The Path

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar radiyalaahu anhuma had mentioned, "Whoever wishes to follow the way of another, should follow the ways of those who have passed away. These were the companions of Muhammad sallalaahu alayhi wassalam, who were the best people of this Ummah. Their hearts were most pious, their knowledge was deepest and they were least pretentious. They were people whom Allah Ta'ala had chosen to be companions of His Nabi sallalaahu alayhi wassalam and for the transmission of His Deen. You people should emulate their character and mannerisms. By the Rabb of the Kaabah! The Sahabah radiyalaahu anhum of Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam were correctly guided."

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

A Letter from America

This letter was published by Madrasah Arabia Islamia, Azaadville, South Africa in 2002.

2nd September 1971

Respected Haji Sahib,

Assalamu'alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakutuhu

It is hoped that you are enjoying good health. I had already written details about the conditions prevailing here. I now wish to add some more details.

Our jamaat reached America in the form of three groups. First two individuals arrived, then four and finally, another group of four. We worked in New York until the 23rd August.

New York is one of the world's biggest cities. It is the biggest city in America. It has a cosmopolitan population of 8 million people. The city is populated more with Afro-Americans and foreigners. The American whites live mostly in the rural areas. There is no difference in rural and urban areas as far as living facilities are concerned.

We have witnessed the amount of effort man has made on material things here. Consequently, he has produced material things of superior quality according to his effort. However, the mass production of superior material things does not engender favourable conditions. We have realised that despite the abundance of material comfort; poverty, ignorance and perplexity still prevails.

Moreover, bad conduct and criminal offences are increasing as time passes. In short, by the grace of Allah Ta'ala, weare much more happier and contented in our country, despite the little material possession we own. Here peace of mind, contentment of heart, love, sympathy, chivalry, happiness and affection are extinct. These qualities only exist superficially. An individual is valuable (only to himself) as long as he is healthy and earning a living. He holds no value if he is not fit to work.

There is no family life here. Children live with their parents only after they are 13 to 14 years of age. Thereafter, they look for their own companions. Parents entertain themselves with dogs and other animal pets. If a person is not wealthy enough according to normal standards, then he would take the refuge of some welfare organisation. This is life in general.

A sick person is left to lay in hospital. Nobody really enquires about his conditions. The deceased has none to mourn him. The newsof the death of the deceased person reaches the relatives only after several weeks have elapsed. Life is tough and difficult.

A person who cannot work hard enough for 8 hours a day experiences great difficulty. The insurance companies will support him for a few days. Thereafter, he is forced to seek assistance from welfare organisations.

Only external glitter and glamour exist. However, much internal frustration is experienced. The rate of inflation is high. Old-age homes are constructed for elderly people where they retire to spend the last days of their lives. These old-age homes are supported by welfare organisations.

The capitalist control the lives of the people. The public works very hard to survive. Finally, whatever they earn, in some way or the other, goes back into the 'pockets' of the capitalist. Even the bare necessities of life are provided and sold by the capitalist. The sole trader cannot exist. People work for larger business companies. Nevertheless, motor cars and petrol are very cheaply priced. Every person owns a motor car because of the demands of conditions prevailing here. Undertaking a journey by train is very expensive. Very few people journey by train. A train ride is regarded as another form of entertainment. People travel far and wide with their cars. The trains are very comfortable. To travel by bus is much more cheaper and comfortable. To travel by plane is only a little more expensive than a bus journey.

One remarkable quality of the people is that they do not cheat. All food stuffs are genuine, pure and cheap. Every type of meat is available. However, halal meat is not available. Jews consume kosher meat. They abstain from pork and every other item which contains pork gelatine. Everything is prepared separately for them. Generally, haram animal gelatine is used in the baking of bread. The Jews slaughter their animals in a way similar to that of the Muslims. We have been informed that 'ulama' have ruled their meat to be halal. Nevertheless, we have not investigated the matter as yet. A cautious Muslim consumes kosher meat. Those who are not cautious consume any type of meat.

