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1422 years ago!
|We date ourselves from the night Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) began his journey from Makkah to Madinah, one thousand four hundred and twenty one years ago. This journey is a history in itself and in it is a message for mankind of historical proportions. Incumbent it is upon humankind to pursue the establishment of Justice and Peace, he said.
Physical migration and perseverance is an important milestone on the road to establish Justice and Peace. Intellectual migration from the subjugated minds to an awakened spirit is equally important. Prophet Muhammad was commanded and led to continue the struggle of establishing Justice and Peace.
The message of One God is timeless and universal started by Prophet Adam and continued by Abraham, Jesus and Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon all of them). Need of the day is to renew the same call, made 1421 years ago.
The human society deserves to marvel its scientific achievements but cannot afford to act like an ostrich! Moral degradation, selective justice, purposeless life, meaningless pursuits are coveted principles of modern society. The world today refuses to understand the concept of justice. And by the "world today," what we mean essentially is a whole system of political, economic and cultural relationships, which have grown out of the two hundred years of Western domination of the planet.
Within this global system, the poor South (which is the home of the vast majority of the world's Muslims) had to "pay" the rich North something like 264 billion in debt servicing in 1998. It is estimated that 800,000 children die across the 'Developing World' (a.k.a. Third World) each year because of debt payments. It should also be noted "in 1980 the 20% of the world's people who live in the richest countries had 30 times the income of the poorest 20%? And by 1995, 90 times as much income." What is even more distressing, "the world's 225 richest people have a combined wealth of over US$2 Trillion, equal to the annual income of the poorest 47% of the world's people (2.5 billion). The three richest people have assets that exceed the combined GDP of the 48 least developed countries."
These statistics are just the tip of the iceberg-and only the economic iceberg at that! We will be dumbfounded if we examine the data on other structures-from resource control and technology information to everything in between. It is shocking that such severe inequities have been allowed to persist for so long at the global level. The world is crying out (silently) for conscientious people to step up and stop the exploitation of weak and the inequitable distribution of wealth, and the wide chasm that divides North and South.
Good Muslims, many people say, should concentrate on perfecting their piety and practices, without getting their hands grubby trying to interfere in power or political matters. This is a modern Muslim version of the traditional Christian separation of church and State. In fact, many Muslim governments are heavily investing in human resources who are not only trained to believe in such passive thinking but also made to advocate this mantra to others.
In the migration of Prophet Muhammad, we learn of an amazing blend in the pursuit of establishing Peace and Justice without depriving any one or creating any disparities. Followers of his mission must examine the much too flexible approaches and compromising attitudes being adapted today. The timeless and universal call of One God must continue to be made but not by compromises. Migration of minds and thinking is the need of the day.
In fact, intellectual revolution is an essential pre-requisite before the socio-political order in a society can be changed. Some Muslims still carry the intellectual baggage of the colonial era. This has prevented them from understanding the issues clearly to bring about meaningful change in their societies.
And there is no better place to start than at the bottom of the pit. After all, there is only one-way to go: Up. And the life of the Last Prophet offers the only and the best example to follow in plotting the way out. The world is up for grabs - the people of Justice and Truth should step up, else they will continue to be trampled upon.
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