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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Firoz_Kamal
Full Name: Firoz Kamal
User since: 26/Aug/2008
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The Most Forgotten Issue

Firoz Mahboob Kamal

 

 

The Most Crippling Disability

The most crippling disability of a man is not physical, rather intellectual and moral. The people with physical disabilities -like broken arm, missing leg or blind eye, can incredibly cope with day-to-day difficulties. The insight of such men remains intact; therefore can still live a life as a sensible and responsible man in a society. But people with moral blindness or intellectual debility can cause massive destruction to themselves and to others: can even wreck the whole moral, social and political fabrics of a country. Civilisations, countries and societies get their demise not due to shortage of food or wealth, but due to the works of these morally sick people.

 

There are natural diseases that can also cause awful depletion of mental abilities. These are called old-age dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Such diseases take away the intellectual and societal skills, and make the victims incompatible to living with self-respect and dignity. Due to loss of their basic cognitive power, they fail to differentiate right from wrong, good from bad and friends from foes. On the other hand, these people are not only intellectually incompetent; they are also physically feeble due to their advanced age and other illnesses. So they possess little mental instinct and physical power to do harms to others. Therefore, they cannot cause any serious harm to others. But the people with moral illness may have dangerous motive with its destructive consequences.

 

The Curse of Selective Amnesia

In case of dementia, the memory loss is global and the cause is mostly unknown.  But in moral sickness, the loss of memory is selective; and the cause is known. It is caused by man’s deliberate attempts to selectively forget or ignore some specific truths or issues in life. Such people grow up with a restrictive focus only on issues of their own interest, and disregard others. Due to such selective amnesia, the most important issue in human life goes to oblivion; it may even nullify the very purpose of man’s creation.  These people fail to align with the vision of their own Creator –the Almighty Allah; and they exclusively take their personal lust or vision as the sole purpose of their survival. Truth is accepted or discarded on the criteria of its compatibility with their personal agenda or whims. Such selective and active amnesia of truths is indeed the root cause of humans’ failure as the best creation on earth, and frustrates Allah’s vision of whelming the world with His Divine Truth. Indeed, this is the core crime of the kuffars in all ages. In the holy Qur’an, Allah SWT repeatedly tells the story how people deliberately forgot His revealed truth that was sent down through the Divine prophets. In Islam, such a self-inflicted memory loss is indeed an act of great wrongdoing: it takes people away from the right path. It makes them forgetful of their divinely assigned role and responsibility. It is itself a robust arrogance to shun off the Divine project of humans’ salvation.

 

What’s the most forgotten issue in life? Is it the belief in Allah - the Almighty? How Allah (SWT) can be most forgotten? Even the non-believers of Mokkah didn’t forget Him. Even in those days of pre-Islamic jaheliya (ignorance), not only the belief in Allah (SWT) was alive, but also was alive the tradition of naming the most beloved son as AbdAllah –the slave of Allah. Even the modern secular Americans write on their currency notes, “We trust in God”. So, forgetting Allah (SWT) is not a decisive issue. Have any of the basic pillars of Islam -like salah, fasting, haj and jakat been forgotten?  The crowded mosques, the sea of haji in Mokkah, the fasting millions in Ramadan give the testimony that none of these pillars has been forgotten. Even many dishonest men and women believe in Allah; they offer prayers, keep fasting, and even go for haj.

 

Siratul Mustaqeem: The Most Forgotten

In fact, the most forgotten issue is not the belief in Allah (SWT), but siratul mustaqeem –the right path shown by Him through His prophets and the Divine books. Creation of right path is not within the bounds of humans’ talent. In fact, the most crucial inadequacy of humans lies here, not in scientific discovery. So Allah (SWT) takes showing the right path as His own responsibility; and to address this crucial need, sent down more than hundred thousand prophets to the earth. So in holy Qur’an, Allah (SWT) says, “Inna alainal huda” (certainly showing path is my task). It is indeed the best blessing of Allah (SWT) on humans. Allah (SWT) wants humans to succeed in this world as well as in the Hereafter. To ensure their success, He sends down prophets like Nuhu (AS), Ibrahim (AS), Musa (AS), Isa (AS), Muhammad (SAWS) and others of the same Divine chain with the same siratul mustaqeem – the Divine roadmap. But their followers made history in forgetting as well in disobeying or concealing the Divine path. In Islam, such acts are perfect expression of kufr. Allah (SWT) considers such self-inflicted amnesia and arrogance as a great crime against the Divine truth; and a sure precursor of bringing down the Divine curse.  The holy Qur’an gives vivid descriptions of such crimes of the arrogant people through different ages: especially that of the Bani Israil (the people of Israil). In their collective memory, only the name of Allah (SWT) and some prophets survived, but not the revealed path. The right path of Allah (SWT) –siratul mustaqeem went into oblivion. Likewise, only the name of Allah (SWT) and the names of Ibrahim and his son Ismail survived among their Makkan descendants, but not their deen-e-haneef -the Ibrahimic way of life. As the part of the same Divine chain, the holy is prp   the the  Qur’an came as the last revelation of siratul mustaqeem. But its fate hasn’t been different either. In the Muslims’ memory, though the names of Allah (SWT) and His prophets still survive, but not the Qur’anic road-map.

