The Scholar Sayyid Qutb, in his book entitled, “In the Shade of Qur’an” on this verse:
(وَإِذۡ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةِ إِنِّى جَاعِلٌ۬ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ خَلِيفَةً۬)
“Your Lord said to the angels, ‘I am appointing a vicegerent on earth.’” [Al-Baqarah: 2:30]
He said that there are two fundamental concepts and considerations in relation to man as a master of the earth, which are as follows:
First – man is the master over this earth; everything has been created for his benefit and pleasure. This elevates man above all other beings and forbids his subjugation and humiliation for the sake of material achievement. Man’s humanity must be respected and safeguarded; none of his fundamental rights or values should for any reason be violated or abused. Material things are meant to serve man and are made to promote his humanity and enhance his existence. It therefore, stands to reason that achievements must not come at a price to that would undermine fundamental human values, or at the expense of man’s dignity or integrity.
Second – man’s role on earth is of the highest importance. Man, rather than means of production or distribution, is the force of change on this earth; he influences and alters the course of all life on it. Contrary to the materialistic view, man is the master, not the slave, of the machine.
In addition, the scholar and the founder of Hizb ut Tahrir, Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabahani, states in his book, Thinking (At-tafkir): “Man is absolutely the most favoured creature; even to the point that it was said – which is true – that he is favoured over the angels. The preference of man lies in his intellect (‘aql). The intellect (‘aql) of man is what raised his status, and made him superior to all creatures.
The world is currently languishing in total pandemonium. Everyone is pointing fingers and blaming women as perpetrators of social anarchy such as skyrocketing divorce rates, family breakdowns, and unruly children amongst other vices. On the economic front, women are accused to be prioritizing their careers and wreaking havoc on the employment sector by being cheap and readily available to offer their labour to egregious employers. On the other hand, women are now competing against their menfolk in their ascendance to political echelons of power. In brief, women are at the center of all blames emanating from men across the world.
Indeed, the truth is that women are victims of men’s failure to rise up to the occasion as anticipated by not only the Islamic Shari’ah, but also the masculine nature of man. Man in origin plays the role of a leader and an authority over other beings. Therefore, man must have a clear purpose / mission as to why he exists on this transient world. In addition, he must have the necessary knowledge in relation to his purpose and how to accomplish it. Man’s mission in this transient world is encapsulated in the verse,
(وَمَا خَلَقۡتُ ٱلۡجِنَّ وَٱلۡإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعۡبُدُونِ) “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” [Adh-Dhariyat: 51:56].
Worshipping Allah (swt) means submitting to His dictates i.e. adopting His commandments and avoiding His prohibitions irrespective of considering their outcome (harm or benefits) from them.
Consequently, when man proceeds in this life as a slave of his desires then automatically will envision a life full of tumult and people drowning in the lowest depths of decadence and irresponsibility. In todays’ society, we are NOT safe from political, socio-economic and educational debauchery. Man, as a leader, has failed to utilize his mind in seeking the correct path to his Creator; hence, he is ever engaged in the work of guesswork in the name of unlimited freedom! Subsequently, the entire ship (family and society) continues to sink deeper because man, as the captain, is purposeless and visionless!
Twenty first century men have lost their manhood i.e. their masculinity, period! They are slaves to their whims to an extent they have lost sight of the masculine role bestowed upon them by Allah (swt). In essence, they have abdicated their leadership role and instead have concentrated their intellect and time in chasing for the elusive, superficial and egregious pleasures of this transient world at the expense of languishing and disintegrating political, socio-economic and educational structures across the world.
Alas! It is unsurprising to witness men today who cannot deliberately provide for their family the basic needs. However, the same persons can afford to buy smartphones or latest digital gadgets that are worth two months’ basic needs for purposes of social fitting. Instead of building a home library and stocking book gems that will empower their families, some men compete and find pride in buying huge television sets or latest PlayStation for their families! Men of our eon thrive in mediocrity and triviality because in them lies no mission or vision; they are ever yawning and hungry for the next adventurous pleasures. Men are busy minding their businesses while women, children and the elders are choking with tears of desperation after shouting for help that is not coming! Men have surrendered in their houses (ships) and so the family members (crew) are each for themselves!
Alas! It is inconceivable to see women rise up and take weapons to unshackle themselves from the clutches of tyrants such as Bashar al-Assad in Syria. On the other hand, men are busy plotting for the retention of the same regime! Men of our time have not only betrayed the society but also their own health! How is it possible for a man to have a pot-belly stomach complemented with man-bobs all in the name of success as a social status symbol? Nowadays it has become almost impossible to differentiate between the husband and the wife, who between them is about to give birth? Because all of them are extremely fatty and ever fatigued! Alternatively, the men are thin outside and fat inside (TOFI). Something is wrong, and the men must rise up from their slumber and take charge. Otherwise, the way things stand if left unattended then the health crisis before us will be a drop in the ocean in comparison to what is upcoming!
