, by SHAMIM A. SIDDIQI
Since the time he was placed on earth as the vicegerent of God, man, using his free will, has been ever trying his best to carve out different systems of life at different times to live the way he likes. In the primitive time, man lived the life of nomads and social anarchism. Then he switched over, in gradual process, to tribalism, feudalism, monarchies with religious hierarchies, and absolute kingship with the growth of time to get justice, peace and security. But, at the end of the tunnel, he only got wars, plundering, disruption, slavery, and the life of serfdom, poverty, and exploitation. The old and the medieval ages are saturated with these tragedies. Human society suffered in its every corner as all man-made systems failed to deliver justice, peace and security to mankind at any level.
With the dawn of modern age, man invented some new systems of government like Democracy, Socialism, Communism, Constitutional Monarchies, Sheikdoms, and Social Democracies with charming slogans like people’s democracy, dictatorship of proletariat, freedom of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, equality before law, human rights for all and sundry, and the welfare system for common man and the have-nots. These political slogans were quite good and appealing in some of the Western societies but, in fact, were and are dreams for the rest of humanity who cannot afford it due to paucity of funds/resources and prevailing corruption in the political system everywhere. It is cracking at many places even in the West and soon may become things of past as they are based on wrong footings, especially in the face of dwindling economies and selfish human behaviour of man in every walk of life.
All these systems of governing the human affairs in the past and present have failed and are failing fast due to their inherent shortcomings. It is the incompetent man who invented, designed or fashioned these systems to meet his dominating need to live in peace with self and in harmony with others. However, he failed because of his inherent weaknesses – lust for power, political corruption, lack of knowledge of the past, the present and that of the future, greed and caprices, concentrating wealth and resources all in one or few hands, augmenting only favouritism, parochialism, and the exploitation of the weak.
In consequence, man has filled his abode with enormous zulm [oppression] all around, rampant political corruption, economic exploitation in every field of life, moral degradation at its lowest ebb, human rights violation in every domain, thereby making the concepts of equality, justice, peace and security meaningless terminologies, and generating only exploitation of the poor, the needy and the have-nots. It shattered man’s dream to live in his self-designed and self-invented systems of life through his own lust, greed, follies and caprices. Only humanity is crying and lamenting under these unbearable pressures and injustices. How long? Only the Creator of this cosmos knows what will be the end-result of these ever-increasing lapses.
HOW TO GET IT CORRECTED
The Creator and Sustainer of man and the universe was well aware of these bitter tastes of human freedom and the free application of his free will with dire consequences as depicted above. The Sustainer has given His verdict about man’s incompetency in these words: “Verily, man is born with restless disposition. [As a rule] whenever misfortune touches him, he is filled with self-pity; and whenever good fortune comes to him, he selfishly withholds it [from others] save who constantly turn towards God in prayers.” [The Quran 70: 19-22]
“For, verily, he always been to be most wicked, most foolish” [Al-Ahzab: 72]
“For man is prone to be hasty (in his judgment)” [Al-Isra 17: 11]
How ignorant man is!
“Verily, with God alone rests the knowledge of when the last hour will come; and He [It is who] sends down rain; and He (alone) knows what is in the womb: whereas no one knows what he will reap (earn) tomorrow, and no one knows in what land he will die. Verily, God is all-knowing, all-aware” [Surah Luqma’n 31: 34]
These verses and many more from the Quran confirm that man is totally incompetent to deliver a system of life for his species to live in harmony with justice, peace and equity. In consequence, the entire human history is filled with chaos, wars, destruction, confusion, anarchy and imbalances at all fronts and at all levels or strata of human society. Man experienced justice, peace and security only when it lived with the Divine Guidance brought by His appointed Messengers – the times of David, Solomon and Muhammad and his four caliphs. This verdict of the Creator and the Sustainer is full of truth. Human history confirms it.
Man is always overpowered by the arrogance of his authority, the inherent weaknesses of his character and the misusing or the improper use of his God-gifted free will to meet his urges. He mostly forgets, avoids and abhors living in moderation through practising the System of Life which the Creator, out of His infinite Mercy, had been sending to human society through His appointed Messengers to practise in this worldly life. These Messengers were appointed continuously from Adam to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) in a chain with Divine Guidance. The Quran is its last and the latest Edition, a living monument and a lively Code of Conduct for man to follow for acquiring justice, peace and security that he needs now above everything in this world as his Greatest Need. Currently there is no Justice, no Peace and no Security anywhere on earth.
The survey of human march in time that I have depicted above only summarily speaks conspicuously that man cannot achieve justice, peace and security unless he turns back his face towards the way of life that his Creator and Sustainer has designed for him keeping in view all his natural instincts, physical urges and the paramount needs of life to satisfy each and all at a time while keeping an equilibrium in the process. But man could not do it due to his inherent shortcomings.
