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The Report of Transparency International & A Hadith

Hudhaifa bin Yaman (رضی اللہ عنہ) is a companion of Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ واٰلہ وسلم). He has a distinction among other companions that the Prophet shared some secrets with him. He often said, “Other people used to ask positive things from the Prophet whereas I always used to ask about evil and disorder from him in order to protect myself from it.”

Bukhari and Muslim (the two prominent scholars who compiled the most reliable reports about the Prophet) narrated an important hadith from Hudhaifa. He said, “Prophet told us about two things. I have already seen one of them, but waiting for the other. Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ واٰلہ وسلم) said:

 “Honesty has penetrated into the root of people’s personality. When the Quran was revealed, people recognized the honesty in the light of Quran and Sunnah.” After that the Prophet said that the honesty will be taken away in future.

 “A person will sleep and the honesty will be taken away from his personality. After that a minor mark of honesty will remain in his personality. He will sleep again and truthfulness will be removed from his personality. Its impact will remain there like a burn mark on the skin caused by scrolling down a burning wood on your foot. It seems to be embossed but nothing is inside it.” Then the Prophet took a pebble and scrolled it down on his foot and added further:

“People will be dealing with each other but nobody will take care of dealing in a fair manner. A time will come when people will say, ‘That is the city where an honest person lives.’ After that, there will be another age, when a person will be declared as a skilled, wise and strong person but his heart will not contain honesty even equal to a grain.”

Hudhaifa adds, “I have found a period in which I did not care to deal with a Muslim or a Non-Muslim person. I was sure that if he is a Muslim, his religion will force him to return the amount he owes me. If he were a (non-practicing) person of some other religion and not dealing with me fairly, the government will force him to return me the due amount. But now, I deal only with the known honest people.

Hudhaifa (رضی اللہ عنہ) has pointed out the difference between the period of the rightly-guided Caliphs of Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ واٰلہ وسلم) and the era of Umayyad kingdom. In the Umayyad kingdom, corruption started to penetrate into the Muslim society.

Now, 14 centuries have been passed and a lot of developments have been made. In modern time, we are going towards the situation pointed out by the Prophet. The number of honest people is decreasing up to the extent that an honest person will become a celebrity due to his/her honesty.

 The level of corruption in the Muslim world is depicted in a latest report of “Transparency International.”

According to this report, the most honest country of the world is Denmark. Finland is at the second position. The most honest country of Asia is Singapore which is at No. 4 in the world honesty ranking. The United States is at No. 20 whereas Israel is at No. 30. Most of the top 20 honest countries are from the Western World. The rapidly growing economies of the world i.e. India and China are at No. 72.

The most honest country of the Muslim world is Qatar which stands at No. 32. It means that 31 Non-Muslim countries are more honest than the most honest country of the Muslim world. After that, UAE is at No. 34 and Malaysia is at No. 43. Qatar and UAE do not contribute significantly to Muslim world by their population and territory. An amazing fact about these two countries is that both of them are considered ‘Westernized-Muslim Countries’. Malaysia is an exceptional country which is less corrupt as well as a less westernized country in the Muslim world.

Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need. Voltaire

The countries having an “Islamic” identity in the Muslim world include Saudi Arabia and Iran are at No. 79 and No. 131 respectively. The only nuclear power and the claimed fort of Islam, Pakistan stand at No. 138. The largest Muslim country of the world, Indonesia occupies the No. 143 spot. The most corrupt country of the world, Somalia is also a Muslim country. Out of top 10 corrupt countries in the world, five are Muslim countries. These countries have been suffering from a long-going war since several decades. They include Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan.

Some people may declare that this ranking is due to the prejudice of the Western world about the Muslim countries. It is possible to change a few ranks due to bias but it is not possible to shuffle the entire ranking. People living in the mentioned countries also testify this ranking.

Despite of this fact, becoming the World’s supreme leader is a strong desire of all Muslims around the globe. If we are the sincere to our desire, it is essential for us to come to a better position as compared to the Western world. If we will not do so, out ranking in the respected nations of the world will go further down and down. Is it not a shameful fact for us that Non-Muslim countries are following the teachings of Prophet Muhammad and all previous Prophets (علیہم الصلوۃ والسلام) but we are not following their teachings?

Many people think that in order to make us honest, it is essential to establish an honest government. When they fail to find an honest government, they become frustrated and engage in corruption by themselves. We should not wait for our governments to be honest. We, ourselves, should become the first drop of this rain. So let us start from our own personality. There is no obstacle in becoming honest in our personal dealings. Let us start with this.

(Author: Mubashir Nazir, Review: Muhammed Umar Khan)

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a. In your opinion, what is the major reason for corruption in the Muslim world.

b. Formulate a strategy to make your children and friends honest.

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