IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL
ORGANIZING AMERICAN MUSLIMS - THROUGH DAWAH PROCESS
[Shamim A Siddiqi, New York]
Out of the three Abrahamic Faiths, the Muslims of America are the most important to be discussed from Dawah point of view. Spreading the Deen of Allah in Jews and Christians verily depends on reorganizing and rejuvenating the Muslims of America from the perspective of Dawah Ilallah [DI] to the people of this land. However, for Muslims, the word Dawah is not the proper phrase to be used. They are already Muslims, have accepted the authority of Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (S), believe in His angels, His Scriptures, all His messengers - from Adam to Muhammad (PBUT) and the accountability on the last Day of Judgment. They don't need the Dawah approach but exhortation and reminder that, when they have accepted Islam as a way of life, they are to live, act and behave like a Muslim and Muslimah. Hence, the Muslims will be dealt with different angle or approach.
Let us first understand and review their existing position, their important features, both in American and global perspective. I will, then, share with readers what they are to do to improve their own position as Muslims and what they are to do to introduce and spread the Deen of Allah to the Judeo-Christian community in the Continents of America.
IMPORTANT FEATURES OF THE MUSLIMS OF AMERICA:
i. There are 52 Muslim countries in the world but Allah's Deen is not found in the body politic of any of these countries. They are dominating in many regions and control vast tract of land but the Kingdom of God is nowhere traceable, though they believe in it and are commissioned by their Lord to do so.
ii. Muslims are about 1. 3 billions and constitute almost 1/4th, of the world population. They produce most important industrial raw material, hold lifeline of the present day industry, trade and transport and control almost all the strategic straits of water but have no say in the affairs of the world. A small portion of that big population, about eight millions, now lives in America/Canada. They are well educated, technically well equipped and are mostly affluent. They had come over here for the betterment of their lives but, unfortunately, have forgotten their mission of Islam. It is the integral part of their existence that they will have to rediscover themselves, while living in the midst of this liberal society.
iii. The bulk of the Muslim population of America is immigrant, from the Middle Eastern countries, Indo-Pak-BD- Subcontinent, African countries and some from the Balkan region of Europe. The local indigenous population constitutes African-American, Caucasian-American and Latino-American communities. The Native-Americans are just a few in numbers. The Muslim population represents all sects and schools of thought [Mazaheb] of the Ummah and they are all developing their respective institutions in this country. Most of them are, however, traditional Muslims [nominal Muslims]] and only a few are Dawah oriented.
iv. Muslims of America have developed and are in the process of developing mosques, Muslim community centers, schools, religious institutions, utility services, grocery stores, hotels and restaurant to cater to their cultural, religious and ethnic needs. But the most alarming situation is this that hardly 15 % of the Muslim population is attached to these mosques/communities and their activities. The rest are lost or are in the process of being lost in the melting pot of the dominant culture of America. Their greatest number is visible only on two Eid days but that does not make much difference to the proportion of active Muslims. The "lost portion" of the Muslim population is to be retrieved from the enticing clutches of this liberal society. That is the most challenging job for the leadership of the Muslim Ummah of America to perform within a reasonable time frame before they are lost for good.
v. Muslims have developed some nationwide organizations. Islamic Society of North America has transformed itself into an umbrella organization, representing more them five hundred Masajid and Muslim communities and rendering useful services to the Muslim community of America. Imam Waris Deen Mohammad and Imam Jameel Al-Amin have organized their respective African-American communities on national basis. The Dawah-oriented Muslim brothers and sisters have developed a nationwide organization in the name of Islamic Circle of North America to introduce and spread the Deen of Allah in America to its logical conclusion. So is the case with MAS. At the top, all the four organizations have formed the National Council but it is still in its nascent stage. Nothing positive could be achieved through it so far. They have the ambition but not the will. Some other institutions like CAIR, MERCY, and HELPING HAND are working hard to render humanitarian services to the community. Some individuals and political action committees are actively advocating, getting the Muslim community of America involved in the election process of this country. Thus, the Muslims stand disorganized, have no central leadership, no united platform, have no political muscle and have developed no vision to develop a common destiny of American people on the lines advocated by the Qur'an and the Sunnah of Rasulullah (S).
From the foregoing features of the Muslim Community of America, it appears that they have to go a long way in order to organize themselves into a thriving and vibrating community of America, develop a unified command and a united political platform, create a consciousness among each and every Muslim of America about his obligation of "Shahadah AL-Annas" and meet the responsibilities of Dawah Ilallah towards the people of the land, failing which their stay in America will become a source of displeasure of Allah in the Akhirah.