We have abstained from consuming kosher meat. We are surviving mostly on vegetable dishes. We personally slaughter chickens whenever possible. All types of lentils, vegetables and spices are available. Ghee (melted butter) is not available. Butter, olive oil and other types of oils are obtainable. By the mercy of Allah Ta'ala, all food items are obtainable in abundance.

Cold and hot water taps, cheap electricity, telephone services, excellent roads and other modern facilities are available for the usage of each and every individual. Despite all this, there is no peace of mind. Allah Ta'ala has opened the doors of material progress upon them. Their material progress has increased our yaqin (conviction) in the following ayah of the Holy Qur'an:
"When the forgot the reminder they had received, We opened upon them the doors of all things, until, in the midst of their enjoyment of that which they were given, We suddenly took them to task, when lo! they were plunged in despair" (Surah An'am: 44)

The enjoyment of these bounties has created arrogance in these people. If they respond to the call of Islam, then only will they be saved from the punishment of Allah Ta'ala. Certainly, their disobedience to Him after enjoying so much of His bounties, invites His wrath upon them. Alas! If only some kind-hearted person could explain to them this reality.

Unfortunately, the Muslims have been so overtaken by their involvement in material things. They have forgotten themselves, though the Holy Qur'an commands the following:
"And do not allow your gaze to pass beyond them; seeking the pomp and glitter of this life; nor obey those whose hearts are negligent of Our remembrance, who obey their desires and whose cases have been abandoned." (Surah Kahf: 28)

The Jews have influenced the lives of the people here. The financial reserves, the newspapers, radio and television programmes are in their control. Hence, they can sway the majority's opinion to suit their aims and objects. Every high-ranking person is forced to obey them.

Racialism is practised here. Initially, the Negroes were brought here as slaves. They were exploited, forced to do hard labour, deprived of knowledge and making progress. Consequently, they became like the untouchables of our country. None of the religions can offer them a fair treatment. Slavery has been abolished and the government has awarded them equal rights. Nevertheless, racialism is still practised. They reside in slummy areas. They have been made to suffer from an inferiority complex. This social discrimination has frustrated them and made them mentally and physically rebellious.

They have showed a keen inclination towards Islam. In fact, they are embracing Islam in large numbers. A person by the name of Elijah Mhammed has taken advantage of the situation and started a movement called the 'Black Muslim'. Initially he introduced himself as a 'reformer', but now he claims to be a prophet. The famous boxer, Mohammed Ali, is one of his followers. Elijah Mohammed has a larger following. His followers are said to be militant. He has amassed much wealth for himself, owns a private plane and has built a huge mansion where he lives separately from others.

Malcom X has also become one of his followers. He has converted thousands of people as 'Black Muslims'. He resided in Egypt and Arabia for a while. Here he discovered the reality of Islam. He became a true Sunni Muslim and wrote many books against the teachings of Elijah. Many people became true Muslims at his hands. Some time ago, the followers of Elijah murdered him. Currently, very few people follow Elijah. many of his followers became true Muslims. In fact, both his sons are Sunni Muslims.

Besides the blacks, the whites are also tired and disgusted with the 'progressive life' here. Consequently, the new generations want to free themselves of every type of social restriction. They are embracing other eastern religions to relieve themselves from mental frustration. In these religions, they are allowed to use opium, drugs, musical instruments, etc. without restrictions. The youth are deceived.

Generally, the Americans do not possess a high IQ. They are attracted by any new thing. They are discarding their comforts and luxuries to lead a vagabond life. We should learn a lesson from this. They are prepared to sacrifice their comforts, whereas we are not prepare to discard any of them for the propagation of the truth. Many white youth have become hippies. They have left their comfortable homes in search of peace and are completely confused. This is a wonderful opportunity to present Islam to them.

