Ummah – Nation
October 14, 2011 Leave a comment
THE WORD ‘UMMAH’ IN QUR’AN
1) Common Origin of The World Population:
“Mankind was one single nation (ummah), and Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed;”….. Surah Al-Baqarah/The Cow 213
Mankind was but one ummah, but differed (later). Had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord, their differences would have been settled between them”….. Surah Younus/The Jonah 19
In Islam, Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) is believed to be the first human being created by God Almighty, later on accompanied by Hawwa (A.S). He was also the first man on earth and the first Prophet (the man with guidance) for his generations. It doesn’t matter what scientists figure out about the beginning of the human history. Whichever the era it was, Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) was certainly the man to produce human species.
2) Common Origin of All Religions:
“The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah – the which We have sent by inspiration to you – and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that you should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein:”…. Surah Ash-Shura/The Council 13
According to Islamic teachings, all Prophets from Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) preached the same message which was the message of Islam. Islam literally means ‘peace’ and ‘submission’/’to surrender’. So their purpose was same and that was to keep nations and societies peaceful and convince people to accept the guidance (general teachings) and guideline (laws) from their Lord. The difference that we see in Prophets’ guidelines was not of the fundamental teachings but due to their appointment in different eras and under different conditions.
3) Freedom of Choice:
“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may recognize each other)”…. Surah Al-Hujraat/The Apartments 13
“If Allah so willed, He could make you all one people (ummah): But He leaves straying whom He pleases, and He guides whom He pleases: but you shall certainly be called to account for all your actions”…… Surah An-Nahl/The Bee 93
Allah (SWT) willingly put the differences between His creation; living and non-living, people and animals, men and women, races and tribes, guided and misguided, righteous and criminals, submissive and transgressors. All are given a time calculated for them and at the end, they will be gathered for accountability. People forgot about their origin and gave more importance to the conditions they were born in. They conquered others to enslave them. They fought over seizing resources. Gradually they became either strangers or enemies to each other.
4) Prophets by race/nations:
“To every people (ummah) was sent an apostle: when their apostle comes (before them), the matter will be judged between them with justice, and they will not be wronged”…… Surah Younus/Jonnah 47
5) Universal Brotherhood:
“And verily this Brotherhood (ummah) of you all is a single Brotherhood (ummah), and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore fear Me (and no other)”…… Surah Mu’minoon/The Believers 52
The human history began with Prophet Adam (peace be upon him). The chain of prophet-hood continued till Prophet Isa/Jesus (peace be upon him). Each prophet was sent to their own people, reminded them of their origin. The number is said to be one hundred and twenty four thousand. That was a big number and almost all the nations till then had received the one unified message of peace. That was “All mankind is created by Allah and will return to Him for accountability and reward or punishment. So all nations should turn to Him in submission.”
Now what needed was to turn this unified call to nations and tribes into an international one. So the message is conveyed from one single platform in form of one ultimately modified source of guidance meaning “Qur’an”. God planned to do that through Arabs as they had descended from the same genealogical root of Prophet Ibraheem/Abraham (peace be upon him) as were Jews and Christians. They both had the most prophets without any gap and had the knowledge of divine books. Thus, had more ability to understand the message of Qur’an than any other nation.
6) Prophet with International Call to all mankind:
“Muhammad is not but a messenger. Other messengers have passed on before him…” Surah Al-e-Imran/The Family of Imran 144
“Muhammad is not the father of anyone of your men, but he is the messenger of Allah and last of the Prophets. And ever is Allah, of all things, Knowing”…Surah Al-Ahzaab/The Groups 40
“And those who believe and do righteous deeds and believe in what has been sent down upon Muhammad – and it is the truth from their Lord. He will remove from them their misdeeds and amend their condition”….Surah Muhammad 2
“Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those with him are strong against the disbelievers, compassionate among themselves…” Surah Al-Fatha 29
“And when Jesus, the son of Mary said, “O Children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmed”… Surah As-Saff/The Ranks, The Battle Array 6
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) not only preached but succeeded in establishing a state according to Divine Laws. As he is the seal on prophet-hood, mankind doesn’t have to wait for any more prophets but to turn to him for guidance.
So the name of Muhammad ibn Abadullah (peace be upon him) was selected to be the final Prophet of God. Muhammad literally means “the praised one”. He belonged to the noble family of Quresh tribe who were the descendants of Prophet Ibraheem’s son Prophet Ismaeel/Ishmael (peace be upon him).
His sons died in their infancy though, he is honoured by all believers and they love him more than their fathers.
7) The Criteria for being the best Ummah:
“You are the best of peoples (ummahs), evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors” ….Surah Ale-e-Imran/The Familly of Imran 110
So it is not only Muslims who were guided but there were believers among Christians and Jews. The task given to us is to deliver right and forbid wrong (which in one term can be defined as ‘justice’).
8 ) Ka’abah, the center of Ummah’s Faith and Unity:
“Thus, have We made of you an Ummah justly balanced, that you might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves; and We appointed the Qibla, the which you were used to, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels (From the Faith). Indeed it was (A change) momentous, except to those guided by Allah. And never would Allah Make your faith of no effect. For Allah is to all people Most surely full of kindness, Most Merciful. Surah Al-Baqarah/The Cow 143
The Muslim concept of ummah is not of race, tribe or nation. Ummah in Islamic understanding is the group of people helping each other for one cause and one mission ordained according to the final revelation. That one cause is to establish a system of peace, justice and equality at international level. Ka’abah was made the sign of centralization as it was built by Prophet Ibraheem (peace be upon him), the common leader of three big religions; Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
9) One Ultimate Goal of Ummah or the Purpose of Globilization:
“O you who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well- acquainted with all that you do”…. Surah An-Nisa/The Women 135
One unified message from One Lord to the whole mankind, providing nations with a platform or a center which can be trusted for the deliverance of peace and justice – this is the actual and ultimate task of Muslims which they should have worked upon.
10) Muslim Ummah:
“The Believers are but a single Brotherhood (ummah): So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive Mercy”… Surah Al-Hujraat/The Apartments 10
MUSLIM UMMAH – PEOPLE BY FAITH
Qur’an used the word ‘Ummah’ for community, nation, people, generation by ethnicity or tribes. For Muslims, it is used as to define as people by faith. Faith is more important for Muslims than their race and heritage.
Being the followers of the world’s second largest religion, comprising almost one-fourth of the world population with approximately 1.60 billion individuals, with possessing world’s all natural resources and Pakistan being a nuclear power – instead of being on the leading position, why are Muslims so oppressed?
There was a time when Africa was known as the Muslim continent. Now sixty percent of the Muslim population lives in Asia.
Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Comoros, Djibouti, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Western Sahara and Yemen – these twenty three out of almost sixty Islamic countries have 95-100% Muslim population.
With such a big majority, what are the causes their low literacy rate, corruption and pollution? Why couldn’t they ever establish an Islamic welfare system in their territories? With the Muslims’ ratio of 1:4 to the world, why is the world so terrorized of Muslims – Why one Muslim failed in introducing Qur’an to three non-Muslims (not necessarily disbelievers) around him?
Fourteen hundred years have passed and the fundamentals of Islam are still hidden from the world. What we see as ‘non-Muslims embracing Islam’ is not happening due to Muslim’s character but non-Muslim’s own interest and study of Qur’an.