By Maulana I. Suleman
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu.
Respected guests, elders, brothers and sisters:
Today, I would like to present an analysis of what is going on in this world today. From the corners of the world, people are either complaining about materialism--that they do not have enough of it; complaining about their children, complaining about the people in power, complaining about this or complaining about that. We are becoming a community of complainers and we are sitting in peace complaining about this person or that person. Every single one of us, when we are in salah, we do not finish that prayer until we say: Allahummah inni dhalamtu nafsi dhulman katheera. "Oh Allah, the complain is that about the MIS or MIB or Scotland yard or the IRS. The complain is, Oh Lord, I have wronged myself," but straight after salaam something magic happens that we start talking about other people. There are two different pictures coming along. On one hand, we acknowledge in front of our Creator that me, I, myself am to blame, but when we go outside of salah, we start talking about somebody else. This is not the teaching of Islam.
What is the game of the day today? The game of the day today is to change people's minds--how they think and how they behave. These advertising campaigns are no joke. The people who work for these advertising companies have a Ph.D. in psychology. Psychology is the art where you learn how to control a person's mind and you see this coming into play when we look at the advertisements. Why does a child, when they pass McDonald's or Burger King with their father say, "Dad, I want McDonald's or Burger King. I want a haram burger." Why everytime do we see a new gadget coming out and Christmas or birthdays or Father's Day or whatever is coming up and the child sees advertisements being played and all of a sudden the child comes up and says, "Dad I want that!" Where do they get this idea from? The essence of the ages that many people just fail to understand is what exactly is going on in this day and age.
Allama Tabrani narrates a hadith in his mu'jam. The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said to his companions who were assembled in a gathering like you people are assembled over here: "What will be your situation, what will be the framework of your mind when a good thing, when ma'roof will become munkar (evil)?" Evil will become good. Roguishness will become righteousness. Falsehood will become righthood. Lies will become good. The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) told us about this age that was going to come. Munkar, deviation, evil, falsehood, vanity, will become good. Just to give you one example, in 1999 in the UK, there was a decision made in the House of Lords that there was a couple, well they called themselves a couple of gay orientation and these two males lived together for 20 years in a council owned house. One of them died. According to British law and council tenancy law, your family has the right to occupy that council property after the person whose name it is in has passed away. So this person, who called the deceased his partner, took this case to court claiming, "The council cannot evict me from my house. Why? Because he was my family." To cut the long story short, this case went to the House of Lords, the biggest judition. Eventually the case was decided that yes, this person is from his family and yes, this person has the right to stay in this council house. For us, the decision is unimportant, but look at what is happening in this world today. Ma'roof (good) has become munkar (evil) and munkar has become ma'roof, evil has become good. A gay person has been established as a family member. This is what the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said over 1400 years ago: "What will your situation be when ma'roof will become munkar and munkar becomes ma'roof?" This is the exact scenario we find ourselves in today. The companions of the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) asked: "Will this actually take place in the world?" The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "More than this will take place. Not only will good become bad and bad will become good, more than this will happen." The companions of the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) asked, "What will this be?" The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam) said, "You will order people to do wrong and you will stop them from doing good." My dear respected brothers and sisters, if we look at the world today, is this not the case? People are accepting Haqq (truth) as Baatil (falsehood) and Baatil as Haqq, roguishness for righthood, vanity for truth. This is the scenario of the world today, but the fact of the matter remains that see the concepts of life change as periods go.
In the 20th century, we have entertained many discoveries. There is a book named Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st century. It talks about what role science will play in our lives, where scientist are going towards. In it are opinions of 150 great authorities on science in this day and age published by the Oxford University Press. In this book, it states that between 1990 and 2000, no other period has entertained extra scientific knowledge that what we have been discovering for 500 years according to western theory and Muslims were well into it before all this.
All these discoveries took place in the last 10 years because of 3 main discoveries.
The first is the Quantum Theory. This theory is based on mankind being able to split the atom. Once he split the atom, he now had knowledge and power over matter. What is matter? Matter is anything you can touch. This bench is matter. This tape recorder is matter. Because of this discovery, we have TV, digital TV, DVD technology, where you can, at a press of a button of a remote, select any angle. All this was a direct result of the Quantum Theory.
The second revolution in the 20th century was the biomolecular revolution or the DNA. Anyone who has been arrested will know that in certain cases the police takes a DNA swab. A swab of saliva from the inside of your mouth and they use that and keep it on record to identify a person and as a result of this DNA revolution, mankind was able to have control over the human being. Now he can claim that 'I have the intelligence to create a bionic man. I have the intelligence to give that father any kind of son he wants. I have the intelligence to give that woman any kind of baby she wants whether she wants a clever one, an intelligent one, a blue-eyed one, a green-eyed one, or a dumb one. Because mankind has mastered the biomolecular revolution and this is what it says in the book, Visions, that now scientists are at an astounding position.