 

The Qur’anic road-map takes man from his worldly abode to a destination in the Jannah. It is all inclusive: not only shows the right way in the performance of salah, fasting, zakat, haj and other forms of ibadah, but also prescribes the right type of foods and drinks, judiciary, politics, economics, culture, statehood, warfare and other aspects of life. One cannot think of any success in this life and in the hereafter without strict adherence to this Divine road-map –the siratul mustaqeem. But unfortunately, this is the most missing element in the Muslims’ life today. The Muslims’ statehood, trade, dresses, culture, morality, politics, rules and laws and economics do not match with that of the prophet. The way they lead their life every day follow is different. Their constitution, laws, politics, economics, culture are not based on submission to prophetic tradition, rather based on the deviation and rebellion against Allah. They invest their intellect, energy, wealth and even life to fulfil their secular, national or tribal aspirations, not an Islamic one.

 

Between two predestined destinations there cannot be more than one straight line. But the deviations may be in millions. This is why siratul mustaqeem is only one: connecting this earthen life with the heavenly one. The Qur’anic road-map does not show different maps for different groups of the same people –the ummah. Overwhelming disunity, disaffection and conflicts in the Muslim world are the products of such diverse deviations. Due to such deviations, the Muslims are the most divided people on earth. The Christians, the Hindus, and the Chinese –each could build their own united states; previously, the Muslims could do that too. But now the Muslims cannot even think of that, let alone achieve that. In early days of Islam, Muslims built such a state with the civilizational purpose: it was based on Divine faith, values, and vision. In fact, building such a state is an Islamic obligation on every believing man and woman, otherwise Islam cannot achieve its civilizational objectives and neither can man ensure the growth of his whole creative potentials. Major efforts and sacrifices of the Muslims in the early days were made to fulfil that goal. Indeed, the Qur’anic road-map cannot move further towards the Divine aim without establishing such a civilizational state; secular or anti-Islamic state stands as a stumbling block against such move. This is why the early Muslims could go incredibly high to make a glorious impact on human history, but today’s Muslims are making history in decadence and failures.  In those days the states of Arabs, the Persian, the Kurds, the Levants, the Turks, the Barbars, the Moors, the Tatars -all formed a united states with a single Qur’anic vision. But now they are broken apart, and deviated to national, tribal or secular objectives.

 

Every sensible man or woman, prior to making a footstep, firstly knows the road-map of the planned journey. Otherwise the journey may end up in a wrong way. But Muslims’ journey towards jannah is not a simple tour, rather the most important event in life. So the road-map needs to be known by heart by every Muslim man and woman. Otherwise, how one can attain the Divine goal? The Qur’anic road-map (siratul mustaqeem) -with all its all signals and signs, is not hidden or kept in the custody of a few, rather made known to all in all possible ways. Whoever reads the holy Qur’an, whoever studies the life of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and whoever explore his sayings (hadees), he will get the elaborate guidance on the road of his Divine journey. He will receive clear signals on what to do and what not to do, and where to take the turn and where to restrain. To become a Muslim, it is a religious obligation to follow it. But the real picture in the Muslim world is different: the pursued path is different from that of the prophet. Their politics and policies, education and culture, courts and laws, economics and banking do not follow that Divine guidance, rather they follow the road of the deviants. In fact, they deliberately pursue such clear deviation to fulfil their personal, national or tribal objectives.

 

The most important issue

What is the important issue in life? Is it good food, good house, good wife, good children, good job, good profession, good money, and other worldly successes or pleasures? The humans are usually at crossroads on these issues. Most crucial mistakes are done at this juncture, and people get lost on a wrong track. Success depends on picking up the right path at this crossroads. Humans’ real intelligence and wisdom is judged here. Mistake done here can never be compensated by other gains. The Quran not only shows the most important issue in life, but also guides on the most forgotten issue. Allah SWT is fully aware of his own creation’s inadequacies. Who knows better than Him? Man believes that worldly gains and achievements are the real markers of success of life. But Allah SWT says otherwise. In the Quran it is revealed, “(O Muhammad!) Tell them, should I inform you about them who are ultimate looser in their deeds?  They are people whose whole efforts in this world have gone in the wrong way, and they think they are doing professionally well.” (Sura    Ayat )    

 

