Since the destruction of the Khilafah (Caliphate) on 28 Rajab 1342 Hijri, corresponding to 3 March 1924 CE, Muslims have suffered great oppression at the hands of the current rulers. These rulers pay lip service to Islam, whilst ruling by man-made laws, even though Allah (swt) said, وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمْ الظَّالِمُونَ “Those who do not judge by the law which Allah has revealed, they are the oppressors.” [Surah Al-Maidah 5:45]. It is a duty upon Muslims to end the oppression of their rulers, by re-establishing ruling by all that Allah (swt) has revealed. RasulAllah ﷺ said, «إِنَّ النَّاسَ إِذَا رَأَوْا الظَّالِمَ فَلَمْ يَأْخُذُوا عَلَى يَدَيْهِ أَوْشَكَ أَنْ يَعُمَّهُمْ اللَّهُ بِعِقَابٍ مِنْهُ» “If people saw an oppressor committing oppression and yet did nothing to stop him from his act, then soon Allah (swt) will punish them.” (Tirmidhi)
Certainly, the most capable of ending oppression are the influential and the people of power in the Muslim World. It is the case today and it was the case in the time of RasulAllah ﷺ. Thus, we see RasulAllah ﷺ made specific Dua for men of influence, saying, «اللهم أعز الإسلام بأحب الرجلين إليك: بعمر بن الخطاب أو بأبي جهل بن هشام “O Allah! Give strength to Islam especially through either of two men you love more, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab or Abu Jahl bin Hisham.” Thus, we see how Islam was strengthened by the embracing of Islam by Umar (ra) and Hamza (ra). We also see how both Hamza (ra) and Umar (ra) led the Sahaba (ra) out from Dar ul-Arqam in a public display of strength. Thus, we also see how the noble Ansaar (ra) granted their Nussrah, so that oppression was ended and the Islamic State of Madinah Munawarrah was established.
Today, the influential and the people of power are simultaneously the direct beneficiaries of the current system, as well as well positioned instruments of bringing much needed change. The treasures of the Ummah are offered by tyrants of today to buy the silence or support of the influential. The tyrants also resort to threat to discourage the influential from speaking out against their injustice. However, the eternal treasures of Aakhira await those who invest their privileged position to uphold the truth, despite the bribery and threats of the tyrants. It is this matter which must be understood well by influential and people of power, whether they are the judges, journalists, industrialists, ulema (scholars) or officers of the armed forces. Let those of influence or power consider that RasulAllah ﷺ himself was of greatly privileged position. He ﷺ was granted the unique honor amongst all of the tribes, of restoring the Black Stone in the Ka’aba after its re-construction. He ﷺ was known as Al-Ameen, As-Sadiq. He ﷺ willingly invested all his privilege for Allah (swt), when he ﷺ climbed atop Mount Safa’a and called all the tribes to the Deen of Truth, Islam. He endured all manner of hardship, fearing none but Allah (swt), until the Deen prevailed.
Let those of influence or power consider the temptation that was put before RasulAllah ﷺ. One day some of the important men of Makkah gathered in the enclosure of Al-Ka’bah. ‘Utbah bin Rabi’a, a chief among them, offered to approach RasulAllah ﷺ and contract a bargain with him whereby they give him whatever worldly wealth he asks for, on condition that he keeps silent and no longer proclaims Islam. The people of Quraish endorsed his proposal and requested him to undertake that task. ‘Utbah addressed RasulAllah ﷺ saying, “You have outraged our gods and religion and charged our forefathers and wise men with impiety and error and created strife amongst us. You have left no stone unturned to estrange the relations with us. If you are doing all this with a view to getting wealth, we will join together to give you greater riches than any Quraishite has possessed. If ambition moves you, we will make you our chief. If you desire kingship we will readily offer you that.” RasulAllah ﷺ not only rejected the temptation, he ﷺ replied with his truthful call, reciting the blessed words of the Quran. Is this not a lesson for the one of influence or power today?
Let those of influence and power consider the defiant stance of RasulAllah ﷺ to the threats of tyrants. The mushrikeen of Makkah approached Abu Talib, insisting that he put a stop to his nephew’s activities, which if allowed unchecked, they said, would involve him into severe hostility. Abu Talib was deeply distressed at this open threat and the breach with his people and their enmity, but he could not afford to desert the Messenger too. He sent for his nephew ﷺ and told him ﷺ what the people had said, “Spare me and yourself and put not burden on me that I can’t bear.” Upon this the Prophet ﷺ thought that his uncle would let him down and would no longer support him, yet, he ﷺ replied, «يَا عَمّ ، وَاَللّهِ لَوْ وَضَعُوا الشّمْسَ فِي يَمِينِي ، وَالْقَمَرَ فِي يَسَارِي عَلَى أَنْ أَتْرُكَ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ حَتّى يُظْهِرَهُ اللّهُ أَوْ أَهْلِكَ فِيهِ مَا تَرَكْتُهُ» “O, Uncle! by Allah, even if they placed the sun on my right hand and the moon on my left, I will not abandon this work until either Allah makes this deen the dominant one or I perish on this path.”
