The small Madinan girls, who were singing in chorus, to welcome the fugitive Muhammad (saws) as he arrived from Makkah, were too young, too innocent. But the Makkans were shrewd, intelligent and bold, but oblivious to the echoes of the mountains encircling them, writes SYED IQBAL ZAHEER.
It was a couple of years ago that a Western new-Muslim remarked: ‘Things are at such a pass now, that anything could happen, triggering a burst of mass acceptance of Islam by the Western people.’
Much before that, Bernard Shaw had predicted, ‘Islam will be acceptable to the Western people, if not in this century, then in the next.’
The triumph of Islam is a given. It has to happen. Even if a date, time or season cannot be predicted about it.
It has taken its own time. So far, it has been gradual. Though some events could be marked and cited. But for the efforts of some adversaries, Islam’s growth would have been faster. Names like Blair, Bush, Kissinger, Cheney, Rumsfeld, William Hague, come quick to the mind who disapproved Islam’s entry into the West. They have had their voices heard in their time. They issued their allegations that, “Islam is a religion of terrorists; it poses danger to civilized life; Muslims are extremists and a threat to mankind,” and so on.
The media, a weapon of their owning, picked up and spread the propaganda far and wide. They scared the common man out of his wits. But false is false. It had to fall.The truth is rising again. It has to prevail, with no concern for the untruth.
Attention to Islam began with the writings of a few new Western Muslim intellectuals: Guenon, Frithjof Schuon, Martin Lings and others. Syed Hussein Nasr, (although of Shi`ee origin), Bennabi, and others were in their aid. But, the common man’s attention to Islam has found its own pathways. One here, another there, and conversion has been trickling.
We hear the conversion of a lad (less than ten): all by himself, on the path of his choice, or of a teenage girl choosing Islam over the club life, and so on. As a powerful slap toTony Blair: his sister-in-law converts to Islam and appears in hijab.
There have been hundreds of them every year from every field of activity – arts, music, administration, politics, academics, sports, journalism, engineering… you name the profession and count names in hundreds. Most of them seem to be well-educated. And, they are not tired, lethargic, ‘right after money’ kind. They are electrified by their new faith, and have been dynamic in their activities. Starting with family members, friends and acquaintances, they have reached far and wide. And they are not admonishing their targets, lecturing them, distributing literature or offering site addresses. Their life and manners are forcing the eyes of the observers to their transformed personalities. There were others in their societies – though not many, but in noticeable numbers – who had converted to faiths other than Islam: Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Shintoism and others. But their conversion does not seem to have impacted their lives and personalities to attract attention.
The conversion to Islam by the boxer, Muhammad Ali, was an eventful occurrence. It was intriguing to the Americans. To abandon the luxurious life and, despite being at the pinnacle of fame and wealth, to adopt a foreign faith was no ordinary event. But, the reasons given out by him, for his own conversion, during a public talk, sent vast number of people to the study of Islam.
How could any Islamic propagandist ever have a chance to introduce Islam to such a large number of people, not merely Americans but peoples world over? (Malcolm X had been a recent phenomenon to be ignored by the media). But Muhammad Ali’s voice was eagerly sought by the public. His speech explaining the reasons of his conversion could not be ignored.
The media was left speechless. And, as the public was less listening to propaganda, yet, the media decided to keep quiet – in this way, it planted the seeds of its own untrustworthiness.
But how long?
Influenced by their own false propaganda, and refusing to pay attention to the sane voices, especially of the apologetic Muslims, the government of USA set up a commission to gather true and dependable information concerning their Muslim population (numbering some four million), who they thought were sleeping cells. The job was given to no less than the FBI.
The agency recruited some 15,000 men and women to secretly spy on the American Muslim. And on suspicion that unlawful elements could escape them, they sought the help of CIA to gather information targeting Muslims outside USA too.
The FBI agents penetrated Muslim societies, their public functions, attending their marriages, birthday parties, social ceremonies, funerals, Friday Sermons, speech-maker’s talks, and Qur’anic study circles. After installing recording devices throughout Muslim-American communities and then surreptitiously listening in on Qur’anic study groups, prayer sessions, da`wah consultation meetings, planning, social events; and even recording telephonic conversations, e-mail exchanges and WhatsApp gossiping. True to their profession, they did a thorough job.
Their conclusions, after fifteen years of data-gathering, were surprising to the law-makers sitting in the Senate to whom their report was presented. It said, as an example:
“… but it wasn’t until we recruited a network of 15,000 informants and infiltrated mosques all over the country that we came to understand just how magnificent and fascinating it truly is,” said FBI director James B. Comey, who noted that agents gained a valuable and eye-opening understanding of Islam—while also learning a lot about themselves and their own faith in the process—after entering the Muslim places of worship to collect as much information as they could on the intriguing personal beliefs of the religion’s followers.”
“After analyzing the transcripts of thousands of phone calls and intercepting the communications of prominent Muslim-American leaders and academics, we’ve really come to admire their vibrant culture.”
Such are the impressions of a highly trained cluster of trackers sniffing every individual for a clue – for a decade and a half. This is a major event in Islam. For the media, it could be another phenomenon to ignore, but for its effects on 15,000 sharp minds, personally exposed to Islam’s greatness, is no small achievement.
Could any Islamic movement have achieved propagation of Islamic beliefs so widely, and so effectively? Could it ever reach the law-makers of the country? Can the efforts of the foreign influencers to keep the minds of the American law-makers as effectively in their control, as they have successively done for the last 70-80 years, remain as powerful?
The FBI report has begun to reverberate. College-going teenage girls, accompanied by a chorus teamed up by peers and teachers, organize a song-session in front of a large audience of the affluent class, eagerly waiting for a new kind of presentation; something that would satisfy the curiosity they had paid for.
What was the song? It was originally the lyric that was sung by the Madinan pure girls, singing in chaste voice, little realizing that it would be the ‘song of the millennium’ – song for the mankind beyond continents, beyond civilizations, races, and cultures. The lyric was sung welcoming a refugee: Muhammad, migrating from Makkah, arriving at Madinah, doused in dirt. The starting welcoming lines said:
The full moon has risen over us,
From the Valley of Wada`
We owe it to show gratefulness,
So long as anyone prays to Allah.
What was the present occasion? We do not know. But for those whose days and nights are filled with romance and flirting, and hearts in dance and music, to be singing out the ancient lyric, kindles in one’s heart love for Muhammad (saws).
If that scene on the screen, happening somewhere in Europe, filled the eyes with unbelief, then how much more so when college students in the globally top-rated Taiwan University singing in chorus in the assembly hall, to the directions of a conductor, swinging her arms up and down, for a music in mild tunes, reverberating, loud, yet in imperial tones, the hall echoing the voices of a few hundred university students with words: “La ilaha illa Allah.” There was nothing else in the assembly of the Taiwani students, lined up in rows, all in their dark suits, beaming white faces, singing out: “La ilahailla Allah,” and nothing else.
They reminded us of the Prophet’s voice in the streets of Makkah: “O People! Say: ‘La ilahailla Allah!’ You will flourish.”
Little did the Madinan girls realize that theirs was a historic moment. They were too young, too innocent. But the Makkans were shrewd, intelligent, and, bold, but oblivious to the echoes of the mountains encircling them.
There used to be a man behind the Prophet – his uncle – yelling: “This is a liar! Don’t listen to him!”
He realized not, not knowing that it was an historic hour. History has known the yeller not. But the Taiwani Univerity’s elite class has picked up the echoes circling the globe for 1400 years, waiting for ears.
Does it gesture today’s reader to ask: “Are we witnessing an historic hour, emerging at the horizon?”