The venue: The most sublime geographical location in the universe.
The timing: The last 10 days of the Ramadan, which is distinguished with the special hours of the Lailat Al-Qadr (the Night of Power) that are more valuable than 83 years.
At this exalted location and exalted occasion, the leaders of the Muslim Ummah are meeting in an extraordinary summit initiated by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to look into the issues of the Ummah, which is currently facing enormous challenges such as the following:
The Muslims in Myanmar are subjected to ethnic cleansing. Hundreds of thousands of them are being killed and the rest are driven out to perish outside that country. We begin with the Myanmar Muslims because the media in the Muslim countries or rest of the world have imposed a blackout on the reports of repression in Myanmar. The media find even mentioning the persecution of Muslims in that country as a matter of shame, and hence report only three percent of the real horrors of the ordeal those Muslims are being subjected to.
In the Occupied Palestine, the Zionist occupier has exploited the opportunity provided by the Arab Spring and internal Arab wrangling and conflicts among Palestinians themselves, combined with the death of the world conscience, to expand its occupation in the West Bank and to speed up the Judaization of Jerusalem.
In Somalia, whenever the internal fighting subsides, it is again ignited and the country is pushed to a worse situation than before, while children and adults starve to death in that country.
In Iraq the terrorists continue their destructions and killing spree.
In case of Syria, the horrors and tragedies are known to even a common man, then how can the leaders be unaware of them?
In Yemen, despite all talks about settlement of issues, the fire of fighting is still smoldering under the ashes almost everywhere.
In Egypt whenever an opportunity for peace and stability arrives some malicious and frightening event, such as the recent attack on the Egyptian border guards, spoils the situation. The attack was made with a wicked precision, at the moment of Maghrib prayer call when the guards were about to break their fast.
In Afghanistan and Pakistan the killings and devastations are continuing unabated with the involvement of both internal and foreign hands.
In Sudan fragmentation and division have split the country and Israel at the sources of Nile amid its scheme to strangulate Egypt and Sudan by controlling the artery of life that supplies water to the two countries. The armed confrontations are still continuing in western Sudan.
In northern Mali an ideological and geographical den is breeding extremism and fundamentalism under the claim that it is implementing the Islamic Shariah.
In the religious field in the Muslim world, issuing indiscriminate fatwas (religious edicts) are creating a state of chaos while fiery religious rhetoric is inciting followers to commit inappropriate things under the slogan of “Islam is a comprehensive religion.” The principle is true when it is rightly understood. Those fatwas also deal with political issues, though those who issue them are not eligible or learned to do it and lack the expertise, experience or the ability to comprehend complex political situations. The cause of this chaotic state is the common ignorance about the Islamic methodology of issuing fatwas.
The reasons for the chaotic state also include the notion that the fatwa and religious propaganda can be undertaken by any graduate from colleges that teach religion. In fact all graduates from these colleges are not qualified to issue fatwas or spread the religion.
In the field of economy the growth is frighteningly slow excepting in a few countries. The unemployment graph is rising steeply particularly among the youth. There is also considerable drop in the bilateral trade between the member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
One may be prompted to ask: Why draw such a bleak picture about the Islamic world.
Its answer lies in two parts: We do not fabricate a false picture of the state of the Muslim Ummah, but only portray it as it is.
An objective portrayal of the situation should not be by wishful thinking or imagination but must be on the basis of facts:
The Holy Qur’an says: “It will not be in accordance with your desires, nor the desires of the People of the Scripture. He who does wrong will have the recompense thereof.” (Chapter Al-Nisa: Verse 123).
According to an authentic Hadith Qudsi: “O my slaves: I only count your deeds and then give full rewards. Whoever finds good rewards should praise Allah and any one who finds something else should not blame except himself.”
The second part of the answer is that a man will be blamed if he presents the real woeful picture without any vision to liberate the Ummah from its burdens. Therefore we have devoted the rest of the article for this vision to heal the wounds of the Ummah.
1 The vision should include the heightening of the strategic awareness of the danger facing the Ummah to the highest level. Sense of danger is a common instinctive and logical feeling that drives man to strive for safety. One of the most notable incentives that pushed mankind toward progress is a strong sense of danger. It also forces him to plan the defense against such dangers. The fear of diseases and infectious diseases led to great inventions in the field of health and medicines. Threats of war have necessitated the strategies for defense of ones country, people and properties. The Islamic world is passing through a phase, which it did not experience before. It is fraught with dangers of all kinds and levels.
2 The immediate escape from the state of lethargy in which the Ummah is. History of civilizations and countries affirms that downfall and degeneration of a civilization or country occurred only when it was in a state of lethargy.
3 Planning for self-preservation originates from the sense of danger and getting rid of the state of lethargy.
There are many ways for self-preservation. The first of it is revival of the self. Yes, it is by liberation from the delusion that self-preservation can be achieved through rigidity. Rigidity keeps back people from thinking about plans to benefit from the sense of danger.
4 The second part also includes a practical and bold adoption of the concept or philosophy that the reformation or revival is only for the betterment of the political system before any thing else. It is a concept that strengthens the national will with strong determination to undertake required reform and revival stressing the national security.
5 National security is a prerequisite for existence.
There are common issues facing leaders of the Islamic nations, which deserve solidarity and cooperation between them. A leader’s priority should be the preservation of national unity because it incorporates the idea of self-preservation.
Why the national unity?
There is no politician or national leader who is ignorant of the fact that there is a design to fragment the countries in the Islamic world. We are not entering a debate on conspiracy theories. Such a dispute has no relevance when fragmentation of Muslim countries has become a tangible reality. Sudan has been split into two and no one knows what will be its future. Iraq has become fractured even though the splitting of the country is concealed under constitutional clauses and expressions. There are other forms of fragmentation such as sectarian breakup on the lines of sects or religious groups under the cover of fictitious national unity. This kind of fragmentation is no less devastating than the geographical fragmentation. While the geographical frame of a country is one when its sons clash on the sectarian lines.
n (Courtesy of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper)