Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Islamic Caliphate in a Small Room in London | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

A famous preacher told me that he heard a speaker giving a Friday sermon in a small room in London and calling for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate. The preacher told me: I laughed at the sight, which was actually tragi-comical: A person with little learning, far from his people and society, speaking in a rented room, unable to build a mosque, staying in the country on a temporary residence permit, calling for the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate, which Islamic countries, organizations, and groups have failed to establish. I do not know what stupidity got hold of this speaker to make him commit this offense against himself and his reality and indulge in delusions. He would do better to seek greater learning so that he would pray to God with more understanding and say things that benefit his listeners like having true faith and fine morals. Before advocating the establishment of an Islamic caliphate, he should make sure that he can honestly earn the rent of the room where he speaks. He should also bring his residence in the country where he is staying or to where he fled in compliance with the law. Perhaps he went there to flee his poverty or hunger. After that he should improve the image of Islam, which is distorted among many non-Muslims. He can do this by friendly talk, a smile expressing friendliness, sound behavior, and wise actions.

The Islamic caliphate is not an issue on which to exercise one-upmanship or from which to profit. With or without a caliphate, the Muslims are commanded to believe in the One God and follow His messenger, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, be united and in solidarity, show mercy to others and reform themselves and their society. We worship God and promote His cause by friendly counsel before we even call for an Islamic caliphate or an Awaited Al-Mahdi. Leading the people towards the unknown, however, and driving them into a dark, endless tunnel is the custom of frauds and quacks. Do you not find it strange for a young man who requests political asylum in Britain and who has no money, no job, no home, and no residence permit, alone and destitute, to stand up in a room and call for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate, forgetting that the entire Muslim nation of 1.5 billion people from Jakarta to Nouakchott failed to agree on one resolution pertaining to Iraq, Palestine, or Afghanistan? This brother would like to unite the nation in a room, in a building, in one of London’s neighborhoods. Madness takes many forms. This nation’s representatives should be reasonable, sober, and wise. They should be mature, knowledgeable, and hardworking. People of ignorance, recklessness, and stupidity should rather seek to study and focus on their everyday affairs. The cabinetmaker should make cabinets, the baker should make bread, and the tiller should till the land. They will be thanked for their work because they have done their duty, but for everyone who has learned one hadith or an anecdote to go into the pulpit or appear on television preaching to the people is ridiculous and a distortion of religion.

Remember that learning and knowledge require many years of hard labor and long sleepless nights of study. No one acquires knowledge before his hair turns white and his body is wracked with fatigue. I urge young Muslim men to have the fear of God in their hearts in their vocation, religion, and nation and to stop manipulating religious terms and ideas. Let them not turn our religion into a joke for the haters to use against us.

Islam is a divine religion that was revealed to people of sound minds. It respects intelligence, purifies the conscience, clears the spirit, reforms society, spreads knowledge, and erects edifices of virtue, justice, peace, and brotherhood in the world.