By Engr. Altaf Awan:
Geographically, there is a nation inhabiting the central area of the globe with a population of nearly two billion. Historically, for a period of one and a half millennium, they controlled the trade routes on land and at sea. They are the Muslims – a people possessing all the ingredients of a nation.
Muslims are governed by unity. This reflects in how all Muslims face towards a physical center on earth (Qibla) five times a day. When they visit this place and circumambulate around it, there is a striking similarity to the electrons revolving around the nucleus and planets around stars.
At the core of a Muslim’s heart is the belief that there is only one Creator and we all have to follow Him alone. This manifests when they physically bow to Him and declare that He is the Greatest (Allah o Akbar) at every movement in the prayer. This concept has empowered Muslims not to acknowledge the greatness of any other power on earth or beyond. No doubt, the believers are the strongest persons on Earth.
All the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Muslims are defined clearly in the Quran and the practice of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). The Quran teaches us to hold to the Rope of Allah and do not divide (3:102). Any physical, linguistic and ethnic boundaries are neither accepted by Islam nor by the human conscience.
The very principles followed by Muslims entail love and respect for their fellow Muslims. Deep within, they have always longed to be united.
Global peace has a direct relation to Muslims. The world witnessed two world wars in the 20th century and the Muslims got divided into 57 States. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) described the entire Muslim Ummah as one living body and the Muslims as its organs. They are connected together by the bond of love, kindness and mercy. If one body part gets hurt, the entire body boils in pain and fever.
Today, the similitude of the Muslim Ummah is of 57 persons praying in a Masjid in different directions without a leader (Imam). This is because we are being exploited and bombarded with false information targeted to develop hatred amongst ourselves as Muslims.
Be reminded of the Colonial Era, when the majority of Muslim states were colonized and struggling for independence. One by one, we got our independence. Then we started praying for wealth. Today, we are blessed with best resources in the world, including human potential, petroleum and agriculture.
With the present crisis in Palestine, we as the Muslim Ummah are being tested once again. This is the time to emerge as a strong united nation in order to defend the first Qibla of Islam and our Muslim brothers and sisters in Gaza. Under the umbrella of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), we need to get united to ensure world peace.