By Shamim Siddiqi
Human society has reached to the state of complete moral bankruptcy, especially after great global economic disaster of 2008-09. It needs men of character in every field of life to set its house in order and deliver goodness in each and every sector to make its abode worth living with dignity and honour.
We see today that morally the world stands in a collapsing situation. Trust in its leadership is touching the zero point. Corruption in all its shape has defaced it face. Greed and fraudulent practices are rampant everywhere and in each sector of our social, economic and political life. Exploitation in its wake has emerged as the fashion of the day. Maximisation of personal profit, gains and fame has empowered individuals in every field of trade, commerce, business enterprises and entrepreneurship to run their affairs with total greed and temptation. In consequence, the poor are getting poorer and the rich richer day by day.
It is producing only zulm (oppression) and denying even two square meals to millions and millions inhabitants of poor, underdeveloped countries and vast regions of Asia, Africa, Latin America and many parts of Europe and America too. There are 36 million people who are leading a life below poverty line in the USA alone; not to say of the sub-Sahara regions of Africa and teaming millions of India who hardly sleep with their belly flat rather sunken. The situation around the world has, thus, reached to a very precarious point and needs immediate attention towards getting it corrected. But who could do it – not the corrupt and deceitful secular leadership around the world – then who?
To correct this disastrous situation, it needs dependable trustworthy character and honest leadership in power in each and every country of the world and in every sector of world economy – in trade, in commerce and in industry both at individual and collective levels. The question are: Who can do this job? Where is its blueprint? Where is its inspiring model for all times to come?
This agenda is also missing from the development plan of each and every country and nation around the world. Different faiths and religious practices too lack in this respect except Islam and the life pattern of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) wherein it is present in a predominant form but, unfortunately, the Muslims too stand nowhere for doing good to others.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) carried out his plan of character building as the basic need of the Islamic System he introduced and established in the human society for delivering justice and fair play to human species. Let us see how he did it and he did it, of course, as the paramount need of the system he was assigned to profess, practise and deliver to mankind for attaining eternal bliss in both the worlds.
When the Second Wahi [revelation] came to him after the gap of a few months [called “Fitrah”], he was assigned the Mission of his life in these words: “Rise and warn. And glorify thy Lord [by establishing His authority]” – The Qur’ān – Al-Muddassir: 74: 2-3] Along with it the Kalimah “La Ilaha Illallah” was also entrusted to him for calling the humanity to the fold of Allah, the Creator and the Sustainer of this cosmos.
Rasulullah (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) now needed three things to accomplish the mission of his life:
1. The Guidance – the Blueprint of the System he was to establish on earth for the deliverance of mankind;
2. A team of dependable and trustworthy character to work as the founder workers of the system and the builders of the edifice of the Islamic society and state and to serve as models for mankind till eternity;
3. The land where to establish the system in the form of a society and state to serve as its model.
Now let us see how it worked out:
1. The Creator and Sustainer Himself managed to send the details of the Guidance – the System, the Blueprint as what to do and how to do, and completed it in gradual process in 23 years and perfected it with his last words during his first and the last Hajj: “This day I perfected your Deen for you and completed My favour unto you and have chosen for you Al-Islam as your Deen” [Ref: Al-Qur’an. Surah Al-Maidah 5: 3]
2. Rasulullah (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) himself started building the requisite team of trustworthy men of character in ones and twos through his “person to person” contact – inviting each to the fold of Allah, trimming and moulding their life to be obedient to their Sustainer, feeling always accountability to Him in the life after death for all their actions and deeds and following his own life pattern as its model.
He was remarkably assisted in his efforts by his beloved companions, especially Abu Bakr Siddiq, Musab bin Umair and others like them. Through this process he built his team of trusted workers [we call them Sahabah, may Allah be pleased with them, out of reverence] who were always ready to sacrifice their time, talents, energies and resources (wealth) for the mission of Rasulullah (peace and blessings of Allah be to him). Thus, he built his team of dependable and trustworthy characters to accomplish his mission of the Iqamah of Allah’s Deen on earth.
They were the luminaries of the time and for all times to come. They carried away the mission of Rasulullah (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) within the next hundred years to the vast tract of Asia, Europe and North Africa and delivered justice and equity to every corner of lands that came under the sovereignty of the Islamic State. Human rights were well protected and taken care of in every field of life. All citizens were equals before law. No discrimination and no exploitation in any form with basic needs of each citizen was guaranteed through Islam’s own self-sustained welfare system. Corruption was rooted out altogether. Service to humanity was the fashion of the day. It was all a boon for the human society.
Through these efforts, Rasulullah got 124 team mates in Makkah, and through the magnificent Dawah efforts of Musab bin Umair in Madinah, he got 63 from the tribe of Aus and 176 from the tribe of Khazraj. He arranged this team in the Battle of Badr and prayed to Allah on the eve of the battle day: O Allah! Your promised help must come, otherwise, You will not be worshipped [“La Tabud”]. His promised help came and the idolaters of Makkah who had attacked Madinah arrogantly were routed out. Seventy of their stalwart were killed and 70 became PoWs in the hands of Rasulullah (peace and blessings of Allah be to him). They were all set free after paying some nominal ransom either in cash or in kind.
