By: Ahmed Kilani
“I went to the West and saw Islam, but no Muslims; I got back to the East and saw Muslims, but not Islam.” – Muhammad Abduh, Mufti of Egypt, 1899 – 1905
Although over 100 years old, this quote still applies to Egypt and most of the Muslim world today. My heart is breaking over what is happening in Egypt, and not just because I am of Egyptian background. Unlike the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Burma, sadly etc, this is not sectarian or non Muslims killing Muslims. This is a supposed Sunni Muslim government/military killing Sunni Muslim civilians with a cheer squad giving them support. This is a tragedy beyond words being played out before our very eyes, and hard evidence of how deep the Ummah has sunk.
It is a sad reflection that for many Muslims today, in Egypt and elsewhere, Islam has manifested into a superficial force devoid of any spiritual or intellectual nourishment and benefit. It has been watered down to the extent that for the majority of Muslims Islam is now only focused on rituals. It is not allowed to extend beyond the four walls of a Mosque or a house and never beyond the heart. It is Islam without substance or purpose beyond the personal realm. It is Islam for a secular world.
This of course is not what Islam is, no matter what the forces that be wish. For the majority of Egyptians – as elsewhere – generations have been slowly brain washed on mass and morally and intellectually corrupted into following a form of Islam that is not allowed to have a public spiritual presence and effect beyond the superficial domain.
If people don’t accept this, it should be remembered that it was not long ago in Egypt that upholding a simple outward Sunnah as the beard was grounds for harassment and expulsion from public buildings.
Despite this Islam in its proper sense – a deeply spiritual and complete way of life and governance – still flourishes in the minds and hearts of many. Not only in Egypt, but in the entire Muslim world. In fact it is in the midst of a grand revival everywhere.
With every action there is a reaction and the Islamic revival is being strongly opposed by the forces of Shaitan – Muslim and Non Muslim – on all fronts. It is now open war fare intellectually, socially, spiritually and at times physically as we sadly keep witnessing blood shed in the most savage and inhumane means from one country to the next.
The Islamic movements in Egypt and elsewhere are not perfect and immune from errors, but they are on the march by the will of Allah and this is why we are seeing such a formidable response to halt them.
In Egypt, like elsewhere, this involves much deception and the most devious of means being used where one can become a party to harming one self and others (spiritually and physically) without even having knowledge of what one is doing. Such is the age of fitna we are now witnessing. This battle of righteousness versus evil – both of which come in many forms and not just a simple Islam v non Islam paradigm – has reached a critical stage as the momentum is swinging back towards the righteous.
Those that are fighting to bring justice and peace to the world on all levels of civil society are being strongly challenged. Whether it is the Bradley Mannings, Occupy Movements and Mohammed Morsis of this world on the global stage or those campaigning against poverty, inequality and injustice in their local neighbourhood, those that challenge the current status quo are under attack.
One of the outcomes of the individualistic, highly superficial, fast paced world we live in today, is that it has become very difficult to identify what is truth from falsehood. However as Muslims, Islam has given us the means to be able to have insight and identify these realities to protect ourselves. But getting the ability to “see” is dependably on following Islam in a deeply spiritual and intellectual means.
Sadly Islam for the majority of the Ummah has become devoid of this. Mainly as a result of traditional Islamic scholars that are out of touch with the people and the petrodollar and satellite TV driven literalist interpretation of Islam that have made this the new “Islam” the defacto religion for many.
Whether Muslims are living in Egypt, Australia or the North Pole, this is now a global phenomenon. The fact the Muslims have now become the biggest oppressors of themselves is evidence that we have lost our way and need to return to an Islam that is a living tool for day to day life. An Islam that promotes good manners and civility in all our dealings with others based on a deep spiritual and intellectual understanding.
An Islam that teaches and breeds love for each other and greater humanity.
It is these fundamental attributes that have been missing for decades in Egypt and elsewhere and must be revived. Only then will individuals and the masses be able to distinguish the real truth from the falsehood in the fast paced superficial world of mass media lies and deception that we live in.
May Allah make us those that will uphold and practice Islam in its pure true and exemplary essence.
May Allah enlighten our hearts and minds and make us of those who that can see beyond what our two eyes see.
May Allah make us those of who will use their hearts, minds and bodies to aide the causes of justice and empower goodness in others.
May Allah aid, uplift and protect all those that are suffering – Muslim and non Muslim – from injustice and oppression anywhere in the world.
May Allah make those that are suffering have patience and diminish the sorrow and sadness that they feel.
May Allah unite the hearts and minds of those that are challenging the forces of injustice, inequality and oppression and allow them to confront and defeat them in a manner that does not transgress.
May Allah keep us patient, steadfast and acting in complete conviction that the victory of good against evil has been assured by you Allah, whether we witness it in our lives or not.
May Allah make us of those that will get up in the middle of the night and call upon you, with sincerity in our hearts and tears in our eyes, to uplift the oppression and suffering of those innocents that are in pain.
May Allah protect us and our loved ones from the tyranny of our times and make us to be in the company of those that will revive the Islamic Ummah and the world.
May Allah make these sad days be days we will look back on with fondness in years to come as the time that the Ummah truly woke up from its deep slumber.
May Allah protect us from tribulation/corruption, internal and external, and raise amongst us those that will restore justice and peace to all the world as khulafaa alarad (custodians of the world).
May Allah make us and our progeny be of those who will share their company.
Ameen, Ameen, Ameen.
The world, now more than ever, needs men and women of unshakeable Taqwa (God consciousness) and spiritual strength to defeat the forces of Shaitan that are becoming all encompassing.
Each of us should look deeply into our hearts and ask what am I doing to help my Ummah?
The best action is to fix ourselves up individually InshaAllah and work on improving our relationship with Allah. But the time might be approaching – maybe it is here now – when this is not enough.
Allah will ask each and every one of us what we witnessed and what did we do to correct it. According to your own unique situation and capabilities, we will all be held accountable.
How are you going to respond?