Muslims frequently debate whether the Ummah is making progress or is in terrible shape. There are shades of truth in both assertions but what is indisputable is that events over the last three decades have helped expose a number of unsavoury characters masquerading as leaders of the Ummah. These include the illegal occupiers of the Haramain, the two holy cities ofMakkah and Madinah, otherwise called the House of Saud, as well as such groups as Fatah that has for decades claimed to champion the cause of the Palestinian people. Fatah did not allow other groups to emerge to challenge its hegemony over Palestinian affairs. It was also backed by most of the Arabian regimes that wanted to ensure a secular movement in control of Palestinian affairs. The emergence of the Islamic movement in Palestine would have immediately exposed these Arabian regimes and their corrupt and thoroughly incompetent rulers.
Allah (swt), however, works in His own mysterious ways. Regardless of what the condition of Muslims may be at any given time, there is always something positive in it for them. If we glance at the early history of Islam, we learn it took an event like Uhud to expose the munafiqs in Madinah. True, the Muslims suffered a major setback at Uhud despite gaining the upper-hand initially but the larger lesson of Uhud is the exposure of the 300 munafiqs led by Abdullah ibn Ubayy that had accompanied the Islamic army. These fifth columnists were removed from the ranks of Muslims as they went into battle. This prevented the Muslims from suffering an even greater calamity.
In our own age, the Islamic revolution in Iran has exposed the ugly nature of US imperialism and its Zionist sidekick as well as rulers in the Muslim world that had hitherto pretended to be good Muslims trying to solve the problems of the Ummah. In August 1969, when a Zionist immigrant from Australia set fire to the minbar in Masjid al-Aqsa, intending to burn down the holy sanctuary, the Muslim rulers immediately convened a summit in Rabat, Morocco. They set up a committee for the protection of Masjid al-Aqsa as well as the liberation of Palestine. The king of Morocco, King Hasan, was appointed head of this committee, called the Quds Committee. King Hasan had close ties to the Zionists and Zionist leaders were frequent visitors to his palace. This committee later developed into what is now called the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). It has not solved a single problem of the Ummah. Few people, including its founders, take the organization seriously. Not one ruler that had assembled in Rabat was sincere in his pronouncements. They were however able to fool the Muslims for more than ten years. The Ummah had to wait for the Islamic revolution in Iran to succeed to expose the true nature of these rulers — enemies of Islam and agents of the kafirs — who are interested only in protecting their ill-gotten wealth and extending their illegitimate rule.
If we now focus our attention on a small country like Lebanon, we see a similar phenomenon at work. Lebanon’s total population is merely four million; it has a relatively small army; the country’s population is divided along confessional lines: Christians aligned with the West and Muslims divided between Shi‘is and Sunnis in order to prevent their strength from being mobilised for the larger goal of freedom and liberation. Yet, it was in Lebanon that the Zionist invaders faced their greatest military defeat. For decades, Arabian regimes offered the excuse that they cannot defeat the Zionist army because it has US backing. Washington also finances the Zionist State and provides it extensive intelligence. While true, these factors did not prevent Hizbullah from challenging the Zionist occupiers and driving them out of much of Lebanon. Thus, the emergence of Hizbullah and its valiant resistance exposed the cowardice of the Arabian rulers and their heavily equipped armies. The main function of these armies is to oppress their own people rather than defend their countries’ borders. It is also interesting to note that the Lebanese army has never taken part in the defence of its borders despite numbering 68,000 and equipped with tanks, artillery and fighter jets. Hizbullah, on the other hand, possesses only light arms and some rockets. What distinguishes Hizbullah from the Arabian armies is its unshakeable iman (faith-commitment to Allah — swt), that enables it to confront and defeat the Zionists.
Hamas, the Islamic movement in Palestine, offers an even more striking example of how the secular Fatah was exposed as not only incompetent and corrupt but also in collusion with the Zionist occupiers of Palestine. Since its creation in 1962, Fatah claimed to champion the cause of the Palestinians. Yasir Arafat, its founder, had admitted in his biography written by Alan Hart, that it was Dean Rusk, US Secretary of State at the time, who urged him (Arafat) to establish an organization to represent the aspirations of the Palestinians. What kind of resistance organization would it be that comes into existence at the behest of the Americans? But for decades, Muslims and other people of goodwill were fooled by Fatah and Arafat’s rhetoric and thought it truly represented the cause of Palestine. Yet it took the emergence of Islamic Jihad and Hamas on the scene to expose this fraud. This has become even clearer since January 2006 when Hamas won the Palestinian elections. Despite this, Hamas agreed to share power with Fatah. But the latter’s treachery was exposed soon enough and in June 2007, it tried to stage a coup against Hamas. Fatah’s thugs were soundly defeated and driven out of Gaza. When Hamas took control of the intelligence department, they discovered a treasure trove of documents revealing the close relationship between Fatah and the Zionists. Fatah was acting as a spy agency for the Zionists.
Thus we see that when committed Muslims strive in the way of Allah (swt), He Himself opens avenues for them. Allah (swt) has exposed the munafiqs and fifth columnists within the Islamic State of Iran, the Arabian rulers in the Middle East as well as Fatah-type Palestinians. It is not surprising that the West’s greatest animosity is reserved for Islamic Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas. The latter two have also been declared “terrorist” organizations for doing nothing more than struggling to liberate their land from the clutches of the occupiers. This is legitimate even under the West’s own created laws and conventions yet the very same Western governments that claim to be democratic and never tire of lecturing others to follow international law, themselves are open violators of these laws.
We also see that there is a long list of Zionists and other rightwing fascists in the US urging Washington to bomb Iran. This “Bomb Iran” crowd is not confined to lunatics although people advocating such a course of action cannot be considered altogether sane. It includes the likes of such Islamophobes as Daniel Pipes, John Bolton, John McCain, Norman Podhoretz, Max Boot, Joshua Muravchik, Thomas McInerney and a long list of other warmongers. Interest-ingly and quite revealingly, these warmongers have support among the same Arabian rulers — the House of Saud, Husni Mubarak, Abdullah II of Jordan and others — urging the US to attack Iran.
Allah (swt) exposes the munafiqs in His own way and Muslims who have their eyes and minds open can see what is afoot. So regardless of what their condition might be at any given time, Allah (swt) will help the sincere Muslims in their quest to establish truth and justice by exposing the munafiqs in their ranks. This is a great consolation for the committed Muslims and a great honour from Allah (swt),
“Honour and glory belong to Allah, His Messenger and the sincerely committed Muslims, but the munafiqs know it not” (63:8).