How can one best remember Mawdudi[1903-1979], one of the chief architects and leaders of contemporary Islamic resurgence? One very prominent Malaysian scholar whom I know personally,with a tinge of jeolousy, I suspect, described him as being mildly 'misguided'. The West and orientalists all over did not mince their words when they come to Mawdudi. They thought he was , along with Sayyid Qutb, the prime mover for Islamic radicalism.If he is still alive today he would definitely be interned in Guantanamo Bay' along with Sayyid Qutb.The West has no polemical response to intellectual discourse such as his.
Misguided' or not , his series of friday sermons initially known as 'Khutabah' as first written in Urdu have been translated into 40 languages, and millions of Muslims and non-Muslims have benefited and continue to benefit from his simple but succinct views on Islam. Certainly no complex and mind bending philosophical discourse, his 'Khutabah'!
Let us leave the ' they-themselves-misguided' orientalists and the West to their assumptions and see for ourselves who Mawdudi was from his 'Khutabah' written in Urdu and translated by the late Khurram Murad into English under the new title " Let Us Be Muslims"[ The Islamic Foundation, 1st edition 1982].It is a series of friday sermons given to peasant farmers of Darul Islam, a small village in East Punjab. Put yourselves there as one of them sometime in 1935:
"Brothers! You call yourselves Muslims and you believe that Allah showers His blessings on Muslims. But open your eyes and see if those blessings are in fact descending on you? You cannot know what will happen to you in the Hereafter until your physical death, but you can most certainly look around you and see your condition here on earth.
There are so many hundreds of millions of you in the world that if each of you were to throw a single pebble that would make a mountain. But even though there are so many Muslims and Muslim governments, the world is in the hands of those who have rebelled against God. Your necks are in their grip, to be turned to whichever side they like; your heads, which should not bow before anybody except Allah, are now bowed before human beings. Your honour, which no one dared to touch, is now being trampled upon. Your hands, which once always held high, are now lowered and stretched out before your enemies. Ignorance, dependence, poverty and indebtedness have subjected you to ignominy everywhere.
Is this the blessing of Allah? If it is not - but rather a sign of anger - then how strange it is that it is Muslims on whom it is descending! You are Muslims and yet you are wallowing in ignominy! You are Muslims and yet you are slaves! This situation is impossible as it is for an object to be white and black. If Muslims are the loved ones of God, how can they be treated disgracefully? Is your God [God forbid] so unjust that - while you, for your part, acknowledge His due and obey His orders - He allows the disobedient to rule over you, and punishes you for your disobedience to Him?
If it is an article of faith with you that God is not unjust and obedience to God can never result in disgrace, then you will have to concede that there is something wrong in your claim to be Muslims. Although you may be registered as Muslims in your birth certificates, Allah does not base His judgement on what is written on pieces of paper. God prepares His own list of obedient and disobedient servants, and it is in this list that you must search to find your true position.
Allah sent you His Book so that you may know Him and learn how to obey Him. Have you ever tried to discover what is written on it? Allah sent His Prophet to teach you how to become Muslims. Have you ever tried to find out what His Prophet has taught? Allah explicitly informed you which behaviour debases man in this world and the Hereafter. Do you avoid such behaviour? What answers do you have to these questions? If you admit that you have neither sought knowledge from God's Book and His Prophet's life nor followed the way shown by him, then how can you claim to be Muslims and to merit His reward? The reward you are getting now are in direct relation to how good Muslims you are; and your rewards in the Hereafter will be calculated on the same basis.
We have already seen that the only difference between Muslims and Kafirs is in the matter of knowledge and actions. Men who call themselves Muslims but whose knowledge and actions are the same as those Kafirs are guilty of blatant hypocrisy. Kafirs do not read the Qur'an and do not know what is written in it. If so called Muslims are equally ignorant, why should they be called Muslims? Kafirs do not know the teachings of the Prophet,blessing and peace be upon him, and the straight path he had shown to reach God. If Muslims are equally ignorant of these, how can they be Muslims? Kafirs follow their own desires instead of the commands of Allah. If Muslims are similarly wilful and undisciplined, setting their own ideas and opinion on the pedestal, indifferent to God and a slave to lust, what right have they to call themselves Muslims? Kafirs do not distinguish between Halal and Haram and make indiscriminate use of everything and anything, irrespective of whether it is Halal or Haram. If Muslims behave the same way as non- Muslims, what difference is there between them and Kafirs?
Put simply: If Muslims are devoid of knowledge about Islam as Kafirs, and if a Muslim does all those things which a kafir does, why should he be considered superior to a Kafir and and why should his fate not be the same as that of a Kafir? This is a question we all should reflect very seriously.
