By Femi Abbas
October 4, 2019
Today’s article was first published in this column in 2010 in Nation Online albeit with a different title. Its publication at that time was warranted by an unpredictable pendulum which started to swing dangerously on the entire Arab world with what came to be known globally as Arab Spring.
The repetition of the article here is due to its relevance at this time when a political tsunami seems to be foraging the Arab world crushingly at the expense of Islam. That tsunami can be linked to the recent diplomatic ripples in the Arabian Gulf which led to the ostracisation of Qatar by the tripod of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. That fortuitous incident later became complicated by the criminal murder of a US-based Saudi Journalist, Jamal Kashogi, in cold blood, right inside the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Turkey.
Today, Islam in the Arab world is like a lily by the mossy stone. And that mossy stone is nothing other than the Arabs themselves through whom Allah’s divine religion was revealed to mankind. The more turbulent the Arab world goes politically, the more fragile the Islamic lily becomes. Now, many questions are begging for answers around the world about Islam, but most of those questions are not immediately answerable.
Islam at Inception
When, at the inception of Islam, the Qur’an described the “pre-Islamic Arabs as a people with great penchant for recalcitrance and hypocrisy” they (the Arabs) quickly retorted by saying that the reference was to rural and not urban Arabs. Their justification for that reaction at the time was that over 80% of the Arabs were rural dwellers. But today, with more than 80% of the Arabs being urban dwellers, has it not become manifest that Arabs are Arabs irrespective of whether they are urban or rural dwellers?
Arabs before Islam
To those who are not quite familiar with the Arab history before the advent of Islam, it may look like an irony that the great religion of peace called Islam originated from amongst such people. But those who understand the workings of Allah will readily know that revealing Islam to mankind through the Arabs was a deliberate divine policy. If that religion had not come into existence through a stubborn fraction of the Caucasian race like theirs, the Arabs would have constituted its most impregnable impediment and, thus, the relative peace in the world today would have been a mirage.
Allah’s design for Islam as a religion was to make it a social movement springing from the very grassroots and rising gradually to the topmost echelon of human aristocracy. That Islam came to mankind through a people with such Qur’anic description, therefore, could not have been an accident or a mistake.
If Islam had been revealed to mankind through the institution of monarchy or that of aristocracy, it would have been turned into a religion of masters and servants. And, in that case, the operations of Mosques would have been according to human status while the whims and caprices of the rulers and the lords would have formed the bulk of the laws guiding that religion. Thus, justice would have been according to the wishes of those monarchs and lords in a situation of cash and carry just as it was in Christianity in the primordial time. In a nutshell, justice would have been a matter of nomenclature proclaimed in the name of Allah but implemented in the style of Satan.
Stubbornness as a Trait
It is not strange that the Arabs of today are what the Qur’an had called their ancestors about 1500 years ago. A leopard can neither change its colour nor give birth to a lamb.
However, stubbornness as a trait is not peculiar to the Arabs. It is a common trait of all dwellers in desert areas. Even animals like camels and donkeys share that trait with them. The divine logic in driving Islam into the world though the desert Arabs is therefore to convince mankind that even stone-hearted people like the Arabs could be tamed by the non-such sacred message called the Qur’an. Meanwhile, despite the emergence of Islam through them, the Arabs have never been able to part with their natural obduracy which was the premise from which Prophet Muhammad (SAW) began the propagation of his divine mission.
Arabs and Jews are brothers from the same father (Prophet Ibrahim) but different mothers (Hajarah and Sarah). They share many traits of recalcitrance and obduracy in every aspect of their lives. Just as the Jews rejected Prophet Isa (Jesus) who emerged from amongst them so did the Arabs rebuffed Prophet Muhammad (SAW) even after they had convincingly accorded him the status of a truthful and trustworthy personality, based on his exemplary character before he became a Prophet. But for the fact that his message eventually brought fame to the Arabs and elevated their status in the comity of nations they would have totally rejected the divine message called Islam theoretically and practically.
The only Prophet from Arabia
Incidentally, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was the only Prophet from the Arab line. All other known Prophets after Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) came from amongst the Jews. Thus, the Jews can be said to be the world’s most luxurious race in divine prophet-hood. Yet, no Prophet was ever really accepted by them. The fact that a few of them still hold on tenaciously to Torah (now called Old Testament) which was revealed to Prophet Musa (Moses) is only due to an historical prophecy which enabled them to hope for a possible return to the land of Judea.
Like Jews like Arabs
The Arabs are hardly dissimilar from the Jews in their thoughts and actions. That the idea of the on-going global terrorism originated from among the Jews but became the heritage of the Arabs cannot be strange.
Of the four rightly guided Caliphs who succeeded Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as Heads of State and leaders of the Muslim Ummah, only one (Abu-Bakr Siddiq) was not killed in office and that was probably because he ruled for only two years. The other three: Umar Bn Khattab, Uthman Bn Affan and Ali Bn Abi Talib were all murdered gruesomely in cold blood as Heads of State by no other people than fellow Arabs. The Jews had done same to their Prophets long before the Arabs did.
Arabs in Spain
At least, it remains an historical fact that the Arab Muslims ruled Spain for about 500 years from 750 CE to 1258 CE. It was during that period that countries like France, Italy, Germany as well as Britain and others had their first contact with intellectual civilisation. If propagation of Islam was genuinely the Arabs’ objective of struggling for power, what Islamic achievements did they make during their half of a millennium rule over Spain? And why were they eventually evicted with ignominy from that country?