Let those of influence and power who fear loss through supporting Islam, know that none has borne more loss than RasulAllah ﷺ. Anas narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, «لَقَدْ أُخِفْتُ فِي اللَّهِ وَمَا يُخَافُ أَحَدٌ وَلَقَدْ أُوذِيتُ فِي اللَّهِ وَمَا يُؤْذَى أَحَدٌ وَلَقَدْ أَتَتْ عَلَىَّ ثَلاَثُونَ مِنْ بَيْنِ يَوْمٍ وَلَيْلَةٍ وَمَا لِي وَلِبِلاَلٍ طَعَامٌ يَأْكُلُهُ ذُو كَبِدٍ إِلاَّ شَيْءٌ يُوَارِيهِ إِبْطُ بِلاَلٍ» “Indeed I have feared for the sake of Allah, such that no one has feared, and I have been harmed for the sake of Allah, such that no one has been harmed. Thirty days and nights have passed over me, wherein I and Bilal did not possess a thing which a living creature could eat, except what Bilal could conceal under his armpit.” (Tirmidhi).
Can the one of influence or power bend at the mere threat of force, when RasulAllah ﷺ was resolute despite actual force? Bukhari narrated that `Urwa bin Az-Zubair narrated that I asked Ibn `Amr bin Al-As (ra), “Tell me of the worst thing which the pagans did to the Prophet.” He said, «بَيْنَا النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُصَلِّي فِي حِجْرِ الْكَعْبَةِ إِذْ أَقْبَلَ عُقْبَةُ بْنُ أَبِي مُعَيْطٍ، فَوَضَعَ ثَوْبَهُ فِي عُنُقِهِ فَخَنَقَهُ خَنْقًا شَدِيدًا» “While the Prophet ﷺ was praying in the Hijr of the Ka`ba; `Uqba bin Abi Mu’ait came and put his garment around the Prophet’s neck and throttled him violently.” Abu Bakr came and caught him by his shoulder and pushed him away from the Prophet ﷺ and recited, أَتَقْتُلُونَ رَجُلاً أَنْ يَقُولَ رَبِّيَ اللَّهُ “Do you want to kill a man just because he says, ‘My Lord is Allah?’” (Surah Ghafir: 28)”
And it is narrated by Abdullah bin Masood (ra) that once RasulAllah ﷺ was in prostration while Abu Jahal bin Hasham, Shaiba and Utba bin Rabia, Uqba bin Mo’eet, Ummayah bin Khalaf, and two more people were near RasulAllah ﷺ when he ﷺ prolonged his prostration, Abu Jahal said, “Who will bring the remains of the slaughtered camel of Bani Fulan, and throw them on Muhammad”. Uqba bin Mo’eet, the worst and the most miserable man amongst them went and brought those and put them on RasulAllah’s ﷺ shoulders. Muhammad ﷺ was still in prostration. Ibn Masood said, “I was standing there but could not even say a thing as there was no one to protect me. I was leaving when I saw Fatimah, the daughter of RasulAllah ﷺ, coming after hearing about it and moved those from Prophet’s shoulders and cursed the Quraish”. (Bazzar, Tabarani).
Can the people of power withhold their Nussrah, when they consider the immense suffering that RasulAllah ﷺ endured in his seeking of Nussrah? Urwah bin Zubair narrated, “When Abu Talib died, RasulAllah’s ﷺ trials became more severe so he ﷺ traveled towards Thaqeef to seek Nusrah, met with the three leaders of Thaqeef who were brothers, Abd or Lail bin Amr, Khubaib bin Amr and Masood bin Amr and presented himself to them and told them about his people and their calamities. One of them said that, “If Allah has sent you as a messenger then I will steal the cover of Ka’aba.” The second one said, “By Allah! After today I will never speak even a word with you again if you are a messenger, because then your status is very high.” The third one said, “Allah could not send anyone else other than you?” And then they began a propaganda in Thaqeef against him ﷺ. They collected Banu Thaqeef, made two rows, in the way and started making fun of him ﷺ. They picked up stones in their hands and as he ﷺ took a step, threw stones on his ﷺ feet and made fun of him ﷺ. When he ﷺ moved forward from there his ﷺ feet were soaked in blood.” So will the people of power not re-consider their excuses for withholding Nussrah, when our beloved RasulAllah ﷺ bore so much to secure it?
Let the ones with power or influence be a source of relief for the oppressed Ummah of Islam. Let them be worthy of the company of RasulAllah ﷺ in the Aakhira by following in his ﷺ footsteps. Let them resolutely reject the bribery of the tyrants. Let them bear threat and loss for the sake of Allah (swt). And let them not be of those who will be raised with the tyrants on the Day of Judgment. Allah (swt) said, وَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا إِنَّا أَطَعْنَا سَادَتَنَا وَكُبَرَاءَنَا فَأَضَلُّونَا السَّبِيلَا “And they will say: Our Lord! Verily we obeyed our chiefs and our great ones, and they misled us from the (Right) Way” [Surah Al-Ahzab 33:67]. And Allah (swt) said, وَإِذْ يَتَحَاجُّونَ فِي النَّارِ فَيَقُولُ الضُّعَفَاءُ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا إِنَّا كُنَّا لَكُمْ تَبَعًا فَهَلْ أَنْتُمْ مُغْنُونَ عَنَّا نَصِيبًا مِنَ النَّارِ- قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا إِنَّا كُلٌّ فِيهَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ حَكَمَ بَيْنَ الْعِبَادِ “And, when they will dispute in the Fire, the weak will say to those who were arrogant “Verily, we followed you, can you then take from us some portion of the Fire” – Those who were arrogant will say: “We are all (together) in this (Fire)! Verily, Allah has judged between (His) servants!”” [Surah al-Ghaafir 40:47-48]
Musab Umair – Pakistan