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  Ascendency of Islam  

Muslims number more than one billion today. If you go around the world to study the minds of Muslims inhabiting various regions you will probably come to the conclusion that Muslims all over the world share the feeling that history of Islam reached an impasse. In spite of enormous sacrifices no way out seems to be in sight.

It is our firm belief that Islam offers guidance at all times and in all situations. Therefore it must certainly be able to offer us a clear guidance as regards the present state of affairs too. I must say that it does exist in a very clear form. The history of Islam provides us with two very clear examples of bringing into play the da’wah power of Islam.

The first guiding example recorded in the early period of Islamic history is that of Sulh-e-Hudaibiya or Peace Treaty of Hudaibiya. As we all know the Prophet of Islam was compelled to migrate from Makka to Madina. Majority of Muslims followed him and consequently Madina became the center of Muslims. However, the events took a more serious turn later on. The opponents of Islam started armed onslaughts against the Muslims. Yet after several full scale wars and many minor armed conflicts the balance failed to tip to any one side. Apparently the history of Islam reached an impasse.

At this critical juncture, according to the Qur’an, the Prophet of Islam was shown the straight path in this matter (48:3-4). This straight path was to create atmosphere conductive to peaceful da’wah work by ceasing armed conflicts altogether. Accordingly, in the nineteenth year of his prophethood, the Prophet entered into a peace treaty with his Arab opponents. This step put an end to the state of war.

In history this event is referred to as Sulh-e-Hudaibiya. This peace treaty changed the field of encounter between Islam and its rivals from the battlefield to da’wah field. This peaceful activism brought incredibly revolutionary results.

The power of peace proved itself far superior to the power of war. This treaty made a widespread interaction in normal atmosphere between Muslims and the opposing groups possible. In this way it cleared the path for direct propagation of Islam. The opponents came to accept Islam in great numbers. Ultimately the numerical power alone sufficed to claim the victory for Islam.
According to Imam al Zuhari, Sulh-e-Hudaybiya was the greatest victory in the history of Islam. Prior to this whenever Muslims and their rivals encounterd each other a fight ensued. But after the reconciliation, the state of war ended and peace prevailed. Now they began meeting one another in normal tension-free atmosphere. This interaction naturally led to an exchange of ideas. When someone heard anything about Islam and found it appealing, he would accept it without fail and enter the fold of Islam. That is why after a mere two years after Sulh-e-Hudaibiya such large number of people accepted Islam as never before (Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, vol. 4, p.170). This great increase in terms of numbers resulted in making Islam a religion of majority of population of Arabia and greatly facilitated its dominance throughout the land.

The second well-known example of the caravan of Islam having reached an impasse concerns the events of the first half of the thirteenth century coinciding with the emergence of the brutal force of the Tatars. They were able to destroy the Muslim power almost completely. It seemed as though the journey of Islam has once again reached an impasse, finding no way out for its further advancement.

At exactly this point in time the ideological power of Islam made its appearance. Muslims being in no position to take up arms to encounter the Tartars, diverted their energy to another field of action by quietly engaging themselves in peaceful da’wah work among the victorious Tartars. This act of da’wah verified the dictum of the Qur’an that through da’wah the opponents of Islam will become its supporters and friends (41:34).

The historians have acknowledged this event in quite clear terms. For instance, Philip K. Hitti, in his famous book The History of the Arabs, remarks: “The religion of the Muslims had conquered where their arms had failed.” (p. 488)

Now, in the twenty first century the history of Islam has once again reached an apparent impasse. Our enormous amount of sacrifices has yet to succeed in taking the caravan of Islam forward.

According to Imam Malik the state of affairs of Muslim Ummah will be reformed by following the same course of action that were followed by the Muslims of the first phase of Islam to rectify the matters. In the light of this remark it can be safely said that we must once again opt for this tested method of the past. We must take such steps that would lead to ending of hostility prevailing between Muslims and non-Muslims. This would result in peaceful interaction between Muslims and non-Muslims under normal circumstances. Hudaibiya symbolizes the greatness of the power of peace as compared with the power of war. Today once again we need to follow this very course of action.

As soon as this happens, the ascendency of Islam will be displayed in its full force, which without any doubt is eternally invincible. Afterwards, the virtues of Islam will start reaching people automatically through normal exchange and interaction. Then it will also be possible to perform da’wah work properly. Influenced by their own true nature people will start joining the ranks of Islam. And without doubt the greatest strength of any group consists of its manpower.

Muslims can be weakened and subjugated at any point of time. But Islam is and will forever remain an ideological superpower. It has the ability to conquer the greatest power on earth through da’wah. It is the need of the hour to produce on a universal scale conditions conducive to it. It is necessary to bring into play the ideological power of Islam in order that da’wah work may be set in motion in the full sense of the word. And then certainly Islam will emerge as the dominant and conquering force, and the Muslims of the world too will receive their place of honor and glory along with Islam.

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