The State of the Ummah
The past year has been tumultuous for the Ummah, with great tribulations and unthinkable torment. Yet, we see exemplary bravery unfolding before us.
On the one hand, he Muslim world, on the one hand, is racked by genocide, tyranny and oppression; on the other hand, we have seen courage and a zeal for the truth carried by our brothers and sisters pouring into the streets all over the Muslim lands.
What are we, as Muslims living in North America where campaigns of bigotry and even violence operate against us, to make of our place in the global struggle of the Ummah?
Muslims as Minorities
We should begin our analysis with our own situation, living as a minority in a non-Muslim society. It is not news to anyone that there has been a rise in xenophobic rhetoric and policies all over the Western world, with a specific focus on Islam. We have seen the rise of nationalist parties like the CAQ in Quebec, the AFD in Germany and the election of Donald Trump in the US.
A segment of the Capitalist elite, failing to provide any meaningful response to the social, economic and political woes of their own people, resort to invoking the tribal bond amongst the masses, redirecting people’s well-earned rage against the most disenfranchised in society.
Muslims, who have had their civilization torn from them and been forced to migrate to these lands just to escape the tyranny imposed on them, now also have to bear the brunt of this ignorant bigotry.
It is this bigotry of the xenophobes that fuels vicious attacks, such as those seen in Christchurch, Norway and Mumbai. The past year has seen our mosques attacked, our sisters harassed in the streets, and our children exposed to violent and demeaning messages about Islam.
This bigotry even fuels policies, like the CAQ’s ban on the hijab for government workers, Trump’s partial Muslim ban, surveillance programs across the western world, or the Indian Supreme Court’s recent decision to construct a Hindu temple where Babri Masjid once stood.
Another segment of the Capitalist elite promises to protect us from these bigots and give us platitudes about tolerance and acceptance, all the while pressuring us to compromise our values and secularize our worldview.
This call of “tolerance” is no less insidious or damaging to our identity as Muslims as the open bigotry.
Muslims Facing Genocide
Our struggles as Muslims in North America pale in comparison to the situation of the Ummah across the Muslim lands.
Our brothers and sisters in East Turkestan have seen their homes invaded, markets surveilled, children confiscated, and been subject to concentration camps at the hands of the Chinese regime.
The goal of this brutality is to break the Islamic identity of the Muslims, and force them to adopt “Chinese values”, or the values set by the Chinese Communist Party. The ultimate aim is to submerge them into the Chinese identity.
The Rohingya, another indigenous Muslim population that has been seeking liberation since the 1950s, continue to face a campaign of genocide in Burma, with hundreds of thousands taking refuge in camps in Bangladesh and Thailand.
With the revocation of Article 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution by Modi’s government, the people of Indian occupied Kashmir have been formally annexed into the Indian state, with even the symbolic independence that was promised to them being stripped away.
This has led to a mass mobilization of the Indian armed forces in the occupied territory, and the continuation of violence to crackdown against anyone who shows resistance.
These are only the tragedies that made the headlines this year. The continued struggle of our brothers and sisters in the ghettoes of Palestine, the forests of Crimea, the islands of the Moro, or the streets of Columbo remain in the consciousness of every sincere Muslim.
Why the Muslims?
The Ummah of Muhammad (saw) is unique in having been given the unique responsibility to convey the message revealed to our beloved Messenger (saw) to the rest of the world. This is because there are no messengers after our Messenger (saw), and the only way this message will survive and continue to guide people is through our struggling to convey and protect it, with the help of Allah (swt).
Since the revelation of this message to RasulAllah (saw), the believers had to struggle against the elite of their own society, and the superpowers of the time in order to implement its prescriptions and convey its aqueedah.
The justice of Islam was a threat to the ruling structures of the time, which were built upon the rule of man over other men. RasulAllah (saw) and his companions strove to make the word of Allah (swt) supreme, until they were able to liberate the Arabian Peninsula through the rule of Islam. It is this courage against impossible odds that inspires us to this day.
The Muslims carried on with this duty, even after the death of RasulAllah (saw), from the Khulafa Rashidoon, to the Ummayad, Abbasid, and Uthmani Khulafa, ruling and guiding lands spanned over three continents under the justice of Islam. Muslims faced the Persian, Byzantine, and Mongol Empires, but were able to protect and expand the authority of Islam.
