For the past half century, the indigenous Muslim population of Rakhine (in present day Myanmar, previously known as Burma) live as second-class citizens with their economic and social rights stripped away. They are barred from accessing government services, and prevented from obtaining marriage licenses or even moving from one village to another. This apartheid policy has escalated over the past few years into a campaign of total extermination, which Queen Mary University scholars describe as “the final stages of genocide.”
The Muslims in Myanmar are subjected to this merciless savagery for no reason other than their worship of Allah alone, the same as the People of the Ditch (As-haab Al-Ukhdood) who were burned alive by an unjust king, as Allah (swt) tells us of them in the Qur’an:
((وَمَا نَقَمُوا مِنْهُمْ إِلَّا أَن يُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيد))
“And they (the disbelievers) hated them for no reason other than for their belief in Allah, Al-Aziz Al-Hakeem” [85:8].
Muslims around the world have been sending money and praying for our brothers and sisters in Myanmar, and we have even seen prominent Muslim political leaders and heads of state calling for a resettlement of Rohingya refugees in different Muslim lands and have offered to pay their expenses. However, as Muslims who have been commanded by Our Creator to be one Ummah, and to be a protection for one another, this is an insufficient response.
Defending the Ummah
Making Du’a is the essence of worship, and charity is part of the core character of a Muslim; however, when the blood of the Muslims is freely being spilt in the midst of a genocide, we need a real plan that can end the oppression. Sincere prayer requires a real-life action plan, in order for us to work toward that which we are praying for. When we pray for our Rizq (income/sustenance), do we not put in our best practical effort, such as writing resumes, preparing for interviews, and completing our educational qualifications to the best of our ability alongside our Du’a? When we pray for marriage to a good spouse, do we not actively seek the right one by meeting families and getting to know everyone involved in order to ensure a good longer-term choice? So, why do the people of Myanmar deserve only our vague “wishes for well-being” and some spare change, without a serious and collective effort toward a real plan for their protection?
It is insufficient to merely resettle the Rohingya Muslims in neighboring countries, for it is not right or fitting for the Ummah of Muhammad (saw) – the best Ummah brought forth for mankind – to be made an Ummah of refugees anytime a problem arises.
We call upon the armies of the Muslim lands to directly and decisively intervene to end the bloodshed in Rakhine. You are the only ones who have the capability, training, and structure to end this bitter chapter in the history of our Ummah. The military forces of Indonesia alone would be enough to handle this matter. All that is missing is sincere and courageous leadership. And if the rulers who have been imposed upon you do not allow you to fulfill your obligation – which we do not expect they will – you must replace these rulers with a sincere Islamic leadership that fears the Creator instead of the lowly creation.
((أَلَا تُقَاتِلُونَ قَوْمًا نَكَثُوا أَيْمَانَهُمْ وَهَمُّوا بِإِخْرَاجِ الرَّسُولِ وَهُمْ بَدَءُوكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ أَتَخْشَوْنَهُمْ فَاللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَنْ تَخْشَوْهُ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ))
“Would you not fight a people who broke their oaths and determined to expel the Messenger, and they had begun [the attack upon] you the first time? Do you fear them? Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are [truly] believers.” [9:13]
How else will you answer to Allah (swt) – who has entrusted you with the unique capability to stop this evil – when He asks you what you did when your mothers and sisters were being raped and cut to pieces right before your eyes? No military rank, no stars on your shoulders, and no leader on earth will be able to protect you or answer on your behalf on that Day when your Creator holds you to account for your disobedience towards Him after receiving His Command:
((وَإِنِ اسْتَنصَرُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ فَعَلَيْكُمُ النَّصْرُ))
“And if they ask you for military help (Nusrah) in the Deen (as believers), then you are required to help” [8:72]
We ask the Muslim masses, wherever they are in the world, to apply pressure on the political and military leaders of the Muslim lands to do their duty and liberate our brothers and sisters in Myanmar. And if they are unwilling to, then we must organize ourselves to rally around the restoration of the Khilafah state that will do what they cannot or will not do: to unify our armies, to liberate our lands, and to defend the blood of both the Muslims and non-Muslims under its rule.
We must not settle for half solutions or slight improvements in our situation while we wait for the next catastrophe to take place. Instead, we must implement the full solution revealed to us by Allah, the Most Merciful and Most Wise.
The Honor of this Ummah
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said while performing Tawaf around the Ka’ba:
«مَا أَطْيَبَكِ وَأَطْيَبَ رِيحَكِ مَا أَعْظَمَكِ وَأَعْظَمَ حُرْمَتَكِ وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ لَحُرْمَةُ الْمُؤْمِنِ أَعْظَمُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ حُرْمَةً مِنْكِ مَالِهِ وَدَمِهِ وَأَنْ نَظُنَّ بِهِ إِلَّا خَيْرًا»
“How delightful you are and how great is your scent! How magnificent you are and how great is your sanctity! But, by the One in whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, the sanctity of a believer, his wealth, and his blood, are greater in the sight of Allah than your sanctity.” [Ibn Majah]
This is the honor, status, and dignity that Allah (swt) has given to this Ummah. Is it not time for us to hasten towards His Command?
We must do our part to end the desecration of Muslim life, blood, and lands, by working day and night to re-establish the Islamic Khilafah state (Caliphate) in the Muslim world. Our reward awaits us with our Most Merciful Creator, so let us exert our utmost in claiming it.
((وَجَاهِدُوا فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ مِلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَفِي هَٰذَا لِيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ))
“And strive and fight for the sake of Allah as He deserves to be strived for; He has chosen you, and He has not placed upon you in the Deen any hardship (beyond your capability) – it is the religion of your father, Ibrahim. It was Allah who named you “Muslims” before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation], so that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people Helper is He.” [22:78]