‘State of the Ummah’
EVERY ONE OF US IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE STATE OF THE UMMAH
We are all tired of what we see in the news every day; war in Syria and Yemen, genocide in Myanmar, occupation in Palestine, famine in Somalia – to name just a few. It is both mentally draining and depressing to see the current state of the Ummah. One might naturally feel somewhat helpless and wonder why it has come to this. Whilst we living in relative peace and security, all feel the pain of our brothers and sisters around the world.
Of course, given how much we are shown in the news, many have become desensitised to many of these issues, and only awaken when a new or big incident occurs, over and above the day-to-day suffering and “normal” levels of injustice or violence.
Our usual reaction of anger and sadness often ends with a shrug of the shoulders, blaming our corrupt leadership and intending to make duʿā’ for those suffering or to make a donation. Or perhaps that level of anger might last slightly longer so much so that we attend a few protests and write to our local MPs to make our views heard, before slowly but surely getting back to normality. Life must go on, and we can only do so much after all.
Reflecting on the ḥadīth about the Ummah being a body mentioned earlier, surely a sound and healthy body would overcome any aching limbs with ease. However if the body is neglected, it is only natural that more and more ailments will arise.
We need to each realise that every single sin we commit as individuals adds to the wider problem; harming the figurative body in the ḥadīth. Every time one of us neglects an obligatory act, that in itself is likely to have a direct impact on the Ummah as a whole, because when all of these are added up, what are we left with? The answer is a nation collectively living in disobedience to the Creator, and hence deserving of the leadership we face today.
In a Hadeeth in Ibn Majah (authenticated by Albani), the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “O Muhajirun! You may be afflicted with five things. Allah forbid that you should live to see them.
Focus on first four points, all of them are our own personal deeds and especially the fourth point, “If we break our covenant with Allah and His Messenger, we will have an enemy against us to take some of our possessions by force. Is this not what is happening now? And we focus on doing all the marches and protests in front of the oppressors but not rectifying our own affairs.
Thus it is imperative that we, immediately and without procrastination, work on rectifying our own relationships with Allāh and improving ourselves, in order to safely expect the dramatic turnaround we all desire in the Ummah. Our leaders are only a product of the societies they come from; if we want just rulers, let us strive to be just ourselves. And the ultimate justice is being dutiful to Allāh, and living according to how He decreed we should live.
Allāh says in the Qur’ān: “Indeed, Allāh will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Quran 12:11)
If we are truly sincere in our desire to help our brothers and sisters in need around the world and see the status of the Ummah rise, we must take heed of Allah’s words and realise that we, as individuals, are very much part of the problem and can be very much part of the solution. Whatever our level of religious practice is, we all have faults and all need to work on ourselves. Striving to rectify our situations, or jihād, comes in many forms but begins with the basics of praying 5 times a day and abstaining from major sin, such as consuming alcohol, earning interest, back-biting, etc.
Every time we are faced with a decision about whether to commit a particular act and we know it is displeasing to Allāh, let us remember that we are not only harming our own Hereafter, but also adding to the suffering of others in this world. Perhaps one may be comfortable being heedless over their own affairs, but will at least think twice when it comes to others and that which they see with their own eyes today.
REASONS WHY WE ARE BECOMING WEAK
LOVE OF THIS LIFE
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The nations are about to call each other and set upon you, just as diners set upon food.” It was said: “Will it be because of our small number that day?” He ﷺ said:
“Rather, on that day you will be many, but you will be like foam, like the foam on the river. And Allah will remove the fear of you from the hearts of your enemies and will throw wahn (weakness) into your hearts.” Someone said: “O Messenger of Allah! What is wahn?” He ﷺ said: “Love of the world and the hatred for death.”Sahih: Related by Abu Dawud (no. 4297)
This hadith explains the first form of weakness, which has befallen the ‘Ummah in all corners of the world, as being a result of inclination to this world, love of it, and being preoccupied with it, whilst turning away from the Hereafter, being distant from it and hatred of death. Hatred of death is a sign of loving this world, since the one who loves this world, hates death. Since, with death, comes the meeting with Allah – the Most Perfect.
