Friday, March 28, 2014

Uniting the Muslim Ummah: the Big Question

An Encounter with the Mullahs in Triolet

On Thursday 20 February 2014, I was in the North of Mauritius in one of its biggest villages called Triolet. On the way I met two Mullahs coming from Bangladesh. They presented themselves to me after greeting Salaam, and with very good and sweet words they invited me in the mosque at about 10:00a.m. I met many other Muslims coming from Bangalore and India. They asked me my name and before I have finished giving my full name, when I reached: Munir Ahmad, one of the Mullahs told me that his Burzuq’s name is Munir Ahmed, but then when I gave completed my full name: Munir Ahmad Azim, all of them looked at me with big surprised eyes and they suddenly turned aggressive.

Gone were the good and sweet words! Their tone changed and they immediately asked me: You have proclaimed that you are the Mohyuddin, Khalifatullah etc.”

Without any hesitation and fear to creatures, although they were in great numbers in the mosques, I replied them in the affirmative.

They then asked me a series of questions pertaining to the titles I have received from Allah, wanting to know who told me that I was the Khalifatullah, Mohyuddin etc. I told them that it is my Creator, my Rab, in whose hands my life, health, food, dignity and honour are found.  They did not believe me and called me liar and thus started a debate on the finality of prophethood in which they believe.

Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah as Final Guidance

Among other questions concerning the Mahdi and Messiah to come, they put to me put a question to me regarding a Hadith, “I have left for you the Book of Allah and the Sunnah, if you hold fast to it you will never go astray.”

Some people claim that the Hadith concerning the Mahdi are contradictory and the Hadith concerning Nabi Isa (Jesus, upon him be peace) are not certain. According to them, in the absence of a clear verse of the Holy Quran, saying that there is someone who is going to come and in the light of this Hadith, is it not the conclusion that the way to bring back the glory of Islam is just to follow the Holy Quran and follow the Sunnah of Hazrat Muhammad (saw)?

When they finished the question, and before I replied to them, they told me: “You are a Qadiani, you are the follower of Mirza (that is, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as)). You are liar, imposter like Mirza.” 

I told them: Yes I am an Ahmadi who believe sincerely in my master Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as). By the grace of Allah, I will answer you all your questions and you will see who is a liar, imposter etc., between Hazrat Mirza Sahib, me and you people who have trampled the teachings of the Holy Quran and sayings of the Holy Prophet (saw) into dust.”

Sects and Schisms in Religions 

There are other people, who label themselves Muslims, yet they ask such preposterous questions, and I wish to refute them too in this sermon, especially concerning their questions and ridiculing about the splits in Jamaat Ahmadiyya and how a Khalifatullah has come from within “them” (the Jamaat Ahmadiyya). All their answers are found in the Quran itself.

My answer to them: As far as the last part of the question goes, there is no denying that the only way to bring the people of Islam together, that is, Muslims, and to put them on the right path is to make them put into practice the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. There is absolutely no denying this fact. But the big question that follows is who is going to bring it about and how?

Dissensions in Early Islam 

While the Holy Quran remained intact until now, while in the very presence of the Holy Quran people started to differ with each other and fell into sects and schisms. Why in the first place this process began and is it a process without a direction and without a trend or do you have a positive plan to observe in this process?

When the second part of the question comes, then you can positively answer this question without denying again, that we find a direction and a trend and that direction and trend are downwards. Right from the start, that is from Hazrat Muhammad’s (saw) time, despite the fact that Sunnah was the clearest at that time and the Holy Quran was the strongest in influence, after him people began to differ and kept on differing with each other until time came when Khilafat was no longer there and from then on it was total rot. New sects, new schisms came into being and the Holy Quran started to be looked upon as a book speaking on divergent views and paradoxically so at the same time, according to some, the Holy Quran has this view and at the same time by others, it had that view and both those views by different groups were in direct clash with each other.

Decadence and Differences Increase with Time

So all this started and went on and on until you reach this stage. So far as the necessity of getting together upon the Holy Quran and the Sunnah is concerned, that is obvious. But how to go about it; this is the big question. Unless someone solves this question, this dilemma will not be solved.

Time is against us, that is obvious. The more you travel away from Hazrat Muhammad (saw), the more divided you are and the more corrupt are your religious scholars. They become less God-fearing and instead of bringing us together, they create disorder, they create hatred of one against each other. This is also a known fact of history. So if there is, let’s forget for the time being any Mahdi and any Messiah (suppose they won’t come) how will the Ummah survive then? As the questioner himself believes that the only way for survival is to stick to the Holy Quran and the tradition and the practice of the Holy prophet (saw).

