"Muslim Unity in the Face of Challenges and Threats"
By Dr Mahathir Mohamad
There has never been a time when the Muslims are
so looked down upon, so treated with disrespect and so
oppressed as they are today. Everywhere Muslims are
bullied, detained bombed and massacred with impunity.
2. The Muslim countries are unable to do anything to
defend themselves and their people and fellow Muslims
anywhere. Some Muslim countries actually appear to be
collaborating with the oppressors of Muslims.
3. Many Muslims try to explain the sad plight of the
Muslims by saying that this world is not for us. For
us a place in heaven has been reserved. In the next
world the enemies of Islam would be punished and thrown
into hell because of what they do to us in this world.
4. Is this truly what Islam teaches us? Did the
Prophet S.A.W. accept his persecution because his place
in heaven has been assured? Did he relish the fact
that his Quraish persecutors would end up in hell?
What would have happened to the spread of Islam if the
Prophet had not struggled against his enemies,
dispatched his early followers to safe havens, migrated
to Madinah to build up the strength of the Muslims,
increasing their numbers in order to fight back? If he
had retreated to await his reward after death, we would
not be Muslims today.
5. And we know in the end he defeated his enemies and
was able to spread Islam throughout the world, to build
the greatest Empire and civilisation in history.
Clearly the Prophet did not believe that for the
Muslims this world is not important, this life is not
important, this life on earth is only for the infidels.
He not only believed that Muslims have a share of
Allah's bounties on earth but that Muslims must be
prepared to fight for their earthly share. Allah could
have said "Kun, Fayakun" "Be, and it shall be" but
Allah left His messenger to struggle and fight to
spread Islam and to gain for the Muslims their share in
6. So the idea that we must suffer in silence and
await our heaven in the next world is not Islamic. In
fact it goes against the Sunnah of the Prophet. The
Quran enjoins upon us to prepare to deter and defeat
the enemy with force of arms - with war-horses, bows
and arrows in those days. Many think that if we have
war-horses then we have fulfilled our obligations. But
what is important is not war-horses or bows and arrows.
What is important is to deter and defeat our enemies.
And to do this today we need guns and rockets, warships
and warplanes, armoured cars etc. We cannot depend on
others to supply us with these things forever, least of
all by those who are opposed to us. We need to invent,
design, produce and test our own weapons of defence.
To do this we need to have scientific and technological
knowledge and skills. Those who learn science,
mathematics and acquire technological skills are
therefore obeying and fulfilling the injunctions of
Islam. Those who prevent them from studying these
subjects by saying that only learning religion will
earn us merit are in fact going against the teachings
of Islam for they weaken the Muslim ummah and prevent
them from putting fear in the hearts of the enemies of
Islam and becoming able to defeat them. These people
who prevent Muslims from having their own capacity to
protect themselves are actually helping the oppression
of the Muslims.
7. Our enemies will always attack us because we are
weak. They will only cease to do so if we maintain a
strong enough defence capability. This is the Sunnah
of the Prophet. Just as the followers of the Prophet
had to develop and acquire skills to make bows and
arrows and other weapons, we have to develop and
acquire skills to make modern weapons.
8. Why are we not doing this? The reason is because
those who interprete Islam to us did not stress these
very fundamental teachings of Islam. In telling us
that science and technology are secular subjects which
will not earn us merit in the afterlife, they are
discouraging Muslims and their societies from
fulfilling the injunctions of Islam to be equipped with
the means of defending ourselves and to deter the
enemy. During the glorious years of the Muslim
civilisation we were not oppressed. Muslims were
respected and feared. That was because Muslim
countries were strong militarily and economically, and
advanced in the sciences. Europeans had to learn from
Muslims new knowledge as well as those of the Greeks
and others, which the Muslims had studied, translated
into Arabic and enhanced.
9. We all know that the Prophet S.A.W. brought only
one Islam. The Islam that he received from Allah
S.W.T. is only one. But today there are many Islamic
religions. There are the Sunni and the Shiah, each
divided into numerous groups by the different imams and
tarikats. Had Allah S.W.T. wanted us to have all these
religions then the Prophet would have conveyed this to
the first Muslims, would have taught Sunni Islam, Shiah
Islam etc. But we know that during his 23 years of
teaching Islam he did not speak about Sunni or Shiah or
the various tarikats. All these divisiveness in Islam
came only after he had passed away. They are the
results of differing interpretations about Islam by
different scholars through the centuries.
