The Moral Dilemma:
Today’s Muslim, Yesterday’s Hero?
Part 1 - 2
By Dr. Ahmed Adam
The recent events against the Muslim Ummah on a global scale have served as a catalyst for Muslims throughout the world to do a lot of soul searching & introspection. The word “Islam” means “peace”. One therefore questions the motives of the people who are labeling a peaceful nation of Muslims who subscribe to the beautiful religion of Islam as “terrorists”, “fundamentalists”, “mullahs in flowing robes”, “Islamic extremists”, “radicals” & “vigilantes.” Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, not because it is a “terrorist” organization, but simply because the logic, reason, beauty and simplicity of this religion sets up vibrations in the chords of the heart and touches the very soul of everyone who is introduced to this religion with a clear unbiased mind. Each and every Muslim is caught up in the myth that “Muslims are terrorists.” This portrayal is not only biased and unfair, but it is based on erroneous or deliberate mis-representation of what Islam is and what a Muslim stands for, and is an insult to each and every peace – loving Muslim.
THE CURRENT SCENARIO
1) THE PLIGHT OF MUSLIMS: Muslims throughout the world are suffering in various forms and degrees of oppression and hardship. Many hundreds of thousands of Muslims have died as a result of being innocent bystanders in military conflict. Furthermore, many millions of Muslims throughout the world are suffering from sanctions, boycotts, starvation & a slow death. Many Muslims throughout the world are shackled in the chains of ignorance and poverty and regional and national divisions and sectarianisms which projects the image of a divided Ummah. Personality differences lead to wars. The suffering of neighbouring Muslim countries is ignored and the plight of the Ummah on a global scale is not being treated aggressively and immediately. There appear to be too many hurdles to ignite the flame in the warm, burning embers of the Ummah. On the positive side, Muslims throughout the World contribute generously in money and time if and when the need arises in times of catastrophes.
2) THE HOLY CITIES: Saudi Arabia, contains the Holiest Cities on earth , namely Medeena & Makkah. These two sites are tarnished by the permanent occupation of American soldiers in the near vicinities to these cities; these American soldiers are pampered with disco’s and brothels. An American with an American passport has a VIP status and can move freely between the various cities and towns in Saudi Arabia while a Muslim visitor to this country is not given this same status and is severely restricted.
3) PALESTINE: Masjid-ul –Aqsa is the 3rd Holiest Mosque in the Muslim World. It is in the midst of an ongoing war for many decades; the Muslims fighting this battle have been on the receiving end of “Apartheid” style living conditions unemployment, inferior citizen status, humiliation, victimization, torture, starvation and death (these atrocities have been going on for decades and all Muslims in that area are affected irrespective of man, woman, child or the elderly); the Muslims are deprived of an adequate water supply; their underground water tables are being deliberately contaminated; their Jewish neighbours have abundant supply of water with which they water their gardens, while the Muslims are suffering from thirst daily. The Muslims are suffering and dying simply because they want to fight for the freedom of the Holy City of Jerusalem; Masjid-ul Aqsa is the node from which the Holy Prophet Muhammad, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam ascended to the Heavens in his famous Night Journey. Surely, the importance of this sacred event is not unknown to the West. Surely, the entire Muslim Ummah, can identify with the cause of the Palestines. Surely, the suffering of the Muslims in Palestine and everywhere else, is a suffering which all Muslims identify with. Why the delay in finding an acceptable solution? Who stands to benefit the most if this situation is delayed? Who is suffering the most while a settlement has not yet been reached? Why is the rest of the Islamic World unable to unite in their total condemnation of this unacceptable situation? Why is the rest of the free world not condemning this totally unacceptable situation, purely on humanitarian grounds? Is it because the victims are Muslim? Are Muslims regarded as inferior?
4) OPPRESSORS: Right–minded people must always ask the question: when a peace – loving people or a nation, suddenly takes up arms to fight a cause, always ask the question “ Why?” The answer is that when a peaceful nation starts to fight, there is usually an oppressor nearby.
Muslims have access to the Best Book (Glorious Qur`aan) and the Best Example (Holy Prophet Muhammad, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam). With these two powerful tools, we should have been the leaders for all mankind. We were the best at one stage in our history. Where and why did we lose our momentum? We can once again be the best (the tools are still with us).The following questions immediately spring to mind :
1) Why are Muslims being oppressed?
2) Why are Muslims throughout the world suffering many forms of hardship and suffering in general?
