The questions about Ideology and Humanity have to be answered correctly if a society aspires to grow.
Is it sane to believe that we are (1) Allah’s dearest or that (2) we are superior to the rest of mankind? Is there one good reason for us to believe so? (1) Superior is a positive qualification, which means higher in merit or status. Are we higher in any of these values than the rest of mankind? What area of value is that? (2) Allah’s dearest means Allah looks after us more than He does others, that He protects us against tragedies, promotes us over others. If that is the meaning of dearest, can we show one area of life where Allah seems to hold us dearest?
We are told that Allah has placed us in adversity because He is testing our loyalty; that He tests those He loves most. It is interesting to note that Allah did not place into adversity the first generations of Muslims who were the dearest to Him according to our faith. Only a few Meccan companions of Rasoolallah (PBHU) were tested in pain for 13 years and then amply rewarded with the best that humans can dream of. The Muslims of Medina and the millions who joined them after the victory of Mecca were not “tested” similarly. Later on Allah did not test Muslims for a thousand years when they ruled the world, although they were no better than us. Does that mean they were not Allah’s darlings like we are?
If Allah said to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) about his companions and other Muslims who lived in his times that they were the best of mankind, how does that apply to people living 14 centuries afterwards?
The Noble Qur’an says in several verses: had Allah wished, He would have placed all of mankind in one religion; that they will forever continue to disagree. Is that without Allah’s permission? If Allah wills all humans to be Muslims or wills Muslims to be above others, can people make their choices against His will? On the contrary, if He has bestowed Free Will upon humans, does not that mean that they have His permission to think and choose?
There are 6 billion people who do not believe in Islam, whereas those who believe are said to be 1.3 billion, almost 18 percent of mankind. And we the 18 percent of the world are backward, incompetent and mindless; we have improved nothing and invented nothing in centuries. Does Allah need this uncreative minority to help Him against the highly creative majority? Does Allah need anybody’s help? Is it not “Shirk” to think so?
In a reply to this question, the ulama tell us that Allah does not need any help; but it is for our own benefit to keep our isolation and reject other religions and communities with hate. For what benefit, one may ask. Does benefit mean progress and prosperity? Of course yes, because everyone including Muslims accepts that meaning. Love of the latest facility burns in our soul equally strong. As we become more prosperous and “pious”, our drive to grab more of the world grows deeper, although nothing of this world is of our making, not a needle, not a concept, not a system. How will isolation and hate bring us benefit? Is it honorable to live on the work of others without contributing our part?
Yet despite all the avarice for physical comfort and pleasure we keep boasting of our spirituality, debunking the progress and materialism of “Western Heretics”. In a bid to divert attention from human rights in modern societies, our Ulama feed young Muslim minds with stories of Western “prejudice against Muslims” while they carefully conceal how Muslims treat Muslims or Arabs treat Non-Arab Muslims. A non-Arab Muslim cannot be a citizen or a green card holder in an Arab country even after serving there for a life time. Whatever his merit, he remains an employee or a dependant partner.
Americans, Latin Americans, Europeans, Russians, Chinese, Indians and Australians form about two third of mankind. They separate personal faith from collective affairs of their societies; they have strong, law abiding, peaceful and creative societies with great hopes of a brighter future; they have been growing from one level of human dignity to the next higher for centuries; is it not a reward from their Lord for their work?
We, in most of our lands, especially in Pakistan, rise every morning to see a doomsday rising on us; our lands are dominated either by corrupt crooks or parasites or by target-killers and self-blasting robots; we have been descending from one level of disgrace to the next lower for centuries with no hope of recovery; can we call ourselves the blessed of Allah?
Does the Creator of Mankind hate so many of his people? When we assert that Muslim male is the noblest creature walking through this jungle, we indirectly mean to say that Allah hates the rest of mankind; for, had he liked them, He would have made all of them into Muslim males. Why did he create them if he did not like them? Did the Holy Prophet of Islam or Qur’an teach us to hate everyone who is different than us? Most of Muslims do not believe so.
That brings us to the question what is progress or the blessing of Allah? Our religious teachers keep telling us that the progress means growing deeper into religion. “Life in this world is a test of how you obey Allah, so prepare for the life after death”. What does that mean? That means moving away from your life, instead of obeying the laws Allah made for this world. We know very well that Islam told us to strive for both the worlds, for life here and the life hereafter. Can we attain our goals of this life without learning the laws of the universe?
But do these leading ideologues move away from “Worldly life”? Do they shun wealth? Do they only pray for health without going to the best hospital in the world? Don’t they send their sons to the best educational institutions? Do they ride donkeys and camels instead of the latest SUVs and Boeings? Do they send their own sons for suicide blasts in the path of Allah?
Comments from Author
This is my blog “Growing with the world (Part 2)” Dawn was under great pressure for the first part, so they could not publish this one (part 2, which raised some questions). I stopped writing for Dawn to spare them the embarrassment. But I feel many friends may be interested in reading and discussing these questions. Urdu version is right after this English version.
Part one is here
Growing with the world -i
اسکا اوردو ورژن یہاں پڑھیں
This blog is part 2 of a four-part series that attempts to bring to light some obvious answers in Muslim societies.