REASONS FOR DECLINE OF MUSLIMS by Ghulam Ahmad Parwez
The Question Under Consideration: Muslims settlements are found in most parts of the world. Some reckon their number to be four hundred million and others regard it to be five hundred to six hundred million. No matter what the number is they stretch from Indonesia to Morocco. Africa has quite a substantial population.
In many European countries Muslims abide. In Russia and China they are well populated. Of the Muslim nations some are totally independent, some have semi-independent and semi-subjugated status, while they are in total subjugation in others. There are also countries where they live with other non-Muslims. This then is the state of affairs of the Muslims populace. Now, let us consider their state of life. Those that are independent are very weak and degraded in comparison to the independent non-Muslim states.
Afghanistan, Iran, Hejaz, Egypt, Syria, Indonesia etc, are not only weak compared to America and Europe but also surviving at their mercy. They have to accept whatever conditions are imposed upon them. Each one of them accepts aid from one non-Muslim government or another. Food grains, machinery or technology,varied essential articles needed for daily living, medicines, military armaments, so much so that even monetary help is remitted by them. All this is procured from non-Muslim governments so that Muslim governments can somehow manage their affairs.
This is not all. Even with such large populations as in Russia and China, they live a life of subordination. It is also true in some other East European countries. In all of them, authority and command is in the hands of others. All their elite and Notables are never heard of to be Muslims. In these states there is supposedly no concept of ruler or the ruled but in practice we find the Muslims to be of the "ruled" class.
Coming nearer home before independence, both the Muslims and the Hindus in India were ruled by the British but there too the Muslims' position was far too weak. It seemed that both the British and the Hindus ruled the Muslims. There, the ninety-percent of our population was indebted to Hindus. They were ahead of us in knowledge, business and the Hindus were also fabulously wealthy. In Government service too theirs was a far greater number. Even today there are crores (One crore equals 10 Million) of Muslims in Hindustan but their lot has gone far worse.
Neither is their life, nor is property safe, nor their honour and chastity. Nor are their mosques or monasteries secure so much so that even their cemeteries are not safe. The Hindus push them around like cattle according to their whim and fancy, when and where they want, and there is nowhere for them to go or file a complaint to. That brings us to Pakistan. Although independent --- and may God safeguard it ---Pakistan is still dependent on the West even for its basic necessities. Half the populace lives in huts and some of the people go without food every night, and do not have a stomachful of meal. Others do not have clothing to cover their bodies. Our womenfolk do not go out for lack of adequate clothing to cover their bodies properly. Patients die due to lack of medicine or treatment before the very eyes of their parents who witness their children wriggling and tossing restlessly before dying slowly, because they do not have enough coppers for their treatment. And there are many who have to sell off their pots and pans to pay for their funeral expenses.
Vagrancy is the lot of most Pakistani school children because their parents cannot afford to pay for their schooling. And a great number remains illiterate and ignorant due to their parents' poverty. Many marriageable girls are sitting at home because their parents cannot betroth them with dignity. This then is just not the state of Pakistani Muslims but is the state of almost all Muslim countries. Mentioning and categorising their miseries would serve no purpose. Even in Europe where Muslims live along with non-Muslims, they are conspicuous by their poverty, be it housing or clothing, in fact their very appearance is pathetic. Obviously, such conditions produce their own problems and evils.
Furtheron, Muslims, as has been said above live in various regions of the earth. Their geographical states are as different as their varying atmosphere and weather. Different is their way and mode of living. Even their language is naturally different. But in them there is just one thing in common, i.e. they are all Muslims and their Religion is the same.
Religion is Their Common Factor: Now, think for a moment. If a non-Muslim, considering their entire state of affairs throughout the world, comes to the conclusion that in comparison to other peoples of the world this poverty, weakness and dishonour of Muslims is due to their Religion -- the basic cause! Then, what answer do we have? Surely, it would hurt us most but then no individual can take it if his religion is attacked in this way. It would make him go mad with rage. But by being angry would not answer that non-Muslim's "objective question''. If this is not the reason or cause of our retrogression then what is? I request you to consider this question thoroughly and calmly and if you cannot arrive at an answer then please do ask someone else to solve it for you and see if you get from anywhere a satisfactory answer as to why this poverty, this disgrace? Why is he on the heels of others? Why is he dependent on others than their own? Why a beggar of their den?
Its Answer: You will not get an answer to that question from anywhere else but if you listen to the Khuthba (sermon) in the mosque you will hear that the decline and downfall of Muslims is because they have abjured their religion and that Western education has made our people non-religious. He does not perform Namaz, (prayer); does not fast; remains in suits and boots; shaves off his beard; and goes to clubs to sing and dance. Their wives do not observe purdah (veil,) and use face-lifts, make-up, visit cinema houses, etc. etc. The speaker says his piece and goes away.
But you, with a cool mind and heart think, whether the lowliness, which is our lot, is really due to what has been said above? First and foremost consider the Westerners on whom we are dependent, do they not do the very same things of which we are being rightly or wrongly accused of in our mosques? They, too, have forsaken their religions. They, too, wine and dine, sing and dance and their wives wear make-up etc. and their wives along with their husbands go to the Gymkhanas (Private exclusive clubs). Then why are they ahead of us? On the other hand, note that among us very few people have abjured their religion. The majority follows the religion.
They perform their Namaz (prayers), fast and are religious to the spirit and letter of the word even dressing exactly as the religion requires. So, also do their womenfolk. But despite this adherence their life is no different from those who have gone "modern''. In fact, if you consider further, you will find that it is the poor who comply with the religion most. But being religious did not improve their lot, as a rule they have remained poor and indigent, and lead a hard and difficult life. From this, it is quite evident that this is not the answer to that "objective question''.
This Objection In Itself Is Wrong: From most of them you will get the reply that the "objective question'' is wrong in itself. If a Muslim is poor, weak, with no bread to eat or clothes to wear or a home to live, it does not mean he is lowly and in disgrace or is contemptible. They may be so in the eyes of the world but in the eyes of God the Standard of Judgement between the respectable and the dishonourable, the rich and the poor is different altogether.
