Unity of The Muslim World
by S. Abul A’la Maududi
Editor: Khurshid Ahmad
Table of Contents
Unity of the Muslim World The Curse of Nationalism The Failure of International Agencies
Towards the World State Can Religions other than Islam deliver the good? Can the West Unite the World?
Marxism and World Unity
Islam: The Hope of Mankind
The Challenge from Within
A Word to the Critics
The Task before the Muslim Summit
Muslims today constitute one-fifth of the human race. Muslim states in the U.N. go to make up about one-fourth of its total membership. Africa is the Muslim continent, 60 per cent of its population believes in Unity of God and the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) Muslim countries contain huge quantities of some of the most important mineral and economic resources of the world. The racial and physical stock of their populations is one of the best in the world. They possess the great ideology of Islam, which can lead mankind out of its contemporary crisis, generated by the conflict of Godless, amoral and lopsided ideologies of Communism and Secularism. And despite all this, Muslims have no effective voice in the world affairs. They have become passive amp-followers of others. Imperialist powers of the East and the West are active in their lands. Their basic problems remain unattended, what to say of their solution. Palestine bleeds, Kashmiris groan, Turkish Cypriots cry. Eritrean Muslims are being crushed. Nigerians are being subjected to sabotage from within. Somalians grumble and protest. But all these voices of agony and anguish fall on deaf ears. Problems are becoming more and more aggravated. Situation is worsening and we, the six hundred and fifty million Muslims stand bewildered and aghast, helpless spectators of our own ruin. This is a paradox and we must wriggle ourselves out of this unhappy state of affairs.
The answer to this situation is that the Muslims must sincerely remodel their individual and collective life in accord with the principles of Islam and pool their resources to play their rightful role in the world. It is through Islamic Revival and Islamic Unity that we can change the course of events and fulfill our tryst with destiny. Maulana Maududi has called the Muslim world, particularly its thinking elements, to this strategy.
The present brochure contains a speech .of Maulana Maududi : Unity of the Muslim World, which he' delivered at a meeting in the B.N.R. Auditorium, Lahore, and air article The Task Before the Muslim Summit, which was published in the Daily Dawn, Karachi. Their translation and editing have been done at the Islamic Research Academy, which offers them to the Muslim intelligentsia with the hope that it shall respond to this call of the hour.
17th February, 1967.
Chapter One: Unity of the Muslim World
The political philosophy that dominated the early part of the present century was the philosophy of nationalism. One could scarcely conceive of the collective life of a nation except in terms of its being free and independent, its members being virtual worshippers of their nation, exerting themselves to the utmost to gain for its glory and supremacy over all other nations even if that implied suppressing others and bringing other nations low. To the nations of the world the zenith of political life was the nation-state, whom they idolized and worshipped.
THE CURSE OF NATIONALISM
The catastrophe to which this concept led was witnessed by the world in the form of the First World War. The worshippers of nationalism whose greatest mission in life was to work for the domination of their nation over the rest of the world and who had exalted the nation-state to the position of a god and considered sacrificing all human values at its altar, the acme of human achievement, had to wage a horrible war from 1914 to 1918 during which they turned into beasts thirsty for one another's blood. Entire populations were annihilated and countries laid waste Humanity, morality, civilized behavior - all values were trampled under foot.
Having witnessed the horrors wrought by nationalism, the world for the first time after the First World War started thinking about creating a supra-national organization in which each nation should be prepared to surrender a part off its sovereignty to establish a central authority that should prevent conflict among nations and devise means of composing their differences and promoting amity among them. With this end in view, the League of rations was established.
But it soon became clear that this body had been formed more with a view to sharing the spoils of imperialist machinations than to achieve any other purpose. It soon started dividing Lip states and evolved the unique procedure of assigning nations under mandates to the Big Powers, as if there would no more be any need to subjugate weaker nations militarily. Rather, the League of Nations would make gifts of them to the Big Powers. About the same time the idea of making Palestine the home of the Jews emerged. Jews from all over the world were brought here and settled though Palestine was not an unpopulated land but was the home of the Arabs for centuries. That was the arrangement for avoiding conflict between nations and promoting amity among them! It seemed that man had learnt' absolutely no lesson from the bitter experience and the First World War. On the other hand, this experience and the thinking people's reflections about the experience were used as means of misleading and deluding humanity. The apparent purpose declared for public consumption was to create amity among peoples but in fact it was nationalism that dominated the thinking of nations and that provided the base on which their policies were built.
Despite protestations o€ peace, amity and international justice by the League of rations what the world saw for twenty-one years was encroachments upon the rights of weaker nations, the sowing of the seeds of discord in every part of the world and au arms race on a scale unparalleled in the history of mankind. Ultimately the Second World tear broke out and brought destruction that was unmatched seen by the First 'world War. Millions of human beings were killed. Vast areas sere laid waste, entire communities were uprooted from their homelands and pushed into alien territories. Large populations were made prisoners of war. Man .perpetrated such atrocities upon man as would put beasts to shame.
