Where Do we Stand?
First, look at the testimony that is being given by our word-witness. There are few people amongst us who are using their tongues and pens to witness to the truth of Islam. Still fewer in number are those who are doing so in an appropriate and adequate manner. Otherwise, in almost every respect Muslims, on the whole, are giving their witness against Islam and not in its favour as they should.
What is the witness of our landlords? That the Islamic law of inheritance is wrong and that the customs which came down from the pre-Islamic days are correct. What is the witness of our lawyers and judges? That all the laws of Islam are bad laws, and that their very basis the sovereignty of God is unacceptable. They tell us that only the man-made laws, which have come to us through the British, are good laws.
What is the witness of our teachers and educational institutions? That in philosophy and science, history and sociology, economics and politics, law and ethics, the only true and valid knowledge and thought is that derived from the Western secular world-view. That in all these disciplines the Islamic approach is not even worthy of consideration. What is the witness of our writers? That their literature has the same message to impart as that of the godless writers of the secular West. They demonstrate that as Muslims they have no distinctive literary approach of their own. What is the witness of our press and media? That the only issues and debates that they consider important and which preoccupy them, and the only methods and standards of communication that they consider fit to employ, are those which bear the hallmark of the non-Muslim media.
What is the witness of our businessmen and industrialists? That the rules laid down by Islam for economic transactions are impracticable, that business can be conducted only by the methods devised by Kafirs.* What is the witness of our leaders and rulers? That they have the same slogans of nationalism and motherland to mobilize people, the same goals to pursue on national levels, the same methods of solving national problems, the same principles of politics and constitution-makingv as are practised by Kafirs. They declare that Islam has no guidance to offer in this respect.
And what is the witness of our masses? They testify that they have nothing to speak about except worldly matters, that they have no such Din which desires to be propagated or which demands that they spend part of their time for this purpose. This, then, is the state of witness being given by our whole Ummah by means of its words. This is the case not only in this country but throughout the whole world.
Now let us turn to our act-witness and look at the witness being given by our actions and deeds. Here our conduct is even more scandalous than that in respect of our witness by words. No doubt there are a few good Muslims whose lives are a true example of Islam. But consider how the overwhelming majority of the Ummah, the society at large, is conducting itself.
What is the witness being given by the life of a typical, ordinary Muslim? That the persons shaped and moulded by Islam are in no way better than, or different from, those prepared by Kufr. If anything, the former are worse than the latter: for instance, it is more likely that a Muslim would speak a lie, that he would betray and breach a trust placed in him, that he would oppress people and do wrong to them, that he would abandon his promise, that he would steal and rob, that he would engage himself in disorderly and violent conduct, that he would indulge in all sorts of indecent acts. Indeed, in respect of all these immoral actions the level of Muslim 'performance' is no less than that of any Kafir people.
What is the witness of our social life? Look at our life-styles, our customs and ceremonies, our festivities, our fairs and religious gatherings, our meetings and processions: in no aspect do we truly represent Islam. Indeed, on the contrary, our social life is a pathetic testimony that the followers of Islam consider the un-Islamic ways to be better and preferable than the Islamic.
Similar is the testimony of our other social institutions and collective pursuits. When we set up educational institutions, we import everything from Kafirs our knowledge, our educational system, our philosophy, our spirit and objective. When we form parties and associations, we model everything on the patterns set by Kafirs our ideals and goals, our structures and constitutions, our policies and methods. When we, as a people, launch a struggle, our cause, our slogans and demands, our issues and debates, our programmes and procedures, our resolutions, statements, and speeches, are all true replicas of the practices of Kafir communities and nations.
Things have come to such a pass that even our independent states, where they exist, have borrowed their constitutions, their codes of law, and their guiding policies and principles from Kafirs. In some states, the Islamic law has been reduced to a mere personal law; in some others even this personal law has been altered. An English writer tauntingly remarks:
In view of the many charges levelled by Indians at the British administration, it is important to realize that the British were extraordinarily slow to introduce any innovations in the law . . . [Indeed] as far as Islam is concerned the result of the British connexion with India has been to establish on a firmer basis the Muslim personal and religious law . . . while all the rest of the shari'a has been abolished . . .
On the other hand Albania and Turkey have both become secular states [adopting European penal and civil codes, even altering Muslim penal law] . . . [Thus, it can be said, as Lindsay says, that] 'The Muslim doctrine that legislation is not within the competence of an earthly sovereign was never, indeed, anything more than a pious fiction . . .'
This, then, is the witness being given by the actions of almost all Muslims. This witness, too, goes against Islam. It is not in its favour. Whatever lip-service we might pay to Islam, our public conduct proves that there is no aspect of Islam that we approve of, that we do not consider its laws to be good and conducive to our well-being.