The especial situation of Muslims in America, as depicted above, demands two positive and simultaneous actions: to make them conscious Muslims and to involve them aggressively in the Dawah process, both individually and collectively at local and national levels.
I have discussed the salient features of the Muslim Ummah of America both in continental and global perspective. By their faith, they are the torchbearers of Islam and the ambassadors of the Messenger of Allah. But their geo-political and ideological condition demands that they first be organized as a disciplined and a conscious community. They are to be reminded of the position that they hold in the community of nations as the Middle and the Best. They are to serve as models for the rest of the humanity in each and every walk of life. They are the champions of human rights and they are raised to deliver justice and fair play [Al-Adl wa Al-Qist] to the suffering humanity. They are the salt of the earth and the lamp of the mountain.
Can the Muslims of America do it and meet the challenges of their Iman and display the fragrance of their moral character in the midst of prevailing liberal values? Yes. It would not be a distant dream or something impossible to attain. They can do it and they can succeed, if they meet the only one condition prescribed by Allah for us that we are Mumin [Al-Imran -139]. This is Allah's commitment and who can fulfill the commitment better than Allah [Ref: Al-Tawba: 111]. The demands of Iman can be fulfilled only when the Muslims meet its following three dimensions.
1. When Muslims live, act and behave like "conscious Muslims". This is the first stage of Dawah amongst the Muslims. It can be pronounced as "Dawah to self".
2. When they transform their sweet homes as "model Muslim families" for their own inmates, friends, relatives, neighbors and visitors. This obligation should be popularized amongst the Muslim community as "Dawah to the family".
3. They cannot maintain their individual integrity as Muslim and the status of their houses as "model families", unless they go out and clean their neighborhood and the society in which they, their wives and their children pulsate day in and day out. This process of cleaning the society can be termed as "Dawah to the society".
This inherent demand of Iman to bring self, family and the society within the purview of Islam presents a scenario of a continuous process of Dawah Ilallah within and out side the bounds of Muslim families. It will be possible only when the Muslims lead a life of a conscious Muslim and Muslimah in the midst of this liberal and free-for-all society. Without attaining this consciousness, they cannot fulfill the mission of DI in the continent of America. Now the question arises as how to make them conscious Muslims and who will do this job?
LET US BE CONSCIOUS MUSLIMS:
Before embarking upon this point, I would like to add that those brothers and sisters who are suffering from the complexities of expediency and want to throw the Muslims of America to the vagaries of the political system of this country must know that in the context of the American firmament they are just raw fodder with no political muscle of their own. The Muslim leadership will get nothing, not even a single seat on national level or get a person elected of their choice, if they do not plan to organize them first as Muslims who are conscious of their position and the part that they are destined to play in rebuilding this nation and the humanity at large on the doctrine of Monotheism [Tawheed], Prophethood [Risalah] and Akhirah [accountability on the last Day of Judgment].
It reminds me of a couplet from the poet Iqbal: "Apni millat per qayas Aqwame Maghrib ka na kar * Khaas hai tarkeeb main qaume Rasuley Hashmi" [Translation: Don't treat the Muslim millat in terms of the Western nations. The constitution of the millat of Rasulullah (S) is special and different from others]. The Muslim leadership is first to transform this "raw material" into 24- karat gold. Only then, they will be able to play their destined role in this society.
Let us see how this gigantic task of organizing the Muslim Ummah of America can be accomplished and through what process? How can they be prepared to undertake the responsibility of Dawah Ilallah in American perspective?
However, it must be noted that no single individual, or a solitary institution or a Political Action Committee, howsoever great it may be, can do this job alone in its own way. It would be a joint and concerted effort of the entire Muslim leadership, Masajid and their Imams, Muslim educational and religious institutions, local and national Muslim communities to work together with only one agenda, supreme in their minds and thinking process, as how to make each of us to live, act and behave like a conscious Muslim and Muslimah. For the attainment of this objective, the Ummah as a whole is to work through the following Dawah process.