So why are they not sticking to both the Quran and Sunnah and why did they start leaving and separating if they had stuck? They could not have become divided had they really stuck to the Quran and Sunnah. So the process is of that of deterioration and constant decadence which have never gone back once it started. Every other generation we find is a less pious generation, less God-fearing, every other generation we find is less confident of an Islamic way of life. There are of course sporadic movements here and there spread all over the history. But those sporadic movements have failed to set a trend up in the opposite direction, that is the most important thing. So those who believe that without anybody having even come, this process will be reversed, they are living in a paradise which has no reality because we have never seen nations do this. Let’s go back to religious history as preserved by the Holy Quran. And let’s find our answer there. That is indeed a very positive and sure history.

The Qur’an on the history of religions

According to the Holy Quran whenever a truth was revealed, after some opposition and some very hostile opposition for that matter, ultimately it got established and then people began to deviate from the right path and go into a decadent society.

What happened then according to the history of the Holy Quran, either a prophet was sent from Allah to save those people or if the religion was abolished altogether a new prophet came with a new religion. We never read anywhere in the history of religion that after a religion decayed and people became corrupt and the religious scholars differed with each other on fundamentals then suddenly out of the blue the religious scholars of a later time repented all this behaviour, they got together, shook hands with each other, embraced each other and said ‘let us forget about our differences and be one’.

How could they forget their differences when they thought they were based on the Holy Quran or the Holy Book or whatever that book was and persisted they were in the right unless they dialogued, unless they tried to convince each other, tried to convey their point of view to others. And in a religious society that has become so divergent, this is not permitted. People become so intolerant that they are not ready to listen to other’s views. It is not only the scholars, the whole society became corrupt. And according to the history preserved in the Holy Quran it has never happened before, never once that a people following a religion became corrupt, they were put together again and rectified again by their Pirs or Fakirs or Ulemas or Sufis and all these people.

Religious corruption in society starts with the Ulema

Why not? Because according to the Holy Quran it is the religious leadership which became corrupted first and the masses follow suit later on. Once the top becomes corrupt mentally and are less God-fearing, then the masses follow automatically behind them and it is always the leadership which destroys people, it is true as much of religious leadership as of political leadership as of other leadership. The fundamental most important thing is correct, honest, true leadership.

If religious leadership had been intact, there is no reason why they started to differ with each other. They differed may be primarily by some mistake but definitely the process ultimately degrades into a process of conscious difference with a crooked, bent mind within. That resulted in those differences (like we are witnessing nowadays also).

When there is no Mahdi to look after Islam

So considering that there is no Mahdi – I am talking on that preposition, that there is no Mahdi to come and no Messiah to come and none is required and Nabuwwat’(prophethood) of every sort is finished forever – what will become of the Muslims at whole? That is now the responsibility of those who hold this for you to prove and to do satisfactorily. If an individual becomes a good Muslim, let him, but who is going to look after the ascendency of Islam over the rest of the religions of the world? Those Ulemas? Who is going to revive the Muslims’ integrity as such?

These Ulemas, had they been capable of doing it, they would not have differed in the first instance and surely the century which took people back to the life of Hazrat Muhammad (saw) by the effort of the Ulemas – to supposedly make the people commit themselves to Islam, through the application of the Quran and Sunnah – yet they went on fighting with each other, they went on blaming each other for heresy and not only heresy but they called each other traitors of Islam, not only out of the pale of Islam but worse than those who were outside the pale of Islam, treacherous people according to them. And according to some other, they were great religious scholars of Islam, great servants of Islam.

So this being their attitude even today, how can you say that Islam would revive once again? What would be the means and measures? There should be some reasonable hope somewhere, and the religious history (which constitutes the defiled thoughts of those scholar and Ulemas throughout history) denies this, rejects these possibilities altogether. What is the answer according to the Holy Quran and Sunnah?

I stop here for now. Insha-Allah, I shall continue on the same subject next Friday. May Allah give us Muslims around the world the Tawfiq to ponder over the state of Islam nowadays and to follow the guidance of Allah as stipulated in Quran and Sunnah, and which gives hope for the maintenance of Islam and its conservation till the Day of Judgement, Insha-Allah, Ameen.

- Extracts from the Friday Sermon of March 28, 2014 delivered by the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius 

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