them from committing sins; otherwise a time will come when you will make du'a to Him but He will not listen to you; you will ask your needs of Him, but He will not grant them; you will demand His help against your enemies, but He will not help you.' After saying this, he came down from the mimbar."
All Praise be to Allah.
Jaz'ak Allah Khair.
I totally agree with your essays and i do hope that the muslim umma gets your message and works to bring back the golden age of Islam.