The worldly goods and belongings are mischievous. The more you shun these mischievous worldly things the more favoured and trusted you become in the eyes of God. The world is a dead thing, a carcass, and the one who yearns for it is a dog. A Momin (a highly developed Muslim) lives out this life within the four walls as a prisoner. This earthly life is for the unbelievers whereas for the Muslim is the Hereafter. Even if the Momineen (Plural of Momin) have to bear difficulties in this world, which is but for a few days, it should be borne as being a trial from Allah. He keeps on trying His bondmen. The one, who perseveres in the trial and is found to be successful, would eventually be rewarded with the life in Paradise, his real and eternal home. The one whose Hereafter has been set right has accomplished everything. Remember! God has reserved sustenance in His own hands. He restricts the sustenance of those whom He wills, offer plenty to whom He wills. It is He who bestows respect or degrades whom He wills. Man must, in any situation, be satisfied and remain so through thick and thin.
One who objects to his lot is in fact objecting to the decisions of God. His lamentation and complaints would in fact be against the Elevated Creator. What right has a slave to object to the decision of his Master? A Momin is actually one who is contented, gratified with whatever is bestowed on him by His Creator. Please understand that poverty and wretchedness, dependence and dishonour have all come about because so was His will, all these and more debasement should be considered as Mercy and Compassion from God. This is the "Sermon'' that we have been hearing from the pulpits, since childhood, in Mosques everywhere. Even today we hear the same things, repeatedly and many times over. But the question is whether this is the actual Teaching of Islam. Is this the Commandment of the Quran? Is it also the aim and object of Allah as well that Muslims remain poor, miserable and dependent on others? Are poverty in the world, meanness, dishonour and disgrace the signs of God's trusted and favoured believers?
No matter how or with what answers we are given to soothe ourselves these are definitely not the answers offered by the Quran! Its teaching is: All that is in the heights and depths of the heavens and earth is entirely subdued for you, so that you may make use of it.
He has shown the signs of true and steadfast Momineen to be, For them are the means for their security and safeguard and materials and provisions for their respectable and dignified livelihood.
About His friends it states: For them in this world as well as in the Hereafter are glad tidings of happiness and prosperity. This is the law of Allah that can never change.
The Dua (prayer) that he teaches the Momineen is as follows: O' our Sustainer! grant us a beautiful, pleasant and wholesome life in this world and also grant the same beautiful, pleasant and wholesome life in the Hereafter.
It very clearly states: Those who do constructive deeds in this life will have a life of happiness and prosperity in this world.
He shows the natural outcome of those who do good and righteous deeds to be: God has already given the promise that those people who have Eemaan , (conviction) and do righteous deeds, He will honour them with governmental authority in this world in the same manner and the way He honoured those before them with authority.
He shows the "paradise-like'' life in this world to be; In it, neither will man starve nor will man go naked, and neither would he have fear of thirst or the scarcity of housing.
In contrast to all the foregoing, He very clearly states: Those who are disobedient to Our orders and commands we will restrict his livelihood and he will also get up blind on the day of resurrection, the doomsday.
Do not pass casually over this last Ayat (verse). Ponder a moment over it. In it Allah has in very clear terms stated that those who disobey His commands and orders will have their livelihood restricted and they will also be raised up blind on the day of resurrection. You must have understood on reflection as to what a punishment it is from God not to have a livelihood or have it restricted in this world and the severity of which will be extended in the Hereafter in being raised up blind, thus ruining his life in the next world. At another place He has said that those who commit blasphemy and infidelity against His divine blessings:
Allah makes them taste starvation and fear.
And the signs shown on whom befalls Allah's punishment are:They are in this life too lowly and become disgraced, and because of which: They are in this world in severe punishment.
He has shown, when the people of Israel turned away from the Commandments of Allah, On them befell the Azaab (punishment) of indignity, dishonour and disgrace and they became entitled to His wrath and anger.
From these verses ( Ayat) you must have noted that lowliness and disgrace in this life is the punishment of Allah so also are the forms of scarcity of food, houses, livelihood and relevant humiliations are but punishment of Allah. As against these, Allah's beloved people enjoy His bounties in abundance, happiness of every kind and of course with respectable and dignified livelihood. They are honoured with statehood and government. The forces in the heavens and the earth are under their rule. They live a very honourable and dignified life amongst the peoples of the planet earth. Allah has said in clear terms: This can never come to pass that the non-Muslims could overcome the Muslims.
For them, the decision of Allah is: If you are a Momin then you will overcome everyone.
Therefore, it is totally wrong to say complacently that poverty, humiliation, disgrace, etc. are the signs of those who live in harmony with Allah's laws. On the contrary, those who harmonise with Allah's laws lead a life of honour, dignity, prosperity, power and eminence. He says all this is His verdict and He never changes His decisions. It is possible that due to some setback a nation may be weakened and people may he reduced to poverty and dependence. That this should happen is one thing, but that any group of people should become perpetually as such and remain satisfied in this condition; rather regard it as Allah's blessing, is quite another. The Muslims in general have been in this condition for centuries.
How To Acquire Bread With Dignity: This fact has come before us that according to the Quran, in this world the respectable life is where there are provisions in abundance and in supply for sustenance; without the fear a super controller curtailing it in anyway and where life is of humankind's worthiness, dignity and splendour. The life of fear is punishment from Allah. But the question now is how are the provisions of food, material for security, wealth, affluence, all of which are necessary for the removal of anxiety and fear, are to be attained? Quran says that this universe is running under these laws of nature, and for our necessities of life we will have to follow these laws of nature.
In this field, all human beings are the same; everyone has equal right to it. There is no distinction between a Momin and a Kafir , (the unbeliever). Whoever follows the laws of nature will acquire his needs; after all the life of both of them exists on the same physical laws. For instance, a non-believer exists by breathing so also does a Momin . They both need food for life and the effects of poison on both will be the same. In fact, even our Rasool's (Prophet's) body was nonetheless affected by poisoning when that Jewess poisoned his food. As such the necessities of existence and their attainment is ruled by one and the same law for all human beings. There is no distinction between a Momin and a non-Muslim.
When He said, Whatever there is in the depths and heights of the universe We have subdued for you.