The above is just a snapshot of the deplorable reality bedeviling the world today. It is due to the failure of nurturing genuine masculine men to take up their leadership role and steer the world. Society today is raising mamas’ boys who grow up and take reins of leadership that perpetuate political, socio-economic and educational misery witnessed today!
Now is the moment to nurture and raise sincere masculine men who will in turn become Muslim scholars, rulers and soldiers in the cause of Allah (swt) and His Rasulullah (saw). Men who will not fear blame from any quarters: Men who will be ready to withstand any pressure emanating from those with weak minds among the masses: Men with no time to engage in gossips: Men whose mental acuity is at the optimum level to deliver justice to anyone irrespective of their tribe, colour, and political, socio-economic, educational background: Men who are ready to trade their lives in buying Jannah in the name of protecting the honour of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his cause: Men who are ready to shove aside their comfort zones and plunge in deepest levels of abyss in responding to the call of Allah (swt) and His Rasulullah to that which gives life: Men who prioritize the seeking of Akhera and hastening towards all that will complement their efforts in realizing their object.
The fundamental question is where are the men? Indeed, men are there, but when we view and interpret the question from a myopic angle, it will mean men who are putting on trousers or Muslim robes etc. However, when we internalize and analyze the question deeply, it is provoking us to ponder at the current state of our men. If each one of us does, a sincere soul-searching will arrive at the conclusion that we are where we are because of secular ideas we carry. Our ideas give birth to our concepts and in turn, they give birth to our actions.
Therefore, in order to change the prevailing deplorable state of men across the world, we must adopt the following:
First, seek compulsory learning of the Islamic Shari’ah that involves reading, understanding and internalizing the Qur’an as a timeless guidance to humankind. In addition, We should acquaint ourselves with the Sunnah (Hadith) as a complement and clarifier to the Qur’an since our actions are subjected to conformity to the Islamic Shari’ah. As a result, when our actions conform, we ultimately confirm our enslavement to Allah (swt) and in return, we hope to receive His mercy, and pleasure. Allah (swt) says,
(إِنَّمَا يَخۡشَى ٱللَّهَ مِنۡ عِبَادِهِ ٱلۡعُلَمَـٰٓؤُاْۗ) “Indeed, those who fear Allah from His servants are those who have knowledge.” [Fatir: 35:28].
In addition, Abu Harairah narrated that Rasulullah (saw) said,
«مَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ بِهِ خَيْرًا يُفَقِّهْهُ فِي الدِّينِ» “When Allah wills good for a person, He causes him to understand the religion.” [Sunan Ibn Majah].
Second, seek extra learning of the life prerequisites that will assist us perform our day to day life activities such a learning how to drive a car, etc.
Third, we must regularly connect to our singularity or aloneness; i.e. create private space far or distant from family or social activities or chaos. This space is for meditation, deeper introspection of our value and contribution to the state of living in our families, society, nation and world at large. We have to ask ourselves questions like: Are myself, my family, my society and humanity at large on the right track as envisioned by Allah (swt) or are we all just buffoonery-lackeys?
Fourth, practice minimalism; always strive to be a minimalist. A minimalist is someone who is contented with the little needed to push through this transient journey of life. Prophet Muhammad (saw) led by example, despite being a Prophet and a ruler, he lived the simplest of life, a minimalist per excellence. It must be clear that being a minimalist is not the same as creating misery on yourself, rather it means anything extra is invested (given out) as sadaqah to the cause of Allah (swt) and His Prophet (saw). This can only be possible by genuinely asking ourselves, how much is enough in terms of our material possessions?
Fifth, regular fasting; It means that we have to eat either one or two meals in a day (OMAD) or (2MADs). Besides, we can replicate Prophet Daud’s (as) fasting by alternating the days i.e. fasting for one day and not fasting on the next day. On the other hand, when breaking the fast we must eat foods and not food products i.e. we must eat foods that benefit us with nutrients and NOT food products devoid of any nutritional value, but instead act as the root cause of maladies in our bodies. Regular extended fasting leads to autophagy. Autophagy allows our bodies to break down and reuse old cell parts so our cells can operate more efficiently. It is a natural cleaning out process that begins when your cells are stressed or deprived of nutrients.
Sixth, regular exercise; especially (gym) weight lifting exercise that involve the compound workouts that include pull-ups, bench press, deadlifts, overhead (ovh) shoulder press, squats and rows. In addition, engage in HIITS (high intensity interval training) such as running short distances. In summary exercises should involve the tissues of the muscles, liver, pancreas and adipose to benefit the physical and mental health and well-being.
