Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Problems of the Muslim World

The International Conference on "The Role of the Islamic States in a Globilized World" has highlighted many problems confronting the Muslim World and Islam. They include the provision of "solid" education to the ummah, uniting the Muslims in facing the world power, failure of religious scholars and Islamic Institutions to adapt to the modern world, lack of qualification to comment on Islamic issues among journalists in most Islamic societies, the spread of "violent, heretical and extremist movements that have wreaked havoc across the world and turned Islamic states into outcast societies", threat of globalization etc.

At the grassroots level, one will hear the local Imams, Ulamas and Mullahs raving about the ignorance of the ummah on religious knowledge, failures to uphold the "amar makruf" and "nahi mungkar", lack of piety and enforcement of what is "wajib"
and staying away from what is "haram", loving material wealth and power too much, and not performing the daily prayers and other requirements of the ibadah as demanded by their faith.

We all know the problems. But what is the answer, the solution, the action needed to remedy the situation? In fact the 43 hadith of Rasulallah on Peristiwa-peristiwa Akhir Zaman ( Signs of Doomday), potray the ultimate disaster that will be faced by the Muslims and Islam when Doomsday approaches. The hadiths speak of signs that we see today, already happening around us.
They indicate the root cause of some of the problems plagueing the Muslim world which the Ulamas and World Leaders of Islam are talking about.These include:

* a phobia called "wahan" - too much love for the material world and fear of death among those afflicted;
* a slow disappearance of religious knowledge with the death (and no replacement) of the Ulamas;
* following the footsteps of earlier people destroyed by Allah for overindulgence in wordly pleasures,basking in their wealth, accumulating and acquiring wealth through stealths, and inciting jealousies amongst each other;
* rejection of the Hadiths (which explain and reenforce the al-Quran);
* widespread corruption;
* the disappearance of trust and sense of obligation;
* children will revolt against their parents,the climate will become hotter, evil people will exceed the good, will be better rewarded and will not respect the latter;
* people care less about the source of their wealth, be it halal or haram, and interest-taking is rampant;
* alcohol is consumed under other names;
* there will be more women than men, adultery is rampant, one man will "manage" 50 women;
* women will give birth to their own masters; the poor suddenly become rich;
* the pious will be ignorant while the ulamas will misuse their knowledge;
* trustworthy people will be distrusted and the frauds ( Ruwaibidhah) entrusted to run the government;
* wars wiil be rampant;
* time will appear shorter and shorter, hours like minutes, days like hours;
* mineral wealth will be widely exploited but not by the Muslims;
* the deserts of Arabia will become fertile valleys;
* the Euphrates river will dry up and expose a mountain of gold: 99% of those fighting for it will perish;
* there will be no imam to lead mass prayers and the ulamas will be ignored;
* religious knowledge will disappear and so wil the content of the al-Quran;
* 15 sins (or injustices) will become most pronounced: national wealth owned by a few, trust is sold for wealth, tithes become debt, husbands become handpeck, sons go against their mothers, distanced themselves from their fathers, become closer with friends, the dishonorables in society will become leaders, respect is borne out of fear, men will wear silk, artists wil be idolized, music will rule the day and later generation will curse earlier ones.
* other signs include: adultery will become rampant and explicit followed by the spread of venereal diseases, there will be widespread cheating on weights in business, tithes will not be paid and Allah will stop the rain causing draughts, the ability of enemies to rob the Muslims of their properties will increase, civil war among the Muslims will occur due to neglect of the al-Quran and the teachings of Islam;
* Islam will remain in name only, religion sold for wealth, mosques are built for pride and prestige, the haj and umrah is performed not in the name of Allah.

Leaders in Islamic countries, politicians in power, the ulamas and the ummah as a whole can certainly take steps to allay or curtail the forbodings mentioned in the hadiths. Doomsday will certainly come but let not Islam be doomed before that Day and let not the ummahs become mere "bubbles" or broth in the ocean, without significance of prestige. The politicians and the ulamas must indeed sit together to stop the wars and bickerings among Muslims and get on with more constructive enterprises.

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