Rahimia Magazine (Feburary, 2014)
Human history is marked with various significant events and. But the arrival of Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in this world is unparalleled in terms of its grandeur and significance. His struggle gave a message of justice and righteousness against injustice and oppression in human societies which transformed the existing world altogether. Hence, this event proved to be a turning point of human history. While most of the movements in human history influenced only one or two aspects, very few movements affected each and every aspect of human life. The movement initiated by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was so comprehensive that it created long lasting effects on all spheres related to mankind. This global movement gave a complete ideology of life which proved to be a mile stone and standard for human beings belonging to any era.
Rabi ul Awal is the month of birth and death of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). During this celebrated month, we should focus our attention towards the most important aspects of his sacred personality. We must analyze that what was his message, which faction of society he considered to be the main cause of social evil and what strategy he adopted to counter this evil from society.
After a deep study of history and life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), it is evident that main opponents of his message were few senior leaders of Qureish who constituted the elite class of their society. These leaders were directly involved in the oppression, confrontation and propaganda against the message and mission of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). They forced common people to support them in their activities against Muhammad (peace be upon him). In their opinion, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) wanted to become supreme leader of Arabs. However, these leaders considered themselves to be more deserving and eligible for this position because of their seniority in wealth and age. Some of the prominent Arab leaders who participated in various evil activities against Muhammad (peace be upon him) were: Abu Jehal Umar bin Hasham, Abu Lahab bin Abdul Mutlib, Aswad bin Abd e Yaghoos, Haris bin Qais, Waleed bin Mugheera, Ummia bin Khalf, Abu Qais bin Faqeha, Aas bin Wayil, Nazr bin Haris, Aas bin Saeed, Uqba bin Muhit, Abu Sufian bin Harb, etc. This elite class of Arab society controlled the entire system of Hijaz and consequently, they considered themselves as the sole authority of society. The religion, politics, economy, trade and law of Arab society was under their influence. Their personal desires were implemented in the society through laws and policies. Rest of the population was groaning with pain due to their oppression and injustice.
Maulana Ubaid Ullah Sindhi, a distinguished revolutionary thinker of the subcontinent, writes:
Islam was a declaration of war against every oppressor, tyrant and monopolist of public welfare resources. They harvested the hard work of poor people to their personal gains and exploit the simplicity of common Arabs in the name of religious superstitions and traditions of their forefathers. Qureishi tradesmen not only considered non-Qureishi common people as second grade citizens but they had also created weird concepts of superiority based on wealth, color and family background. Whether it is religion, politics, trade or social affairs, the ultimate goal of this class based exploitative system was the progress and prosperity of Qureishi elite class. Had the ruling classes of Qureish continued their wrong doings for long, their eventual outcome (in the form of destruction and misery) was imminent.
(Quarterly Journal: Shaoor o Aagahi http://www.rahimia.org/shaoor-o-agahi)
In his Makki Life, the Prophet (P.B.U.H) created public opinion against this very class which was involved in oppression and exploitation. Youngsters of Qureishi families were the focus of his preaching. After convincing them and gaining their support over the period of time, he channelized the public sentiment in his favor. He used the organizational strength of these youngsters to get rid of oppression, injustice and anarchy from the society. Ruling elite of Arab was denying and defying his message due to self created assumptions of ancestral and financial superiority over others. Some of these leaders were killed in the battle of Badar, some others in battle of Uhad, some died their natural death and still remaining others laid their arms at the conquest of Makkah. In this way, their grip on Arab society was loosened and their propaganda machinery was destroyed. Consequently, people started to embrace Islam in large numbers.
Today, we have to make the ideal life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a standard and analyze the politics, trade, parliament, bureaucracy, customs and religious behaviors of our society. We have to evaluate whether or not our politics, trade, administrative system and attitudes are different from the politics, exploitative trade, class based government, unjust legal system and hypocrite attitudes of the Qureishi elite. If our society is a depiction of similar attitudes of exploitation and hypocrisy and our ruling elite are the representatives and guardians of this unjust system, then life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) invites us to think and analyze our responsibilities towards the society.
After critical study and analysis, next step is to determine path of action for practical struggle and acquiring of results. At present, we have hundreds of religious and political parties which are claiming to eradicate evil from our society for the past sixty years. But in reality, elimination and minimization of social evils is only a farce dream up till now. Rather, evil and wrong doings have organized themselves in new systematic ways across the society. It is consuming our noble desires, honest efforts and individual righteousness. Consequently, despair is prevailing all over society and various misfortunes have arisen in the society.Due to various unsuccessful efforts of social change, one portion of society considers attainment of personal benefits as the sole aim of life. The second portion is so hopeless that it has altogether refused to participate in any sort of personal or collective struggle. The third portion has raised arms and adopted the path of violence.
All these ailments are a consequence of erroneous and incomplete understanding of life of Muhammad (peace be upon him). First of all, we are unable to extract the important lesson from his life that when collective system (parliament, economy, bureaucracy and judiciary) of a society gets corrupted and dysfunctional, partial modifications and individual reforms cannot be fruitful. Rather a comprehensive change against the prevailing systems becomes the need of hour. Instead of compromising with any partial change, Muhammad (peace be upon him) adopted the process of total social change and obtained results in every sphere of social life.
Today, it is essential that we abstain from our directionless and distorted efforts and acquire deep understanding of prophetic strategy of social change. In the light of this standard and role model, we should search solutions of all our problems. Only then, we can lay down the foundations of a society in which humanity can get rid of diverse and complicated problems and set on the path of progress and prosperity.
Translation: Muhammad Usman, Faisalabad