With Muslim Ummah at a Low Point, Are Muslims Ready for Ramadan?

Six months ago the year 2013 dawned with much hope for the Muslim Umma. There was hope that the Arab Spring will continue to blossom in the Arab-Muslim countries, bringing more democracy, pluralism, removal of poverty for the common Muslims. There was hope that the conflicts between Sunni jama’ats and Shia firqas in Muslim countries could be reduced. There was hope that killing of Muslims by fellow Muslims in Syria will be reduced and a peaceful solution to the discord found.

Back in India, there was hope that with record number of Muslims elected to state assemblies in UP, Bihar, Assam, Bengal, Kerala, and quite a few Muslim ministers in those states, justice will be done to the large number of Muslim youth in jails on trumped up terrorism charges and that police brutality will stop.

However, as we move to the mid-point of 2013, the hopes and aspirations of the Muslim Umma are fast evaporating. Conditions are going from bad to worse.

In the Middle East, the conflict in Syria that has already claimed 80,000 Muslim lives has escalated from being between the Syian government and rebel forces to becoming a Shia-Sunni sectarian war. Fighters from both sides and their supporters in the region are demonstrating extreme brutality towards each other. Top religious leaders like Shaikh Yusuf Al-Qardawi of Sunnis and Hassan Nasrallah of the (Lebanese Shia) Hizbollah are openly exhorting their respective followers to “kill, annihilate, destroy” Muslims who are in opposition to them.

Is this what our Holy Prophet (pbuh) prophesized when he told of a time when the number of Muslims will be huge but when they will be at each others’ throats?

Back in India, the brutality of the police foces towards innocent Muslims, under state governments run by political parties supposedly friendly to Muslims, have steadily increased. And to cap it all the many Muslim ministers, MLAs, senior political appointees and Muslim leaders from whom the Qaum expects so much, have failed to utter a single word of protest and are keeping their collective mouths shut.

The holy month of Ramadan is barely one month away - the month of accountability for the Umma, the month of Allah’s mercy and our supplications to the Creator seeking His Mercy for the relief of our afflictions. Aside from personal afflictions, the most serious appears to be the indifference of Muslims to each other’s miseries; and indeed their seeking bloody revenge against fellow Muslims.

What will our prayers to our Creator be in just one month? How will we collectively answer the anguish of Allah’s angels at seeing the Umma not only in bad shape but with extreme instances of mutual hatred and indifference towards our fellow Muslims? For our achievemnts will we point to the Burj Khalifa, the most expensive hotel in the world, in Dubai, or the newly built horse racing stadium in Qatar, or what? While teeming masses of Muslims live in petrid slums trying to survive. How will the Umma seek forgiveness for our extreme collective infractions and violations of the lessons that our holy prophet taught us? Where is the Umma’s dignity this Ramadan?

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 June 2013 on page no. 11

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