On the morning of 30th march 1965 Hadhrat Ji Maulana Yusuf sahib Kandhalvi delivered a speech. It was given after Fajr salaah in an area of Lahore known as Raiwand. In it he discussed many important issues regarding the unity of the Ummah. He expressed with feeling and pain his mounting concern over continued hostilities amongst Muslims.
Tragically, it was to be his last public address. Three days later the world received the sudden unexpected news that Maulana Yusuf had passed away. Even those who were only slightly familiar with him were shocked and grieved by the loss. Others, who knew him more closely and were aware of his remarkable qualities and services to Islam, were devastated.
Because of its grave importance, this speech has been translated and reproduced below. Although an effort has been made to include as much of the essential contents of the speech as possible, time and space do not allow for all the relevant points to be covered, Nonetheless the aim of the translation is to provide readers with an insight into the thought of Maulana Yusuf and his deep dedication to Islam. It also presents to them a sample of his oratory skills and the essence of his message to the Ummah:
Firstly, i must inform you that my health is not very satisfactory. My night was spent restless and sleepless. Nevertheless, i feel it necessary that i address you today. Listen attentively,and act accordingly, Allah will make you honourable. Be negligent, and you will be an open invitation to ruin.
This Ummah has been prepared only through tremendous sacrifices. The blessed Prophet peace be upon him and his loyal companions encountered difficulty after difficulty to see the formation of this Ummah. Their enemies, have spared no pains in forcing cracks into the wall of the Ummah. They have struggled relentlessly to break the Ummah, that it may disband helplessly. Now the situation we have before us is that the Ummah has lost its strength of unity. Until the Ummah retained its capacity to harmonise, a few thousand individuals were paramount over the entire world. The then Islamic world did not boast a single finely structured building.Even the Masajids were bare, simple and modest. Not even a lamp could be found in the Masjid. The first lamp to be lit in Masjid-An Nabawi was in the ninth year after migration. It was lit by Hadhrat Tameem Daari who accepted Islam in 9AH. Prior to this date almost the entire Arab world had marched into the fold of Islam. Masses of people who's tribes varied, whose backgrounds varied, whose homelands and origins varied had formed what became known as the Ummah. It was only when so many hurdles had been cleared and this much progress made, that History recorded the first lamp to be lit in the Prophet's masjid.
Many a year may have elapsed in making such seemingly insignificant progress as the use of a lamp. But that mattered little. What did matter and what is the key measure of achievement here is that the lamp of guidance with which the Prophet had been sent, had illuminated every house and dwelling of Arabia and its effects reached far beyond the boundaries of the peninsula. In fact the Ummah had been formed. I t rose to the challenges of humanity.Whichever direction it chose to march whole civilisations surrender to its authority.
This Ummah was created only when every individual saw beyond the boundaries of family, tribe, party, nation and homeland. None was a blind patriot to his native land.Value for wealth and property, wife and family bore no importance at all. The only issue of any importance, the only factor never to be ignored,was the order of Allah and His beloved Prophet Muhammad.
An Ummah can only be formed when every relationship in opposition to Allah and His messsenger is severed.
When the Muslims were one, the murder of a single individual sent shock waves racing through the Ummah. Today thousands of lives are tragically lost but not a single eyebrow is raised.
-Later in the speech Maulana Yusuf commented:-
A set community of people, a group of settlers in a particular region is not an Ummah. An Ummah is a composition of thousands of communities and regions. Any person who believes one community or nation to be his own and a second community or nation to be alien is helping to reduce the Ummah into a sacrificial animal. He is destroying the Ummah. He is attempting to diminish the struggles of the Prophet and his devoted companions.
The Ummah was not torn and conflict riddled. We ourselves are to blame for the ruin that has befallen us. It was only after the injuries had been inflicted that the Kuffaar administered further punishment. The damage had already been done prior to their intervention.
If the Muslims are to reunite even today the combined strength of world powers, atom b ombs and missiles cannot destroy them. But if, on the contrary, they continue to uphold the banner of nationalism and simply on the grounds of 'love for country' divisions appear within the Ummah, then i swear by Allah your weapons, your military power and your defences will be of no avail to you.