Seventh, non-stop extensive reading of books; it will assist you in thinking critically and creatively on each issue before you. In addition, your level of inquisitiveness will rise and it will lead to incremental thirsty for information that lead to further reading. Fortify your mental acuity by building a library that you will use as an intellectual oasis that you will be referring to when stuck on some issues or when you wish to get some inspiration or insights on any issue. REMEMBER the number one book to be in your library is the Qur’an Kareem then the rest.
Eighth, listen to audios and watch videos; that add value and contribute to your genuine masculine role as a man and a leader of a family, society and humanity at large.
Ninth, guard your mind and time; these are your TRUE resources that require you to be disciplined, ordered and competent in protecting and utilizing them to their maximum fruition. Remember that what (ideas) go into your mind determine who you are. As for our time, it is ever running against us i.e. cannot be replenished, once gone always gone, but every second will be accounted by Allah (swt) in Yaumul Nadama (Qiyama). Always we must analogize the world like a blackboard, and in our hands, we have our time-bound chalks that are ever writing for purposes of our later generations to read about us. Write gibberish and your generations will read exactly that!
Tenth, join a party or group of people focused on bringing about REAL and RADICAL REVOLUTION. Together with them diligent work towards a common goal of alleviating the living status of humanity across the world. The living status of humanity will improve on condition that the party will strive to resume the Islamic way of life based on the Islamic Shari’ah. Therefore, the main goal of the said party must be to reestablish the Islamic System of Governance, the Khilafah (Caliphate) on the method of Prophethood. This party or group is NONE OTHER than Hizb ut Tahrir, (the Party of Liberation). The party is working day and night to unshackle man from the enslavement to his whims and return him to the servitude of his Creator – Allah (swt). Hizb ut Tahrir yearns for healthy, intellectual upright and focused men amongst the peak performers to respond to its call for the reestablishment of the Khilafah.
The Khilafah will give a sense of purpose and mission to men, who will scorn wasting their time in betting, casinos, engaging in usurious transactions or neglecting their role for Jihad, the pinnacle of Islam. Men who are busy engaging gossips with their wives or women, who are crying because their national or club football teams have lost! Imagine such a father, a son, a daughter and a wife (wives) arguing on what type of food to eat or which football team to support or which vacation destination to visit or which fashion to put on for the next wedding or music concert?! Oh, Allah (swt) forgive us for our mistakes and misplaced priorities in this 21st generation identified for its materialist-mindset!
The Khilafah will bring about the gems in masculine men such as the likes of Khalid bin Walid (ra) the warrior of the highest caliber and matchless commander-in-chief in the Muslim Army in Syria under Khalifah (Caliph) Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra). Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas (ra) as the warrior of superb acumen and military commander-in-chief in Iraq under Khalifah Umar bin Khattab (ra). Fearless Muslim soldiers like Rib’i bin Amir (ra) who served under the command of Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas. Rib’i bin Amir was a diplomat to Rustam, the war minister for Persia. The following is what transpired:
‘When he (Rib’i bin Amir) arrived at the court of Rustam, that was carpeted with cloth of gold, the pillows of rich silk, while a gem bedecked throne was placed in the center. Rib’i bin Amir (ra) came up to the richly carpeted floor and dismounting from his horse, attached the reins to a pillow. He then moved on supported by a spear piercing into the carpet and cutting it and making holes in it with its point and sat beside Rustam. The courtiers made an attempt to pull him down from the throne and disarm him. There upon Rib’i bin Amir (ra) thundered, “I have come on invitation and not of my own. Our religion strictly forbids anybody sitting like God and the rest standing before him with their hands folded.” Rustam intervened and asked them not to do anything against the will of the envoy.
However, on second thought Rib’i bin Amir (ra) dismounted from the throne, slit a portion of the carpet with his dagger and sat on the earth and said addressing Rustam, “We are not at all in need of your carpet. The earth spread by Allah (swt) is enough for us.” Rustam then asked Rib’i bin Amir (ra) through the interpreter, “What is your object in waging war against us?” Rib’i bin Amir (ra), “We intend to bring the slaves of Allah (swt) to the expanse of the next world from the narrowness of this world and promote justice and Islam in place of atrocities and false religions. Anyone who adopts justice and Islam will find us non-interfering in regard to his wealth, property, and country. But we shall fight with whoever stands in our way until we go either to Paradise or attain victory. If you seek to pay the Jizyah, we shall accept it and will cease to go against you and you will find us standing by you if and when you need us for the safety of your life and property.” Having hard this Rustam inquired, “Are you the chief of the Muslims?” Rib’i bin Amir (ra) replied, “No, I am an ordinary soldier. But each one of us, even the most ordinary can speak on behalf of the most powerful person, and every person has full power in every matter.”