In 1924, due to the intellectual decline of the Uthmani Khilafah, along with the aggression of the Capitalist colonial nations, the Khilfah was brought to an end. The Capitalist colonial nations, who had their own history of conflict with the Muslims, then divided the Ummah into small unstable states, installing puppet regimes over us in order to brutalize us into submission.
The instability and oppression of these puppet states is what motivated millions of Muslims to migrate to the West, seeking dignity and security that every human being has the right to.
It is this loss of civilizational authority that ties together the calamities currently facing the Ummah. Our duty to implement and convey this message makes us a target to the Capitalist superpowers.
The economic elite are aware that this Ummah, if unshackled from the tyranny and cruelty of man-made laws, would challenge the hollow, materialistic, and self-obsessed political values and institutions of Capitalism. This is why the elite will support any dictator and vilify any minority to prevent the rise of the authority of Islam.
It is time for Muslims to wake up to the reality that the enemies of Islam already know. The existence of an independent Islamic authority is what would protect the lands of the Muslims from being annexed by the Zionist entity, the Indian State, or the Chinese Communist Party.
The presence of a sincere Islamic leadership would put pressure on the Capitalist colonial nations to stop the criminalization and vilification of Muslims and treat all their minorities and dispossessed with justice.
It is as the beloved Messenger (saw) says:
“Only the Imam is a shield, behind whom you fight, and you protect yourself with…” [Muslim]
Many in the ummah have shaken off the fear and complacency that the elite in Capitalist nations and their local Muslim puppets have tried to instill in the Muslims. We have seen just this year the brave protests of the Muslims in Kashmir and Gaza, even under harshest military rule.
The Muslims have organically risen up against their rulers in Sudan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon and Iran.
While the circumstances that triggered these protests are all unique, there is a common line we have to draw between all these manifestations of resistance.
The political structures left behind by the Capitalist colonial powers are dysfunctional, and achieve nothing other than poverty, corruption, rising living costs, disunity and instability.
And the people are no longer afraid to challenge those who perpetuate and benefit from these colonial structures.
As we see this exemplary courage in the Muslim lands, it is important for us to realize two facts.
Firstly, we need to internalize the fact that our struggles to protect our identity as Muslims in the West are inherently linked to the struggle for justice in the Muslim lands. Not only are our struggles practically linked, but an integral part of our identity as Muslims is concern for the Ummah.
As RasulAllah (saw) commands us:
“The likeness of the believers in their mutual love, mercy and compassion is that of the body; when one part of it is in pain, the rest of the body joins it in restlessness and fever.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
More importantly, it is essential for us to recognize that replacing one system of man-made law for another will not solve our problems.
It is only when we rely solely upon the guidance of our Most Merciful and Wise Creator, that we can be liberated from oppression.
Thus, it is vital for the struggle in the Muslim lands to be a struggle to replace colonial domination with the economic, social and ruling systems of Islam.
It is only when we resume Islam as a complete way of life will we have the support and victory from Allah (swt).
What Can We Do?
As Muslims living in Canada, we have been given the relative safety and security to do what many in the Ummah cannot.
We need to connect ourselves with the foundations of our aqeedah, ensuring that we are forming our personality and character on the basis of a reliance on Allah alone, and a desire to obey Him and His Messenger (saw).
We need to then expose ourselves to the many issues facing our community, both the local issues facing our youth and elders, and the global condition of the Muslims. As we examine these issues, we need to learn the ahkaam of Islam, both as they apply to our individual issues, but also learn how the systems of Islam address the socio-political facing the Ummah in general, and the community in particular.
We need to then come together so we can organize our efforts to instill a strong Islamic identity in our youth, convey the message to those who have not heard it accurately, and create strong communities built on imaan.
And finally, we need to use our collective platforms to call for the return of the rule of Islam in the Muslim lands, the Khilafah state, so that the oppressed all over the world, both Muslim and non-Muslim can find peace and security under its shade.
Unlike our brothers and sisters in China, we are not being put in re-education camps. Unlike our brothers and sisters in Kashmir, we are not having our eyes blinded by pellets. Unlike our brothers and sisters in Iraq, we are not being shot at with live ammunition. Given this, what will we tell Allah (swt) was our excuse for not calling for His Sovereignty?
It will be hard to claim that we were oppressed, when Allah (swt) blessed us with this safety and security here in Canada. May Allah (swt) help us fulfill our covenant with Him. Ameen.
“…Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said “When is the help of Allah?” Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near.” [TMQ 2:214]