Unfortunately, the excellence of the Muslim ummah did not last long. They faltered. Part of this was due to the negligence of the Muslims to heed Allah’s reminder. In the chapter al-Baqarah verse 152, Allah says, “Therefore remember Me, I will remember you and be grateful to Me and never be ungrateful to Me.” As regards to this verse, Imam Hasan al-Basri said, “Allah remembers with His compassion those who remember Him. God increases His endowments to those who are grateful, and God punishes those who are kufur (ungrateful).”
It is compulsory for Muslims to be grateful to Allah and always remember Him. Otherwise, the glory given by Him will be replaced with punishments and misfortunes. In this regard, the Companions were successful because they appreciated and were grateful to Allah. Their gratefulness was manifested in the form of obeying the Divine Law. A man once asked the Prophet concerning the characteristics of the best human being on earth. He replied, “The best are those who are the best in reading the Quran, most fearful of Allah, the most assiduous in enjoining what is right (makruf), the most assiduous in forbidding what is wrong (mugkar), and the most fervent in establishing relationships with human beings (silaturahim).” This hadis was recorded by Ahmad, an Nasai and al-Hakim.
This is the general formula for excellence and success. It was ingrained within the psyche of the Prophet’s Companions. This hadis stressed on the importance of:
- Recognizing the map of life by embracing the Quran.
- Initiating change based on takwa (piety)
- Enjoining and helping others towards goodness
- Forbidding the wrongdoing
- Emphasizing on good humanistic relationships between people
Based on this formula, the companions dominated the world. They were successful because they not only professed Islam, but more than that, they were proud of the Islamic way of life. Umar Al-Khattab once said, “We are a group of people that is blessed by Allah with greatness through Islam. When we seek greatness through a way of life other than Islam, Allah will render humiliation upon us.” Yes, it is true. Those who feel great with Islam will always be in an exalted position in this world and the hereafter.
Today, Muslims are humiliated all over the world. Look at the Palestinian issue. With the help of the British through the Balfour Agreement and the resolution issued by the Unified Nations on 14th May 1948, the European Jews successfully established a Jewish state on Palestinian lands. Since then, the lives of Palestinian Muslims have been fraught with hardship. Let us crossover to Bosnia. Between 1992 and 1995, Christian Serb terrorists killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Bosnia. The same was true with Kosovo whereby Christian Serb terrorists killed tens of thousands of Muslims in Bosnia. The same was true with Kosovo whereby Christian Serb terrorists killed tens of thousands of Muslims and since February 1999, more than 80,000 Muslims were forced to become refugees and face famine at the Kosovo border. What about Chechnya? In September 1999, the Russians attacked the Muslims in Chechnya. According to official reports, they bombed houses, hospitals and mosques. Could there be further tragedies that these? Yes and one of the most recent atrocities was launched by America in 2003, and it was known as the US-Iraq War. According to a study published in the British medical journal the Lancet, the US invasion and occupation of Iraq was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 655,000 Iraqis. At the same time, Islam was accused of being a religion that promotes terrorism and brutality.
Why did all these tragedies happen? We will answer this question by telling a story
– Extracted from 7 Formulas of Excellent Individuals by Dr. Danial Zainal Abidin