I. MASJID - THE CENTER OF GRAVITY: The starting point will be the Masjid. Muslims are attached to Masjid, though in limited numbers. They attend the Friday sermons, weekly Qur'anic sessions, Hadith classes, Sunday lectures, observe various days, listen guest speakers from abroad, participate in different training programs and various other activities round the year. They are in direct contact with our local Imams and Muslim leadership. On all these and many other occasions, Muslims are to be educated and exhorted that they live, act and behave like a Muslim, regardless of where they are, what positions they hold and with whom they come in contact. If they are constantly reminded, educated and trained in this way, they will gradually develop the consciousness that they are Muslims and they are accountable to Allah for what they do and act. Hence they must act like a benevolent neighbor and a responsible Muslim citizen of this country. They are not like ordinary men and women. They carry a big responsibility on their shoulders to fulfill the obligation of "Shahadah Al- Annas" to the people of the land. A continuous conscious persuasion and ceaseless efforts on the part of our Imams and the community leaders will gradually make a big difference in between what they are today and what they will become within a few years.
II. NASIHA - REMINDING TO EACH OTHER: Simultaneously, each Muslim should be exhorted to remind to his Muslim brother and sister as and when they meet and depart that they are Muslims and that they have a responsibility as such. They should be advised/reminded on a regular basis to revive the spirit of Sahabah [may Allah bless them] who used to recite and remind to each other with what Surah 103 [Wa Al-Asr] contains, when meeting and when departing: " By the time! Man is in the state of loss; save those who believe, do good deeds, exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance". This conscious exercise will create the spirit of readiness to sustain the responsibility of a Muslim and Muslimah, compete in Dawah activities and mould their lives in the light of the Qur'an and Sunnah. If this habit of reminding each other is carried out in a continuous process all around and every where, it will make each Muslim and Muslimah self conscious, both individually and collectively to make themselves active Muslims, change their life pattern, remodel their family lives and be involved in Dawah activities in and around the Masjid and in their respective communities at public level. Thus, creating self-consciousness in the Muslims will lead to self-development of the Islamic values and the character that are desirable to be inculcated in each of us.
III. A CONTINUOUS PROCESS TOWARDS CHANGE: On one side, Muslims will get the Islamic education form our Imams and Muslim leadership and on the other, they will be reminding themselves to correct their affairs and be involved in Dawah activities to the rim of their capacities, at local and national levels. If this process is followed meticulously for two to three years at each community level, Muslims of America will get the proper opportunity, education and exhortation to meet the challenges of the time. In this process, they will learn in detail about their faith, understand the country where they live and get the opportunity to transform themselves and their families in the light of the Qur'an and Sunnah. This is a challenge to the ingenuity of Muslim leadership and our Imams. I am more than sure they will certainly resolve to struggle for this goal in a continuous process. That will be a turning point in the history of America
As mentioned earlier, Dawah amongst Muslims is to be conducted in two stages. First Muslims are to be organized as an Ummah within their own bounds and then they will be inspired to undertake the mission of DI to non-Muslim communities of this land. For their own reorganization, I have elaborated above the three important measures. Now the organized and the conscious members of the Muslim community will have to do some homework within and outside the community from Dawah point of view on the lines as discussed below.
1. RECLAIMING THE LOST SHEEP: Muslims have to find the lost sheep of this Ummah that are scattered here in this country, in the midst of the liberal society. The bulk of the Muslim community of America [MCOA] about 85 % is to be salvaged through persuasion, exhortation and good Nasiha. They are to be made an integral part of the community through participation in Masjid and community activities, offering Salah in congregation, educating themselves, their children and their spouses more and more about Islam. Masajid and the Muslim communities are the safety valves for these people. If a proper search is carried out through out the country in the form of a campaign, most of them can be won over or regained easily to become the integral part of the streamline of Muslim Ummah. If the active Muslims and their leadership do not do this job on priority basis, they will soon be absorbed by the liberal society of America.
If this job is not undertaken now, they will soon be lost. Even their names and nomenclature will sound different than that of a Muslim origin. So the Muslim Ummah has to work hard for this reclamation job forthwith. It reminds me of the fate of thousands of Iran-Iraq Kurdish Community who were brought here with its leader, Mullah Mustafa Berzani, and rehabilitated in Yonkers [Upper NY State] during the Second Great War. They are no longer traceable, even observing through a magnifying glass. They are totally lost and stand integrated in the American society. This may be the fate waiting for the Muslims who are not attached either to any Masjid or community and are living on their own. Each conscious Muslim and Muslimah should do this job. It does not need any expertise. Only it is to be given the shape of a continuous campaign and a mark of brotherly/sisterly persuasion.