When it says "for you'', it is addressed not only to Muslims but to humans. Any human, who endeavours and strives for it, Nature will make him custodian of its concealed secrets. In it, there is no distinction between Muslims and Kafirs . Allah has made man Khalifa fil-urth 1and said man alone was given Ilm-ul-asmaa (knowledge of objects, elements, etc. in nature).
Therefore, should man desire he can use this knowledge for his benefit. In this matter, nature will not withhold itself from one group and allow itself to be exploited by another. There will be no difference in its exploitation, may it be by a Muslim or an atheist. Yes, there will be difference in its usage and this will be dealt with in the coming pages. But, as has been repeatedly said, there will be no difference in these ensuing results.
Behold! With what clarity Quran details this point: Those who want the grace and elegance of this life shall have fully the results of their endeavours in this world. In this world there shall be no reduction of any kind, for them.
Furthermore, in this matter, please see the verse ( Ayat) in Surah (Chapter) Bani Israel i.e. (18/21), from which this fact will be totally clarified. From the aforesaid issues, we arrive at the results mentioned below:
In this life, abundance of necessities of life and fearlessness is worthy and fit to human splendour. Necessities for existence can be availed only by the subjugation of Nature.
The concealed wealth of Nature is available to any race or people provided it strives for its attainment. In this, there is no distinction between a Muslim and a non-Muslim. Those who do not endeavour and strive for subjugation of Nature are deprived of the sustenance of life.
And those who are deprived of this sustenance or are dependent on others for its attainment is a life of indignity which is the punishment of Allah.
Meaning of This Life and the Hereafter: Now let's move ahead. In the Quran you will also find those verses ( Ayat) wherein "worldly possession" has been termed mean and abject, against which the Hereafter is upheld as permanent and durable. These are those verses ( Ayat) on which the conservatives and the traditionalists have leaned on to support and brand the impermanence and the unsuitability of the world and its possession as lowly and vile to be the portion of the unbelievers, and the Hereafter to be exclusively for Allah's favourites. Nonetheless, it is still very important to understand these portions of the Quran correctly.
This portion is a bit difficult. Difficult because it is one discourse that will come to most readers as totally new. In any case, this portion calls for deep concentration and attention.
It is not in doubt that the Quran declares the period between man's birth to his physical death, to be life of this world and the life after this physical death to be as the life of the Hereafter. To have conviction on this life and in the Hereafter (i.e. life after death) is inseparable from a Momin's life. One who denies it is a Kafir and cannot be a Momin even though he may have conviction on other remaining issues.
But. And this is a very important "but'', the connotation and usage of the words "this world'' and "the Hereafter'' by the Quran, not only imply its apparent meanings. It uses these words in other senses as well. The truth is the Quran uses many words by way or manner of expressions and phraseology, and until Quranic phraseology is not understood in its correct connotation or meaning it is not possible to understand it. In the path of Quranic understanding this is such an important point that if once overlooked, rejected or thrown out it would involve us in and thereby create all these unwanted quarrels, difficulties, complexities and entanglements, and because of which we are today suffering from anxieties of the heart and mind.
As a result despite our numerous efforts we cannot arrive at a correct Quranic understanding. (At times, we are so involved in the Quranic connotations that it seems just impossible to extricate ourselves from it). And man (God forbid) comes to regard Quranic Ayat as riddles and enigmas. Hence, Quranic sense, meaning and connotation should first be understood thoroughly and the words "this world'' and "Hereafter'' hold great importance. But before grappling with these terms, please understand once more that let it not be construed that the concept of life after death is incorrect. Our Eemaan is based on life after death - Life is an endless flow, which goes from here to there continuously. Therefore, in the Quran where life after death is mentioned it means exactly what it says.
The literal meaning of Dunya means "here and now'' and the Aakherath means the "Hereafter''. Aakherath means "what is to come later'' which would mean the "Future''. In the life of an individual or a people there is one future which comes in this very life. But from the Quranic point of view, apart from this future, there is another as well but it comes in the Hereafter.
Therefore, there are two kinds of "future"; one kind is in this life and the other in the life to come. We shall first discuss the future of this life and later the one that comes after death.
First, we will tackle the future in this life. In this world there are two kinds of persons. One who leaps for the "here and now'' or the immediate gain. Their entire effort is for this immediate gain and for their own interests. They are not concerned as to what will happen to those who are to come or the people who are to follow? They are only occupied with their self-indulgences and luxuries; it is not for them, they would say, to think or consider the brunt to be borne by the Humanity who is to come or is to follow. Their entire efforts and endeavours are for the "present'' and there is no thought whatsoever for the "future''. Hence, by Quranic connotations the "here and now'' and the immediate gains are called the world, Dunya while the future of this world is called, Aakherath . Therefore, Quranic view of Matha-e-Dunya would mean that gain which one seeks for himself. A Matha-e-Aakherth possession of the Hereafter means those possessions, material, equipment and properties saved and stored for the coming generations. Here, too, from the Quranic point of view, "generations'' does not mean the generations of any one person or family but the entire humankind.
A person or a nation who just seeks immediate gains (that is well being of "present'' only) his "present" will become pleasant and wholesome but his future would not be bright. Against this, however, humankind's correct way of life is that its endeavours should not be spent for the betterment only of the "present'' but also for the betterment of the coming generation of humankind (i.e. the future) also. It says the "immediate gains'' do carry in themselves tremendous attraction; their glittering splendour dazzles them; they engender a life of comfort and luxury involving little hard work. And the results forthcoming are immediate. But, those who believe in this way of life disintegrate, and for such there is nothing at all in the Hereafter. However, in this context the difficulty that arises is that the immediate gains are conspicuously perceptual but the gains of the future are still out of sight. Hence, only those will strive and strain for the future who are convinced of the unseen results.
For example, there are two farmers. Each one of them has a mound of wheat, which happens to be their only possession. One of them goes to the field and starts ploughing it, mixing the seeds with the soil, his only possession of life, while the other farmer makes fun of him. He takes his share of wheat to the mill and grinds it into flour and brings it home. The first farmer has to make do with corn and barley or at times even go without it and starve it out. In contrast, the second farmer and his family enjoys wheat-bread i.e. to say he has achieved "immediate gain'' but he has no share in the future. Future will be that of the other farmer. It will glitter and his will be the storehouse with ears of wheat where seeds produce seven hundred grains each all in neat stacks.
