Saturday, May 30, 2009

Views on the news - 29/05/09

BBC is ready to broadcast a gay love affair involving Muslims

In a further effort by the British establishment to raise the bar for Muslims to prove their loyalty to Britain, the BBC will use its flagship programme EastEnders to tackle a storyline which will feature a Muslim man embarking upon a gay affair. The Muslim character Syed Masood, played by Marc Elliott, will fall for openly gay man Christian Clarke (John Partridge) and the pair will share an on-screen kiss. "I think EastEnders would be doing the programme a disservice if they didn't give a voice to various communities," Elliot told the BBC Asian Network. The plot is expected to hit TV screens from next month.

One in three Muslims feel discriminated in Europe

About 31 percent of Muslims in the European Union feel they were discriminated against in 2008, according to an EU survey of 23,500 members of ethnic minorities and migrant communities published on Thursday. Ten percent of Muslims who experienced prejudice believed this was solely due to their religious beliefs, while over half felt that their ethnic origin was the grounds for the discrimination, according to the survey by the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency. The report, which collates the opinions of Muslims living in 14 European countries and minorities in general from the 27 EU member states, found that up to 81 percent of interviewees did not report discriminatory acts they suffered. A fifth of Muslim victims were concerned about possible negative consequences if they reported the discriminatory acts. Anti-foreigner and anti-Muslim rhetoric and in some cases violence has increased in several countries in the run up to the European elections and some analysts are forecasting a swing to the xenophobic right in European parliamentary elections from June 4-7.

UAE establishes a French military base on its soil

This week the ruler of the UAE along with Nicolas Sarkozy the president of France inaugurated a French military base in the UAE. The base will host 500 personnel from the French navy, the army, and the air force. It will be able to simultaneously accommodate two frigates of the French fleet operating in the region. Speaking to Gulf News, Riad Kahwaji, head of the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, said France and the UAE signed a reciprocal defence accord in 1995 that paved the way for further cooperation in a number of projects including the base. He said the French base is the first of its kind in the Arabian Gulf. "The US has a number of military, air and maritime bases in Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. The Abu Dhabi French Maritime Base is the first foreign military base for a friendly army in the UAE," Kahwaji said. He further said,”The decision to host the French base was taken by the UAE government to allow a country like France to take part in ensuring the security of oil supplies from the region in the case of a hostile action against oil carriers by terrorist groups, pirate gangs or even by a hostile government.” The reality is that the UAE has again ceded its sovereignty to a colonialist power. This is clearly forbidden by Islam. Allah says:” Allah will not allow the disbelievers to have an authority over the believers.”

After the bomb blast in Lahore, Taliban warn of more attacks on Pakistan

This week Hakimullah Mehsud, a young Taliban commander and lieutenant of Baitullah Mehsud, the chief of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, told the Pakistani newspaper Dawn that more attacks would follow the one in Lahore. Hakimullah Mehsud, who spoke from an undisclosed location, claimed responsibility for the Lahore bombing. “We want the people of Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Multan to leave those cities, as we plan major attacks against government facilities in coming days and weeks,” he said in a phone call to Reuters. He said that the Lahore attack was a response to Pakistan’s recent military campaign against the Taliban in Swat, an area north of the capital, which was overrun by militants earlier this year. “We have been looking for a target from the day the military launched the operation in Swat,” Mr. Mehsud said.
After eight years of fighting in the wilderness and on the verge of a cataclysmic defeat, America has once more managed to divert the attention of the Taliban to fight the Pakistani army. Rather than fighting each other, both the Taliban and the Pakistani army should unite to expel America from the region— the real enemy of Muslims and Islam.

North Korea shows Pakistan how to deal with the US

Once again North Korea has defied international pressure and tested a nuclear bomb, as well as several missiles. Once again America’s weakness has been exposed in its futile response to pressurize North Korea to desist from such actions. If a minnow state like North Korea can take successive bold steps over the past few years to thwart American primacy in the region, then it beggars disbelief as to why a country like Pakistan with far greater nuclear weapons and missiles, and a larger professional army cannot take a similar stand against America. Instead the leadership of Pakistan has capitulated and has turned on its own people like a savage dog— all in a desperate bid to please their American master. In the ensuing mayhem thousands of innocent civilians have been killed and over 2 million have been made homeless. Whilst the nuclear weapons designed to defend the life and honour of the Pakistani people remain a military museum gathering dust.

May 29 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Silent Tests

Living in this dunya is testing and tempting, as Allah SWT tells us in the Qur'an. But living in the West is a whole another ball game.

People assume that to carry the dawah for Islam in the Muslim world is the most testing thing you can do, and the most testing place you can be. Because in some parts of the Muslim world, to speak for this deen means hardship, means imprisonment and even torture - We look at our brothers and sisters undergoing this in Egypt and Uzbekistan and breathe a sigh of relief - What would I have done if that was me? A test beyond our capabilities we may even believe, in a quiet moment.

However my dear sisters, I would like those of us who look at the Muslim world and then count our blessings about our ease here, to actually stop and think. Step outside our bubble and actually think. Those of us who cover according to the Ahkam of Allah, don't have a haram mortgage, try to pray all of our salat and maybe even do the recommended fasting - Have we made it? We live by the haram and halal of this deen, because of our conviction of Islam and our acknowledgement of our creator and his Messenger SAW - But is this enough? When we look back to Aishah RA, of course she fasted, she prayed, she was a good wife, but she also held onto nothing in this dunya, except for Allah's deen. She never even allowed herself to keep any wealth - even what she needed, but she gave it away as sadaqah; she left her home and everything in it to move to Madinah purely for the sake of Islam and when Muhammad SAW her husband, offered her the comforts and ease of this world over marriage to him and continuing hardship - without a flinch she chose him and the deen. It's the question you probably know is coming, but what would we have done? Because living in the West, I truly believe that our tests are not necessarily less, they are just different. The tests which pull us away from our deen in the West, are of the more subtle and deceiving traits of Shaitan - Where tests and temptations are not even recognised as what they are.

We need to have the most modern aesthetically slick TVs, flawlessly modern newly fitted kitchens, our children dressed in a selection of the cutest of clothing armed with the most latest of toys and us ourselves clad in the latest and most hippest of clothes even our hijabs and jilbabs. Whatever the material asset, it's about the need to consume and keep up essentially with the joneses - Although our yardstick may not necessarily be the joneses, but our own pitless desire as human beings to consume wealth, fuelled by the Capitalist society we live in. As the Prophet SAW said 'The son of Adam, if he had a mountain of gold he would wish for another.

'Just distinguishing the haram and halal which we need to live by in Western society, is by no means enough for us to actually live by what we are trying to live by - Islam. Because this means that although we have understood we need to follow Allah's rules and laws, we have not actually understood why we are here in the first place. That it is not just about abiding by the rights and wrongs of Islam, but still having the same objective in life as non-Muslims - making ourselves happy. This happens when sisters cover, pray and fast etc but are always seeking ways of fulfilling the pit of personal happiness which is fuelled in the West, so they say 'being Islamic doesn't mean being boring you know!' - An innocent statement, but if meant in a particular context a dangerous statement to make. That although I abide by Allah's laws, I still need to fulfil my real purpose in life which is having fun, being happy, having a lovely Islamic house with a decent car, the nicest jilbabs and the whole range of toys available on the market for my kids. This may also mean needing to entertain ourselves by attending women's dinners, nasheed concerts etc - All in the name of happiness.

The reason why a Muslim is on this earth is
Allah (swt) says in the Qur'an:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنْسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
'I have created jinn and man for no other reason but to worship me' Surah Adh-Dhuriyat
(TMQ 51-55)

She is not here just to have fun, or just to be happy even if its all in an Islamic way. A Muslim is here live purely for Allah and his deen. The quest for personal happiness is not a quest for this dunya. It was not a quest for Aishah RA, Asma RA, Khadijah RA, Maryam AS, Asiyah RA. These great women who have surely gained Allah's pleasure did not gain it by holding onto the thread of do's and don'ts of Allah's message - They have gained Allah's pleasure because of the fact that the deen was the centrepoint of their lives, for which they were willing to, and did(!!) sacrifice everything putting Allah's pleasure constantly above their own.

Allah SWT says:
قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
'Surely my Prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, Lord of the Worlds.' (Al-An`am 6: 162)

My dear sisters, the hardest test is the fact that falling into the ditch of Capitalist consumerism, materialism and the quest for personal happiness is almost unnoticable. It's so easy to concern yourself with buying the latest high street trend, the most nicest of new furniture for the home and before you know it we too have been sucked into this bottomless pit.But the Muslim is the thinker. I am not saying that having material things are themselves the shaitan, but it is the concepts that come behind them for us. We must ensure that it is only the material things, not the concepts which we take from this Western society. As the concepts are in aversion to Islam and will steer us away from living for this deen, and living for this dawah.

For more reference :

The challenge from the Taliban is Ideological, not Military

The current crisis of militancy gripping Pakistan is the most serious threat to the integrity of the State since the loss of East Pakistan in the war of 1971. Pakistan today is surrounded by hostile neighbours, is crippled economically and is slowly being crushed under the weight of world public opinion that it is a terrorist State, which is being generated by its supposed ally America. With Balouchistan already rumbling with a separatist insurgency which has not yet thankfully gained popular traction, the armed conflict which is being fought with Taliban forces in Swat, Buner and Dir is threatening to roll back the writ of the Pakistani State to just the provinces of Sindh and Punjab. A solution must urgently be found to prevent further bloodshed on both sides of this conflict. The problem however requires a detailed analysis and also a solution that provides a lasting fix and not just another short term truce or treaty that will be broken.

