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Mo-

the Ummah

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A conundrum that has long resided in my thoughts is:

Why is our Ummah weak?

As it is weak, how can we rebuild it?

 

I have come to realise that, as it is weak, I cannot simply wait for it to rebuild itself, infact it will just simply become weaker if left unattended. As a Muslim, it is my duty to labour and tire to strengthen the Ummah, each Muslim is my sibling and by that I should treat each Muslim as a sibling. Why is it that, when I see a Muslim brother walking down the street, I do not run to walk with him and even invite him to my home, I may not know this brother, but he is still my brother regardless. Why when I see my Muslim sister carrying shopping to her home, I do not run to her aid and assist her? I may not know her, but she is my sister regardless. Why do I and other Muslims my age not begin homework sessions for academics at school for the younger generation, and why was it not offered to me, are we not all siblings? Indeed we are. Why is it that, the prisons are filled with my brothers, yet I do not visit the prisons which house my brothers, should I not, naturally, visit them?

 

These questions made me realize that, unless I attempt personally to engage with my brothers and sisters, and treat them as brothers and sisters, not just on a name basis or when I am in the mosque, that I am indeed a hypocrite, and that I am part of the reason my Ummah is so weak and divided.

 

Narrated Abu Musa: The Prophet (s) said, "A believer to another believer is like a building whose different parts reinforce each other." The Prophet (s) then clasped his hands with the fingers interlaced. (At that time) the Prophet (s) was sitting and a man came and begged or asked for something. The Prophet (s) faced us and said, "Help and recommend him and you will receive the reward for it, ..." [sahih al-Bukhari; Vol. 8, #55]

 

The believers are but brothers, so make peace between your brothers; and keep from disobedience to God in reverence for Him and piety (particularly in your duties toward one another as brothers), so that you may be shown mercy (granted a good, virtuous life in the world as individuals and as a community, and eternal happiness in the Hereafter). [Al-Hujurat:10]

 

Allah created me to serve Him, to serve Him is to uphold my duties to my brothers and sisters. Recent events have shown that unity even at it's smallest levels can cause great changes, as a Muslim I should be advocating unity at a great level, to make exceptional changes. Allah has given me the gift of Islam, I should use it to my greatest potential.

 

May Allah protect us all, my brothers and sisters.

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Some good stuphph here, and jazaks. I've been obsessed with a 'functional' definition of 'ummah' since college. My ideas were all organization-based, however. I think this is a much more helpful way to view it.

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Some good stuphph here, and jazaks. I've been obsessed with a 'functional' definition of 'ummah' since college. My ideas were all organization-based, however. I think this is a much more helpful way to view it.

 

Thank you for the kind reply brother :)

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According to (Bediuzzaman )Said Nursi taken from a lecture given in 1911 in the Umayid mosque. (http://www.nur.org/treatise/biography/from_Bediuzzamans_life08.htm)

 

 

"In the conditions of the present time in these lands, I have learnt a lesson in the school of mankind's social life and I have realized that what has allowed Europeans to fly towards the future on progress while it arrested us and kept us, in respect of material development, in the Middle Ages are six dire sicknesses. The sicknesses are these:

 

"Firstly, the coming to life and rise of despair and hopelessness in social life. Secondly, the death of trutltfulness in social and political life. Thirdly, love of enmity. Fourthly, not knowing the luminous bonds that bind the believers to one another. Fifthly, despotism, which spreads like various contagious diseases. And sixthly, restricting endeavour to what is personally beneficial.�22

 

***

 

Bediuzzaman points out some of the destructive results of despair, which he describes as "a most grievous sickness" which "has entered the heart of the world of Islam." He says that it was despair that had destroyed the morale of Muslims, so that the Europeans had been able to dominate them and make them their captives for the preceding four hundred years. And it was despair that had killed their high morality, and caused them to abandon the public good for personal benefit. And despair had even caused them to use "the indifference and despondence of others" as "an excuse for their own laziness," and "to abandon the courageousness of belief, and neglect their Islamic duties." He says that despair "is the quality and pretext of cowards, the base, and the impotent." It cannot be the quality of the Arabs in particular, who are famous for their tenacity. He concludes the Word with a call to the Arabs to give up despair and stand in "true solidarity and concord" with the Turks, and "unfurl the banner of the Qur'an in every part of the world."29

 

The Third Word is Truthfulness. This, says Bediuzzaman, is the basis and foundation of Islam. Truthfulness and honesty are the principles of Islam's social life. Hypocrisy, flattery and artifice, duplicity and double-dealing are all forms of lying. Unbelief in all its varieties is lying and falsehood, while belief is truthfulness and honesty. For this reason, there is a limitless distance between truth and falsehood. Like fire and light, they should not enter one another. But politics and propaganda have mixed and confused them, and as a result have confused man's achievements.

