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January 26, 2004
For How long?

by Nadia Khan

In early years of migration of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h), while Islam was still nascent, Allah addressed the Prophet in Surah Al-Saff as such:
Fain would they put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light; however much the disbelievers are averse” (61: 8)
Allah (swt) kept His word and the light of Islam soon reached the darkest crevices of humanity. A Muslim society was established that upheld the golden principles of education, equity, justice, cleanliness, and honesty. The eyes of unlettered mankind around were flooded by this luminescence and they found themselves unconsciously gravitated to its beauty. In less than two decades, Islam indeed reached the status of perfection and immaculate glory as promised.

However, today, fourteen hundred years later, the upholders of Islam seem quite vulnerable; prone to being wavered whenever the wind blows. The lead-painted wall has become a hollow structure that is ready to crumble under slightest grin. How could the same light that Allah (swt) promised to perfect seems to fade away today? Is it because Allah (swt) failed to keep His words or is it because that Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) failed to complete his mission? Nay, but it is because the so-called Muslim Ummah forgot to give fuel to the light that the last Prophet and his companions had disseminated with Allah’s will. While the surrounding world benefited from it, Muslims put up this lamp on their high walls only to sleep under its shadow. They forgot to heed the words of their Creator; the same words that were engraved on the hearts and minds of the Muslims of earlier era: “Know that the life of this world is only play, and idle talk, and pageantry, and boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children; as the likeness of vegetation after rain; whereof the growth is pleasing to the husband-man, but afterward it drieth up and thou seest it turning yellow, then it becometh straw. And in the Hereafter there is grievous punishment, and forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure, whereas the life of the world is but a matter of illusion.” (57:20)

Now the state of affairs is such that despite being equipped with the most eloquent and inimitable book of Quran, the actions of Muslims are a blow to the wisdom of the same book. Ignorance, injustice, corruption and dishonesty are rampant through out the Muslim world. The most corrupt countries through out the world are Muslim countries. The dirtiness sitting on the soils of some of these countries is a live testimony to the precariousness of half their faith, while the other half can be detected in names such as “Islamabad”, “Muslim league” and “Mohammad”.

Back in the golden era, Muslims used to migrate to other lands in order to realize the teachings of Islam, but now Muslims all over the world migrate to other countries in search of the same ideals. The bearers of the same message whose first word was “Iqra” (Read) have unequalled illiteracy rates; the followers of the same book that clearly reprimands: “O ye who believe! Why say ye that which ye do not do?” are characterized by hollowed out words; the rulers that claim to imitate the most influential and impressive ruler in the entire world history do nothing but to taint the picture of Islam. There is no education, and there is no unity; the unity among the Muslims or the unity between their words and actions. The followers of the “cloaked one” are enshrouded in the cloaks of darkness in keeping with their tradition.

The starkest irony is that Muslims today are completely unaware that they themselves were the first of torch-bearers, the pen-holders, the knowledge-scavengers, the evil-eaters and the promise-keepers. In the golden days when Muslims had all of these characteristics while the followers of other religions were the ignorant ones, Allah said to the Prophet:
“The likeness of those who are entrusted with the Law of Moses, yet apply it not, is as the likeness of the ass carrying books.” (62:5)

It is very sad indeed that today when Allah (swt) peeks from beyond the skies, probably He will have to liken the Muslims with the same similitude; “that of an ass carrying books”. Imagine how happy our Prophet would have been on the day when He was addressed by Allah (swt) as such: “This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favor unto you and have chosen Islam as a religion for you.” (5:3), and imagine how grievous he would be this day when he looks at the sorry state of Muslim Ummah. For how long are we going to hallucinate that the building of Islam will stand erect even after we keep on throwing its building bricks one by one? For how long are we going to be the silent spectators watching others rule over us by stealing our very ideas? For how long are we going to be sleeping with our eyes wide shut? For how long are we going to wait before we retrieve our lost legacy by fighting with all our wealth and all of our lives? And most importantly, for how long are we going to raise these recurrent questions before we start looking for their answers?
For how long!?!?!


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