The only reason Muslims are being tormented throughout the world, the sole cause of their sufferings is that they have failed to remain an Ummah. They have totally disregarded the exhaustive struggles borne by their loving Prophet in its formation. Friends, i am expressing to you the grief that lies in my heart. The root cause of all our calamities is that the Ummah has ceased to remain an Ummah. In fact, we have totally forgotten what it means to be an Ummah and we are ignorant of how the Prophet formed it.
In order to be a united Ummah and to win the support of the Lord, it is not sufficient simply for the Muslims to be regular in Salah, for there to Dhikr in abundance etc. Take for example the case of Ibn Baljam, the assassin of Hadhrat Ali. He used to perform salah so excessively and engage in dhikr so fervently that when in punishment of his crime, outraged by his villainous act, people before slaying him, sought to cut his tongue of, he protested, ' Treat me as you wish, but i plead that you spare my tongue so that until i breathe my last, i may utter the name of my Lord. '
Despite appearing such a devout servant of Allah, the Prophet had declared that the killler of Ali would be the most detestable individual of this Ummah.
As for religious instruction and education, well, the likes of Abu Al Fadhl and Faydhee were highly trained, learned scholars. So talented that they wrote the commentary of the Quran without using any letters with dots. Even so, their knowledge did not prevent them from misleading Akbar and making a mockery of religion.
The lessons to be learnt from these and many other examples is that merely acquiring the attributes of Ibn Baljam, Abu Al Fadh and Faydhee will not reunite the Ummah and they will not entitle us to divine help.
- Later on in the speech, Maulana warned:-
Rest assured, ' my people' , ' my country' ' my household ' this line of reasoning and this type of statement works to destroy the Ummah. Whoever, on whatever level, endeavours to ignite the the fire of conflict within the Ummah will be destroyed.
The Ummah will only be reunited if Muslims from all walks of life and from all quarters, without any internal barriers, discharge those responsibilities that were stressed to them by the noble prophet peace be upon him.
Remember! The factors that crush the oneness of the Ummah are unjust dealings carried out within Muslims. Crimes that are against society, against humanity. When a person or a group of people treat others unjustly, when they deny them what is rightfully theirs, when they are a cause of grief to other, when they humiliate and dishonour other, the seeds of bitterness and conflict are sown. Cracks begin to appear in the Ummah.
That is why i reiterate, mere recitation of the Shahadah and abundant dhikr will not establish the Ummah. THE Ummah will only be re-established when internal dealings are reformed, responsibilities are to society are understood and discharged, the rights of all are fulfilled and each individual is received with kindness. In fact, unity will only come when one's own rights and interests are sacrificed for the convenience of others. The compassionate Prophet, his companions, Abu Bakr, Umar and others sacrificed everything in their means to make this Ummah a true united Ummah. They volunteered themselves in the most punishing difficulties to achieve this.
- Maulana Yusuf further commented:-
To establish an Ummah it is necessary that we all strive to create mutual harmony and guard against internal dispute. The tongue plays a key role in making or breaking the Ummah. It has the capacity to unify hearts. It also has the capacity to destroy the unity of the hearts. Misuse it, and it presents a whole barrel of insoluble problems and disputes. Use it sensibly and a simple phrase can bring an end to ill feeling and repair broken friendships.
This is why it is so important to be cautious in the use of our tongues. This attention to speech will only be possible when each person develops a strong awareness of the presence of Allah, that at every moment, in every place he is with him, watching him, studying his every action listening to his every word.
All the teachings of Islam have been prescribed to generate mutual love and harmony. In salah there is unity In fasting there is unity. The Hajj is an exhibition of unity amongst people of different races, nations and languages. Grouping for religious discourses creates unity. Kindness and hospitality for Muslim brethren, the exchanging of gifts and presents all create harmony and unity. They are actions which ease the path to Jannah. Those who engage in such activities will be amply rewarded. Their faces will gleam and radiate on the day of reckoning.
On the contrary, enmity, envy, publicising confidentialities relating to others, dishonouring and humiliating others, causing grief and heartache to others, these are all actions that are the ingredients of disunity. They pave the way to hell and those guilty of these actions will have their faces darkened in the hereafter.