The Failure of International Agencies
After the Second World War the world that had been twice rent asunder by nationalism was once main greeted with the nets that international justice would be ensured to mankind. For this purpose the UNO was established, a declaration of Human fights was proclaimed; a Security Council was set up to establish peace in the world. Everyone knows how far the Security Council has succeeded in imparting security to the peoples of the world. What we experienced only last year is eloquent commentary on the Council's effectiveness. [1. Reference is to the Indo-Pakistan War of 6-13 September 1955 and the Security Council's sole therein.] Its resolutions on Kashmir have been mocking it for the last seventeen years while the Security council liar been sitting idle. A million inhabitants of Palestine have been driven out of their homes and their land turned into the "national home" of dews brought here from all parts of the world. Similarly in Cyprus schemes are being hatched for systematically decimating tire Turk Cypriots. The U.N. sits cool as flagrant injustice and open repression axe being practiced in Rhodesia, Angola, South Africa, Vietnam, Eritrea, Aden, Yemen and many other places. As for the Declaration of Human Rights, the U.N. member nations have yet to pledge to abide by it or place it on their statutes. There is no agency to which the individuals, groups or nations whose rights have been encroached upon could turn fox redress.
TOWARDS THE WORLD STATE
It is because of these facts that the world is getting increasingly disenchanted with the international agencies concerned with maintaining peace and ensuring justice for mankind. The present-day thinkers are quite vehement in their assertion--rather it would be correct to say that the world of thought has recognized the fact that nationalism and the cult of nation-states are at the root of the ills that plague the world. Humanity cannot achieve peace until the independent nation-states give way to a world state. There should be one government for the entire world. The component national units .should not be allowed to fight at will. They should be subject to a superior authority which should manage the affairs of the world and distribute equitably among nations what is due to each.
Can Religions other than Islam deliver the good?
But this is merely a vision, no more than a pleasing and pious wish. The real question is: Does the world have an ideology that can give birth to a world state? Can Christianity be the basis of such a state? The Christians would forgive the present writer if he calls spade a spade. The Christian doctrine offers no guidance for state, let alone a world state. "Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's", is said and abdicated temporal power in favor of Caesar. As far uniting the mankind, Christianity, despite its interests and efforts to dais end, has achieved little success. Even today the vast majority of American negroes professes Christianity, the faith of American white race. But despite their common faith, similar names and common culture they cannot pray in the same churches or sit on the same benches or dine in the same restaurants-let alone sharing the same table-or ride the s-me buses or live in the same neighborhoods. If ever a negro family moves into a white locality it does so at the risk of its house being made a shooting target by hostile whites. If negro children want to attend a white school they are held to ridicule and are in perpetual danger of losing a limb. The same is the condition in Africa. `that the -white minority in mouth Africa is doing to the Negro majority is known to all. The Christian influence in Africa can be gauged from the fact that in the black man's Church Jesus's. portrait shows him to be a colored man while in a white man's Church he is painted as a white man, as if two versions of Jesus have been prepared, the `white Jesus' for the white and the `black Jesus' for the colored. It is evident that this religion cannot form the basis of a world brotherhood or a world state.
Can Buddhism be the basis of such a state? It is more averse to the temporal world and more indifferent to its affairs and the problems of statecraft than is even Christianity. The entire Buddhist doctrine is devoid of any guidance for practical human affairs. All its guidance is directed toward delivering man from the inferno of life and releasing the soul from the prison of human body. It offers no guidance regarding the administration of the world or the management of its affairs; rather it shows the way to escape dais world and release the soul from its bodily confinement. It is apparent, therefore, that Buddhism also cannot furnish any basis for a world society or state.
Can Hinduism be the basis of human solidarity? The truth is that far from uniting man it aims at dividing human beings and setting thorn apart from each other. The manner in which the Hindu philosophy has wrenched apart human beings leas no parallel in any human society. History has witnessed all manners off excesses committed on the vanquished by the victors. But there is no other example of that what Aryans did to the native Indians: foreign invaders who conquered the land turned the erstwhile masters of the soil into untouchables-menials fit only to remove excrement and branded as unclean for life. Not only that. Every child was brought up to believe that he' was born low and unclean in retribution for the sins committed by him in the previous life and that no one could rescue him out of this degradation. The Aryans are the only conquerors in the world who have subjected the people they defeated to this kind of humiliation and perennial servitude.
The distinction between man and man practiced by the Aryans and the conception of superior and inferior races on which they based their social structure were not merely matters of theory. Social life down to its elements was the embodiment of these principles. One need go to Manu's code to know the principles of social discrimination. It is ruthlessly operative in all aspects of Hindu social life at all times. The ridiculous and scandalous extents to which it is practiced can be gauged from the fact that in South India a Brahmin or Caste Hindu doctor who may be cabled in to treat a Sudra (untouchable) patient would stop forty paces away from the patient. He would not talk to the patient direct lest he might get defiled. Instead, a brick would be placed between tine doctor and the patient. The patient would relate his condition by addressing the brick. The doctor in turn would prescribe the treatment, addressing the brick. Different limits of safety are prescribed for the Brahmins in so dealing with different categories of Sudras or untouchables. If a Brahmin and a Sudra do not keep the prescribed distance between each a Brahmin gets contaminated. It is clear that sash a social structure and philosophy of life cannot draw human beings class to each other. Far from being a uniting .force it cannot but aim at splitting them apart. The limit is that according to Hinduism a sea voyage desecrates a Brahmin. An enlightened man like Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya had to do penance for having desecrated his faith by undertaking the voyage to England to attend the Round Table Conference. In view of this philosophy who can say that there is even a remote possibility of the integration of the human race under this philosophy?
Can the West Unite the World?