3) Why do Muslim nations not unite and speak in one voice? Are we united?
4) Where are the Muslim Nations? where is Muslim leadership?
5) How did we lose our leading edge as being the leaders of the world? Muslims have a glorious and illustrious history. At one stage, our ancestors led the entire world in technology, mathematics, science, religion, military strategy, intellectual wealth, to name but a few. Other nations learnt from the early Muslims , and have maintained their lead .In the last 100 years, what technological or other advances have the Muslims made: have they shown their leadership in any sphere?
6) Why are Muslim youth (tomorrows leaders) losing not only their culture, but more importantly, basic Islamic values?
7) Why is the average Muslim generally ignorant about Islam?
8) Why is the average Muslim generally ignorant about religions other than Islam?
9) Why do we know so little about our religion that we cannot defend ourselves when Islam is criticised? Is it our lack of self-esteem or is it
10) Is there a concerted effort by the “West” and by “America” to destroy Islam or are we being paranoid?
11) Why do we try and do everything “American” or emulate the “west”; is it to boost our self-esteem or do we think that ‘west’ is better than ‘east’ or is it simply a matter of powerful TV and media indoctrination?
There is no doubt that the First World Countries such as America, are leading the world in many spheres such as pioneering the frontiers into space (NASA), leading technology, education, health, economic and financial stability and strength, military prowess, a very high literacy level etc etc. Because of these various successes, other countries and nations try and emulate America in everything in the fervent desire that thereby the successes can be replicated. However, the weakness in this scenario is that even though America and other 1st World countries have achieved phenomenal successes in many spheres, there is one sphere in which they are lacking far behind; they are morally and spiritually bankrupt. However, the perception and message that is transmitted on a daily basis is that everything “American” is something worth aspiring for, and emulating. Nations are encouraged to discard their “archaic cultures “ and “medieval outdated religions” and turn to the west for success. Unfortunately, this strategy is paying dividends because many of our youth are being brainwashed into subscribing to the “America Dream” and thereby treading dangerous waters in their quest to “succeed” at the expense of sacrificing their Islamic values. Some commentators are of the opinion that there is a “concerted, deliberate” attempt to destroy our youth. This may well be the case. However, no one is forcing our youth to do anything. As humans, we all have a choice. When we pray Soorah Al-Faatihah, wherein we beseech Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala to “Show us the Straight Path”, we are faced with the following choices:
Straight Path- What Islam teaches us
Wrong Path – against Islamic teachings (call it “West” or “American” or other generic name)
Do not drink alcohol
Alcohol is fine
Do not gamble
Gambling is encouraged
Do not commit adultery
Adultery and multiple partners is allowed
Pre-marital sex (Zinna) is forbidden
“free – for- all”
Pray for success in this world & the Hereafter
This world is all that matters
The Prophet Muhammad, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam is our role model & hero
Role models are Pop Stars, Movie moguls, & millionaires
The Qur`aan is our Guide and Life Book
No set of guidelines
Only Halaal food is permissible
Eat anything & everything
Sodomy is forbidden
Gay liberation; homosexuality is justified
Guard your modesty and avoid looking at the private sections of other people
Pornography is fashionable
Pray regular salaah
Sunday Church is fine; we have replaced this with our “Friday Prayers”; some of us explain to our fellow non-Muslim colleagues that we are going to “Church”; why are we shy to use the word “Masjid”
Stealing is a punishable offence
A good lawyer finds you “innocent”
Lower your gaze
The above are just some of the choices that we have to make on a regular basis. No one can force us to gamble or to drink alcohol. It is our choice. The world is full of temptations on a daily basis; these temptations are meant to distract you and I from worshipping Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, and to deviate us from the Straight Path. However, neither America, nor the West nor anyone is forcing us to make these choices. The choice is yours and mine. We are answerable for the choices that we make in life.
1. There is no denying that we can learn a lot from many 1st World countries;
2. The solution lies in being very selective in choosing what we want to acquire;
3. The starting point of our success lies in deciding that the Glorius Qur`aan is our Life Book and that the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet
Muhammad, Sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam is the only role model that we will emulate;
4. Having committed ourselves to (3) above, it then becomes less confusing to decide what is “acceptable” and what is not;
5. We as adults have to be very clear what guidelines to give our children (our future leaders); do we allow them to watch porn, visit
prostitutes and go gambling? do we allow them to go to rave & disco parties because their friends are going? What standards do we set
based on what Islam teaches us, not what the TV fools us into believing?