The roots of the current conflict between the Pakistani armed forces and Taliban fighters can be traced back to the American invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. This conflict is a direct spill over from the fighting in Afghanistan against the Americans and a reaction against the support of the Pakistani State for America’s war and its actions of bombing and killing its own Pakistani citizens at America’s behest. The opponents of the Pakistani armed forces, the Taliban, are not a coherent or unified group. Made up of various factions known collectively as the Taliban you have the CIA Taliban, Afghan Taliban,KGB Taliban, Punjabi Taliban, ISI Taliban, Tehrek-e-Taliban and others. These numerous factions have varying agendas, with some being armed resistance to US occupation, some being armed resistance to Pakistani attacks, others still being those who are funded and equipped by foreign intelligence agencies to create unrest and strifein Pakistan. Varyingly, apart from those foreign sponsored groups using the following reasons as cover, these groups are demanding an end to the bombing of Pakistani territory by American and Pakistani armed forces and an end of Pakistani support for the American occupation in Afghanistan. Some groups, failing this, want an end to interference from a Pakistani State which has proven itself incapable of looking after both the needs and security of its people.

In origin the demands of the Taliban do not constitute a military threat to Pakistan. These groups are not foreign invaders seeking to control land/territory as part of some imperial adventure as America is in the Muslim world. The principle grievances of these groups are political in origin. The challenge to the Pakistani State therefore is from Pakistanis, civilians who have taken up arms against the nature and policies of the State.

This problem is further being driven by America in collusion with the Zardari government of using force to wipe out any resistance to the American occupation of Afghanistan, as it has lost the battle for hearts and minds a long time ago. It is interesting to note that this is actually a complete continuation of the policies of the Musharraf era, and that the popular change which people were expecting with the departure of the military dictator has not materialised. America and the Zardari government are actually instrumental in creating and perpetuating this crisis in order to turn Pakistani public opinion in favour of America’s imperial campaign in Afghanistan and the wider Muslim world by repackaging this conflict from being America’s war to Pakistan’s war, as the people have rejected the colonial ambitions of the US and its ‘War on Terror’. This was one of the key sound bites issued by Zardari as he came to power, which was a pledge for Pakistan to adopt America’s ‘War on Terror’ as Pakistan’s own war.

The fact of the matter is that this is America’s war, not Pakistan’s.Pakistan is being pushed in to a conflict with its own people and neighbours. Pakistan is being directed towards civil unrest and ultimately breaking point, and this is in accordance with the American plan for Pakistan. Lt Col (ret) Ralph Peters, in his article Blood borders: How a better Middle East would look for the US Armed Forces Journal, proposed a new map of the Middle East which showed the breakup of country, with only Sindh and Punjab remaining as Pakistan. It is now well established that the both America and the UK are trying to fragment or Balkanise Pakistan for four principle objectives.

To take control of Balochistan for its immense resources

To use the port of Gwadar in Balochistan to establish an economically viable energy corridor from the Caspian Sea through Afghanistan and away from the influence of Russia.

To remove a strong Pakistan as an obstacle for India so it may act as a true counterweight to China.

To break up Pakistan to remove the potential of an Islamic ideological threat from Pakistan which it brands as the ‘Islamist threat’

With this being the true reality of the problem which is manifesting itself as the conflict with the Taliban, tribal areas and Balochi insurgency, how is the Pakistani State equipped to respond to such crises?

It is clear for all to see that the current government is insincere,incapable and lead by corrupt politicians. The country is now almost openly being run by America. When you have a situation where the military head of a foreign power, Admiral Mike Mullen, is paying regular visits to Pakistan and the fact that the Pakistani armed forces are deployed to Dir when Hillary Clinton criticises thePakistani government for “basically abdicating to the Taliban and the extremists” in the wake of the Swat deal, it is a no brainer that Pakistan is no longer a sovereign state. This is aside from the regular bombings and killings of Pakistani territory and civilians by US Predator drones. Such a situation is leading to instability in the country as Pakistan participates in America’s colonial war. As thePakistan follows a foreign agenda, people are beginning to challenge the legitimacy of the State, questioning its purpose and the use it provides to the people. If the Pakistani State is going to kill its own citizens on the orders of a foreign power, it is clearly not serving its people by any stretch of the imagination. What then is the nature of this Pakistani state? If it will not look after its people,what is the source of its strength, and where does it derive its authority from?

The Pakistani State is the manifestation of the contradiction sembodied by the political classes and a product of external agendas as defined by foreign powers. The Pakistani State has no organic authority from the people; hence it is constantly challenged by the people. These challenges in the past have manifested themselves in various forms over the course of history, with military coups and the break up in 1971 being some examples. The current problem of militancy is the latest incarnation of this challenge to the authority and legitimacy of the Pakistani State. Currently there is one strata of society ruling Pakistan and implementing a system which the people do not respect. Politically the system has no value as many of the politicians are known to be corrupt, inept or both. Ideologically, the system has little support from the people as it is simply an imported British product and a relic of the colonial era based upon secularism. As democracy loses its façade of providing a mechanism for electing and accounting rulers and reveals itself simply to be a tool for the rich and powerful to change laws as they see fit, the people are shunning the system and apathy is rampant in society. The ideal of Pakistani nationalism, which the system is supposed to represent and protect, has shown itself to be incredibly weak at binding the various peoples in Pakistan together. Pakistani nationalism is founded upon a contradiction, namely that the State of Pakistan was created in response to a popular movement to live according to Islam by the Muslims of India yet what was yielded was secularism. As this Islamic ideal was left by the wayside, the only situation in which the people within the borders of Pakistan would come together and bond as Pakistanis would be when faced with an external threat like India. As such the State, lacking internal domestic support, is propped up by foreign powers that manipulate it for their own ends. The ruling class therefore willingly follows the diktats of those it relies upon to stay in power, namely the colonial nations such as America and the UK.

If we look at the response of the Pakistani State to the current Taliban militancy crisis, we can see that it has been one of almost colonial ruler to a conquered people rather than a State dealing with its citizens. General Ashfaq Kayani declared that "The army will not allow the militants to dictate terms to the government or impose their way of life on the civil society of Pakistan". Interior Minister Rehman Malik before the latest operation said that “Enough is enough”adding that "a handful of militants cannot challenge the writ of the government". For the sake of argument, if General Kayani is given the benefit of the doubt for thinking as a military man responding to the threat of violence no such excuse can be made for the Rehman Malik. As the civilian authority and representative of the State Malik’s response epitomises the response of a State that is out of ideas as to how to deal with a population dissatisfied with its performance. By using physical means to put down an uprising which is political in origin is to stoke the flames of internal unrest and civil war.

If the stick of the government is leading to violence, then the carrot being deployed is leading to the voluntary amputation of the State itself. Nizam-e-Adl, the government bill being implemented in Swat aspart of a peace deal with the Taliban where Sharia law will allegedly be implemented, is a non-starter as a method of conflict resolution.The fact that the implementation of a few social rules makes a mockery out of Sharia law and a farce of Islamic ruling is only part of the issue at hand. If one goes along with the ridiculous assertion that Sharia law is indeed being implemented in Swat, then what you have is a recipe for disaster as effectively within the borders of one State there are two legal codes in operation. This will serve only to entrench separation and division between a group of people and the State as you begin to have two sets of laws running in parallel, which is impractical and inconceivable for any successful and progressive State. All this is despite the fact that if Sharia law was to be sincerely applied it would not be in the form of a neutered ‘Bill’ but as the source of all laws in a State which then defines the economic policies, judicial system, foreign policy, social system etc. Clearly then this is at best a foolish attempt to remedy a deeper ideological problem or at worst an insincere attempt to show the application of Sharia law.

Both of these responses show a State which is at a loss for ideas as to how to deal with a population which neither respects its authority nor recognises its legitimacy. These actions of the Pakistani State are leading to a tremendous loss of life and civil unrest, whilst revealing the nature of the State and its relationship with the people. It is being driven by foreign instructions and threats by America and is attacking the local population, the very people it should be defending. What is then the way out of this quagmire that Pakistan finds itself sinking in?

The solution is not to deploy an increasing amount of armed forces to the region, let alone allow a foreign colonial power to help with anarmed operation. The solution is to strengthen the authority and legitimacy of the State in the eyes of the people. The State must regain the initiative by establishing a sovereign authority which derives its support from the people and not from external forces;otherwise the State shall always be weak, externally dependent,subject to manipulation by foreign forces and fire fighting insurgencies constantly. The core problem that Pakistan faces is that the people are disenfranchised and disillusioned with the State and do not identify with it. The interests of the State now clearly diverge from the interests of the people. Such a situation is not tenable and will sooner rather than later lead to either massive bloodshed or the breakup of the Pakistani State, or both, as was the case in the war of 1971. This is clearly in the interests of the foreign powers like America and part of their plans which are out in the open. The interests of the State must urgently be defined so that the people can be united around these. Nationalism has failed to define the interests and could never succeed in origin.

Pakistani nationalism neither has the depth of history to which all the disparate ethnic and tribal groups in Pakistan can lay claim to as being common heritage nor does it have the necessary political depth which can be used to define specific interests. At best it will result in Pakistani colonialism, as it offers nothing to the people except shallow loyalty to a centralised administration, which is what the people in provinces outside of Punjab are feeling.

There must be one basis upon which the interests and all laws of the State are based upon. This basis must be the casus belli of the State and the idea for which the State exists to protect, implement and propagate. This basis must serve as the source of all values and ideals in the society which bind people together. This basis must not be confused with opinion, as even if a basis is agreed there could be multiple opinions as to how best to implement this basis. This is not an issue, rather this is healthy. For example, in the UK you have the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and Green Parties whilst in America you have the Republicans and the Democrats. The key is for a State to adopt one coherent and consistent basis. In the UK and America this is Capitalism and secularism applied in tandem within the Democratic ruling system. So whilst all of these parties may differ in their opinions on policy and indeed engage in heated or bitter debates on specific issues at times, no one contends the basis of the State.The discussion only centres on how best to adhere to this basis and which rules will result in the best application of this basis. The result of this is that regardless of what party comes to power, the nature of the State never changes and the people will obey the laws of the new government, even if they do not agree with all the new laws or policies of the new government.

