Muslim youth of our times, generally, but of the non-Arab world particularly, seems to be quite in some confusion about itself, Islam and Muslims.
Why are the Muslims in steep decline: materially, morally and spiritually? Why are some Muslim states being clobbered by their enemies, without any succor coming from any quarter? What is the international law doing? Why are some Muslim countries behaving like tribute-paying vassal states executing policies dictated by the enemies of Islam and Muslims? Why is the Muslim youth being stereotyped by the media? Why are they spied on? Why are they picked up from homes and examination halls? Why are they being killed through fake encounters? If the so-called terrorist outfits do exist, why the governments do not close them down, instead of simply announcing, from to time to time, of their presence, giving the exact number of cells they operate from? The youth looks around, sniffs around, listens for any slip of the tongue, but fails to discover any Muslim who could be involved in any terrorist activities. So, what’s the meaning behind all the arrests? Is he himself safe, or can he too be picked up? He feels very insecure. Finally, why is the Muslim Ummah characterized by divisions, intolerance, in-fighting, ignorance, dishonesty, lethargy, and socio-economic backwardness?
These are questions that invade the Muslim youth’s mind like the invaders invading Muslim lands, and not finding any satisfactory answers after any amount of thinking, analyzing, and discussing with others, he feels dispirited, depressed and demoralized.
He feels the pain of being a Muslim.
In answer, we might point out that the story of the decline of the Ummah has long been in discussion, and has been sufficiently and severally written. There hasn’t been a scholar since more than a hundred years who has not discussed the issue and pointed out remedies. To summarize their writings might occupy a volume. We may, therefore, offer here a summary of summary.
To start with, it ought to be understood in clear terms that as it was predicted by some Western thinkers that as Western civilization declined, Islam could replace it as a civilization, (because there are no powerful contenders around), it has to do a lot of things to prevent that happen. In addition to that worry for the West, it should so happen that, quite unexpectedly, the Middle-East is discovered to have oil in plenty. It has become necessary for the West, therefore, that until it can juggle up a new civilization, it must contain Islam and Muslims, and, for reasons of oil, occupy its lands. Both are on-going processes.
Persecution of Muslims is part of the process over which the (Western and Eastern) historical enemies of Islam have struck consensus. One of the ideas is to demoralize the Muslims – especially the youth – so that they lose confidence in Islam and do not rise up as a moral force, and Islam does not present itself as an alternative to Western culture and civilization. The objective is also to destroy any resistance to the West’s invasion, occupation, and colonization of Muslim lands.
It should be obvious that because of the rejection of Islam as a living, thriving, and dynamic reality by a large chunk of Muslims, they cannot offer any meaningful resistance. They agree with many Western values and cannot understand what the struggle is about. But, despite their acceptance of defeat, and the effort to live in peace with the West and its culture, Islam spreads out in the Western lands, and, therefore, the pressure on the Muslims remains. It will last until the Muslims can rise up as one political and military force, enter into combat, and defeat the West and its Eastern allies, squarely. But that can only happen if they agree to accepting (and not declaring) Islam as the rallying point. Remove the commitment to Islam, and division occurs at the political and national level, and moral weaknesses at the individual level. Without this weapon of unity, they cannot withstand the attack on their lives, property and honor. Indeed, things could get worse for them.
To go slightly more in detail, it must be firmly understood that a major factor for the political and economic decline of the Ummah has been the general consensus of the Muslims over political disunity and division into small nation-states. It happened at the instigation of its enemies from within and without. The revolt against the Khilafah was a historical error, of deep and everlasting consequences. It had greed and hunger for power by individuals as the prime reason: Islamic considerations were not even the secondary reasons, and are not so even now. There is no regret.
The breakup into nation-states has so weakened each of its units that none can stand up in its own defense; so that a powerful enemy can, and does, enter forcibly into any country (barring a few), like knife into butter. The rest of the Muslim states dare not protest, far from helping the victim.
Although each of its units is weaker than the other, the weakest Muslim nation is Palestine where some land is lost to the enemy on a daily basis and some people get killed at close intervals. While that happens, rest of the Muslim nations look at it without being moved to the least. It’s like a sheep being slaughtered before others, and at most one or two of them bleat weakly, fearfully.
