Over 1400 years have passed since Rasulullah SAW stood at Mount Arafah, and addressed his companions for the final time. The beloved Messenger of Allah began by appealing to the hearts of the people by calling upon their reverence of that holy day of Arafah, reminding them that they must also revere each and every Muslim. He reminded them that they must respect the sanctity and honour of the Muslim people just as they respect the sanctity and honour of Makkah, of the Ka'aba. He called upon them to deliver that message, as well as the entire message he gave his life for, to all those unable to accompany him at that time.
And so the companions set forth, not in search of treasure or land, but in search of those unfortunate people who were unable to hear the message of the Messenger of Allah SWT directly. They carried their message to all the corners, wherever they might expect to find someone to hear the message - and many places where they did not expect to find anyone at all. But they went on either way, because the message was so important. They pushed onwards into the unknown, for years and years.
Many did not even return to their homes. The message entrusted to them was too valuable to afford them time in other than the propagation of it. It was that message, after all, that elevated them to the heights of spiritual and moral excellence, after spending generations living in depravity and chaos. They endured extreme conditions of hunger, exhaustion, torment and pain for that message; it was not something they would take lightly ever again.
And so they mounted their camels and called all those they encountered to the way of their beloved Prophet, peace be upon him. In the absence of the transportation readily available today, they delivered the message throughout much of the entire known world through tremendous physical strain and hardship. Their graves are scattered in locations many thousands of miles across, but the message they conveyed did not die with them. It endured and prospered for many generations, and has now been left to us.
And now, whenever injustice occurs in the world, the Muslims have to defend themselves. Whenever acts of hatred claims the lives of innocent people, the Muslims are blamed for it. Whenever civil liberties are threatened, the Muslims fall back into the same refrain of apology and regret. Muslims are being tortured and blown apart at the core, and the ummah is in shambles.
With the Muslims under attack from every corner, one would expect that we would at least be united in defending our beliefs and our values. One would expect that with such merciless agression against us, we would stick up for one another, and develop compassion amongst ourselves.
Instead, we exhaust ourselves in belittling one another. Rather than discuss issues in a constructive manner, we instead seek to point out errors in the views of others. Every group is trying to "expose" the wrongdoings and miscalculations of the other groups. Each one of them believes they have the exclusive right to call themselves the follower of the Prophet, peace be upon him, yet the rhetoric of each group is eerily the same - and nearly all of it contrary to the teachings of compassion and tolerance that our Prophet taught.
The heart of the Muslim world, the lands of the Prophet (peace be upon him), has been ruptured. The Hajj has become a business and spirituality is declining. Racism is rampant, with Africans suffering from hunger, poverty and mutilation, while the locals look down upon them with derision. The air is thick with the stench of the thousands of smokers who have no problem with exercising their disgusting habit in the vicinity of the Ka'aba. Unlawful food is being sold and consumed by those sincere foreigners who have assumed that everything there must be halaal. At the site of the first revelation of Quran, a merchant will dress you up in traditional Arab garb and take a picture of you pretending to supplicate to Allah for five riyaals.
And most of the rest of us are oblivious to all this, because we feel that attending some lecture and yelling at some rally is all we need to do. Instead of addressing our concerns amongst our companions and community where we can actually do something productive, we rant to strangers under the title of Irrelevant Opinions. Still, we feel good inside because Muslim organizations are working hard to break stereotypes plaguing our community; after all, the world must know that we too can sing and dance.
How has it come to this?