By Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri
(Translated from Urdu by New Age Islam Edit Desk)
July 6, 2013
People of the east, west, north and south! People belonging to the present age to the Day of Judgment, listen! You are all the offspring of single parents. You have family, tribes, nationalities, so that you can recognise each other. He is black, He is from Africa. He is white, He is from Europe. He is wheat complexioned; he is from Asia. There must be some distinguishing features otherwise all would appear alike. All would be of the same height, shape, appearance and recognising each other would be difficult. This is only for identity, not the basis of discrimination. The nation that leads its life in the fear of Allah, is loved be Allah.
After praise to Allah and peace to the prophet pbuh, dear brothers and sisters!
Allah has created this world and has created means of luxury and comfort for mankind in it. He has also endowed man with extraordinary qualities and abilities to make use of them. He has given him authority and power on earth. Allah says:
“And certainly We have established you in the earth and made in it means of livelihood for you; little it is that you give thanks. “(Al A’raf: 10)
Dear Brothers and Friends,
Man has been taking advantage of the bounties and resources Allah has provided for him since the time he has been living on earth. The earth has constantly been opening the mouth of its treasures and man has reached such a stage of development that if a man of a hundred years ago revisits this world, he will be surprised and say that it is a different world altogether. It is not the world he had left. Similarly, the world may not be the same after 50 or 60 years. Man is bound to think in this way because of the fast pace of the changing world.
Friends, the whole world is developing and our country is also progressing rapidly. It has earned its pride of place in the field of education, industry and other different fields. No other force of the world can now deny its progress and growing power. The Quran says that man should be grateful for what man gets from God, obey his orders and worship him. But if he thinks that whatever he has got is the result of his own efforts, hard work and toil, it would be ingratitude to God and the consequences of ingratitude are never good. Today, the world is doing the same. It is racing on the road to progress oblivious of God. Today all the luxuries, comforts and the opportunities of progress man gets is way ahead of the thinking of the man of the past. No one would have imagined that there would be such lighting arrangements at the venue of a programme like this and the voice of the speaker would be magnified by the microphones and his speech would be conveyed to thousands of people; man will reach Delhi from Patna in one hour and reach any part of the Arab world within three or four hours. He would reach the countries of Europe within seven or eight hours. Today you get the news of any happening in any corner of the world within minutes.
On the one hand, this is the nature of progress of mankind and on the other we witness that a severe corruption has gripped not only India but the whole world. This is the result of the fact that man has become ungrateful to God and a rebel against God. God has created this great universe in this way that every creation is busy singing its hymns. Man takes advantage of the sun, moon, rivers and mountains but does not express his gratitude to Allah. Consequently, the world is headed in the wrong direction and avarice and lust has taken it in its clutches. Today everyone wants to grab the whole wealth of the world. Everyone wants to become the king though it is not possible. But still man wants it and to achieve this he takes recourse to all the wrong means and ways.
We often say that corruption is everywhere. So, what is corruption? It is the desire to get all the wealth of the world employing whatever wrong and illegitimate means he can to this end. It is not that those who are poor and helpless are not corrupt. Perhaps one in hundreds and thousands may be indulging in corruption due to compulsions but most of the people indulging in corruption are those who are affluent and have accumulated millions and billions of rupees. But the desire to have all has made them corrupt.
Today corruption is the biggest issue in India. No political party in India, ruling party or the opposition parties is free from corruption. It is they who are running the political system of India. They are ruling over the country. When the next elections come, India will be compelled to elect these corrupt people and corrupt parties because some people may be an exception but there is not a single party that can be said to be free from corruption. Corruption has permeated in the system of our country in such a way that now people have begun to say that one cannot progress without corruption in the present circumstances. Taking and giving bribe is the only means to progress.
If you deviate from this path, many obstacles will come your way and your progress will come to a halt. One who is more clever and resourceful is more corrupt. It is said that education fashions life and an educated person becomes a good mannered citizen. But those who are corrupt today are not ignorant and illiterate persons. They are highly educated and qualified people. They have a say in the administration and governance. They have captured the bureaucracy. In this situation, it will be a far cry to hope that the country can be freed from corruption until a movement for the fundamental changes in the system and ideology of the people of the country is launched.