Further, it is to be noted with concern that if they are not fast reclaimed and won over, the Muslims of America will become the most insignificant minority of this land. They will, then, never be able to become the balancing political force of this country and the projected consolidated voting power of a few millions, as being envisaged by the Muslim leadership, will be doomed for ever. So the reclamation process of the "lost sheep" should be the priority Number One of the Muslims of America.
2. DAWAH AT COMMUNITY LEVEL: The second great stride for the organized and self-conscious Muslim community to undertake will be a wide ranged Dawah contact program at community level. Our Imams and local Muslim leadership, who are men of letters and are well educated in the art and sciences of this country, get countless Dawah opportunities, every now and then, to call their contactee - teachers, professors, doctors, attorneys, police officers, jail and hospital authorities, civil officials, local religious, social and political activists, to the fold of their Creator and Sustainer. If the Muslim leadership and our Imams are conscious of their position and responsibilities as Muslims, they can create a lasting impression on each of them through their moral behavior, Islamic etiquettes and manners and do-good-to-the-society attitude as benevolent Muslims. This will nullify the anti-Islam and anti-Muslim propaganda going on through the prejudiced media day in and day out. Gradually, the local Judeo-Christian community will realize that the Muslims are different people than what is being depicted by the press and public forums. Equally, this will be the best prelude to carry out Dawah activities at the grass root level to the non-Muslim communities of the area. We can invite their leaders to our schools and Masajid to participate in different functions and even offer them to speak at important events. This will open the course of dialogue and better understanding of each other in a friendly atmosphere. Later on, those who are found interested to know more about Islam would be involved in detailed talks. This will be one of the most effective processes of Dawah Ilallah in the Judeo-Christian Community [JCC] of America.
Just think for a while that when this most natural and conscious process of DI is being practiced and pursued all over the continent of America, it will open a floodgate of Dawah opportunities to the Muslims of America. It will be interwoven with activities at community level and each Muslim and Muslimah will be an integral part of this process. When Muslims will open the gates of their Masajid and institutions to their non-Muslim brothers and sisters, they will get equal opportunities to visit schools, churches, synagogues and other institutions of the JCC and give talks on different issues of the communities with clear contributions that Muslims could make in the light of the Qur'an and Sunnah.
To accomplish this job efficiently on regular basis, the Muslim leadership and the Imams will constitute a Dawah committee of their own on city level, prepare the list of contactee, divide themselves in groups of twos or threes as the situation warrants, seek the prior appointments where necessary and then follow their respective contacts or meetings to its logical conclusion. The contactee can be invited on dinner or some get together can also be arranged. Insha Allah, this extra ordinary Dawah activity at community level would create a tempo in the city. That will go a long way towards demolishing many prejudices against Muslims and Islam and pave the way in creating better understanding between different communities, opening doors of immense opportunities of Dawah Ilallah, Insha Allah.
3. ACTIVATING THE COMMUNITY POLITICALLY: About seven million Muslims are now living in America and their number is ever increasing due to new converts to Islam and higher birth rate. They are to enter into the mainstream of national politics by participating in the ward/local politics, involving in the humanitarian services and getting each matured Muslim and Muslimah registered as voter. It should be given the shape of a campaign both at local and national levels. Each member of the community is to be exhorted to the effect that his voting right is an Amanah and he or she is to use it very judiciously only for those who are worthy of it. The Muslim votes are to be cast in a block and to whom? The Central Leadership of the Muslims of America will decide this issue, keeping the better interest of the Ummah in mind. The Muslims are to be made self-conscious of this predominant fact that their voting right is a very powerful political muscle and they have to use it as a bargaining chip to get political strength in this country. They will have to vote in block and form political alliance with the Party that supports views and concept about fair dealings with Muslims at home and abroad, especially with the Muslims around the world. If Muslims are able to muster around three million votes by the next Election -2004 and beyond, no Hillary will dare to refuse their helping hands and no political party of this land will be scared of the Jewish votes and the Jewish lobby. Rather, the candidates and the contesting parties will come to Muslims respectfully begging for their votes. This is not a dream. We can attain it, provided we, the Muslims and our leadership has a will to do it.