But, it is the saddest reality that most people fail to identify the most important issue in the life. Man’s such ignorance is very devastating: in fact, the great deviation in life starts here. Civilizations collapsed and nations perished -not due to lack of foods or drinks, but due to such deviations. If wealth, wife, children, business, professions, political power and other worldly pleasures get priority in one’s life, and ignore the hereafter, he will definitely miss the Divine path. Allah (SWT)’s greatest gift comes not as foods, drinks or other assets of livelihood –these come to animals too. His greatest blessing comes as the guidance on the most important issue in life; and He shows us the devises to constantly focus our attention on that; and it is through salah (namaj). Allah (SWT) wants our success, and salah attaches our attention to the path of that success: especially the supplication in sura fatiha is indeed the most important tool to fix our mind on that.

 

 

Allah (SWT) shows the Priority

Knowing the life’s priority is crucial; without its understanding, one cannot fix his or her goal. Allah (SWT) opens Qur’an with that issue. The opening chapter –the sura Fatiha –the first fully revealed verse, has been dedicated to address this subject. Allah (SWT) wants humans to be focussed on the important issue throughout the whole span of life; and it should not go out of our mind’s radar at any point of time. Man’s highest priority is expressed in his prayer. If the summit of ambition is to have a good business, a good job, a professional success or higher power in politics, then the man will repeatedly ask Allah (SWT) for that in his every prayer.  He may even invite his friends and others to his house or he himself goes to priests or asking them to make a supplication for that.

 

Dowa or supplication is indeed the expression of man’s supreme desire; it is the revelation of his inner faith. A man who has no belief in the hereafter cannot be concerned with the Divine path. His path, his character, his believer are understandably different from a true believer. Man’s daily activities indeed bear imprints of his supreme desire. So the moulding of faith, the correction of his deeds, and the purification of his soul, indeed starts from that inner longing.  Such longing in fact works as the guiding compass. So Allah SWT addresses that issue in the Qur’an, and that starts from sura Fatiha. So it is rightly named as fatiha -the beginning.

 

The Divine Way

Surah Fateha gives clear guidance on what must get importance in his dowa or supplication. This is why this surah is so important in the whole holy Qu’ran. According to prophet’s saying, it is the best surah in the holy Qur’an. In saheeh hadees, it is also called “Ummul Qur’an” (the mother of Qur’an), “Ummul Kitab” (the mother of the Book) and also “Qur’anul azeem”. The surah is not a big surah, but teaches fundamentals of success of this life. Here, Allah (SWT) teaches how a believer should formulate his most importanct supplication. He also teaches the basic etiquettes of dowa. One should appreciate Allah (SWT)’s great mercy. He should pray only to Him and seek help only from Him. Then teaches what should be his most important wish in life. It should be, “(Oh Allah) show me the right path (ih dinas siratul mustaqeem) and protect me from the path of the deviated – the cursed”. If anyone fails to understand the main philosophy of this supplication, he will definitely fail to understand the message and teachings of the whole holy Qur’an.

 

It is indeed the wish of Allah (SWT) that the issue of adhering to siratul mustaqeem – the Divinely assigned right path, and avoidance of the path of cursed deviants should be kept ever alive in believers mind. For that, Allah (SWT) made it compulsory to recite surah Fatiha in every unit (rakah) of salah: no unit (rakah) of salah can be made perfect and acceptable to Allah (SWT) without its recitation. So a Muslim must recite it at least 17 times in his or her compulsory prayers, and the number is much bigger if the sunna and the nafal prayers are included. Indeed, this is the most important Qur’anic intervention to mould humans’ aim of life, his way of life, his lifelong priority, his culture and his politics: thus nurtures a life-long habit of remaining  ever focussed on the Qur’anic right path. 

 

Loss of memory on important information leads to awful catastrophes, the same fate can happen when one forgets the right path in leading the life. People then get deviated to the wrong way. More than hundred thousand prophets came to the world to show the right path, but people forgot Allah and His path and got deviated to the Satanic ways. People then became worshiper of snakes, cows, stones, idols or turned to be an atheist. So the presence of Divine Book of guidance is not the only issue, the issue of keeping focused on the Divine path is also very crucial. To meet that end, Allah (SWT) not only sends down the prophets with Divine books, but also made it an obligation to pursue a procedure to keep them in the Divine track. Man must understand that inventing a road-map is not his job, neither is he capable of doing that. His duty is to submit to Allah’s prescribed way. Anything opposing to that Divine prescription is a rebellious arrogance: tantamount to sheer kufr.  To abate such arrogance and kufr, Allah (SWT) made it an obligation to recite sura fatiha at least 17 times a day -so that the people can know his humility and the priority.