The problem in Pakistan is that there is no coherent basis upon which the State is built. People may form parties and groups and come to power on ideas as varied as secularism, socialism or Islam. In effect,Pakistan has no basis for existence. Laws, regulations and even the constitution change according to the whims and wishes of every new ruler. The identity of the Pakistani citizen is undefined. Indeed,Pakistan and what it stands for is not defined. As of now, the State of Pakistan stands for nothing.

It is clear then that the basis for the State must urgently be established and it should be something which the people identify with and trust. There is only one idea that has the ability to bring together the various ethnicities and tribes in Pakistan as one and at the same time has the political depth to define very clearly both the interests of the individual and the State in perfect unity. This is Islam.

Islam is the ideology which has a natural resonance with the people and has a track record of success when applied correctly in its entirety and in its true State form. Once Islam is adopted as the coherent and consistent basis, an ideologically strong State shall emerge as this State will naturally derive its authority from the people. This State shall have a clear direction as defined by the Sharia and the legitimacy to tackle both external threats and internal rebels who seek to implement their own views upon the people. The State will then be seen to represent the people and not foreign interests. The current State apparatus is not equipped to support the implementation of Islam. It does not posses the appropriate departmental bodies, courts, ruling structure or economy. The State will thus need to be revamped and re-established in the form of a Khilafah. Only the Khilafah State would posses the structure needed to implement Islam as a State ideology. This is not an administrative issue where one can swap or rename a few departments in the current Pakistani State and implement a few Sharia rulings on theft or adultery and be declared Islamic. The new Khilafah structure is needed to reflect the transference of sovereignty away from Parliament to the Sharia and the investment of authority in an elected Khaleefah, not a President, Prime Minister or military dictator.

If one attempts to implement Islam and Sharia in the current State structure, then you will produce a circus show of the like that is currently going on with Nizam-e-Adl.

Once this new State structure is set up on a clearly defined and coherent basis with support from the people, the issue then will be to assess the claims of any restless groups such as the Taliban via a due process of law through the appropriate organs of the state (councils,courts etc) and then issue a verdict which shall have universal legitimacy. The State will also be able to lead the people the Taliban currently rule to progression. For instance, education for girls will be enforced; Taliban like groups can have no objection to such rulings as the curriculum would teach values which are consistent with Islam and the verdict would be handed down by a legitimate Islamic authority. Issues will not be disputed as the Khaleefah will adopt public laws which everyone must follow. Anything not adopted will be the right of individuals to decide upon, no compulsion. As with any other ideological State, differences of opinions will be allowed and if people want to lobby the Khaleefah for a change in opinion then appropriate channels shall exist.

Indeed it shall be the responsibility of the Islamic civil society, such as political parties, to account the Khaleefah to ensure that the Sharia is being followed at all times. The current system does not provide this. It is the lack of such a legal framework which causes frustration amongst the various Islamic groups as there is no official mechanism to address their concerns or consider their opinions. This legal process would be the correct method for not only dealing with the Taliban but also any other movement which seeks to be separate from the State or establish an alternative order.

By establishing the Khilafah State the impracticalities of the Pakistani State shall be swept away and the people shall be united on a shared intellectual basis rather than a shallow idea of nationalism,which is a colonial construct in origin anyway which serves to divide rather than unite people. The Khilafah State shall not only solve the problem of unity and address any issues of militancy within society,but it shall give direction to the whole of society. As the national interests are defined according to Islam, many of the current problems shall be solved. The foreign policy of the State shall be in line with the wishes of the people as the State shall refuse to take part in any colonial adventure with nations such as America. The security and property of its citizens shall be protected, as the State shall exist to serve the people, not the other way around as it is currently.Separatist movements shall lose legitimacy as the basis for the State shall not be divisive nationalism but an inclusive ideology. The economy shall be revived as inflation is brought under control with investment in industry and production, a gold standard backed currency, capital flows freed up as interest is removed and the taxation system simplified. Industrialisation shall occur, leading to a rise in education standards and employment as the State seeks to provide for the people and project the ideological strength and power of Islam globally.

A variety of topics have been addressed briefly in the closing paragraphs, with each topic warranting a lengthy explanation in its own right. However for the current issue at hand the challenge presented to Pakistan by the internal dissenters and foreign powers is one of challenging the ideological soul of the State, and this has been addressed. This challenge must be met with a barrage of ideas,not bullets or missiles. Islam is capable of meeting this challenge and providing a resounding answer. It is then up to the people of influence in civil society, politics and the military to adopt this call and save the people of Pakistan before it is too late.

Asim Salahuddin

(The writer is a Pakistani analyst and freelance columnist)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Stock Markets, Weaker than a Spider’s Web

The share market rising by 2100 points or 15% and investors gaining 6.5 lakh crore rupees in just 60 minutes was touted as a return of confidence in the market. Let us analyse whether that was really so, or was it just a jugglery by a few manipulators?

The result of India’s general election began on 16th May 2009. The next day was spent in grappling with the impact of the result. On Monday, May 18, 2009 the NSE and Mumbai stock exchange saw this unprecedented surge. Was this surge due to some fundamental change in the working of the market? Was it because the companies had improved their profits? Was it because just in one day the incoming government had infused some legislation that benefitted the market? Was it because the global economic crises had subsided? Clearly the answer to all these questions is in the negative. In the absence of any of these factors, how could investor confidence go up just by the result of an election and that too, of the same political party who was already in power before elections for five years?

Clearly, the rise and fall of share prices is not in the control of people who can invest a paltry crore or two in the market. It needs a bigger fish to bring a wave. It is always some Mukesh, Anil, Ketan or Harshad who do it, and it is they who benefit from it, not the petty investor. But, you may say, the small investor can sell his shares during buoyancy and walk away with the profits. Sorry, gamblers lose just because they can’t walk-off with the gains. Greed for more gains makes them lose. Exactly same is the case with share investors.

Let’s see how this works. Much before 18th May 2009, if just 10 big capitalists and an equal number of share brokers join hands and decide that irrespective of what the election result is, and irrespective of what the share prices are, they will buy shares indiscriminately on 17th May, 2009. This is easy for them because they have to buy the shares notionally without spending a rupee. Obviously the so-called investor, who has petty sums to play with, will see the demand and rush to buy shares, not knowing that it was a fabricated demand. There goes the sensex – 2100 points higher. The same thing can be done by these 20 persons to bring down the share prices.

Can you believe that these few big players earn both ways! When the market falls they earn because before the fall they have offloaded (sold) their stocks and shares at the higher price. When the market rises they earn because before the rise they have bought up stocks and shares at the lower price. In fact every fluctuation is to their benefit. The more the ups and downs, the better for them. If you see on the TV screen that investors gained 6.5 lakh crore rupees, a very large part went to the coffers of these few big players. If you are told that investors lost a lakh crore rupees, trust that these few big players lost nothing. In fact they will buy at low price and thereby benefit.

If on Sunday the 17th May when the prices were still low, the Ambanis purchased shares of their own company and that of many other companies. On the very next morning they are richer by several hundred crores. They will sell these shares in a way that they get the inflated price. The poor investor will not sell his shares because greed tells him that the prices will rise further. In fact he will buy up the shares off loaded by the capitalists. The whole game is that a few control the market and hence gain, while the majority don’t have any control and hence lose. Big sharks know that greed will keep bringing in newer gamblers. In Islam, gamble is defined as an unpredictable transaction in which many lose and few gain.

When gains from simple gambling were not enough, the predators invented and introduced derivatives – a gamble over gamble. Now they could make profits today for a future push or pull of the market. For example, these predators can say for sure that during the next one year they will push up the market thrice and pull it down thrice. So they are bound to make profits six times. They just have to notionally buy shares at low prices before the push-up and sell them the next day at the higher price. Similarly, they just have to sell off their shares at high prices before the crash and buy them the next day at rock bottom price. For them everything is predictable because they are doing it.

Allah swt says in the holy Qur'an:
وَإِنَّ أَوْهَنَ الْبُيُوتِ لَبَيْتُ الْعَنْكَبُوتِ
"But Verily, the frailest (weakest) of houses is the spider's house"[029:041]

Allah says that the weakest of homes is the web of the spider.
It’s a structure without foundations. Stock markets are weaker than the spider’s web. These markets are one example of the capitalist economy that is entirely built on faulty foundations. Greed, lies, self interests, gambling, usury (riba) and deceit together make up the capitalist ideology. Despite the back-breaking downturn, crippling almost all countries of the world, one can vouch with certainty that nothing can change for the better till this ideology exists. Only when Islam comes forward as a viable alternative, will this corrupt and cruel ideology be knocked off. After their own economists have lost faith in the principles of capitalism and after breaking their heads to find a solution, they are now grappling with the idea of infusing fresh blood by incorporating principles of socialism from the communist ideology like nationalization, government intervention & regulation, forgetting for a moment that communism is itself dead wood and antithetical to the capitalist ideology. If you cling onto a sinking ship, you can’t expect to be saved.

Abu Farhaan

Article on Islamic state in Urdu press

The following is an Urdu article published in the Urdu Daily Munsif from Hyderabad, India. It is written by one of the activists working for the return of the Khilafah, the scholar Maulana Mufti Habeeb ur-Rahman Qasmi.

It is entitiled, 'Islami riyasat ka hadaf - hukumrani ya islam ka nifaz' (The objective to establish the Islamic state only to rule or to establish Islam?').

