History records that it is men of this class and caliber who have rendered genuine service to Islam during all the phases of its career. The credit for changing the course of Umayyad rule and bringing Ummar ibn Abdul Aziz to the Caliphate belongs to this very class of men functioning under the inspired leadership of Raj’a ibn Haywah. In India too, the revolution of an identical nature that was wrought during the time of the Mughals owed its origin to a similar band of devoted servants of the Ummah. A powerful Emperor like Akbar had resolved, so it seemed to all intents and purposes, to cast the sub-continent in the mould of paganism, in opposition to Islam, after it had remained for four hundred years under the benign shadow of Muslim rule. But by virtue of the determined action of an inspired man of Faith and endeavour and his illustrious successors the land was won back for Islam— and more firmly than before. Each of Akbar’s, successors proved to be better than his predecessor till there came Aurangzeb on the throne whose reign constitutes a most glorious chapter in the annals of Islam and religious renovation. History, as you know, is always ready to repeat itself— it never tires of the process— the only thing is that there may be some force strong enough to turn its tide, and the only force which can bring back the golden era of Islam is the earnestness, the sagacity and the missionary zeal we have just spoken of.
The Crisis and the Action Needed
We should face the current crisis with wisdom, courage and fortitude. A woeful tragedy of moral, cultural and intellectual apostasy has struck Islam. It should be the object of serious concern to all those who have any solicitude for Islam. Today, the leading sections of Muslim society almost everywhere are on the verge of dissolution of Faith. They have already discarded, in the main, the moral obligations imposed by the Shariah, their mental outlook has become wholly materialistic and, in politics, they are enthusiastically pursuing what must be described as the course of irreligion. There are many among them— to avoid saying a majority of them— who do not believe in Islam as a creed and an ideology. And the Muslim masses, although they possess all the seeds of goodness and virtue and constitute, innately, the most virtuous segments of humanity, are under the influence and overlordship of these sections due to their educational and economic backwardness. If the present situation continues as it is apostasy will infiltrate the masses as well and destroy the Faith of simple minded Muslim peasants and artisans. It has been so in the West and it will happen here in the East if events are allowed to take their course and if the All-Powerful Will of Providence does not intervene.
There is not a day to be wasted. The World of Islam is threatened with a most dangerous wave of apostasy. This wave is a revolt against the moral and social values that are the most precious treasures of Islam. If these treasures are lost, which are a sacred heritage from the Prophet handed down from generation to generation and for whose protection the soldiers of Islam have borne enormous hardships and gone through the severest of trials, the World of Islam will also be there no more.
Shall we awake to this great reality, to this mighty threat to the times? Or shall we not?