Secondly, the leadership of the Muslims, both political as well as intellectual, is in the hands of those who are educated, trained, and brainwashed by the Western system of thoughts, ideas, and culture. The Western system douses cold waters of doubts, skepticism and uncertainty on their faith, self-confidence and self-trust. It also injects into them good amount of slavery, so that intellectually, culturally and spiritually, Muslim leaders and the elite are its slaves and imitators. They are blind of eyes, closed of minds, and sealed of hearts.
They (the political and intellectual leaders) wear the skins of Arabs, Asians, Africans, Far East, and so forth, but their hearts, minds and purses are Western. Their faith in Islam lies dormant at the bottom of their hearts. Not only their beliefs, thoughts, and actions are Western, but they sympathize with the Western problems. Only a few of their behavioral attitudes are influenced by Islam. It is during rituals of birth, death and marriage alone that Islam is remembered, otherwise it stands sidelined.
Whatever position their individuals occupy as educators, government officers, men in uniform, journalists, writers, ideologues, etc., they behave like programmed robots, incapable of any innovation, any new line of thought, and any new and better way of doing things.
In consequence, their (the Ummah’s) progress is stalled. Their researchers, technocrats, administrators and educators, fail to achieve any proficiency in their callings, or guide any developmental project to a successful end. The hardest hit is their military. They buy weapons from their enemies, and collapse like a house of cards when invaded by the weapon suppliers.
It might be noted that the ideological, intellectual, political and military weaknesses of the various units of the Ummah, are also suffered by other non-Islamic nation-states, but at least those others can, and do, unite over a few issues, especially those in which Islam and Muslims are the targets; while the Ummah suffers such internal disunity as which threatens to break apart its divided units further. The defenses of quite a few Arab countries, for instance, are, by and large, directed at sister countries, or at their own civilian populations.
With the onset of the modern media, the common Muslim is also deeply influenced by the Western thoughts, ideas, practices and way of life, so that he is no better than his leadership in diseases of the heart and mind.
These factors are commonly known, talked about and discussed as the causes of the decline of the Muslim Ummah. It is also well-understood, recognized and acknowledge that without a revolutionary change in its attitude to Islam, the Ummah has little hope for a better future. We need not, therefore, discuss the issue any further.
We might yet point out that these are difficult times for all, including the enemies of Islam. The West has nothing new to offer, except pervert ideas. It is in jitters and hugely envious of the Muslims, for the peace still prevalent in their society, despite corruptions, and despite facing onslaughts of various kinds. The leadership of the West is in complete control of the Zionists, and, looking beyond into decades, there is little doubt that it is preparing itself for suicide. Is this a happy part of the scenario? Perhaps not. Unless the Muslims prepare themselves for the future, they could face lots of troubles, when the world enters, as being predicted, into a period of complete turmoil, revolutions, mass hunger, wars and destructions.
Addressing the youth in particular, we might add that although today the realization by the youth of the diseases and problems encountered by the Ummah is acute, the understanding of world affairs, politics, economy, social changes, media’s role, state of morals, and the powers that control and steer the affairs of the world, is severely lacking in depth. This is the main cause of the youth’s mental discomfort bordering to agony. But, although he is quite worried about the present, he does not have the will to work for a better tomorrow. He has questions, but when answers are given, he shows little inclination to right the wrongs at his own level of life and actions. It appears as though when he asks questions pertaining to the why’s concerning the Ummah, he is actually complaining that whosever’s business it is to remove the anomalies and incongruities is not doing his job. In simpler words, the youth does not seem to be asking why the problems exist, and what should he do about it, but rather, “what is being done about them?” His complaint is, “Why can’t the leaders act? Why can’t they take remedial actions?” He wants the correction, and the remedy, to happen, so that he can feel a bit more comfortable, breathe more freely… so that he is not humiliated in offices and airports… so that he is not spied on. His desire is to be left to live in peace, following a style of life of his choice… free of all responsibilities… in a way as if he does not belong to this Ummah but marginally, as if he is not required to commit himself to Islam in a meaningful way… as if he is a Muslim, but… but really, asking in undertones, “Is there need to be a Muslim everywhere, all the time, from youth to death, in private and in public? Really, should one?”