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Part 12, The Islamic Rules of Trade - Transfer of a Right (Al-Hawala)/Bill of Exchange

Due to the current global financial crisis there is increasing interest in the Islamic Economic System, the most comprehensive book on this topic is 'The Economic System of Islam' by Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani. However as people have many questions relating to the Islamic rules of trade we will be posting related extracts from the draft translation of the Fiqh masterpiece 'The Islamic Personality, Volume 2' by Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani

(Al-Hawala) is derived from transferring the right from one’s responsibility to another one’s responsibility. It is transferring by the one upon whom is the right of the one seeking the right from him to another one on whom he has a right. The transfer is established by the Sunnah. Al-Bukhari narrated via the way of Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
The delay of the rich man (in paying the right) is injustice. And if one of you is transferred on a rich person then let him follow him” and in other words: “Whoever is transferred in his right on a rich person , then let him transfer” (narrated by Ahmad).

It is permitted in the debt and the thing i.e. immediately and deferred, because it is transferring the right of a person on another which is general covering all rights. Also because the words of the hadith: “If one of you is transferred on a rich person” is general including in regards of (ahad) one of you and the rich man, each of them has an immediate right over him; and it includes that there is over him a deferred right, so it remains upon its generality. The (malee’a) rich man is the one capable to pay.

It came in the hadith from the Prophet (SAW) that he said:
Verily Allah (swt) says: ‘Whoever lends the rich man who is (ghayr al-‘adam).”
However the command of the Messenger to follow the rich man if transferred upon him, requires that he is not denying or a (mumatil) procrastinator (over the right). This is understood from compelling the transferred one to follow the rich man; so the rich man becomes the one capable of repayment, not the denier or procrastinator. The reality of the transfer and the wording of the hadith indicate that there should exist in the transfer a (muheel) transferring one, the (muhtal) transferred one and the (muhal ‘alaihi) transferred upon. The one who transfers is the (muheel), and the word (ahadakum) “one of you” who is the one commanded to follow in his debt is the (muhtal) person. And the rich man, whom the person is commanded to follow him, is the transferred upon (muhal ‘alaihi).

Four conditions are stipulated for the validity of the transfer:-

Firstly: The similarity of the two rights in kind, and in immediacy or deferred period, because it is a transfer of the right and convey of it, so it is conveyed according to its description. Hence it is valid for the one upon whom gold is due to transfer for gold, or silver for silver. However, it is not valid for the one upon whom gold is due to transfer for silver or transfer silver for gold. It is valid for the one upon whom there is a debt for (a period of) a month to transfer for a debt for a month, and the one upon whom there is a debt due for a due debt. It is valid to transfer an immediate (right) for immediate (right), and a deferred (right) for a deferred (right). However if one of the two debts is immediate and the other deferred, or the period of one of the two for a month and the other for two months, then the transfer is invalid.

Secondly: That the transfer must be upon an established fixed/settled debt. So if the woman transfers upon her husband for her dowry before consummation, it is invalid as it is not settled/established. Were an employee to transfer for his wage before the end of his work or before the end of the period of his wage, it is invalid. Were someone, who had no debt upon him due to another, to transfer him to another who owes him a debt, this is not a transfer but a delegation on which apply the rules of (wakalah) delegation not the rules of transfer. If the one upon him is a debt transferred someone who has no debt upon him, this is also not a transfer so payment is not obliged upon the one transferred upon the (muhal ‘alaihi) nor is the (muhtal) transferred obliged to accept that, because the transfer is mutual compensation whereas there is no mutual compensation here. If the (muhtal) transferred received the debt from the (muhal ‘alaihi) transferred upon, the debt returns to the (muheel) transferring.

Thirdly: It should be for known money and is invalid for unknown money.

Fourthly: That the (muheel) transferring person transfers with his consent and not compelled upon the transfer, because the right is upon him. So he is not obliged to pay it in a specific manner, since he is not obliged to pay it from the side of the debt which is upon the (muhal ‘alaihi) transferred upon. Rather it is for him to pay it in any manner he wishes. It is not necessary to have the consent of the (muhtal) transferred and (muhal ‘alaihi) transferred upon; rather their consent is not considered at all. The (muhtal) transferred is obliged to accept the transfer, and the (muhal ‘alaihi) transferred upon is compelled to accept the transfer. As for compelling the (muhtal), this is due to the statement of the Prophet (SAW): “If one of you is transferred upon a rich person, let him follow (him)” and because the (muheel) have the right to repay the right due upon him by himself or his delegate, and he placed the (muhal ‘alaihi) transferred upon in his place in receiving (the right) so the (muhtal) is compelled to accept. As for rejection of the (muhal ‘alaihi), this is because the creditor placed the (muhtal) stand in his place in receiving ( the right) so it does not need the consent of the one upon whom the right is due like (wakalah) delegation.

Accordingly the transfer in deed notes bonds which include sums like checks or deferred sums whose period falls due—which are known as the transfer of the thing itself is permitted with the consent of the (muheel) alone, where the consent of the (muhtal) or (muhal ‘alaihi) is not stipulated. Similarly the transfer of deed notes (bonds) which include sums whose period has not fallen due like promissory notes—which is known as the transfer of debts—whether the (muhtal) consented or not, and whether the (muhal ‘alaihi) consented or not. The transfer is not a contract so as consent be stipulated therein. So there is no offer and acceptance therein. Rather it is only the disposal of a person himself like the guarantee (dhaman), standing security (kafala), bequest (wasiyya) and their like of the disposals which are not considered contracts.

Article 26 & 27, Explanation of the Draft Constitution of the Khilafah

The following is from the draft english translation of the Arabic book مقدمة الدستورأو الأسباب الموجبة له (Introduction to the constitution and the evidences that make it obligatory) published by Hizb ut-Tahrir 1382 Hijri (1963 CE). Please refer to the original Arabic for accurate meanings. Please note some of the adopted opinions of the Hizb have changed since the time the book was published so any of the adopted literature published after this book which contradicts what is mentioned in this book abrogates those specific points

Article 26:

Every mature and sane Muslim, be it man or woman, reserves the right to elect the Khalifah and to give him the Baya'a. Non-Muslims have no right in this.

The reality of the Khilafah serves as evidence that every Muslim has the right to elect the Khalifah and give him his or her Baya'a, for the Ahadith have indicated that the it is the Muslims who give their Baya'a to the Khalifah, be it men or women. Ubada Ibnu-s-Samit reported: We gave our Baya'a to the Messenger of Allah (saw)... Umm Attyya reported: We pledged our Baya'a to the Messenger of Allah (saw)... Abdul-Rahman Ibnu Auf said when he was commissioned with the task of seeking the Muslims' opinion about who to appoint as Khalifah: I have not left one single man, nor one single woman without having sought his or her opinion. No from among the Sahaba disapproved of his action. Therefore, every Muslim, man or woman, has the right to elect the Khalifah and give him his or her Baya'a. as for the non-Muslims, they have no right to this, because the Baya'a is according to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger and the Kafir does not believe in them. If he believes in them, he becomes a Muslim.

Article 27:

If the Khilafah has been contracted with one man by those who through their Baya'a the Khilafah is usually contracted, the Baya'a of the others would in this case be a Baya'a of obedience, not a Baya'a of contract. Hence, every person showing signs of rebellion would be forced to give his Baya'a.

Evidence of this article is derived from what occurred in the Baya'a of the four Khulafa', because it is considered as Ijma'a of the Sahaba. In the Baya'a of Abu Bakr, it was contented with the Baya'a of the influential people in Madinah alone, and the same happened in the Baya'a of Omar. In the Baya'a of Uthman, it was contented with the opinion and the Baya'a of the people of Madinah, and in the Baya'a of Ali, it was contented with the Baya'a of most of the people in Madinah and most of the people of Al-Koufa. This indicates that it is not necessary for all the Muslims to give their Baya'a in order for the Khilafah to be contracted, it is rather sufficient to take the Baya'a of most of their representatives; as for the rest of the people, if they gave their Baya'a it would be a Baya'a of obedience.

As for the forcing of those who show signs of rebellion against the Baya'a, once the Baya'a of most of the Muslims' representatives has been taken, this is deduced from the persistence of Ali (r) on making Muawyya give his Baya'a and enter in which people had entered, and also his forcing of Talha and Al-Zubayr to give him their Baya'a; none of the Sahaba disavowed his action, though some of them advised him not to remove Muawyya from the Wilaya of Al-Sham. The silence of the Sahaba over the action of one of them, if he undertook an action which should be usually condemned, such as in this case forcing someone to give the Baya'a while it is a contract of consent and choice, this silence would be considered a silent Ijma'a of the Sahaba and would act as a Shari'ah evidence.

Views on the news - 23/05/09

No green shoots only economic misery

Despite all the talk in some western capitals about how their economies are showing signs of recovery the exact opposite is transpiring. This week the US Federal Reserve forecast predicts that the US economy will contract by as much as 2% this year, an increase from the 1.3% contraction previously estimated. In addition, recovery in 2010 and 2011 will also be slower than first thought, increasing by up to 3% next year, from an earlier forecast by as much as 3.3%, and by up to 4.8% in 2011, from an earlier estimate of up to 5%. The reduction in forecasts by the members of the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) suggests that the current recession will be deeper and more severe than first thought, and that that will have an impact on the strength of the eventual recovery. And for the UK economy things are looking gloomier by the day. The international ratings agency Standard and Poor's on Thursday downgraded its outlook on Britain's economy to "negative" from "stable" owing to the country's "deteriorating public finances." Minutes from the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, published on Wednesday, revealed that extra money supplies were being considered to boost the economy and encourage lending. According to the minutes, all members of the MPC voted in favour of increasing the quantitative easing plan by £50 billion, taking the total to £125 billion.