 

Bediuzzaman points out that this has happened with the passing of time, and that during the Era of Bliss, that is, the time of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), truthfulness and lying were as distant from one another as belief and unbelief. They have gradually drawn closer to each other, and now evil and lying have to some degree taken the stage. Salvation, he told them, is only to be found through honesty. Sometimes in the past lying may have been permissible, but since it was abused, now there are only two ways, not three. "Either truthfulness or silence."30

 

The Fourth Word is a call to Love and Brotherhood. Bediuzzaman says that "the thing most worthy of love is love, and the quality most deserving of enmity is enmity." For it is love that guarantees man's social life and ensures his happiness, while enmity and hatred have overturned his social life, and more than anything deserve to be loathed and shunned. The awesome evil and destruction of the two World Wars31 show that the time for enmity and hostility is finished, so that enemies, even, so long as they are not aggressive, should not attract the enmity of Muslims. Hell and Divine punishment are enough for them.

 

As for believers, Bediuzzaman says that sometimes arrogance or selfworship may cause a fellow-believer to be unjustly hostile towards them without realizing it. But this is to slight powerful causes of love, like belief, Islam, nationality, and humanity. If the causes of enmity are personal matters, these are like small stones; to nurture enmity towards a Muslim is a great error; it is like scorning the causes of love, which are as great as a mountain.32

 

In the Fifth Word, Bediuzzaman is urging the Arabs to take up their positions alongside the Turks as sentries of the sacred citadel of Islamic nationhood. We have already seen how Freedom and constitutionalism were serving and would serve to develop awareness of the sense of lslamic nationhood among Muslims. Here we learn more of why this was vital for the Islamic world. With his knowledge of the modem world and extraordinarily clear vision of the way it would take, Bediuzzaman explained to his listeners that at this time man's actions, either good or bad, very often do not remain with the doer, but have widespread consequences; one sin may become a hundred sins, and one good deed, a thousand good deeds. He explained it in the following way:

 

"Thus, through the bond of this sacred nationhood, all the people of Islam are like a single tribe. Like the members of a tribe, the groups and peoples of Islam are bound and connected to one another through Islamic brotherhood. They assist one another morally, and, if necessary, materially. It is as if all the groups of Islam are bound to each other with a luminous chain.

 

"If a member of one tribe commits a crime, all the members of the tribe are guilty in the eyes of another, enemy, tribe. It is as though each member of the tribe had committed the crime so that the enemy becomes the enemy of all of them. That single crime becomes like thousands of crimes. And if a member of the tribe performs a good act which is the cause of pride affecting the heart of the tribe, all its members take pride in it. It is as if each person in the tribe feels proud at having done that good deed.

 

"Thus, it is because of this fact that at this time, and particularly in forty to fifty years' time, evil and bad deeds will not remain with the perpetrator, rather, they will transgress the rights of millions of Muslims. Numerous examples of this shall be seen in forty to fifty years' time."

 

Then, after pointing out the damage caused by laziness and indifference, he says that since at this time good deeds also do not remain with the doer but "may be beneficial to millions of believers", "it is not the time to cast oneself on the bed of idleness..."

 

Bediuzzaman goes on to remind the Arabs of their responsibility as teachers and leaders towards the other, smaller Muslim groups and peoples, a responsibility they were neglecting through laziness. At the same time their good deeds are also great, he says, and predicts that in forty or fifty years' time, the different Arab peoples would "enter upon exalted circumstances... like those of the United States of America", and would be "successful in establishing Islamic rule in half the globe... If some fearful calamity does not soon erupt, the coming generation shall see it, God willing."

 

However, Bediuzzaman immediately continues: "Beware, my brothers! Do not fancy or imagine that I am urging you with these words to busy yourselves with politics. God forbid! The truth of Islam is above all politics. All politics may serve it, but no politics can make Islam a tool for itself."

 

And then: "With my faulty understanding, I imagine Islamic society at this time in the form of a factory containing many wheels and machines. Should one wheel fall behind or encroach on another wheel, which is its fellow, the machine's mechanism ceases to function. Thus, the exact time for Islamic unity is beginning. It necessitates not paying attention to one anther�s faults."

 

That is to say, Bediuzzaman is saying that Islamic supremacy will be won through the material and technological progress achieved through the unity and co-operation of all the different components, that is, the groups and peoples, that make up the Islamic world.

