What service is required the most by the Ummah?
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Sometimes we complain about our times, that we are living in the worst times -- the Ummah is weak, the Ummah is defeated and disunited, we wish we were living in the time of the Sahabah (radiyallahu `anhum) or times of the heroic Islamic eras.
Second Reason: We shouldn`t complain about our time; instead we should be grateful to Allah `Azza wa Jall that we are living in these days. Why? If you look at the status of the Sahabah, it is the highest status among the Muslim Ummah; they are the highest, the best and the greatest. And then the Tabi`een and then those who came after them11. How come the Sahabah were the best?
Some of the reasons include that the Sahaba built Islam from scratch; the Sahabah came and there was nothing so they established the foundation of the Deen whereas anyone else who came after them, the building was already there and they came and added pieces to that foundation here and there; and if there were any broken pieces, like bid`ah12, they would fix it. But the foundation was already laid down by the Sahaba. And this is what made them the best generation because their job was the most difficult job. It is important for us to realise what is the demand of our times so that we fulfil it because the things that at-Tabi`een emphasized on for example may be different from the things that the Taba Tabi`een emphasized on.
To make this point clear: if Al-Bukhari (rahimahullah) came one hundred years later and did the same thing, he would not have the same status that he has among us now. If Imam ash-Shafi`i (rahimahullah) came one hundred years later and did the same thing, he would not have the same status that he has among us now. Why? Because the needs were different from time-to-time.
You will notice that the four Imam`s of Fiqh lived in same Century, and the six Imam`s of hadith also lived within that same Century. This tells you that the need at one time was Fiqh and the need in another time was hadith. I am saying this because if we want to serve Islam the best now, we need to understand what is needed now.
We find that some brothers would go and emphasize on Da`wah while some brothers will go and emphasise on `Ilm. We do need to emphasise on these areas and every area, but if we were to ask ourselves the question of what is needed the most in our time today, we would find that it is quite similar to the time of the Sahabah because now we have reached to the lowest level that we have reached in Fourteen Centuries.
So our time that we are complaining about, among all the other generations after the Sahaba, although our time is not exactly the same it is the most similar to the time of the Sahaba. Why? Because when the Sahabah came there was no Islamic authority and there is no Islamic authority today and this was not the case for fourteen hundred years. When the Sahabah came, they fought entire surroundings including the two super powers -- the Persian Empire and the Roman Empire -- and all the `Arabs around them that were against them.
And this is similar to our situation today and this wasn`t the case in our history before. In our history before you would find Islamic authority, you would find people to assist you in Al-Haqq, and there was a place to make Hijrah to. Now we find that the whole world is waging a war against us and this is similar to time of the Sahabah
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