It is pouring Allah’s mercy, His Rahmah and His blessings, as Muslims enter yet another Ramadan with moist eyes, broken hearts, sinners and repenters, lost and guided. The path that leads to Allah is not easy, yet not impossible!
In this blessed month, we scramble for good deeds, obedience, and change; we kneel down to Allah to accept our weaknesses, our faults and follies, our shortcomings; our foreheads touching the ground in humility, forgiveness and repentance.
In Surah Baqarah, Allah (swt) says:
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيۡڪُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِڪُمۡ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَتَّقُونَ
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous”
It’s simple! The purpose of Ramadan is to attain Taqwa.
So, what is Taqwa? Is Taqwa to do with salah (prayer) and sawm (fasting) 24×7? Would we attain Taqwa by shunning all the worldly affairs and desires, and focusing on our spiritual elevation?
Umar ibn al Khattab once looked at those praying and said, “The great number of times any of you raises and lowers his head does not deceive me. The [real] Deen is being cautious and meticulous in the Deen of Allah, and refraining from what Allah has forbidden, and acting according to what Allah permits and forbids.”
Taqwa means to protect, to shield. From what? From the Anger of Allah (swt) and His punishment. Taqwa is to perform actions which pleases Allah (swt) and abstaining from all that displeases Him. Taqwa in essence means god consciousness, being conscious of Allah (swt) in all our actions and affairs.
And so lowering and raising of our heads innumerable times won’t make us among the ‘muttaqoon’, neither the completion of Quran dozen times help attain Taqwa, until we start thinking, absorbing every word, every message, every lesson deep down…
So, this Ramadan, let’s work on one the most distorted concepts of Islam – ‘Al-Wala’a wal Bara’a (Loving and Hating for the sake of Allah). And By Allah, we can never achieve Taqwa without loving and hating for the sake of Allah (swt). This is the central issue for a Muslim. This is the loyalty which is part of our Aqeedah. This is the loyalty that Allah (swt) calls for. This is the loyalty that would raise us to the level of muttaqoon… This is the loyalty that Muslims should have for Allah, RasoolAllah and for the believers.
Unfortunately, what Muslims have done today is believing in the former, and ferociously rejecting the latter. Muslims have taken all of Al-Wala’a, and distorted ‘Al-Bara’a to an extent that it no longer exists!! They picture RasoolAllah ﷺ as someone who only knew love, by cherry-picking emotional tearjerkers from his Seerah.
We might be an Indian, a Pakistani, an American or a Briton, but irrespective of nation, ethnicity, race or gender, Allah (swt) divides us into believers and non-believers — al-Muminoon wa al-Kafiroon.
And this is where the loyalty of Muslims should lie; not to their families, not to their tribes or clans, not to their nations but only to Allah and His Messenger. There is no loyalty, no allegiance ahead of Islam.
This needs a serious introspection on our part, on the part of those Muslims who demonstrate spiritual demeanor every Ramadan, but fails to live up to the loyalty, which is one of the key concepts of our Aqeedah.
And this is not a choice if we call ourselves Muslims. This is the foundation, on which the building of our Iman rests, as stated Allah (swt) in Surah Hujurat,
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ
“The Muslims are but brothers to each other,”
Again, Allah (swt) commands us in Surah an-Nisa,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاء مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَجْعَلُواْ لِلّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ سُلْطَانًا مُّبِينًا
“O you who believe! Take not as Auliya disbelievers instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest proof against yourselves?
And then a stern warning again in Surah Mumtahanah,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا عَدُوِّي وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاء تُلْقُونَ إِلَيْهِم بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَقَدْ كَفَرُوا بِمَا جَاءكُم مِّنَ الْحَقِّ يُخْرِجُونَ الرَّسُولَ وَإِيَّاكُمْ
“O you who have believed, do not take My enemies and your enemies as allies, extending to them affection while they have disbelieved in what came to you of the truth, having driven out the Prophet and yourselves [only] because you believe in Allah, your Lord.”