 

The Great Betrayal

Mere recitation of a road-map doesn’t help; it needs to be properly understood and followed. The great betrayal of the Muslims is not in disbelief in the holy Qur’an, but in their non-adherence to its guidance. While driving a car, if one fails to comprehend and follow the road signs, he may fall into deep ditches. But Qur’an tells not only about the road signs, but also inspires hearts and minds to follow those road signs. Without such inspiration one cannot engage in understanding and following the road map. In early days, Muslims’ heart and mind were so much inspired that the understanding of the holy Qur’an got the highest priority. For the sake of understanding Qur’an, they even ignored and gradually forgot their own mother tongue, and learned Arabic instead. The people of Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Iraq, Tunisia and many other countries were not Arab, but they become Arab only due to their deep inspiration of understanding the holy Qur’an. But such inspiration is missing in today’s Muslims. Millions of Muslims spends billions of hours to learn other foreign languages, but not Arabic. So the Qur’an has become a book of mere recitation, not a book of practical guidance. The Muslims are taking guidance from nationalists, secularists and socialists, atheists and other deviated people.  So the people -who were designated as khalifa (viceroy) of Allah to show the right path to others, have turned to be the deviants themselves. They are now the slavish camp-followers of the established wrongdoers. So Allah (SWT)’s plan of guiding the people through His revealed Book has been frustrated by the Muslims themselves. The people who are supposed to show the light of Qur’an to others, they have indeed stand before this Divine light as a big barrier.   

 

The Uncovered Part

To reach the destination, it needs to be fully travelled. Even few meters are left uncovered; it does not help reaching the goal. A long road passes not only through beautiful plains or valleys, but also through tough mountains, deserts and forests, and also crosses rivers and seas. Successful travellers are those who remain steadfast amidst all hardships. In the same way, the Qu’ranic road map does not remain confined only in mosques, or in fasting; and not only in haj and jakat. Its crucial part crosses through field of jihad. Jihad is the testing ground of Allah (SWT). So Allah (SWT) says, “Do men think that they will be left alone on saying that we believe, and not be tried? And certainly we tried those before them, so Allah will certainly know those who are true and He will certainly know the liars.” -(Sura Ankaboot, Verse 2-3).  In early days of Islam there was no misunderstanding on this issue of siratul mustaqeem. As an ummah they traversed every segments of thise path, they were no confinement in only one or two or three segment. Today, siratul mustaqeem is considered to be a path of salah, fasting, haj and jakah, therefore it generates no desire to engage in dawah, jihad and other indispensable segments of the Divine path. Some do engage in tabligh with their distorted perspectives, and think these are enough to please Allah (SWT). This owes to inaccurate understanding of siratul mustaqeem.

 

Iman, salah, fasting, haj and jakah are the five pillars of Islam. But only the pillars cannot protect people from torching heat, freezing cold, heavy rain or storms. For full protection, it needs to build a strong house. And for protecting the Muslim ummah and Islam, the job is much harder; it requires making a strong Islamic state. Such efforts in the pursuit of establishing Islamic state and protecting the Muslims is called jihad.  This hard part is also an indispensable part of siratul mustaqeem. The early Muslims crossed that part too; in fact, more than 60% companions sacrificed their lives while covering that most difficult part. And those who were alive, they were no less ready to make similar sacrifices either. But today, this is the most forgotten part of the Divine road-map. So it mostly stays uncovered. Therefore, Muslims have more than 50 states, but not a single Islamic state.

 

The Living Example

Absence of an Islamic state and non-implementation of sharia is indeed an eye-catching marker of deviation from the siratul mustaqeem. Where ever there is adherence to siratul mustaqeem, there must come a stage of jihad, establishment of Islamic state and implementation of sharia. These are important milestones. There exists no siratul mustaqeem without those milestones. Neither there exists any point to jannah without jihad. If these are missing, despite all its Islamic names or colours it is undoubtedly fake. But where are those milestones in Muslim life today? Does it require further evidence that they are pursuing none-else but the way of duallin (divaints)? In fact, they betray their own prayer. In each rakat of salah -in surah Fatiha, they not only pray for siratul mustaqeem, but also seek protection from adherence to siratut duallin –the path of the deviants. But by their passionate adherence to the way of duallin (established deviants), how they can expect the blessing from Allah here and in the hereafter? And path of the duallins -the deviants, does not come alone to Muslims’ life. It also brings curse of Allah: sura Fatiha gives that message too. Here, the maghdub (the cursed) and the duallin (the deviants) are paired together. How does non-adherence to Allah’s revealed path bring curse, the holy Qur’an gives ample historical evidences of that. The children of Israil (Bani Israil) are the victims of such Divine curse. But today’s Muslims are no exception either. The Muslim ummah with so much occupation by internal and external enemies of Islam, and so much deaths, rapes, sufferings and defenceless humiliation are the perfect living examples. (05/02/12)

 

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