For the duration of the seed to turn into harvest, he had to endure difficulties or even pangs of hunger. But after that a "Cyclic Order'' was established because of which his "present'' becomes pleasant and wholesome while his "future'' a glittering splendour. But for this, initial condition was that the first farmer had conviction in the fact that the seeds he had mixed into the soil were not going to be lost or wasted. In the universe there is a firm law in action which will turn the seeds into sprouts. Those sprouts will then transform into stalks or stems which in its turn changes into ears of wheat, which will provide sack loads full of harvest. He had absolute conviction both in his labour and in the unshakeable law of the universe. This unshakeable and immutable law of the universe that turns the seeds into ears of harvest is called sunnat-thul-lah or the law of Allah in which there can never be any change.
This unchangeable and permanent law is in itself proof which invites Eemaan . If the farmer did not have conviction in this law and in its permanence that it will change the seeds into harvest, then he would not have mixed the seeds into the soil. Because experience through time immemorial has shown man that there could not be change in this law of Nature, that is why he takes the risk of mixing them into the soil in a set method thereby ploughing it and turning it into harvest. This undivided conviction makes him sow the seeds into the soil, and calmly wait for the results. Now comes the second condition. After sowing the seeds in a set manner or rule, water is then provided at set times. In this programme, two efforts are in force at the same time. One is the unchanging, fixed and stable law of Nature and the other is the painstaking labour of the farmer, in accordance with required set rule. Mutual harmony is required between both for a bumper harvest. (This is called the Law of the Mukafath-e-Ammel or the law of retribution).
If the farmer's efforts are in disharmony with nature then his efforts will go in vain. Let this be quite clear that by laws of God it is not to be inferred that they merely mean the laws of Nature. Along with it, there are many other laws of Allah the observance of which is extremely necessary for man.
Thaqva : These laws are safe in between the covers of the Quran. The observance and practice of these laws is called Thaqva . But the laws of Nature are not exempted from it. They are also included in the laws of God; therefore the observance of these laws of Nature is compulsory for one to become a Muthaqee . It needs to be emphasised once again that if a certain people who only observe the laws of Nature cannot ever be termed as Muthaqee, likewise, the others who do not observe and practice these laws of Nature also cannot be termed as Muthaqee . However, those who harness the laws of Nature, they do achieve their results, even though they do or do not obey other laws, and those who do not harness them remain deprived of the results.
This is the meaning of "Hereafter'' in connection with this worldly life. Below the second meaning will be discussed.
The Second Connotation and Meaning of the Word "Hereafter'' : One view of life is that we exist exclusively for this world and on death this life comes to an end. The aim of this worldly life is to amass worldly wealth and possession and lead a life of comfort and luxury. Towards achieving it, any mode or method is proper and therefore can be adopted. Only this precaution is necessary that one should not fall foul of the government laws. And should one fall foul, then he should make every effort possible to escape the police and the arms of the judicial laws and regulations. There is no law beyond the law of the government and there is no grasp or accountability beyond the police and the courts of the country.
For personal gain, every ruse or trick can be devised, and it is permissible. The second viewpoint of human life is that its physical existence is on the same plane as that of an animal. But human life begins on a higher level. Man does not consist merely of his physical body. In him there is one other element which is called "Human Personality''. The aim of life is both to develop the human body as well as his Human personality. As with the upbringing of the body there are also laws governing the development of the human personality. These are revealed laws and are enshrined in the Quran. They are permanent Values. Humans should work hard to acquire worldly possessions. But if there is a clash between worldly gains and future permanent values then he should sacrifice his present gains in favour of his permanent values, thereby developing his human personality further. In this way, man would in the next life continue to pass on through the great stages of evolution and move on forward. This is called life after death, the life in the Hereafter.
For example, a businessman finds an opportunity to commit fraud in such a way that no one would ever learn of it. It involves thousands of rupees, and even if caught he would bribe his way out. If he has no Eemaan in the Hereafter, then without any hesitation at all, he will carry out his fraud. But if he were a believer in the Hereafter he would never do such a thing, because honesty is a permanent value and by safeguarding these values man's self develops and thereby also decorates and embellishes his life after death. On the other hand, worldly gains could be achieved by dishonesty but his self is ruined, so much so that whether he comes in the grip of the law or police is of no consequence to him. But it does affect God's law of retribution from which, let alone man's acts, even the thoughts running in his mind do not go unnoticed, therefore each and every act of man creates a result. In fact, all acts of man himself compile to form his Hereafter.
According to the Quran, worldly possessions have the powers of attraction and allurement. It should, nevertheless, be obtained. But should an occasion of a clash arise between his worldly profit and his life, then he should never hesitate to expend his wealth to safeguard it. The one who saves his wealth when life is in danger, he will become a laughing-stock of the world and accursed. This is so because he saved a lower value as compared to a higher value. Now, safeguarding life is indeed very important, but if it happens that one's honour is at stake, then an honourable one is he who, not caring for his life, safeguards his honour. Such a one is very respectable in the eyes of the world. Hence it is clear that the principle of a right way of living is that a lower value should be sacrificed for a higher value.
The Quran thus enjoins that for the development of the self, all worldly possessions whenever in conflict with it, have to be given up and sacrificed for it no matter how attractive they may be. These are the moments when worldliness is considered lower than the Hereafter. Development of the self is a permanent value and because it achieves permanence after death it is described as life Hereafter.
Aim of Life: Now substitute the two words Dunya and Aakherath with those meanings, referred to previously, and consider those positions where Quran has simply called Dunya (Present) "here and now", immediate gains'' and Aakherath's (Future) "gains, real possessions''; then everything, the entire discourse will become clear. Quranic Teaching is that an individual or a people should not give importance to themselves only; by so doing one only considers his personal aim and objective of life. While, says the Quran, the aim and object should be for the welfare and prosperity of humankind because only then can humankind evolve itself to pass the gradual, evolutionary stages and move towards its proficient and ultimate goal. Those human beings or nations who are self-interested, prey on immediate gains and their gains are "here and now''.