Similarly, the Western civilization also cannot unite mankind on one floor. Nationalism is a child of this very civilization and it has torn the world into pieces. It is the West which has exalted the nation-state to the position of divinity. The ultimate objective and purpose of life which it gave to man was the trappings of worldly life, the improvement of standard of living and the pursuit of material well-being. This being the goal of life for individuals and nations, it was but natural that individuals, classes and nations would struggle to outpace each other and engage in a mad race for material exploits. This attitude splits men and array them against each other. [2. In fact it has produced even in the individuals a split personality; Integrated personalities are a rare phenomenon in the West.] Competition degenerates into rivalry and feud and riot and destruction, This civilization cannot furnish an ideal that could help unite the human beings, compose their differences arid promote among them co-operation in place of strife. This civilization stands for the division of men, not for their integration. Under the influence of this civilization man preyed upon man impelled by animal instinct. With this end in view the Western nations entered America. and occupied the land after exterminating the native fed Indians. In the same way they intruded into Africa, made about a .hundred million Africans into their slaves, transported them to the areas occupied by them and forced them to work like dogs on their colonization projects and plantations. Afterwards they developed a new fangled philosophy to furnish a rationale foe their practices, a justification for their barbaric acts, an effort to "prove" them as being ire accordance with the law off nature. This philosophy stipulates that the world is nothing but an arena wherein the struggle for existence goes on ceaselessly. In other words, the basis off life in the world is conflict rather than concord and cooperation. In this struggle nature only helps preserve one that is fitter than others to exist. This is the natural law of the survival of the fittest anal it is in accordance with this law that the species that qualify for survival are selected. Thus, the extermination of the weak and the survival of the strong constitute the process of natural selection. The Western followers of this new philosophy felt satisfied that if they wiped out or suppressed the smaller nations in order to occupy their lands and exploit their resources for their own aggrandizement it would be no injustice to those nations since that was what the law of nature demanded. That was divine justice! It is because of this philosophy that today many a white man does not feel any compunction or uneasiness of conscience at the fact that the whites have supplanted the Red Indians by resort to force. The same 'talisman' is -being invoked to justify the eviction of the Arabs from Palestine on the ground that, they were backward whereas the Jewish settlers in Palestine have done so much to harness the resources off the land. If the Arabs have been driven out of their homeland and Jews drawn from all over the world to settle in Palestine, it is no, injustice rather it is in accordance with the alleged taw off nature. The establishment of Israel is being justified in America and Europe by this very logic. The question therefore, arises: Can a civilization founded on such a philosophy be the basis of the integration of the human kind?
Marxism and World Unity
Let us now see if Marxism can unite human beings. This might perhaps be possible when, as the philosophy goes, after a profound and decisive clash of the class and the world is left with only one class of people. But to reach that stage a class struggle and the resultant bloodshed are inevitable. God alone knows if such a stage would ever be reached. But the course it has taken and wants to take to reach that goal is the course of a world-wide through a trenchant class struggle involving violence, destruction and bloody revolutions through which it wilt first establish the dictatorship of the proletariat, then liquidate propertied classes, dispossess them of their holdings and finally exterminate them by either killing them or exiling them or through any other means. It will be only after all this has been done that man might realize the dream world in which a single class of human beings would live. This process has not been completed even sin Russia and China. And what has happened in Russia. and is taking place in china is a bloody tale where revolution is eating its foes and friends alike, nay, like the snake, it is eating its own children. The dream seems to be nowhere near realization. And even if the hope of the establishment of a classless society ever approaches realization in these countries the world may have to go through the same blood-stained process of destruction and liquidation. How long will it take to complete no one knows. For a few centuries at least the world should expect to see conflict and division rather than the unification of the human race. Peace and tranquility for which the world is clamoring today cannot come at least through the agency of the Marxist ideology and strategy.
ISLAM: THE HOPE OF MANKIND
This is the contemporary, situation, depressing and heart-rending. But there is a silver lining to the otherwise dark horizon, the silver lining of Islam. It must, be squarely stated that there is and was no ideology except Islam that can unite the world and serve as a basis for a world state. Islam is the only religion in the world that considers entire mankind to be one family and proclaims that all human beings have descended from the same parents "O mankind, We created you from a single male and a female", declares the Qur'an. [3. "O mankind! We have created you from a single male and a female, and have made you nations and tribes that you may know one mother. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the most righteous and best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware." (49: 13). "O mankind! Be careful. of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women." (4:1).] Then it asserts that God has grouped them into nations and tribes not that they may fight with each other but that they may identify each other more easily for promoting co-operation among themselves. This so-called division into groups is to facilitate reference or identification rather than to set one against the other: "And We made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other". Not that ye may despise each other!
The grouping of men into nations, clans and families is a natural phenomenon. Everybody is born into a family. The people nearest him are those comprising his family and it is they with whom he makes his first acquaintance. Beyond this the families living in one locality or tow are known to one another far better and have far closer social relationship with one another than with those of other localities and towns. The same is true of the group of families that constitute one nation or community. That is the only form, inter-relationship and concourse between human beings takes. It is for this reason that the Creator of men has grouped them into nations and tribes. The purpose is to facilitate identification, and co-operation rather than that the members of one family, race or nation should look down upon those of .others, consider themselves superior to them or oppress them, thus leading to conflicts between nations and spread chaos on God's earth. According to Islam superiority does not flow from a high birth or connection with any race or nation does not bestow upon any one distinction. If one is superior to another it is only because of one's moral stature and piety: Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you.
