“It’s HIS ummah, not yours.”
I’ve heard Shaykh Amin say this more than a few times in recent talks. It holds greater meaning the more we think about it. Some thoughts follow:
Avoid reducing “his ummah” to the actions of its individual members. A scratch on the thumb does not distract from a heart that beats strongly, even working to heal that very scratch.
The ummah is more than the sum of Muslims walking the earth at any given time. It includes every soul that has uttered the kalimah with faith after the prophethood of Muhammad SallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Most significantly the anbiya, the shuhadaa, the siddiqeen, the saaliheen – those we know of and those we don’t know of. They pray for the ummah in their places of rest.
The ummah has as its members the awliyaa (those here and those who have changed their address). As for those still here, the world turns by their dhikr, and angelic wrath is stayed by their dhikr.
The ummah includes the men and women whose taubah is cause for the throne-bearers to beseech Allah for their forgiveness.
The ummah includes the scholars from the time of the companions of the Rasul all the way to the students struggling in their quest for more knowledge. They are the inheritors of the last and final Messenger.
The oral tradition is the greatest gift the ummah gives its individual members. Along with that comes the idea that while we may ask ourselves what we can do for the ummah – HIS ummah – we may each actually benefit more from asking the question: how can I benefit from HIS ummah?
So let’s ask the question. And let’s seek the answer. A great paradox lies in the nature of our attachment to his ummah, in realizing that the less worthy we think ourselves of being a part of his ummah, the more worthy we become of it.
And Allah knows best.