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Building up Strong Muslim Ummah p.1

by Shah Abdul HANNAN

This talk was delivered by Shah Abdul

the strong Islamic community in Europe and in Canada and in United states and in Australia depends on first of all building strong community on the basis of Islam and then building schools, establish schools. These are only for your consideration and if you think this is right you should start a movement not only in Sheffield, but  in the UK.

Now I come to my topic. After these preliminary observations coming to the topic, first of all, I submit that the state of Ummah, the state of Muslim Ummah, the state of Islamic Ummah is not very healthy. And I would not discuss a lot because you know very much in this respect. But still I would say ideologically, there is much ignorance in the Muslim community about Islam. Ideologically speaking, Islamically speaking,  from the Ummah stand point, there is much ignorance about Islam, there is considerable Bida (innovation unacceptable in Shariah) in the Muslim community, innovations which are not acceptable, which has been judged innovations (in the technical terms of Fiqh) and also much Shirk in the entire Muslim world or many parts of Muslim world.  I cannot say what is the real state in the UK, but I would say that the Muslim Ummah as a whole is in much ignorance, much Bida and much Shirk. Materially speaking, materially there is much illiteracy, much poverty, serious poverty and  backwardness in most of the places. Our economy is in bad shape by in large except a few, we have bad defence. What should we do to build a strong Ummah in such circumstances when our ideology is this and when our material position is this, what should we do to build a strong Ummah? By the way I would mention after the conclusion of my speech, I will be ready to answer in all humility any question that you may give me. I do not say I have all the answers but I will give whatever I know and the rest Allah is our helper. So coming to the question what should we do to build a strong Ummah. Again, I need not mention that, of course, we have to build our education, we have to build our economy and we have to build our defence. These are the priority areas before I look into the ideological issues, I am mentioning the material aspect and I have to do this. Our education, as you all know, in most of the countries, not in all countries, are not fulfilling the needs of Islamic education. Let me say my case, from my school to my university post-graduation in Dhaka University, I was not taught 20 ayats of the Quran, In fact, I would say I was not taught 10 ayats of the Qur’an. I was not taught the life of the Prophet (sm) who is a model for us. So does this education system or education fulfil our needs? It does not. The objective should be to build ultimately in the independent Muslim countries  strong Islamic education system. I know it will take time and there is “ Sunnat Allah”- Allah’s ways and many things are there where time is needed but the objective should be clear that we have to achieve an education system which  will meet all our material needs, all our needs to live as good human being. At the same time it must meet our Islamic needs, The education must meet, and presently in most of the countries the education system is not patterned in this line. But the objective should be clear to the Ummah that the education is very important, most important for our material progress and for our Dini (religious) progress, for our religious progress, for ideological progress,  the most important thing is education. And as long as the education system is not fulfilling our needs, there is our duty to privately study and know Islam thoroughly and fully, there is no other way but private study. I would not take much time about economy. I mean, you can realise you have to do a lot. I will not discuss today this issue only indicating that all Muslim governments, all Muslim politicians, all Muslim intellectuals must work. All Muslim economist must work for strong Muslim economy. I will come back to this issue later. We have to build our defence also. Allah has said  to guard our borders. If you look into the last ayats of Suratul Imran you will find Allah has asked us to guard our borders and Allah has taught us to keep horses ready.  By that Allah (SWT) means we should keep our defence ready, we cannot be careless about the defence of the Muslim Ummah, about the defence of the Muslim states and defence of the Islamic states. De-nuclearisation, very good, but it must be for all, not for only the Muslims. Disarmament of all. I mean we cannot be asked to disarm ourselves, others keeping arms. It will not be fair, it is not just. Now, I was talking about the building of Ummah and about the material aspect I was indicating a little. But, today my thrust is not on the material aspect, we must take into account the fact that the Ummah itself is under attack, under threat.  You know that there are major scholars talking about the conflict of civilisation, An Amirican major scholar Hungtington has spoken on the conflict of civilisation and it says that Islam is the next threat to the western civilisation, as if the western civilisation must be maintained, as if any threat against that must be eliminited,  as if it is the pinnacle of civilisation, as if it is the last word. We do not accept western civilisation is the last word, I will come back to that.  Not only Hungtington, Fukuama in his book “The end of history” says that history has reached its final stage, he means really that secular democracy and capitalism are the two things which are the final version of things that human being achieved, so nothing new will come, nothing better will come. This is the end of history, but we cannot accept that the secularism is the last word.