3. Land: While at Makkah, Rasulullah tried his best to find out a place to make the headquarters of the Islamic Movement. First he tried for Ethiopia. Then he himself went to T’aif but could not succeed due to stiff opposition of the idolaters. Allah then prepared the ground in Madinah where he migrated with his companions in the thirteenth year of his Prophethood.
The Trustworthy Character that Rasulullah built in his beloved companions delivered justice, peace and equity to human society, the suffering humanity of his time and for many centuries together its blessings continued. However, this job was subsequently neglected, rather given up, causing decay and decadence to Muslim societies. It paved the way towards the emergence of kingdoms, empires, tyrants and many corrupt oppressive regimes within the body politic of Muslim Era, surrendering ultimately to the secular West that excelled in science and technology only over the Muslim world and not in character and moral standards that were set by Rasulullah. As such, in spite of the fact, that the west is dominating the world’s socio-economic-political scene for the last two hundred years, it could not deliver justice to mankind in any form. Its civilization stands on some secular “values”, the shifting sands of time. I have drawn its fathomless condition in the beginning to depict that it could not and cannot deliver good to mankind as it has nothing to offer to man except lust, greed and false sense of arrogance with military and economic superiority to subjugate the weak and the poor.
Hence man needs the character that Rasulullah built at the outset of the seventh century C.E., if humanity today wants justice, peace and fair play in every field of life at individual and collective levels. This is the job of Muslim Ummah to fulfil this paramount human need as Allah has commissioned it to do so. Now let us see what the Ummah possesses today out of the three requisites that were the prime need of Rasulullah to accomplish his mission.
Let us examine what we have to do towards meeting our obligation in the midst of conflicting rival ideologies and dogmas and the extraordinary selfish behaviour of man that is full of all kinds of greed and caprices.
What the Muslim Ummah possesses today out of the three requisites that Rasulullah needed to fulfil his mission towards establishing the authority of our Lord can be traced out as follows:
1. The Guidance – the Blueprint [the Qur’ān] is available, Alhamdulillah, with us intact in its original form, language and shape and the life pattern of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) in its minutest details to follow as the most perfect model till eternity;
2. The Land: There are currently 57 countries where Muslims are in majority and have their own governments but has nothing to do with the Islamic System of life though they all claim that they are Muslims and their state “religion” is Islam.
3. The trustworthy leadership that Rasulullah built for the attainment of his mission: That is missing altogether at each level in the context of modern world whereas it is the most urgent need of the Muslim Ummah and that of the human society at large. The world cannot solve any of its ever surmounting problems in absence of that honest, God-conscious and trustworthy leadership.
The Islamic Movements around the world have been conscious of this fact from their very outset and were and are trying their best to build the requisite team of trustworthy Da’ees but not in the same proportion as the time needs and the Ummah requires. All the movements are bogged down practically in the day to day problems of their respective countries, the legacies of colonial rules, and, as such, could give little concentration to this basic requirement of the Movements.
This is one of the basic reasons that why so far they could not succeed in their genuine efforts to get the Deen of Allah established anywhere in the Muslim world and its possibility in near future too looks like a distant dream as the west is constantly and consciously putting stumbling blocks in their way everywhere and creating problem after problem every now and then.
The above discussion confirms, beyond any shadow of doubt, the need and urgency of dependable and trustworthy characters for human society in every walk of life and in every country to deliver justice and equity to entire humanity, both to the affluent and the have-nots. It equally shows that meeting this requirement is the ultimate responsibility of the Muslim Ummah to get themselves first out of the mess that is infested in every segment of Muslim societies. The Ummah, especially the Islamic Movements and the Muslim leadership has to fulfil this obligation without making any delay to get their own house in order and set the model before the suffering humanity to follow.
If Muslims can devote their time and energy solidly in building the requisite Team with the ennobling character on the pattern Rasulullah (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) inculcated in his beloved companions and set models for others to follow, human societies will rush to them for guidance and the Muslim leadership will then be able to lead the destiny of mankind afresh in the way the Muslims of the first century Hijrah did.
The life pattern of Rasulullah was the model for his time and it is the most perfect model for our time and for all times to come till eternity. Muslims of today have to undertake it as the universal challenge of the time. Allah will then shower His blessings all around us as per His “commitment” through the Verse 69 of Surah Al-Ankabut: “As for those who strive in Us [struggle for His Deen] We surely guide them to Our path, and Lo! Allah is with the Mohsineen.”
This path to struggle in the way of Allah is wide open and the passage to the goal is equally surmountable if we could muster equivalent will, courage and stamina to accomplish it within the next decade or so at the most. Muslims in the west, especially their leadership, have greater responsibility to prove themselves as trustworthy models to their fellow citizens. Only then they will be able to wash away the hate campaign against Islam and the Muslims when they prove that their character is of 24 caret gold and they are extremely sincere and honest in doing well to the people of the land. Muslims’ survival in all the plural societies in the East like India and in the West like the USA rotates on how fast they follow the footprints of Rasulullah (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) and transform themselves into trustworthy characters in the midst of other Abrahamic faiths at one hand and the pagan world on the other. Only then the human race will open its heart and mind to accept the leadership of Rasulullah as the most perfect model and the Muslims as the saviours of mankind.