The biggest harm that corruption inflicts is that the rich become richer and the poor become poorer. One who has resources grabs more and one who does not have resources lags behind. Therefore, we cannot imagine the gap that exists between the rich and the poor in our country. The deputy chairman of the Finance Ministry had recently said that if we cannot call a person with a daily income of Rs 32 poor. But the reality is that if you have Rs 32 in your pocket, you cannot think of entering an average hotel to even have a cup of tea. How can you fill your stomach and how can you provide food and other requirements of your family then? Those who are saying this have an income of Rs 32 lakh or crore. Prices are rising.
A poor man cannot even have two square meals easily while some others lead a luxurious life. Their plans and projects revolve round millions of rupees. They dominate the whole industry and the domination expands by the day and the opportunities for the common men are getting lesser. People are compelled to shed their blood and sweat at the behest of their industrial masters. In this exploitative system of the modern and material world, man buys the physical strength, knowledge, abilities and precious time of other men with the power of his wealth and makes progress and increases his wealth.
My friends! This is what we call exploitation. An educated and skilled person can make great progress but he does not have resources. A company pays a man Rs 50 thousand or one lakh a month only when he is able to earn Rs one crore for the company. Many years ago, an industrialist had said to me, “Maulana sahib, we have to make it sure that the employees of the company are prosperous and well-maintained. If he carries a bag and walks, no one will talk to him. If he runs on a motorcycle, people may talk to him. So we provide him with a car so that the addressee gets attracted to him. We provide a decent flat to him and everything that helps us expand our business. But at the same time we also make it sure that his bank balance does not get fat. If he accumulates wealth, he will become our rival because he has more qualification, skills and experience than us. He will leave us behind in the race for progress. So, this is exploitation. The strength and youth of a person is bought and used to make progress preventing him from progressing and the industrialists keep progressing.
Friends! Every human being has some fundamental rights. The man who is born has the fundamental right to get food and medicine, and his life and dignity is protected. If he wants to study, he can get education. Man is born in such circumstances that if he is not provided these rights, he cannot survive. That’s why all the democratic countries of the world recognise these rights.
On the other hand the practical situation is that neither the life or property nor the honour of those who are poor and deprived of resources is safe. Anything can happen to them. Therefore, it would be unbelievable to say that there is peace in the world. You can see how the US and the western countries are killing millions of poor by bombing. Man comes in the world to live but you are bent on killing them. It is possible that you have differences with him but you do not have the right to not let him live. You decide that such and such a country should not remain in its present position, so you destroy it with bombs. Among those who are killed are your enemies and also those who have nothing to do with your ambitions and intentions. But you destroy them. In other words, you destroy the human rights of people. The society in which the human rights of people are not safe cannot prosper. On the contrary it cannot sustain its own existence because in such a society everyone will spend the life in the fear that something may happen to him any moment. In Delhi, such incidents occur every day. Somewhere a couple is killed. There someone kills his own relative or someone is raped somewhere. It is said that Delhi is the most unsafe city today.
Friends and colleagues! This situation should change. Presently, the whole power is in the hands of politicians and politics is done by dividing people. He belongs to the upper caste and so he should rise even higher. He belongs to the lower caste and so he should be pushed even lower. Yadavs’ vote should go to only the Yadav and we deserve the vote of the OBCs. Nowadays politics is synonymous with dividing people and reaching the seat of power. No one is bothered about their real problems. If the politics was headed in the right direction here, voices would have been raised against any injustice done to anyone. But this is not the case. Everyone sees who has been meted out the injustice. Here the backward communities are persecuted, their men, women and children are persecuted in a number of ways but no one hears their cries for justice. Voices should be raised against injustice, oppression and persecution, irrespective of whether he is a Muslim, a non-Muslim, a member of the upper caste or the lower caste. But it is not so. The result is that the problems of man are getting more serious by the day.
What Is The Remedy?
