Muslim Present Downfall and degeneration:Approach for diagnosing the cause

Earlier Attempts

For a long time, some distinguished thinkers and preachers of Islam have been seriously pondering over this unfortunate condition of their people and have been striving hard to reform the Muslim society, but alas: The treatment only increased the disease The situation is fast deteriorating and the future looks darker still. Inaction and carelessness on our part in these circumstances will be an unforgivable sin and crime. But, before deciding what is to be done, it will be necessary to look closely at the root cause of this sad state of affairs. The situation is fast deteriorating and the future looks darker still. Inaction and carelessness on our part in these circumstances will be an unforgivable sin and crime. But, before deciding what is to be done, it will be necessary to look closely at the root cause of this sad state of affairs.

People have assigned several causes to this degeneration and have adopted numerous measures for arresting the decline, but unfortunately all efforts so far have only brought further failures. Instead of improvement, hopelessness and confusion have resulted, particularly so in the ranks of learned preachers and Ulama. The basic reason for all this is that the root cause of the real disease has not been diagnosed. Until this is done, no proper treatment can be prescribed or given hence no cure or improvement can be expected. Any step lacking proper examination and correct treatment would amount to making an incurable situation mote incurable and further increase confusion and hopelessness.

The Approach 
The first Part of Approach should be correct diagnosis of  muslim degeneration cause. Then remeady will be easy.

We claim that the Shariah. is a complete Divine Code, which guarantees material and spiritual success until the day of Qiyamah. It lays down a complete way of life outlining every possible measure for advancing and progressing on the path of true success and righteousness. So there is no reason for us not to try to diagnose our illness ourselves and then try to treat it. Rather, we must look closely into the Quran (which is the original source of Shariah. and of all knowledge and guidance for the whole of mankind). In fact, it is the only source of wisdom for man. We need to seek its help in finding out what our troubles are and how they are to be removed, if we really desire to attain full recovery, we must stick to the solution and seriously resolve to adopt it. Certainly, the wisdom and guidance from the Quran will never fail us, particularly at the serious crises and in the difficult times through which we are passing nowadays. Let us look and search for the right solution in the Quran and the Sunnah.

The Diagnosis 

The Creator of the universe, Allah Taala remains clearly committed that kingdom and His Khilafah on earth are only meant for the true Muslims, those of perfect Imaan. This is clear from the following Ayah Allah has promised to those from amongst you who believe and do righteous deeds that He would surely make them His Caliph on earth. (al-noor 55).

He has also given assurances that true believers will always dominate over non-believers and that nonbelievers will be left without any friend or ally, as is clear from the following Ayah And if these nonbelievers had given you a battle, they were sure to turn on their heels, and they would have found no protector and no helper (al-fath 22). Moreover, it is Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) own obligation to grant every help to the true Muslims and it is also His promise that such people will always remain superior and honored. This is borne out by the following Ayah And it is our bounden duty to render to the true believers (al-room 47). And do not give way to despair, and do not grieve and you only shall dominate, if you are true believers (al-Imran 139), And honor is only for Allah, His Rasul (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) and those who believe (Al-Munafiqoon 8).

The above Divine declarations clearly show that the way to regain honor, greatness, superiority, fame and virtue for Muslims lies only in their having a strong faith. If their relationship with Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) and with Rasul (Sallallaho Alaihi Wassallam) is strong and firm, they are bound to be masters of each and every thing on this earth. But if, on the other hand, it becomes weak or it gets broken, disaster and decline are bound to follow. The latter part is clear from the following Ayah: "And let Time be witness: verily man is in a great loss except, of course, those who believe and do righteous deeds and who enjoin truth and enjoin patience" (Al-Asr 1-3)

As already brought out, history proves that the early Muslims had been able to reach the highest peak of honor and glory, whereas the present day Muslims seem to have moved in the opposite direction. It is obvious from the above ayah of the Quran that the first Muslims had attained that high position in life because of the purity and strength of their faith and the excellence of their character. As against this, the miserable condition of the present day Muslims is the result of weakness in their faith and character, the opposite of what their forefathers possessed. Therefore, it will be right to say that today we are Muslims in name only! In this connection, the true Messenger of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) Mohammed (Sallallaho Alaihi wassallam), had prophesied. An era will come in the near future when Islam will exist merely in name and the Quran will exist merely in writing (Mishkat).

This is clearly applicable to the Muslims of the present time. In these circumstances, the points which need urgent investigation are:
· As the right type of faith, which can have the approval of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) and His Rasul (Sallallaho Alaihi wassallam) (and which will bring us spiritual and material advancement). is not to be seen anywhere, what will be the means of acquiring that true faith and

what are the factors that have caused the destruction of that faith and with it the true life of Islam, from our midst?

