Why Are Muslims Suffering?

A tiny minority of Muslims has engaged itself in a war (jihad) against the West in general and against the US, Israel, and India in particular. What they are doing through their military adventurism is causing the entire Muslim ummah suffering at the hands of the Jihadis and, because of their misadventures, at the hands of the US and others as well.

The analysis of the situation done by the Jihadi Muslims is that there is a grand conspiracy of the Jews which has caused the entire West to go against Islam and Muslims. They believe that the only way to counter this trend is to undertake an open war against them. If Muslims join hands and fight against the US, Israel, and India, God Almighty would help them in annihilating these enemies of God, His messenger, and Muslims.

Most certainly, proper solution to a problem is based upon two components: the right analysis of the problem and a sincere effort at implementing the solution based on the analysis. In my opinion the analysis of these Muslims is seriously flawed. The truth is that the opposition of the US, Israel, and India against Muslims and their successful attempts to subjugate and cause serious damage to us is not the cause of our woes. Their successful military adventurism against us is in itself the result of another, bigger cause. It is God’s displeasure with Muslims that has allowed Americans, Israelis, and Indians to successfully launch their military campaign against us because God is allowing them to be succeed in their mission. It cannot be that despite the fact that He doesn’t want them to cause damage to us, we would still suffer.

What is happening to us is exactly what happened to the Children of Israel, the Muslims of the earlier times, in their history of two thousand years before the arrival of Prophet Muhammad, Allah’s mercy be on him. The Qur’an describes their suffering in these words:

“And we forewarned the Children of Israel in their Holy Book that ‘you will do mischief in the land twice through and you will become arrogant transgressors (and each time you will be punished).‘

When the promise for the first of the two fore warnings came to be fulfilled, WE SENT AGAINST YOU OUR SERVANTS WITH MILITARY MIGHT: THEY RAMPAGED THROUGH YOUR HOMES TO CARRY OUT THE PUNISHMENT OF WHICH YOU WERE FOREWARNED. Then after this, we afforded you an opportunity to overpower them and helped you with wealth and sons and granted you more manpower. If you perform well you do so for your own benefit; but if you do evil, it would cause harm to your own selves.

Then, when the promise for your second forewarning came to be fulfilled, (WE SENT ANOTHER ARMY) TO DISFIGURE YOUR FACES AND TO ENTER YOUR TEMPLE AS THE FORMER HAD ENTERED IT BEFORE AND THEY UTTERLY DESTROYED ALL THAT THEY LAID THEIR HANDS ON.

Now your Lord may again be merciful to you; but if you repeat the same behavior, we will repeat the punishment, and in the hereafter, we have made hell a prison for such unbelievers.

Surely this Qur’an guides to the way that is perfectly straight and gives the good news to the believers who do good deeds that they shall have a magnificent reward, and at the same time it gives warnings to those who do not believe in the hereafter, that we have prepared for them a painful punishment.” (Qur’an; 17:4-10)

Indeed one of these two analyses of the situation could be correct: It’s either the lack of proper willingness, as the Jihadis say, in the majority of Muslims to fight against the US and its allies which is causing Muslims to be damned in this world or it is God’s decision to inflict His punishment on Muslims through “our servants with military might” which is causing Muslims to be in the state of complete disarray. One of the two possibilities could be correct. Both cannot be simultaneously correct unless one agrees with the proposition that God is displeased with Muslims because they were not undertaking Jihad against the non-Muslims, which is what the Qur’an is most certainly not suggesting. The Qur’an is warning the Children of Israel in the above-stated passage of dire consequences because they did mischief on the land twice and they become arrogant transgressors.

