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Friday, October 10, 2008

Ukhuwwah Revived

Ukhuwwah Revived

Ukhuwwah. Bond of Islamic brotherhood. It’s the same old topic which we always have to be reminded again and again. Maybe the editor should touch it up a bit, give it a face lift (say, write in English for example?). The topic almost instantly reminds me of the Quranic verse:-

“The believers are nothing else than brothers (in Islamic religion). So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy.”[Surah al-Hujurat verse 10]

‘Nothing else’ is somewhat quirky for the translation, I would have put ‘nothing less’. It sounds better; the believers are nothing less than brothers (in Islamic religion). One believer and another believer are brothers. All of us are rightfully related as so. The beauty of Islam, bonding us together irrespective of race, skin color, language, ancestry, blood line not even social class. The bond of faith/akeedah binds us closer than anything else, even blood lineage. The prophet Noah, during the great flood, had to abandon his biological son. He felt bad and guilty, but was reminded that non-believers, as his son was, should not be considered above believers. Remember the verse?

Of more recent, I would mention about the double standard faced by the blacks in the western world until quite recently. Everyone knows Malcolm X- he fought against racism in America. ‘Blacks’ and ‘colored people’ are treated as low standard less than human creatures, as compared to ‘whites’ in the so called ‘civilized west’. In Mecca, when he went to perform Umrah, did he saw real equality and human brotherhood. He wrote something like ‘here in Mecca I am warmly welcomed and treated luxuriously as a guest; given a free room, splendid foods and given utmost respect from the very people that back in America would have been considered ‘white’ and of higher status…’. That is because his host are Muslims, and we Muslims always speak up, stand up and back up our Muslim brothers!

Well of course that attitude is sometime too ideal, too good to be true. Too ‘schematic’ some Malaysians would say. Truth is, many of us Muslims are leaving the Islamic values and ethics. Sadly to say, these people are turning from the enlightenment of Islam, going astray into the blackness of some foreign lust-induced morality. Let us pray we don’t, and is amongst the handful saved, as perfectly announced in the Quran:-

“O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion (Islam), Allah will bring people whom He will love and they will love Him; humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers, fighting in the Way of Allah, and never fear of the blame of blamers. That is the Grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.”[Surah al-Maidah- verse 54]

Let us hope we are amongst those who love Him and is loved by Him. How? By being humble, forgiving, gentle and warmth towards our brothers and sisters! Always treating fellow Muslims with affection, kind and pleasantness! Saving all the stern, fierce, grim, hard and toughness to non-Muslims when the condition needs so!

One bitter example would be the stand off between Hamas and Fatah in Palestine. I can’t imagine how Fatah would rather be wicked enough to act harshly much more severely towards their own countrymen, and ironically being the opposite (being overly apologetic) to the transgressors of Palestine! What have happened to the minds of Muslim Palestinian that they are geared to fight, shoot, and warring between themselves in times of danger? May Allah protect us in Egypt, us medical student, male and female, of any affiliations or ideologies, from divisions or such vengeful acts over petty things!

Continue…Brotherhood and Fanaticism One aspect one must not forget when discussing about brotherhood or ukhuwwah is that about fanaticism- excessive enthusiasm towards one’s group. This is perfectly reminded by the ultimate prophet, Nabi Muhammad (peace be upon him) when he described about ‘asabiyah/ fanaticism: “’Asabiyah (fanaticism) is to help someone on the basis of tyranny.” We can clearly understood from the quotation that however connected we are to someone or something, we shouldn’t be helping them out to do unjust or wrong things, for whatever reason, be it good or bad. We are not to defend wrongdoers. A guilty person has to receive the consequence and outcome of his own actions, be it in this world, or the hereafter! Whoever he is or whatever position he has cannot be accounted for- remember how The Prophet pronounced that even if his own beloved daughter is caught stealing, he will carry out the deserved punishment!

May we all be guided away from being repressively unjust towards people of other clique for the sake of our devotion to our society!

Brotherhood and ‘Esprit de Corps’ The phrase Esprit de corps single out that unity in ways of thinking, unity in actions as well as loyalty unites an alliance. The sense of belonging to Islam, loyalty to Allah and His messenger, togetherness of faith in all Muslim are factors that should integrate all Muslims worldwide. Putting aside all insignificant political, historical and genealogical differences is essential to see a Muslim ummah more united and mighty. Then can we dream of Islamic states cooperating in areas of mutual benefits; the obvious being knowledge sharing, economical collaboration and defensive team-up. Dream then of technological advances being initiated by Muslims, Islamic ‘Dinnar’ being a potent interstate currency, dignity of the Ummah being well guarded and look up upon globally, no countries being invaded as the recent Afghanistan, Iraqi and Lebanon tragedies, and who knows, maybe even freedom and independence of the Quds!

Big things start with small steps. Let us not forget that before we build a united global brotherhood, we have to start strengthen the unity in ourselves, our family and our little community. There are barriers of course, which I likened to viruses. These are pathological viruses of Ukhuwwah; small, hidden and undetectable but present inside us. Once it starts to spread and manifest the whole of our ‘body’, it hurts our capabilities. Consider vaccinating yourself from these traits:-Believing or spreading unreliable news and rumours especially tell all hearsay which intends to incite or stir provocation towards one party“O you who believe! If a Fasiq (liar-evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, least you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done.”[Surah al-Hujurat-verse 6]

Mocking, calling nicknames, humiliate and making one feel disgraced, moreover when publicly and malicious.“O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it maybe that the latter are better than the former. Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it to insult one’s brother after having Faith (i.e. to call your Muslim brother- a faithful believer, as ‘O sinner’, or ‘O wicked’). And whosoever does not repent are indeed Zalimun (wrong doers, etc).”[Surah al-Hujurat verse 11]

Too much distrust, uncertainty and doubt with fellow brothers without a respectable cause. Backbiting, cheating“O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion; indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful.”[Surah al-Hujurat verse 12]
“O mankind! We have from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa {i.e. he is one of the Muttaqun- the pious). Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.”[Surah al-Hujurat verse 13]

Too much talking I hope not without hard action. I think that’s enough of words, how we reflect them in our daily lives is massively much more important

By : Ahmad Haikal Bin Idris, Forth Year, Medical Student, Cairo University.

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