Quarterly: Issue No 27
CHANGES IN THE UMMAH
UMMATI – "My Ummah". This was the call and slogan of love of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), his deep love for his Ummah caused him to always call out - Ummati, Ummati. The revolution of the Ummah in relation to this cry of "Ummati" does not have for its goal, worldly revolution. Thus the term ‘revolution’ must not be understood in the context of worldly change and revolution. Although a discussion regarding the mundane revolution of the Ummah is not futile, nevertheless, the dimension of change falling within the purview of our discussion here is Deeni Revolution. The change or revolution which is the aim and goal of Islam has no affinity and no relationship with the kind of mundane changes which have overtaken the Ummah.
A study of the life conditions of a negligent Ummati in relation to the detailed laws and rules of the Shari’ah will produce the stunning revelation that there is absolutely no affinity and connection between the "Ummati" and the Shari’ah. The following are the constituent parts of our Deen: Aqaa’id (Beliefs), Diyaanaat (Salaah, Saum, Nikaah, Talaaq, etc.), Mu’aamalaat (Transactions, contracts, trade etc), Mu’aasharaat (social life, e.g. food, dress, speech, salaam, etc.) and Akhlaaq (Moral character).
Regarding Aqaa’id (Beliefs), it is indeed fortunate that the ‘revolution’ of rejection has not yet overtaken the Ummah. Beliefs are not completely rejected although some changes have taken place under cover of our Deen and Qur’an. The type of changes affected under cover of Deen fall within the scope of bid’ah (innovation). It is for the sake of bid’ah that the Ahle-Baatil (People of Falsehood) have become the opponents of the Ahle-Haqq (People of Truth) because of the latter’s endeavour to rectify the error of bid’ah. In short, the NUSOOS (Qur’an & Ahadeeth) have not been refuted, except by only a few Baatil sects like the Qadianis, Shiites and Anti-Hadith modernist groups. But the NUSOOS have definitely been subjected to baseless and erroneous interpretation (Ta’weel-e-Baatil).
The evil condition of baseless interpretation is the malady which has overcome the Ulama. But the modernists (i.e. the self-styled reformists, luminaries and western-educated Muslims) have transgressed further by having adopted the revolution of rejection as well. They not only baselessly interpret the NUSOOS, but reject these openly as well. In fact, they at times mock and jeer at the beliefs of Islam. As a result of their mocking and jesting at the basic Aqaa’id of our Deen, the Ulama-e-Haqq have labelled them with kufr. The modernist reactionaries in turn retaliated with epithets such as ‘bigots’ against the Ulama. But those aware of the nature of kufr will not be deluded. They will know that the Ulama had no choice in the matter. They are under Shar’i compulsion to proclaim such kufr. This, then, is the state of the ‘revolution’ which has overtaken the first constituent part of our Deen, viz. Aqaa’id.
Regarding the revolution in the second part, viz. Diyaanaat (Salaah, Saum, etc.), the masses have not brought a ‘revolution’ of bid’ah in it, i.e. they have not changed the actual acts and laws pertaining to the teachings in this part of the Shari’ah, but they have subjected it to neglect and omission. Their attitude of neglect towards this part of Deen is so marked that it conveys the impression that Salaah, Saum, etc., are not obligatory acts of worship. The same attitude of indifference has been adopted in regard to matters pertaining to Nikaah, Talaaq, etc. While accepting these issues to be integral parts of our Deen, as well as accepting the exposition and explanation of these issues given by the Ulama, the general public act on the basis of desire. In a conflict between a Deeni demand and the Nafs (personal selfish desires), the latter asserts its domination. For example: committing fornication, or living together as man and wife in spite of having administered three Talaaq. This condition of neglect, indifference and omission regarding the second constituent part of Deen applies to the masses. However, the modernists (the products of western education) have no hesitation in denying the validity of even these teachings and practices of our Deen.
The change which the remaining three parts of Deen, viz., Mu’aamalaat, Mu’aasharaat and Akhlaaq, have suffered is by far graver than the revolution which has overtaken the first two parts of Deen. Even the masses, due to negligence and sometimes ignorance, have excluded these three constituent parts from our Deen. These three parts are regarded as mundane affairs, matters applicable to only the world, and as such to be decided upon and chosen by opinion and fancy. Thus, impure motives and corruption of the heart have played havoc in these three fields of our Deen. This attitude of crookedness and corruption in understanding have brought into existence a new practice, a new custom and a new habit in opposition to almost every rule and demand of the Shari’ah in these three parts. A conglomeration of practices, customs and habits, having no affinity and sanction in the Shari’ah, now constitutes the way of life of the Ummah.