This is the conception of the human race that can gather all men together, bind them into a fraternity and establish a world society and a world state. Men can establish brotherly relations with each other only when they know that they have all been created by one God, that they are all answerable to Him, that He alike is the Creator and Sustainer of all, that all human beings. have been created out of the same flesh and blood, that no one is better than others because of this parentage. All virtue is due to one's good deeds and one's superior moral character. Anyone who is righteous and just-is worthy of respect irrespective of whether he was born in the East or West. Anyone whose conduct and character are disreputable is low, be he white or black. This is the truth to which the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) testified in his historic address on the occasion of his last pilgrimage. He said, "No Arab is superior to any non-Arab, nor a non-Arab superior to any Arab. Neither is a white man better than a black man nor a black better than a white. You are all descended from Adam and Adam himself was made of clay. The most honored of you in the sight of God is he who fears God most and is the most righteous."
Islam did not present this conception of equality of man as an idle philosophy. It established a society based on this concept. In that society it gathered the different races and nations on the basis of complete equality of all individuals. All distinctions of race, color, language or nationality were eradicated. Among the people forming this society no one was high or low, holy or unholy. All offered their prayers standing side by side in the same mosque: They interlined and intermarried freely. In rights and duties they were equal to each other. Even the worst opponents of Islam acknowledge that there is no religion apart from Islam that has succeeded in obliterating distinctions of race, color, language, place of origin and nationality in establishing universal brotherhood of men. This is a unique blessing of Islam, a remarkable example of the leadership of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and the miracle of the eternal teachings of the Qur'an that as far as Muslim society is concerned the entire human race has in fact become one ummah.
Not only that, Islam also established a world state on the basis of the same ideology and worked it successfully. When during the days of the pious Caliphs Islam crossed the Arab frontiers, a large part of the world came under its sway, Muslims of all parts of the world had only one spiritual and temporal head, the caliph. The entire Islamic world was governed by the same law. All Muslims formed one family., If a person, irrespective of whether he came from the East or West, accepted Islam, became a member of the Islamic society and enjoyed the same rights and privileges as did the Arabs. There is no difference between the privileges he enjoyed and the ones enjoyed by such luminaries dike Abu Bakr, Omar, Usman or Ali (God be pleased with .them). Whether one was a negro, an Iranian, or a copt, or a Berber, he stood on the same footing in the. Muslim society after accepting Islam as did the kith and kin, of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Arab followers. His obligations were the same as theirs. He enjoyed the same privileges as they did. His social status was equal to theirs. He could acquire the greatest eminence in the Islamic society on the basis of his moral qualities and righteousness.
It is true that in the later periods Muslims developed many weaknesses. Still the universal brotherhood of Muslims that Islam had created remained a living. force despite all inimical forces. It is a tragedy that Muslims were divided into different sects. Differences on the basis of nationality, race, and tribal conflicts did crop up now and again. In place of a single empire of Muslims, many independent. states came into being. But the idea that the Muslims of the world constitute one ummah remained intact. The believer in Islam, whatever his racial links, place, of origin, mother tongue or color is a brother to another Muslim and wherever he moves in a Muslim society he enjoys the same privileges as other Muslims do. The world has for centuries witnessed the amazing performance of this unique idea. A Muslim from any part of the world could go to any Muslim land without any restrictions, more freely in that country, stay there as long as he wished, engage in any trade, secure the highest government post in that country get married without any difficulty. Islamic history is replete with instances where a Muslim went out of his country and lived in other Muslim lands for decades. He might have studied in one country, engaged in business in another, became a minister or commander-in-chief of the army in a third one and, then he might go over to yet another, settle there and get married. A well known example is Ibn-i-Batuta's who traveled through different Muslim countries for twenty-seven years. He did not need a passport or a visa to go to any of these countries. Nowhere was he questioned about his nationality. Nowhere did he face any difficulty in earning his living. He needed no permit to visit any place nor was any period fixed for his stay. If he sought a job under any government he got appointed without any difficulty. He reached India during the reign of Sultan Mohammad Tughlaq. The fact that he traveled from the farthest corner of Morocco, his native land, did not come in the way of his appointment as a magistrate in India. Afterwards the Sultan sent him to China as his ambassador. That proves that nothing barred his entering even into diplomatic service. This clearly shows that at that time not only the idea of commonwealth but also that of common citizenship was fully operative. The world of Islam was in fact a Land of peace despite the existence of independent states, within this realm. The manpower of the entire Islamic world was available to any Muslim country. Muslims owed allegiance to all Muslim states and the defense and protection of the world of Islam was the common responsibility of all Muslims. Till the beginning of 'the 19th century A.C, dais position prevailed in the world of Islam. What greater proof could there be of the fact that Islam not only furnished the theoretical and ideological bases of the world state that the thinkers of today are longing. In fact it brought such a state into being and worked it effectively for centuries. This was the miracle Islam accomplished.
