Islam: Between Ignorant Followers and Incapable Scholars

By Abdul Qadeer Audah (ra)
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“…Muslim scholars are also responsible for our ordeal and for what has afflicted Islam. They are responsible for the sins and mischief caused by the colonialists and imperialists, by the rulers and governments and by the masses who are ignorant of and rebellious against Islam.

These scholars are worthy of such accusations because they support imperialism or at least keep silent before its violence. They occasionally support the non-Islamic rule and compromise with it at other times. They have left the masses in their ignorance of the basic principles of Islam and in their unawareness of the conspiracies forged against Islam.

They have detached Muslims from their religion, because they failed to indicate to the masses the judgment of Islam with regard to the colonialists, imperialists, and to the governments that aid and pay allegiance to them. As a result, the Muslim masses obeyed the pro-colonialist governments. Islam has been lost due to the silence of Muslim scholars, and the masses by turn, have been put in a state of loss due to the loss of their religion. The masses might have helped in reclaiming the loss because they believed that the Muslim scholars would not approve of anything unless it was in conformity with Islamic teachings and God’s commandment.

Muslim scholars have closed their eyes, shut their mouths and plugged their fingertips in their ears, forgetting about Islam, and they have been asleep for centuries while the Muslim people followed them in their somnolence, believing that their Islam was safe and sound, or their scholars never would have kept quiet.

Muslim scholars for long have disregarded their Islam. They have never censured any attitude violating Islam, nor tried to repel and revoke any injunction that ran contrary to the principles of Islam. They have never even convened a meeting to encourage the reinstitution of Islam jurisprudence.

Rulers have committed felonies, allowed the forbidden, shed blood, raped women, spread mischief and transgressed against the limits enjoined by God, while the scholars never so much as expressed indignation and opposition to such actions. They uttered only the sounds of silence, as if Islam did not require them to invite other to do the good and to forbid what is wrong, and as if Islam did not make it incumbent upon them to give counsel to the rulers so that they might apply the laws of Islam.

Muslim nations were occupied by rapacious foreign powers but our scholars did not revolt against this aggression, nor did they indicate to the public what the Qur’an and the Sunnah have inscribed in regard to fighting the invaders and resisting the forces of occupation, and what Islam provided for those who befriended such invaders and colonialists. The Muslim scholars had a duty to boycott the non-Muslim aggressors, but instead became their allies and friends to the extent that they used to celebrate some religious festivities in the Residence Halls of the representatives of the occupying country!

Man-made laws have been enforced in Muslim countries, though they contradicted Islamic provisions, nullified Islamic commands, allowed what God has prohibited and prohibited what God has allowed. Yet, Muslim scholars were not disturbed by this violation of their religion, nor were they perturbed about their own future, though they earned their living at the expense of Islam. They did not even hold meetings to discuss the tragic turn of events relative to their own destiny and the future of their religion.

Adultery and lasciviousness have spread all over, brothels and dance halls have been opened, governments have issued licenses to Muslim women to practice prostitution, and people have publicly disobeyed Islam!

Nevertheless, our scholars contained themselves and did nothing more than “regret” such foul deeds.

When secular schools which denied religious teachings were established, our Muslim scholars were the first to send their children to them. When the missionary schools started propagating Christianity and detracting Muslims from their Islam, our dignified scholars SENT THEIR daughters thereto, in order for them to learn foreign languages, dancing and Christianity.

Whenever a government met with a serious problem, it resorted to these quisling scholars, who never failed to bid Muslims to “obey their government” even if this government allowed alcohol, adultery, usury, atheism and mischief, and even if it substituted Islam for popular whims and partisan fancy.

This state of affairs has been proceeding for so long that the majority of Muslims foolishly believed that the prevailing conditions and mischief did not violate their standing in Islam. No wonder then, misdeeds and corrupt actions filled our life and efforts to remedy things became almost futile. All these things occurred because of the laxity of Muslim scholars and their licentious attitude toward the application of Islamic jurisprudence.

True scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets, and it is most inappropriate for scholars to take such a flippant attitude towards the legacy of the Prophets. Islam has imposed on them the duty to command people to perform the good deeds and to abstain from the wrong and hurtful deeds. Who else would assume this task if the scholars decline to assume it?

Ironically enough, the scholars in Egypt have lately found their voices and have broken their hoary silence. They have convened meetings and delivered speeches calling for strikes and mutiny. Was it because of Islam and the enforcement of its jurisprudence? No indeed; they revolted and instigated others to revolt because of their own positions, allowances and salaries and personal vested interests! They issued manifestos and statements, repeated their convocations and speeches, which were well-decorated with Qur’anic verses and quotations from the Hadith, to defend their selfish personal interests and to sustain their individual honor aria. They did not do this for the sake of Islam – as if Islam were less important than themselves and its dignity were lower than theirs. It was lamentable see some of them trying to invoke Islamic sympathies in their meetings and to steer this upsurging revolt towards real Islamic reform, when their colleagues present repudiated them and foiled this attempt. It seems that positive action for the revival of Islam was considered by these scholars as something taboo.

Ye Muslim scholars: You were debased and belittled by nations and governments because you neglected and did not heed you religion.

Ye Muslim scholars: Behold! Your only dignity derives from that of Islam. Your only power issues from that of Islam.

Ye Muslim scholars: It is nowhere a tenet of Islam that you should withhold your tongues from indicating the laws of God and close your eyes to the enemies of God, who desecrate the provisions of His judicial decisions.

It is nowhere a tenet of Islam that you should teach your students the laws of Islam, but your governments need not apply them.

It is nowhere a tenet of Islam that you should take your stand in the mosques inviting people to good behavior and morality and performance of their rituals, while you leave them ignorant of what Islam has to say about politics, government administration, legislation and justice, social relations, economics and relations with allied and belligerent powers.

Why do you not fully educate people in their religion when your profession demands this of you?

Why do you not tell them about Islam’s injunctions regarding aggressive occupation and invasion, about those who support or befriend invaders, and about those who strive and instigate revolutions against such enemies?

Why do you not inform the people about what Islam enjoins, regarding those who impose on Muslims that which contravenes their religion, and whether Islam prescribes for Muslims allegiance to such people and acceptance of their authority, or does it prescribe disobedience to them and challenging their fitness for rule?

Why do you not declare to people whether Islam commands a Muslim to obey man-made laws or to renounce them?

Why do you not set clearly before the people the judgment of Islam regarding wealth, exploitation, and monopoly, and how to apply its decisions to our present financial and economic conditions?

Why do you not inform people about their Islamic precept that forbids excessive wealth for the few and fatal poverty for the masses?

Why do you not call out full-throatily the Islamic verdict of doom reserved for those who fight the advocates of Islam, and for those who assist the persecutors of those devoted to the cause of Islam?

Why do you not explain fearlessly the Islamic stand toward those who deviate from its standards by initiating perverse practices and whether Islam orders the faithful to keep silent about these intrusions, or does it command struggling against them and abolishing them?

Why do you not make plain for the people the provisions of Islam concerning counsel and interpretation, and whether each of these should be performed once in a lifetime or whether both are an obligation so long as there is a need for them, that by such means people may be reminded of Islamic laws at every time?

Why do you not eagerly advise people to the ruling of Islam against the fool who demands respect for his own person but refuses to demand respect for Islam?

Ye Muslim scholars: I do not deny that there is among you a small, honorable group who act in accordance with the Book of Allah and follow its teachings. Nor do I deny that some of you did spare your time, energy and life itself to establish the principles of the Qu’ran without fear or reluctance. But these are few indeed, a group of individuals who would hate to be reckoned as having associated with you. The activities of these few good, benevolent people will not redeem your sinful deeds, nor mitigate the punishment due for your negligence and lasciviousness.

Ye Muslim scholars: Follow the example of this righteous group and trace their steps. Do something for Islam. Enough of your long silence and negative reaction. Only in positive, intrepid action lays you good and the good of your religion.”

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