Restricting militarization and the enemy occupation
The massive militarization of Islam’s enemies and restricting militarization of the Muslims are the old two-prong enemy strategy that the Muslims are facing for centuries. Because of such a strategy, nobody puts an embargo on Israel for its secret piling up of nukes. But Iraq was occupied and its cities were bombed to rubbles on the false accusation of making weapons of mass destruction. And Iran faces an embargo although stays far away from any nuclear possession. For the same reason, the USA refused to give high tech missile defence system and the latest model of fighter jets to Turkey.
Since the colonial takeover of the Muslim World, the implementation of such a strategy got highly intensified. The colonial occupiers could carry a sophisticated weapon but the native Muslims were punished for carrying even a knife. The current worldwide dominance of the western imperialists owes to the high operational success of this strategy. The enemy occupation has its various facets: mostly operates in the form of military, economic, cultural, ideological and political occupation. The enemies are of two categories: the homegrown and the alien. In fact, de-Islamisation, demilitarisation, demotivation and de-empowerment of the Muslims started much earlier than the European colonial occupation. These were firstly initiated by the home-grown evil despots. They did it to keep the monopoly of power in their own hand and to keep the people in a state of perpetual submission. In fact, the enemies of Islam –whether native or alien, take the same strategy to sustain their occupation.
The process of de-empowerment of the ummah indeed started with the monopolisation of war by the home-grown enemies of Islam. Such a project made the common Muslims totally incapable to play their own role as the soldiers of Islam. They were made not only silent observers of the despots’ war of occupation but also forced to finance their own enslavement by paying high tolls to the ruler. During the rule of the tyrannical Muslim despots, defending the Muslim countries was made hostage to their own whims. Such issues enjoyed little priority or importance in their policy. The demilitarisation of the Muslims by such despotic rulers was so total that while Bengal –the richest state in the contemporary world, was invaded by the private army of the East India Company, no arm or ammunition was found in the hand of the common Bengali Muslims to defend their country. Whereas, defending a country against the kuffar invasion is not mere patriotism, is indeed the expression of his true faith. It is a religious obligation on every believing man.
A wolf never preys on another wolf; rather looks for a lone weaker target. The foreign enemies too hunt for the rich Muslim countries with the most demilitarised cum demotivated people. In the past, the divisive and de-militarisation policy of the native despots always allured the foreign enemies to invade the Muslim lands; and made it much easier for them to take over. This is why Bengal becomes the first target of colonisation by the British in the whole Muslim World. In her most conducive milieu for the enemies, the collusion of the power-hungry Army Chief with the invading British proved catastrophic. It paved the way to end the Muslim rule not only in Bengal but also in the whole of India. The same strategy worked for the enemies in other parts of the Muslim World.
The Islamic obligation and the failure
In the golden days of Islam, the defence of a Muslim state has never been an exclusive domain of the rulers and their cronies. It used to be the binding obligation on everyone. It used to be considered the most crucial issue for every Muslim citizen. According to the Holy Qur’an, any kuffar aggression against a Muslim land makes jihad obligatory on every believer on the first day of the aggression. But, how a Muslim can discharge such an obligatory role if he is disarmed by the ruler? It is indeed the ugliest crime that despotic Muslim rulers could commit against Islam and the ummah. The practise still continues. The tyranny of autocratic rule is disappearing from most parts of the non-Muslim world, but it is thriving in the Muslim world. They have turned the whole Muslim World into a conglomerate of prisons cells for its own citizens. The people in prison cells can’t defend themselves -even if killed or tortured. Nor do they get help from the inmates of other cells. The same is true for the Muslim World. Hence, when the people of Gaza are bombed by the Israeli jets, even the injured people can’t get access to neighbouring Egypt and the Egyptians don’t come to their help either. Thus, they are made hostage in their own land by their own rulers. Because of such a hostage state, whenever the imperialists invaded a Muslim land, its people couldn’t play any defensive role. They could only stare at the heavily armed invaders with silent awe.
