One of the main factors that would lead to the rise of this ummah is its unity and that’s why Islam has organized our lives in a way that maintains this unity and develops it. This is a Divine Law “If you are united, you will become powerful”. The non-Muslims discovered this Divine Law and they have applied it, which in turn led to their rise and power. Look around you and read the names: The European Union, The United Kingdom, The United States of America, Euro, Shengen (Europe-wide traveling visa) etc. They have applied the Law of Unity. But because they have neglected other Divine Laws, like faith in Allah for example, their power is only temporary, and they are already overwhelmed with different internal problems and weaknesses. You must apply the whole system, the whole matrix of Divine Laws, and only then will you be able to lead the whole world to prosperity, security, and happiness.
Unity is demonstrated in Islam at four different levels:
1- The level of the ummah:
Wake up Muslims!! We are ONE ummah, and we worship ONE GOD. It doesn’t matter if your father is from or if you mother is from . We are one body, one entity, ONE ummah! Allah the Almighty says, what can be translated as, “Verily, this community of yours is a single community, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore serve Me (and no other)” (TMQ, 21:92).
2- The level of the country:
Love for one’s country does not contradict with one’s loyalty to the ummah or to one’s faith in Allah. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) demonstrated this form of bonding when he was migrating from Makkah to Medina . With Makkah now behind him, he looked back and said, “Oh Makkah, how much I love you, and if your people did not drive me out of you, I would have never lived in any other place.”
3- The level of the neighborhood:
Neighborhood ties are very important in Islam, to the extent that Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said, “Jibril (Gabriel) kept on telling me to take care of my neighbors and strengthen my relationship with them until I thought that they would inherit me.”
4- The level of the family:
The importance of kinship and family ties is constantly referred to in the Qur’an, and they form a small-scale level of domestic unity.
Now what have we done with these levels of unity? First it started with drifting away from the sense of unity with the rest of our ummah. How many of us actually feel the bond that is supposed to exist with our brothers and sisters in Western China or in . How many of us even think of them? Ask your friends how they feel about the ummah. How many of them will ask you “What? Ummah? What is that supposed to mean?” We have destroyed the first level of our unity and therefore we started to drift away from each other. Then comes the sense of belonging to one’s country. How many of us actually feel that they love their countries (of course aside from supporting it during international sports events)? How many of us have feelings of patriotism? Many of us have no idea about these feelings. How many Muslims when living in a foreign country try to avoid contact with their brothers from the same country fearing that they might be a burden on them? There goes the second level of unity.
Look at our neighborhoods. How many neighbors living in your building do you know by name? How is your relationship with them? Is there mutual care and trust or is there isolation and avoidance? O Muslims have you forgotten how important your relationship with your neighbor is in Islam? We have even lost our third level of unity. Sadly, the final level of unity in Islam is in no better situation than those mentioned before. Look at our families. How many of us actually sit with their parents and talk with them and benefit from their experiences? How many of us feel eager to be with their parents? How is your family? How often do you get together? If you live away from them, how often do you call? Is your family really still united? That was our last level of unity we just lost.
O Muslims, what then do you expect??? We did not obey the Divine Law! We lost every single level of unity and therefore there was no escape from the result: a terrible decline in all aspects of society. We need to build those bridges once again. We have to unite again on each of these four levels! Enough selfishness because it is killing us! Enough thinking only about yourself because it is suicide! Wake up Muslims! We are ONE body! ONE ummah! We need each other!!
How Islam promotes Unity:
All Islamic rituals help maintain and develop unity amongst Muslims. We pray five times a day, preferably in congregation so that everyone living on the same street, working in the same place, or studying at the same school could get together in a straight line and pray to their Lord. Then there is a weekly gathering for the whole neighborhood during the Friday prayer, which helps maintain the neighborhood’s unity. Another larger scale of unity maintenance and development is during the month of Ramadan. All Muslims around the world spend the same month fasting. In a single city they cease eating and start eating at the same time. This is another form of unity. And of course, there is the hajj[v], the manifestation of Muslim unity. Muslims from all around the globe come to the same place, wearing the same clothes, worshiping the same God, repeating the same sentence, walking in the same direction at the same time, having the same goal, and getting the same reward. It is unity at its highest levels. See how Islam helps us maintain and develop our unity? And see how separated we are today?
During the Battle of the Trench, the Muslims were racing against time trying to finish digging a trench that would prevent the entry of some 10,000 pagans into Medina who were there to fight them. The Muslims were experiencing great hunger so they used to put a rock in a cloth and tie it around their abdomen so that the rock would press against their stomach and give it a sense of fullness. Moreover, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was tying two rocks against his stomach. When Jabir Ibn-Abdullah (RA)[vi] saw this he ran to his wife and asked her what food they had. She answered saying that all they had was one chicken and some bread. So Jabir went to the Prophet and secretly invited him alone to his house for some food. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) looked at him and asked, “Alone Jabir? You want me to come to your house and eat alone?” So Jabir replied saying that there was only a very little amount of food, but the Messenger of Allah only repeated, “Alone Jabir? Alone? I was never to eat alone when the rest of the believers are hungry.” This is how the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) felt towards the rest of the community. They were one body. This feeling of unity and care about his people is also manifested in his constant plead to Allah. He would cry, “O Allah, my ummah, my ummah.” He constantly asked Allah to mercy us. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) wasn’t living for himself; he was living for us also, and for all of humanity.
All immigrations throughout history led to tensions that most of the times turned into violence between the native inhabitants and the immigrants. This is clearly demonstrated between the Europeans and the Native Americans in North America, the Turks and the Germans in , as well as many others. The only immigration that was totally peaceful was the one the Muslims of Makkah made to Medina . A Muslim from Medina would take his brother coming from Makkah into his house and literally split the house into two by building a wall in the middle. He would give the immigrant, willingly, half of his wealth and possessions. Can you imagine the extent of unity that these people were experiencing? That’s how we should try to be. Enough selfishness. Enough living just for yourself. Make a promise today: “I won’t live for myself anymore. I belong to this ummah and I will live for it!” Do you want to practice that? Do you want to start building those bridges of unity? Go home, hug and kiss your parents, or pick up the phone and call them. Ask Allah to flourish your family ties and bless you with mercy amongst one another. Invite your neighbors over and rebuild those bridges! We got lots of work to do, but at least we have a clear path ahead of us. We are learning the Divine Laws that control the rise of our ummah, so let us apply them!!
excerpt – “until they change themselves” – by Amr Khaled Courtesy of Dar Al Tarjuma
you can read the full series 0f “until they change themselves in http://www.thecall.ws(reflection- Wake-up Call)