On the other hand, those people who want to set up in this world such an order under which entire humankind's elevation is reached or achieved are described as those interested in the future of their happiness, welfare and prosperity. Therefore, under Quranic Teaching true and factual effort should be directed and sought for the welfare and prosperity of the entire humankind, and also for the prosperity of the future generations. It also states that those individuals who work for its attainment without breaking any values, then their individual self is developed in such a manner that the self becomes entitled to eternal life. In this way, their world (present) becomes a life of happiness and rejoicing together with the life in the Hereafter (future) which also becomes integrated, happy and pleasant.
Quran, in a very clear manner, states of the groups mentioned above, the consequences of their efforts, portraying them very lucidly.
Two Groups:Those people who are of this belief or are followers of this belief that they receive only the Immediate Gains. They do get those gains. In contrast, those who want their present and future as well to become glittering and refulgent, so shall they have their desires: And those people who desire that God's law of development performed in such a way that their "Present'' as well as their Future become commendable and be saved from those despicable and hopeless consequences which is humankind's terrible punishment. Then so shall they be rewarded, never taking long to arrive at the results. (When results reach maturity or arrive at a climax then at that very moment they become manifest and clear).
Quran says that it is just not possible that a people who strive for the future should have their "Present'' dark and obscure. That is because after the initial efforts for the Future are made, a circle is formed where the coastlines of the Present and the Future merge to move together forward, and continue to do so. In the farmer's example, when after overcoming the initial difficulties, he takes over the control and reaps the harvest. No sooner the harvest arrives home his Present becomes pleasant and beautiful. And Hereafter he engages himself in the preparations for the next harvest. His efforts and endeavours only serve to become the visible result of his Future's welfare and prosperity, and this goes on serially moving ever forward. That is, "Present'' and "Future'' both become shining and brilliantly splendid. Which is why it is said: Those people who do good and beautiful deeds then their world (this present life) becomes good and beautiful.
And together with the present their future also becomes luminous. Those people (who believe in the correct way as shown by the Quran) have faith in it and lead their lives according to it, for them there is happiness, pleasantness and prosperity both in the present and in the life Hereafter. It is God's firm and unshakeable law wherein there can never be any change. And this is a very great success and achievement.
Uptil now we have observed two groups. One which only wants to see the success of its "Present'' while the other is the one which has an eye also on the "Future's'' pleasantness and prosperity. Quran says the first group's "Present'' becomes pleasant but it has no share in the "Future''. While the Second Group's "Present'' and the "Future'' both become pleasant, beautiful and prosperous. This is the unalterable and solid law of God in which there can never be any change.
Those who desire simply the present and prosperity of the present, they get that which they want. Those who are desirous of the prosperity and pleasantness of the future, they get what they want or desire. It is not God's Law that he makes in vain the efforts of those who simply desire the wholesomeness of this life, the present. No, their efforts do not go wasted who seek only the "nearby and the immediate gains.'' They attain these gains, while those who also have an eye on the future their efforts and endeavours for this very mode and manner keep bearing fruitful results.
Please see Surah Bani-Israel wherein how eloquently this great fact is stated. It is said, That individual (or people) desires the nearby and the easy, the immediate available gains then We in accordance with Our laws give them the nearby gains (or the immediate gains). But in the future for him will be such a life wherein all his capabilities will burn and singe and his development will come to a stop and inthat life he will find himself in an utter despicable state and shunned by everyone.
This is the state of one group. As for the second group it is said: An individual (or a people) who looks forward towards the future and puts in the necessary effort and is convinced of the permanent values as enjoined by Allah, then this efforts will bear full fruit. This is the Law of Nature and the efforts of neither group will go waste.
The Law of Nourishment and development applies on both the groups. The gifts of the Nourished do not close on anyone. In these efforts and endeavours every people move forward according to its striving and trials: Consider historical precedents and see how this very law of ours in the field of economics keep moving different people one over the other eventually. It so happens that those who simply aspire for the present prosperity are wiped out, and those who desire the future's pleasant, wholesome prosperity attain the highest positions.
The positions of the future and its economic and social pleasantness, wholesomeness and refulgence is the best and above all future is only for the one who keeps his economic life strictly in accordance with the laws of eternal revelation (permanent values) But if any people who for this world devise another god i.e. for the immediate gain devise and formulate one law and for the Hereafter keep before them some other law, then this is Blasphemy or worse, Idolatry or Paganism. The result of which would be in very bad circumstance and evil plight and nothing else.
And with Allah (the fountainhead of all laws) do not include any other idol or source of law, or else one will be accursed from all sides, and will be entitled to bad and evil circumstances and plight.
With This Comes the Third Group: But before we deal with this group let us summarise. Those people (group one) who only regard this present life as the only life having no care or bother about the Hereafter. They have only devised ways and means for this life and keep acting accordingly. With this they do gain the "nearby and the immediate gains''. They may be said to be the Group of Kuffar , i.e. who deny the Future. As for those people (group two) that keep both the present and the future (the Dunya and Aakherath) in mind. For this it has an order of life that does not distance the Present and the Hereafter and does not draw a line between them or divide and separate them. Therefore, both the present and the Hereafter become refulgent, wholesome, prosperous and pleasant. The Quran calls this group Momineen . Their view encompasses the development of the entire humankind that they carry out in accordance with the set programme of the Quran.
Now coming to the Group Three which divides the world and the Hereafter into two different worlds. It thinks that there are some efforts, which bestow gains only for this present world, and there are some which decorate the Hereafter. To them it is not necessary that who-so-ever's Hereafter is decorated should have their present decorated as well. In fact, against this, they understand that the Hereafter is a success of those whose worldly life is chagrined, of disappointment, of misfortune and failure. They regard man's worldly life and the life of the Hereafter to be two different lives, neither one having any relation to the other.
That is to say, for them the happiness and prosperity or indigence and poverty of this worldly life, there is one authority or god, while to the wholesomeness, the pleasantness, the joys and prosperity of the Hereafter there is another. This group does not regard that for both of them the fountainhead of law is one and the same. It regards two different "gods'' for every two revolving circles. Quran says that this kind of a person who tries to travel with his legs in two sailing vessels or boats will eventually find himself drowned.