Currently, man stands at poles asunder. His urges are pulling him far and far away from the prescription that God had sent for his cure and survival. Man’s attitude is mostly negative and that of denial to this alternate way of life that could bring moderation and normalcy to all sectors of human’s life and maintain a harmonious growth both in his personal and collective life.
PROCESS TOWARDS ATTAINMENT
It would have been quite an easy process of transmission of Cure to entire mankind, had the Muslim Ummah been observing and practising it uniformly and set its model somewhere in the Muslim lands as a political entity in the context of the modern world.
Man needs urgent solution to his innumerable and ever-growing problems but the secular world has no solution except compounding them multifariously. The secular Isms could not solve any of man’s problems during the last four to five hundred years of its emergence. All its economic planning, political manoeuvrings, world parleys, scientific developments [except in the field of transport and communication], trade and commercial treaties, the ever-growing standard of living stand nowhere when, in comparison, we look to ever-surmounting list of man’s problems that are now reaching the climax. Seeing this state of affairs of human society as it stands today, man must accept his total failure to deliver a system of life to his fellow citizens to live in peace and harmony with each other and get his needs and urgencies satisfied without any exploitation, favouritism and discrimination at any level.
This all man could get only in accepting the Creator and Sustainer as his Supreme Lord, commit himself to live by His Divine Guidance in the shape of the Quran, feeling always accountable to Him for all his actions and deeds on earth and taking the life pattern of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) as the model for humanity till eternity. It would have made him a responsible human being with no lust, no greed and no easy-profit making engine through exploitation of others by using fraudulent trade practices that are rampant around us.
It would have given man the requisite peace of mind, trust in each other, and the mission to make the human abode as the cradle of justice, peace and security for all and malice to none and the vision to feel always responsible by giving up reckless behaviour of his life that he is demonstrating and practising in every walk of life.
This process would have become easy only when Muslims themselves have been living by Islam in its totality as the System of life, implementing it in their body politic as an identity and standing as Da’ee Ilallah by Calling the Humanity to the fold of its Creator and Sustainer with love, care and concern for everyone while presenting their own life as its model. Our adversaries would have then been convinced in our sincerity of purpose, and started believing in Muslims and in the Message of the Quran and took the Muslims as their trustworthy friends and well-wishers. Only then our addressees would have taken a right-about-turn to Allah’s Deen and have become our “Bosom Friends”: ka’anahu waliyun hameem – as if he is your bosom friend [41: 34]
The Quran has put this entire scenario beautifully in these verses and each and every Muslim has to prove worthy of it. Unless our addressees get confidence in us, they will not accept Allah’s Deen. It is the messenger that gives confidence about his message as Rasulullah (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) did. It is incumbent on every Muslim and Muslimah to behave like that as a Da’ee at his or her place and in his/her environment. It is the total mobilisation of Muslim Ummah to this effect. Every Muslim is a Da’ee on his or her own merit, howsoever small he/she is. His manners, behaviours, etiquette even his smiling face is a means of Dawah Ilallah. If he/she believes in Allah, in His Prophet and in the accountability in Akhirah, he/she has no choice but to accomplish it. See, how the Quran advocates it so vehemently: “And who could be better in speech than he who calls [his fellow-men] unto God and does what is just and right and says, ‘Verily, I am of those who have surrendered themselves to God [I am a Muslim – obedient to God alone].”
The Good deed and evil deed are not equal. Repel the evil deed with something that is better – and lo! He between whom and thyself was enmity (may then become) as though he had (always) been a bosom friend.” [Ham Mim Al-Sajdah 41: 33 -34]
If Muslim Ummah and its leadership are really interested in introducing Islam as an alternate system of life to the contemporary world, they will have to be its Role Model both at individual and collective levels and try to transform each of their addressees as Waliyun Hamim [their Bosom Friend]. Only then they will think about Islam as their need. Only then the age-old prejudices against Islam and Muslims will start melting in the warmth of this friendship of vision and common destiny to meet the Lord of this cosmos as an Ummah that lives and dies for the pleasure of its Lord.
It will be possible with the Tawfeeq of Allah and the sincere efforts on the part of each and every Muslim globally. Muslims will have to undertake it as the mission of their life.
Let us all beg it from our Lord and struggle hard for the attainment of this Goal as the prime most priority of our life. It is Allah’s Deen and He helps those who help themselves. His help is just in waiting right in the horizon. His commitment to this effect stands firm and irrevocable:
“As for those who struggle for Us [For the Iqama of His Deen], We surely guide them to Our path, and lo! Allah is with the Mohseneen, [Al-Ankabut 29: 69].