“The Ummah is dying, what are we doing about it?”
If this question was posed to you, it is probably safe to say that your initial assumption would be to think of Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan or any other war torn Muslim nation. If this was to be the case, your reaction would be a logical one, for it is in those countries and nations that the physical blood of Muslims is being shed.
It would be illogical if, for instance, you were to think automatically of your own children in your home, your neighbours on your street, your Muslim colleagues at work or the shop keeper at your local newsagent.
Similarly, it would be illogical and irrational of me to assert, contrary to physical evidence readily available on the news and via social media, that these lands are currently the safest places to be in the world.
If I was to make this argument, you could refute it by displaying to me pictures of mutilated bodies, burnt carcasses, demolished homes and run down masjids. And I would be forced to concede.
But, what if I was to say that ‘safety’ and ‘security’ are not a roof over one’s head and the absence of tyranny and corruption, but the safety of one’s Iman and an unwavering submission to Allah Will?
What if I was to say that the death of the Ummah is not a physical bleeding, but a spiritual self-mutilation and loss of vitality?
What if I was to point out the mass graves for the spiritually dead that our homes have become, the abandoned masjids and the harm inflicted upon Muslims by Muslims through ill-advised speech and morally corrupt and baseless action – not in Syria, Palestine or Iraq, but in our own country, would you then agree with me that “the Ummah is dying”, here in the UK, and we need to do something about it?
Would you agree with me that the tormented and the oppressed in Palestine and Syria, with their chants of “Allah is sufficient for me and the best of protectors”, are worthy of our envy as well as our grief? Whilst they hold firm to their faith, even in the face of utter destruction and hopelessness, we are bartering our tickets to Paradise for a place in the fast lane.
Every day, Muslim children born and educated in the UK, raised and nurtured to worship and love their Lord, are tearing from their bodies their Muslim identity because for them, to be a Muslim is to carry a burden that is too heavy, to be a Muslim is to be shackled: to be a Muslim is something they are no longer comfortable with.
With each passing day, we move further and further away from the ideals of our faith, we unshackle ourselves from the laws of God and assert our freedom to behave how we want. We have all succumbed to diseases of our own making and those manufactured to weaken and destroy our strength.
Our earning is no longer halal, what we consume is no longer halal, our character and behaviour is no longer halal and it is killing us. The spirituality that is our life’s blood is being drained and with each generation we move closer and closer to self-destruction.
This orphaned Ummah is coming apart at the seams; the family is being torn to pieces.
“What are you doing about it?”
How do you heal a mutilated body and piece together its skeleton? With our hands. With every hand of every Muslim in the UK rising up and feeling the injured body that is the Ummah, examining the pain, the wounds, the broken bones and the charred flesh in order to see what they can do in their individual capacity to bring about a collective healing.
We need to feel those wounds in order to heal the wounds. By recognising that it hurts, where it hurts and why it hurts we can all play a role in the healing process.
In our individual capacities as teachers, parents, students, Imams, scholars, leaders, politicians, journalists, community activists, councillors, lecturers, congregants and campaigners we need to understand what we can do better in our areas of our expertise to bring us back to good health.
How can you work harder to fill up your empty masjid and engage your congregants?
How can you as a parent nurture your child better so they never waver from their faith in Allah?
How can you as a teacher better educate your student so that they are confident, active and ethical members of their communities and confident in their faith identity?
These are the questions that need to be answered if we are to “do” something about our dying Ummah.