This group of people may be likened to someone who sets fire to the roots of the trees but tries to sprinkle water on it. It thinks that it is possible that the blood in a portion of human body could be pure and pious while in the remaining is sinful. It is his Eemaan (Conviction) that if the roots of the plant are parched and dried out, it matters not but it will eventually give bunches of fruits. (All because, to this group the shoots grow under one law while there is another set of laws for the bunches of fruits and ear full of corns).
Quran says that any individual (or people) who try to break into pieces the Law of Unity which is related to the laws of the universe, then do tell them that his state of the present will be destructive and wretched, and his future would be dark and obscure. Consider, in his matter, in what overflowing words it states: What! You have Eemaan on one portion of the laws of the universe and deny its second portion?
The one who acts like this: Who, amongst you, act like this the result of it will be nothing but dishonour, disgrace, ignominy, notoriety and infamy in this worldly life. And on the day of judgement they will suffer very severe punishment.
He describes this mode or manner of life as: And the present and future of such people are dark.
And in very clear terms states: In this worldly life they will not find any helper, inquirer and solicitor of their state of affairs. Such a way of life is tantamount to reversion to Kufr (to become a non-believer) after professing Islam. Allah will afflict them with a painful doom in this world and the Hereafter, and they have neither protecting friend nor helper in the earth.
From the foregoing explanations, this fact has come before us that according to the Quran one Group is that whose present is successful and prosperous whereas their future will be dark. Then there is the other Group, the second Group, whose present as well as the future is bright and prosperous.
The third Group is one whose present and future are both dark. To him, there is no such group whose present is obscure and dark but whose future is bright. He says who-so-ever's present is dark then their future has to be and must be dark.
One, who is blind here, will be blind there. This is just not possible that one whose worldly life is spent in disgrace and disrepute will have his Hereafter set right and streamlined. Those who say so wish to formulate two different laws each to develop the present and the future. This is Shirk . This is not Eemaan in the unity of God. The life of the Momineen in this world will be that of authority and power, eminence and exaltation.
If their present life is not so then their life in the Hereafter, will not be so as well. It can so happen that a people could avail the wealth and government in this world but its Future could well be in ruin and destruction. But this can never happen that a people's present life is that of disgrace and humiliation but its Hereafter is luminous, glittering, prosperous and affluent. The truth is: To tomorrow's sadness, eminence or exaltation, they have no claim or the right, Who endures not the tormenting pains of igniting his self for the enlightenment of today, Those are the people unworthy of the tumultuous joys of the life to come.
At this point, it is important to understand that if there be a decline due to an emergency is another matter. But to sit down complacently and say it matters not if we are not honoured or have no authority in this world, for the simple reason it is we alone who are entitled to paradise eventually, then they are mistaken.
Disintegration of Life: Quran witnessed at its very inception that worldwide human life had badly shredded itself in its length and breadth. In the direction of length, it has conceived and made imaginary divisions of this world and the Hereafter. This world is endowed to the members of the government who are claimant towards making it a better place to live in; while the Hereafter came in the grasp of the reverend custodians of religion who claimed to set right the Hereafter on behalf of the populace of the world.
When its attention turned to the breadth, it says every individual regards himself/herself as a different embodiment in quality of life, and if for some worldly reasons or necessity, some of humankind were gathered in one place (namely, tribe, nation-state), then they were only occupied with their own personal gains. Universal human gain was not in their view. This was the state of affairs of the world at the time of Quranic revelation, a state of affairs, which it has described as Mischief and disorder in every corner of the earth; a universal chaos.
In its wide-ranging meaning it is interpreted as Shirk. This sort of division of humankind is against Facts. Human life is an indivisible unit. It could not be divided length-wise or breadth-wise. Towards length, it is an endless flow forward, moving, from this world, continuously towards Aakherath , the Hereafter. Therefore, the distinction between the world and Hereafter is against facts. When these are the factual state of affairs, then to follow laws of those in power in the present, and to follow in the Hereafter the rulings, principles or laws of the religious leaders is indeed unsound. On the other hand various individuals are characterised by one 'living body'. Just as a single electric current can electrify many lights, bulbs, fans, machinery etc. likewise, the division of the individuals, races, tribes and peoples is also unnatural.
What is Deen? Entire humankind is but one family: leaves of the same tree and drops of one ocean with one unified base. This was the great and magnificent divine truth (i.e. Unity from the creator to the unity of the created and the conception of the unity of law) which Quran bas placed before the world, and us. It has not only shown this fact by way of a single viewpoint but also how it will be demonstrated, as to how this unity of life works in human culture and in his economic programme. This practical way through which this high-ranking fact will emerge in an embodiment of living form, will be called Deen. Therefore, Deen was the name of the practical act of life with which on the one side, the present and the future ( Dunya and Aakherath) became one undivided, unclassified and uncategorised unity, while on the other hand, individual human beings joined together into one single, universal brotherhood likened to the constituents like the drops of water in the ocean. These conceptual truths were to materialise in form and take a practical shape as a way of life called Al-Deen.
The distinctive feature of Deen's order was (or be it said that it was the natural result or outcome) that entire control be snatched from the hands of humans and given into the hands of that law which was in its true essence not man-made or devised by man. It was actually received from the fountainhead of guidance, called Allah. In this order Ethauth (obedience) is only to the laws in which a human is neither like a slave nor under duress; but in a way, that humans after considering these laws carefully come to the conclusion that indeed they were the only laws which would make their worldly as well as the life in the Hereafter beautiful, glorious and splendidly happy. And whence only with the faculties of his mind and heart fully agreeing, begin to act on them. Ethauth means such restrictions or restrains which man imposes on himself willingly.
In this manner, in the order of Deen, power does not rest with anyone or in one's hands, hence the disharmonies will become extinct from society and from human life itself. The members of this order and all living within its organisational boundaries would have had but one ideal i.e. the pleasantness, wholesomeness, happiness and prosperity of the future. And also the development (upbringing) of the entire humankind, with the natural result that their present by itself brightens up. Because, as we have seen in the foregoing pages, it is the nature's unshakeable law that one whose future is bright, his present must be brilliant and refulgent. Note, with what details has the Quran expressed this law, We make the present life of our Rasools and the party or organisation of Momineen also successful and so also their future life, when results themselves will stand out to declare or proclaim this.