MI5 forces Muslims to become agents

On 21/5 the English newspaper The Independent revealed how MI5— Britain’s domestic security service—coerced British Muslims to become agents. The paper states:’ The men claim they were given a choice of working for the Security Service or face detention and harassment in the UK and overseas. They have made official complaints to the police, to the body which oversees the work of the Security Service and to their local MP Frank Dobson. Now they have decided to speak publicly about their experiences in the hope that publicity will stop similar tactics being used in the future.’ Speaking about the episode Frank Dobson said: "To identify real suspects from the Muslim communities MI5 must use informers. But it seems that from what I have seen some of their methods may be counter-productive."

Nearly 25% of Iraqis live below poverty line

An Iraqi study showed Wednesday that 23 percent of Iraq’s population live below the level of poverty line. Abdul Zahra al-Hindawi, spokesman of the Central Statistics office which carried out the study said that 23 percent of the 27 million Iraqis live below the poverty line, most of them in rural areas of the Iraqi provinces. Hindawi told reporters the spread of poverty is attributed to the failed infrastructure, corruption and unemployment. The study comes as Iraq has the world’s third-largest oil reserves, with more than 115 billion barrels. The American occupied country is struggling to rebuild its oil industry after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Pakistani Ulema condemn Taleban but fail to condemn Pak-American war against Islam

Leading Ulema of the country declared on Sunday that suicide attacks and beheading of people were ‘un-Islamic’ acts and said that militants in Swat and Fata were pursuing the agenda of Pakistan’s enemies. The edict was issued at a convention of Ulema and Mashaikh from different parts of the country. This is the first time that prominent Ulema and religious scholars, mostly belonging to the Sunni school of thought, have denounced the Taliban and their inhuman acts in such a categorical manner. A unanimous resolution adopted at the convention said: ‘The assassination of Ulema should be stopped and sacred places, including shrines, should be cleared of extremists. Suicide attacks and beheading is Haram’. Some of ulema even expressed their readiness to form their own Lashkar against the Taliban if security forces needed their help to eradicate terrorists from the troubled areas. However, the same ulema did not issue a single fatwa to condemn Pakistani government’s alliance with America in fighting Islam.

Allah says in the holy Qur'an

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا عَدُوِّي وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاءَ تُلْقُونَ إِلَيْهِمْ بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَقَدْ كَفَرُوا بِمَا جَاءَكُمْ مِنَ الْحَقِّ يُخْرِجُونَ الرَّسُولَ وَإِيَّاكُمْ أَنْ تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ رَبِّكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ خَرَجْتُمْ جِهَادًا فِي سَبِيلِي وَابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِي تُسِرُّونَ إِلَيْهِمْ بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَأَنَا أَعْلَمُ بِمَا أَخْفَيْتُمْ وَمَا أَعْلَنْتُمْ وَمَنْ يَفْعَلْهُ مِنْكُمْ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَاءَ السَّبِيلِ

‘O ye who believe! Take not my enemies and yours as friends (or protectors),- offering them (your) love, even though they have rejected the Truth that has come to you, and have (on the contrary) driven out the Prophet and yourselves (from your homes), (simply) because ye believe in Allah your Lord! If ye have come out to strive in My Way and to seek My Good Pleasure, (take them not as friends), holding secret converse of love (and friendship) with them: for I know full well all that ye conceal and all that ye reveal. And any of you that does this has strayed from the Straight Path.’ [TMQ 60:1]

Congress’s grip on power undermines America’s influence in the region

Last week the India’s ruling Congress Party's secular alliance defeated the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies in the month-long Indian general election. The result means that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not only return to power, but also that his government won't depend on support from the Left, as exit polls predicted. With its newfound mandate it is expected that the pro-British Congress will usher in new economic reforms and continue its uncompromising stance on Kashmir. The latter may spell trouble for Obama, as he seeks to normalise relations between Pakistan and India in a desperate bid to change the Pakistani army’s focus on India to fighting militants on the western border.

May 23 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Views on the news - 14/05/09

UK Muslims feel most isolated in Europe

Only one in ten Muslims in Britain see themselves as integrated into the rest of society, a large-scale international survey said last week. And it found that more than a third are dissatisfied with their standard of living. The levels of integration - or 'cohesion' as Labour ministers prefer to call it - compare badly with the way Muslims have mixed into the rest of the population in France and Germany. According to the Gallup Coexist Index, 35 per cent of German Muslims and 46 per cent of those in France regard themselves as integrated into their society. The findings sound a warning that despite the efforts of ministers and Islamic leaders since the 2005 London bombings to build common ground between some Islamic communities and their neighbours, doubts, mistrust and resentment continue to exist. The report, produced by the polling company and the Coexist Foundation, an interfaith think tank, said: 'The sizeable proportions of the populations classified as isolated show that interfaith dialogue will require significant efforts from all concerned parties.'

Spaniards sells kidneys in order to survive

What was once associated with poor countries in Asia and Latin America has sprung up for the first time in Western Europe as the credit crunch reduces Spaniards to selling organs to “transplant tourists”. Spanish “kidney for sale” advertisements have proliferated recently on the internet as people struggle to make ends meet in a country whose 17% unemployment rate is the highest in Europe. Facua, a Spanish consumers’ association, has recently reported dozens of internet organ advertisements to the police and an investigation has been opened in Seville into a man who offered a kidney for sale. The practice is likely to grow, however. Kidney problems affect about 10% of the global adult population. The World Health Organisation estimates that about 70,000 kidney transplants are performed each year, of which 20% are carried out on the black market in countries including China, Pakistan, Egypt and Colombia.

Somalia: Is the western backed Sharif government running out of time?

Somali Islamist leader and onetime president Sheikh Dahir Aweys has launched what appears to be a final assault on the fragile Somali transitional government. Five days of fighting, including heavy shelling, have left dozens dead, almost certainly ending hopes for negotiations to potentially win over Sheikh Aweys's support for, and inclusion in, the western backed government of president Sheikh Sharif Ahmed. Both men had served in the short-lived Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) government of 2006, before it was removed by an Ethiopian military intervention. The assault casts serious doubt over the survival of the Sharif government, just days after international donors pledged $213 million to support it. At present, forces loyal to Sharif control roughly 25 city blocks in Mogadishu, including the presidential palace. About 4,000 African Union peacekeeping troops also protect the Sharif government, the seaport, and the Mogadishu airport. "There is no doubt Aweys wants a military solution. He wants to dislodge Sharif," says Rashid Abdi, an expert on Somalia for the International Crisis Group in Nairobi. "They're shelling the presidential palace and parts of the airport. This is looking like the final assault."

The man who insulted Islam is given warm welcome by the leaders of region

In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI vehemently attacked Islam. Speaking in Germany, the Pope quoted a 14th Century Christian emperor who said the Prophet Muhammad had brought the world only "evil and inhuman" things. Today, the leaders of the Middle East have chosen to overlook his deep hatred of Islam; instead some of them have laid carpets so that the pope does not have to take of his shoes whilst making a mockery of Islam in the Masjid.

Zardari: ‘We have come together to save Pakistan’

Speaking at a meeting of overseas Pakistanis in New York, Zardari said that the situation in Pakistan called for a lot of courage and at the same time a lot of thinking. ‘We have to come together and save Pakistan,’ he said. Democracy is part of the solution and a starting point for resolving all problems facing the country. Indeed Zadari idea of saving Pakistan involves allowing American forces to shed Muslim blood through predatory drone strikes on unarmed civilians in Waziristan. Mobilizing the Pakistani army to create a humanitarian disaster in Swat— the likes of which has not been witnessed, since the partition of India in 1947. And to top it all off Zadari is imploring the West to pay him and the military leadership a wage for the current carnage. Acting on American orders to spill Muslim blood is what Zardari calls courageous and has consumed all of his thinking.

On the eve of the Indian election Singh refuses to resume talks with Pakistan

Last week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ruled out resuming talks with Pakistan until Islamabad took steps against militants India says were responsible for an assault in Mumbai last November."Our minimum demand is that Pakistan must take effective steps to bring the culprits of Mumbai massacre to book before we resume our dialogue," he told a news conference in Chennai. India had engaged with Pakistan for the last five years until the Mumbai attack, he said. Pakistan has already admitted partial culpability in the attacks but despite this India is refusing to engage Pakistan. Manmohan Singh is worried that any dialogue with Pakistan will be perceived negatively by the Indian voters who may choose to punish Congress by siding with BJP.

14 May 2009

Stop America’s war which makes Muslims fight Muslims!

The following is a leaflet widely distributed recently in Pakistan.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Stop America’s war which makes Muslims fight Muslims!

On 8 May, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gillani, announced a war in Swat in a telecast address to the nation, in these words, “For the sanctity of this pure land, for national dignity, to suppress the extremists, to ensure the protection of people, the army has been deployed.” However, the Prime Minister’s venture is neither for the restoration of national dignity and nor for the public protection, rather it is to restore the dignity of the cowardly American occupying forces and for ensuring America’s survival in Afghanistan, where she is immersed in a deep quagmire.

Keeping control of Afghanistan is not possible without crushing the Mujahideen, who are fighting against America in Afghanistan. But cowardly American and NATO forces, whilst possessing the latest weaponry, are afraid of confrontation with poorly equipped, small groups of Mujahideen. Moreover, the American economy is in continuous, unabated recession, despite all efforts, whilst politically, in the international arena, America has lost the support of her allies in her campaign of occupation and hegemony. Countries like China and Russia are openly citing their concerns about the American presence in the region. Hence, in this situation America is unable to revitalise her failing campaign in Afghanistan alone.

