بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Being a prophet of God, Muhammad Nabi (sall Allahu alaih wasallam) naturally made countless prophecies on the authority of divine Revelation and the news vouchsafed to him through the Angel Gabriel. Indeed, the basic definition of prophet is someone who makes prophecies – predictions concerning the future. The prophecies of the Israelite Prophets and our darling Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam), generally speaking, are regarding the condition of the community of Believers, and certain events that will directly impact them. Hence, we read in the Hebrew Scriptures about how the Israelite Prophets and Seers like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel (peace be upon them), issued prophecies detailing the future condition and events surrounding the nation of Israel. Likewise, our master Muhammad the Prophet (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam) gave detailed news about the future course of his Ummah. He mentioned the various phases they would pass through, starting with what would happen immediately after his death. He spoke of the initial trials and tribulations the Ummah would face, how his Faith would spread to the extremities of the East and the West. He (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam) said:
إِنَّ رَبِّي زَوَى لِيَ الأَرْضَ فَرَأَيْتُ مَشَارِقَهَا وَمَغَارِبَهَا وَإِنَّ مُلْكَ أُمَّتِي سَيَبْلُغُ مَا زُوِيَ لِي مِنْهَا وَأُعْطِيتُ الْكَنْزَيْنِ الأَحْمَرَ وَالأَبْيَضَ
“My Lord levelled the Earth for me so I was able to see its east and its west, and the dominion of my Ummah reached the extent to which it (the Earth) was unfolded for me, and I was granted two treasures; the red and the white (people)”
(Sunan Abi Dawud)
In this Hadith, the Prophet (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam) is describing a vision in which he was shown the Earth unfolded or leveled for him. Incidentally, this is an indication that Islam does not teach that the Earth is flat. In this vision, he saw the extent to which the dominion of his Ummah would spread, in both the east and the west. At the time of the Prophet’s death, the Ummah was confined to and its dominion extended over the Arabian Peninsula only. But very soon, beginning during the caliphate of sayyidina Umar al-Faruq (radi Allahu anhu), this dominion spread exponentially with the miraculous and divinely brought about conquests of the entire Middle East and North Africa. The dominion of the Muslims continued to expand into the Iberian Peninsula and Transoxiana during the subsequent rule of various Arab dynasties. Today, the dominion of the Muslim Ummah extends from Morocco and West Africa in the west to the Indonesian Archipelago in the east, and from Kazakhstan in the north to the Horn of Africa in the south. Additionally, the Prophet (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam) saw that he was granted two treasures, the conversion of a white-skinned people and a red-skinned people to his Faith. This refers to the fact that the people of Anatolia, the Caucasus, and many in the Balkans are Muslim peoples who have a white complexion, and likewise, the Turkic peoples of the Steppes of Central Asia are also Muslim, who have a reddish or ruddy complexion. It may also refer to the people of the Levant and the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent who may respectively be described as having white and red complexisions. And we expect the continued spread of Islam among new populations that are presently non-Muslim, in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere, in sha Allah. At any rate, this prophetic vision has been literally and spectacularly fulfilled with utmost precision. The Prophet (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam) said:
كَانَ كُلُّ نَبِيٍّ يُبْعَثُ إِلَى قَوْمِهِ خَاصَّةً وَبُعِثْتُ إِلَى كُلِّ أَحْمَرَ وَأَسْوَدَ
“Every Prophet was sent to his specific people, but I have been sent to all, red and black.”