I am a student of Islam and would like to shed some light on it. Islam says that it has the remedy for all the ills of the world. First of all, Islam lays stress on the fact than man has forgotten God and so he should revert to Him. This vast universe that contains innumerable stars, planets and milky ways is the creation of one God and he rules over the universe. Denying this would be denying a big truth. And by denying a truth, whatever attitude one adopts will be wrong. That’s why its first teaching is that man should recognise God and accept the fact that He rules over the universe. He is the absolute ruler and man is his slave, his creation. He should re-unite with Him. He should obey only Him in all the matters of life. Prophets came to the world on His behalf and did the duty of reforming their respective age and society. With that Islam also outlines how man should lead life after accepting His sovereignty. What should be his belief? How should he express his gratitude to God? How should he worship Him? What moral values should he follow? How should he behave inside the home? How should he behave outside the home? How should he carry himself about in the market? How should he run the government or politics? Islam outlines all this in detail. The third point it tells is that God keeps an eye on his slaves and watches his deeds and on how he leads his life.
After death, a time will come when God will hold him accountable for his deeds and reward or punish him for his deeds. Sometimes I present an example. Suppose you hire a servant for Rs 1000 for doing household chores. You follow him to see if he brings things from the market you have ordered. And till the time you do not trust him, you also try to see if he does not misappropriate the money or comes on time. You want to see if he leaves any work incomplete. Now think, won’t He who has handed over the whole universe to you hold you accountable for that. Won’t he ask you how you led the life in the world? Islam lays stresses on this belief of Hereafter and makes man adhere to its ordainments on its basis.
My friends! The basic teaching of Islam is: do not spread mischief on earth. There is no corruption or flaw in the universe God has created. In fact, if there is a flaw or corruption in your life, try to remove it. Man should not only immerse himself in the remembrance of Allah but should also try to remove the ills and corruption spread on earth. It is the duty of the followers of God. If they do not fulfil their responsibility, they will be held accountable for this on Day of Judgment.
To set the world in order, Islam makes it mandatory that there is no division among people. All are slaves of God. All are the offspring of Adam. God created all men from one man and woman and made them into families and tribes. They have different languages and colours. But to God, the best human being is one who has piety. One who fears God is superior and better than others. All the rest is untrustworthy. People of the east, west, north and south! People belonging to the present age to the Day of Judgment, listen! You are all the offspring of single parents. You have family, tribes, nationalities, so that you can recognise each other. He is black, He is from Africa. He is white, He is from Europe. He is wheat complexioned, he is from Asia. There must be some distinguishing features otherwise all would appear alike. All would be of the same height, shape, appearance and recognising each other would be difficult. This is only for identity, not the basis of discrimination. The nation that leads its life in the fear of Allah, is love be Allah.
If Islam comes to power in the world, it will spread the ideology that there should be no division among men. When Makkah was conquered on the occasion of the Hajjatul Wida (the last Hajj), the prophet pbuh said, “No Ajami is superior to any Arab or vice versa and no black person has any superiority over any White and vice versa. In fact, the one who fears God and has piety is better than others”. On such occasions, I narrate one incident. You have heard about Hadhrat Bilal Habshi r.a.. He belonged to Habsh (Africa) and was black in complexion. It is the incident of post prophet hood era. Hadhrat Bilal’s brother told him to arrange his marriage. Hadhrat Bilal came to Madina and said to the people, “My brother wants to marry. You know me and my brother. I was a slave and was freed. You also know my complexion. My brother wants to marry. If someone agrees, please tell me.” Voices came from every direction. “Bilal you want matrimonial relationships. I am ready. Choose the girl of any tribe you like and we will arrange the marriage.” So my friends, the Quran says that man can get honour only on the basis of piety. There is no other basis for it.
Islam enjoins the establishment of justice in society. Without justice, no society can progress; rather it cannot sustain its very existence without it. One important basis of the constitution of our country is justice for all. The Quran has laid stress on justice to everybody, even to the enemy. The Quran says that the enmity of a community should not encourage you to leave the path of justice. Deliver justice in every circumstance, even to the enemy. It also says that it is closer to piety that justice should be done to everybody.
