News Watch, Side Feature, South Asia

Should Muslims Accept the Normality of a Crisis?

More than 100 Rohingya refugees were stranded in Aceh, Indonesia, in the early hours of Sunday, March 6th, 2022. The 114 Rohingyas, consisting of 68 men, 21 women, and 35 children, were stranded in Kuala Muara Raja, Kuala District, Bireuen Regency, Aceh. Republika reported on March 18 that the condition of Rohingya refugees in Aceh was getting worse due to neglect.

Such scenes in the 21st century are common thing to see. For Muslims in Indonesia and Malaysia, the incident of stranded Rohingya Muslims is not new. Like a vicious circle, episode after episode of the tragic story of our Muslim brothers and sisters, who were persecuted and expelled from their own country, has never been stop spinning.

O my brothers and sisters of Muslim Rohingya, be patient! Only the Imaan in the heart and the belief in the Afterlife become the weapons to survive this misery. Allah (swt) says:

(فَٱلَّذِينَ هَاجَرُوا۟ وَأُخْرِجُوا۟ مِن دِيَٰرِهِمْ وَأُوذُوا۟ فِى سَبِيلِى وَقَٰتَلُوا۟ وَقُتِلُوا۟ لَأُكَفِّرَنَّ عَنْهُمْ سَيِّـَٔاتِهِمْ وَلَأُدْخِلَنَّهُمْ جَنَّٰتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا ٱلْأَنْهَٰرُ ثَوَابًا مِّنْ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ عِندَهُۥ حُسْنُ ٱلثَّوَابِ)

“…Those who migrated or were expelled from their homes, and were persecuted for My sake and fought and ˹some˺ were martyred—I will certainly forgive their sins and admit them into Gardens under which rivers flow, as a reward from Allah. And with Allah is the finest reward!”.” [Aali ‘Imran: 195].

This is the unique feature of Muslims, the belief in Allah’s forgiveness and promise keeps us able to survive in any crises and tragedies. But on a broader level, Allah Ta’ala also commands us to struggle for change, starting from understanding the root of the problem. This crisis stems from a hugely systemic injustice and is rooted in the fundamental damage of human civilization today. The injustice began from the neglect of Allah’s laws and the application of man-made secular laws in the lands of the Muslims.

Living in the world of Capitalism makes us witness endless crises and tragedies, one after another, in various parts of the earth and in various fields of life. As time goes by, tragedy has become the new normal, and catastrophe has become common. The same thing happens to the Rohingya Muslims. The Rohingya crisis has been going on for almost a decade. Rohingya Muslims have drawn international attention after the 2012 Rakhine State riots, ten years ago. The peak of their tragedy occurred in 2017 when nearly 7000 Rohingya Muslims died as a result of the genocide carried out by the Myanmar junta regime in symbiosis with the radical Buddhist movement in the country. The Rohingya crisis hasn’t over yet, like a karma, Myanmar is currently experiencing a prolonged internal crisis due to a political coup by the Military Junta against the results of the latest election that won Aung San Suu Kyi’s side. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners reported that since the coup took place in February 2021, approximately 1,600 protesters and observers have died. The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, estimates that 837,000 people have been displaced from Myanmar.

This corrupt world order has forced us to accept the normality of injustices and crises. These crises have make Muslims to always live in survival mode, how to continue to survive in the middle of crises, like the Corona pandemic that forces us to live in a new normal. However, as a result, this Ummah has lost the sensor of injustice, and has gradually accepted tragedy as normal thing. Na’udzubillah min dzalik!

Nation-state boundaries have also alienated Rohingya Muslims from their Muslim brothers in Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as Uyghur Muslims who were left isolated in Chinese tyranny by Muslim rulers because they prioritized their national economic interests, this does not include hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees without citizenships expelled from Syria, Iraq and Palestine. Its indeed a high price of the division of the Ummah. Capitalism and nationalism have divided, weakened and made Muslims like orphans who have lost their guardians and their life depends on the predatory robbers who target us one by one every night.

The lives of Muslims have become so cheap. Around 12.5 million Muslims have been killed in wars over the last 25 years, according to a History expert – Refik Turan who spoke at a conference in 2018 in Istanbul. This figure does not include figures for Rohingya and Uyghur Muslims. Moreover, millions of Muslims died due to starvation, disease, migration and man-made disasters are also not included in this list.

O Muslims, rise up! Let’s act and move properly. Don’t keep reacting on the surface, short term or in defensive mode! Never accept the normality of a tragedy! Instead we must fight against all injustice and restore the Islamic order of life that will protect the lives, property and honor of the Ummah of Muhammad. Allah Ta’ala says:

(اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتّٰى يُغَيِّرُوْا مَا بِاَنْفُسِهِمْۗ)

“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” [Ar-Ra’d: 11].

The sentence “maa bi anfusihim” or what is in them, has a deep scope of meaning. Its meaning includes thoughts, values, and the human spirit in the context of the resurrection of the Ummah. This means that change will never occur if the people do not change their perspective, purpose of life and their understanding of tragedy and crisis. So, we often encounter people who cannot respond to injustice because they do not understand what really happened. They are less able to respond that it is an injustice because of low literacy and slow thinking processes.

Rasulullah saw has exemplified the best model of struggle that was inherited to us. He began with the development of the soul and mind of Muslims, to political development, so that the Ummah rose up and had sensitivity to injustice. He also always keeps the Ummah protected by divine laws and prevents divisions between them. He also obliges his Ummah to live under one political leadership (Khilafah). It is forbidden for the Ummah to live in fragments under more than one political leadership, let alone having to live oppressed under the tyranny of the majority of Kuffar.

So for Muslims, crises and tragedies will always be an abnormality, even a result of the tyranny that engulfs them. The struggle and movement of the Ummah must be centered on the mission of restoring the lost shield for the Ummah. The shield that will remove the injustice of the disbelievers over the Muslims and protect the blood and honor of Muslim women and children throughout the Muslim world! The only salvation for the Ummah is the return of the Khilafah (Caliphate) based on the prophetic manhaj.

Rasulullah (saw) said,

«إنما الإمام جنة يقاتل من ورائه ويتقى به»

“Verily the Imam is but a shield from behind which the people fight and by which they protect themselves.” [Sahih Muslim]

Dr. Fika Komara
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir