We read the Quran but we do not understand what we read. And when we understand, we do not implement and follow. We read the Sunnah and the Seerah of our Prophet but we fail to appreciate the lessons and wisdom behind the events and the actions. The Quran calls for power and strength and yet we are weak and helpless. The Quran calls for unity and yet we are divided. The Quran calls for knowledge and yet we are ignorant and backward.
For the sake of Jewish votes, the Zionist evil was portrayed as good. The Israeli oppression and brutality against innocent unarmed people and children were defended as justifiable actions. The victims were blamed for the violence.
For the sake of Jewish votes, the Democratic and the Republican candidates betrayed the truth. They promised to use America’s might and power to defend Israel, its interests and security. They tried to justify this shameful and hypocritical stance on the basis of American interests, American national security and friendship with Israel.
One may ask why can one country defend its national security and its national interest with such impunity, everywhere in the world?
Why are the Muslims and Muslim countries unable to do the same and defend their brothers and sisters in Palestine? Why can Muslims not defend their own national security and national interests.?
The question is probably a naive one because the answer is easy and obvious. Might is Right. America has the might. It’s the world’s most powerful country.
It is a super military power, an economic superpower, and is also a politically dominant power as a result of its military might and economic strength.
This cumulative power and strength enables the Americans to impose their will, dictate their terms and defend their interests. America pays 60% of the UN funds. Therefore, no person may be appointed as Secretary General without the blessing of the White House. No resolution may be adopted or implemented without their consent. The same is true for other world and regional organisations.
What concerns us is the present reality and the present situation of our Islamic Ummah. This is what we must keep in mind. This is what we must keep at heart.
It is not just an issue of rhetoric, to be heard and forgotten later. It is not an emotional issue for brief excitement and enthusiasm.
It is a question of destiny, a question of faith and commitment. This question concerns us all. It concerns our present, our future; in this life and the hereafter.
We are all responsible for our helplessness, weakness, our backwardness, our defeat and our divisions.
We read the Quran but we do not understand what we read. And when we understand, we do not implement and follow. We read the Sunnah and the Seerah of our Prophet but we fail to appreciate the lessons and wisdom behind the events and the actions.
The Quran calls for power and strength and yet we are weak and helpless. The Quran calls for unity and yet we are divided. The Quran calls for knowledge and yet we are ignorant and backward.
The Quran says:
"Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power" (8/60).
In this verse Allah SWT is telling us, all Muslims, to make ready and prepare, to the best of our ability, whatever we can of strength and power to defend our self against the enemies of Allah and our enemies. Attaining power is the natural response to the command of Allah.
Being strong and powerful will be a deterrent for the enemies of Islam. To achieve our objectives, as Muslims we are asked and obliged to seek and acquire all means of power necessary for self-defence, protection of our interests and standing against our enemies.
The strength and power we must seek is not limited to arms and weapons. It includes the strength of faith, the strength of unity, the strength of knowledge, the strength of character, the strength of mass-media, physical strength and of course the material strength of wealth, economy and finance.
The strength of faith
The most important type of strength is the strength of faith. The strength of Aqeeda and faith is the basis and the corner stone of the Muslim character , the Muslim community and the Muslim Ummah .
Any defect or weakness in the faith will no doubt have a negative impact and effect on the whole structure.
This is why the early revelations of the Quran focused on faith. And this is why the Prophet concentrated his efforts at the early stage of the Message towards faith and Tawheed (The Oneness of God). When faith fills the heart and touches the spirit, it inflames our desire to do righteous deeds and oppose all evil inclinations.
The strength of unity
The strength of unity can be realised by love and brotherhood among Muslims everywhere. Unity is the bond that should bring all of us together. We should be like a strong and solid structure that withstands all attempts to disunite and fragment us. Allah tells us in the Quran:
"And hold fast, all together, by the Rope which Allah (stretches out to you), and be not divided." (2/103)
We are also told :
"And fall into no disputes. Lest you lose heart and your power depart"....(8/46)
The strength of knowledge
We can not ignore nor under-estimate the strength of knowledge and science and their essential role in the development and prosperity of our societies and countries. Islam calls for knowledge and science that is beneficial to us. Seeking knowledge is the duty of every Muslim male and female. Therefore, it is the duty of all Muslim youths to seek all types of necessary and useful knowledge, technology and specialisation, which will add to the strength of the Muslim Ummah and reduce its dependence on others.
The Power of wealth
Muslims are also required to preserve their wealth and protect all their resources. It must be dedicated for the development, welfare and advancement of the whole people. In many Muslim countries, wealth is the prerogative of the few. Financial resources are wasted on consuming western products and luxury commodities. Human resources are neglected and abandonned.
Muslim wealth and resources should be utilised as an effective power for the advancement of Muslim causes and objectives.
Muslims are also required to have and maintain strong moral character, a healthy mind and body.
The Prophet has said: " A strong Mu’min [believer] is better than a weak Mu’min and is more liked by Allah, and there is good in each one."
The strength referred to by the Prophet is not only the strength of the body and the muscles. But as said earlier, the strength of faith, the strength of knowledge, the strength of character and every other strength that is necessary and beneficial to our cause and objectives.
Without a strong faith and all other types of strength we will not be able to change our sad and miserable situation.
This change is the greatest challenge that we face now and for the foreseeable future.
"Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change it themselves or change them selves."(13/11)
The will to change must be accompanied with patience and hope. Patience because the task is heavy and the road is long and difficult. And hope because we trust in Allah who has promised:
"Whoever follows My guidance, will not Lose his way, nor fall into misery" (20/123)
Patience and hope are the weapons of the present and the future.
In their company man is able to bear the severest of hardships without submitting to defeat or disgrace.
Islam is the answer. Islam is the solution. Without Islam we will remain weak. Without Islam we remain divided. Without Islam we remain backward and defeated.
But with Islam we will be strong. With Islam we will be united. With Islam we attain strength dignity and power and with Islam we attain success in this life and the hereafter.
Finally, let us pray:
"Allah ! We seek refuge in you from sorrow and hardship.
We seek refuge in you from humility and laziness,
We seek refuge in you from being coward and stingy, from defeat and cruelty and the tyranny of oppressors."
By Omar Tarhuni -Royal Holloway Khutbahs