In The Name Of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

IslamiCity Bulletin

May 2, 2003
Rabi Al-Awwal , 1424

 

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Commitment with Understanding

There is a great deal of gloom and despondency among Muslims. This, despite the fact that we have a tremendous human potential of some 1.3 billion, and are leading the world in growth - especially in productive youngsters. We are also blessed with an abundance of natural resources such as petroleum and natural gas, while inhabiting the most strategic areas of the globe. Place these factors in the context of Islam's uniquely transcendental message, alongside the testimonials of a glorious historic past, and you have all the ingredients for a respectable place in the comity of nations.

Given this, especially in the post-colonial era, we should have taken off on sound footing, building a grand society on our traditional Islamic principles of justice, freedom, peace and prosperity. Yet we did not. And our masses are among the world's poor, hungry, and illiterate. With over a 60 percent illiteracy rate, our people are held backwards and have few avenues of gainful productivity. As a result, nearly 40 percent live below the poverty line (less than $2.00 a day). And while our masses continue to suffer, corrupt autocratic dictators plunder our resources and loot the public treasury. And when they finally leave thrones of power, billions are taken with them to be stashed in foreign banks.

These dictators have perfected the tools of corruption through deceit and nepotism; silencing and terrorizing the masses through coercion, detention and murder, maintaining their status quo by subservience to foreign masters, attending to their interests, rather than the interests of their own people.

In addition, the current havoc wrought on Muslim lands amply demonstrates that it is past time that our masses and genuine leadership take affairs in their own hands; they can no longer afford to leave them to autocratic rulers or their cliques and proteges, and the circumstances that necessarily result. Each and every one of us has to be earnestly committed and involved in all our affairs.

First and foremost, we must acquire knowledge. Indeed, the era of inquiry, inquisition and application started with the first word of Iqra revealed to the Prophet . The Prophet said it was incumbent on every Muslim, male and female, to acquire knowledge from the cradle to the grave. This mandate created a great civilization unparalleled in the history of humankind. Unfortunately, this enlightened culture weakened because this noble tradition of scholarship was neglected by rulers of the day, only to be subsequently followed by subjugation by colonialists. And the failed states of the Muslim world today pay no heed to this tradition.

Public education and accessibility to knowledge must now constitute our primary concern since there is no lack of talent among Muslims within and without Muslim countries. And in this age of the Internet, with the free flow of information, one less barrier is breached. Essential is organization by dedicated individuals at the local level. And each and every one of us should be involved in one form or another, in attending or promoting it. Those with means should loosen their purses wide open, for that is best that can be done to uplift their people, while ensuring rewards with the Creator in the Hereafter.

However, it is important for those involved in this endeavor that the information imparted be relevant to our crucial understanding of Islam, offering Islamic solutions to the exigencies of our times, while adopting modern means for their usefulness.   More >>

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