America depends upon the Pakistan Army to emerge from this deepening quagmire. America urgently desires that the Pakistan Army stands with her and fights wholeheartedly in support of the US war of occupation and hegemony. However, America knows very well that the Muslims of Pakistan harbour a deep hatred for America and absolutely reject the American presence in the region, and so are unwilling to launch their army for the sake of America’s war. Moreover, there is a negative opinion within the Pakistan Army itself about America’s war. All of which amounts to a great obstacle for America in getting essential military help from Pakistan. Thus it was necessary for America to create an atmosphere of chaos and fear to enable the start of military operations within Pakistan. These operations on the one hand ensure that the Mujahideen who are fighting in Afghanistan against the American occupation will now turn their guns away from the real enemy, America, and on to their Muslims brothers of the Pakistan Army; whilst on the other hand, these operations are an attempt to conceal the fact that the real cause of the chaos in the region is the illegal American occupation of Afghanistan, which the Pakistani government fully supports by providing supply lines for weaponry, food and ordinance to the occupying forces of America and NATO in Afghanistan, whilst deploying thousands of Muslim soldiers at the Pak-Afghan border to stop any attacks by Pakistani Muslims on the occupying forces.

This is the reality of the military operations which the Pakistani government began first in the tribal areas and then extended to the settled areas of NWFP. The result of these operations are hundreds of thousands of homeless, noble Muslim women spending their days and nights under the bare sky, elderly and young plunged into angst and despair, with countless families suffering. Houses, markets, schools and shops are being converted to rubble, whilst the blood of Muslims is shed without respite.

The Pakistan government has not only pitched the Muslim army against their own brothers, she simultaneously started a malicious, carefully orchestrated campaign in which she is presented a distorted picture to gain public opinion to her favour. Learning from the Lal Masjid experience, the government has taken carefully planned steps. Through an organized media campaign, the government tried to sway Pakistani public opinion in favour of the military operations. The attack on Minawan police training centre and the video of the flogging of a girl were used for the same purpose, to prepare the ground for military operations which were planned weeks in advance. To justify these military operations, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said that these people were challenging the writ of government and in such a case the government was left with no other option but to use force. We ask: wasn’t this writ challenged when America openly and flagrantly killed children, women and the elderly in Wazaristan and Banu through its drone attacks? Why did the Prime Minister not appear on the media then to announce military operations against these drone attacks? Were these drone attacks not challenging the “writ of government,” coming one after the other, despite continuous government protests? And is the American plan to grant India opportunities in the region not a challenge to the government’s “writ”? Though it is a grave threat, why is the Pakistani government helping the execution of this plan? Indeed, the government has signed the Pak-Afghan transit trade agreement, under the guardianship of US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in Washington, although the political and economical fruits of this transit trade are only for the benefit of India. As for Prime Minister Gilani’s claim of guarding the honour of Swat’s women as a justification for his military operations, was the Prime Minister not worried about the honour of the Muslim daughter, Dr. Afia Siddique, who is imprisoned in America and whose children remain missing? So, why has his government taken care not to raise a word about Afia Siddique during its numerous meetings with the Americans?

O Muslims of Pakistan!
These rulers are liars and traitors against Islam and Muslims. They are only sincere to their own survival by fulfilling the interests of colonist Kuffar. These rulers are turning Muslims against Muslims to protect America, even though Allah سبحانه وتعالى said in the Noble Qur’an,

وَمَن يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِناً مُّتَعَمِّداً فَجَزَآؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ خَالِداً فِيهَا وَغَضِبَ اللّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلَعَنَهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُ عَذَاباً عَظِيماً
“And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein, and the Wrath and the Curse of Allâh are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him.” [Surah An-Nisa'a 4:93]

RasulAllah سلم و عليه الله صلى said,
سباب المسلم فسق وقتاله كفر
“Abusing the Muslim is an aggression and fighting him is disbelief.” [Al-Bukhari, Muslim]

And RasulAllah سلم و عليه الله صلى said,
إذا التقى المسلمان بسيفيهما فالقاتل والمقتول في النار , قلنا يا رسول الله هذا القاتل فما بال المقتول قال انه كان حريصا على قتل صاحبه
“When two Muslims face each other in fighting and one kills the other, then both the killer and the killed are in the hell-fire.” The Companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah, this is the killer - what about the poor person who has been killed?” The Prophet, سلم و عليه الله صلى, said “He had the intention to kill his companion.”

The evil of these rulers is so extensive they even seek to incite sectarian conflict between Muslims to serve America. Previously America used the same tactic in Iraq, where she sought to strengthen her self by inflaming a Sunni-Shia conflict. May Allah سبحانه وتعالى punish these rulers, who descend to any depths to please the Kuffar. Indeed, the reality of these rulers is described by RasulAllah سلم و عليه الله صلى when he said,

«إِنَّهُ سَتَكُونُ بَعْدِي أُمَرَاءُ مَنْ صَدَّقَهُمْ بِكَذِبِهِمْ وَأَعَانَهُمْ عَلَى ظُلْمِهِمْ فَلَيْسَ مِنِّي وَلَسْتُ مِنْهُ وَلَيْسَ بِوَارِدٍ عَلَيَّ الْحَوْضَ وَمَنْ لَمْ يُصَدِّقْهُمْ بِكَذِبِهِمْ وَلَمْ يُعِنْهُمْ عَلَى ظُلْمِهِمْ فَهُوَ مِنِّي وَأَنَا مِنْهُ وَهُوَ وَارِدٌ عَلَيَّ الْحَوْضَ»
“There will be rulers after me, whoever testifies to their falsehood and lies and helped them in their treachery, he is not from me, and I am not from him (i.e. I have nothing to do with him). He shall not come near me at the cistern (Hawdh Kauthar). And whoever does not testify to their falsehood and does not help him in his treachery, he is from me and I am from him and he shall meet me at the Hawdh.” [Reported in Sunan an-Nisai on the authority of Ka'ab ibn 'Ujrah (r.a.)]

These rulers do not even feel abhorrence when they meet with the so-called “civilized” American officials, who have punished the Muslims in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Gharaib with such brutal torture that even the Firaun would have shied from. In American torture cells Muslim men and women were piled over each other, Qur’an was defiled, the faces of prisoners were washed in toilets and Muslims were electrocuted. Yet, despite all this, in the eyes of these rulers, the American nation represents the peak of civilization. The rulers are consumed with honour and pride at any opportunity to meet them, whilst harbouring contempt and disgust for Islam, its rules and its punishments.

O Muslims of Pakistan!
How can you remain silent whilst your sons in the armed forces are being ordered to bomb and attack their own Muslim brothers? Do you not shed tears of blood when you see that your rulers are using your own army to plunge all the Muslims of the region under the dominance of their worst enemy, the America? Stand up and join Hizb ut Tahrir in its movement to stop this military operation. Allah سبحانه وتعالى has commanded you to stand against the oppression and treachery of these rulers and RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

كَلَّا وَاللَّهِ لَتَأْمُرُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَلَتَنْهَوُنَّ عَنْ الْمُنْكَرِ وَلَتَأْخُذُنَّ عَلَى يَدَيْ الظَّالِمِ وَلَتَأْطُرُنَّهُ عَلَى الْحَقِّ أَطْرًا وَلَتَقْصُرُنَّهُ عَلَى الْحَقِّ قَصْرًاأَوْ لَيَضْرِبَنَّ اللَّهُ بِقُلُوبِ بَعْضِكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ ثُمَّ لَيَلْعَنَنَّكُمْ كَمَا لَعَنَهُمْ
“By Allah in whose hand my soul is, you must order for good and forbid evil, and seize the hand of oppressor and pull him towards al-Haq and keep him on truth, otherwise Allah will strike your hearts with each other and will curse you as he cursed children of Israel” [Abu Daud]

O Ulema of Pakistan!
You adopted a half-hearted stance at the time of the Lal Masjid massacre and Musharraf succeeded in spilling blood of Muslim women and children in a mosque and madrassa in the very capital Pakistan. The pain of that operation is still present in the hearts of the Muslims of Pakistan. Today, these “democratic” rulers are seeking to turn the whole of Swat into a Lal Musjid for the sake of their masters, America. So, will you not rise now and stop these rulers from this wasteful campaign? Arise and mobilize all your students in madrassas and march towards the palaces of these rulers, before America eradicates all mosques and madrassas from Afghanistan and the Tribal Areas.

O Political Parties of Pakistan!
You claim that you look after the affairs of the Muslims of Pakistan. And you are witnessing that Muslims are being turned against Muslims for the sake of America. So is there any sincere person amongst you who will come forward and account these rulers in the manner that it deserves and seize their hands? If you will not do this then do you wish that Allah سبحانه وتعالى includes you in the ranks of these oppressive rulers on the Day of Judgement? RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَا يُعَذِّبُ الْعَامَّةَ بِعَمَلِ الْخَاصَّةِ حَتَّى يَرَوْا الْمُنْكَرَ بَيْنَ ظَهْرَانَيْهِمْ وَهُمْ قَادِرُونَ عَلَى أَنْ يُنْكِرُوهُ فَلَا يُنْكِرُوهُ فَإِذَا فَعَلُوا ذَلِكَ عَذَّبَ اللَّهُ الْخَاصَّةَ وَالْعَامَّةَ
“Allah does not punish common people by the bad deeds of some specific people, unless they see munkar between them and are capable to refrain it but do not do so. If they do this then Allah will punish both of them”[Musnad Ahmad]

O Muslim sons of the Armed Forces!
Do you not desire that your pure blood is spilled in the way of Allah سبحانه وتعالى to raise the Deen of Allah سبحانه وتعالى as the highest, rather than to maintain the American Raj over the necks of your own people? For how long will these rulers keep using you as a fuel for America’s war? Dethrone these rulers and give Nussrah to Hizb ut Tahrir in order to establish Khilafah which will relieve you from this state of disgrace and humiliation and raise you as the army of the believers, which will spread the Nur of Islam throughout the world.