Along with the consolidation of political power under the guidance of an enlightened God-fearing Muslim leadership, Muslims and their leadership have to do two more things to be really effective in this country. They have to build up gradually an "Ummah Fund" [UF - for Muslim's exigencies], both at local and national levels and a team of "Muslim Volunteers Corpse" [MVC] for rendering socio-political-humanitarian services at home and abroad]. If the Muslim leadership of America can prepare the community for these three functions [Mass Registration as voters, raising Ummah Fund and building a nation wide team of Muslim Volunteers Corpse] along with Dawah at community level, Muslims will, Insha Allah, enjoy a formidable future in this country. However, there are many more complexities of this process. It is not desirable that we discuss these at this stage. The leadership will think about it when some groundwork has been done and there are vivid signs of the emergence of Muslims as a united voting block of this country.
4. SERVICE TO HUMANITY: Allah (SWT) ordains the Muslims:
" O ye who believe! Bow down and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord, and do good [service to the humanity], that haply you may prosper". [Surah Al-Hajj: 77]
Service to humanity is the most desirable assignment of a Muslim. It has been made incumbent upon us by Allah. Rasulullah (S) was himself the best social worker of his time and for all times to come. A conscious Muslim and Muslimah is to be recognized, through his/her social services in the ward and neighborhood as the person who comes to help to the needy, to the poor, to the incapacitated and to one who seeks help in times of distress. A Muslim in his individual capacity, and collectively where possible, should be recognized as "the man of need" at the place where he or she lives. He has to create an "oasis" of "service to the people" in the midst of Kufr and shirk. This will make him a loveable personality, both by the downtrodden and the common man of this country. This will in turn create immense goodwill and opportunities of Dawah Ilallah to the millions of this country. Our Imams and the Muslim leadership had to exhort the Muslim masses for humanitarian services every now and then and develop a continuous process of evaluating the pace of progress on periodical basis.
5. FIGHT AGAINST MUNKAR: The Muslim Ummah has been raised as the best of the nations to eradicate the Munkar [evildoings] from the society and establish the Ma'roof in its place [Ref: Al-Imran -110]. The American society is infested with hundreds of Munkar all around. They are multiplying at an enormous speed. Our own sons and daughters are falling prey to it in schools, colleges and everywhere. Our homes are under its direct attack through TV, radio and Internet. It is the religious obligation of the Muslims of America to mobilize people's opinion against different kinds of Munkar, educate them with its dire consequences on self, family and the society and build a tempo for a common fight against each Munkar. It is a gigantic task and needs a lot of planning, programming and resources. Imam Siraj Wahaj did it once in Brooklyn, NY around Masjid Taqwah in close cooperation with the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities and we can do it again on greater scale both at local and national levels. I will develop this theme separately as and when time will arise. Alhamdulillah, I have done some homework for this undertaking and will share it with the community when the situation would warrant.
6. ROLE OF MUSLIM NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS: The role of these organizations is very important and an all- encompassing phenomenon. As discussed earlier, the Muslim Ummah of America is to be organized as a Community, to be ever conscious of its position and responsibilities assigned by Allah (SWT) as the Best and the Middle of the Nations. The role of our Imams, local Masjid and communities and their leadership has already been expounded and discussed in detail. However, the role of some big Muslim organizations like ISNA, the Organizations of Imam W D Muhammad and Imam Jameel and ICNA, constituting the Council of Leadership, needs to be elaborated in brief. Their role would be vital and epoch making towards the emergence of Islam and Muslims as a force to be reckoned with in this millennium. These national organizations have a multi-dimensional role to play, both individually and collectively in the shaping of a campaign on national level and reorganizing the Muslims of America. I will discuss the role of each separately in brief.
I. ISNA: It is a nationwide umbrella organization of the Muslims of America, representing more than five hundred mosques and attached Muslim communities, spread throughout the country. It superbly controls their affairs, provides legal expertise, gives input as and when required, comes to their help at time of distress and arranges financial support in acquiring propriety rights. It holds lien on each member's property. As such, it can motivate their Imam and leadership towards reviving the fate of Muslims of America, if it communicates its functions effectively and imaginatively. Keeping in view the paramount importance that ISNA can play in re-orientation of Imams and communities under its direct umbrella, the writer personally visited ISNA HQ at Plainfield, Indiana in April 1999. He had a detailed discussion with our beloved Br. Dr. M. Sayeed, Secretary General, ISNA and respected Br. Nazimuddin Ali, GM, NAIT about the role that Imams of the Mosque and community leaders under their control can play. I shared with them the basic three points: developing consciousness in Muslim men and women, getting them politically activated as Registered Voters and exhorting them to do Dawah amongst the Judeo-Christian socio-religious-political activists and civil officials of the community as a team. They agreed but what they did in that respect, I don't know. I am more than sure that if the leadership of ISNA becomes conscious of these urgencies, they can help in changing the situation at an accelerated pace.