10. Some of these interpretations and teachings are so
different from each other that their followers actually
accuse each other of not being Muslims. Indeed they
regard many who profess to be Muslims as infidels.
Thus Sunni Muslims regard the Shiah as infidels and
11. In Malaysia one political party has convinced its
followers that anyone not joining or supporting it is
not a Muslim. Tens of thousands of Malay Muslims
believe this, believe even that voting for this party
in elections will guarantee a place for them in heaven.
It sounds ridiculous except that the followers are
deadly serious in their acceptance and belief, and in
their enmity towards those who do not join this party
or vote in elections for it. There is now a deep split
among the Muslims of Malaysia, caused by Muslim
politicians abusing the teachings of Islam.
12. Because of the thousands of different
interpretations of Islam and very many different sects,
each claiming to be the true followers of Islam, the
Muslims are thoroughly confused. They are even more
confused because they are told that the door of ijtihad
or interpretations of Islam is closed and they must
accept anything that had been interpreted long ago.
Yet the very people who tell us that we may not
reexamine and reinterprete Islam are themselves making
new interpretations every day. And their
interpretations are meant only to enhance their
position in the community, to ensure support for their
13. The result of this confusion is a deeply divided
ummah, prone to disputes and to fighting each other.
They are less interested in defending themselves
against the professed enemies of Islam than they are in
opposing other Muslims. That these conflicts among
Muslims will only weaken the Muslims is totally ignored
14. Disunited, confused about Islam, fighting each
other for power, lacking in essential knowledge and
skills, misapplying their God-given wealth, the Muslims
of today have reached the lowest point in their
development. Still they go on doing what is prohibited
by Islam and damaging to themselves. Still they are
not willing to see the reality of their situation or to
admit that they have deviated from the teachings of
Islam. They continue to reject the brotherhood of
15. Frustrated and angry some Muslims have resorted to
terrorism. Many believe they have been successful in
this. But what have the Muslims really gained by these
acts of terror? All that has happened is that the
enemies of Islam have found justification for putting
more pressure on the Muslims, attacking and killing
them, treating them and their religion with contempt.
16. Muslims fight and die not in order to achieve any
real objective, to free themselves from oppression for
example. They fight and they die in order to
retaliate, in order to take revenge, in order to vent
17. Muslims seem not to plan or strategise. Even
their terror attacks seem to be random attacks,
isolated and uncoordinated. Everyone of them seems to
be acting on their own. If they plan it does not seem
to be coordinated, nor to advance their cause. Apart
from making their enemies angry and providing excuses
for them to retaliate, nothing which can contribute
towards ultimate Muslim success or victory has been
18. The Muslims have clearly lost their way. There is
a saying in Malay that when you lose your way, you must
return to the beginning and start again. With so many
contradictory interpretations of Islam over the last
1400 years, most of us have become so confused that we
really do not know whether we are right or wrong,
whether we are taking the right path or not, whether
indeed we are following the teachings of Islam.
Certainly we are nowhere near achieving the greatness
that was once Islam. If at all, we seem to be slipping
further and further away from it.
19. Since we are so confused and divided because of
the varied interpretations and teachings of Islam, we
should really return to the fundamentals of Islam, to
the original teachings of the Prophet, to the Quran and
the verified Hadiths, especially those which are clear
and indisputable and not subject to different
interpretations. What is the most fundamental teaching
of Islam. It is that Islam means peace. We greet each
other with the wish for peace. Is it just an empty
greeting which we do not mean or is it that we wish for
peace because we really want peace? If we want peace
then shouldn't we strive for peace, at least among
ourselves as Muslims first, and then with people of
20. The Quran states that all Muslims are brothers.
Apart from Islam advocating peace, surely brothers must
not fight each other. Brothers should love each other,
being as they are of the same family. Brothers should
be united. That is the basic teachings of Islam.
There can be no dispute about this injunction of Islam,
no difference in the interpretation of this teaching.
