By Maulana I. Suleman
Assalamu Alaikum, dear respected brothers, sisters, elders, and young friends.
Humanity, at this moment in time, human civilization and human beings are all waiting for the mew millennium from the far east coast of Moscow to the far west coast of the United States of America; right up north to the north pole and down to Antarctica. The whole of mankind is spinning and revolving around one word, which is known as the Millennium. Leaflets have been posted through letterboxes informing parents, children, neighbors, and societies about what the millennium bug is. But the fact of the matter remains that this notion of the millennium has gripped the world and the tools by which the brains are captured by the TV, Sky TV, and cable TV. These are the tools by which the brains of the humans are captured. There is a great deal of apocalyptic hype as we approach the new millennium. Ordinary people are grasped by anxiety, where as, scientists, politicians, economists, religious leaders and the media are busy in anticipating and predicting the future and the most affected generation is the young generation. This concept of the new millennium is nothing new.
We should look one thousand years ago when the first millennium came and see what the history books say. I will quote a particular work by Professor William Durant, a professor at the University of Berkeley in California, USA. He wrote the history of civilization over thirty years. At the time of the last millennium, human beings thought that the Day of Judgement was going to come. For the preparation for the Day of Judgement they decided to build churches so everyone turned towards God because they thought the day of Judgement was coming and they thought, Now, we have to face our Lord. What will our answers be? But this Day of Judgement did not come. And if you read the books of Christianity, they will tell you that the next year after the millennium is called, The Biggest Disappointed. The biggest disappointed because Qiyyamah never came. They have a church in Germany called the Reformation Church. They decided that people are getting so far away from Allah: We need to reform, resurrect our Iman. Thats why they have the Reformation Church and this concept was also hit to the Muslim communities. We are now in our 15th century when the one thousandth Hijri came. Allama Suyooti (R.A.) stated in his work that this Ummat (of Rasoolullah) will pass their first millennium, which occurred four centuries ago. He collected all those ahaadith, which proved that the Muslims will go past the first millennium because people were concerned at that time like other communities so he proved in his book by collections of the Prophet SAW that they will pass the new millenium, which was the first millennium for the Muslims (according to the Islamic calendar).
So this concept about the millenium was relevant to the Muslims as it was to the Christians. Some groups of the Christian churches believe that Y2K will bring the Day of Judgement and others believe that the time of the millenium is the time of partying. If we put the money that will be spent in celebrating the new millenium in one corner and you look at the third world debt on the other corner, you will see that the world will be spending three times as much more money than the debts of the third world countries.
Human behaviour has come to such an extent that not only have they forgotten Allah, but also they have decided to take the satanic path, the path of Shaytaan in celebrating. We need to understand the story line as to why the new malls, movie theaters, football stadiums, etc. are being built. We have to understand the times and the world we are facing and then see what the problem is and try to find a solution for our children and I particularly address those brothers who have children because it is the future of your child that is at stake now and the Quran addresses all of us: This world is full of pleasures and pursuits. If you look at the scenarios around us, you will see stickers on the back of cars spreading messages like, Its good to show off. And if you ask people what they do when they get upset, a lot of people say, I go shopping. There used to be a time when people used to go to churches and mosques to find some satisfaction and internal security and peace in them. But now, we have to go to the big malls and big arcade places and big cinemas. These are plans of Shaytaan to deviate mankind away from his goal in life, away from the remembrance of their Lord. And your Lord says: O man! What has lured you away from your Gracious Lord, Who created and molded you and gave you an upright shape?
