ISLAM IN A CHANGING WORLD Part 3


Beliefs & Practices, Dawah & Tabligh, History & Biography / Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Then came the Bolshevic Revolution of March, 1917, as if to put the finishing touches on Western depredation. This Revolution was not only to change the political scene by cutting across the history and geography of the world, nor was it confined to economic and political thought, but it also endeavoured to pull down all the accepted principles of creed and morality. It laid claim to a new edifice, one which demolished the existing pattern of life and human consciousness. Naturally, Islam was to suffer most from it because it believed in asset of unalterable values which required positive faith in ultimate reality. Unfortunately, there were few among the Muslims who could sense the danger or could do anything to contend it. They perhaps lacked the “wisdom of Faith” that had always warned them of even lesser dangers on earlier occasions. In the western part of the Islamic world, the ex-Defence Minister of Turkey, envar Pasha (1881-1892), was the first to perceive the danger. He organised the people of Turkistan and fought a number of battles against the Bolshevics during 1921 and 1922. On the 4th August, 1922, he attacked the Russians near Kochgin village; the enemy was overwhelmingly large in size, and Envar Pasha fell fighting valiantly on Friday, the seventh of Zil Hijja, 1340 A.H.

The Bolshevic Revolution extended its sway over all the Muslims lands in Central Asia including Chinese and Russian Turkistan and laid open its population not only to cultural and intellectual apostasy but also endeavoured to make the Muslims under its domination renounce their Faith. The history of Spain during the ninth century was thus re-enacted. This communist danger confronts not only this sub-continent, but has cast its shadow on the entire Islamic world and forced to take a position of friend or foe to its power. Certain Arab countries not only import its manufactured goods and armaments but also its ideology and philosophy and have became its trusted votaries. Very recently, it trampled down Afghanistan which had been a reservoir of Islamic zeal and valour and which had supplied India with able administrators, scholars and godly saints in bygone ages. Afghanistan was also once the outer line of defense against onslaughts and India and this has now been laid open; the danger now looms large at on doorstep.

However, in the darkness that engulfed the Islamic world by the middle of the fourteenth century, a ray of new hope, a silver lining of new awakening also became visible. Iqbal has truly said:

Fresh blood was flushed in the dead limb of East,

It is a secret incomprehensible to Avicina and Alfarabi:

Muslims discovered themselves by the tempest of the West,

The circling waves of water bring out the precious pearl.

Bit by bit, positive signs of political awakening all over the world of Islam and standards of freedom against alien domination were raised which caused Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco to regain their independence. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan also came into existence, and furthermore Indian Muslims also took part in the struggle for the freedom of their country and made sacrifices for it. Now there are 45 independent Muslim countries of which 24 members of the United Nations and their flags flutter proudly at its Headquarters. Muslims now carry weight in international affairs but if they were to unite, they could stop several injustices and help poor and weak nations the world over. If God were to bless these countries with sincere and deep-hearted leadership, they could enforce Islamic laws within their countries and reform their societies according to the precepts of Islam. They could create the ideal spiritual-moral society, now seen in the pages of history alone. Such a social order can show a new path to humanity, bring about a real understanding between the Eastern and Western Blocks and pave the way for the propagation of Islam. If these leaders were to realise their own political importance and use it in a wise and effective way, they could save humanity from the destruction towards which it is heading. The leaders of the Indian Muslims can also serve their community through their own unity and sincerity of purpose and provide a morally conscious leadership to the country. They can, thus, save their country from the intellectual and moral anarchy which is now assuming gigantic proportions.

We must also not forget that this century gave birth to several reformist and revolutionary movements in this Islamic world. Some of these have been more powerful and comprehensive than in bygone centuries, and they are capable of influencing the educated and intellectual classes of Muslims and satisfying and created a new confidence in Islam. They provide an intellectual base and transcend the limits of geographical boundaries. It is also noteworthy that the educated among these movements are very often more eager to restore the fundamental bases of Islam than even those who are religious minded. The Al-Ikhwan of Egypt, the Nuri movement of Turkey, Hizb ut-Tahrir of Jordan and Palestine, the Majsumi Party of Indonesia and the Tablighi Jamat and Tahrik Islami of the Indian sub-continent are some of the movements that we can cite in this context. One may differ with one or all these movements but no one can deny their popularity and effectiveness. Apart from these organisations, the spirit of revivalism seen in the present day Islamic World owes its existence, to a large extent, to the powerful and elegant verses of Iqbal; a poetry which is without parallel in the Islamic literature of previous centuries.

The fifteenth century has now spread its wings. Had the Islamic world been deprived of the great treasurers of Faith and thought, political influence and material wealth, independent states and powerful movements and also its great manpower, there was still nothing to make one despair of God’s mercy for the Muslims still possess the Divine Scripture and His Eternal Message in the shape of Islam. These two are still capable of working miracles and of giving new life to even listless peoples.

The Muslims are the only refuge for suppressed humanity, they are the custodians of the last Message of God. perhaps, this century will bring a turning point when the whole of mankind will realise the worth and importance of Islam. There is, thus, no reason to despair of God’s Mercy. Humanity has reached the lowest ebb of its degradation, and it can only attract Divine Compassion for a major change in the existing state of affairs.

Western civilisation is doomed. It has become rotten to the core, and if it is still surviving it is not at all due to its latent qualities of strength and endurance but because no other civilisation is at present ready to take its place. Other civilisations in the world are, at the utmost, its own hazy carbon copies or third class caricatures or they are so weak and decrepit that it is beyond their power and ability to stand against it, face to face. Now, if a Muslim country or the world of Islam, as a whole, can muster enough strength and competence to fill the void that will be created by the fall of Western civilisation then it can re-establish its claim to the leadership of mankind which, according to the unchanging practice of the Lord, always goes to those who are earnest, deep-hearted and resolute. Muslims, therefore, ought to decide whether it is more honourable to approach the West with a begging bowl or assume the exalted position of the stewardship and guidance of humanity, a role in which there is no greater glory in the world after Apostleship.

I will now conclude this brief survey of the past with the call given to you by the poet of the East.

O Builder of Haram, rise to re-construct the world anew,

Awake out of your deep slumber, and rise again.

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