But in another prophecy, our darling Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam) spoke of the downfall of this Ummah, and how it would be conquered and colonized by the foreign, unbelieving nations of this world:
يُوشِكُ الأُمَمُ أَنْ تَدَاعَى عَلَيْكُمْ كَمَا تَدَاعَى الأَكَلَةُ إِلَى قَصْعَتِهَا . فَقَالَ قَائِلٌ وَمِنْ قِلَّةٍ نَحْنُ يَوْمَئِذٍ قَالَ " بَلْ أَنْتُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ كَثِيرٌ وَلَكِنَّكُمْ غُثَاءٌ كَغُثَاءِ السَّيْلِ وَلَيَنْزِعَنَّ اللَّهُ مِنْ صُدُورِ عَدُوِّكُمُ الْمَهَابَةَ مِنْكُمْ وَلَيَقْذِفَنَّ اللَّهُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمُ الْوَهَنَ . فَقَالَ قَائِلٌ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا الْوَهَنُ قَالَ حُبُّ الدُّنْيَا وَكَرَاهِيَةُ الْمَوْتِ
“Soon, the nations will invite (one another) to partake of you, as diners call one another to a large dish.” Someone said, “Will it be because we will be few in number on that day?” He said: “No, rather you will be many on that day, but you will like the refuse of the flood. Allah will take away fear of you from the hearts of your enemies, and Allah will pelt your hearts with Wahn (weakness).” Someone said, “O Messenger of Allah, what is Wahn?” He said: “Love of this world and dislike of death.” (Sunan Abi Dawud #4297)
How accurately this prophecy describes the conquest and dividing up of the Muslim world by European colonialism, and the phenomenon of neo-imperialism which the Muslim world continues to be a victim of till the present. Consider the fact that the Prophet (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam) made this prophecy while the spread of his Faith had not yet gone beyond the boundaries of Arabia, but was apparently on the ascendant. Yet, counterintuitively, he is describing a future in which his Ummah is large but weak. In an analogy, the Prophet (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam) compared the foreign nations summoning one another to conquer the Muslims the way a host invites guests to feast alongside him from a large dish of food. Does it not describe how after the First World War, the imperial powers of western Europe divided up the conquered territories of the Muslim world among themselves? And likewise, does it not describe how the United States and other imperial powers invited other non-Muslim nations to join them in a “coalition” to attack and conquer various Muslim countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya)? Consider the fact that at its greatest extent, European colonialism had directly colonized the vast majority of the Muslim world, and the remainder was either under its partial control or within its sphere of influence:
According to this map, Japan, Korea, Siam and Liberia were the only countries in the world which managed to remain outside the European sphere of influence. Notice also that apart from Arabia, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, the rest of the Muslim world was directly ruled and colonized by the European powers.
Another significant element of this prophecy is that the fear of the Muslims would vanish from the hearts of the non-Muslim nations. From the very beginning at the emergence of Islam, the non-Muslims were struck by a fear and awe of the Muslims that was surely put into their hearts by God Himself. This allowed the Muslims to remain the most powerful force on Earth for centuries. But beginning with the First Crusade, in which the Catholic Pope called upon the world of Christendom to unite and attack the Muslims, that fear began to be taken away from their hearts. It was completely removed at the height of European colonialism and subsequently American neo-imperialism. India, which for centuries had by ruled by various Muslim dynasties, was colonized by the British (becoming their “crown jewel”), the Muslim states and emirates of Central Asia were gobbled up by the Russians, the French took over North Africa, while the Dutch ruled the East Indies (Malaysia and Indonesia). After the age of colonialism, despite the fact that the Muslim world is at least nominally independent, there is the inescapable secular influence of the French in North Africa, in terms of both culture, lifestyle and law, the remaining of the British legal system in Pakistan and Bangladesh over and above the Islamic Shari’ah, the the atheistic influence of the Soviet Russians in Central Asia. We see that there is only some remaining semblance of Islamic culture and lifestyle in remote parts of the Muslim world, such as Afghanistan, Yemen and parts of Arabia, which the Europeans never managed to completely colonize or control directly. But apart from these remote places and isolated examples, the rest of the Muslim world has been almost completely Europeanized in terms of law, culture, lifestyle, dress, philosophy, political ideology, and language. This is a consequence of, according to the Prophet (sall Allahu alaihi wasallam) the Muslims, by and large, having excessive love for this transient world and dislike of death. It is this inner condition that has made the Muslims weak – easy prey for the predatory, foreign powers of this world.