 

As we saw when looking at Bediuzzaman's Debates with the Kurdish tribes, he considered that the Europeans had taken from the Muslims some of their high moral values and made them the means of their progress, while giving them their own corrupt morals in return. The willingness to sacrifice everything, even one's life, for one's nation was among these. Bediuzzaman says it was "the firmest foundation in their progress." He then points out that through the idea of nationhood, "an individual becomes as valuable as a nation. For a person's value is relative to his endeavor. If a person's endeavor is his nation, that person forms a miniature nation on his own." Whereas, "Because of the heedlessness of some of us and the Europeans' damaging characteristics that we have acquired, and, despite our strong and sacred Islamic nationhood, through everyone saying: `Me! Me!', and considering personal benefits and not the nation's benefits, a thousand men have fallen to become like one man."33

 

The Sixth Word, or sixth constituent of the cure Bediuzzaman is pre- scribing for the Islamic world is mutual consultation, as enjoined by the verse, "Whose rule is consultation among themselves."34 We have already discussed this "fundamental principle" in some detail; here, Bediuzzaman describes it as "the key to Muslims' happiness in Islamic social life", and stresses its importance as the basis of progress and scientific development, adding that one reason for Asia's backwardness was the failure to practice consultation. He then says it is "the key and discloser of the continent of Asia and its future," and that, "just as individuals should consult one another, so also must nations and continents practise consultation." This is be- cause, as we have also seen, it was Freedom in accordance with the Seriat - which is born of the consultation enjoined by the Seriat - that would liberate lslam from the various forms of tyranny to which it was subjected, and "cast out the evils of dissolute Western civilization."

 

To conclude, Bediuzzaman explains that it is the sincerity and solidarity that result from consultation which make it the means of life and progress. For, "three men between whom there is true solidarity may benefit the nation as much as a hundred men. Many historical events inform us that as a result of true sincerity, solidarity, and consultation, ten men may perform the work of a thousand men."35

 

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Mo- May Allah keep you sincere for His sake, ameen.

 

Sayyid Naquib al-Attas, a profound Muslim thinker has written that Globalization and the idea of the nation-state has made Muslims think in those terms and thus, pan-Islamism has surfaced in the guise, "We must think of the ummah!" The truth is this has proven to be largely ineffective and an approach to Islam that goes nowhere. Rather, we should focus on the individual believer, because each individual believer is the unit of change of the ummah, whether good or bad, and so we must not think about doing things on an ummah-scale but rather an individual scale.

 

When we make it easy for the individual Muslim to come closer to Allah, then we automatically bring the whole ummah closer to Allah. So we must focus on the individual believer on an everyday level. Our sins are a cause for the punishment of the ummah, so when I sin, it is not just a punishment for me, but for our brothers and sisters too since others are often affected by our actions. So again, we must focus on preserving the eman and taqwa of the individual Muslim, if we are truly sincere in helping the ummah.

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Yeah, somehow I appreciate it for all it's diversity and can't really grasp that were one ummah because of the national divides. Helping Muslims locally can definitely help me with that though.

Thanks for bringing it up!

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According to (Bediuzzaman )Said Nursi taken from a lecture given in 1911 in the Umayid mosque. (http://www.nur.org/treatise/biography/from_Bediuzzamans_life08.htm)

 

Thank you for sharing that lecture, I agree with some of his ideas on what makes the Ummah fall apart, but a national identity is still an important factor I think for things such as language and cultural history, the rest of it however is brilliant.

Mo- May Allah keep you sincere for His sake, ameen.

 

Sayyid Naquib al-Attas, a profound Muslim thinker has written that Globalization and the idea of the nation-state has made Muslims think in those terms and thus, pan-Islamism has surfaced in the guise, "We must think of the ummah!" The truth is this has proven to be largely ineffective and an approach to Islam that goes nowhere. Rather, we should focus on the individual believer, because each individual believer is the unit of change of the ummah, whether good or bad, and so we must not think about doing things on an ummah-scale but rather an individual scale.

 

When we make it easy for the individual Muslim to come closer to Allah, then we automatically bring the whole ummah closer to Allah. So we must focus on the individual believer on an everyday level. Our sins are a cause for the punishment of the ummah, so when I sin, it is not just a punishment for me, but for our brothers and sisters too since others are often affected by our actions. So again, we must focus on preserving the eman and taqwa of the individual Muslim, if we are truly sincere in helping the ummah.

Ameen brother, Jazakhallhu Khair for the du'a. I came to realise that with the Ummah, it is a start small think big idea to improve it, as helping your brothers and sisters who are around you is where to start in order to rebuild the Ummah.

 

 

:unsure:

I kind of like the Ummah. except for the messed up parts.

 

It's a beautiful thing, the thing that makes me most sad is the amount of divide amongst Muslims out of lack of brotherhood and sisterhood.

 

Yeah, somehow I appreciate it for all it's diversity and can't really grasp that were one ummah because of the national divides. Helping Muslims locally can definitely help me with that though.

Thanks for bringing it up!

 

It's hard to believe, but one day Inshallah we will all be united because we should be able to recognize a fellow Muslim through their actions.

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Thank you for sharing that lecture, I agree with some of his ideas on what makes the Ummah fall apart, but a national identity is still an important factor I think for things such as language and cultural history, the rest of it however is brilliant.

Is this on his point on Muslim unity?

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W should have an MM challenge!

For 24 hours, live and do everything they way an ideal Muslim would. (the way you'd ideally like to be).

Because I know were always trying to do better but forget a lot of things, so if it's a challenge then we just focus on it for a day to feel how it would be. Each decision would have to be double-thought..

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