IV. THE CHALLENGE FROM WITHIN
however, it is extremely regrettable that the present-day Muslims have become oblivious of the great legacy of brotherhood of all Muslims. When the Western nations invaded the Islamic world and brought country after country under their sway, we first suffered a defeat in the battlefield then accepted the West's supremacy in the realm of knowledge, culture and philosophy. What the West could not achieve by the force of arms its philosophies accomplished by means mire subtle. Their political rule touched the upper layer of our physical existence only. But their cultural and intellectual domination enslaved our .minds. Our bodies alone were not enchained, our minds and souls were also held captive and we were influenced into rejecting our own beliefs and accepting their ideas. It is one of the tragic consequences of these very influences that the Muslims accepted the concept of nationalism that was unknown to them until the 19th century. Along with nationalism the Muslims also adopted the cult of regionalism in emulation of the. West. In consequence of the policies of Western powers, and of certain Muslim governments Muslims of a country or those of a particular ethnic origin were out off from the wider fraternity of the community of Islam. They chose to become a self-contained political unit, however, superficial and unrealistic that might have been. Country or ethnic group Wes presented as the be-all and end-all of their existence. Them loyalties were for their country alone. In this strange new world a Muslim could only enjoy his rights within the boundaries of his own country. Other Muslim countries became as foreign to him as any non-Muslim country. For the fiat time in the history the Muslims broke, up with their own hands the unity of the world of Islam. The nation to whom the idea of territorial nationalism was simply foreign, the nation that was raised as, to quote the Qur'an, "the best of people; raised unto mankind" [4. Al Qur'an, 3: 110.] adopted the non-believers' cult of nationalism and tore to pieces the precious mantle of international brotherhood that it had inherited and which others cannot get for any price: "Not if thou hadst spent all that is in the earth couldst thou have produced that love and affection but God had done it. [5. Al-Qur'an, 8: 63.]
From the middle of the 19th century the West was bent upon breaking up the unity of the Muslims and introducing the doctrine of nationalism. The. result was .that during the: First World War a Muslim nation revolted against another Muslim nation when the latter was engaged in fight with the enemies. In this case both the nations were at fault. The one had adopted the cult of Arab nationalism and the _other that of Turkish nationalism. Their common teacher was the Imperialist West, who made them disregard .the fact that both were bound to each other by the ties of Islam. The Turks forgot the fact that their vast empire claimed to be an Islamic caliphate. The' Caucasian Turks alone did not populate this empire. There Were Arabs and other communities too who could owe allegiance to Islam but could not be expected to give their loyalties to Turks as their overlords. The Arabs did not realize that the people against whom they took up arms, evidently at the instigation of Western imperialism, were none else than their, brethren in faith and the prospect of independence dangled before them was yet another noose of slavery that would be tightened around their necks. Drunk with nationalism both missed the reality and clashed with each other. The tragic consequence was that on the one hand' the Turkish empire disintegrated, the Turks' own freedom was periled and when they barely succeeded in keeping their own country intact they liquidated the caliphate in whatever form it had existed. Politics and religion were divorced from each other. The script was changed from the Arabic to Latin. All ties with the Muslim world were snapped. This was the Turkish tragedy. On the other hand, the Arabs could not secure the independence in pursuit of which they had accepted to become the tools of the enemies of Islam. Iraq was annexed by the British. Syria and Lebanon passed into the suzerainty of France. Palestine was assigned to Britain under 'a mandate of the League of Nations. They started converting it into the national homeland of the Jews. That was the price that the Muslim nation had to pay for accepting the concept of territorial nationalism.
After the Second World War different Muslim countries scattered from East to West were blessed with deliverance from Western colonial rule. [6. At present there are 37 independent Muslim States, 36 of which are members of the United Nations, of which 28 have attained independence from colonist rule only after the Second World War.] The emergence of those nations as separate independent states is the inevitable outcome of a historic movement which cannot be altered. What is regrettable is that all these Muslim countries are following the same doctrine of nationalism that they had imbibed from their Western masters. The concepts of a single nationality within the Darussalam, of common citizenship, of a commonwealth of Muslim countries apart, they are not even fully conscious off the revolutionary rule of Islam because of which they are linked to each other, which can unite their Muslim populations into one-ummah, promote; goodwill and co-operation among them, open up new vistas, of co-operation and concord for their common development, turn them into comrades in arms defending each other's territorial independence. The western concept of nationalism dominates them to such an extent that they consider a Muslim off another country alien to them as 'is a non-Muslim. They do not hesitate to fight with another Muslim country if their territorial interests so demand. They see nothing wrong in making friends with the sworn enemy of another Muslim .country. They are not moved even if a brother Muslim country is subjected to injustice and oppression. Today they are equally faced with the danger of once again losing their independence in the event of a clash between the Pig Powers.
In such circumstances a welcome voice has been heard, inviting the heads of Muslim countries to assemble at one place, deliberate on their common problems and devise ways and means of mutual co-operation for solving them. Reason expected, that this call would be hailed. But, alas a What we hear and see is that more than the non-Muslims our Muslim brethren are displeased with this call. The wisdom of uniting nation-states on the basis of religion is being called in question. And the irony is that the men. who hold this view are themselves raising the slogan that socialist countries should band together. Grouping together in the name of Communism is virtue arid wisdom doing so in the name of Islam is folly and sin. Uniting and coming, together on the basis of comprehensive bonds is beyond reproach provided the binding factor is belief in Marxism and not in God's deem. That is the extent of the mental slavery of these disciples of the Western imperialism even after they have been freed from the tatter's political domination, The manger may have been uniting round their mutual hate for Islam and subjecting the Muslims to all manner of atrocities and may still be nurturing evil designs against they but once they have taught their disciple- that admitting , any relationship with Islam is 'reactionaryism', how can dais reactionary disciple act and damage his reputation of being a so-called progressive ?
A WORD TO THE CRITICS
The objections to the proposal of a conference of Muslim countries that have been heard in the near past reveal only one fact, viz., that the rulers of the Muslim countries are highly confused. They do not try to probe facts and get at the core off the problem directly. What can be a valid argument, against the conference of Muslim states when there exists a British Commonwealth of nations. The only factor common among these nations is that .they have all been ruled by the British. Neither do they share their cultures; nor a common language nor are they linked to: each other economically nor are they each other's neighbors geographically. Still no one has any objection to the British Commonwealth. Similarly, there is an organization of African states. The participants have nothing common between them except the color of their skin and her common objective of protecting the Blacks against the designs off the Whites. The people who are opposing the move for the unification of the Muslims are themselves members of dais organization. Two more regional groupings are in existence-one of Communists countries, under the Warsaw Pact and the other off the states off Northern America in the shape off the United States off America. Nor one questions the right of these states to unite. Why should anyone oppose such an organization of Muslim countries ? On what basis can the idea be objected to. Prom Pakistan to Morocco and South Africa the boundaries of the Muslim countries are contiguous to one another. If the interruption caused by the sea be overlooked. Indonesia and Malaysia also become geographically contiguous to 'these countries and links in that long unbroken chain. Religion is not the only. common factor among them, they are also bound together by their common culture and civilization. Wherever we may go from Indonesia to Morocco, the Muslims have a culture that is shared by all believers in Islam. The fundamentals of this culture are equally manifest in all Muslim countries. Wherever a Muslim may go the moment he hears the call to prayer he becomes conscious that he is among his brothers in faith. He is as much a member of the congregation in the masque as any native Muslim. No one among the gathering considers him a stranger. Rather they rush to embrace him when they come to know that he has come from another Muslim country. He may not know their language. But 'As Salamo `Alaikum' is. the common mode of salutation between him and the nations. The language of' the prayer as well as off the sermon is not Greek or Latin to him. "All Praise is for Allah, the Sustainer of the Worlds" and "Allah is Great" are beliefs that, he shares with them. The form and contents of the prayer are the same from Indonesia to Morocco. . The congregations can choose him, the lone stranger, to dead their prayer. He, the lone stranger, can offer his prayer led by their leader. Outside the mosque wherever he may move in the Muslim society of that country he would find the ties of culture binding him and the native Muslims. He can nine with them confident in the knowledge that all that is prohibited is anathema to him and them alike. The rules of cleanliness are observed as much by them as by him. Whatever Muslim country he may be visiting, its elite and common folk alike enquire after the welfare of the Muslims of 'his country as if they were their very kinsmen, If they learn that they are comfortable they praise Allah for the happy news with their faces flashed with joy. If the report is riot good they feel sorry as his own compatriots would do if they learnt about the plight of their countrymen. Not only that. All laws governing marriage, divorce, heritage, etc., in Muslim countries are so similar to one another's that the citizen of one country finds no difficulty in marrying the citizen of another country. This state of affair exists nowhere else in the world apart from the Muslim countries. This proves that there exists between all Muslims strong and deep relationship based on the common sentiments, mutual sympathies and good wishes and common culture and civilization-a relationship which no force can undo even in this age of the cult of nationalism. In addition all the Muslim countries from the East to West are contiguous to one another geographically. Why shouldn't they then combine to solve their common problems and assist one another for progress and development. Another reason why the Muslim countries should join their forces is that individually they cannot withstand the ruinous effects of international conflicts between the Big Powers: Forging unity among them, therefore, is essential as it is considered necessary for the African nations to organize themselves to thwart the designs of imperialist powers. If the color of the skin, geographical contiguity and common interests are valid grounds for Africans to unite and no one objects to their organizing themselves why is not the unity of Muslims for a common cause born of deeper relations among them valid and justifiable ? How can a rational person object to such an arrangement. ?
The persons who are opposed to Muslim countries' :organization on the basis of religion, should be made to squarely face this question : Why should the Muslims not unite for protecting themselves when it is religious prejudice alone that prompts the Western nations to commit excesses against the Muslims all over the world ? The Western powers have not yet got overcome over their prejudice against Islam and the Muslims that they inherited from the days of the crusades. However much a Muslim may go out of his way to prove his religious tolerance and try to win their favors by showing indifference to his own religion, the West wouldn't forgive him for being a Muslim nor would spare him their wrath. , They are not content with the injustices they are inflicting upon the Muslims. Wherever in the world there is a conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims their sympathies are with the non-Muslims irrespective of who is the oppressor and who the victim. Who does not remember the proclamation that Lord Allenby made after occupying Palestine in the First World War. It was in the spirit of the same Proclamation that arrangements were made to evict the Muslims from their home land transplanting the Jews in their place. Could the people of America and Europe watch with equanimity an injustice of a similar nature and magnitude been perpetrated upon any other nation ?