The only exception and the glory
Amidst tides of surrenders, only the Afghan Muslims could stand as the exception. For that, there exists a noteworthy reason. They were the only people on the earth who were not de-weaponised and de-empowered by their rulers. The per capita weapons in Afghanistan still stand the highest in the whole world. Hence, they could rightly fulfil the religious obligation in defending Islam and their country. This is why, the poor Afghans could show the most spectacular miracles by defeating three contemporary World Powers like the British, the Russian and the Americans while these powers were in their peak of military might. No country in the whole human history could show such valour successfully against three great World Powers.
History has repeatedly proven that staying armed with all necessary weapons is the best deterrence against the enemy offence. Keeping such readiness is indeed a Qur’anic obligation. In this regard, Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala reveals His binding decree: “And make ready against them all that you can procure of the power, including horses of war (in modern days these must be nuclear weapons, tanks, warplanes, drones, missiles, ballistic missiles, heavy artillery, etc.) to instil fear in the heart of the enemy of Allah and your own enemies and others besides whom, you may not know but Allah does know.” –(Sura Anfal, verse 60). Such a Qur’anic decree makes it an obligation on every Muslim ruler not only to equip the citizens with the necessary weapons and training but also to mobilise them to the war field so that they can exercise their own obligatory role against any enemy invader. But that is not happening in the Muslim World. Because the usurpers of the Muslim countries have their own agenda that conflicts with the agenda of Allah Subhana wa Ta’la. Since mass militarisation makes their own illegal occupation unsustainable, the enemies –both the home-grown and the foreign, never wish that weapons should fall into the hands of the common people. As if, the common Muslims have no right, duty or obligation to engage in the defence of their own country! This is why after the occupation of Afghanistan, it was the prime strategy of the USA to disarm the Afghan people as a whole. However, it failed.
The enemy monopolisation of war and weapons
In order to give sustenance to occupation and exploitation, the monopolisation of war and weapons by the imperialists and de-empowerment of the Muslims have always been the key strategies since day one of the occupations of any Muslim land. The British colonialists raised more than five hundred princely states in India, but the rulers of these so-called states were not allowed to have an effective army or frame any war strategy. They were used only as a tool to collect revenues, to keep the people de-empowered, and to protect the British monopoly of British goods. The rulers of these vassal states could stay in power only because of their full submission to the colonial hegemony. Now, the direct colonial rule has ended. But the same policy of monopolisation of war by the despots and the de-empowerment of people still continues. They are ready only to give vassalage status to the so-called newly independent states. So these states like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman had to allow US military bases on their soil and also support the US military campaign. Once Pakistan had to give the same opportunity to the USA.
Moreover, more have been added to the strategic depth of the enemies’ war. Serving the military objectives of the US-led global coalition is not the only imposed obligation, it is also needed to keep the Qur’anic principle away from the affairs of politics, governance, education, culture and judiciary. So, no Muslim country is allowed to introduce sharia law. Like the Indian princely states of the British era, the imperialists created and protect 22 states in the Middle East and 57 Muslim states globally. The matter of defence policy, war policy, warfare and raising or dismantling political boundaries still remain in the hands of the imperialists. The presence of a US-led coalition in Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen, and Mali is only to strengthen imperialists’ hegemony in the Muslim World.
The crime and the calamity
Defending the frontiers of a Muslim country is no one’s monopoly. Nor is it the exclusive domain of a despot and his pet army. It is also crucial that the command of the Muslims’ defence force must not stay in the hands of the non-Muslims at any point in time –contrary to the norm under the European occupation. It must stay as an all-time exclusive domain of the Muslims –as was the rule during the golden days of Islam. Most importantly, it is the religious obligation, as well as the solemn right of every believer. Moreover, fighting in the way of Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la is not a salaried job, rather the highest ibadah in Islam. It is indeed the part of the holy transaction that a believer needs to make with his Almighty Lord –as declared in verse 111 in sura Taubah. As per the transaction, a believer sells his life and wealth to Allah Subhana wa Ta’la in exchange of a place in paradise. And he needs to spend the purchased assets of His Lord that are kept under his custody only in His prescribed way. Fighting in His way is indeed a part of that deal.
