Life without the Head of Our Family...

Life without the Head of Our Family…….

Every family at some point in their lives will have a person who leads it indeed my father, Haji Zomir Uddin (May Allah [swt] forgive him) was that figurehead until he passed away in 2007, he was the head of my family in more ways than one. He looked after the interests of my family, he was very decisive and once he made a decision that was the end of the matter as we were all loyal and trusted his judgement. Often other family members went to him with their problems and grievances. My father spent his time and money ensuring that all of us were living comfortably; he spent many a night worrying and contemplating about the welfare and future of his family. He nurtured and cultured everyone, preparing and instilling in us the capability to go out into the real world. My father guided those who stepped out of line, rallied the family in moments of crisis and he protected the family against harm or evil intent of others. I'm sure this story strikes a chord with many who read it, for some it will remind them of their family and for others it may even resemble the role they play on a day to day basis.

Although being the head of the family entails many responsibilities, the main aim of the role is to ensure the vitality of the family unit someone must be there to make the final decisions allowing the family to function. If a family has no head then the implications can be disastrous; if there is no head then everyone will do what they want, many conflicts and arguments will arise, the weak family members will be oppressed by the strong family members, everyone will look after their own interests, in such a case it is only a matter of time before the family fragments and breaks apart. One does not have to go far to see such consequences, liberal excesses have led to what we now know as 'Broken Britain'. If we look to the society we live in we see that single parent families have become the norm, the lack of authority and direction in the lives of many youths has led them astray. The result: a high rate of teenage pregnancies, anti-social behaviour and an ever increasing crime rate.

Many of you might be pondering how this discussion is linked to Islam and Muslims.  The prophet (saw) reminds us in a Hadith:

Ibn 'Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace stated:

"All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of the people of his house and he is responsible. A woman is the shepherd of the house of her husband and she is responsible. Each of you is a shepherd and each is responsible for his flock."

In a bid to achieve family stability Islam elucidated clearly the roles of men and women in this context. If the lack of a leading figure in the context of a family has disastrous consequences one can only imagine the fate of a nation which also lacks a sincere figurehead. Islam also addressed this problem by highlighting that the Muslims are one ummah who are to be ruled by the Sharia under one ruler. This one ruler or Khalif was an essential Islamic institution which began after the death of the Prophet (saw) and continued for many centuries being led by some of the greatest personalities ever known in history.   

On Wednesday 3rd March 2010 it will be 86 years since the abolishment of the Khilafah.  Since the 3rd of March 1924 this noble Ummah has been without its head. In these 86 years we have seen our lands carved up literally with a pencil and ruler, we have seen our lands attacked and invaded, we have seen the implementation of kufr in our societies, we have witnessed the killing of millions, we have seen our ummah - young and old - die because they cannot meet their basic needs, we have seen tyrant and despotic rulers oppress us, we have seen these rulers selling and profiteering from our resources. Even at home we see our core Islamic values being ridiculed regularly. In the absence of one ruler leading us with an Islamic political system it should not be of any surprise that our lands have fragmented and our ummah subjected to one tragedy after another.

The role of the Caliph is to look after the affairs of Ummah.  Ibn Taymiyah in his book "Economic Concepts" wrote:

"It should be noted that the existence of the Khilafah to regulate the affairs of all the peoples is the most vital requirement of the Deen.  To be honest, the Deen cannot be established without it.  The health and prosperity of the sons of Adam cannot be accomplished without a well organised society because they are dependent on one another; indeed for such a society a ruler is indispensable."

The Caliph is there to unite us, protect us, implement the laws of Allah (swt), resolve our disputes, look after the interests of the Ummah and propagate the call of Islam. It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn 'Umar that the Holy Prophet (May be upon him) said:

"Beware every one of you is a shepherd and every one is answerable with regard to his flock. The Caliph is a shepherd over the people and shall be questioned about his subjects (as to how he conducted their affairs). A man is a guardian over the members of his family and shall be questioned about them (as to how he looked after their physical and moral well-being). A woman is a guardian over the household of her husband and his children and shall be questioned about them (as to how she managed the household and brought up the children). A slave is a guardian over the property of his master and shall be questioned about it (as to how he safeguarded his trust). Beware, every one of you is a guardian and every one of you shall be questioned with regard to his trust."

However nothing will be achieved by just commemorating the date on which the Khilafah was abolished and lamenting its loss. We should work tirelessly night and day to bring the head of our ummah back, we should study our deen and our glorious past, and we should propagate the idea of Khilafah to everyone we meet. Surely after years of witnessing false dawns the imminent return of the Khilafah - as prophesised by our Nabi (saw) - will bring an end to the turbulence experienced by this ummah.  I end with the words of Sultan Abdul Hamid moments before he was deposed as Caliph:

"Midnight had struck by the time the carriages were loaded and a white-faced, tottering old man stood for the last time on the threshold of the palace where he ruled an Empire for 33 years, with a heavy heart this Caliph knew he be one of the last to ever hold this position, he knew deep down what tragedy and evil will befall this Ummah without its head, he knew there was nothing he could do.  Like a father who gets up in the night to cover his children with the duvet to protect them from the cold, this old man knew this Ummah will have no one in the day or night to cover them or protect them"

Sultan Abdul Hamid ruled for 33 years and was one of the last Caliphs that led the ummah.

May Allah (swt) enable us to witness the day when the Khilafah will resume once again, may Allah (swt) be a witness to those who sacrificed in his path to restore the deen and may He (swt) elevate them on the day of reckoning.