If the Arabs ingenuity had not been encapsulated in greed and self-centeredness, the intellectual hierarchy of the world today would have been different. In their lifestyle, even before the advent of Islam, the Arabs were notoriously known for three obnoxious engagements. These were WAR, WINE and WOMEN through which they often engaged one another with relish. But Islam came to condemn each of those primordial engagements which can be described as the main causes of self-destruction.
It is because Islam originated from the Arab domain where the two foremost Islamic sanctuaries (the Ka’abah in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah) were situated. The fact that the revelation of the Qur’an was in their language encouraged Muslims of other tongues and tribes to concede leadership of Islam to them even if tacitly. But rather than rising to that privileged status, the Arabs placed premium on Arabism and turned Islam into a pun on the chessboard of their racial, greedy politics.
Today, what matters most to the Arabs is Arabism rather than Islamism.
That is why virtually all the Arab countries are more related to Arabic than Islamic names officially.
Some well-known topmost Islamic bodies like Muslim World League and the likes which came into existence for the Unity of the Ummah some decades ago are now moribund because the Arab Muslim leadership that is supposed to nurture and pilot them is virtually none-existent. The only global Islamic body known to be functional today is the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) and that is because the Arabs need the population of that body to checkmate certain unpalatable Western policies formulated against the Arabs at the United Nations level. Incidentally, to counter the Arab agenda, the Westerners have infiltrated that body through a surreptitious incursion into it. Many of them, including the United States, are now members of OIC even if in observer status.
Arabs Business Mentality
To the great delight of the West, the wealthy Arab nations and individuals of today are spending their enormous resources in purchasing and acquiring football clubs in Europe even as their brethren in non-Arab parts of the world are wallowing in abject penury, squalor and degradation. What a peculiar conundrum?
Enemies of Islam
The summary of all the assertions here is that the Arabs, and no other group of people, are the real enemies of Islam. They are the ones using their wealth to boost the various economic activities of the West including stock exchange, manufacturing, farming, Hotel businesses and tourism as well as sports and games at the expense of the lives of Islamic adherents. Considering all factors militating against Islam, it seems that the greatest puzzle about the Arabs is their mutual enmity in which no Arab country wants to tolerate another. Egypt and Algeria are sworn enemies just because of rivalry in soccer game. Saudi Arabia and Yemen are in perpetual warfare merely on some primordial issues which had pitched the one against the other before the advent of Islam. Iraq and Kuwait are two neighbours that can never sleep with their two eyes closed due to mutual suspicion.
Syria and Lebanon seem to have permanently designed an indelible demarcation line between them just for the reason of material gains.
Libya and Sudan have had to go into military conflicts a number of times, across their common border, for no reason other than material benefits. Morocco and Algeria will rather choose the gallows than settle a seeming permanent rancour between them over the questionable ownership of Western Sahara. How can there be unity? Yet, some Nigerian Muslims often blame the problems in the Arab world on Western conspiracy. If that is truly the case, what prevents the Arabs from conspiring together to resist Western conspiracy against their unity?
Based on sheer religious sentiment, many Nigerian Muslims think that by pitching tent with the Arabs against the Jews on the Palestinian issue they are pitching tent with Islam. This is far from the truth.
The problem of the homeless Palestinians is purely political and humanitarian rather than religious. And that problem is more fuelled by the Arabs who play hypocritical role in it than by the Jews who are directly benefitting from it.
How many Nigerian Muslims know that the siege on Gaza Strip which began in January 2009 was not by Israel alone? It was a clandestine connivance between Israel and Egypt with the military support of the Western countries and financial backing of some Gulf Arab countries.
Are Egyptians and citizens of those Gulf countries not Arabs? Why should they tighten the noose of death on their fellow Arab brothers?
But that is the Arab nature for you. If you see them in any solidarity, it is for the purpose of hatching a treachery against a fellow Arab country or Islamic interest. The recent senseless imbroglio between a mischievous tripod in the Gulf region and Qatar is a sufficient example of what the Arabs can do to contradict what Islam preaches.
Arabs love power and they will do anything, including suicide bombing and cold blood murder to cling to power directly or indirectly. That is why democracy in the Arab world knows no voting in a democratic sense. It is a mere matter of nomenclature. Once installed, an Arab Head of State will remain in power till his death. He will even want to be succeeded by his son. Syria is a typical example. And, except for the sudden insurgency that led to the infamous Arab spring, Presidents Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya would have been succeeded by their children respectively despite their claim of democracy.
By this assertion, ‘The Message’ column is not opposed to leadership by succession if that will ventilate a peaceful atmosphere but it should not be by imposition. That will grossly contradict the position of Islam which was why the second Caliph, Umar Bn Khattab, rejected a suggestion that one of his sons be made his successor. He even cursed the man who made the suggestion and accused him of nursing an ulterior motive aimed at causing a dissension withing the Muslim Ummah. The analysis here is just to show the extent to which the Arabs have returned to the love of power, even at the expense of Islam, after the first four Caliphs.
Today’s Muslim world is like a mighty stream in which everybody drinks water. But those who position themselves at the upper side of that stream are the ones polluting it for the others. And if something drastic is not done to change the cause of pollution in that stream, it may eventually become a poison for all its drinkers. In the interest of their future and that of Islam, the Arabs are strongly advised to do something positive about Islam before Islam does something negative to them.
Original Headline: Arabs as impediment to Islam
Source: The Nation Online