By Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam
02 February 2017
(Co-author (Jointly with Ashfaque Ullah Syed), Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA, 2009.)
In one of his articles referenced below, the author had expressed his profound disappointment and disgust with the Ulema of Islam for their reluctance to launch a thunderous protest and take out street processions to denounce or even outlaw ISIS for slaughtering innocent non-Muslims and even Muslims calling out Allah u Akbar:
The Shamelessness of Ulema of Islam in Bearing with the Penultimate Blasphemy by ISIS Brutes without a Thunderous Global Protest Is Despicable
Through this essay he is registering his profound disappointment with a selective set of Muslim community leaders of America whom he had sent a series of e-mails to provoke a furious and visible denunciation of ISIS as a gesture of their solidarity with the non-Muslims, who are selectively killed and brutalized by this monstrous outfit. More than a year ago he made a compelling appeal to this select group, supported by forceful arguments to organize massive protest (rallies) against ISIS in some of the major American cities with sizeable Muslim populations, with participants carrying banners with slogans extracted from Dr. Morrow’s Fatwa that reads as follows:
ISIS/Takfiris Are Friends of Satan, the Enemies of Allah and His Messenger, Foremost In Shirk, Hypocrisy and Apostasy and No Muslim Must Support Them in Any Form or Fashion
But all was in vain. The result is just beginning to unfold with banning of all nationals (Muslims) of seven Muslim majority countries from travelling to America and blocking the Syrian immigrants from entering America. The author had forewarned this in these words:
“Put ting in one word ISIS ideology has rocked the foundation of Islam. If not outlawed, those opposed to Islam will capitalize on it to impose increasing restrictions on Muslims and more of Muslim lands will be invaded, occupied and Muslims in the secular, Western, and Muslim minority countries will be increasingly marginalized, if not persecuted. It must be corrected before the Muslims are forced to do so.”
Coming to the crux of the matter, the Muslim leadership must take lesson from the Christians and non-Muslims who are protesting against the travel ban on their behalf since the signing of the Executive Order just a few days ago. They are taking to streets, flocking the airports, carrying banners against the ban and giving speeches with fury and passion to show their solidarity with the Muslims. Therefore, the Muslim leadership worldwide must take any instance of a terror attack against the non-Muslims very seriously, organise massive protest rallies condemning and outlawing terrorism, and showing their deep concern for and solidarity with the victims and offering mass prayers for the them.
By a totally unforeseeable turn of events, the Muslims have earned the sympathy of the Western world and are projected as victims rather than oppressors. This is indeed a blessing in disguise and demolishes the rapidly emerging notion of clash of civilization. World Muslim leaders must respond in the like manner and exploit the travel ban as a means to diffuse anti-Western sentiments in their communities. The Muslims of the world must understand that as at this moment, they are in the good books of a large section of the Western population despite the rising tide of Islamophobia for more than two decades. Hence all efforts must be made by all concerned to diffuse radicalisation and root out terrorism in the name of Islam.
In one word, with the turn of events, the Muslims must conduct themselves as good human being and show as much concern for the others as the others are showing for them in the capitals of the Western world and in the courts of America today. There is a lesson in it for the Muslim leadership and God-sent opportunity as well to change the course of civilization from heading towards a clash to taking the path of rapprochement. They have to tell their fellow Muslims that Islam is not in danger. The Christians and the non-Muslims who are selflessly agitating against the travel ban on their behalf have hijacked the true spirit of Islam – service to humanity and excellence in lawful pursuits and left the Muslims with the title of Islam without any great urge to serve humanity or passion for excellence. Therefore the Muslims need not fight to defend their faith or their Prophet. They have to fight their way in the arena of life in the most peaceful manner, excel in lawful pursuits, establish themselves as respectable citizens and serve their community and their nation, and should be a source of comfort to others and not a cause of fear – as they stand today.
To lend legitimacy to my exhortation to rapprochement let me quote the following verses from the Qur’an dating from its concluding period:
“O People! We have created you as male and female, and made you into races and communities* for you to get to know each other. The noblest among you near God are those of you who are the most heedful (morally upright). Indeed God is All-Knowing and Informed” (49:13).
“... And let not the hatred of a people who (once) obstructed you from (entering the) Sacred House, lead you to be hostile. Therefore, help each other to virtue and uprightness, and do not collaborate with each other in sin and enmity. Heed God, and (remember,) God is severe in punishment” (5:2).
“It may be that God will bring about love between you and those of them you (now) regard as your enemies. (Remember,) God is Able (to do anything) and God is Most Forgiving and Merciful (60:7)
Let no ignorant, traitor or twister of faith say that these verses are from an early (Meccan) phase of revelation and abrogated. They all are from the concluding phase of the revelation and reflect Islamic vision of “a universal brotherhood of humanity that will allow people of diverse faith, culture, colour and language to live together, to know each other and to assist each other to make life easy and peaceful for all human beings” [Ch. 9.7, Essential Message of Islam]
May God guide Muslim leaders to the upright path.
Muhammad Yunus, a Chemical Engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, and a retired corporate executive has been engaged in an in-depth study of the Qur’an since early 90’s, focusing on its core message. He has co-authored the referred exegetic work, which received the approval of al-Azhar al-Sharif, Cairo in 2002, and following restructuring and refinement was endorsed and authenticated by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl of UCLA, and published by Amana Publications, Maryland, USA, 2009.