Muslims across the globe are cursing America and its allied Western powers for the humiliation the Taliban and al-Qaeda men went through in Afghanistan recently. According to another popular Muslim explanation of the recent events, it has been primarily because of the dirty game played by some Muslim rulers who sided with the Western powers that ultimately caused the defeat of the Taliban-Qaeda Alliance. The truth of the matter is that God Almighty doesn't normally allow humiliation to befall on a group of people who are dear to Him in the way the fundamentalist Muslims have been demolished in Afghanistan recently. Indeed at the level of individuals, calamities can befall upon even the most pious humans by way of trials, but the Almighty's treatment of nations is based on a different set of principles.
The Qur'an informs us that God Almighty treated the Jews, His chosen people at the time when the stated treatment was meted out to them, in the following way:
And We had clearly conveyed to the Children of Israel in the Book: 'You will surely do great mischief in the land twice, and you will surely become excessively overbearing'. So when the time for the fulfillment of the first of the two warnings came, We sent against you some servants of Ours, possessed of great might in war, and they penetrated into your houses and it was a warning that was bound to be fulfilled. Then We gave you back the power against them and aided you with wealth and children and also made you larger in numbers than before ... So when the time for the fulfillment of the latter warning came, We raised a people against you that they might cover your faces with grief, and that they enter the Mosque, as they entered it the first time, and they might destroy utterly all that they conquered. (17:4-7)
This passage brings forth the following facts:
1) God Almighty's help is not necessarily meant always for those who claim to be the believers in His message.
2) If the nation that has been entrusted with God's message is guilty of creating 'great mischief in the land', they can also be punished by the Almighty through the might of their enemies, who have been described in the aforementioned passage thus: 'We sent against you some servants of Ours, possessed of great might in war'. That doesn't necessarily imply that the ones who were sent were necessarily the bearers of the truth, but what it definitely suggests is that they were allowed by the Almighty to unleash their might against the believing Israelites to punish them for their crimes.
Based on the above understanding, I want to bring home the following two points:
1) Muslims should lose no time in getting involved in the exercise of serious soul-searching to identify their misdeeds which invited the Almighty's wrath to visit them through the military might of others, and 2) Instead of blaming others who inflicted that humiliation on them, they should address the problems of their attitude that may have been the cause of it.
My understanding in no way is meant to condone the recent American policy on Afghanistan. I strongly believe that America reacted to terrorist attacks of September 11 in a manner that was far beyond the acceptable limits. That is, however, a completely different area of discussion which has already received enough attention from Muslims and non-Muslims alike. I have no influence on the Americans nor is it my immediate obligation to teach them lessons on morality. My endeavour for the present is to make an attempt to force Muslims into introspection to find their own faults, instead of raising accusing fingers towards others. What I understand from the passage translated above is that had there been no America, there would have been some other power around to play the role of those 'possessed of great might in war' to take care of God's decision of punishing those who deserved His punishment.
In my opinion the following are some of the more serious issues which need immediate reviewing by the Muslims:
1) Are the non-Muslims of today the Kuffar which the Qur'an speaks of, as believed by a large number of Muslims, who deserve to be condemned, subjugated, and even killed or are they the ones who deserve the best of our attitude to enable them learn from us the message of the Almighty that is meant for them as well?
2) Can Jihad be undertaken by any Muslim group howsoever small it is to avenge ill-treatment of Muslims that could have been tackled more effectively through political and diplomatic efforts?
3) Is realizing the dream of an Islamic State an ideal for which Muslims are allowed to wage Jihad which inevitably results in killing people or are there other ways of achieving the task as well?
4) Was the Taliban Government a nearly ideal form of Islamic State or was it an extremely poor advertisement of what Islam stands for?
The list is not exhaustive, but perhaps a useful starting point to initiate a debate to find out what has gone wrong with present-day Muslims. Many people still believe that although the Taliban were the best of the Muslims, perhaps a shade less than the Companions of the Prophet (sws) in their approach towards Islam, it was the circumstances deliberately created by the foes of Islam that prevented them from spreading the virtues of their rule to other parts of the world. I have shown through the above-quoted Qur'anic passage that the reality doesn't seem to be anywhere close to that perception. Had the Taliban been Islamically correct in their approach and had they taken the right steps, the All-Powerful God wouldn't have allowed the Americans and others to humiliate them the way they did. In just condemning the Americans for the ignominy we went through, we are refusing to face the true reality: God Almighty is annoyed with us. Let's find out why.