Today, two million Muslims are converging on Mekah, Umno President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi being one of them.
What many, Muslims included, do not realise is that the annual pilgrimage to the Kaaba is a pre-Islamic ritual. It is older than Islam and was in existence long before Muhammad was born. And the Kaaba was home to 360 different gods.
Chief amongst those 360 gods was Allah, the moon god. And Allah had three daughters — al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat. Jesus and his mother, Mary, were another two of those 360 gods. And Muslims believe the Kaaba was built by the Prophet of the Jews (or Father of Judaism), Abraham, and his first son, Ismail (or Ishmael: who was the son of Abraham’s second wife, a slave).
It is said Muhammad received a revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel regarding monotheism and he began to oppose Mekah’s paganism and polytheism. Eventually the Mekah authorities tried to assassinate Muhammad so he ran away to Medina for safety.
Nine years later Muhammad returned to Mekah with an army of 10,000 soldiers and conquered Mekah without a single drop of blood. Muhammad, however, knew he might have militarily conquered Mekah but he has not won over the hearts and minds of the Mekah people.
As soon as Muhammad and his army entered Mekah, he told them to comply to the old traditions and circumambulate (tawaf) the Kaaba seven times anti-clockwise. The Mekah citizens were surprised and very pleased to see Muhammad and his Muslims pay respect to the Kaaba.
Muhammad then ordered all idols inside the Kaaba to be removed and destroyed except the idols of Jesus and Mary. The Kaaba was then proclaimed Allah’s house, the chief god of the Mekah people. In one political move both the pagans and the Christians were swung over. Eventually, all the people in Mekah swung over to Islam.
Muhammad did not use his army to conquer Mekah. He used politics. And the recognition of the Kaaba as also Islam’s House of God won over the people and killed all possible resistance.
Islam is not just a religion. It is an adeen or complete way of life. Islam is a political party. It is a military movement. It is an administrative system. It is a judicial system.
Non-Muslims, and even some Muslims, talk about the separation of church and state. That is not Islam. Muhammad never adopted the concept of separation of church and state. It was Napoleon Bonaparte who introduced that concept in France and then in Europe because the church was politically very powerful. The church owned 20% of all the land in Europe plus it monopolised education and ran all the schools.
The only way Napoleon could become the Emperor of France, and then the Emperor of Europe, would be to grab all that political power from the church. And that was why he introduced the separation of church and state, he wanted absolute power and not have to share power with the church.
Secularism is a concept that dictators such as Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, etc., introduced. Secularism is the enemy of Islam. Secularism compromises Islam and relegates Islam down to the second level. Of course, non-Muslims want a secular state because, in a secular state, Islam becomes secondary. But why Muslims also want a secular state is extremely puzzling.
So, as I said, today, two million Muslims are converging on Mekah. But very few Muslims and non-Muslims understand why. It was so that the people of Mekah and Medina would not remain divided and would unite under a ‘New’ Ummah Islam or Nation of Muslim Brotherhood (Ummah actually means community).
Race and nationhood would be discarded. Borders and countries would be abolished. In its place will emerge one united world of the Muslim community. And it started in Mekah when 10,000 Muslims from Medina converged on Mekah 1,388 years ago. Today, two million from all over the world are doing the same.
But know one thing. The Kaaba that two million Muslims from all over the world are visiting today is not God’s house as much as it is a symbol of Muslim unity. It was a political tool that Muhammad used not only to conquer Mekah but to win over the hearts and minds of the pagans, Christians and Arabs of Mekah.
Without the Kaaba there would be no platform for Muslims to come together like today. If Muhammad had demolished the Kaaba instead of adopting it Muslims would be scattered all over the world. Muhammad was a brilliant military strategist and politician as well. He knew the best victory is a victory achieved without firing a single shot. And he knew conquest is easy but managing what you conquer is a nightmare if you cannot also win the hearts and minds of the people.
There are those who believe in the existence of moderate or liberal Islam and a secular state. That is nonsense. In Islam no such things exist. That is not why Muhammad marched into Mekah with 10,000 people back in 630. And that is not why today two million Muslims are converging on the Kaaba.
Moderate or liberal Christianity and a secular state are what Napoleon introduced 200 years ago in the 1800s. And the reason he introduced moderate or liberal Christianity and a secular state was so that he could demolish the power of the church and take that power for himself. And that is the same reason why Muslims want moderate or liberal Islam and a secular state. It is so that they can grab absolute power and not have to share power with the ‘church’, in the case of Malaysia the monarchy.