Looking Back to Move Ahead


If one is driving a car, it is extremely dangerous to look back while driving ahead. The same is true for many day to day things. However, it is different for a Mu’min (Believer) who wishes to safely walk the path of life and reach his goal and object — the eternal pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.

He must constantly keep looking back. He must look back fourteen centuries to the life of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and the Sahaaba (R.A.). Looking back to the glorious era will not only light up the path ahead for him so that he may walk with ease, it will also give him great courage to confront whatever obstacles come in his way and will also console him upon the trials that he may have to face.

Many aspects that the world is witnessing today are in fact as old as the first jahiliyyah (period of ignorance). Sanctions against Muslims, coalitions being formed with the underlying motive to annihilate true Islam in its pristine purity (under whatever name and pretext that may be done), labeling true sincere Muslims with various epithets (titles) to drive the masses away from them, mocking fundamental aspects of the Deen of Allah Ta’ala in order to disincline people from it, wholesale propaganda against Islam and the Muslims, etc, ….. These and many other similar aspects are no surprise to any person who has a basic knowledge of the seerah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Even a cursory glance at some of the incidents in the first period of Islam will suffice to understand the present situation in its proper perspective.


No sooner did Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) commence his Da’wat towards the Deen of Allah Ta’ala, the kuffaar began their campaign against what they regarded as the “terror” of the time. Initially they “lobbied” Abu Talib, the uncle of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and a well respected leader of the people of Makkah, to stop Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) from propagating the Deen of Allah Ta’ala. Despite their lobbying, this strategy did not bear any fruit. The message of Islam continued to spread.

        They also tried to entice Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) with wealth, women and leadership in exchange of halting his mission. This also failed.


One day Walid bin Mugheera, one of the “intelligentsia” of the Quraish, gathered his people and warned them that something must be done to drive people away from Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Since the season of Haj was near, he feared that people who would come from far and wide could become inclined towards Islam. Many suggestions were offered: Some suggested that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) be labeled as “insane” (Allah Forbid!). Others suggested he be titled as just a “poet.” Walid rejected these suggestions saying that the Qur’an had such a sweetness that nobody would believe that one conveying the message of the Qur’an is a madman or a poet. Eventually they all agreed to the suggestion of Walid himself, to label Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) a Saahir (one who practices black magic). He reasoned that with the advent of Islam, many sons had become estranged from their fathers (due to having accepted the new Deen). Many brothers became enemies. Many marriages were ruined. This, he said, was the effect of black magic. Thus they began inciting people against Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) with this label of “magician.” As a result many tribes became hostile towards Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

Even today the lobbying continues. Prominent Muslims are still enticed with wealth, women and positions to work against the true mission of Islam. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was also labeled as a magician. In these times, first the meaning of the word “fundamentalist” was given a derogative twist and all true practicing Muslims were labeled with it. That was not good enough. Now every practicing Muslim, who is clearly identified as a Muslim from a mile, is a terrorist. The same old strategy. Only the words are new.


Another strategy adopted by the enemies of Islam was to constantly mock Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). For instance they would mockingly claim— “Why is this messenger walking in the bazaars?” “Why does he eat?” Or they would say: “If you are indeed a messenger, move away these mountains and make these barren lands into lush gardens.” The mocking continues today. Sometimes the Islamic punishment for adultery and theft is called “barbaric.” On other occasions the Shari law of hijaab is called “oppressive” and “humiliating.” The same old strategy has repeated itself.

      When these strategies failed to stem the tide of people accepting Islam, the kuffaar began to wield the stick of sanctions. A pact was made by all the allies of the time to totally boycott Banu Hashim and Banu Muttalib (who were harbouring Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Nobody was allowed to buy from them or sell anything to them or intermarry with them. For almost three years Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and the Muslims were banished to Shib Abi Talib (valley of Abu Talib). These years passed in extreme difficulty with poverty being the order of the day. The sanctions of that era did result in the Muslims suffering starvation for some days. However, it could not stop Islam. The sanctions of today will also insha-Allah never be able to affect Islam. When Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) had prepared to migrate to Madinatul Munawwara, the kuffaar embarked on the “coalition” strategy. Every person who had any standing in his tribe or clan gathered in Darun Nadwa, their meeting place, and formed a coalition. It was decided that one young strong person from each tribe will join the strike force of this joint campaign. They will surround the house of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) at night and when he emerges in the morning, all will simultaneously pounce upon him. They tried this, but Allah Ta’ala blinded them and Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) walked away to safety through their midst. The coalition of today will also fail to affect Islam and the Muslim Ummah. Another coalition was formed against the Muslims at the time of  the battle of the trench.  This coalition  was also doomed to failure.


Thus these strategies are no surprise. They happened then. They are happening now. The forces of baatil were overcome then by implementing the Qur’anic prescription of sabr (patience) and taqwa (piety/fear of Allah). Allah Ta’ala has clearly declared: “If you are patient and have taqwa, their (the disbelievers) evil schemes will not harm you at all”. The very same prescription is to be adopted today for success against what outwardly may seem to be the most formidable enemy. Trials may certainly come. However, these conditions sometimes are brought about to test the resolve of the true Mu’mineen. The adverse conditions distinguish the “men” from the “boys.” Those who are true in their Imaan only become more steadfast on Deen in the face of such onslaughts. They are not cowed by the enemies of Islam. They do not start backtracking from their Deen — whether in the practical aspects of Deen, or whether in attire or appearance.

         Thus the Mu’mineen remain steadfast and never lose heart. Yes indeed! They do keep looking back at the golden era of Islam. They take consolation and courage from the incidents of that time and they continue to move ahead.
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