In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful





Alhamdulillah, my trip to Istanbul, the heart of "modern-Muslim" Turkey during the last week of March 2006 was more than successful in many ways. It was Allah's gift in my old age with a panoramic vision to peep in the would-be Turkey, a mixture of past and present, in its march to have communion with the "Christian Club" of secular 25 European countries. It was possible due to Allah's mercy and the benevolent help and cooperation of my beloved grand-son Dr. Jameel Siddiqi and Br Dr. Ata and his  extremely polite nephew Br Mustafa and friends and acquaintances of both. May Allah bless them all immensely. I was feeling all through that I am in between my best and most sincere friends and brothers-in-Deen.


A friend of Br Ata, Br Ozair, a very interesting character not to be forgotten ever, came in the early hours of the morning, picked me up and my respected uncle Br Alavi to visit the grave of Hazrat Abu Ayub Ansari (RA). He led morning prayers in a mosque of that area and I really enjoyed his Tarteel. As the grave of Abu Ayub Ansari (RA) was surrounded by hundreds of “Zaireen” in the morning hours, he took us first to the graves of  Abu Darda, Waqas, Abu Saeed Khudri and many more Sahabah who are resting eternally in Istanbul  [May Allah be pleased with each of them]  Later on, we visited the grave of Abu Ayub Ansari (RA). It looked like the “Darghah  of Dataganj Bakhsh of Lahore. We offered our Fateha and prayers in the adjacent mosque.  It was one of the most memorable trips of my life. May Allah bless Br Ozair and his friend immensely. He lived in that area since childhood and so knew all its lanes and by-lanes. For ordinary visitors, it would be next to impossible to see so many things of our glorious past.


A friend of my ICNA’s Rafiqu Mohtram Aminuddin Hussaini, Br Mohammad Khan Kayani  was also known to Br Ata. He contacted Br Khan and he came to see me in the Hotel Erguvan in the evening. He is a Pakistani, married and settled in Turkey for long. He is a journalist by profession and a writer on Turkish affairs. He has promised to keep contact with me on return from Pakistan where he has just proceeded on vacation.


We were staying in Erguvan Hotel in Istanbul. It is situated in very close vicinity of the famous Blue and other monumental extremely beautiful Mosques of Istanbul. We visited all the mosques and had our Friday prayers in Blue Mosque which bears the unique mark of Turkish art and architecture with high rise tombs, spacious hall beneath them, picturesque surroundings and shopping malls near by where one can find the delicacies and relics of Turkish life and Ottoman Caliphate in abundance. The city has a panoramic view of the Sea of Marmara stretching from Boshphorus to  Constantinople. The city is a queer mixture of growing influence of secular European culture and receding Muslim culture in the background. The past is struggling with the present for its survival and its future fate depends on the success or failure of Turkey’s efforts to cement its future with EUC. All factors are visibly in fight and only history will tell who will succeed.


While talking a lot with Br Ata, living in Istanbul, about the mess prevailing in the Ummah and how to get out of it,. I realized that he is a very useful brother in cementing relations with brothers of other Muslim countries in the vicinity of Turkey. He arranged a talk for me in "Medeniyet" [Qur'an Academy] on Saturday. His nephew Br Mustafa came to the hotel and picked me up for this appointment. I addressed this meeting of selected gathering for about one and a half hour with frequent Q/A. I presented the following points with emphasis that:


1. Islam is not a religion as Judaism and Christianity are but it is a Deen. As such, it covers the entire spectrum of human life, both in individual and collective spheres, from birth to death and from cradle to grave, but, unfortunately, we by our own action have limited its sphere to Salah, Sawm, Zakah and Hajj and a few rituals and feel that we are Muslims, obedient to Allah alone. It would be not correct. We have transformed our Deen into a religion and the western powers are conspiring to keep us restricted to this truncated concept of Deen by every possible means at their command and our secular minded Muslim brothers and sisters, every where in the Muslim and non-Muslim world, are running after it blindly. This is a great tragedy and Turkey is no exception to it.


2. Our Deen is based on a definite Aqeedah: Tawheed, Prophethood, Amana and Accountability in Akhirah. The stronger the Aqeedah,  the stronger will be our Iman, the character and its trustworthiness. The Aqeedah has transformed our Deen into a Movement. When a Muslim considers about his/her Iman in Allah (SWT) and struggles for what He demands from him/her,. he/she cannot feel rested till the entire humanity becomes obedient to his/her Creator and Sustainer or he/she gives up his/her life in that pursuit. The Aqeedah keeps a Muslim agitated  for the whole of his/her life and he/she moves around in search of like minded brothers and sisters to establish the authority of Allah on earth in an organized and collective format.   


Thus, Islam is a Deen and a Movement and not a religion as Ummah is practicing today.


3. Allah (SWT) has not only sent the Guidance but appointed His Messenger to present the Scripture, the Qur’an, to his people, explain its complexities and delicacies and produce himself as its most perfect model for his fellow companions and the followers afterwards. Prophet Muhammad (S) presented a practical model of the Qur'an in his life pattern till eternity for Ummah to follow. Now the “Falah” of this Ummah lies in following the way he (S) struggled for Allah's Deen  to establish His authority on earth as Qur'an ordains: “Rise and warn: And glorify thy Lord" [Al-Muddassir]


Our salvation lies in understanding Islam as the only way or the system of life that Allah had revealed through Prophet Muhammad (S) and how he (S) established Allah’s Deen in this world as a political entity. Muslims have no choice but to follow it meticulously if they are to regain their past glory in this world again.


In response to a question that we all are Muslim and follow the Deen of Allah in the same way as I have elaborated. I told the brother that had he or the Ummah been following it on the lines envisaged above, none but only Muslims would have been dominating the world. Then  not "you" but EU would have implored at your doors to accept them as the integral part of your would-be Islamic society.  Whereas the position is reverse. It means your claim of following Islam in its totality is not correct. Something somewhere is wrong. We will have to do our home work first afresh and then see how the world behaves.  


[Note: The words as presented here might not be the same but the concept and contents were the  same as elaborated above. I presented this theme extempore even without notes]


Later on, a lot of questions were put to me about Dawah in American perspective. I explained them the activities of ICNA, ISNA, CAIR, MPA, different Imams and Dawah in Jails but with the addition that all is going on in a very “unsatisfactory” way. There is a great need that Ummah must be united to work individually at their different places at “national” level  and collectively as a whole body on global level towards the resurrection of its fate. Working together for a decade or so some light of hope will, Insha Allah, be visible at the end of the tunnel. Turkey is the point of hope of the sick Ummah and we all have to work a lot for years together.


This is all that I have seen and envisioned during this short trip of about four days to a Muslim land of about 70 million people. It is still full of promises and has a great future to play at both the places: as the member of EU, if it maintains the character of a Muslim, meets the urges of Iman and is not “lost”  in the hub of European secular-liberal culture at London, Paris, Bonn and Brussels or remains as a free society of Muslim Ummah with eloquent past, provided it gets out of the “treacherous” influence of International Zionism, Anglo-American hegemonies and gets rid of the frequent interference of its arrogant-secular-military dictatorship that “wrongfully” claims to be the guardian of Turkey.


 May Allah open our hearts and minds to understand the gravity and urgency of the situation and give courage and Tawfeeq to all of us to play our respective part both individually and collectively in reconstructing the fate of the Ummah to new heights of fame and respect in the community of nations in order to get the pleasure of Allah ultimately in this world and in the life Hereafter.



Shamim Siddiqi                                                                                                     

March 28, 2006