In having chosen an un-Islamic innovated way of life, the masses do not feel the slightest inhibition because they do not consider themselves to have erred in this respect. On the contrary, they proudly regard their newly adopted un-Islamic way of life as progress. In fact, they regard their personal practices, customs and ways which they have introduced in opposition to the Divine rules and etiquette of conduct to be superior to the Shari’ah. This attitude is amply demonstrated by their unbridled opposition they offer to those who call them towards the true Law and Way of life of a Muslim, viz., the Sunnah. This has indeed been a drastic change in the Ummah.
In the first two parts of our Deen (viz., Aqaa’id and Diyaanaat), the constituent parts were not exercised from our Deen nor were other beliefs and devotional acts of worship introduced in opposition to those of the Shari’ah. In other words, in so far as belief and practice are concerned, no Muslim considers any act or practice (which may have been innovated) to be superior to Salaah, Saum, etc. The changes in these two parts are in relation to baseless interpretation (Ta’weel-e-Baatil), neglect, omission and addition to the existing valid practices of Ibaadah. But, the gravity and magnitude of the changes in the latter three parts are so great that these, viz., Mu’aamalaat, Mu’aasharaat and Akhlaaq, have been actually detached and expelled from our Deen. After this excision, new rules and norms of conduct have been adopted in diametric opposition to the Shari’ah’s conduct and culture. To aggravate the issue, the newly adopted un-Islamic culture has been assigned superiority over the original culture of Islam. Thus the change brought in the latter three parts of our Deen are vastly greater and more drastic than the ‘revolution’ which the first two parts of our Deen have suffered.
The external manifestation and occurrence of changes in the latter three parts are both abundant and conspicuous. Aqaa’id (Beliefs), although compulsory, are not externally conspicuous. The change brought in beliefs is therefore less discernable. The occurrence of Diyaanaat (e.g. Salaah, Saum) is in specific times; hence the change in this parts too is relatively less abundant and conspicuous. But, the last three parts of our Deen (viz. Mu’aamalaat, Mu’aasharaat and Akhlaaq) are applicable at all times and in abundance since they govern every facet of man’s life and movement. Therefore, the change which these three parts underwent is abundant and very conspicuous. Indeed a great revolution of detriment has overtaken the latter three avenues of our Deen.
Due to the abundance and conspicuousness of this change, an observer will witness the transition and the great change in the members of the Ummah. The observer (acquainted with true and original Islamic culture) when witnessing this profound change constantly in a member of the Ummah who simultaneously sends up the slogan of "I am of the Ummah of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)" will indeed be astounded. He will be struck with surprise and wonder. He will ask: "On what does the claimant bases his slogan? In which respect and in what does he agree with Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)? On what does he stake his claim"?
Let us therefore be warned of our condition of degradation. We have to be alert. We have to wake up from our deep slumber. If we fail to wake up, then may Allah have mercy on us for deliberately ignoring this fact. If we have certainly realized our fallen state from the pedestal of glory, then we must realize that its reformation and its restoration to its former lofty state are incumbent upon us. If we indeed acknowledge this incumbency, then what are we waiting for? When will we commence with our spiritual reformation? Allah, the Exalted, says:
WHEN ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER HAVE DECIDED A MATTER, IT IS NOT FOR A BELIEVING MAN OR A BELIEVING WOMAN TO CLAIM FREEDOM OF CHOICE INSOFAR AS THEY THEMSELVES ARE CONCERNED: FOR HE WHO (THUS) REBELS AGAINST ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER HAS ALREADY, MOST OBVIOUSLY, GONE ASTRAY. (Surah A1-Ahzaab: 36)
NAY, BY THY SUSTAINER! THEY ARE NOT BELIEVERS (MU'MINOON) UNLESS THEY MAKE YOU (0 PROPHET) A JUDGE OF WHAT IS IN DISPUTE AMONG THEMSELVES, AND FIND IN THEMSELVES NO DISLIKE OF WHAT YOU HAVE DECIDED, AND SUBMIT THEMSELVES WITH FULL SUBMISSION. (Surah An-Nisaa: 65)
May Allah grant us the Tawfeeq to live our lives as a true Ummati of our beloved Prophet Muhammad. Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family and all his companions. Ameen!
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BELIEVERS
And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts) except from their wives or (captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame, but whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors; those who are faithfully true to their trusts and to their covenants; and those who strictly guard their (five compulsory) Salaah. These are indeed the inheritors. Who shall inherit the Firdaus, they shall dwell therein forever." (Surah Al-Mu’minoon; Chapter 23 : Verses 1-11).
I request your humble du'aas.
Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir
Umhlanga Rocks, KZN