The third revolution of the 20th century is the computer revolution and the computer revolution is that revolution with which mankind believes he is able to play God. This is one idea of the computer revolution.
Those who have a bank account, will most probably have a service tip card (ATM). There will be a pin number on it which nobody has in the world. It must need some brains for somebody to come up with this idea that no one has the same pin number, but now its moving on. Barclays' Bank is introducing another system which is already prevalent in London. Allah, in your eye, has made a part called the iris. In that part, Allah has created seventy different features from one eye and the other eye has seventy different features. Next time you go to Barclays' Bank, you will not need your card, you will not need a pin number. It will recognize you from the features of your eyes. Allah says in the Qur'an: "And in yourself, do you not see there are signs?" Mankind is now discovering this. This is Allah's unlimited power, which we were unaware of and today it is coming in front of our eyes.
So these three revolutions, the Quantum Revolution, the Biomolecular Revolution, and the Computer Revolution, mankind has mastered. Now he is saying, "Now, I can play God. I'm going to be Allah. I'm going to decide who is going to have what kind of child."
Islam is not against any progress. Muslims were conquering astronomy in the sky at a time when it was innovation to look at the skies in different religions. The scientists say that there will not be any more major discoveries after these three main discoveries.
The hadith that I stated early on, you tell me, when mankind thinks that he is becoming God, is that not batil and munkar? Do we not find an example in the Qur'an when Namrood said the same thing: I am God. Is there not an example of Pharaoh, who claimed to be Allah, God? Mankind is losing his goal in life as a result, many Muslims, educated or uneducated. The sole purpose and function and role of a human being in his life has been totally forgotten. We are failing to understand our function in life. As one poet says: "I have many different passions in life." One of the signs of Qiyaamah is that people will have different hobbies (to stray them away from the remembrance of Allah), as Allama Tabrani narrated. I will give you a real life example of it, which is that when you walk in to any shop where they sell magazines and you look at the top shelf to the bottom shelf, whatever topic you want--hunting, computing, pornography or this or that, you will find it there. We have this in our minds that people actually buy this? If people didn't buy them they would not produce them. So, one of the signs of the Day of Judgement is that people will have different passions. People will become busy in sports and computing and in their other hobbies that nobody will be aware of where this will lead and the poet says: "I have different passions. All my different passions and interests and hobbies became one from that moment when I realized my central passion in life and that was Allah and those people who I envied." because they have these new Mercedes with the computerized dashboards and posh mobile phones and these big houses with a press of a button the gates open and like Bill Gates' house when he leaves his house in Seattle, he can control the temperature of his house miles away--people envy this type of person in the modern day and age. This poets says, "that those people who I envied because they have this (money) this time they are becoming jealous of me. Why? Because I have found Allah in my life. I became a liberated slave of mankind from that moment when I recognized Allah."
The new discoveries are having an affect on the human beings, so much so that the knowledge in this day and age is taking mankind in the direction of forgetting Allah. I have explained to you the progress in this day.
Now, in a nutshell, I would like to point out the consequences of the discoveries that have taken place. I would like to take only one area of this, which are the wars. If you look at the history of the 20th century from 1900-1915 there was a war called the British Colonial War. From 1914 to 1919 there was the first World War where one million people died. From 1921, for some years there was a war against England and Ireland. From 1939 to about 1945 the second World War took place where fifty million people lost their lives. From 1956 to 1962 we had the colonial fighters in Africa, Angola, Tunisia, and Algeria and today we have Chechnya, we have Bosnia, we have Afghanistan and Russia and a whole host of other countries. Eighty percent of the time, in the 20th century, mankind has been fighting with each other. What is the progress here, I ask you? We claim, on the one hand, that this is the century of progress, but four-fifths of the time, mankind has been fighting with each other. What kind of progress is that? We cannot even learn to live with each other, so in this day and age there is no doubt that we have progress, but where has the progress taken us? Have we actually learned to live as human beings on the face of this earth? The human being is no longer worthy of being called a human. Why? Because he does not recognize his Lord anymore.
It is necessary upon you to make sure that you look after soul. Why? Because you are a human being by the mere fact that you have a soul inside you and not by the fact that you have a body.
As a poet says:
The world would like to change you
There are pressures all around
You must decide just who you are
Then firmly hold your ground
So be yourself and don't allow the world to take control
Preserving your identity (as a Muslim) is life's most precious goal.
Wa akhirudda'wana anil humdulillahi rabbil alameen.