When India was partitioned a Muslim majority area like Kashmir was given away to Bharat as a gift on a platter. Since then the Muslims of Kashmir have been subjected to most inhuman repression but this tale of torture and oppression has not moistened the eyes that have not stopped,, shedding tears over the fate of the Hungarians, although what happened in Hungary bears no comparison to what has been happening in Kashmir for the last nineteen years. Similarly in the case of Cyprus the sympathies of the West are with the Greeks although they are committing atrocities on the Turk:. The reason is simple: the oppressors are after all Christians white the oppressed are Muslims. The USA showed scant regard for the close friendship that Turkey had for her. The reign of terror that Britain, France, Belgium, Holland, Portugal and other Christian nations let loose on Muslims in different countries of Africa is unsurpassed in the history of racial prejudice. Their culture was destroyed, their economic might was broken, they were deprived of education. No one was allowed to receive education unless he either adopted Christianity or of leapt took a Christian name in place of his Muslim name. Most of the Africans appointed to the army and civil service were Christians. The result is that in many newly independent countries of Africa whose populations are predominantly Muslim, the Government is in the hands of the Christians, while the Muslim majority has been simply rendered helpless. Even where Muslims occupy positions of authority the Christians enjoy such power in the army and civil service that Muslims find it difficult to run the government. The question, therefore, arises why should nit the people who have been victimized all over the world, and , who continue to be victimized, because they profess Islam, unite together to protect themselves on the basis of the same religion that led to their being victimized due to tire religious prejudice of the Christians and the Jews? Is the banding together of the oppressors for perpetrating their crimes, more deplorable or the organizing of the oppressed to defend themselves ?
One is wonder-struck at the people who are opposing the union of. the Muslim States on the ground that such a grouping on the basis of religion is unsound. One is wonder-struck that joining hands in the name of Communism is wise and acceptable; making color a rallying force is add justifiable; only uniting in the name of God and His religion is a folly! The logic of this argument is simply beyond one’s comprehension. In my opinion the Muslims should not only rally together to solve their religious, cultural and economic problems and should not only cooperate with each other for their cultural and material progress; they should also join their hands to strengthen their defense by concerted efforts. In addition, they should try to pool their resources to develop armament industry so that they may not remain dependent on Russia or America or Britain for the supply of arms.
Chapter Two: The Task before the Muslim Summit
The Muslim world is faced with many challenges of colossal magnitude. One of these is that of secular nationalistic philosophy.
The message of Muhammad, the last Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) to all human beings was to serve one God and to live together righteously as brethren. The contemporary man, however, tends to worship many gods beside (often, instead of) the one true God, the Creator of the universe. This has destroyed the bases of the faith that human beings constitute one brotherhood. Strangely enough, the age in which man was able to subdue space, the age in which physical distance have been virtually annihilated, and when East and West, North and South have almost ceased to be meaningful terms, that same age has witnessed man's utter inability to transcend mentally the barriers of race, language and geography. It is in this very age that man's inborn narrow-mindedness was exalted into a respectable philosophical doctrine-the doctrine of nationalism. This doctrine has kept the nations of the world perpetually divided, and has promoted suspicion, hatred, and hostility instead of trust, sympathy and friendship. This doctrine, combined with a materialistic outlook of life, has plunged the. world into two world wars in the short span of three decades. No wonder, having tasted its bitter fruits, the Western world is tending to discard it as out-dated and dangerous for the future of mankind.
Tragic indeed is the fact that in many of the Muslim countries, a group of people has been trying to sell this very secular nationalism as the panacea of our ailments. The propagation of this ideology has been carried out with the blessings of our former colonial masters who save in nationalism the germs that could disrupt the unity of the Muslim ummah, During the First World War, the Arabs and the Turks were instigated to fly at each other's throats, none of them realizing that nationalist feelings had been deliberately worked up as part of a diabolical conspiracy to undermine the political strength of the Muslims. how that the Muslims have regained their right to shape their destiny, the enemies of the Muslims are once more busy preaching nationalism which, they hope, will prevent the Muslims from forging strong bonds of unity. Nothing scares the world powers, Monism and the incipient Hindu imperialism as the specter of Islamic revival and Muslim amity. Once the Muslims-who number around 600 millions -close their ranks, it would mean an end to their aggrandizement and exploitation of the Muslim countries. The Zionists know only too well that the Muslims unit, the end of Israel would be just at hand. "This fear is shared ,by those who are dreaming of preponderant Hindu dominance and influence over Asia and Africa. - The imperialist powers are aware that this unity would make it impossible for them to play with the destiny of Muslim countries, as they leave been doing in the past, by placing one stooge into power here and another there.
The hostile a criticism, therefore, with which the recent move towards Islamic unity has been greeted in a section of the Western and Communist press is quite understandable. What is less understandable is that the head of a Muslim State has chosen to come out in open opposition to the idea of Muslim unity. It is difficult to believe that any Muslim can be so gullible as not to realize as to who stands to benefit and who stands to lose by the perpetuation of the present disunity of the Muslim world: the Muslims or their enemies.
The Muslims have experienced both the blocks. These experiences have made it crystal clear that each of the world dowers has its own aye to grind grad their gestures of friendship are merely designed to further their own interests, Hence while the Muslims should welcome friendship and co-operation from whichever country it might come, they should maintain vigilance towards the world powers who are always on a look-out to exploit our present state of backwardness and disunity. In tact, this makes it all the more necessary for Muslims to come together so that the strength of each will be the strength of all. This alone is the road through which flee Muslims will be able to retain their independence, play a healthy and constructive role in world affairs and bring about their much-cherished renaissance.
In the chaos that engulfs the present-day Muslim world, the call for an Islamic Summit has raised new hopes. I altars, with my other brethren in all parts of the , Muslim world, the expectation that a large number of heads of Muslim states will participate in it and something tangible will come out of it. I am particularly hopeful that my own . country, which has consistently championed the idea of
Muslim unity and has seen tangible manifestations of that unity during its recent -conflict with India, will play a positive role in making this Summit a success.