Through their Journal, Islamic Horizons, regional and local chapters and annual convention, the leadership of ISNA comes in contacts with thousands and thousands of Muslims each year. They can exhort and educate them to live like conscious Muslims, and present a good model of Islam before their neighbors and local residents. ISNA can conduct especial classes at its Center and at each Masjid under its control to educate the Muslim masses to this effect. That would be the best Dawah in the field. Each Muslim and Muslimah will himself/herself become a walking Da'ee.
II. ORGANIZATIONS OF IMAM W. D. MOHAMMAD AND IMAM JAMEEL: African-American Muslims are very much attached to these national Organizations and many more to Masajid and communities at local level. On similar lines, as discussed above, all can work in unison to get the Muslims conscious of their position on earth and what part they are to play as conscious Muslims in the midst of the Judeo-Christian Community to the extent that it creates a tempo all around in this country. By making them conscious Muslims, they will be enthusiastic to use their voting rights en-block in conformity with the recommendations and directives of the united Muslim Leadership of America. Along with it, when a comprehensive Dawah campaign is undertaken simultaneously, as advocated earlier, the scenario of the Muslim Community of America will be quite different than what it looks today. Muslims will have the bargaining power in their hands and they will use it with dignity and for justice to all. What they could not achieve today, they will get it done tomorrow at ease, if the aforesaid three-point-agenda is carried out with will, wisdom and sagacity. Muslims of America will do the job assigned to them by Allah and in turn Allah will pave their way to success in both the worlds.
III. TABLEEGHI JAMAAT & TINA: These are also two important organizations of the Muslims of America. They are actively involved in the Muslim community. They may not be interested in the politics of this country but carry a good following among the Muslim masses. Hence they can help a lot in getting the Muslims organized as envisaged above. I am more than sure they will use their good offices to accomplish the process of consolidation of the Muslims of America when approached properly.
IV. ICNA: ICNA has a unique position in
On the other hand, ICNA will undertake
to produce basic Dawah literature/material and build the requisite team of
dedicated, committed and trustworthy Da'ees in American perspective, on the
pattern that Rasulullah (S) did in his lifetime, for carrying out and deliver
the message of Islam to the people of the land, both the intelligentsia and the
masses at the grass roots level. Simultaneously, it would strive hard in close
collaboration with the Muslim leadership of
V. LEADERSHIP COUNCIL: It will streamline the Islamic education in the country, synchronize Dawah activities, especially in jails, develop a comprehensive program of workers training, take care of the new Muslims, especially their relocation in the Muslim society, and develop means and funds to cater to the various educational, intellectual and spiritual needs of the Muslim Ummah. It will constitute a bridge between the Judeo-Christian community and the Muslims of America, both at local and national levels. It will work systematically to bring the entire Muslim community of America on one platform and help in creating a trustworthy leadership at different levels of the society. These are the essential goals to attain and are to be accomplished, if Muslims are to play their role as the Best of Nations and achieve respectability in this country and abroad.
CONCLUSION: This is the program and the process that I have been advocating throughout Elections -2000. This is the program of Dawah Ilallah for the Muslims and through the Muslims for the people of the land. If the Muslims of America do not act accordingly, they are going to get nothing out of their present state of affairs. At present, practically, the Muslims have no voice. But tomorrow, if the Muslim Ummah is rejuvenated, becomes conscious of its position and stands united behind a central command, Muslims will be the most respected people in this society. They will muster and use their political strength to the benefit of the community and the Ummah at large. Let us all - Imams, Muslim leadership, Muslim Organizations, Muslim communities and Muslim masses, work together and fulfill the three-point-agenda on the lines developed in this paper. If we work together intelligently with wisdom, the scenario of Elections 2004 and beyond will be quite different than what it looks today. May Allah bless all of us and give us Tawfeeq to work together as envisaged. United we stand, divided we fall. Allah (SWT) ordains:
"And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah [the Qur'an] and do not be divided".
[The Qur'an - Al-Imran: 103]
"Faint not nor grieve, for you will overcome them [be successful over your adversaries] if you are indeed believers [Mumineen]".
[Al-Qur'an - Al-Imran: 139]
Shamim A Siddiqi
Dated Ramadan 1, 1421 Hijri / November 17, 2000