Friends! This community has been ordered to rise to establish justice. If this community decides that there should be justice in the world, there can be no injustice on earth. You say with pride that you are 20 crore in this world. May God increase our population. If the 20 crore people decide that there should be justice in our country, it is possible that there is injustice. There is persecution in the world because you have retreated. The Quran says: Rise for justice. Do justice even if you suffer, your family suffers or relatives suffer because God likes those who do justice. Islam asks to do justice to everyone whether he is poor or rich, humble or powerful. The rule of God should apply to everyone alike.
Friends! Islam unfolds before us as the Deen of Allah and is for everyone. Regretfully we do not present it the way we should. While the Quran enjoins people to have faith in one God, worship Him, fear Him and obey His laws. It also says that this Deen is not for the Muslims alone but for the entire humanity. This truth should be brought before the world. Until this truth is brought before the world and the true picture of Islam is presented to the world, people will think that Islam is the religion of Muslims alone whereas Islam means bowing down to God. One who bows down his head before God is a Muslim. One who obeys the ordainments of God is a Muslim. The Quran asks us to convey the message to the whole world that they should become the devotees and followers of God.
In the end, I would like to say that Islam guarantees welfare in both this world and Hereafter and it also solves our problems. There is not a single problem which Islam could not solve with the help of justice and equality. One who shows the right path to the world will be successful in this world and in the Hereafter. God says that those who seek the welfare in the Hereafter, we make them succeed both in the world and the Hereafter and those who seek everything in this world, We will give him only a small portion in this world and they will get nothing in the Hereafter. Quran says: Do not think that if you follow Deen you will fall in trouble, but if you follow Deen your problems will be solved. If you are poor, your poverty and your hardships will be over.
Friends! This world is presently going through a critical painful phase. All the countries, developed or underdeveloped, are going through tumultuous times. Powerful countries are hell-bent on destroying weak countries. Everyone is frightened and the world is devoid of peace. There are many ideologies at work today. Despite all of them the world is going through spasms and pain. We say to them, ‘Look, the remedy for all your ills and maladies is in Islam. Islam solves the problems the world is beleaguered by in a better way. Peace will be established here through it. The earth will be freed of corruption and mischief. It will make the world and the Hereafter better for you. Friends, this is what Jama’at Islami says. It says that Islam is before you, ponder over it. Please do not say, ‘It is a matter of religion, so we will not listen to it.’
Reason says that if a particular religion can remedy your maladies, you should give it a thought. It will be foolish to say, ‘We will not listen to it even it offers remedy to our ills’. No sensible person will say this in this developed world. We say to the opponents and neutral people: ‘Islam also prescribes remedy to your ills, so consider it.’ The Quran never says that I will force my views on others. The Quran tells even the prophet pbuh that he does not have the power to lead people to the right path. Only God has the power. He (pbuh) was not sent as a policeman. He pbuh is only a reminder. Therefore, dear friends, I say to the world, ‘See this book of God; it has remedy for all your ills; not only for your ills but the ills of the whole world. If you feel that your problems can be solved by it, then do not close your eyes towards it. Ponder over it. It is the call of reason.’
How surprising is the attitude of the world today that is ready to listen to everyone and everything but is not willing to listen to anything relating to Islam. You and we and everyone who believes Islam is a religion revealed by God should stand up and say that it is a wrong attitude. It is against democracy. It is against intellect and reason. If someone is putting forward some ideas sincerely logically, you should listen and think. If you do not understand it, then you have the right to reject it. But if your mind grasps it, you should give further thought to it.
I pray to God that whatever I have said may be retained in your mind and you should try to act according to it. I would finish my speech here. I am grateful to you for listening to me for so long. I am also thankful to those associated with Jama’at Islami, Patna for arranging this meeting. May God reward them suitably for this.
And all praise is for God.
Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri, Amir, Jama’at Islami Hind had delivered this speech in a conference organised by Jama’at Islami, at Ajunman Islamia Hall on March 2, 2013. This speech revised by Maulana Umri is being published here in public interest
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