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  • Writer's pictureAslam Abdullah

A Quran based analysis of current situation

Updated: May 29

By Dr. Abdullah Al Ahsan

As we have noted in earlier articles in this series, there is frustration in today’s American society about any political changes under the current two-party system. Most activists and observers feel that challenging the system would be impossible, and we have already highlighted in previous articles how the established have put legal barriers to challenging it.

However, we should not be disheartened and should try to examine the current situation in light of Quranic teachings and lessons from history.

Lessons from the Qur’an

What lessons could we derive from Qur'anic teachings? What do we learn from the Prophet's life? These questions remind me of surah ad-Doha (93) where Allah subhan wa ta’ala reminds us of life’s ups and downs and generates hope for the future.

The surah reminds the Prophet and, by implication, all of us who would like to seek guidance from Qur’anic teachings of the past and promises and hope for the future. We all are aware of the current sufferings of Muslims around the world, but are these sufferings worse than what the Prophet and his companions were going through at this particular period?

This should also remind us that within years of this revelation, Makkan leaders sanctioned the Prophet and his companions when they had to consume weeds and non-edible items. Did the Prophet complain about why he had to encounter such a painful situation, although Allah had promised him a better future? We know now that Allah's promise came true during the latter years of the Prophet's life.

Let's compare the historical situation during the revelation of Surah ad-Doha and when the Prophet passed away. We can see the miraculous historical change that had taken place. Should we still be hopeless about the future? History students will find evidence of similar occurrences in various parts of the world at different times.

Lessons from History

What specifically do we learn about history in the current context? Could we apply in those lessons to American Muslims today? After evaluating most known world civilizations, historian Arnold Toynbee suggested that in a given civilization's life, a small minority always plays the most significant role in affecting change.


The number of people belonging to the creative minority could be as few as one percent of the total population. I think the third-party candidates are looking for such a tiny minority. The Muslim community may discuss whom they would choose, when they choose and what criteria they will utilize. All these are matters of scrutiny and debate, and the community may do so in the coming months.

What is necessary at this moment is to support most, if not all, third-party candidates for the November ballot. Once they have established their space in the political arena, they will be in a better position to choose their presidential candidate. Any survey about the subject would indicate a huge frustration, particularly among the youth, about the most suitable candidate for the November presidential election. Could we act and guide everyone else based on Qur’anic teachings and lessons from history?

Professor Abdullah al-Ahsan, a graduate of the University of Michigan, has dedicated nearly three and a half decades to teaching history, comparative civilization, and international relations in Pakistan, Malaysia, and Turkey. Currently residing in Chicago, he continues to contribute his expertise in academia.

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