As per prophetic narration, spending a moment on the frontier as a defender of the Islamic state is more rewarding than standing the whole night in prayer. And, jihad -the greatest ibadah, does not take place in a mosque or on a prayer mat. It happens only when one stands face to face against the enemies in a combat zone. A man can’t be a prophet anymore. But he can attain the status of a highly esteemed shahid and can stay very near to the prophets in paradise by taking part in jihad. This is why most of the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) took that highly honourable route. Hence, during the golden days of Islam, there was no need for any professional army or any cantonment. Instead, the whole ummah worked as a solidified army and every Muslim was a soldier. And, the whole land of Muslim ummah grew up as a cantonment. The downfall of the Muslim indeed started at a time when such tradition of the early Muslims was forgotten or ignored and the ummah stood de-militarised. It is indeed the ugliest crime of the autocrats that brought the worst calamity to the ummah.
The fundamental right cum duty of a believer for defending his faith and country is usurped not only by the non-Muslim imperialist occupiers but also by the so-called Muslim despots. A believer is thus prevented coercively from fulfilling his obligatory duty to fight against the established enemies. This way he is prevented from taking part in jihad. It is indeed one of the most catastrophic consequences of occupation by the external or internal enemies of Islam. Thus a coercive prohibition is imposed on the promised route to paradise. Jihadi spirit and war skills of the common people are perceived as a serious threat to their evil rule. In order to condemn such an original Islamic spirit, they even put a tag of terrorism on it. Whereas, the most terrorising forces in the whole Muslim World are not the Islamists; they are the armies of the tyrannical despots and the imperialists. The main concern of the despots of the Muslim countries is not to defend Islam or independence, but to give sustenance to their own rule. They allow people to grow up only as submissive cowards, and not as death-defying fighters with the Islamic spirit. This way, the brave people are deliberately kept out of the country’s security or military corridors. This is why the foreign invaders found it very easy to conquer the countries ruled by the most brutal dictators. The army of such despots show their skills only in quick surrender to the enemies or fleeing from the war fronts. The Arab despots’ wars in 1948, 1967 and 1973 against Israel give ample testimony to that.
For an autocratic ruler, war means a battle between two contestant ruling cliques and their pet armies. The common people are kept away from the scene. So, the history books hardly make any mention of the common people. The story of kings, amirs, shahs, sheikhs, presidents and other despots occupies the most part of it. Only the palaces of these despots could show their existence, and the dwellings of the common people of the past show no traces of their presence in the history books. In fact, apart from bearing the financial burden of the extravagant corrupt despots, the common citizens are given no political role and responsibility vis-à-vis governance and defence of any Muslim country. Hence, the common people are seldom equipped to do anything else in any war. Whereas, jihad against any kuffar occupation is a Qur’anic obligation on every believer. But, such teaching of Islam stand deeply hidden in the Muslim World. Even the imams of mosques and the teachers of the religious schools seldom mention such Qur’an prescriptions. The ruling despots frame laws, install courts and set vile media to sanitise their oppression -even the genocidal massacres and to vilify the opposition. They deploy a huge team of police, prosecution and pet judges only to punish those who stand against their rule.
The roadmap of failures
The autocratic despots have caused awful other calamities too. It has turned all the value-adding institutions for the common men and women highly dysfunctional, non-functional or corruptive. Hence, the life-changing social engineering institutions like schools, colleges and universities, mosques, madrasah, police academies, civil and military staff colleges are doing more damages to the ummah than any good. Instead of promoting an enabling environment for the people, they are generating a culture of de-motivation, de-moralisation and de-empowerment. As a result, the social capital stands very low in almost all of the Muslim countries. The military defeats, the endemic Army coups, the internal strife and other political calamities indeed owe to the failures of these institutions. This is why despite trillions of dollars of unearned money from petroleum, gas, and other resources, the Arab Muslims stay the most powerless and defenceless people on the earth. The despotic rulers in the Muslim world survive only because of the powerlessness of the common people. If these autocrats were put as ruler in any of the western countries, they would have been beheaded or dethroned instantly by the empowered native people –as happened to many of their kings in the past. But, these despots receive constant protection from the western imperialists. Because these tyrants have proved their worth by keeping the Muslims confined in their heavily protected prison cells called states. In absence of such servile rulers, the exploitative interest of the western imperialists would have been in great peril. This is why the western powers keep so strong ties with brutal autocrats like President Abdul Fatah Sisi of Egypt and Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.
