The Muslims\' homelands: lands of belief, not disbelief
We believe the present-day homelands of the Muslims are the homeland of Islam and not disbelief. This vast area of the planet which stretches deep inside the centre of the contemporary world is peopled by men embracing the great Islam. Its cheerfulness was instilled in their hearts. Its laws and teachings ruled their villages and cities.
The manners and moralities of Islam have prevailed in the deserts of these countries. For centuries and throughout ages, this vast area has been the bastion and stronghold of Islam. Our Muslim countries have given, and still gives, a lot in the service of religion: to attain its goals. This cannot be refuted by the periods of weakness that afflict the nation every now and then.
It is not fair to forget the feats of over 14 centuries at the time of a temporary calamity and a transient condition.
To use the words "apostasy" and "disbelief" in describing the present homelands of Islam is a truly serious matter. As mentioned before, holding a Muslim to be a disbeliever without a proof leads to a bunch of blunders and bad consequences. Ascribing disbelief to the homelands of Islam is sufficient to undermine the religion of Islam, pull down its pillars and make the fourteen-century sacrifices valueless.
The description, "the homeland of Islam" has been certainly ascribed to our countries after the Muslims conquered them, settled there and made the laws and judgments of Islam rule. This description cannot be annulled but by an equally certain proof of its invalidity. Moreover, some of the Muslim scholars hold that the places described as such can never be deprived of this title no matter what.
Muslim scholars hold that there are remains of that old home of Islam surviving till the present day. These surviving remains are the reason of the validity of the title. If there is a remnant of the original, the legal judgment is to be based on it and not on the circumstantial new situations. So, what if the present-day Muslims' homelands still hold to a lot of the verdicts, rituals and impact of Islam?.
As aforementioned, the verdicts of Islam are not confined to a set of rules and legislations. It rather expands to fathom the rulings of belief, morals, acts of worship and transactions. Contemplating the status of our countries would lead us to the result that religion is deep-rooted within the souls. Our Muslim communities are innately religious and keen on emphasizing their Muslim entity.
The religious momentum, though a weak one, is the one controlling people's lives. In the Islamic communities, religion is the red line that is never to be crossed.
Religion was and is still, the major motive of all revolutions and popular uprisings in the Muslim countries till they could gain their independence from the foreign invaders.
The laws of Islam are the supreme reference for our peoples and communities. This involves the belief, morality, acts of worship and legislations. The doctrine of belief and monotheism is well seated in the Muslims' hearts.
The morality of Islam, even if shrunk, is the bastion that guards the Muslim peoples and communities. The rituals and acts of worship can easily be seen performed and maintained. Add to this these countries’ legislations and laws. Some of them go in conformity with the Islamic Law, like all family laws as well as many of the civil, administrative, marine and aviation laws. Yet, some other laws do not conform to the Islamic Law, such as the penalty code.
Most of the constitutions of the Muslim countries stipulate that the state's official religion is Islam, its official language is Arabic and that the Islamic Law is the main source of legislation.
We do not propagate the false claim that all the Islamic Laws are put to force in our countries. No one can deny or overlook the imperfect implementation of the Islamic laws. The imperfection in this regard cannot be more obvious. However, is lacking some of the necessary aspects equal to lacking all of them?.
It is flagrant injustice to confine religion with all its openness and tolerance and all its tributaries in only one aspect or domain of it. No doubt that addressing these imperfections and filling whatever is missing such as enforcing the Islamic laws and the legal transactions are religious duties and obligations. All the same, it is not right to reduce religion into a mere set of rituals and acts of worship.
The positive laws contradicting the Islamic Law are no more than a minority if compared to the majority of the Jurisprudence and its laws. The advent of some Islamic laws, alongside the overwhelming majority of laws of disbelief, does not mean that Islam has the upper hand. Similarly, the emergence of some of the laws of disbelief, with the overwhelming majority of the Islamic laws, does not mean that the laws of disbelief came victorious.
Based on all this, we have firm belief that our present Arab and Muslim countries are the homelands of Islam. This is so despite the weakness afflicting them and the mortal enemies contending for these countries. Muslims have to concert their efforts and try to affect a renaissance in these countries so as to become the way they used to: strutting in glory and grandeur.
Given the new world order and the changes undergone by the international array, we stress that the fiqh of the Muslim countries is in need of a modern ijtihad (juristic reasoning) endeavor:
Both individual and collective ijtihad controlled by the Islamic Laws and objectives. This ijtihad has to heed the international scene and the Muslims' conditions in the present world under the hegemony of one superpower on the international arena; the existence of international organizations with all their pacts, charts and commitment; and all the international developments.
There is a pressing need for an ijtihad that attempts to play a role long neglected in the fiqh arena for years. It is urgent to have an ijtihad that takes into consideration our external weakness and the volume of our enemies' strength. Such an ijtihad should also heed our internal disruption and the frailty of our countries. Hopes are pinned on this ijtihad to lead our countries out of the catastrophe of a conflict they are unprepared for yet.
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