by Salina Khan (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 53, No. 2, Ramadan, 1444)
While the pandemic may be over, the world’s globocrats predict another calamitous emergency may be on the horizon. If powerful climate change gurus announce that planet earth and its inhabitants won’t survive unless we immediately reduce the world’s population growth, how will our Muslim leadership react?
If their fervent compliance with the Covid narrative and protocols is any indication, Muslim scholars, imams and organizations would immediately jump on the anti-natalist bandwagon as the next spectre of mass deaths scares them out of their minds. Population Control Task Forces would be quickly created and filled with local Muslims with environmental degrees.
Friday Jumu‘ah khutbahs would emphasize our responsibility to practice strict birth control to save life on earth, complete with Qur’anic verses like “and do not traverse lands in a roguish manner causing a diffusion of corruption” (2:60).
Billboards would go up with the hadith of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) such as: “A time will come to people, in which the best of people will be… those of less children.” If the elites mandated a one-child policy or sterilization injections as the way out of climate disaster, those, too, would be enthusiastically pushed by mosques, even setting up clinics in their parking lots.
What became glaringly obvious during Covid is that most Muslim scholars and imams aren’t leaders but rather followers. They follow the taghuti power structure and direct their congregants to do the same in the name of Islam, such as adhering to the (now-debunked) rule of standing six feet apart during congregational prayers to stop the spread of the Corona virus. Instead of analyzing world events—like the declaration of a pandemic and its restrictions—through the lens of the Qur’an, they interpret and quote Islamic scriptures and traditions in light of the demands of taghut.
Now that the Covid narrative is unravelling—for example, a recent study from Johns Hopkins University’s Institute for Applied Economics revealed that the lockdowns of businesses, schools, and mosques not only didn’t save lives but came at a heavy economic, educational, social, and psychological cost—many Muslims have lost trust in leaders who pushed them to submit to Covid rules as religious obligation and mocked those refusing as “conspiracy theorists.”
True, the John Hopkins study was immediately attacked on the pretext that it was not “peer-reviewed”. The problem is that the “peers” are the very same people that pushed the Covid narrative and lockdowns. They also made tons of money, together with the pharmaceutical industry that raked in billions of dollars during the pandemic. There are other studies that have also pointed out that the lockdown did not save lives. Even Antony Fauci, the main architect of the lockdown policy, admitted that we have to get on with life and can’t allow the pandemic to disrupt it!
As far as the Muslim leaders are concerned, to reclaim their true position in society, “You are indeed the best community that has ever been brought forth for humanity [for its well-being]: you require [and authorize] the doing of the common good and you disallow the common wrong, and you are committed to Allah,” (3:110), Muslim leaders need to seriously re-educate and reinvent themselves.
As the great Muslim thinker and poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal said:
“Sabaq phir parh sadaqat ka, adalat ka, shujaat ka
Liya jaye ga tujh se kaam dunya ki imamat ka”
“Read again the lesson of truth, of justice and valor!
You will be asked to do the work of taking on responsibility (imamate) for the world”
Those lessons on best leadership practices are found in the Qur’an, where Allah outlines the strategies of His most obedient and excellent servants, those who outmaneuvered taghuti forces and guided their communities to success and prosperity. One of the best examples is the wise Prophet Suleiman (as), who established and maintained a magnificent “kingdom such shall not belong to any after me” (38:35).
His name is mentioned 17 times in the Qur’an, and a common theme in his chronicles is his frequent consultation with assemblies of experts—similar to modern-day think tanks—during his decision-making process. These weren’t impromptu task forces that popped up to respond to crises but rather permanent councils that continuously surveyed developments in the world, reported on them, and proactively took action to maintain a healthy society for all.
In order to lead and not be led, mosques and other Muslim organizations need to create their own think tanks so that they can make enlightened decisions, during good times and bad. We can distill five main features of Qur’an-inspired think tanks by studying the story of Prophet Suleiman (as).
At the beginning of one of Prophet Sulaiman’s assemblies, his expert on water exploration, the Hoopoe bird, is missing. The hoopoe soon returns and reports on discovering the prosperous kingdom of Sheba ruled by the Queen Bilqis, a sun worshipper who possesses a beautiful throne.
Lesson 1: Think tanks should be comprised of experts who are constantly gaining knowledge about new developments around the world in their fields and sharing that information with the leadership.
Prophet Suleman (as) had become very upset at the Hoopoe’s initial absence and threatened to severely punish the bird unless it came back with a valid excuse. To confirm the Hoopoe’s story, Prophet Suleiman (as) verifies “whether you are telling the truth or lying” by writing a letter to Queen Bilqis.
Lesson 2: Think tank members must have discipline, be trustworthy, and remain under constant scrutiny. Those displaying poor character should be removed.
In his missive, Prophet Suleiman (as) invites Queen Bilqis to Islam. He instructs Hoopoe to fly the letter and deliver it in her lap.
Lesson 3: Think tanks are more like think-and-act tanks. Experts carry out projects in line with their research.
The powerful Queen Bilqis has her own assembly of experts. When she reads the letter, she asks her confidants their opinion. They say they are ready to fight to defend their kingdom, but she opts for a more peaceful route.
Lesson 4: Think tank experts have to be confident, brave, and have the courage to speak the truth, even if that means sacrificing wealth, position, and possibly life.
Queen Bilqis dispatches gifts to Prophet Suleiman (as) to determine whether he is targeting her kingdom’s riches and using religion only as a front.
Lesson 5: Think tank experts cannot be self-serving and out for personal gains, whether power, position, or money. In the same way, they must evaluate other people and institutions for bias and opportunism before trusting them.
When Prophet Suleiman returned the Queen’s gifts, she decides to visit him. Before she arrives, Prophet Suleiman asked who could bring her mighty throne to him the quickest? Even faster than a jinn in his council was a religious man steeped in divine knowledge who fetched it before the twinkle of an eye.
Lesson 5: Think tanks must include Islamic scholars with deep knowledge of the Qur’an to provide overall guidance.
At end of the story, Queen Bilqis realizes she had been deceived by her own thoughts into worshipping the sun and admits her mistakes, submitting to Allah and His Prophet.
The taghuti forces in the world use lies and manipulations to maintain their power and riches and can trick people into following their ways, including Muslims if they stray from Qur’anic wisdom. Those Muslim leaders who followed “perverted transgressors” instead of leading during the Covid crisis need to admit their mistake and start the process of redemption to regain public trust. One way is by allocating resources towards creating think tanks that can research, report, and take actions that benefit all of humanity—whether regarding viruses, climate change or any other issues in society.
The Qur’an states: “You are indeed the best community that has ever been brought forth for humanity [for its well-being]: you require [and authorize] the doing of the common good and you disallow [and interdict] the common wrong, and you are committed to Allah. Now if the followers of earlier revelation had attained to [this kind of] divine commitment, it would have been for their own good; [but only few] among them are such committed believers, while most of them are degenerate [in character]” (3:110).