Friday, February 24, 2006

Will the "Ummah" do anything?

"We hear every day one Muslim leader or another speaking of Islamic brotherhood. In recent days I have also heard a lot of calls for violence, killing and destruction in the name of Islamic brotherhood.
I have yet to see anyone quoting an authority from the Qur’an or the Sunnah requiring Muslims to go on a rampage in cases of provocations such as that has come from Europe.

What I have seen is, as in the Qur’an 3:186, “And ye shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Book before you and those who worship many gods. But if ye preserve patiently, and guard against evil, — then that will be the determining factor in all affairs.”

In the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) lifetime, his enemies had said harsher things about him, but he never asked his followers to go to war on that account. His response was, as the Qur’an had ordered him to, to exercise “sabr”.
When he spoke of the brotherhood of believers, he defined it as a brotherhood of those who helped each other — to live. He who eats his fill when his neighbor starves is not a Muslim, he said

What Oxfam says about the condition of Muslims in Somalia should make many of us wonder if we are Muslims as defined by the Prophet (peace be upon him).
“People are walking up to 70 kilometers in search of water... People in southern Somalia are starting to die from thirst in the worst drought in over 40 years... Tens of thousands are now at risk... People are surviving on the equivalent of three glasses of water a day, in temperatures of over 40C (100F)... All surface water has gone, wells are running dry. The 830 ml available per person per day has to be used for drinking, cooking and washing... Children are drinking their own urine because there is simply no water available for them to drink ... Schools and local groups have collected $100,000 — a large sum in an impoverished country — to pay for a relief effort ... Livestock in the south have been dying because of hunger... The United Nations estimates more than 11 milion people in parts of Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Tanzania and Burundi need food aid for the next six months.”
Will the “Ummah” do anything? Allah’s reward awaits those who do.
Rahila Bello, Abuja, Nigeria published 24 February 2006

[Letter published in Arab News]