Ibn Katheer in his tafseer explains that the rejection of the disbelievers means rejecting their deen and their path (the way they have chosen to proceed in life).
Allah has shown us time and again, how the disbelievers beat us, how they try to dominate us with evil, until we compromise with our Deen. If this is not enough, in their war against Islam, America and its allies are bombing Arab lands, destroying and killing millions; the Jewish entity unjustly occupying Palestine. The atrocities unleashed on Rohingya Muslims and the unending atrocities of India in Kashmir.
All this because of one single reason: they don’t want the Islamic Shariah. It is a thorn in their flesh. They wish Muslims would leave the part of their religion i.e. the intellectual and political part, separate the Deen and Dawlah, and stick only to ibadah (worship).
And this is exactly where Muslims today have started focusing on! Only ibadah and akhlaq, leaving all their loyalties behind in worldly affairs.
So, how can a Muslim attain Taqwa, even if his salah and sawm are perfect, and nawafil are in plenty?
This time of Ramadan, when we are on an all-time spiritual high, take time to understand that a Muslim is obligated to live their life in all its aspects – Deen and Dawlah – according to the Ahkam of the Quran and Sunnah.
And this Dawlah, ruled by the capitalist system, is in direct contradiction with the Quran and Sunnah. The secular-democratic set-up is based on the legislation of human beings, where man is sovereign, where man has ‘absolute’ freedom, where the aim of life is to seek happiness, where everything is measured through the parameters of benefit, with no reference to Shariah law at all. It contradicts the fundamentals of our Aqeedah. And being associated with it in any manner is clear disbelief.
A Muslim knows that sovereignty belongs to none but Allah. So, it’s obligatory for him to hate this secular-democratic system, and show his allegiance only to the Shariah. Muslims, who are ‘muttaqoon’ can never live in peace under this oppressive system, can never allow anything other than Shariah to rule over them. They can never allow taghoot rulers to judge among them.
Then, why are Muslims silent on such a grave issue? What fear has engulfed them? Why have they embraced this filthy, oppressive system, which has claimed millions of their brothers and sisters? Why are they satisfied, and how can they ever be knowing that it’s open disbelief, a thing that contradicts to their creed itself?
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ يَزْعُمُونَ أَنَّهُمْ آمَنُواْ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَحَاكَمُواْ إِلَى الطَّاغُوتِ وَقَدْ أُمِرُواْ أَن يَكْفُرُواْ بِهِ وَيُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُضِلَّهُمْ ضَلاَلاً بَعِيدًا * وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَى مَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَإِلَى الرَّسُولِ رَأَيْتَ الْمُنَافِقِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَنكَ صُدُودًا
“Have you seen those (hypocrites) who claim that they believe in that which has been sent down to you, and that which was sent down before you, and they wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) to the Taaghoot (false judges, etc.) while they have been ordered to reject them. But Shaytaan wishes to lead them astray. And when it is said to them: ‘Come to what Allah has sent down and to the Messenger,’ see they hypocrites turn away from you (Muhammad) with aversion.”
As stated in Surah al-Maidah,
وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ
“And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed such are the kafiroon i.e. disbelievers”
Imam Qurtubi mentioned that ibn Abbas said, “That whoever does not rule by whatever Allah has revealed then he has done an action that is the same as the actions of the disbelievers.”
It’s clear now, that to achieve our purpose in Ramadan, we should adhere to the concept of Al-Wala’a wal Bara’a. Loyalty for the Deen of Allah, His Messenger, His Ahkam and His sovereignty on this land. Loyalty to implement Islam in all the spheres of our lives, from ruling to economy, from education to social et al. And Al-Bara’a, disavowal from the all other ideologies, be it capitalism or communism, disavowal from secular concept, and rules or laws that are alien to Islam.
Make this Ramadan unforgettable, with the correct understanding of the concepts of Islam, and with sincere efforts to establish the rule of Allah on this land.
Indeed, it is the right of Allah and His Messenger to rule.