After 88years of oppression, on Friday, the 27th Rajab (2 October 1187), Allah SWT allowed the Muslims and Salaah-Udeen to reclaim Jerusalem. Every dervish, Fakir and learned man joined Salah-Udeen and voices were raised in praise of The Almighty. The hills and valleys echoed with proclamations of His unity and power.
The liberation of Jerusalem came at the hands of a Kurd from Tikrit, in Iraq. As usual, the Arabs were unable to lead. They had become experts in division and tribalism. Legacies the prophet Muhammad SAW had explicitly abrogated in favour of an Islamic identity and the building of the Islamic brotherhood. Muslims the world over are now indoctrinated to favour nationalism over an Islamic identity. And it is for this reason that Muslims are unable to remove the stranglehold that corrupt Arab leaders have on the Muslim populace. Racism is rife in these countries. Perhaps worse than in many non-Muslim countries.
Sadly, the two countries most closely linked to Salaah-Udeen, Palestine and the prophet Muhammad SAW are today the most pathetic examples of Islamic unity and trust (Tawwakul) in the Almighty. Saudi Arabia and Egypt are examples of what Islam and Muslims are not supposed to be
Egypt has the glory of claiming that it is totally Sunni because of the efforts and dedication of Salaah-Udeen, Saudi Arabia is prosperous and wealthy (albeit mostly for its ruling class and monarchy) because of the prophetâ€™s barakah, yet both have chosen to squander these gifts in favour of power which they believe can only be guaranteed by selling their souls and the freedom of their people to the U.S and Israel. For without doubt, if your dependence lies with and in the US, it is by automatic association implied that your trust and alliance lies with Israel, which basically controls the US.
So claiming that Saudi Arabia has no ties with Israel and that they have been active in proposing the Saudi-Arab initiative for peace in Palestine and are trying to do something- actually amounts to nothing. Saudi Arabia and Egypt today are instrumental in the suppression and oppression of the Palestinian people. And as usual, they are unable to lead the Muslims to unity and victory.
So why do Muslims keep asking the same stale questions about the Arab league? They know full well that the Arabs are incapable- actually, the Arabs are impotent.
It is up to Muslims in the west to engage their governments and fellow citizens. It is up to them to reach the citizens of Muslim Majority countries and initiate in them a revolutionary change of perceptions and identity.
For without a doubt, western democracies have more ethical values in terms of justice, freedom and human rights than all of the Arab countries combined. And because western Muslims have access to these freedoms and justices from non-Muslim countries, they are the ones who can make a difference.
And it is for this reason that many visionary scholars have always advocated the need for Muslims to become role players in their relative countries- in politics, health care, social welfare and most significantly in the media. Without the ability to challenge injustices using the media and cyberspace, and the tools of government and influence within the worldâ€™s populations, Muslims might as well prepare for total onslaught. Muslims are 1.5 billion, and Islam is the second largest religion in the world. The Jews are only 14 million, of which approximately 7 million are in Israel. Judaism is only the 12th largest religion in the world. And not all Jews are Zionists!
Muslims have the numbers, the wealth and the friends to turn things around, why canâ€™t they?
Because it is important for the scholars in countries like South Africa, India and Pakistan to correct their own injustices first- the kind of injustices that have made women subservient to oppression and abuse, the kind of injustices that have propagated the poor educational development of Muslims by continuously bedevilling secular education and technological progress, the kinds of injustices that have preached lengthy sermons but provided little practise and much hypocrisy from the those that preach. The kinds of injustices that have made the scholars in these countries like the Saudi and Egyptian regimes- because many are incapable of earning a livelihood for themselves. As a result they are dependent on corrupt wealth and power, becoming the typical â€˜ya baasâ€™, and have thus had little success in uniting and strengthening the Muslims. The kinds of injustices that prevent Muslim citizens from engaging and participating in their countries on all levels yet the same scholars cry foul with the government or expect government help when things go wrong. Double standards and confused teachings that have harmed the Muslims the world over- injustices perpetuated by the scholars.
Islamic training and education has become mediocre and there are no evaluation standards. To build scholars of calibre and integrity, Muslims need standards of testing and learning in the Madrassahs that can hold candle to the best of the worldâ€™s institutions. But this takes work; it demands physical and mental effort, stresses vigilance on those who claim to hold knowledge of the religion and the ability to sanction those who are not qualified. Do our scholars have that potential or political will? And do we, the Muslim followers have the intelligence and integrity to question these shortcomings and demand improvement?
Allah has clearly said that He will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves- Muslims can change, but they need to be led, not brainwashed. Can the scholars provide such leadership?
By: Quraysha Ismail Sooliman (Freelance Journalist and Political Science Honourâ€™s Student, UP)