Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

Ramadan 1424 H
November 2003
Volume 16-11 No : 203
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Editorial


Recipe for our ills

Recipe for our ills

The 1.3 billion Muslims are looking towards the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) to reclaim the Muslim honour. They have been constantly under attack by the enemy without any distinction or discrimination. It is principally because Muslim have been divided into thousands of sects, mazhabs, each one claiming to be the purest. But the enemy had been targetting the Muslims thinking them to be one. And some of us act as proxies of the enemy in joining the attack on our own brethren.

The Quran began with the word 'Iqra' but the latter theologians interpreted this so narrowly that it got confined to merely studying theology while the fact is that early Muslims retrieved the Greek scholarly heritage inspired by the same word. They established universities in Granada and Cordova in Spain and lit the lamp of enlightenment in Europe immersed in darkness.

Fall of Andalusia was followed by the rise of the Ottoman empire which however could not retain the scholarly traditions and Muslims began to split on minor issues. The Ottomans were then replaced by the British and French colonies. We began to regress, falter and wither.

Besides being divided into nation-states, the democracy introduced the party system. Each party began to consider other's Islam less authentic. It enfeebled us so much that even freedom from European colonisation did not make us independent and strong. Former colonial masters could do with our territories whatever they wanted to. They excised a portion out of ours to solve their Jewish problem.

Now we all labour under the cynical belief that poverty, oppression, exploitation is our destiny and we have to stay with it. But Surah Ar-Raad of the Quran tells us that Allah does not change the destiny of the people unless they themselves try to change it. We are 57 countries and control a lot of resources. Yet we seem much weaker than the early converts to Islam.

This is because we have stuck to the form, not the substance of Islam. Islam tells you to defend yourself, not to use the weapons of the First Hijrah. Only study of science and mathematics would help us to develop modern weapons of defence. Need is not to recreate the first century Hijrah, but to apply Islamic teachings to the current context.

Today we are vulnerable to raids by the West anytime, anywhere. Our governments have to conform to the dictates of our enemies. But the denigration of Islam and desecration of our places of worship should not lead to anger. Anger leads to irrational reactions which breeds foolhardy action, not bravery. It thereby enables the enemy to inflict heavier reprisals. Muslim youth blowing themselves and inviting massacres is just one example of this foolhardiness.

The Prophet (Pbuh) was not desperate with his methods. He bided time, made strategic retreats, sought treaties and built up defences in order to launch the final conquest. So pausing and thinking calmly is not a waste of time.

There is a lesson to be learnt from Jews who sacrificed six million of their people, but now make others die for them and rule the world. They thus rule the world by proxy.

Political and economic clout of Muslims is enough to make up for their military weakness. We should win people on the other side, not all are our enemies. There are sensible people even among the Jews. We should not push everyone in the enemy camp. For this, Muslim countries need to be well administered, economically sound and technically advanced. We need not give up all our differences for concerted action. We need not always think about the afterlife reward, but worldly results too.

The Jews survived 2000 years of persecution and pogroms not by revenge and retaliation. But by thinking. They invented and successfully promoted Socialism, Communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so they may enjoy equal rights with others. With these, they have now gained control of the most powerful countries and this tiny community has become a world power. Mere physical might cannot challenge them. We must use our brains also. Success has gone to their head and they have begun committing mistakes due to the newly acquired arrogance. Islam counsels patience and it pays.

We must forget our differences, do some thinking in areas as crucial as Palestine where 50 years of fighting has brought no result. The Muslim ummah is looking at its leaders and governments. We must place faith in Allah and begin to act.

(This is the reworded and abridged essence of the speech by Malaysian
Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammad at the inauguration of the 10th Summit
Conference of the OIC at Putrajaya, the new capital of Malaysia on October 16, 2003.
We are offering this to our readers by way of editorial this month).

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News Community Roundup Blessings of Ramadan Editorial Readers Comments History Opinion From Here and There Book Review Community Initiative Path to Paradise Zakir Naik Article Question Hour Journey To Islam Children's Corner Our Dialogue Quran Speaks to You Hadith Matrimonial
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