By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
02 February, 2015
The Prophet of Islam is said to have remarked that in this world there are only few rights of a person—a house to live in, a piece of cloth to cover his body, a loaf of bread and water. (Tirmidhi)
From this Hadith of the Prophet we learn what the criterion for determining the necessities of life actually is It tells us what things we need for us to live adequately. If you do not abide by this standard, and, instead, think that in order to live you need, for instance, a palace, you won’t ever be satisfied with a small, but actually very adequate, house. You will be obsessed with acquiring a palace, driven by the belief that as long as you don’t have a palace you are homeless.
The same applies to entire communities; in just the same way as it does in the case of individuals. If on its own a community starts imagining that for its communal life it is absolutely essential for it to wield political power, it will never be satisfied with anything but a status of political dominance. Even if by remaining without political dominance the community can access and enjoy many facilities, members of the community will continue to be resentful because of the lack of the dominance that they hanker after, and which they feel they are deprived of. It can even be that for the sake of achieving this self-created criterion of theirs they may take to violence, even if the result of this would be nothing but a further exacerbation of their own destruction.
Muslims today are, generally speaking, victims of precisely this wrong sense of deprivation. This is despite the fact that today they can easily access and enjoy many facilities and opportunities, for which they should have been grateful to God. The only cause of the condition in which they find themselves is that they have formed, on their own, a wrong standard of Islam. According to this self-styled criterion, they imagine that Islam will live if Muslims acquire political dominance, but that otherwise it will not live. In this mistaken zeal of theirs they have gone to such an extent that today there are more than 50 countries where Muslims enjoy political dominance but still they do not perceive this obvious reality.