My dear brothers! Do not for a moment think that I am trying to brand Muslims as Kafirs. This is not my purpose at all. I ask myself and implore each one of you similarly to ask his own heart, as to why we are being denied the blessings of God. Why are tribulations of all sort descending upon us from all sides? Why are we disunited and shedding each other's blood? Why are those whom we called Kafirs [that is, the disobedient slaves of God] everywhere dominating us? And why are we, who claim to be His obedient slaves, living in servitude in so many parts of the world?
The more I reflectd on the reason for this situation, the more I have become convinced that almost the only difference now left between us and Kafirs is that of mere name; and we in no way lag behind them in neglect of God, in being devoid of fear of Him and in being disobedient to Him.
I say 'almost' because because there is, of course, a difference between us: we know that the Qur'an is the Book of God, while Kafirs do not, yet we treat it as a Kafir treat it. And this makes us all the more deserving of punishment. We know that Muhammad, blessing be upon him,is the Prophet of Allah and yet we are as unwilling as a Kafir to follow him. We know that God cursed liars, has positively declared Hell as the abode of all who give and take bribes, has denounced those who borrow and lend at interest as the worst of sinners, has condemned slander as being as bad as eating a brother's flesh, and has warned that obsence behaviour, pornography and debauchery will meet with the severest of punishment. Yet despite knowing all this we freely indulge in all these vices as if we had absolutely no fear of God's displeasure.
This is why we are not rewarded: we are Muslims in appearance only. The fact that those who do not accept God's sovereignty rule over us and subject to ignominy on every possible occasion shows that we are being punished for ignoring Islam - God's greatest gift to us.
Dear brothers! Nothing I have said today is intended as blame. I have not come to censure. My aim is to kindle the desire in you to recover the treasure that has been lost. Such a desire arises when a man realizes exactly what has been lost and how valuable it was. I have spoken sharp and pungent words only to awaken you and compel you to think.
To become a real Muslim, as I said, the foremost requisite is knowledge of Islam. Every Muslim ought to know the teaching of the Qur'an, which ways were shown by the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, what Islam is, and what those things are which really differentiate Isalm from Kufr. Nobody can be a Muslim without this knowledge. The pity is that you show no desire to acquire this knowledge. This indicates that still you do not realize what a great gift you are being deprived of.
My brothers! A mother does not give milk to her child until he cries and demands it. When a manfeels thirsty and he searches for water, God brings him to it. If you yourselves are not concious of your thirst it will be useless if even a well brimming with water appears before you. You must first understand what a great loss you are suffering by remaining ignorant of Islam. The Book of God is with you but you do not know what is written in it. You do not even know the meaning of the Kalimah [la ilaha illa 'llah Muhammadu 'r-rasulu'llah], by reciting which you enter Islam; nor do you appreciate what responsibilities devolve on you after reciting this Kalimah. Can there be greater loss than this for a Muslim?
You know the damage caused if crops are burnt; you know the suffering which results from failure to earn a livelihood; you know the harm resulting from loss of property. But you do not know the loss of being ignorant of Islam. When you understand the nature of this loss, you will yourselves come and ask to be spared it. And when you make this request then, insya'allah, means will be available to restore this greatest gift to you.".........
My God! Ninety years later, we Muslims the world over, are still where the peasant farmers of Darul Islam were! It is never too late though to 're-energise' ourselves.
Re-energise, we have to as an ummah.Just look around us, we have Checnya,Palestine, Iraq, Iran,Bosnia Herzogovina, Libya, Sudan, Mindanao, Somalia, Patani, Afghanistan,Pakistan and all the 'Stans.Anytime 'we' have some semblance of Islamic government emerging,the Kufr West and East will find , create or covertly induce rhyme and reasons to 'invade' us. It is no longer space physics to come to this conclusion. They will do it under the name of anything 'under the sun'. We are 1.5 billions, but treated like flotsams in the ocean waves, pushed aside. Our women got raped, our men slauhtered and shot at like dogs, our voices at the UN muffled and not listened to. Puppet government set up and propped up .No wonder we still are governed by our very own people all across the world who are dictators, rulers, clowns and hangers on who should be 'lead' rather than 'leaders'.
How do we change this? Still back to my favourite maxim: Ilm, Ilm, Ilm and Ilm.Do not under-estimate the power of an enlightened masses. It is happening right infront of our very eyes back home in Malaysia.[ NTR may be out of job if he does not take stock of the changes around him ]
Read Maududi's "Let Us Be Muslims".You will generally find, as I did as I go through the chapters, that you are not doing too badly as a Muslim, until you reach the climax in the last chapter. Then, It feels like falling down a steep cliff!This sense of finality and inadequacy in one's faith and the need to get on further to a higher spiritual plane, is what I think make many and especially the West abhors him. They would rather have our ummah be permanently subserviant and permanent slaves to them rather than to God.
Read.... Read..Read in the name of thy Lord..Iqra!!! Masha'allah.