- Drawing attention to actions that may be taken to eliminate disunity, Maulana explained:-
Today we find a universal effort to break the solidarity of the Ummah. The only safeguard to this is that we devote ourselves entirely to the divine mission of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Let us encourage the Muslims to flock to the Masjids. There, let them be reminded of the sweetness, beauty and importance of Imaan. Let there be groups of people collected for Ta'leem, collected for the remembrance of Allah, groups sat addressing the issue of religion and its revival. Differing sects of people, diverse nationalities, people of varying languages be assembled on the same basis, with the same intentions, conforming to the same prescribed methods, engaging in the same activities as were once to be witnessed in the Prophet's Masjid. Only then will we succeed in unifying the Ummah.
We must refrain from activities which allow shaytaan to fuel disputes within us. A group of three people should be concious that the fourth amongst them is Allah. A company of five or six individuals should be aware that the sixth or seventh amongst them is Allah. He is present, He is listening to their entire conversation and studying their activities. Does their speech flow with mutual love? Does it generate harmony and brotherhood or does it destroy brotherhood? Are they engaged in backbiting, tale telling or evil conspiracies?
The compassionate Prophet sacrificed his priceless and suffered the pangs of hunger to establish this Ummah. Today, over totally minor issues we are slaying the Ummah. Note! forgoing Jummah salah will not be such a punishable sin in the courts of Allah as the detestable crime of tearing the tissues of this Ummah.
If the Muslims are to unify then they will never see the face of disgrace in this world. The superpowers will bow to their sovereignty.
The Ummah will only be one when the Quraanic pronouncement:
Azillatin Alal Mu'mineen
once again becomes a living reality.The Muslims become a visible example of these words. That is each individual amongst them treats his fellow Muslims with humility, humbleness and regards them superior to himself. This characteristic is taught and practiced in the work of Tabligh.
When the Muslims will discipline themselves to:
Azillatin Alal Mu' mineen
then as a result they will be elevated to:
A'izzatin alal Ka'fireen
that is they will be triumphant over the kuffaar, whether they be settlers of Asia or nationals of Europe. That is, no one would be in a position to oppose a united Ummah.
This Ummah will unite through self sacrifice, sacrifice of time, wealth and comforts. Once these sacrifices are given and the Ummah is made it will receive honour and dignity. Honour and dignity does not lie in the trends of any nation, not even in the social and political set-ups of the super powers. Honour lies in the hands of Allah alone.
In order to be deserving of his favours, He has prescribed a particular code of conduct, issued guidelines and stipulated that certain principles be adhered to.Any individual, family, community or class of people who fulfil these requirements and adorn their lives with these radiant characteristics they themselves will become radiant.
The Jews are descendants of Prophets. They behaved arrogantly and violated divine law and displeased Allah. The companions of the blessed Prophet were the offspring of idol worshippers. They chose to adopt the flawless principles of the Quran and teachings of the Prophet. Allah made them the shining stars of this Ummah. Allah is pure of any family ties or relationships. In His court all that is taken into account is obedience to law and conformance to principles.
Friends, with an intense fervour, devote yourselves to the cause of making the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad a united Ummah, an Ummah bubbling with faith and belief, an Ummah constantly engaged in the remembrance of Allah, his Grace, His bounties,one concerned about the religious education of its individuals of the Ummah that surrenders to the will of Allah, an obedient, helpful, tolerant, loving and caring Ummah. Let us strive to make it an Ummah that condemns evil scheming, detests disobedience to Allah, deplores the humiliation and abuse of others, deplores prying into the private affairs of others and backbiting of others.
If on any plot of earth this banner is lifted and effort is made in the required manner, then very shortly, every nation on earth will follow suit.
What is needed now is that people of every community, origin, race and language be teamed together in groups and sent out for the work of Da'wah. Let each group be teamed, meticulously bind itself to the principles of this work then inshAllah the efforts of uniting the Ummah will come to blossom and Allah willing shaytaan and the dictates of our desires will pose no danger to us whatsoever.