The fact that God is punishing us through non-Muslims is undeniable. The reason this has happened is not because we are not undertaking proper war against our enemies but because of our “mischief” and “arrogance”. In my opinion the following are some of the prominent misdeeds that have invited God’s punishment to be inflicted on Muslims:

i) As a nation Muslims are corrupt. Cheating, disregard of merit, and breaking of commitments are some of the crimes we are consistently committing. Exceptions apart, hypocrisy is the hallmark of the present-day Muslims.
ii) The present-day Muslims are extremely arrogant. Despite being morally corrupt, Muslims are dead sure that they will eventually succeed in the hereafter while all non-Muslims shall be doomed.
iii) The greatest evil in the present-day Muslims is that although they were expected to bring non-Muslims closer to Islam by their good acts and words, they have caused them to hate the religion of God by presenting a picture of it which cannot incline a decent human being to accept it as the religion of God. The Islam Muslims are presenting appears to be against every beautiful blessing God has created for humans in this life; it seems to suggest that the creator of this world is, God forbid, extremely unfair in that He will look at the religion of humans and not their intentions and deeds while deciding about their eternal fate; they have also caused great harm to the message of God by creating the impression that hating fellow humans to the extent of even killing them was a part of the expectation of God from his His devoted servants.

If these allegations against Muslims were correct, how can a sane non-Muslim come close to Islam? And if non-Muslims, who are equally God’s creation, have been drawn away from His religion by the misdeeds of Muslims, how can He be pleased with them? And if He is annoyed with Muslims, why should He not punish them?

If what I am claiming is correct, then the Jihadis are fighting a losing battle, because they are not fighting against the Americans, Israelis, or Indians; they are fighting against God’s decision. If they are really interested in bringing back the lost glory of Muslims, they should address the problems that are causing God to be displeased with Muslims.

Khalid Zaheer

8 thoughts on “Why Are Muslims Suffering?

  1. Imran Faruqui

    Assalamu ‘alaykum Dr. Zaheer,

    I completely agree with your analysis. I wrote the following in a forum over a year ago, which is essentially the same theme. I have also included my own blogspot for your perusal if you so wish to review.

    Peace be with you. Imran.

    8 Feb 2008

    Assalamu ‘alaykum Brothers and Sisters,

    There are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, and only 13 million Jews. That means for every 100 Muslims there is only 1 Jew. And the Jews are calling the shots. Now why is that?

    Here we are blaming the Jews, and the American puppets, and the Israeli Lobby, and the British, and the Holocaust didn’t happen, and, and, and…

    When will we stop blaming everyone around us and take some responsibility?

    Let me ask all Muslims a very simply question: Do you believe the Qur’an is the literal word of God?

    If yes, and the answer can only be yes, then consider this: God says in the Qur’an that He has made it His duty to help the Believers. So why hasn’t God been helping us? Why has God allowed the Muslim civilization to decay, be colonized, imperialized, trampled on, abused in every manner, humiliated, and if it wasn’t for oil, be in utter abject poverty? Why?

    Well, this needs to be examined, because God does not break His promise. And if God does not break His promise, it stands to reason that maybe, when measured as an entire civilization, as a global Ummah, maybe we no longer meet God’s criteria of what Believers are. And, it would appear, we haven’t been meeting this criteria for the last 500 years or so.

    Maybe, the real issue isn’t about them, it’s about us.

    Do you think if we as Muslims, 1.3 billion strong, as a Global Ummah, behaved in the way taught to us by the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, that God would allow us to be in our present condition? Ask yourself this question, in a truly honest way. Put aside your preconceived notions, make a clean slate, put aside your anger, look at things very simply and very objectively, and ask. And reflect. And reason.

    If we want to change the condition of the world, we need to change ourselves first. So where do we start? How do we begin?

    We begin by asking ourselves, what are the qualities of a Believer? And what are the qualities of a Believing Ummah? What qualities do we have? And what qualities are we missing? Because if we were to have all the qualities individually as Believers as well as collectively as a Believing Ummah – then God who keeps all his promises – by his grace, would help us. That is God’s solemn word, and no one’s word is truer than God’s.

