Friday Focus: Shaping of an Ummah

…faith is the binding force

Dr. Javid Iqbal
Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 14 2017 10:26PM | Updated Date: Dec 14 2017 10:26PM

In shaping of an Ummah, there are divine guidelines laid down in Holy Quran:

‘’We have made you a moderate Ummah so that you may testify against mankind and your own Rasool may testify against you’’ (2:143) 

Ummah may not be taken to be a nation as defined in terminology of modern times. On historical evidence nations more often than not get into conflict, while pursuing national aims. The aim of an Ummah as defined in Holy Quran is pursuit of global peace. 

Islam is a collective affair rather than an individual objective.  In vernacular following a ritual could be construed as abiding by ‘Madhab/Muzhab’ while pursuit of a collective goal is following ‘Deen’. ‘Deen’ is an organized affair, where individuals combine for collective well-being. Faith is the binding force in shaping an Ummah. 

The Holy Verse makes out that Muslims may not be taken as individuals but an Ummah. The Ummah shapes up not for pursuing what is defined as national agenda, but for maintaining equipoise from other groups of people, so as to promote global peace. The Ummah is meant to work for collective well-being of humanity. 

For testifying against mankind, moderation has to be the goal. Extremism of any sort is ruled out, lest it breeds conflict. While the Ummah may testify against mankind, translated it means bear witness, it was ordained that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) may testify against you (bear witness to your acts) the acts of promoting understanding between groups of people combining to shape as Ummah.  This could be done by holding fast to the rope of Allah:

‘’All together hold fast to the rope of Allah’’ (3:102) 

The rope of Allah binds the people abiding by divine decrees in the conduct of human relationship.