It is not that this help has come into action accidentally or haphazardly. Instead, it is declared. It is incumbent on Us that We help the Momineen. Do consider, how and in what details the laws of Allah are all embracing and its governing authority so clear-cut. In another place, while addressing this group of Momineen , it says: In the worldly life and the Hereafter, in both conditions, We are your Patron and Supporter.
Quran has said it is correct that in this order which is responsible for the gains, happiness and refulgence, in the beginning hard work and toil is involved, and the result may not be in sight. As against this, the believers of the "immediate gains'' with little or no effort see perceptible results before them. But do not fear, the seekers of "immediate gains'' will never be able to overcome or overpower you.
This can never happen that God's law will let the seekers of only 'immediate gains' have power over those who are have Eemaan (conviction) in the Hereafter. Those with the immediately gained piles before them must not think that they are ahead or in the forefront in the race of life, and those who have kept the future before them have lagged behind.
This is their wrong supposition. The farmer who has sown his seed can never be a failure as against the one who has grounded his seed and made bread. The believers of 'immediate gains' should never suppose or think that they have outgained. Definitely not, because they can never have the upper hand or superiority over the other group.
Ultimately the power will go to those who abide by the laws of God. The Kuffar (the seekers of immediate gains), let alone gaining power over the Momineen , they can never even reach up to them, or be at their level.
What! Can a Momin and a Fasiq (one who deforms) be the same or become alike? This can never happen. These two can never be equal or alike?
Once again clarified is this fact that never should it be visualised that in the worldly life, Kuffaar and the Fasiqqeen would have remained ahead, and that the power of the Momineen would be only in the Hereafter. The Quran has totally clarified that power and domination would be acquired in this world as well.
What! Do you think or understand that We in this world will make them who have Eemaan and those who have done constructive and positive works equal to those who have been rebellious? Will We make them equal to those who have created harmony in the present and the Hereafter with ( Fujjaar ) those who make distinctions or divisions in these two? The truth is that the natural result of Eemaan in the Hereafter is farsightedness.
Consequently, those who do not have the faculty to think ahead cannot contest a people who are prudent and farsighted.
Party of the "Momineen": All these Quranic claims or the laws of the Divine are the living proof before the world because of their results. "What! Can the Hereafter of another people be as proper as that of the party or organisation, which Quran has called the Momineen ''? And can there be any other organisation or group whose world is more successful than the group or organisation of the Momineen whose government was established on this earth?
They had harmonised their efforts with the laws of Allah. And Allah's praiseworthy and revolutionary laws and its might had become harmonised with their endeavours.
The result is before the world. What the very first party that claimed to be Islamic managed to achieve was not merely an accident or an incidental chance, but what actually happened was according to the law of Nature's firm and unshakeable result. Just like in any scientific laboratory where chemical analysis and synthesis is carried out, then in accordance with scientific principles, the determined results occur. Likewise, power (in the land) in a group or organisational life of men in harmony or concord with the divine laws will also create firm and unalterable results. These firm and unalterable results are called "authority on the Earth", wherein human life receives in full the exact balance and which is why in them beauty and proportion alone are reflected. In it, in length and breadth, life had established its unity. Neither the Hereafter was separate from the world, nor was humanity divided into bits and pieces.
These Momineen had, in accordance with the conditions of their times, subdued nature and brought under their control the scattered powers of the universe. These subdued and harnessed powers and resources of the earth were distributed in accordance with the Divine Laws (permanent values). This is Deen, that is, for the exploitation of all this wealth and riches, every individual had to work to his maximum capacity and the output so distributed that each individual had equal opportunities to fully develop his potentialities. This is the Quranic system of Rabubiyath , the system of development and nourishment; meaning, the uniform delivering of all the basic necessities of the individual, and the development of his latent potentials, so that both their present and the future life becomes bright. This then was Deen wherein was no monarchical despotism, nor the hegemony and leadership of priesthood, nor divisions into classes, nor the disharmonies in the life, nor was Dunya separate from the Aakherath nor was the present distinct from the future.
After That? Now, turn over a page in history and see a strange show. The people were the same and in their hands was the Quran, the same Quran. But now there was that mighty and despotic monarchy on the throne with all its conquering powers, and on the other end of the spectrum, there was yet again priesthood, in full and complete authority, glorified in sanctity, in pomp and resplendent in holy robes, overcast on the people, drunk and intoxicated. As could well be predicted, the people were divided into classes. At every step was that disharmony, the natural outcome of a capitalist society.
At this point, there arises the natural question as to what had happened to that order, the bearer of surety, the guarantor of the development of humankind, and why it did not progress continuously onwards? After a period of time, why did the same unnatural and ancient system take over?
I have on innumerable occasions given its reply and therefore need not go into its details. At present, only consider whether the order hinted to above or in the preceding pages could meet the demands and importunities of life and could withstand its surety for its fulfilment, or not?
If you, however, accept the system's sufficiency as an answer, then for the moment, do not enter into this argument as to why it did not remain firm and unalterable. What should be considered, is that if that order were to be established once again, will humankind yet again begin to glitter and shine? Anyway, at this moment in time I am addressing the readers who are Muslims and who would surely accept that there are capabilities in this order to eradicate and wipe out from human governments and other similar groups all the disharmonies and replace them with balanced and harmonious paths to tread on, securely and safely. Instead of getting entangled as to why this system did not move forward, it would prove constructive and worthwhile if we are to consider the present state of degradation, dishonour, humiliation and poverty of the Muslims today, find out the causes, and the possibilities of their reformation.
In any case, you had already seen where there was not a trace of monarchy nor did anyone know as to what was meant by religious priesthood; we now have reached that point in history where monarchy as well as priesthood is rampant. It is a fact that monarchy and priesthood are two inseparable things. From the view of Deen we have seen life is a continuous flow unaffected by death, but continues on into the Hereafter. Therefore, the present and the future (this world and the Hereafter) are also inseparable and do not differ from each other. There is only one law, which comprehends the entire human life, knowing no divisions or classifications.
By monarchy 3is meant that for the worldly affairs the source of laws should be conceived separately. When, although, you accept the concept of the present and the future, yet devise separate laws for the management of the affairs of state then certainly and assuredly you will find the need to have a separate order for the Hereafter. Such an order would only be for the Hereafter and would not be related in any way to the worldly affairs is called religion 4 . Thus, monarchy and religion, after the breakdown of unity of life, come into two inseparable entities. This is like a drop of water which when analysed breaks into oxygen and hydrogen.
