Uprising in Arab World – A real solution.
Posted on April 5th, 2011

By A. Abdul Aziz

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ After the fall of Ottoman Empire many new country under the leadership of western loyal monarchs emerged in the Arab world. These rulers treated their country as private property and people as slaves. After the creation of Jewish state Israel in 1948 the sprit of crusade revived in the Arab world which led to the 1967&1973 Arab-Israel war. Arabs suffered humiliating defeat with Israel and started leaning towards radical politics and terrorism for revenge. Monarchs used this opportunity to divert peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s attention to rob their own national wealth and expand grip over people. Although most of the populations of Arabs are relatively poor but rulers are filthy rich. Recently deposed president Hosni Mubarak of Egypt owns more wealth than worlds top leading business tycoon Bill Gates.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ What triggered present unrest? It first sparked in Tunisia, where an unemployed young street vender was abused by the police on regular basis for bribe, in anger and humiliation the vender torched himself to death. This was the beginning of present uprising in the Arab World. ItƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s quite likely that, more corrupt autocratic Arab rulers will also loose their thrown in near future. The reasons for present unrest is completely economical and non political. Education and technology (Internet) has a great role in this present up search. Huge unemployment & inflation created strong dissatisfaction against the rulers.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Jihad (the so-called holy war) against infidels and Israel were very popular in Arab world, but due to modern education and knowledge to science and technology mindset of Arabs has changed to great extent. Yong Arabs wants their civil rights, liberty and employment now not in the heaven after death as preached by the religious clerics. ThatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s why biggest religious party of Egypt Muslim Brotherhood is absent from the present movement. Present uprising in Tunisia, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain and Libya is non political and without participation of any recognized political party and leadership.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Arabs has wealth and educated young generation, who can transform Arab into a modern developed nations. Education and democracy is more powerful weapon than F-16 and Abraham Tank. US led coalition forces couldnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t defeat terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq in last ten years but democracy can defeat them in a lesser time. Iran would support present Arab uprising for their own interest.

Since the revolution began in Egypt, many pundits have continually warned of a possible radical takeover in Egypt that will ultimately resurrect an imperialist caliphate. The system of caliphate is apparently obligated to wage war to bring the world under Islamic rule — and then to enforce Sharia law.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ This is a far cry from the actual origins and significance of khilafat. Whereas caliphate implies a politico-religious Muslim state governed by a political leader, khilafat refers to the Islamic institution of spiritual successorship. The word khilafat means succession, and the khalifa is a successor to a prophet of God, whose goal is to complete the tasks of reformation and moral training that the prophet instituted. Therefore, khilafat can exist and flourish without a state, which provides spiritual guidance and unity.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The Islamic understanding of khilafat is based on the Holy QurƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢an (Chapter 24; verse 56), the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and the examples of the first four khalifas in Islam after the Prophet’s demise. Prophet Muhammad prophesized that a period of khilafat would follow his demise, then monarchy, autocracy would follow, and, after a hiatus, khilafat would be re-established upon the precepts of prophethood. The exact sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) reads as: “O Muslims, Prophethood will remain with you as long as Allah wishes it to remain. Then it would come to an end, to be replaced with Khilafat (system of Caliphate), which would be on the pattern of prophethood and would remain as long as Allah wills. Then this Khilafat would also come to and. The cruel rulers will replace it. It will then remain for as long as Allah wills. Then this period will also come to an end. Then there will be the rule of dictatorship, and that period too will come to an end. After that Khilafat, on the pattern of prophethood, would re-emerge.” After saying this, the Holy Prophet did not add any further comment. (Masnad Ahmad Vol. p. 273).

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The first four khalifas were close associates of the Prophet and known for their integrity and great devotion. Of great significance is the qualification of “rightly-guided” (Khulafa-e-Rashida) that has been used to distinguish them from the caliph-kings who followed. The reign (632-661) of the rightly-guided khalifas is often remembered as a golden age of Islam. Muslims would often define themselves and their theology according to the way they assessed the glorious, albeit turbulent and short-lived, events of that formative period.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ After the assassination of the last of the rightly-guided khalifas, debate over successorship resulted in a major split in Islam into Sunni and Shia branches. Spirituality was lost and replaced by a political institution, or caliphate. Muawiyah declared himself leader of the Muslims and, thereby, laid the foundations of a long line of caliphs or dynastic monarchies — in accordance with Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) above mentioned prophecy.

This reign of caliphs continued for centuries until Ottoman sultan Selim I captured the last caliph of Cairo in 1517. The Ottoman sultans then claimed the title of caliph and brandished it for four centuries until Kamal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, abolished it in 1924.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Osama bin Laden and a number of fundamentalist political parties have called for the restoration of caliphate to unite Muslim nations, either through peaceful political uprising or through force. Two influential and radical pan-Islamic groups, Jamaat-e-Islami and the Muslim Brotherhood, seek to restore the caliphate as a militant Islamic institution.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ But, what Muslims need is a spiritual khilafat. Any attempts to impose caliphate are doomed to fail not only because it diverges from the true Islamic system of khilafat but also because of the disunity among Muslims to elect a leader.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, however, stands out as Muslims who believe in the Messiah — Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India — the Community was founded in 1889 and spans over 195 countries with membership exceeding two hundred millions. After the demise of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in 1908, a large number of followers gathered and unanimously elected Moulana Nooruddin as the first khalifa. Since then, four more khalifas have been elected, who have focused on serving the faith and transforming the faithful, as opposed to establishing a Muslim state. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad is the fifth Khlaifa and the Present Supreme Head of the world-wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Islam.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ From its inception, the Ahmadiyya Khilafat has categorically rejected religious militancy in every form. When faced with bitter persecution, it practices patience and perseverance. When subjected to intolerance, it preaches peace and tolerance. It champions the cause of the dispossessed and works towards uplifting the oppressed through international humanitarian efforts. It has conquered no land and possesses no earthly dominion, but it wields its influence over the hearts and minds of millions as a force for good in the world.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ So there need not be any fear of the true Islamic concept of khilafat. This Islamic system of leadership does not threaten to gain any political control, nor does it pursue the establishment of a politico-religious state. Let us walk away from this understanding of caliphate and understand that khilafat can serve to guide Muslims and spiritually reform the world.

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