When the Prophet SAW came into this world, the community, at the time, was known as Ummi, or illiterate. They did not know how to live life. They didnt know what the potential of the human being was and the Prophet SAW, himself, was not described as a person fully educated with a professorship or a Ph.D. He was also described as an Ummi. On the one hand, we have a Prophet who is Ummi and on the other hand we have a community who is Ummi. The Prophet SAW stands up to his community and makes two major claims. Claim number one: I have been sent into this world as an educator. He had never even seen the face of a teacher and he claims to be an educator. Claim number two: I have been sent into this world to perfect the best moral conduct in human behaviour, to educate them, and make sure that they live life as human beings, not as animals of a jungle. This was a major challenge given to the Prophet SAW. When the last sermon was delivered in the field of Arafah, there were 125,000 people present. There is no other period of time in the past two millenniums that one person has changed the lives and minds of so many people in a period of 23 years. Professor William Montgomery Watt, lecturer at Edinburgh University, wrote a book called Muhammad at Mecca, Muhammad at Madina. He is described as a professional and number one expert on the life of the Prophet SAW. He said, One thing baffles me. I cannot understand how one man, who has no formal education, could lead a community who behaved like animals and created those human beings, which the world had never seen, created them into the best individuals. This baffled the professor. These were Christians who studied Islam and said that the Muslims were the people who gave the world a lifestyle to live and the intelligence to think and today the Muslims are living like animals!
You must have heard the name of Ubay bin Khalaf. He was the person who left no stone unturned in demonstrating his enmity against Islam. Allama Zahabi has written in his book which is about major sins that those people who do not perform their salah regularly because they were too busy in business (or work) would be resurrected on the Day of Judgement with Ubay bin Khalaf, who was a commercial businessman in the city of Makkah. And if you were away from salah because you were a king of a country, then your resurrection will be with Pharaoh because he forgot Allah. And if you are at a ministerial or a professional position and that leads you away from the remembrance and worship of Allah, your resurrection will be with Haman. And if your material assets deviated you from the remembrance of Allah, your resurrection will be with Qaroon.
Ubay bin Khalaf had a brother called Ummayah bin Khalaf, who was killed in the Battle of Badr in the year 2 Hijri, year 620. Ummayah bin Khalaf had a son named Safwaan bin Ummayah. Safwaan wanted to assassinate the Prophet SAW in revenge of his fathers death. He was a leader at the time and hired the services of a hit man, a professional assassin, whose name was Umayr bin Wahb. Umary, after financial security from Safwan went ahead and dipped his sword into poison and traveled 600 kilometers from Makkah to Madina. When he got to the mosque, the Prophet SAW was already given the news for the reason he had come. When he came, the Prophet SAW told him in one ear and not in front of everyone that, O Umary, have you come to kill me? Safwaan was shocked and said, How do you know, O Prophet of Allah? The Prophet SAW replied, I was informed by that Creator who has the information of everything. And at this moment, Umary said that this person can only be a Prophet and recited the shahadah. Eight years later, Makkah was conquered. Umayr said to the Prophet SAW, You may remember Safwaan, the one who issued a contract against you. Today, he has fled to Jeddah and wants to commit suicide because he feels that his life will be taken (for trying to kill the Prophet SAW eight years before). The Prophet SAW took his turban off and sent it to Safwaan. When Umayr came back, he said, Safwaan feels secure from you now and needs two months to think about this. The Prophet SAW said, Give him four months. After that, the Prophet SAW took Safwaan to Hunayn and Taif and he gave him a share of the booty and the spoils of war after which Safwaan said, This type of behaviour can only be expected from a Prophet, so the answer to the question Professor William M. Watt put forward in his book is the fact that Islam was not spread by the sword, but by the behaviour of the Prophet SAW. The same people who came to cut off the neck of the Prophet SAW put their necks in his laps. This kind of person does not rule over the land and territory. This kind of person rules over the hearts of the people.
So, how do we educate ourselves? At the time of the Prophet SAW there was a Jewish community, there was a Christian community, there was a community that did not believe in any god. The same communities are here today. The thing that changed the Arabian society was the characteristics of Rasoolullah SAW. In this day and age, this is a form of dawah and tableegh propagation of Islam and it is upon the mothers and fathers to make sure that that type of education is supplied to our children. Who knows how the next generation will face our deaths. Are we going to spend our last days in this world in nursing homes? Are they going to remember us at the time of death? As one poet says: Life is thing that turns on wheels. Death is thing that everyone feels. If life was a thing that money could buy, the rich would live and the poor would die. Allah, in his wisdom, has made it so that the rich and the poor, together must go.