Worthless Children of Worthy Parents By Aremu Lateef Olalekan
During the reign of Caliph Harun Rasheed, a Muslim woman was being kidnapped in an area around the present day Paris. While her kidnapper took her away, she shouted: where are you Harun Rasheed?. A Muslim trader who witnessed the kidnap went back to Baghdad and reported the incident to the Caliph. Harun Rasheed (the caliph) wrote to the Roman Emperor thus: to you the Roman dog! I demand the release of a Muslim woman kidnapped by your dog. If this woman is not returned to Baghdad in three days, I will raise against you an army that craves death more than you crave life. The woman was released and was returned safely to Baghdad by the Roman army.
Such was the power of Muslims in the past. Such was the power wielded by our ancestors that a mere threat bearing note can send shivers down the spine of the enemies and make them submit to the bidding of the Muslims. Those were the days we were the guiding lights of the world. Those were the days our scholars were the toast of every court and palace. Those were the days every idea and principles emanate from the Muslim world. The Muslim empire spread, flourished and then the decline started.
Muslims around the world are clamouring for help today; looking to the unusual places for succour. We are today the object of ridicule. We are today always at the receiving end of oppressive rules. We have been left at the mercy of our oppressors. Muslims are trampled upon all over the world. We are being killed as if our blood holds no value. The slogan today is “in as much as it is a Muslim blood, spill as much as you can”. Stories about us always carry negativity. In places where we have human representation, we are made to be second class citizens even in lands that had hitherto belong to us or what are we in Palestine, in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in the Maghreb states?.
But one might ask: if Muslims wielded such power as described above in the past, what happened that we are now relegated to the back seat in the international scene today? Is it that the Muslims have had our own share of the temporal bliss of world dominance and blew our chances? or are we simply paying for our shortcomings or perhaps we have simply deviated from the footpath of our predecessors and thus, Allah is punishing us for our disobedience and many excesses
Allah (SWT) said in the Quran” verily the soldiers shall prevail”. Such was the reality of this verse that the Roman commander Jajar reverted to Islam when his army of hundreds of thousands were subdued and humiliated by a handful of non professional Muslim soldiers led by Khalid bin Walid (the sword of Allah). But success did not come to the earliest Muslims on a platter of gold. They maintained internal cohesion and high moral discipline through strict adherence to Quran and Sunnah which made victory seem flawless to them. They made the utmost sacrifice and prepared the ground for the victories that came to them without desire. They subjected their will to the directives of Allah and his prophet. They allow the Quran and Sunnah to guide their affairs and victory come to them without desire.
However, the latter generality of Muslims allow internal failings such as greed, lust after power and betrayal to destroy our golden inheritance. The latter generations are worthless children of worthy parents. The situation became so worst that the moderate scholar Muhammad Abduhu wrote; I went to the west, there was Islam but no Muslims and I went to the east, there were Muslims but no Islam. Our inability to hold our house together, internal division over issues as trivial as whether suratul fatiha should be recited when praying behind an Imam is over blown and allowed to create wide gulf between Muslims. It is now a common place to hear a Muslim say: I am a Sunni or I am Shiite and even in worse scenarios: I am a Tijjaniyyat or Ibrahimmiyat. Even amongst those who shared the same thinking, greed and corruption lead to betrayal and hence the general well being of the Muslims is neglected for trivial issue.
It is on record that most Islamic groups failed due to internal betrayal than any external onslaught. For instance, Jamal Deen Nasr betrayed the Muslim brotherhood and even jailed prominent members of the movement notable among them,: Sayyid kutb (the author of The Milestone) and Zainab Algazzalli (the author of the return of pharaoh). And also sent other prominent members like Muhammad Kutb who later mentored Dr. Ayman Azawahiri into exile. External forces only capitalised on our inner failings. It is also to be noted that the US and her allied forces ride on the back of the northern alliance to oust the Taliban government in Afghanistan. In Syria, Egypt and other troubled zones in the Muslim world, internal wrangling have created loopholes that external forced have capitalised on to dominate and oppress us.
Muslims need to look inward and correct ourselves. We can’t keep dividing the ummah and still hope for victory. We need to dedicate ourselves to the deen. Muslims must shun corruption and internal bickering. Then victory will come to us without much effort. May Allah forgive us and guide us onto the right path.
Aremu Lateef Olalekan is a serving corp member in Gombe state Nigeria
@aremulateef1 on twitter
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