The greatest problem of human civilisation is that they have forgotten the guidance of Allah (SWT). And this is the reason of all the immoralities you see in the world. And most of the fighting are on the basis of nation, I agree there are fighting on the basis of religion also but a time has come that we can contain that if we like. We cannot forsake morality and surrender to immorality in the name of secularism that is forgetting the guidance of Allah (SWT). Many of the evils of the world are due to really the forgetting the guidance of Allah (SWT). I will come to that in course of my lecture.

 

The Challenge of the West

The challenge of the West to the Muslim Ummah  is political, is cultural, is economic and mostly, and most fundamentally intellectual. I need not to discuss much about political challenge to the Ummah. What do the West want? The West wants the Muslim countries should obey the dictates of the West. It is not acceptable to us. When a Muslim country was about to blast a bomb it gets a few telephone calls several times from the head of the state of most important power of the world that  “ You do not do that” So much interference in the affairs of the Muslim states. They want us to obey their dictates and if you obey their dictate they will never dictate us for the good of the Muslims and for the good of the Islam. I do not say that we will not listen to others on right matters, we should listen to on right matters to others, but we cannot accept the political dictates of the West. They want us to surrender to their culture which is mostly indecent , lot of indecencies, lot of exposure of human body, exploiting the women for money and lust of men.  I do not know in Human history any worse social system like this. Their marriage has been eliminated more or less, their parents are neglected, their children are neglected. Neither children have security, nor in the real sense, the parents have security. In old days they have lots of problems. Their children are not getting care of both father and mother, probably they are getting care of only one  in most cases but Allah has made it like that the children should get care of both father and mother. Allah has not made it like this that the children would get care of only the mother. They destroyed family for no purpose at all, for worthless purpose. The marriage is a historically sound institution. It has not harmed anybody, the family has not harmed anybody. That,  they have come to a situation where they, in fact, are ruining their families. They are leading us to a chaos and condition. Coming to economic aspect, the goal is really economic imperialism. They want us to be second graders, 3rd graders, 4th graders. They want us to be their market ultimately. Their institutions are all geared to the interest of the major powers of the West.  I know thoroughly, I have dealt with them. They serve mostly the purpose of the West and not the purpose of the humanity as a whole. But I must say, the basic challenge is really intellectual. All the other challenge are there but the basic and most fundamental challenge that is coming from the West is really intellectual. They are charging, they are telling us that the concept of Islamic state is not possible. It is not good to have Islamic states. They are telling that Islam does not give human rights, they are telling that Islam does not give women rights and I must say with great sorrow that some Muslims act in a manner it appears that as if Islam does not give human rights or women rights. There are some manifestations in some countries, some parts which also give this impression. Unfortunately, we must not do that. We must not give the backward, unnecessary backward image of Islam.

Coming to the points of human rights and women rights, I would explain that these are very much accepted in Islam. I will quote three basic documents in support of human rights and women rights in Islam. The constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran was drafted by Ulema, the constitution of Islamic republic of Pakistan was, though not drafted but accepted by Ulema of all groups. These two documents plus the writings of the political scientists of the Islam. I would not name them all, I can name only a few, like Muhammad Asad, like Abul ala Maududi, like Hasan Turabi and so on, a political thinker in Bangladesh, late Moulana Abdur Rahim in their writings. So I would say these documents which are drafted by the Ulema or accepted by the Ulema indicated clearly that Islam has given basic human rights. The Islamic constitution of Pakistan, has chapter on Fundamental Rights. As I am a teacher in a University of comparative political thought, I give my students Iranian constitution, I give my students the Pakistan constitution. I give my students Bangladesh constitution. I give my students American constitution. I explain them the difference between the western democratic model and Islamic democratic model. So I would say that the writings of political scientists, not politicians, not ordinary Alims, but major Alims and major Islamic politicians and political scholars and the other two basic documents, which are drafted by Ulema or accepted by Ulema, clearly indicate that Human rights are respected and women rights are guaranteed in Islam. So, we should not hear some voices from here and there. We cannot lose the consensus, We cannot ignore the consensus on the basis of some voices from here and there. (You can also look into OIC declaration of Human Rights which was approved by OIC Fiqh Academy).

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