A study of the Quran clearly reveals that the capacity to maintain the required level of the true faith of Islam, and the ultimate rise to honor and fame through it, are dependent on the fulfillment of a special task which has been so graciously assigned by Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) to the Muslims alone. It is for this that they have been given in the Quran the distinguished position of Khair al-umam (the best of all Ummah) According to the faith of Islam, the main purpose behind the creation of this world was to establish and prove the holiness, the Oneness and the most supreme existence of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala)and to reflect His unlimited powers and boundless attributes through man, who was to be guided by the light of true knowledge. It was impossible for man to understand and utilize that knowledge without his first being purified of Godlessness and impurity, Only after that purification is he to be decorated with fine virtues, excellence of conduct and the eventual capacity to act righteously. It was for this purpose of brining about this purity and power in the ranks of mankind that thousands of Ambiya and Rasools had been deputed by Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala), Then, last in the series came the Sayyid ul Anbiyaa wal Mursaleen (the greatest of all the Ambiya), Mohammed (Sallallaho Alaihi wassallam). It was through him that man reached the high state of development of mind and body leading to the final stage of purity. It was then that mankind received the glad tidings of And today We have perfected your religion for you and completed Our bounty upon you (Al-Maaidah 3).

The supreme purpose of man's creation had been fulfilled good and evil had been clearly defined, a complete system of practical life had been revealed, the line of Nubuwwah and apostlehood had been terminated and lastly the duties that were formerly discharged exclusively by the Ambiya and Rasools had been given as a collective mission to Al-Ummat Al-Mohammadeeyah (The Muslim people). This last fact has been clearly brought out in the following Ayah of the Quran:
"O you (followers of Mohammed) you are the noblest of all Ummah, in that you have been brought out for (the benefit of) mankind. You enjoin the good and forbid the evil and you believe in Allah" (Al-Imran 110) "And there has to be a group of people among you who call towards the good and bid the fair and forbid the unfair and it is these who are successful" (Al-Imran 104)

In the first Ayah, Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) has stated the reason why the Muslims are called Khair ul Umam (noblest of all Ummah) it is because of spreading good and preventing evil. In the second Ayah, He has further clarified that only those people shall be supreme in life who fulfil that order. The command does not end here, It is stated in another place that the failure to accomplish this vital task will bring disaster and punishment on its assignees. This reference is taken from the following Ayah.

On those who disbelieve from among the children of Israel was a curse pronounced by Dawood and Essa the son of Maryam all this because they disobeyed and used to cross the limits, they did not forbid each other from an evil they committed, indeed evil is what they have been doing (Al-Maaidah 78)

A further explanation and clarification of the above Ayah of the Quran can be seen from the following Ahadith of Mohammed (Sallallaho Alaihi wassallam)

It has been narrated by Abdullah bin Masood (Radiallaho Anho) that Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi wassallam) was pleased to say In previous Ummah, when somebody committed a sin, the other would reprimand him and would say "Fear Allah" But on the following day he would be friend him and mix with him as if he had never seen him committing the sin and when Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) saw the behaving thus, He confounded the hearts of some with those of some and cursed them through the tongues of Dawood and Essa, son of Maryam and this because they rebelled against Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) and transgressed His limits. I, Mohammed swear by Him, Who has control over my soul you must enjoin the good and forbid the evil and force the ignorant wrong doer into the path of righteousness, else Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) will confound your hearts and you will be cursed, as were those peoples gone by.

Jareer (Radiallaho Anho) has narrated that Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi wassallam) said When an individual of a community sins, and the community in spite of its authority over him, does not prevent him from sinning, Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala's punishment descends on them even before death i.e. subjects them to various punishments in this very world.

Anas (Radiallaho Anho) has narrated that Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi wassallam) was pleased to say Laa Ilaaha illa llaahu always benefits the individuals who proclaim it, and keeps away from them woes and troubles, unless its rights are ignored. The Sahabah inquired " what does the ignoring of its rights mean?". Replied Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi wassallam), It means that when sins are being committed openly, they do not prevent or stop them.

Aishah (Radiallaho Anha) has reported " The Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi wassallam) came to me and I could read from his noble countenance that something extraordinary has happened, He did not utter a single word but, having performed Wudoo went straight to the Masjid I, too stood by the wall of the Masjid to hear what he had to say, The Nabi of Allah ascended the mimbar and after the usual exordium said O' people, Allah has ordained you to enjoin the good and forbid the evil, lest a time should come when you call and He may not respond, you ask for a favor and He may not grant it, and you call for help and He may refuse, He then came down from the mimbar.

Aboo Hurairah (Radiallaho Anho) has narrated Said Rasulullah (Sallallaho Alaihi wassallam) When my Ummah begin to attach more importance to the world and to regard it as a source of glory the awe and importance of Islam will vanish from their hearts whey they give up the practice of enjoining good and forbidding evil, they will be deprived of the blessings of Revelation and when the begin to indulge in mutual recrimination they will fall low in the eyes of Allah.