The Global Islamic Movement
By: Umm Jaafar
Islam in the U.S.
Much was said and published about the fact that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the U.S. and Europe recently. There are more Muslims in the U.S. than in Kuwait, Qatar, and Libya. Islam has out placed Judaism as the number two religion in the U.S. After September 11, the U.S, Council of Masjids issued a statement noting that inquiry about Islam and the number of conversions to Islam has increased dramatcally. In addition, Muslim conscience, identity and activity has increased. All these things show that the U.S. is becoming a fertile ground for Islam in spite of all the opposition by Zionists and secularists. Although Muslims are scattered throughout the US, they are mostly concentrated in metropolitan areas such as Detroit, Chicago, Northern and Southern California, New York, Denver, the Washington Metropolitan area, Dallas and other areas.
Pattern of continuity and difference
Is what is happening in the U.S. and in the world in general unique? Or is it part of a pattern that repeats itself? Imam Khomeini’s (may Allah be pleased with him) view was always that something cannot be exported to a base where there is no reception. First, an internal community must take form then it must be watered, grow, take roots and can be nurtured.
We can compare the different stages in different parts of the world in which Islam is, to the different stages, times and places during the lives of the prophets and immaculate imams. By analyzing this pattern we can get a better understanding about what is happening.
Due to the fact that the immaculate leaders lived in different periods, there is both continuity and difference. Continuity refers to the fact that they all had the same goal; difference means that they had different challenges. There are many lessons to be learned about the historical challenges that a small community of believers face in trying to enforce certain values for themselves.
Each one in each society is to develop a different strategy for the same goal.
The lesson to be learned from the Ahl-ul-bait is to be continuous, yet fluid and mobile at the same time. This why their followers in the U.S., Indonesia, Russia, Bahrain, Kenya, China, Lebanon and other places will be successful. We are here to share our experiences although the particular focus in our different countries need not be the same. We are many and one at the same time.
The Global Islamic Movement
Islamic society has been developing from the era of the prophet up towards the time of the community of believers during the period of Imam Mahdi’s rule (may Allah hasten his appearance). ayat 35 of Sura Nur states that “Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth.”
His general light is for all of creation.
2) His specific light, which is the light of the knowledge of Allah, He exclusively gives to the believers.
The mission of the followers of the Ahl-ul-bait is a mission of light, not of darkness, destruction or death that is the job of the unbelievers.
The believers’ mission is to themselves shine with the light of Allah and enlighten others. Their mission is to generalize this exclusive light to all humankind until the ideal society of His Emminence the Imam of the Time (may Allah hasten his appearance) is achieved.
Another ayat in Sura Nur, #55 referring to the Imam of the Time (may Allah hasten his appearance) states that the oppressed will inherit the earth. “Allah hath promised such of you as believe and do good works that he will surely make them to succeed (the present rulers) in the earth even as He caused those who were before tem to succeed (others), and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He hath approved for them, and will give them in exchange safety after fear. The serve Me. They ascribe nothing as partner unto Me. Those who disbelieve henceforth, they are the miscreants.”
How can we get to that point? Geometry states that the closest way to get from one point to another is a straight line. In order to get from one state to another, from one society to another at least ten times a day in every salat, the daily ritual prayer, we beseech Allah, ehdina serat al mustakeem, ‘lead us to the straight path’.
This is the reason why I became Muslim, because I saw that Christianity was taking much longer to get to the Kingdom of God, the promised divine utopia. I became aware that Muslims were rushing towards it and clearly knew what the straight path was. I witnessed that their path was directly connected to the line of the prophets. What's more, the original unmodified Islam of the prophet Muhammad (P) is sustained today thanks to the sacrifices made by his grandson Imam Hussain (P) together with his sister Zainab (P) the (referred to as the sage of Bani Hashem) in upholding Islam.
The Islamic Revolution
Human life has a beginning and end. Did history begin with the government of the holy Prophet (P)? Will it end with the society of the Imam of the Time (may Allah hasten his appearance)? Life began during a period before the time of the prophet of Islam and ends after the time of the rulership of the Imam of the Time (may Allah hasten his appearance), after which comes the Day of Judgment.
With all of its successes and failures The Islamic revolution is in the middle between the government of the Prophet (P) and the time of Imam Zaman (A). The Islamic revolution is not an end in itself and the believers are not supposed to stay at this point. The purpose of the Islamic revolution is simply to operate as a relay station in order to strengthen the signals, which had become weak from the time of the government of the Prophet (P) and relay them so that we can inshaAllah get to the time of Imam Zaman (A).
There are many challenges to cope with. Other ayats in sura Nur which was revealed in Medina paint a picture and address the fact that there was adultery and prostitution during the time when the prophet existed. (refer toTafsir al Mizan) The fact that the prophet was there does not mean that he was successful in transforming everything and everyone into chaste and pure people.
This didn’t disqualify him from being the prophet, and Islam from being the truth. Society faces many challenges. Can we say that he was unsuccessful because adultery existed after 10 years of his being there? Can we conclude that Imam Ali (P) was not genuine because he was unsuccessful in establishing justice and enforcing Islamic ideas? The expectation was not that everything was perfectly practiced by everyone in these utopias.
The purpose of the Islamic revolution between the era of the prophet and the promised time of Imam Zaman (A) is to strengthen the signals which had become weak from the Prophet’s (P) time and relay them so that we can get to the promised community of believers.
These are five points in human life that form a straight line, form point to point.
4-Imam Zaman’s (A) time,
5- Day of Judgment
The mission of Islam, the Ahl-ul-bait and the believers, is to shine with the light of Allah and gather all the people that have taken the wrong turns and have gone out in the darkness of the lost paths and show them where the straight line, where the straight path of light is, that will take them to Allah.