Reflections on RamadanRamadan:A month of unity for Muslims [Archives:2005/883/Culture]

October 6 2005

Haroun Yahya
The Qur'an, to which falsehood can never draw near, which leads people out of the darkness and into the light and onto the path of our All-Wise, All-Knowing and Praiseworthy Lord, which is a guide, a source of glad tidings and a mercy for all Muslims, and a reminder and a comfort for those who fear Allah, was revealed in the month of Ramadan. This holy month in which Allah revealed His verses to our Prophet (saas) 1,400 years ago is described in these words in the Qur'an:

The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur'an was sent down as guidance for humanity, with clear signs containing guidance and discrimination. Any of you who are resident for the month should fast it. But any of you who are ill or on a journey should fast a number of other days. Allah desires ease for you; He does not desire difficulty for you. You should complete the number of days and proclaim Allah's greatness for the guidance He has given you so that hopefully you will be thankful. (Surat al-Baqara, 185)

The month of Ramadan, which is also revealed to be “better than a thousand months,” (Surat al-Qadr, 3) is also a fruitful one containing the Night of Power. This month has a particular importance, purity and beauty for Muslims. As described by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi in the words “In the holy month of Ramadan, the Islamic world comes to consitute a single masjid [mosque], and this is such a masjid that in every corner of it millions of hafiz [those who have memorized the Qur'an] read the Qur'an, the word of Allah, and cause others to hear it,” throughout this month the Muslims of the world fulfil their obligations to fast, maintain the bounds set by Allah in the verses, realize their helplessness and give thanks to Allah for His blessings, pray with all sincerity and endeavor to tame their earthly desires.

As emphasized by Bediuzzaman, one of the most important attributes of the month of Ramadan is that it unites all the Muslims of the world. By means of this precious month the extent of all Muslims' need for unity and union, and the powerful force for world peace they can constitute if that unity is established, once again become apparent. The fact that the forces opposed to Islam are expending such great energy, and the suffering being inflicted on believers in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, must encourage all Muslims to reflect on the importance of “acting in unison, leaving their differences aside and working to disseminate Islamic moral values.”

The Islamic world covers a huge geographic area populated by 1.2 billion Muslims. Unfortunately, it is characterized by tension, conflict, and disorder, all of which continue to threaten global peace and prosperity. All attempts to solve the region's problems have so far failed. But a review of its history shows that a strong central authority, ruling according to the Qur'anic morality and tolerance, as well as respecting all people's rights and belief systems, had enabled this vast region to live in peace. The Ottoman Empire was the most recent example of this. And now, it is time to bring about a new Islamic Union, for the current system, based upon nationalism, materialistic philosophies, and atheism can only worsen the current situation. Such an Islamic Union would enable the Muslim world to live in peace, both internally and externally, and allow the entire world to benefit from its vast natural resources.

One of the first things we notice when analyzing the state of the Islamic world is its many internal divisions due to deep-rooted distrust and disputes. Recent history has seen the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq's occupation of Kuwait, and East Pakistan's (Bangladesh) war of independence from West Pakistan. The civil wars and internal conflicts in Afghanistan, Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq and Algeria due to political and ethnic differences made it obvious that something is wrong with the Islamic world. In addition, very divergent religious views and models are being practiced in the Islamic world, because there is no central authority to determine what is and what is not compatible with Islam, establish consensus, and provide guidance to the general public. Catholics have the Vatican and Orthodox Christians have the Patriarchate, but there is no religious unity or central authority for Muslims.

However, solidarity is central to Islam's character. After the death of our Prophet Mohammed (may God bless him and grant him peace), the Islamic world was for a long time led by the institution of khilafah, which provided religious guidance to the Muslims.

In our day, too, a progressive central authority could be formed. Establishing an Islamic Union and a central Islamic authority, based on democratic principles and the rule of law, would be major steps forward in resolving the Islamic world's current problems. (For further reading see, “A Call For An Islamic Union” by Harun Yahya)

Several aspects of this proposed Islamic Union, such as its ability to:

1- Reach all of the Islamic world. Therefore, it must be founded upon Islam's core principles and not become the organ of a particular denomination or sect.

2- Support human rights, democracy, and free enterprise, and seek to achieve its mission of economic, cultural, and scientific development in the Islamic world.

3- Establish friendly and harmonious relations with other countries or civilizations, and cooperate with the global community and the UN on such issues as controlling weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, international crime, and the environment.

4- Deal with the minority rights of Christians and Jews, as well as foreigners who migrate to Islamic countries, consider their safety a priority, and value interfaith dialogue and cooperation.

5- Seek fair and peaceful solutions whereby both sides make compromises to end conflicts between the non-Muslims and Muslims in Palestine, Kashmir, the southern Philippines, and other regions. It must defend the rights of Muslims as well as prevent radical Islamic movements from driving the situation to into a dead-end.

Such a rational, considered, and just leadership will benefit the 1.2 billion Muslims who are struggling with so many problems, as well as all humanity at large. An Islamic Union founded upon Qur'anic principles will enable humanity to find peace and justice, and the good character prescribed by the Qur'an will deliver happiness. Since the era of the Prophet Mohammed (may God bless him and grant him peace), Muslims led the way in science, reason, thought, art, culture, and civilization, and produced many benefits for humanity.

When Europe was in its dark ages, Muslims taught the world science, reasoning, medicine, art, hygiene, and countless other subjects. In order to restart the rise of Islam, powered by the Qur'an's light and wisdom, present-day Muslims have to acquire guidance based on the Qur'an's morality and the Prophet's (may God bless him and grant him peace) Sunnah (His example, or way of life).

An Islamic Union: The Only Way for Order and Stability

The developments especially in the recent years clearly show that the Islamic world is ripe for great and fundamental change. The Qur'an and the hadith literature suggest that the approaching period will be a bright one for the world's Muslims, God willing. Setting up the Islamic Union will speed up the process and begin a new era of plenty and prosperity for humanity in general.

The current situation may seem to be very negative at first look, whereas in reality each negative development signals the approach of a blessed period. War, destitution, famine, oppression, and tyranny against Muslims across the world are signs of the End Times foretold by our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace). That all of these events are taking place is also a clear sign that the global rule of Islamic morality is approaching, as prophesized by our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) (God knows best).

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