Wilayah Pakistan
14 Jamadi al-Awwal 1430 AH
9 May 2009 CE


Monday, May 11, 2009

The Impact of Neglecting the Islamic Method of Thinking

The following is an extract from the book 'The Islamic Way of Thinking' by Hasan Abdullah:

The different approaches and methods mentioned all characterize the thinking of Muslims today. While they may not exist in each and every Muslim, all of these characteristics exist in the Ummah at different levels. These incorrect approaches could be one of many reasons that led to the intellectual decline in addition to being a product of the intellectual decline. Thus, it is not surprising to see the state of the Ummah today and its intellectual apathy. The Ummah has devolved to such a level that the total amount of literature published in Israel exceeds the amount that is published in all the Arab countries combined. And the quality of most of what is published in the Arab world amounts to no more than copying the Western culture in arts, literature, politics, economy, and other disciplines. The same applies to the amount of reading. The percentage of those who read in the Muslim countries is very little compared to other nations. And those who do read restrict their reading to the curriculum or popular newspapers and magazines, or to books that present issues in an emotional way.

This state of affairs has culminated in the absence of Islamic thinking in the Ummah. While some individuals may possess correct Islamic thinking, the Ummah as an entity lacks this method of thinking, the absence of which has resulted in two outcomes:

Absence of the Public Awareness

Any progressing nation which adopts its ideology in an intellectual way will form a public awareness, which means that the public’s outlook towards the major issues and problems will be unified. This unified public awareness materializes when the point of view towards man, life, and the universe, is consistent and is built upon a fundamental conviction that is arrived at intellectually. Without such public awareness or a unified outlook toward life, the Ummah will lose its intellectual unity, and, as a result, will come under the influence of many conflicting thoughts and emotions. Even when presented with one case or issue, its perception will vary, and the efforts to deal with this case will be scattered. Thus, what any group may build or achieve may be destroyed by the function of another group. At the end, animosity will spread, which will dissolve any attempt to establish a unified entity. Allah (swt) warned the Muslims about such a dispute when He said:

وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَا تَنَازَعُوا فَتَفْشَلُوا وَتَذْهَبَ رِيحُكُمْ وَاصْبِرُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ

"And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength departs, and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are patient." [TMQ 8:46]

Furthermore, Allah (swt) states that the unity of the Fikr that unifies the hearts is one of the greatest favors that Allah gave to the Muslims:

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنْتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُمْ بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنْتُمْ عَلَى شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِنَ النَّارِ فَأَنْقَذَكُمْ مِنْهَا كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آَيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

"And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (the Qur’an) and be not divided among yourselves. And remember Allah’s Favor on you, for you were enemies to one another, but He joined your hearts together so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islam), and you were on the brink of a pit of fire, and He saved you from it.Thus Allah makes his Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations,etc.,) clear to you, that you may be guided." [TMQ 3:103]

However, Muslims lost their public awareness and lost their unified outlook and became controlled by different outlooks. This is because of the lack of the Islamic way of thinking and because of the failure to adopt Islam in its correct way, as well as because of the efforts of the Colonialists and their tools in propagating the Western culture. Nowadays, there are Capitalist Muslims who call, intentionally or unintentionally, for the separation of the Deen from the public life. Similarly, there exist Communist Muslims, Nationalist Muslims, Socialist Muslims, Muslims who are concerned solely about their interests, Pragmatic Muslims, Muslims who justify the acts of the rulers, and careless Muslims, each one having a distinct point of view. If they meet to discuss any issue, they will immediately differ with each other, and the discussion will either escalate to a level where each side will hurl insults at one another or label each other with derogatory names and depart with animosity towards each other. As a result, societies in the Muslim world live in different camps, each one of them having their own distinct outlook or point of view. And each camp isolates itself from the others, meeting only to acquire a specific interest or as a formality or to clash with one another.

The intellectual division is the worst disaster that struck the Ummah. Muslims today approach any issue, even critical or clear-cut issues that leave no room for divergent understandings, from a distinct angle according to each individual’s unique point of view. For example, the issue of unity, and the specific steps towards this objective, are clear-cut and well defined. Yet the multitude of scattered opinions and divergent understandings regarding this issue reflects the fractured public opinion of the Ummah. Some would approach this issue carelessly or, out of lack of concern or apathy, would not even consider it an issue. Others would approach the issue with great enthusiasm, but carefully scrutinizing their enthusiasm will reveal that it is based purely on slogans without any intellectual basis. One will find the Social Nationalists calling for unity based on Socialism, and the Secular Nationalists calling for unity based on the separation of the Deen from the public life. Also, one will see the Islamist Nationalist calling for each country to be united based on Islam but separated from the other countries, claiming that each country has its own unique circumstances. And the Ultranationalist would reject the unity outright because he views it as a threat to the sovereignty of his own homeland. And there are people who call for unity for each region, such as North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Subcontinent, and the Turkish Regions. Thus, the Muslims cannot even agree as to the scope of unity, let alone what steps to take towards achieving it.

Even regarding the nature of unity itself, there are differences. Some define unity as cooperation between the different governments on some issues, such as cancelling the visas or lifting customs dues. Some would call to establish a league among the people while maintaining the political entities as they are. Others would call for a confederation or a federation, and still others would call for a total unity. Some would call for some sort of economic integration centred on establishing common markets, while others would call for unity only in the foreign policy through political organizations such as the Arab League. Ironically each camp would speak about unity, but with each other, they will immediately disperse and achieve nothing.

All of these differences exist regarding the objective of unity alone. Regarding the methodology, the differences are much worse. The Pragmatists will leave the method to the situation to determine. The Gradualists would call for the states to agree on the minimum level of unity as a first step while working for the next stage. One will see the officials who want the rulers to decide upon the methodology as well as revolutionaries who want to reach the unity based on mass revolution. And some will call for annexation, even if done by force. These differences exist in each camp that calls for the unity. In the Nationalist camp alone, there exist revolutionaries, gradualists, pragmatists, and others.

All of these differences exist regarding the concept of unity in the general sense. Examining the details will reveal even further differences. What exasperates the problem is the existence of some who are not serious in their discussion and discuss simply to discharge their emotions. And in addition to such individuals, there exist others who are connected to the Imperialists, either directly by coordinating with them or indirectly by acting in a manner that serves their agenda. The former would deliberately collaborate with the Imperialists in working against any notion of correct unity, while the latter would unknowingly draw the Ummah into repeated conflicts and events that would serve the agenda of others at the expense of the Ummah’s resources.

Such a situation reflects the hadith in which the Prophet (saw) described the situation of the Muslims nowadays: "At that day, you will be great in number, but you will be like the scum on the sea."[1]

In spite of the tremendous number and resources, the Muslim Ummah has no value without any unified public awareness or unified outlook towards life. Some would claim that the differences that exist is a natural and healthy phenomenon. They will go further by claiming that the West is progressing despite the differences that exist in their pluralistic societies. This argument fails to distinguish between differences in the way of thinking, which will lead to dismantling the public awareness and spell disaster for any nation including the West, and the differences resulting from understanding certain issues while maintaining the unity of the public awareness, which is natural.

The West already solved the problem of building a specific frame of thinking after decades of struggle in Europe. The separation of State and Church, and the subsequent adoption of Capitalism, caused the West to unify the public awareness along a common outlook towards life. By doing so, a distinct way of thinking emerged among the people, and the entire society was reorganized based upon this focal point. Even the feelings and attitudes of the people existed within this frame. Political parties, different associations such as think tanks and labor unions, various individuals such as academics, journalists, intellectuals, jurists, and even some clergy, all became just different outlets of expressing this common unified outlook. The nature of life under Capitalism facilitated the creation of these differences of opinion within a common ideological framework.

Some would think that the existing currents in the West conflict with one another and even with this common framework. However, the Socialist or Nationalist movements that call for integration of their people into the European Union, religious movements who espouse "Christian values," and extreme leftist and rightists, do not conflict with this Capitalist framework because all of these movements and currents work within the existing framework. For example, the Communist parties in many European nations call for change through public votes and not through the class struggle as laid down by the Communist ideology. Furthermore, such parties establish coalitions and fronts with other movements like any other pragmatic movement would. The same applies to all other movements and parties in the West. Therefore, the West is not progressing because of the differences but rather because of the unity in their way of thinking which refers to a specific point of view.

Contrary to the West, the Muslims did not yet settle any critical intellectual issue, and they have not yet conclude the intellectual struggle. To this day, Muslims as an Ummah have yet to take a stand towards issues such as: The revival and how to achieve it; technological advancement and how to approach it, and whether it occurs through transferring technology or through other means; the unity and how to build it; and the priorities of the Ummah and where to start. All of these issues remain unsettled and dangling before the Muslims waiting for someone to address them. Although some movements may have resolved such issues, the Ummah as an entity has not. It must be noted that having different groups that reach distinct conclusions in these issues while keeping their findings and research to themselves and banning the members of the group from communicating with other groups for fear of losing their members, is not enough. In fact, this phenomenon will not succeed in unifying the public awareness and actually exasperates the already-existing division.

As a result of this intellectual division in the very point of view of life, the platform exists for any issue, even small issues, to result in multitudes of opinions and approaches if discussed among Muslims. For example, even the issue of removing a small munkar such as a bar will result in a vast array of diverging opinions that sometimes will conflict one another. The regimes take advantage of this situation and even work to maintain it by emphasizing this type of difference and market it as a sign of openness and progress. They would present case after case to the Ummah, one after another, to create more confusion and intensify the differences. To facilitate this process, the media keeps presenting issues to the public either without solutions or, at best, with conflicting solutions. And when the people are on the verge of settling one issue by arriving at a specific understanding towards it, the regimes present a new issue to keep the masses busy and, as a result, prevent the Ummah from ever settling any issue intellectually. At the end, the masses will keep thinking that they are in need of this ruler to help them and to maintain the integrity of the country, regardless of his record of atrocities and crimes against the people.

