By Maulana Muhammad Aslam Shaikhupuri Sahib

You would have heard of such writers whose pen sprinkles a galaxy of words on paper. You would have seen such forceful speakers who have the ability to ignite the passions of audience. Your would have seen such poets whose poetry gets worldwide acclaim. You would have read about the philosophers whose reasoning mystified the people.

You would have come across such politicians who have the capability to work wonders. You would have been impressed by the popularity of scientists who scale the planets. You would have heard about the businessmen whose wealth has no bounds. You would have heard of the rulers who know the tricks to lengthen their rule.

But the number of those exemplary people was and is very little who feel for the whole Muslim Ummah and ache for the true religion, who feel the pain in their heart if a thorn pricks the foot of a Muslim in the last corner of the world. Their love is beyond racial, linguistic and country boundaries, their thought is higher than skies and vaster than deserts, their insight is deeper than oceans, and their words and actions have no clash. Their life is dedicated for the cause of others.

In every era, such great people are very little in number but not non-existent. If the face of earth got totally devoid of such people, there would be doomsday on earth. There are many preceding personalities that may be rightly counted among such great people. In this column, we shall discuss only one such person.

Sheikh-ul-Hind, Maulana Mahmood Hassan Deobandi was a class unto himself. A torchbearer and a leader of politics simultaneously, he was very much aggrieved over the oppressions against Muslims in Balkan and Trabulus. Mufti Aziz-ur-Rahman writes, When Hazrat Sheikh-ul-Hind would hear about defeat to the Turks, tears would roll down from his eyes making his beard wet. All night, he would pray to Allah. It seemed as if he would chew the British if he could.

He gave leaves to the teachers and students of his madrasah and sent them to village and towns for collecting donations. He gave his own salary and the salaries of teachers and other staff as donations. At his order, the students donated even their educational awards and the food of their canteen. His concern for the Ummah made him the leader of mujahideen of the world. His emergence as the leader of mujahideen was unbearable for the British. They arrested Hazrat Sheikh-ul-Hind and imprisoned him in an island of Malta. The British did imprison his body but could not imprison his heart and mind. In the jail, he would feel anguished for the downfall of the Muslim Ummah.

After being released in 1920, he returned to Hindustan. Once speaking at a big gathering of `Ulama, he said, We learnt two lessons from our life in Malta. These words made the whole audience attentive, as they wanted to know what the 80-year-old sage was going to say. In the loneliness of jail in Malta, I pondered over the causes of Muslims ruination both religiously and temporally, I found out two causes: One, forsaking the Quran. Two, internal differences and discords. From the jail, I have come with a resolve that I would spend the rest of my live in promoting the Quran and its meaning.

There is a need that madrasahs for children are set up in every town and village to give children the literal education of Quran, and public gatherings are organized for enlightening the adults with the meaning of Quran and preparing them to act accordingly. And the internal differences among the Muslims should not be tolerated at any cost.

If we cool-mindedly ponder over the causes of Muslims downfall and disgrace, we shall find the two very causes as responsible. The Holy Quran is the command centre of all individual and collective matters, rituals and worships of the Muslims. As long as the Muslims retained the Quran as their leader, they were the leaders of the world. Under the leadership of the Quran, wherever they marched, they conquered and big powers of the time fell to them. But when the Muslims diverted from the way of Quran, they lost their leading role and their unity as a nation crumbled. The Muslims have not only become apathetic towards Quran but also they have started distorting the meaning of Quran. Everyone is at liberty to call himself a scholar of Quran and define the meaning of Quranic verses from his own mind.

In the same way, the other secret of Muslims power and rule over the unbelievers was their unity, which has has vanished too. As long as they were maintained the bonds of emaan and brotherhood, they were dominant over the whole world and when they started begrudging their own brothers and making friends with the enemies, they fell in the abyss of disgrace and humiliation. It is strange that we do not take lesson from our history. The whole Muslim history is a witness that the Kuffar alone could never defeat the Muslims, rather, it was Muslims internal discord that always led to defeat.

The land of Andalusia was majestically ruled by the Muslims for eight hundred years, and its magnificent mosques, splendid buildings and beautiful gardens still recall their originators. When did the Muslims downfall begin there? Only when they divided in sects and races and started calling the Christians for help against one another. Baghdad ? the then centre of Muslims' knowledge and politics ? was savagely destroyed by the Tartars only when the Muslims got engaged in internal conflicts and lost tolerance for one another. The then ruler of Baghdad wanted to weaken his rival Khuarzam Shah. So, he invited the Tartars to attack the Shah. The Tartars first destroyed Khuarzam Shahs empire and then wrecked Baghdad.

Today, Andalusia and Baghdad-like situation is prevailing again. The Muslims have plunged in discord, dispersion and sectarianism despite they are facing an enemy that is more merciless, more savage, more cunning and more prejudiced than the Tartars. The enmity of Tartars was confined to some rulers and kingdoms while the present-day enemy is out to annihilate the Muslims from the face of the world. It wants to beat the Muslims one by one. First, it played havoc with Afghanistan and the whole world acted as a silent spectator. Now, it has unfolded its plans against Iraq, Iran, Somalia and Yemen.

Apart from the international scenario, the inside situation is very frightening too. The most regretful fact is that the Islamic organizations are at great distance from one another, providing the anti-Islam forces with an opportunity to criticize them. We wish that at least the upright ulama gathered under command of one Ameer (leader). The Muslims of Hindustan were lucky for they had got the Sheikh-ul-Hind under whose command and leadership Muslims from every sect got united. We wish all the Islam-loving people in Pakistan agreed on one Ameer.

The formation of one unified organization under one Ameer would inspirit the Muslims and frighten the enemies. It is pertinent to mention that when Sheikh-ul-Hinds health declined to irrecoverable state, he called for electing an upright scholar as leader after him. Just one week before his demise, Jami`at Ulama-i-Hind was holding its second annual meeting. Though he was too sick to move, he said: Take my cot to the meeting place. All people of wisdom and knowledge from all over Hind are present there. They must elect an Ameer. I will be the first person to pledge the oath of allegiance at the hands of that Ameer.

It is to be noted that most of the participants in the meeting were his students and murids but still he was prepared to pledge the oath of allegiance at the hands of one Ameer elected from among them. In our beloved country, is it not possible that for the protection of Islamic values, religious institutes and our future, all the righteous people elect from among themselves one capable and insightful person as Ameer and get united under his leadership?

The sage of the time, Sheikh-ul-Hind Mahmood Hasan had pointed out two causes of Muslims downfall. The two causes are still playing the pivotal role in the downfall of the Muslim Ummah today. For everyone who dreams of the revival of Islam and eminence of Muslim Ummah, it is vital to spend his capabilities in eliminating the two causes. When the light of Quranic education would spread, the darkness of fallacies would automatically shrink, and when the upholders of right would get united, the upholders of falsehood would get frightened, not being able to rise again.