At this juncture do try to carefully understand as to in what terms and meanings I have used the word "Religion''. And what connotes Deen. It is the express purpose of "religion'' to separate this world from the Hereafter, i.e. the life of Dunya be separated from the life of Aakherath . The affairs of the world were entrusted to the politicians while the Hereafter to the priests. The world of God is separate so also is Caesar's - the government levies its own taxes and the priests their own revenues. It is an offence to go against the laws of the state and it would be regarded as a "crime" and "Sin'' if you go against the rules of the priests, i.e. against the laws of Shariah .
Punishment of the offence of the state would be meted out in this world while for the Shariah in the next world. Likewise, the rewards of the pleasure by the worldly rulers would be bestowed in this world while that of Allah's pleasure would be rewarded in paradise. This then is the conception of life as expressed by Religion. In contrast, Islam's concept of life is Deen as enunciated by the Quran. In the forthcoming pages where the words "Religion'' and Deen occur then the aforesaid meanings should be kept in mind so that you will find no difficulty in understanding the pages that will follow, and thus avoid making any mistakes.
Now, let's move ahead.
Religion and Politics: If religion and politics, the affairs of this world and the affairs of the Hereafter become one, and both remain within the laws of Allah, it transforms into Deen. This means that the separate identity of the two is removed. No wonder that a secular state considers it necessary to retain religion and religion needs this state for its own survival. In this way between them (despite visible inconsistencies) takes place a mutual understanding. Kashatry (the ruling class) gives the Brahmin (the priest) Rakhsa (protection) and Brahmin prays for (A-sheer-baad ) the Kashatry . Similarly, from the 'mimber' or the pulpit rises the sound of Zil-lul-lah i.e. the sovereign is the shadow of God on earth or the monarch is declared as Ayyadah Hullaho-Baynusrayhe , and in return, the crown entrusts the estates and makes endowments of perpetually rent-free grants to the Masaajid and Makthabs (mosques and religious schools) to safeguard religious leadership. While religion, as return of debts of kindness, for monarchical solidarity and stability creates in people's hearts, in depth, the deception that the world is fit and worthy of hatred and detestation and keeps up this theme relentlessly.
Politics and government, it preaches, is for this mundane world. The pious and the "god worshipping'' people should stay afar from the worldly people and their affairs. The aim of the pious and their ultimate goal is the salvation in the Hereafter. The more a person is detested, disgraced and debased the more trusted and favoured he is in the eyes of God, and so on and so forth. By this enchantment, the attention of the people is firmly and expressly directed towards the Hereafter thus giving monarchy the free rein in its profiteering. There remains for the monarchy no fear of any kind from any source. Religion so persuades and instructs the people in the exercise of Saber (patience) that is not even to move a lip against oppression and tyranny and this is done with such persuasiveness that they begin to regard every oppression as a Mercy of God. Before them is sketched the portrait of "Allah's'' Favoured Ones; whose poverty and a state of self-ruination are the signs of such Favourites. In this way, religion casts its magical spell and thereby continues to solidify the roots of the monarchy.
In ancient times, religion need not have to plot its frauds and intrigues with much slyness and cunning. There was of course no need to think deeply to huckster a plot or scheme. Since codes of Deen (which were passed through His messengers) did not remain safe, it was very easy for the religious authority to add or include in it anything they desired and state it to be from Allah's Shariah .
But in the matter of Islam the position was different, here (Deen's) codes (Quran) was available in its original version and Allah himself has taken the responsibility of its safeguarding.
Therefore, now religion had to make special efforts before it could cast its charms and incantations. In these prevailing circumstances, objective could only be achieved when the codes of Deen (Quran) and its order and fundamentals are allowed to remain as they are. But their aims and objects together with their connotations are changed. Consequently, for this purpose, religion widely propagated this belief that in the "WORDS" of the Quran there were blessings, abundance and prosperity; not in their meanings but in words.
Quran has called "Adam' as Khalifa fil-urth , but we have made him Khalifathullah fil-urth (meaning, Allah's Vicegerent on Earth). With this, the difficulty arose whether the Pharaoh and Nimrood can also become Khalifathullah? So, this Khalifath-e-Elahi was declared exclusively for the Momins, although, nowhere has the Quran called "Adam" as Khalifathullah fil-urth . The meaning of Khalifa is one who follows - successor - on the planet earth. Before Man certain species populated the world and "Adam" is the successor of these species.
Meaning, he is now living in their place. This then settles the controversy of God's Vicegerents. To this successor-Man - Allah gave Adam knowledge of objects, elements, etc. in nature that was not given to the populace before man. They, in matter of the series of evolution, were left behind. Therefore, in the world to be "successors" to the previous species and in the mastery of subjugation of the Forces of Nature and its heritage, there is no distinction between a Muslim and a non-Muslim.
The conception of Allah's vicegerency or deputising is also wrong because either or both is done in absence of some one, while Allah is OMNIPRESENT. Therefore, his deputising or vicegerency does not arise at all. The distinction between Momins and Kafirs arises when the question of the use of the outcome of harnessing Nature comes to the fore. (for more details see my book "Iblis-o-Adam")
(Please see my detailed article, "Why did not Islam move forward", which was later published in the third volume of my book, "Letters to Saleem".
From the Quranic point of view, monarchy does not merely mean that the son becomes an heir to the crown after his father's death. To it, monarchy is the name of any system wherein the state affairs are governed by laws other than the source of all laws, the Quran, may it take the shape of monarchy, democracy or despotism or theocracy. In the order of Deen, which is a separate topic-, the conception of heritage of power is totally false and spurious because since no man has any power at all, then how can there be a heritage?
In fact, there is no such word as Mudhab, Religion, in the entire Quran and therefore it is "un Quranic". In the entire Quran the word Deen is used, for the simple reason that it revealed and introduced Deen. The word religion was created when the order of Deen became untraceable. In any case, in my writings wherever the word religion is used it would be religion only. I term and call Islam as Deen because the Quran has termed it Deen and not religion, because religion or Madhub connotes-the other worldliness.