The utterances of Rib’i bin Amir (ra) left and his courtiers dumbfounded. Rustam then said, “The scabbard of your sword is quite rotten.” Rib’i bin Amir (ra) drew his sword out of the sheathe and said, “But it has been tempered with very recently.” Rustam then said, “The blade of your spear is very small. How can it be of any use in battles?” Rib’i bin Amir (ra) replied, “This blade pierces deep into the chest of the enemy and goes across it. Have you not seen that a spark is enough to burn down an entire city.” After this war of words, Rustam said, “Well, I shall ponder over your utterances and hold consultation with my men of sound judgement.” Rib’i bin Amir (ra) got up and rode to Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas.
Next day, Rustam sent a fresh to Sa’d (ra) and requesting him to send an emissary to him. Sa’d (ra) sent Hudhaifah bin Mihsan (ra). He also entered the court riding his horse giving an air of stubbornness, which Ribi’i bin Amir (ra) had displayed previously. He drew close to the throne on horseback. Rustam said, “What is the reason that you have been sent today instead of the one who had come to me last time?” Hudhaifah bin Mihsan (ra) replied, “Our commander does justice to one and all and gives everyone an opportunity to do everything. It was his turn yesterday and it is my turn today.” Rustam the asked him, “How much respite could you give me?” Hudhaifah bin Mihsan (ra) said, “For three days only from this day.” Rustam kept silent, and Hudhaifah bin Mihsan (ra) rode back straight to the Muslim camp. The stubbornness and presence of mind of Hudhaifah bin Mihsan (ra) left Rustam and courtiers astonished.
Next day again Rustam requested an envoy from the Muslim camp and Mughirah bin Shu’bah (ra) was sent to play his role. Rustam tried both temptation and terror but Mughirah bin Shu’bah (ra) remained unmoved and paid him the same coin. Helpless and embarrassed Rustam said in a fit of anger, “I shall never enter into any peace agreement with you and I will kill all of you.” Mughirah bin Shu’bah (ra) got up and left peacefully for his camp.’
The above is a glimpse of the state of genuine masculine Muslims that this world is yearning for. Men who strived to live and die for the sake of Allah (swt) by responding to his call when He said,
(يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱسۡتَجِيبُواْ لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمۡ لِمَا يُحۡيِيڪُمۡۖ وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَحُولُ بَيۡنَ ٱلۡمَرۡءِ وَقَلۡبِهِۦ وَأَنَّهُ ۥۤ إِلَيۡهِ تُحۡشَرُونَ)
“O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered.” [Al-Anfal: 8:24].
Men with a clear mission on this fleeting whom Allah (swt) has spoken about, when He said,
(مِّنَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ رِجَالٌ۬ صَدَقُواْ مَا عَـٰهَدُواْ ٱللَّهَ عَلَيۡهِۖ فَمِنۡهُم مَّن قَضَىٰ نَحۡبَهُ ۥ وَمِنۡہُم مَّن يَنتَظِرُۖ وَمَا بَدَّلُواْ تَبۡدِيلاً۬)
“Among the believers are men true to what they promised Allāh. Among them is he who has fulfilled his vow [to the death], and among them is he who awaits [his chance]. And they did not alter [the terms of their commitment] by any alteration.” [Al-Ahzab: 33:23].
Such propitious men of purpose will be given birth, raised and nurtured under the true shield, protector and guardian of humanity, the Khilafah. Until its establishment, we shall continue to witness crises across the world. The moment is now to join the reverberating calls for bringing TRUE CHANGE as encapsulated by the Hizb ut Tahrir in its fathomable published literature. Do not lag behind; our life is a matter of microseconds.
Working with Hizb ut Tahrir is an opportunity to rise above the rat race and mediocrity mindset that has engulfed the majority of the masses, who thrive in deceptive and trivialities in the name of bringing about change. However, who in reality are just nothing but a bunch of secular democratic political gatekeepers who are hell bent to retain the status-quo at whatever cost and means. Indeed, working in Hizb ut Tahrir is not a walk in the park to those aware of the immense responsibility and nature of its work on their shoulder. However, the immeasurable salvation when the goal is achieved in this transient world and Akhera is inconceivable.
O Men! lets wake up, tighten our belts and rise up to the occasion by both joining and giving our best in the process of realizing fundamental change. Our rizq and lifespan are NOT in our hands, and so our calculations and utmost efforts be geared towards the call for the Da’wah. Let us take charge of leading of our family, society and humanity in all spheres of life by working diligently and unwaveringly for the cause of Allah (swt) espoused by His Prophet (saw). Let us be men who are present and full of keenness and valor in words and actions.
Ali Nassoro Ali
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir