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  • Muslim Revival

    Apr 29, 2009

    “You are the best nation sent to mankind. You enjoin what is good, forbid what is evil and believe in Allah.” Qur’an, The Family of Imran, 3:110

    There was once a civilization that was the greatest in the world.
    Extract from a speech by Carly Fiorina, ex-CEO of Hewlett-Packard

    It was able to create a continental super-state that stretched from ocean to ocean, and from northern climes to tropics and deserts. Within its dominion lived hundreds of millions of people, of different creeds and ethnic origins.

    One of its languages became the universal language of much of the world, the bridge between the peoples of a hundred lands. Its armies were made up of people of many nationalities, and its military protection allowed a degree of peace and prosperity that had never been known. The reach of this civilization’s commerce extended from Latin America to China, and everywhere in between.

    And this civilization was driven more than anything, by invention. Its architects designed buildings that defied gravity. Its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the creation of encryption. Its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for disease. Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration.

    Its writers created thousands of stories. Stories of courage, romance and magic. Its poets wrote of love, when others before them were too steeped in fear to think of such things.

    When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others.

    While modern Western civilization shares many of these traits, the civilization I’m talking about was the Islamic world from the year 800 to 1600, which included the Ottoman Empire and the courts of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, and enlightened rulers like Suleiman the Magnificent.

    Although we are often unaware of our indebtedness to this other civilization, its gifts are very much a part of our heritage. The technology industry would not exist without the contributions of Arab mathematicians. Sufi poet-philosophers like Rumi challenged our notions of self and truth. Leaders like Suleiman contributed to our notions of tolerance and civic leadership.

    And perhaps we can learn a lesson from his example: It was leadership based on meritocracy, not inheritance. It was leadership that harnessed the full capabilities of a very diverse population-that included Christianity, Islamic, and Jewish traditions.

    This kind of enlightened leadership - leadership that nurtured culture, sustainability, diversity and courage - led to 800 years of invention and prosperity.

    In dark and serious times like this, we must affirm our commitment to building societies and institutions that aspire to this kind of greatness. More than ever, we must focus on the importance of leadership- bold acts of leadership and decidedly personal acts of leadership.”

    Verily, this nation of yours is one nation, and I am your God, so worship Me. Qur’an, The Prophets 21:92
    The split within Islam must end

    Split within the Muslim ummah must end. Today, the ummah is divided into many many groups and subgroups, each claiming the be on the right path, while having not an iota of toleration, let alone respect, for the others.

    All these groups and subgroups didnt exist during the time of the Holy Prophet (s) or the sahabas (r). So isn’t this then a form of bida’ (innovation)? a dangerous innovation that fragments the ummah, creating sects fighting each other in the name of Allah and Rasul (s).

    Standing before the Holy Ka’aba in Makkah, the Prophet (s) is reported to have told the Ka’abah, ‘Oh you sacred Ka’abah, the blood of a human being is more sacred than you’. Do we understand the meaning of these words? Have we forgotten the sunnah of the Rasul (s)? Where are our scholars and leaders today?

    God in the Quran says, ‘Verily, this nation of yours is one nation, and I am your God, so worship Me’. (Quran 21:92) We must learn to overcome the differences among ourselves and unite as one ummah, one nation, one family. We are here today, and we have to deal with the problems facing the ummah today, not what happened before us. And as if already addressing the split that will happen later because of the historical difference in the succession of leadership, we are told in the Quran, ‘That was a people that has passed, they shall reap the fruits of what they did, and you shall reap the fruits of what you do and neither will you be questioned about what they did’. (Quran 2:134)

    Islam started in Arabia, then integrated other races and ideas and became a great nation and a world power. Islam is still capable of doing that, perhaps more so now with the technology available. The question is, can we measure up to the standard of Islam, or are we still busy reaching for each other’s throats in the name of innovated sects.By: Abdullah Al Rahim * Abdullah Al Rahim is a Yemeni political writer.

    Diversity is our Wealth, but Unity is our Strength.


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