    So, I ask all Muslims, on the posts to follow, to start by listing the qualities of a Believer, and of a Believing Ummah. What qualities are we missing and how do we go about developing and improving ourselves. If we, collectively as a Global Ummah strive to do this, if we are steadfast, if we are true in our intent, then God, by His word, will make events develop in such a way that the rest will simply follow.

    That is God’s word, and no one’s words are truer than God’s.

    We have a choice: We can either complain or we can do. Which do you choose?

    I look forward to your suggestions.

    Peace. Imran.

  2. Azad

    Dear Khalid Sb Assalam o alaikum,

    Thanks for a good article. The previous article was also nice.

    The issues you raised are valid but this is not true for the whole ummah. Points i) and ii) are fine but there are only a handfull of people who really fits into your point iii. So the issues raised by you are true but the description is not fair.

    Because anyone who reads your articles will immidiately consider that all muslims are like what you have said which is absolutely wrong. This is not very difficult for any muslim to realise: each one ofcus can assess him self and his family and friends whom he is well aware about and then decide how much they fit into your definition.

    Therefore, raising this issue is good and will help the ummah, as we are not acting a real muslims and not following the commandments of Allah swt and teachings of Prophet (SAW). So we have to realise that every one of us will be judjed by Allah swt for their each of their actions and we have to prepare for this.

    However the way you are addressing last two and many other articles seems like the message is flowing from a pen more closer to the other camp.

  3. Khalid Zaheer

    Assalamo Alaikum Brother Azad

    When a critique of a group is made, it doesn’t necessarily entail criticism of all members of it. It is the general rule that is referred to. The Almighty takes decisions on the basis of the attitude of the majority and not the minority.

    What other camp are you referring to? Let’s not play God and leave the issue of intentions to Him. If my presentation makes sense, take it; if it doesn’t please don’t earn the Almighty’s displeasure by accusing or almost accusing somebody of something you have no business of doing. In fact, one of the problems with the present-day Muslims I forgot to mention was that they are very quick identifying at the real intentions (which are invariable devilish) of others.

    Khalid Zaheer

  4. Azad

    Assalam o Alaikum Khalid Sb,

    I didn’t wanted to accuse anyone (so please forgive me, as you righly said that Allah only knows the intension). Honestly speaking many times when I make dua I also remember you with other brothers. So remember me in your dua as well. I dont come with any bias when I look at any work be it of you or any one else. Honestly speaking I dont take any thing said by anyone before analysing the whole truth in a best possible way.

    Below are my personal opinion about my understanding of your work.

    So when I wanted to take your messages I went deep in your work (articles, lectures…ect), however to my amazement I didn’t get things in your work that will help ummah and solve the problem The irony of the problem is that the things considered by you as problems are not really problems and things supported by you may be the cause of some problems.

    For example, the terrorism we see is a result of the individual (void of understanding by salaf) interpratation of Quarn and sunnah which you support. So if anyone does what he beleves, then what’s wrong in that, as you are doing what seems right to you. This is the result of cutting our self away from traditional scholarships and teachings of islam.

    If anyone really (honestly) sees the quality of the scholarship upon which the four great madhhabs are based then he has to admit that its very difficult to challenge most of the things established by them unless he just say (without any proper reason) that the proofs upon which these are established are not reliable.

    Just to sum up, I dont find solutions in your works for the issues faced by ummah, however things seems to be just upside down from my perspective. As today’s problem is not that the Islam or the scholarship, but it is not following the teachings of islam. Moreover, teachings of islam was and will be with people and there is no need to reinvent the wheel wrongly but to follow the truth.

    So may Allah swt guide us all and forgive our sins.

  5. Khalid Zaheer

    Assalamo Alaikum Brother Azad

    I am sorry, I misunderstood you in your earlier message. Your criticism of my views is honest and serious. It warrants a response. I will find time to do so, insha’Allah. What I have understood from your message is that apart from criticism of the Muslim ways of thinking and approaching Islam, I am making no concrete contribution towards the betterment of the ummah. My approach therefore raises this serious question in the minds of sincere Muslims like you: “What is he up to?” I think the onus of answering this question lies on me.