Therefore, the Muslims must work to build the public awareness based on Islam by adopting Islam in the correct manner as a distinct way of thinking and establishing the Islamic Aqeedah as the intellectual reference point. This is the most important challenge facing Muslims nowadays because unifying the public awareness will maintain the existence of the correct way of thinking. Once the intellectual unity is achieved, the thoughts, the agenda, and the reference point for the Ummah will unite, and the general frame within which the Muslims can discuss issues with focus and clarity will materialize. Within this frame, having different opinions in detailed issues is a healthy phenomenon that will contribute to the intellectual growth and dynamism of the Ummah. As a result, the path for the revival will be clear, and the Ummah will proceed towards it utilizing its resources in an effective and coordinated manner. Simply calling the people to "Get united," or to "Coordinate your efforts," or to "Help each other in whatever you agree upon," will not suffice. Such a unity can never materialize unless the thinking of the Ummah is united.

The Western Colonial powers and their tools realize the danger of those who are working to establish the public awareness of the Ummah, and they consider them more of a danger than anything else. For this reason, many attempts are made to prevent the establishment of a unified public awareness based on Islam. These efforts include: Harassing those who work for such an intellectual unity by intimidation, torture, and deprivation of basic rights; isolating such individuals from the Ummah by barring them from using any means of mass communication such as television; trying to divert them; and using some tools to attack them and to distort their image. On the other hand, any call that magnifies the division and erects barriers between the Ummah and a unified public awareness will be encouraged. As a result, any individual that calls for remaining general and avoiding specific or deep discussion regarding the issues, not looking at things comprehensively, or not discussing any issues at all, nor avoiding any opinion different than what the individual carries, are given the spotlight to present their ideas. Such individuals are not only committing a crime against the Ummah but against themselves as well.

Absence of the Intellectual Sensation

The Nahda (revival) is the intellectual progress because the thought is what defines the point of view toward life, and this basis will serve as the foundation for man’s behaviour in this life. In the absence of this fundamental thought, the Ummah will decline. Thus, the revival does not refer to the material objects or the circumstances but refers to the human being, his behaviour, and his nature. Once this intellectual revival occurs, it will result in material progress in areas such as industry, science, and technology. The mere existence of such material progress is not necessarily an indication of the intellectual progress.

The feeling associated with the revival is not a physical or material feeling like the pain that a person feels when afflicted with a physical injury, but an intellectual feeling akin to the pain which a Muslim feels when he sees a person committing a haram. The human being manifests three type of sensation or feeling: the physical or material sensation caused by external factors such as fire; the instinctive sensation that results from one of the instincts or organic needs such as the sensation of hunger or sexual desire; and the intellectual sensation such as feeling of the grave consequences of Kufr. While the first two types are common to some degree between the human being and the animal, the third type exists only in the human being and, more importantly, is a manifestation of the intellectual revival.

The human being is not born with this intellectual sensation but acquires it through adopting specific thoughts towards man, life, and the universe, based on total intellectual conviction. The more this conviction is instilled in the individual, the more the individual will build corollary thoughts toward life which will gradually establish themselves more firmly until they become concepts for that individual. Such an individual will see the reality of these concepts as well as their connection with the fundamental thoughts, and the intellectual sensation results from such a process.

However, if the fundamental thought is adopted emotionally or through superficial information, then it will fail to produce this consistent intellectual sensation. The sensation of such an individual could be physical, instinctive, or an inconsistent intellectual sensation that mirrors the inconsistency of his thoughts because of the influence of other thoughts hidden beneath the layer of superficial Islamic thought he carries. For example, if the person believes in Maslahah, his feeling will be based on it. If he believes in Capitalism, his feeling will reflect the Capitalist thought he carries. And if he carries no thought at all, he will manifest a haphazard pattern of feeling. Should such individuals mix Islam with all of these external thoughts, then the sensation or feeling will sometimes reflect Islam and at other times reflect something else.

Islam places a special emphasis in establishing this intellectual sensation among Muslims. The Qur’an orders Muslims to take their Aqeedah in an intellectual manner through extensive research in order for the Iman to produce its results, among them the intellectual sensation and the Islamic way of thinking. Allah (swt) says:

زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَاتِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَالْبَنِينَ وَالْقَنَاطِيرِ الْمُقَنْطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَالْخَيْلِ الْمُسَوَّمَةِ وَالْأَنْعَامِ وَالْحَرْثِ ذَلِكَ مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَاللَّهُ عِنْدَهُ حُسْنُ الْمَآَبِ

"Beautified for men is the love of things they covet: women, children, much of gold and silver (wealth), branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present world’s life; but Allah has the excellent return with Him." [TMQ 3:14]

In this ayah, Allah (swt) states that the intellectual sensation takes precedence above the material sensation regarding the beauty. The ayah mentions that the beauty of the Iman, which can be felt only by the Muslim, is much higher than the material beauty which can be felt by all people.

In another ayah, Allah (swt) illustrates the distinction between the intellectual sensation and the other types of sensation when He mentions regarding the act of shirk:

إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ

"The shirk is a great oppression." [TMQ 31:13]

The physical or instinctive feeling may cause the person to sense the physical oppression which deprives their basic rights or abuses them. However, Allah (swt) in this ayah is directing the Muslims to look to things from the Islamic perspective, which would lead to the realization that associating anything with Allah (swt) in any aspect of Tawheed, whether in the creation, in obedience, or in submission, is far greater than any other type of physical or instinctive oppression. Only Muslims who believe in Islam can feel the seriousness of this type of oppression.

The Prophet (saw) built this type of intellectual sensation based on the Iman among the Sahabah. It was reported in a hadith that the Prophet (saw) one day asked his Sahabah, "Do you know who is bankrupt?" They answered, "The bankrupt from among us is the one who does not have money or belongings." In response, the Prophet (saw) replied, "The bankrupt from my Ummah is the one who comes on the Day of Judgment with Salat, Zakat, and fasting, yet he is coming while he used to abuse this person or beat that person or take the money of the others. These people will start taking from his hasanat (good deeds). And if his hasanat are extinguished before he can fulfill his dues towards them (those he abused), then some of their sayyi’at (bad deeds) would be taken from them and given to him. Then he will be thrown into the Hell-Fire."[2]

While the people in general may view bankruptcy in the material sense and feel it as such, the Muslim, after reading this hadith, will look to bankruptcy from a different perspective and will sense its severity.

An extensive survey of the situation of the Ummah shows that the Muslims either lost this intellectual sensation or possess it in a very distorted context. As a result, Muslims cannot feel the severity or magnitude of any critical issue. Any feeling that exists towards such issues will primarily consist of instinctive or material feelings as a result of sensing some tangible or material effect of such an issue. For example, Muslims would feel the issue of occupation of any Muslim land only if the occupation resulted in oppression of Muslims, influx of refugees, killing and raping of Muslims, or other material effects. However, if the occupiers respected the "individual rights" of Muslims, and Muslims prospered under their occupation, then the masses would be heedless towards the gravity of the occupation.

How the Muslims feel the decline also illustrates the lack of intellectual sensation in the Ummah. Material parameters such as poverty, illiteracy, the spread of disease, the prevalence of technological backwardness, and the oppression of the ruler and his regime, govern the feeling of the Muslims towards the decline. Thus, when Muslims debate the issue of revival, the debate would focus on the end result of the decline. As a result, Muslims present their solutions towards the decline from a material perspective which deals only with these outward symptoms of the decline, such as removing the ruler without changing the system, opening schools, increasing the standard of living, or preaching morals. Such an approach is superficial because a person does not need a high level of sensation to feel the material manifestations of the decline, nor does he require an intellectual capacity to realize the existence of such symptoms in the Ummah.

If Muslims concentrate their efforts in dealing with these symptoms by suggesting solutions thinking that they are the problems, they will soon realize that all of their efforts dedicated to this end are in vain. However, if a person sensed the decline in the correct way based on the decline of the thinking level, the absence of the Islamic way of thinking, the lack of the common awareness, and the absence of any common idea that can bind Muslims, this individual will realize that the problem is much deeper than the poverty, the illiteracy, or even the occupation.

Whatever remains of the intellectual sensation became distorted due to the existence of conflicting ideas among the Muslims. For example, some may think that a problem exists in the "occupation" of Iran to some Arab-dominated lands, or a similar problem exists in the "occupation" of Turkey to some Arab-dominated territories in the country’s southern regions. In addition, some may sense the Pakistani existence in Bangladesh as a problem. The sensation that exists among such individuals is heavily influenced by Nationalism. On the other hand, those who look to the people as Muslims would not concern themselves with what regime controls which territory inhabited by Muslims because none of these regimes rule by Islam. Thus, a Muslim would not waste his or her time lobbying for any of these regimes but would work to address the setup of the society, including the regimes themselves.

In conclusion, the real crisis facing the Muslim Ummah is an intellectual crisis. No one will feel the magnitude of such a crisis except those who possess this Islamic intellectual sensation. Those who possess this type of sensation will see and feel things that the rest of the masses fail to notice. The Prophet (saw) described the situation of such individuals who hold onto Islam in all aspects, intellectually as well as emotionally, by saying as narrated by Abu Hurairah: "Islam started as strange, and it will return as a stranger, so give glad tidings to the strangers.” (Muslim)

These two outcomes the lack of the public awareness in the Ummah, and the absence of the intellectual sensation are the two most dangerous consequences of neglecting the Islamic way of thinking because they are spearheading the decline of the Ummah.

[1] Abu Dawud: Book 37, No. 4284
[2] Sahih Muslim, Book 32, ‘Kitab Al-Birr was-Salat-I-wa'l-Adab’, No.6251