In his annual Hajj message, delivered on his behalf by Crown Prince Salman at the annual reception for leaders of Islamic countries, dignitaries, guest pilgrims of the king and heads of Hajj missions at Mina Palace, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, urged Muslims to stand together and be tolerant with each other and the rest of the world. At the same time, he warned that the Ummah would not allow others to interfere in their affairs, undermine their security and disrespect Islam.
The message has come at the most critical juncture in the history of Muslims who, despite being over one and half billion strong, and having around fifty Muslim-majority states plus substantial presence in India and considerable population in all countries of the world, carry no influence at international level.
I think one reason for the plight of Muslims is that during the last few centuries when the free world experienced fast-paced development in nearly all fields of human endeavour, most of the Muslim states happened to be under colonial rule, and therefore not a participant in the process. However, the fact that Muslims became subjugated itself means that the rot had set in much earlier, culminating eventually in their slavery. And the effect has been so overwhelming that despite gaining our independence, we fully retain the characteristics acquired during the period of slavery.
A simple and more direct way of putting it would be that during the last many centuries, our contribution to humanity at large or even to our own communities has been virtually nil: our rulers and other influential people in the society had been concentrating mainly on building palaces, beautiful gardens and forts, instead of spreading knowledge, establishing colleges and universities. …..