Islam stands for unity and equality. The latter is prerequisite to former. Where there is no equality, there is no unity. If we look around the Muslim World, we find a painful wedge everywhere in the Muslim Society. The life-style of rich and poor in almost every Muslim country is quite different. From education to medical treatment and from house to transport, all are different with no sense of regret.
According to one report, if only Saudi Arabia pays zaka properly and fully, no Muslim in the world can sleep without food, yet the living conditions in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq until wars on the one hand and Sudan, Egypt and Yemen on the other hand, are as much different as that of hell and heaven. History tells us that most of the high achievers we remember with love, affection and pride were poor people. No one remember those who had all in life. Yet, few seem to learn the lesson.
I went to Iran over two years ago, where I stayed in Ferdowsi university.
Dr. Zeinab and her fellow students Messome Mehmood and Mevish took me to a historical town Tuss, which is a memorial place of Imam Ghazali and Iran’s national poet Abu Al Qasim Ferdowsi. The brutal Mangols destroyed everything in Tuss, including library and graves of Imam Ghazali and his associates, but Imam Ghazali still exist due to his contribution to knowledge. I read and heard so much of Imam Ghazali, but when I suddenly found myself standing at his burial place, there was no sign of his grave but his vision still exist all over the world.
Iran has been suffering from economic sanctions for the past 42 years. Therefore, Iran is not a good model for equality, but I was invited by Dr. Zeinab to her brother’s wedding. Dr. Zeinab was doing a research degree in Ferdowsi university of Mashad. Her village was a four hour drive from Mashad. Her village suffered an earthquake about two decades back. Yet, I noticed a strong community spirit there. There was a guest house available to all villagers for functions like weddings, unlike our extremely expensive Marriage Halls, which can’t be afforded even by the Middle classes, let alone working classes.
I stayed three days with the parents of Dr. Zeinab. I met with her extended family members, who were very kind and hospitable. Still no one in the globe matches the Muslims in terms of hospitality, but if we want to close the wedge between poor and rich in order to stabilize our society, we should revisit Islam.