In war and peace, we need to learn from the past

ALL praise belongs to the Lord of the Universe; The One Who blessed us with time. It is His favour upon us that He sent prophets, one after the other, to instill in us the desire to worship Him.

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Published: Fri 28 Jul 2006, 11:10 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:11 PM

The Last Prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him), taught us how to mend broken homes and renew dead hearts. History pays tribute to the righteous and highlights their struggles against the deceptions of Satan. May Allah bless the Prophet and his Companions and those who judge by the Law of Allah.

Islam has a rich and glorious past. Right from the Prophet’s time, numerous legendary names continue to top the list today. Time and time again, the world glances at the astonishing feats of these heroes and moves on without drawing upon the wisdom and objectives of our Muslim forefathers. Few amongst us have in reality appreciated Islamic history and its glorious past. Many talk about the great scholars of the past and Salahuddin is well known in our history books. Unfortunately, Muslims have not learnt from their past.

History is a powerful ally; a fact that revolutionaries have been quick to realise. A nation deceived about its past can be easily manipulated in the present. Those who write the history books mould the thinking and set the agenda of the next generation (and sometimes a number of future generations).

For this reason, one of the first things insurrectionists seek to do is rewrite history from their own perspective. So it’s not surprising then that some have tried to portray the peaceful message of Islam spreading through humanity as an uninvited guest. Some biased historians today still view the peaceful ways of the noble Prophets as hostile. How unfortunate are the misguided!

To rob a nation of its history is to rob it of the strength and wisdom of the past. It also, in a peculiarly effective way, biases the minds of men as they consider the alternatives before them. That which is considered plausible and acceptable is largely determined by what one believes to have occurred in the past.

This makes the revision of history extremely important. It is for this reason that Islamic history is not a boring subject of the past but rather a weapon of the future. There is yet another way in which we have been robbed of our past: We have simply not given Islamic history the weight it deserves and have not pondered over its message!

As a result, most people have never really bother to read or know the Islamic history and are unaware of the glory and accomplishments of the champions of the faith. Modern ‘education’ has only exacerbated the problem. With modernists propagating materialistic agendas, many sincere souls are veiled amongst us today. Not knowing which way to turn, we have lost the ways and objectives our forefathers cherished. By preserving the delusion of a secularised past, how many Muslims have been coaxed into ‘living life to the fullest’?

It is through faith that a believer recognises his God. However, this faith is not blind or ritualistic in nature, but rather based on factual information of the past, present and future.

The Holy Quran, time and time again reinforces numerous stories of the past for us to draw upon them and worship Allah in this present era to save ourselves and our beloved ones from utter humiliation in the Hereafter. There is nothing other than the knowledge of this factual information that transforms the believer’s faith into ‘taqwa’ (piety) and sincere actions of worship. These are the ingredients that elevate the believer in front of the Most High.

Dear readers, today the peaceful message of Islam bewilders many of its followers who want to uphold the Law of Allah.

Many a war is waged and the headlines drown the screams of the innocent who are massacred on both sides. Whoever kills an innocent soul, regardless of faith, has truly erred under the Law of Allah. This is why Islam has established peaceful means of co-existence between humanity.

A quick glance at Islamic history informs us that Muslim generals assisted the oppressed and their sincerity and humility brought them and their faith victory. They fought vigorously to establish the Law of Allah, and did not raise their arms against the unarmed. It is time for us to draw on the ways of our glorious history and learn from the ways of the righteous in order to help our generations to come.

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