By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
28 December, 2014
For the Muslims, the present age is, in essence, one of struggle. This period commenced in 1799, when Sultan Tipu of India (then undivided) was killed by the British army in Mysore. From that point onwards the Muslims launched themselves on a course of violent and unceasing struggle. Yet, after more than 200 years of such strenuous endeavour, there has been no positive outcome. In this long, hard and violent struggle, the whole Ummah has been involved, some passively and others actively. But after a monumental sacrifice of life and resources, this struggle has failed to produce the desired result. At the present juncture, there is no justification for continuing with this pattern of conflict. Now, ultimately, the time has come for Muslims to re-plan their strategy.
We have to replace violent struggle with peaceful struggle. Fortunately, the present age is wholly in our support. All kinds of opportunities are open to everyone. The only thing that is taboo in the present world is violence. If we come to an understanding of the spirit of the age and abandon violence, we will find that global opportunities have opened up for Muslims.
What is the peaceful pattern of struggle? It is that which is known as the Hudaybiya model. The Hudaybiya model is referred to in the Quran as Fath-E-Mubin (48:1). In other words, the Hudaybiya model is the victory model, valid not only in the seventh century, but also in the twenty-first century.
What is the Hudaybiya model that was adopted by the Prophet of Islam and his Companions in the early period of Islam? It is the replacement of a violent course of action with a peaceful course of action. This proved to be highly successful and the result was the conquest of Makkah in 630 AD.
The present age is virtually the age of Hudaybiya. The price the Prophet of Islam paid for this replacement was that he unconditionally accepted all the conditions laid down by the other party. At that time, what had been achieved at a local level, temporarily, through a no-war pact between the Makkan and the Madinan leadership, has now been achieved as a human right at the universal level, at no cost whatsoever. In present times, great importance has been attached to peaceful development in, for instance, industry, quality education, good infrastructure, and so on. These are social bases. And a strong social base is everything in the present age.
Pakistan’s English daily, Dawn, has rightly pointed out that counter terrorism operations would amount to little more than fire-fighting, unless there was an attempt to attack the ideological roots of militancy and the societal reach of militants. (December 18, 2014)
Present-day Muslims are obsessed with the ideology of violence in the name of jihad. We must therefore replace it with the ideology of peace, which is the equivalent of what is called Da’wah in Islam. It is for the Muslim intellectuals of today – all over the world – to initiate this intellectual crusade.
Every change is preceded by a pre-change. Now the Muslim Ummah is in need of a pre-change. That is, change in the way of thinking. This task is so great that it would be no exaggeration to call it an intellectual revolution. Muslim intellectuals must accept that they are destined to play this role, for it is only intellectual crusades which will lead to a change in the way of thinking. This change in the way of thinking will result into a new kind of positive, peaceful struggle, which will certainly culminate in Fath-E-Mubin, or clear victory.
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan is an Islamic Scholar and Founder of Centre for Peace and Spirituality International, New Delhi