21. But Muslims do try to negate even this clear
teaching of Islam. They are fond of declaring that
other Muslims are not true Muslims; in fact they are
infidels because they believe in different imams,
belong to different mazhabs or sects, being Sunni or
Shiah, followers of different tarikats etc. Far from
accepting alll Muslims as their brothers they adopt
dress codes which differentiate them from other Muslims
whom they condemn as being less Muslim for not wearing
their dress. But the Quran is explicit as to who is
and who is not a Muslim. According to the Quran a
Muslim is one who "bears witness that there is no God
but Allah and Muhammad is His Prophet." Even if he or
she commits sins, big or small, he or she remains a
Muslim for as long as he or she "bears witness to Allah
as the only God that is worshipped and that Muhammad is
22. So all the Muslims, all those who bear witness to
Allah as the only God that they worship and that
Muhammad is His Prophet must be brothers, must be at
peace with each other and must be united. We can have
our worldly difference, we can have our quarrels as
brothers often do, but we would still be brothers and
behave like brothers. Why should Islam advocate the
brotherhood of Muslims if they are meant to behave not
as brothers? If Muslims are expected to behave as
enemies of each other then Allah would not declare that
all Muslims are brothers.
23. Peace and the brotherhood of Muslims are
fundamental teachings of Islam. If we uphold this
fundamental injunction of Islam alone, there will be
Muslim unity and they will be strong. The Muslims were
not meant to have countries and to be divided according
to race or nation. They were, everyone of them members
of the great Muslim community, the ummah. But now the
Muslims have divided themselves into different states
and their loyalty to their state is more than to Islam.
In the pursuit of the interests of their respective
countries, they are quite prepared to fight their
Muslim brothers from other countries; they are quite
prepared to be divided, to join opposing camps, even
those of their non-Muslim enemies.
24. They are already weak. Divided they are weaker.
Unable to protect themselves from other Muslims and
from other enemies they allow themselves to be
manipulated against their co-religionists. They become
pawns in the games other people play. Truly they have
lost self-respect. Truly they are not following the
teachings of Islam.
25. Blaming others for our sad fate may only be
partially correct. But there is very little we can do
to get others, our enemies, to cease oppressing us. On
the other hand if we blame ourselves there is something
that we can do to overcome our own faults and
weaknesses. It is therefore much better if we look for
and recognise our own faults.
26. Muslims must surely know what is it that they are
doing which is wrong. Certainly their disunity, their
rejection of Islamic brotherhood is wrong. They do not
have the right priorities either, emphasising the
avoidance of minor sins while openly committing major
27. But beyond that they have, often deliberately,
ignored or misinterpreted much of the basic teachings,
the clear verses in the Quran. They often read the
verses partially, ignoring the context, the parts which
qualify the injunctions in the main parts of the
28. Very often we miss completely the message,
focusing on the form instead. Thus when we are asked
to prepare war-horses so as to deter and defeat the
enemy, it is not deterring and defeating the enemy that
we take note of. It is the keeping of horses.
Similarly when making judgement, it is not justice that
we seek to achieve, it is the process of making the
judgement. If the process is followed then even if
injustice is the result, we believe we have followed
what our religion enjoins upon us to do. We ignore
completely the injunctions of the Quran that stresses
making judgement with justice. And because we ignore
this stress on justice enjoined by Islam, we create an
image of Islam that is uncaring and unjust.
29. I will not cite more cases of the
misinterpretation and deliberate ignoring of the
teachings of Islam. It is because of this that Muslims
of today are backward, lacking in knowledge, unable to
defend themselves and their religion, and forced to
resort to terror in order to seek revenge.
30. How long can we go on doing this? Will what we
are doing today restore the greatness of our religion
and the fitrah that it should be to mankind? Will it
deliver us from oppression by our detractors?
31. Frankly I don't think so. It is not because we
are incapable of developing ourselves to the level
where others would be forced to respect us and our
religion. It is simply because we refuse to adhere to
the true teachings of Islam and to strive to better our
lot on this earth as much as we prepare for the life in
the hereafter. We pray for hassanah in this world and
for hassanah in the akhirat but we do nothing beyond
merely asking Allah to help us in this world, and in
the next. We ignore the Quranic injunction that Allah
will not change our fate unless we strive to change it
32. And so we will continue to be oppressed, to be
attacked, bombed and killed, while our religion, Islam
is condemned as false.
33. Many of you will say - who is he to talk about
Islam. Don't listen to him even if what he says is
true and is in accord with Islam.
34. That is your choice. Whether you sin or you gain
merit, Allah S.W.T. will determine.
sumber : http://www.pmo.gov.my