In 2004, we experienced the Tsunami that shattered lives and homes but left all the Masjid intact. Now even, the two holiest mosques are empty. Mosques around the world are shut and we are no longer allowed to pray in the mosques. Why does Allah no longer want us in his mosques?
There is a possibility that this is a warning to people who Allah had given certain privileges. What kind of privileges? Privileges such as to be a guest in his mosque for Fajr and Isha. This includes people who give lectures in the mosques, our Ustaz, imams and people of religion. Basically it is people that he has selected to be his ambassador.
I have so much respect for these people, Allah chose them to be a guest in his Masajid but it seems as if Allah has lost respect towards these people. As if Allah was trying to send a signal that these people are no longer fit to be in his Masjid. Why did I say that? It is because they are the one who is the most affected by this pandemic. Their privileges of praying in the mosque are taken away. Their privilege to give a Khutbah in the mosque is temporarily revoked until further notice. Their respect for leading prayer is also taken away. And all the religious teachers that give a halaqah in our Masjid had to resort to Youtube in order to be heard.
The question is why is this happening to them to people of the deen? With great privilege comes great responsibilities. Maybe they fail to fulfil their responsibilities. Some of them may look humble but there is arrogance in their heart. They think they are the chosen one invited to the house of Allah.
Guess what you are no longer invited and not just that. You are prevented from performing your Salah in the masjid. Not only that, now if you want to pray in the Masjid and pray you have to sneak in like a thief.
This pandemic is a message to the Ulama, Imam, Muftis and Ustaz, they have a duty to shape and direct society towards Allah and this has not been done. Here are several reasons why I think coronavirus is a stern warning to the people in authority of the Deen.
We Stop forbidding evil – Islam may be a positive religion but each one us is asked to enjoin good and forbid evils. In the last decades, there has been a rise of positive Islamic preachers. With their knowledge, they speak about things that make them popular. They don’t speak about what needs to be said, but what people want to hear. These people shift the attention of the masses about the real problems that need to be solved. Islam is not a show and Ulama’ is not a star their job is to remind people and not be a crowd puller. If you ‘ve been to one of their talks, you’ll see some of them are more like celebrities than people of knowledge. When we are silent in the face of injustice, we are no better than the oppressor.
Abandoning Jihad – We have long abandoned Jihad for the fear of being labelled as extremist. Not only we no longer advocate for Jihad which is a sunnah. We concentrate on the linguistic meaning of Jihad because it is less controversial and more acceptable to our Kafir friends. But if you look at the Seerah and the classical jurist understanding for Jihad in a military sense. It is how Ertugrul understands Jihad even the Sufi’s at that time are in the frontlines. It is about justice where ever it may be.
We have scholars who advise leaders, Jihad against the self is more preferred. Struggling with your appetite on whether to have another plate of rice or not is not more important than speaking against injustice.
I will protect the oppressed even when he is my enemy, but I will not forgive a traitor even if he is my brother – Ertugrul Gazi
Not only that we prevented anyone who locks people up just because they have jihadist content on their phone. We are content with our weekly ‘Qunut Nazilah’ in our Friday prayers. Now even that has been taken away from us by Allah.
The majority of Muslims have taken the pacifist attitude when it comes to Jihad. Are we getting any better as an Ummah? We have Muslims being persecuted in every continent of the world. We chose to stay silent about it.
Not only we have abandoned jihad but to please our unbelieving friends, we go a step further. We locked up anyone who wants to participate in armed Jihad. Our Jihad is now limited to tweeting our dissatisfaction on social media.
Abandoning our brothers and sisters in need – We are so preoccupied with our own interest and forget about our brothers in Palestine, Kashmir, Myanmar, Xinjiang and etc. We could have done more. I am not talking about military action, no matter how strong a Muslims country’s military is they could not lift even a finger to give a military response. Even if we did something like giving donations we could still do more in terms of advocacy and policy-wise.
Allah is just giving us a taste, whatever our brothers and sisters in war-torn countries are experiencing. They lost their freedom of movement, we are under lockdown. They don’t have food to eat, a roof over their head but Allah has not taken that away from us. Whenever we hear a Muslim is hurt in any part of the world should try to empathise with them, not provide justification that they deserve it. These sort of justifications come out from the mouth of knowledgeable people, Ustaz that give halaqah in mosques.
Selling our Religion – Islam is now a big business I am not talking about the trillion-dollar Islamic Economy. This is what has been happening in our masjids. While we value the contribution of knowledge, of our Ustaz in our local masjid. But their ability to tell what needs to be told in a community is severely restricted. The committee of the Masjid will dictate what is off-limits or the preacher’s service will be discontinued. Unfortunately, this show many Muslims are educated about religious knowledge, so they are more focused on issues of worship rather than an issue facing that community that need to be dealt with.
Religious Education Reset – Our religious education in Malaysia is largely informal, despite being a Muslim majority country. Over the past, 10 years we have people who went to private religious school and now advocating against Islam.
We have people who are from religious education backgrounds, that has been a Naqib Usrah (Islamic Study Circle Mentor) for 10 years and who is now an international LGBT advocate. I haven’t even mentioned the people who memorised the Quran then fall prey to drug addiction. These are painful things to talk about but it is a fact.
Now, we are being reminded that our purpose here is not to sound inspiring, because whether you sound inspiring or not ultimately Hidayah is from Allah. We need to start speaking up against injustice whether it is done unto humanity.
Shahfizal Musa is the editor of Halalop. He graduated with a Law degree from Thames Valley University London. He is an award-winning journalist covering topics such as human trafficking, Muslim research discoveries, and exceptional Muslims.