A high percentage of every person's salary is utilised for the payment of taxes and insurance premiums. Everyone is compelled to pay certain amount of his salary as insurance. The insurance companies are owned by capitalists. They manufacture motor cars, market them and finally, collect motor car insurance premiums. If the car is cheap, then more money is paid on insurance than its actual price. In the case of an accident, the afflicted person is recompensed with his own money by the insurance company.

Similarly, every month a medical-aid premium is paid. The capitalist manufacture medicines and open hospitals and clinics to cover their capital. A sick person is treated with insurance money for the first 15 days of treatment. Thereafter, he takes a loan on interest. In this manner, the capitalist control the circulation of money.

Medicines are very expensive. The poor are treated by welfare organisations. The actual object of these aoragisations is to protect their own interest. Approximately $1,000 are spent on the birth and death of an individual. Sometimes hospital-born babies are deprived of parental care for several months. The government takes the responsibility of nurturing and caring for illegitimate children. The number of such children is increasingly high.

Stealing, highway robbery and murder takes place in broad daylight. Nudity, immorality, immodesty, drinking and interest transactions are part of life. They are not considered sinful. The people here are totally unmindful of the akhirah (hereafter). They behave very shamelessly in public. They are bereft of good character, modesty and fear of Allah Ta'ala. They have reached such a low moral ebb where now only the punishment of Allah Ta'ala is awaited. However, Allah Ta'ala will not punish them until His proof is not established upon them through dakwah.

The Muslims of America are lost in glitter and glamour of this temporary world. They have drifted from their purpose of life and are unmindful of Allah Ta'ala and the sunnah of Sayyidina Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wasallam. They are affected by those who are treading the path of Jahannam and making an effort to transform this world into a furnace.

The flight of the Arabs in America is extremely saddening. They are unmindful of their origin, awe-inspired and affected by the Americans. They have constructed a few 'Islamic Centres' and feel ashamed to use the word 'masjid'.  Every type of comfortable arrangements and facilities are provided in these centres. The Muslims gather here on a Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, none of them perform solah. However, some signs of Islam were noticed at centres that are frequented by religiously conscious Muslims. Nevertheless, there are some servants of Allah Ta'ala who are making an effort to light the lamp of Islam in this spiritually pitch black environment. By the grace of Allah Ta'ala their efforts are proving to be fruitful.

I intended to write details of the effort, but unconsciously the conditions prevailing here were written.

We worked in New York until 23rd of August. An effort was made to meet the people from all spheres of life. Muslims from our area have settled in large numbers here. People responded very well to our message. New York, the largest port, is a country on its own. The headquarters of most of the important international organisations are based here.

The Muslims live scattered in different areas. The new Muslims have a strong desire and zeal to learn and practise the sunnah of Sayyidina Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wasallam. Most of them grow beards and wear Islamic dress. They are very keen to learn more about Islam. Alas! If only they had a teacher, they would have learnt much more.

The new Muslims bring many new people to us on a daily basis. Approximately one person converts to Islam daily. This is the condition when no real effort is made to invite them towards the Deen. The new converts seem to be very strong. Nevertheless, there is a great fear of thousands of new 'brands' of Islam being introduced, because of the lack of educational institutes and proper Islamic training. These people study the English translations of the Holy Qur'an and Mishkat Sharif and then start practicing Islam according to their own independent understanding.

The foreigners and locals who have spent time in jamaat can be clearly distinguished from others through their correct aqaid (beliefs), amal (deed), akhlaq (character) and 'ilm (knowledge). Many new Muslims are becoming leaders. These are all the fears that are apprehended. Nevertheless, by the grace of Allah Ta'ala, the effort of the jamaat is creating a correct understanding of Deen amongst the people. However, a single jamaat can only control the situation for a temporary period of time. It is necessary to send experienced workers' jamaats continuously to permanently control the situation. If this is overlooked, then the punishment of Allah Ta'ala is very severe.