Moreover, the monopolisation of war in the hand of a power-grabbing army also has its own catastrophic consequence. If the army betrays or collapse, there existed no second line of defence against the enemies. In Muslim history, the failure of these so-called professional armies is huge. They caused awful disasters even in recent years. The secular Army has the minimal appetite to fight any war to the end. In the wars of 1948, 1967 and 1973 against Israel, the coalition of Arab Armies were badly defeated by the tiny Israeli Army. The whole Sinai Valley, the West Bank and the Golan Heights were quickly lost to Israel. Whereas, few thousand Hamas fighters could resist the Israeli advance under continuous air attacks in Gaza for about 50 days. The coalition of Arab Armies couldn’t withstand that even for a week. In 1971, the Pakistan Army had the same disgraceful failure in East Pakistan. India did much less bombing in Dhaka and other parts of East Pakistan than the Israeli bombing in Gaza or the US bombing on Mosul. Mosul didn’t fall in 9 months, but Pakistan Army with its 45 thousand soldiers surrendered to the infidel Indian army in less than 3 weeks. These so-called professional armies could show their skills only in conquering their own countries. In Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt and many other Muslim countries, they could do that many times. The army could also grab a huge number of residential areas for its officers in major cities.
The continuing de-empowerment of the people and the worsening calamity
Muslim history reveals some amazing and enlightening truths. All the great victories of the early Muslims against the world powers like the Roman and the Persian Empires were not the works of so-called professional armies raised in barracks or cantonments. Such spectacular victories in the whole human history indeed owe to the death-defying common Muslims. Those who defeated the British Army twice on Afghan soil were not any professional army either, they were the Afghan common Muslims. In the last few decades, the two world powers like the USSR and the USA were also defeated in the Afghan soils by the same common people. The USA was also defeated in Vietnam by the same type of volunteer fighters.
On the contrary, the defeat of the professional Bengal Army against the tiny private army of the British East India Company sets an example of how they are useless to serve any Muslim cause. The Army of Nawab Sirajuddaulah –the last Muslim ruler of Bengal, had 50 thousand soldiers, 40 canons and 10 war-elephants on the battlefield of Palashy. Whereas the East India Company had only three thousand soldiers under the command of Col. Robert Clive. But the Nawab lost the war before it started. The betrayal of Mir Zafar –the Commander of the Muslim Army caused the catastrophe.
While an army is raised out of the people with no commitment to Islam, such disastrous failures are natural. Such army professionals quickly change the paymaster if receive a bigger promise. Due to such betrayal in 1757, the Nawab’s Army in Bengal didn’t fight any real war against the British. Not a single shot was fired from any canon. Thus, the British East India Company got an easy victory over a huge area of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa; and the fleeing Nawab was captured and killed. And the common Muslims were kept disarmed and demotivated to play their role in that critical juncture. It was one of the fateful days not only for the Bengali Muslims but also for the Indian Muslims as a whole. The disastrous consequence of the Muslim ummah at the hands of the British indeed started from there. When the common people are de-empowered and kept out of the fateful scene, such terrible consequence is not unusual. Awfully, the process of de-empowerment and demilitarisation continues. As a result, the calamity in the Muslim ummah doesn’t show any sign of dissolution, rather gets worse. 06.04.2019; 2nd edition 19.06.2021
Disclaimer: Restriction on militarization of Muslims and massive militarization of the enemies by Dr Firoz Mahboob Kamal - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view