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The Responsibility of Ulama

the responsibilty of ulama 848x1202

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الحمد لله رب العالمين، والصلوة والسلام على سيد المرسلين، سيدنا ومولانا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه وأتباعه إلى يوم الدين.
The responsibility of ‛ulamā’


We thank Allāh ta‛ālā for having given us this opportunity to meet you people. You
ought to know that the changes which are taking throughout the world at present
pose the greatest tribulations to the Muslims. There is no country in which these
movements are not working – where articles are written against Islam, different
types of programmes are held, and efforts are being made to create doubts and
misgivings about Islam. A very sorrowful and painful fact is that Islam is being
wiped out with full force in countries which we consider to be Islamic countries,
and their leaders are only bothered about their own worldly motives and political
progress.
Under such situations, the most responsibility falls on the shoulders of the ‛ulamā’
to do their utmost to save Islam, and to enlighten the Muslim masses on the
fundamental teachings of Islam. Just yesterday I picked up your newspaper, Jang,
wherein the editorial states that the ‛ulamā’ constantly talk about establishing an
Islamic system, but no maulwī explained what the Islamic system is, what the
system of Mustafā [Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam] is, what the system of
the Qur’ān is. As for those who meet to discuss the Islamic system, when the time
of salāh arrives, they do not perform their salāh. This is what was written in the
editorial.
This is written in a Muslim newspaper, whose editor is a Muslim – yet he is writing
in this tone. I gauged from the entire editorial that he feels that the ‛ulamā’ are
merely shouting and making a noise, while there is no genuine Islamic system,
and they have no programme for it. This is the gist of what I understood from the
editorial.
I was quite surprised, and felt that someone should write him a letter and ask
him: If you say that the ‛ulamā’ have not presented a true framework of an Islamic
system and that they merely speak about such a system in their assemblies, then
we have one question to you. When Pakistan was about to be formed, all your
leaders convinced the masses that they were forming a separate country so that
they may establish an Islamic system. So now we ask you – O editor of Jang – did
this question not come to your mind when the League leaders were claiming that
they will establish an Islamic system? Did you ask them what this system is all
about?
When Pakistan was formed, Hadrat Maulānā Shabbīr Ahmad ‛Uthmānī Sāhib
rahimahullāh, Hadrat Maulānā Zafar Ahmad Thānwī rahimahullāh, Hadrat
Maulānā Muhammad Idrīs Sāhib Kāndhlawī rahimahullāh, Hadrat Muftī

Muhammad Shafī‛ Sāhib rahimahullāh and large groups of ‛ulamā’ did their
utmost to explain what an Islamic system is, and they laid down some unanimous
principles in this regard. They explained what the foundations of an Islamic state
are, and how an Islamic constitution should be formulated. They wrote many
books on this subject. Anyway, this was not the first time that an Islamic system
was being discussed. In the fourteen hundred year history of Islam, there were
many purely Islamic systems. All types of material sacrifices were made for the
promulgation of an Islamic system. The era of the Khulafā’ Rāshidūn is itself
before us. Then there are the Turkish laws which were explained in parts in al-
Majallāt. There was ‛Abd al-Qādir, a very senior Egyptian judge who was hanged to
death by [Jamāl] ‛Abd an-Nāsir. ‛Abd al-Qādir made a lot of effort on Islamic law,
and showed the differences between it and other laws. He showed the beauty of
Islamic law. He wrote many books in Arabic on this subject.
But these people have no contact with books, they did not study Islamic history,
they did not try to learn anything about the era of ‛Umar ibn ‛Abd al-‛Azīz
rahimahullāh; this is why they make this accusation and say that no maulwī has
explained and clarified what an Islamic system is all about. This is a recent
incident. This is why I am saying it is the duty of the ‛ulamā’ to show to him [the
editor] what ‛Umar ibn ‛Abd al-‛Azīz rahimahullāh did when the government was
given to him. All the items of comfort and luxury which belonged to the rulers
before him were distributed. Although he himself grew up in the lap of opulence,
was used to expensive clothing, always applied perfume, when he used to pass by,
the women in their homes knew he was passing by. He was brought up in
absolute pomp and luxury. He had a special walk, which was known as the ‛Umrī
walk. But when the government came into his hands, he adopted the highest level
of piety. He was sitting in a room of the Bayt al-Māl [Islamic Treasury] and doing
some administrative work, when a friend suddenly came in to visit him. He started
speaking about some personal matters, so ‛Umar ibn ‛Abd al-‛Azīz rahimahullāh
extinguished the lamp of the Bayt al-Māl and lit his own small lamp. The friend
asked: “Hadrat! Why did you do that?” He replied: “The lamp which I was using
belongs to the Bayt al-Māl. This conversation which we are having is a personal
matter, and it is not permissible for me to use the lamp of the Bayt al-Māl for
personal matters.”
This was the level of taqwā with which he ruled. Stories about his justice spread
far and wide. Many people entered the fold of Islam and this resulted in a decrease
in the tax which the dhimmīs (non-Muslims living in an Islamic state) used to pay.
One of the governors wrote to ‛Umar ibn ‛Abd al-‛Azīz rahimahullāh saying: “Many
people are embracing Islam and this is resulting in a decrease in the income of the
government.” He gave that historical reply which is worthy of being written in gold:
إن الله بعث محمد هاديا، لا جابيا
“Allāh ta‛ālā sent Muhammad sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam as a guide, not as a tax
collector.”
You will find many examples like this in Islamic history. You may have read the
book, Rawā’i‛ min Hadāratinā of Doctor Mustafā Sibā‛ī. This is an excellent book
in which the author explains our civilization, the achievements of Muslim rulers,
their contributions to this world, the justice and equity which they established in
this world, the hospitals which they opened, the travellers’ lodges which they built,

the arrangements which they made for the upbringing of orphans, and so on. He
relates some captivating stories. From this, we can get an idea of the unique lives
of the caliphs, the type of work which Muslim rulers did for the ummah, and how
they established justice and equity throughout the world.