These people are anxious to accept Islam, but there is none to extend dakwah of Islam to them. They are ready to become Muslim. Alas! It would be greatly appreciated if some such individuals, who would not be affected by the environment here, could reside here to make an effort on these people and ensure that the constant coming and going of jamaats is not hindered. There is an urgent need to correctly educate and train the new Muslims. Tabligh is the only way by which these people could be united. If unity is not achieved, then they will split-up into thousands of disunited groups.

Some of them are very compassionate and soft hearted. They understand and accept everything that is explained to them and are very eager to learn. Most of them perform solah regularly. Many of them are in the habit of performing tahajjud solah. Some of their womenfolk wear hijab. If not, then at least their heads and entire body is completely covered. Most of them have disengaged their womenfolk from working.

Some of them have intended to come to India/Pakistan. Two youth are prepared to spend 4 months and then take admission in any of our local madaris to become ulama'. Their desire for Deen is remarkable. Their condition is a practical explanation of the aayah, "If you turn away, then Allah Ta'ala will create another nation in your place. Then they will not be like you." (Surah Muhammad)

The majority of new Muslims are youth. Most of their parents
and other family members are non-Muslims. Consequently, they have to bear all types of opposition and difficulties. Although not so severe, a reflection of the difficulties borne in the initial period of Islam is being witnessed here. Every individual in the American society is free to do as he wills.

Some responsible brothers have accompanied us . Saturdays and Sundays are the official holidays of the week. Every week a jamaat from New York proceeds to work in other areas like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, etc. These jamaats consists of 20 - 30 individuals from amongst the local new Muslims and Muslims hailing from the Indo-Pak subcontinent. Sometimes even two jamaats proceed in the path of Allah per week.

Our original effort id to establish the local work. By the grace of Allah Ta'ala, many brothers from New York and other areas have intended to do the weekly two ghusht, daily ta'leem in the masjid, establish five times daily solah and proceed for the monthly 3 days and annual 40 days in the path of Allah Ta'ala. Many brothers attend the weekly ijtima'.

Our jamaat was divided into three groups. Our group proceeded to work in Boston which is about 300 miles from New York. We worked here for 8 days. There are a few Muslim students and lecturers in Harvard University. This university is regarded to be one of the best in America.

By the grace of Allah Ta'ala, our brothers do have the concern of Deen to some extent, despite the unfavourable environment. At least a definite effort is made everywhere for the establishment of the Jum'ah solah. This has helped our effort tremendously. We always found a gathering of people to whom we could explain the message.

Quincy is an area near Boston. The Arabs have built an Islamic centre here. We worked in this area for a few days. Generally, the Arabs are very far from Deen. It is better not to discuss their condition. They have constructed clubs in which liquor is served and people gamble.

Besides the Arabs, there are Muslims from Yugoslavia, Albania, Iran, etc. Their condition is the same as the Arabs. However, a keen desire and concern for Deen can be clearly seen in those Egyptian Muslims who are connected to the al-Ikhwaan Movement. Similarly, by the grace of Allah Ta'ala, the youth from Indo-Pak subcontinent who are settling here are completely disgusted with the western way of life. many of them are leading a pure and chaste life. They have accepted the effort of dakwah whole-heartedly. Some of them have joined our jamaat from a distance of about 2,000 miles. They are very particular about consuming halal meat. May Allah Ta'ala accept them for the service of His Deen and grant them success in both the worlds. here ghusht is done using cars. If the need be to go far, then we travel by subway.

The second group proceeded to work in Washington, Philadelphia and Baltimore. We decided to have a mashwarah in Detroit on the 27th - 29th August to discuss ways of increasing the effort of dakwah in America. We reached Detroit on 24th August. There is a large concentration of new Muslims here. Approximately 40 concerned brothers from Chicago, Washington, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, etc. gathered for mashwarah. Some of them came by plane from as far as 2,000 miles. 

