“No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware (of things).” [Quran chapter 31, Verse 34] We are chasing life as if today and tomorrow will never end. And yet there is only one thing that we can all be certain of, and that is that we won’t last forever. Despite the facts we have a bad habit of constantly complaining, we have a bad habit of always portraying the victim and we give excuses to the rest of humanity, that we are helpless and that our civil liberties are being eroded because we are Muslims. But when you look a little closer and the solution we are looking for, it is somewhere else. It is not in the Quran and in the Sunnah, it is in manmade ideologies and philosophies and then we complain while we are nothing more than slaves to a Godless capitalist society.
We quote Aristotle, we quote De Vinci, we quote Mandela and Kennedy, yet we fail to quote the most important men and women in our Islamic history. Is it because of our ignorance or because we are afraid? That is a question I would like us to ask ourselves.
“We were the most humiliated people on earth and God gave us honor through Islam. If we ever seek honor through anything else, God will humiliate us again.” ― Umar ibn Al-Khattab (RA)
And look at the Muslims of the world today. Humiliated, as we have forgotten what once bought us honor. Like sheep that have lost their shepherd we have left the fold, and we are in the den of wolves that are ready to pounce at any moment. We plea with mere mortals for change, obscure that the only change will come from making dua’a to Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala, and our own efforts. Do we really want change? Then first let us change ourselves. Do we want good leaders? Our Islamic history proves that when the people were good, they had good leaders. So what does that say about the people in the world today? Do we really want the world to be a better place? Do we really claim to be what we say we are? If the answer is yes, then go back and read the Quran, go back and follow the Sunnah, and understand for everybody else man-made laws and philosophies will work, but for Muslims the only thing that will bring us back is the Quran and the Sunnah.
Is that too difficult to understand? We claim we are Muslims but Muslim is not just in a name. I don’t intend on beating around the bush, and I don’t intend on providing a facade of the reality of the situation today.
Mu'awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan (RA) said 'I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say, 'Nothing remains of this world except trials and tribulations.' [Sunan Ibn Majah] The world today is the very proof of the trials and tribulations that we are facing. In some cases we don’t even need to look around, it is happening on our very own doorstep and yet we remain ignorant to the wants of this world. "And fear a trial which will not strike those who have wronged among you exclusively, and know that Allah is severe in penalty" [Quran chapter 8, verse 25]
We may not do any wrong, but we are no better than those who do wrong when we do nothing at all.
The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was speaking to a group of Sahabas (companions) about a time which will be full of fitnah, the Sahaba were concerned and said, “What will be the way out Oh Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said, “Hold on to the Book of Allah” in the time of fitnah, this is what you have to do. “In it is the narration of those who came before us and those who will come after us.” More than 1400 years ago, we were warned, we were sent a final message of mercy to the whole of mankind, not to a selected few, but to the whole of the human race. During that period, rivers have changed directions, civilizations have fallen and others have risen, languages became extinct and the miracle that we have forgotten is that for more than 1400 years, not a word, not a letter, not a dot has changed in the Book of Allah (Subhanu wa ta’ala).
Our greatest tragic dilemma is the ignorance of our roots, the reason of our purpose in this temporary dunya (life). We choose our battles, we choose our direction, we choose what we stand for and we cannot lay blame to anyone or anything other than ourselves. Do not fall prey to the power of deception; do not fall for the cunning tricks. No one can be forced into the wrong path, no one can be forced to do wrong, it is the influence of free will that drives us to disobey. “He who does not live in the way of his beliefs starts to believe in the way he lives.” ― Umar ibn Al-Khattab (RA)
We live in the most amazing of times ever since the mercy to the whole of mankind, the last and final Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. We are witnessing verse after verse of the Holy Quran before our very eyes, a sign, a warning of what has come and what is about to occur, yet we fail to embrace the times and we are waiting on the sideline afraid to speak, in fear of the creation while neglecting what matters the most which is the Creator.
What is wrong with us? And when I look at the Arab world in particular, I wonder, what has become of us?
Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said “Islam began as something strange and will go back to being strange, so glad tidings to the strangers.” (Sunan Ibn Majah) It was said: “Who are the strangers?’ He ﷺ said: “Strangers who have left their families and tribes.” (Sunan Ibn Majah) And indeed this is the case today whether we want to acknowledge the fact or neglect it.
History repeats and in particular the last century with the mass media and technology, the Arab and Islamic world has been humiliated.. why? We have been labelled with every label possible known to mankind since the dawn of time, and only once and a step back in time did we once have our honor. Narrated Usamah ibn Zayd: Once the Prophet (ﷺ) stood on one of the high buildings (of Medina) and said, "Do you see what I see? I see affliction pouring among your hours like raindrops." [Sahih Bukhari] And so begins our decline, unless we start treading in the right direction again.
Did Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala tell us to create and follow man made laws? Are there instructions in the Quran or in any hadith to create or implement other laws other than what Allah Subhanu wa ta’ala ordained? Are there different instructions depending on the century we are born in, and on the technology achieved?
People give excuses today, they say times are different; we live in a different era, with all this technology. But we as people have never really changed. We still contain the same feelings, same pain, same hearts, the same loss, same happiness, a soul. The physical appearance of the world may have changed but we as people are the same from the beginning of time to the end of days.
I recently read, “The Way Out of Tribulations” by Shaykh Muhammad Isma'il al-Muqaddam which made me stop and think and it is of the utmost importance to share. We like to claim and perceive that we are Muslims so here are some of the questions raised and questions I hope we will start asking ourselves.
“Do we believe in Allah and that He is the Creator? And do we believe that He knows what was and what is, and that He is most knowledgeable about creation, and that He knows mankind, what is good for it and what is bad? And do we believe that He sent the Messenger Muhammad (ﷺ) with guidance and truth, and revealed to him this Qur'an in which there is guidance for mankind to set right by it both their religion, and their worldly affairs? “As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward oftheir own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise” [Quran chapter 5, verse 38] Do we believe that this verse is truly from the Qur'an? How much will we then ignore it? What then is our law? This is just an example I am relating. We have no excuses. The time has come to speak the truth, and end this act of spinelessness. We are on this Earth for a reason, not for treason, and if we continue on this path we will fall like the people of Thamud, Ad, Al Rass, like the people in the time of the Prophet Lut (AS), many others.
So what is the matter with us? Be proud of what we are, be proud of what we must recite, what we must relate, and stand firm with the truth whether the creation likes it or not and remember... Worship the Creator, not the creation. We will remain weak as long as Islam comes second.
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