(Translated from Urdu by Abu Abdullah -- from Shaoor - e - Hayat (author Maulana Yusuf Islahi))
There is no doubt that you pray regularly with obligation; keep the fasts; carefully pay the obligatory charity; if capable, you go for the pilgrimage; you are very sensitive about halal and haraam; you are very careful about piety and cleanliness. All this because you are aware of your being a Muslim.
Thank God, you are not alone in this. There are hundreds of thousands like you in the Muslim nation that follow the rulings of the Shariah. Despite our characteristic helplessness, even today Muslims follow their religion and its worship more than the followers of any other religion. Even today, there are hundreds of thousands of individuals among the Muslims whose lives are enviable examples in terms of their piety and their sense of duty. They are those whose lives and characters are as clean as a mirror, whose piety is beyond any doubt and in whom the society lays its trust. In fact, no other religion can produce people of their stature.
It is also a fact that the population of Muslims is the second most in the world. They have all sorts of resources and means. They have coal, petroleum, iron and gold. They are also wealthy and there are many parts of the world in which they are in the government. But it is also a hard reality that despite their religiosity, wealth and government, they are the most disgraced and ineffective of people. They do not have any opinion, plans, rank and importance. On a personal level you may certainly find in them hundreds of thousands whom humanity can be proud of, but on a collective level they have no stature in the world.
You are an individual in the Ummah. Your future is tied to its future. Does your conscious prompt you that the Ummah should be dragged out of this humiliated state and return to its former glory? Did you ever wonder, what is the reason for this worthlessness and humiliation? In fact, the Ummah has forgotten the duty for which Allah had created it. The Musllim Ummah is not a self-made nation like other nations. Allah created it for a specific plan and great reason. Allah has enjoined it a mission which was the same as that of the messengers. The sequence of prophets ended with that of Muhammad (SWAS). There will not be a prophet after him (SWAS). The duty of delivery of the way of life (deen) to humanity is incumbent upon this Ummah. This is the reason for its existence. It is for this purpose that Allah has enjoined this Ummah for and it is in this duty’s fulfillment that its destiny is set. Allah says:
“You should be such an Ummah that calls to good”. (Ale Imran)
The meaning of “good” is any good deed and positive concern which all of mankind has considered it as such. Allah’s revelation also has considered it so. “Good” is all those good deeds, the sum of which is the correct way of life (deen), which all messengers of Allah have always brought forth for all slaves of Allah. The Ummah’s duty is to call humanity to this message without any bias. They should carry it out with the same feelings and desire that the messengers did it. That is because this is the mission that Allah has enjoined on this Ummah.
The similitude of calling to the right way with respect to the Ummah is like that of the heart in a human body. The human body is of good till the heart in it is working. If this heart stops beating then the human body becomes a pile of earth. This is because the heart is the provider of healthy blood to the rest of the body, thus keeping it alive.
If the Ummah is carrying out this duty with fervor by promoting the right factors according to Allah’s plans and wrong factors are being discarded, the good is being enjoined and bad is dying, then it means that the Ummah is alive. It means that greatness, prestige and high stature is its destiny. But if the Ummah is forgetful of this duty and becomes insensitive to the work of the true way of life (deen), then it is deprived of all life. So how can a dead nation reach the stature of prestige and greatness?
With respect to Allah all the Ummah’s importance is when it fulfills the demands of the duty for which Allah has made it great. If it neglects this purpose and it does not have the sense left in it as to the duty Allah has created it for, then Allah does not care who is trampling on it and who is humiliating it.
The expensive watch strapped on your wrist is certainly a blessing for you. You have placed it in its place because it tells the right time and you use it for organizing all your tasks in their proper times. If it always tells you the right time, then you beautify your hand with it and take proper care of it. You will not wish that even a drop of water falls on it; its sensitive glass to be hit by something. But the worthiness of the watch, its protection and care, etc. is valid only while it tells the right time. If it stops working time and again, sometime it runs half an hour fast; at other times an hour slow; you are fooled by it time and again; your schedule is affected by it; the purpose for which you put it on your wrist is not fulfilled; would you like to keep it on your hand and you protect it in the same manner? Certainly you will decide that this is not a watch but a collection of metallic parts. The proper place for it is not on the honorable hand but rather a recycling bin. Then you do not care what happens to it while it is being recycled; how it is opened and how its metal is melted. According to you, its proper status was due to the fact that it told the right time or not, because its creator created it for that purpose and you spent a small fortune to buy it.
Allah created the Muslim Ummah for the purpose that they propagate His deen to the rest of humanity, spread the good in the society and erase the bad. As long as they are carrying out this duty, they will gain Allah’s victory and protection. He will be its protector and overseer and will honor it with greatness and high stature. But if the Ummah is neglectful of this duty, neither its big population, nor its wealth and government will be of any good to it. Its excess in verbal glorification of Allah, extra prayers and Allah’s remembrance cannot lead it to honor. Neither does individual religiosity prevent the anger of Allah from descending upon it. If everywhere there is deviation from the truth and the slaves of Allah forget Allah and follow their desires so that they only care for themselves then you should realize that soon Allah’s wrath is near and nobody can escape His reach. Jabir (RA) has said that the Prophet (SWAS) said:
“Allah (SWT) said to Jibreel to destroy such and such a town. Jibreel said: Lord, in it is one of your slaves who has not disobeyed you even a wink of an eye. Allah said: Yes Jibreel, destroy him as well as the others, because all the town disobeyed and he was not affected by it.”
If this hadith causes you internal restlessness then value that feeling and supplicate to Allah that He increases this restlessness. Your duty is calling you and this restlessness can propel you to fulfill your duty.