The mashwarah was conducted and a system to do the effort was worked out for the entire year. The brothers expressed their intention to spend 40 days, 4 months, etc. and to do the local work. It was a wonderful gathering, probably the first of its kind in American history to revive the Deen of Sayyidina Rasullah sallalaahu alayhi wasallam. May Allah Ta'ala accept it and use it as a means to strengthen the roots of dakwah in America.

We came to Flint yesterday. This is an area which is about 70 miles from Detroit. Detroit is 700 miles away from New York. Today we will return to detroit. On Saturday morning, we will proceed from Detroit to Cleveland. The third group has proceeded to work in Chicago and surrounding areas. They will return to New York by 20th December.

We will proceed from Cleveland to Washington, the capital of America, by 7th December. We will work in Washington for approximately a wek. Thereafter we will proceed to Baltimore and Philadelphia. We will return to New York by 20th December.

There is a great need amd demand to do the effort here. Regretfully, our time to make an effort here is too little. Doing the effort here demands much patience and determination. Nevertheless, the hope for the future is promising. If the local Muslims make the correct effort, then communities upon communities will accept Deen.

We have realised that we as Muslims have greatly wronged ourselves by discarding the Deen of Sayyidina Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wasallam and its dakwah. Consequently, the entire ummah is suffering disgrace. The ummah has disunited because of abandoning the work of dakwah. There is none to enquire about the condition of the ummah. We have brought the wrath of Allah Ta'ala upon ourselves through evil actions. The only way to save ourselves is to collectively turn to Allah Ta'ala and repent. If not, then none can save us from calamities. The only solution is to make istighfar and taubah individually and collectively. This is the advice of all our spiritual elders.

Actually taubah and istighfar has to be made from the major sin because of which the entire ummah is suffering, viz. discarding the effort of Deen. Each individual from the entire ummah has to perform solatut taubah and beg Allah Ta'ala to forgive our negligence and error. Thereafter, solatul hajat should be performed and du'a be made for the entire ummah.

A promise should be made never to be negligent of the Deen. Be rest assured that if we will discard the Deen of Allah Ta'ala, then never will we prosper in this world. Moreover, what answer will we give to Sayyidina Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wasallam in the akhirah? What appreciation are we showing to the sacrifices and difficulties borne by Sayyidina Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wasallam and the Sahabah radiyalaahu anhum. We have wasted our lives by not making any Deeni progress.  We have placed the Deen aside and have vied with one another to acquire wealth. How can divine mercy descend when this is our condition. We need to introspect and cry over our condition. It is a time to fear divine wrath. This is no fiction nor verbosity. It is a reality.

Currently, everyone is surrounded by difficulties. It is not known when we will be deprived of divine kindness. Na'uzubillah, in that case,  endless regret will be of no benefit.The demand of intelligence is to postpone the fulfillment of our personal needs and proceed far and wide in the path of Allah to make the effort of Deen. Much du'a should be made. The local work which includes the two weekly ghusht, daily ta'leem and weekly ijtima' should be done regularly. Individuals should be punctual with their nawafil solah, tilawah of the Holy Quran and tasbeehat (dzikr). The ladies should also be engaged themselves in these amal.

It is hoped that this letter would not be readsuperficially. It will be given due importance. It is difficult to express my feelings and thoughts in writing. May Allah Ta'ala create the concern and worry of Deen in our hearts so that we may earn divine pleasure.

Make special du'a that Allah Ta'ala protects us from every type of evil, grant us sincerity and accepts us to revive the Deen.

Convey our salam to all and request them to make du'a for us. Please forgive me if any disrespect was shown. I have written this lengthy letter without really intending to do so. Some important facts have been noted herein. Please file it away safely so that I could retrieve it after I return.

Your servant


ershad said...

Great Karkuzari & Learning lessons.
Jazakallah Haji.
-Ershad P.Permai-

HAJI said...

Alhamdulillah. I'm glad that you find it to be beneficial as I do. Please make du'a for me. Barakallah Ershad.