In order that this Summit may have a substantial impact on the future of the Muslim world, it seems necessary to keep in mind that our attention should be focused not merely on creating a bloc of Muslim countries, but should also try to come into grips with the fundamental problems which face the contemporary Muslim world. In my own humble opinion, the following problems deserve the attention of the leaders of the Muslim world:
1. The very existence of Islamic culture is menaced by the intrusion on a terrific scale, of foreign cultural influences. We have flung our doors wide open not only for the sciences and technology (which we do indeed need), but also to those unhealthy aspect's of Western culture which are gradually depriving our life of Islamic orientation. Unless we take care of our cultural identity, the future of the Muslim world is doomed.
2. Another problem which is closely related to the above is concerned with the reorientation of educational policy. We have at present two different and conflicting systems of education, both, of which suffer from serious drawbacks One of these fails to prepare people to shoulder the practical responsibilities of worldly life, while the other fails to provide any religious guidance, and moral orientation. These conflicting systems of education have produced people with fundamentally different, outlooks which has resulted in a dangerous internal conflict in the Muslim society. What we need is an integration of the healthy elements of both, leading to the emergence of a unified system of education.
3. An ancillary problem is that of organizing and fostering research by pooling the resources of all the Muslim countries. Scientific and technological research should be organized with a view to meet the needs of the Muslim society and to make them a servant of the Muslim culture and tradition. Another plane of work is the organization of research on the living issues of the Muslim society, particularly the problems produced by the challenge of modernity. We must evolve our own unique approach to all the pressing problems -that beset us an approach based on the, tenets of the Qur'an and Sunnah and not one in blind imitation to the ideologies of the day.
4. The Islamic Summit must also consider setting up of heavy industry and armament factories in the Muslim countries for the defense of the Muslim world. Unless heavy armament factories are set up in the Muslim countries, they will have to rely on outside sources. While some of .the Muslim countries can provide labor and technical know-how, there are other Muslim countries which are rich in foreign exchange and other necessary resources (Saudi Arabia, for instance, seems to be possessed of iron deposits of good quality in abundance).
5. In order to strengthen the bases of Islamic unity and promote greater understanding among the Muslim countries, ways and means should be devised to popularize our common Islamic language-Arabic. This wilt develop greater communication between Muslim countries and a better appreciation of each other's problems and difficulties.
6. In order to create a cordial atmosphere, the mutual propaganda war between Muslim countries should put to an end.
7. The Muslims should jointly set up a body which could arbitrate, adjudicate and help the Muslim countries solve their mutual problems and disputes. When an International Court of justice can be set up at the Hague, why should the Muslim countries not establish such an organization to solve their disputes and smooth out their internal strains and stresses ?
8. It also seems advisable to promote the establishment of a Muslim World Views Agency. The present state of affairs is deplorable. Muslims of one country are to a great extent in dark about what is going on in other Muslim countries. The media for whatever news we get are the news agencies which have been set up by interested foreign countries. Similarly them should be a net-work of radio communication so that there may be a positive media of direct contact between the Muslim world..
9. The problem of developing closer economic ties between the Muslim countries also merits serious attention. Muslim countries should give first priority in importing goods to their sister Muslim countries.
10. The passport and visa restrictions between Muslim countries should in the first instance be eased as a, result of a common policy formulated by the rulers of all the Muslim countries of the world and efforts should be treads to finally eliminate them altogether.
11. The problem of Muslims of Africa should also receive due attention. In several countries in Western arx3 Central Africa the Muslims arc in numerical majority, and are yet deprived of politic-! influence. Kept backward in education by the imperialist powers, these Muslim majorities have been rendered ineffective. If these Muslims are not taken care of, the Muslim influence in the African continent will continually decline. Similarly the problems of stepping up systematic efforts towards the propagation of Islam in Africa should be taken up in right earnest.
12. Muslim minorities in several countries of the world are being subjected to intolerable persecution and injustice. In some of the countries, life, property and honor of the Muslims are not at all secure. In other countries concerted efforts are being made to destroy their distinct cultural identity. In short, their right to live, and to live as Muslims, is being denied. If the Muslim countries were to take up the matter jointly, there is no reason why this problem cannot be solved.
13. Last, but not the least, is the extremely important problem of Muslim students who are studying abroad in non-Muslim countries and are, therefore, exposed to all kinds of unhealthy influences. The result is that before they return to their respective countries, a majority of them has already undergone a metamorphosis with the result that their moorings in their own culture are ruptured and their usefulness tea their own people is reduced. Muslim states should plan to establish their own hostels at important educational centers. These hostels should not only provide accommodation and halal food to the Muslim students studying abroad, but should also make arrangements for their moral and spiritual training, their ideological orientation and for healthy recreations. We can also plan to establish, on the principle of division of work and specialization, certain: Institutes of Advanced Learning in different Muslim countries so that our students may go to them far advanced education in all important fields of study and thus our dependence on foreign countries in these fields may also be minimized, if not eliminated.
These are some of the problems which beset the Muslim world. The heads of Muslim states should come to grip with them. Ours is a multi-faced problem and it must be faced in all its aspects. If the European countries which lack a unifying ideology, can gradually move towards the goal of United Europe and some of then can even develop their common market, common planning and some kind of common parliament and common control why the Muslims cannot become united to solve their common problems and meet the external challenge that threaten them all, although they believe in One God, One Prophet, and One Book.