    Khalid Zaheer

  6. Amjad Ali

    Assalam o alaikum, Khalid Sir,
    I held you in great respect as your articles act as tonic for my intellect.i stand nowhere when it comes to knowledge of ISLAM. But i had one doubt in my mind and i find no one better than you to clarify it.
    you say “”It is God’s displeasure with Muslims that has allowed Americans, Israelis, and Indians to successfully launch their military campaign against us because God is allowing them to be succeed in their mission.”"

    Now, with this argument we can’t justify any of the jihad waged by Prophet (pbuh) himself…. At that time also when muslims were oppressed by quraysh, it was by GOD’s permission only… so instead of fighting, muslims should have worked upon their mischief and arrogance and GOD in return would have vanished quraish automatically…
    You quote some verses from Quran… how about those many verses… where it is said Go and fight for the cause of ALLAH, where our love for life and fear of war has been condemned.
    Prophet’s life is all about examples, each activity each event was to set example…. He himself fought 4-5 wars which was totally against his nature… to prove what… that we should always wait for correct time? or we should always do introspection only?
    My question: Will there be one single circumstance in which you will approve of fighting… what would that be? and in that circumstance also there will be many muslims unwilling to fight and would say same things as you are saying now about other jihadis (so called).

  7. Zeeshan

    Assalam o alaikum,

    I came across Dr. Khalid Zaheers blog today and was browsing the comments section. Although at present times, the majority of the Muslims across the globe feel frustrated, agitated and angry at the events that are unfolding by the Americans, Indians and Israelis. Muslims feel those three nations are responsible for the suffering of millions of Muslims worldwide. I too feel that way, so when I came across this article, I was puzzled. Because the first thing that came to mind was the jihad by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the numerous places it is mentioned in the Holy Quran to go for Jihad (when under oppression etc). Now, I am no scholar. Nor am I an intellectual person. I too like Mr. Amjad Ali above believe that our war is justified given the current oppression by political forces.

    However, I also believe at the same time that Dr. Khalid Zaheer is right, in that we should first reflect on ourselves before we go on embarking a mission to correct everyone else. To answer a question posed by Mr. Amjad Ali, I would say the Muslims at the time of Holy Prophet (pbuh) were much much more than the Muslims of today in every aspect. Their cause was justified as they were, “pure Muslims”. I say this because when I look around myself, my community, I do not see Muslims, I see an army of hypocrites, unbelievers, arrogant, ignorant, greedy and selfish people. And I am one of them. If at all we must raise jihad, then we must raise jihad on ourselves first. We must correct ourselves before we even think about changing the world. We must stop and reflect.

    I would go on even further to say that Pakistan is not an Islamic country. Just because there are Mosques in every corner and we believe in One God and His Prophet (pbuh) does not makes us a Muslim state. Our “qualities” of arrogance, ignorance, selfishness etc etc makes us a state of “unbelievers”.

  8. Osman

    I would also add the practice of calling each other Kafir that would earn the Muslims Allah’s anger. Forget about inviting people into Islam, at present a lot of energy is spent throwing groups outside Islam. Some radical Sunni’s raise the slogan of “Shia Kafir”, while the state of Pakistan has declared the Lahori Ahamdis Kafirs despite thier faith in all the fundametal beliefs of Islam. And on top of that every Muslim, to decalare himself / herslef a Muslim in Govt. records, is required under oath to call Ahmadi’s Kafirs and thier founder an imposter (in most cases knowing nothing on the subject). Surely such a crime would invite Allah’s wrath; because it is one thing to reject some one’s teachings, and another to abuse that person under oath and call Muslim’s Kafirs and forbid them to carry out thier obligations like Hajj, say Salam, or offer Salat in a public place. Think about it: if your forbid a Muslim from doing the Hajj, say the Kalimah or offer Salat publicly, is not that going to earn Allah’s anger?

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