Points to take from the Hadith
Indeed, fear is a weapon, which Allah implants in the hearts of His enemies. This is why the strength of the Muslims, is not in their great numbers – weapons or wealth – but it is in their ‘aqidah (belief) and their adhering to it. Look at our history we have rarely ever won because of being in the majority, it was always because of our strong faith. For today there are plenty of Muslims, but they are like foam, like the foam carried by the waves. And their riches are many but cannot be for them. Rather, it has become the possession of their enemies. For example: The Muslims today approximate over one billion and they grow in number everyday. However, at the same time they are the weakest of nations in every country they are in, being persecuted – why?
Because they have become like foam, like the foam on the waves. Also, the lands of the Muslims possess many riches and minerals, but where does it all end up? The Muslim oil constitutes approximately one third of the world’s reserves, but the Muslims are the poorest of people – why?
DEALING IN USURY & ABANDONING ASPECTS OF ISLAM
The more Muslims started to oppose the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah, the more they divided and their power began to ebb away, which in turn emboldened their enemies. So the Ummah faced humiliation at their hands which only increased with the increase in misguidance, innovated beliefs, disobedience and sins of the Muslims. This is proven by the hadīth of Ibn ‘Umar who narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said:
“When you partake in usury, hold on to the tails of cattle, become satisfied with cultivation and abandon striving for the sake of Allah*, Allah will send upon you humiliation and He will not remove it until you return back to your religion.”(Abu Dawood)
*Using “Striving for the sake of Allah” instead of the real word, because of censorship issues, but InShaAllah you have understood what is said.
In this hadīth, we can see what brings about Allah’s humiliation upon the Muslims. We also see the cure, which is to return back to the Religion as it was practised in the time of the Prophet ﷺ.
BEING AWAY FROM THE SUNNAH
This was covered in the previous class but had to be re-emphasised. Unless we get back to our fundamentals in following Islam and try to manipulate we are bound to fail The best of the speech is that of Allah and the best of actions is that of the Prophet ﷺ, we have to be amongst those who say “We Listen and we obey” just like the best of the Ummah did, the Sahaba!
LOOKING UP TO DISBELIEVERS
If we are looking up to those who are trying their best to make us leave our religion are we not bound to be weakened? Sadly many of our youth look up to many of the celebrities, singers, athletes, business people or motivational speakers instead of the real role models from the Islam. Is it not ironic that we see almost all the business coaches or motivational speakers talk about things that are prescribed in Islam.
All the above mentioned are things that the coaches/speakers repetitively promote, sadly Muslims take it from them and are motivated when all of these are mentioned in the Sunnah.
We look up to them and show our best side to them and are harsh amongst each other which is the opposite of what Allah has commanded us. Allaah says, describing the Companions of our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ:
“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah. And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves” [al-Fath 48:29]
Our religion permits us (Muslim men) to marry the people of the book (Jewish or Christian) women, but we are not permitted to marry our daughters to them, because they are be considered lower in status than us, and our women are higher in status than them, and one who is inferior cannot prevail over one who is superior. Islam should prevail, not be prevailed over. And we believe in their Prophets but they do not believe in our Prophet.
Our religion forbids us to eat from their vessels unless we cannot find anything else. In that case it is permissible for us to eat from it on condition that we wash it thoroughly. The Prophet ﷺ said, when he was asked about eating from the vessels of the People of the Book: “If you can find any other vessel, then do not eat from them; if you cannot find anything else, wash them and then eat from them.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5056; Muslim, 3567 – this version was narrated by him).
Our religion forbids us to imitate them in dress or to imitate the way they eat or any of their customs, because our way is superior and their ways are inferior, and the one who is superior should not imitate the one who is inferior. Indeed, our Prophet warned us that the one who imitates them is going to meet the same fate as them in Hell, what a terrible fate! The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (narrated by Abu Dawood, 3512).
“Never will the Jews and the Christians be satisfied with you, until you follow their way.” (Al-Qur’an 2:120).
So are to look up to our role models that are the Prophets & the Sahaba and those who followed them on the right path.
What you see nowadays of the humiliation of the Muslims and the domination of the disbelievers over them is the result of the Muslims’ negligence and failure to adhere to their religion, their failure to prepare to strive for the sake of Allaah*, and their love of this world which kills the love of Allaah and the Hereafter in their hearts. Hence you see that the blood of the Muslims is shed and has become cheap, and their homes are destroyed and counted as worthless, and their lives are counted as cheap because of their weakness. Allaah indeed spoke the truth when He said (interpretation of the meaning): “And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much” [al-Shoora 42:30]
So our humiliation and weakness are because of what we Muslims have done. We have to work to repel these weaknesses; to fight them, reject them and not to be pleased with them – since it is an evil which has to be rejected. And when we come back to our religion, our glory and pride will come back to us.
HOPE AND GLAD TIDINGS
It is not all doom and gloom for the Ummah today, amongst us are the Strangers and the Brothers the Prophet ﷺ spoke about. Amongst us live those who have rewards of 50 men from those times, amongst are those who strive to do good and help others for His Sake.
To conclude this course we share a few words from the greatest of leaders this world has seen, our belived Prophet ﷺ. It motivates us to do good and get back up.
THE PROPHET ﷺ CALLS THEM BROTHERS
The Prophetﷺ said: “Would that I had seen our brothers.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, are we not your brothers?” He ﷺ said: “Rather, you are my Companions. My brothers are those who have not yet come. And I will reach the lake before them.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, how will you know those of your Ummah who come after you?” He ﷺ said: “Don’t you think that if a man has a horse with a white blaze and white feet among horses that are completely black, he will recognise his horse?” They said: “Of course.” He ﷺ said: “They will come on the Day of Resurrection with glittering white faces, glittering white hands and feet because of ablution, and I will reach the Lake (Hawd) before them.” (Sahih Muslim)
The people who hold on to the truth in times of hardship are the allies and beloved ones of Allah and his Messenger ﷺ in this life and the next. They are the ones whom Allah will aid and make victorious.
GOOD NEWS FOR THE STRANGERS
The Messenger ﷺ stated: “Islam began as something as something strange and it will return to being strange just as it began so glad tiding [of Paradise] is for the Strangers.” (Sahih Muslim)
The Prophet ﷺ was asked: “O Allah’s Messenger! Who are the Strangers?” He responded (multiple narrations):
Imām Mālik Ibn Anas (V d.179H) said: “The latter part of this Ummah will never be rectified except by that which rectified its first part. So, whatever was not religion that day cannot be considered as religion today.”
It is the Ghurabā (the Strangers) who bring about rectification by correcting what the people have corrupted of the Religion. They call them to return to the Book and Sunnah. So when the people respond to the call, and then cultivate themselves upon the pure Religion, Allah will bring them success, safety and honour.
PROMISE OF OUR LORD
“Allah has promised those among you who believe and perform righteous deeds that He will certainly grant them succession (and authority) in the earth just as He granted it to those before them. And He will establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them. And He will surely give them safety and security after they had lived in fear. This is so long as they worship Me, and they do not associate anything alongside Me in worship. But whoever disbelieves after this, they are the disobedient wrongdoers.” (An-Nūr: 55)
This is the precise and true Methodology established by Allah that will lead to the rectification of the affairs of the Muslims. If the Muslims wish to be successful, then they must:
Based upon this, Allah will:
“Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is inside themselves.” (Ra’d: 11)
Rectitude begins with oneself, then his family, then his relatives, then it will spread to the community and the nations.
So, the ones who will raise the Ummah from its troubles are those aided by Allah, they those who follow the Quran & Sunnah as per the Path of the Sahaba and those who followed them in every age and place, the Strangers — they are one and the same people, they are the true Rectifiers. They are the brothers whom the Prophet ﷺ described and desired to see, and they will drink from the lake on the Day of Resurrection.
May Allāh make us from them. We ask Allah to grant us the hidayah to worship Him, and obey Him as He deserves – we ask Him to forgive us and show us His mercy, grant us strength and success over the oppressors. And all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. And may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Messenger, his family, his Companions and followers.