“You are the best nation produced for mankind…”(al-Quran 3:110)
If the earlier blessed forerunners of the Ummah — the as-Sabiqun al-Awwalun — who contributed to the great Treasure of Seerah were to take a close look at the conditions of the Ummah today, they would be greatly dismayed.
It took them years of a dedicated struggle in Tarbiyyah, Da’wah and Jihad to establish the foundation of a great Muslim nation, the Khayra Ummah, one capable of fulfilling its responsibility as the Khalifah of the Creator, for the good of all, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Yet, we who inherit their legacy do not seem able to build on this foundation.
“… you enjoin what is right (ma’ruf) and forbid what is wrong (munkar)…”
Ar Rasul (SAW) together with his Sahaba strived to carry The Central Message of Islam, centred on the sovereignty of the Creator, to people across the continents, and convincing them of the divine good (ma’ruf) based on the revealed Words of Allah and the sound tradition of ar-Rasul, as the only right way of life. It was to bring about a strong institution for promoting peace and justice to all, in the form of a Daulah Islamiah.
They dedicated their lives and shed their blood and tears to extinguish the munkar that shackled the people then. They put a complete stop to the jahili way of life, which was based on worship of idols and tyrants. With the ending of the munkar in the social life and ruling system, Islam had liberated mankind to the ma’ruf of being solely subservient to Allah, the Beneficent and Merciful. The as-Sabiqun al-Awwalun had accomplished the da’wah and futuhat (the opening up of nations) one after another, as people entered Islam willingly upon witnessing its beauty.
Today, on the contrary, Muslims are proudly associating themselves with the munkar. The Ummah seems to return to the world of jahiliyyah again, in the name of progress, open-mindedness and modernism. And our leaders watched silently from their places of comfort.
Today, our Ummah, including the Muslim leaders and Daie, are rendered perplexed, as the munkars are etched in mesmerising terminologies, rationalised in scholarly discourses, and couched in sophisticated ideologies. The confusion is such that even the sincere fighters of Islam may mesh up the munkar with the ma’ruf.
“… and (you) believe in Allah.”
Allah, the All-Knowing and All-Merciful, has revealed Islam: a universal (syamil), perfect (kamil) and integral (mutakamil) system of life, but considered obsolete, incoherent and incomplete in today’s highly secular world.
Yet it is due to the lack of ‘Ilm, ‘Amal and Akhlak within the Ummah, that Islam is tainted and misunderstood by the audience of da’wah.
In fact, the generation of new data and novel knowledge (‘Ilm) has declined severely since the end of the Caliphate, impeding the Muslims in embracing Islamic solutions to problems besetting contemporary societies. Meanwhile, the Muslims themselves fail to observe the practice (‘amal) of Islam as a comprehensive way of life — which includes pursuing da’wah earnestly. The result is the further strengthening of Jahili ideologies in the world today.
Worse is the fact that the fate of Islam today lies in the hands of mostly incapable Muslim leaders — leaders who look the other way on the corrupt systems and mute their voices in defending the truth of Islam, but scramble after worldly pride, position and wealth. And the Ummah is caught in a spiral of unending internal conflicts.
A wake-up call to Muslim Leaders and Daie
“And tell them, (O Prophet): “Keep working: Allah will behold your works and so will His Messenger and the believers.” (al-Quran 9:105)
It isn’t the character of a mukmin to grieve over problems and do nothing about them. Allah asks us to keep working, to strive and give our best in this noble endeavour, for He will grant us guidance and great rewards.
Thus looking from a holistic point of view, it is imperative that undivided attention be given to empowering the sincere and righteous leadership of the ummah by delivering The Best Fikrah to them.
Muslim leaders and Daie should be enriched with the right perspective (fikrah) about Islam and societal issues. They should also be trained in leadership skills.
It is indeed urgent for our leaders to have a clear understanding of the central message of Islam and of the rich treasure of original Islamic knowledge. A thorough understanding of the current and shifting contexts of the world scenario is also indispensable as we need to be able to bring texts and contexts together in order to bring about the most appropriate and pragmatic solutions for the Ummah.
From the dissemination of our best fikrah we hope the acute issues of the Ummah will be centre-staged and addressed by our leaders and Daie. And of course, this requires setting aside personal and partisan interests and differences in order to unify the Ummah.
The struggle to share The Best Fikrah has just begun, for the benefit of mankind as a whole.
May Allah be pleased with our effort.
Think right. Lead well.
Emeritus Professor Dato’ Abang Abdullah Abang Ali
The Best Fikrah