Acquisition of Power: A Panacea to the Problem of Muslims? By Aremu Lateef Olalekan
The late revered Islamic scholar; Sheik Adam Abdullahi Al-Ilory wrote in his book ‘Islam today and tomorrow’ that a time will come when Muslims will be obsessed with establishing groups tto the extent that they will run out of names and then will name their groups Salalahu Alaehi Wasalam. The prophecy seems to be coming true as there are many groups today as there is many Muslims in the world today.
Yusuf Alchekoury wrote in his book ‘Islamic fundamentalism’ that the objectives of Islamic groups are as follows
To return Islam to its pristine state
To discourage taqlid (blind follower ship) and encourage ijtihad (reasoning)
Ensure the protection of the ummah through acquisition of political power
What has always been the question on my lips is how much protection has these groups offered the ummah? Even in places where they have acquired political power like in the magreb states and the instance of the Taliban in Afghanistan before their fall. If the groups that had succeeded in grabbing power in the past and present had been unable to liberate the ummah; then the question is; is acquisition of political power the solution to the problem of the ummah? In my opinion, it is not. The modern Muslim is all after acquisition of power but fail to ask the question whether acquisition of power is the solution to the present predicaments of the Muslim ummah.
The attainment of political power on its own neither solves the problem of the ummah nor provides methodology for its reform. The quest for power in order to merely apply our legal heritage is a pursuit in futility. Had our problem started with the western invasion of our lands and the fall of the caliphate, there would have been some justification (however flimsy) in viewing access to political power as a solution. But the fact is that our problems started before the western invasion of our lands under the very Muslim caliphs. The subsequent mongol invasion from the east and the crusaders from the west only compounded our problems. The consequences of these occurrences and contemporary issues such as the Palestinian and Afghanistan struggles and the general battle for the liberation of Muslim lands, the Arab Spring, the war on terror and anti-Islamic campaigns were just manifestation of our inner failings. One disguised in tempting titles such as caliphate and sultanate.
The assumption of political power alone, especially when achieved through un-islamic means cannot therefore be prerequisite for reforms. Rather, reform must start with addressing ourselves to the numerous problems which caused our decline. We must bear in mind that the root of the crisis lies in our thoughts and practice as they deviate from the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah.
The cohesion and victory of this ummah cannot come from acquisition of power through unislamic means as the failure of the “Taliban” in Afghanistan and the “Muslim brotherhood” in Egypt had shown us. The cohesion and victory of this ummah will be based on what brought about the well being of the earliest ummah. The strong adherence to the Quran and Sunnah will bring about the cohesion and victory we so much desired. We must apply the ways of the earliest ummah to the present and victory will come to us without struggle. In other words, we need to apply the methodology of our predecessors to the present in its state of chaos. Then, we will achieve victory and cohesion. May Allah forgive our shortcomings and guide us onto the right path.
Aremu Lateef Olalekan is serving Corp member in Gombe state, Nigeria
@aremulateef1 on twitter
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