More than 2.5 million Muslims had to abandon their homes because of the conflict in the Pakistani region of Swat in May, 2009. Two million of these sought shelter in refugee camps. With the end of the conflict, some have begun returning to their homes in recent months. However, more than 1.5 million Muslims are still struggling to survive in refugee camps. Hundreds of thousands of people are still living in tents in the freezing cold of winter and burning heat of summer; under conditions in which food is hard to find; there is insufficient water for drinking and hygiene and epidemic diseases cost many of them their lives. The situation of our Muslim brothers who have had to abandon their homes is so difficult that those who reach the camps we are describing still see themselves as having attained salvation. That is because some of those forced from their homes have disappeared and others have had to settle in very poor regions living on the hunger line, where no aid manages to reach them.
This situation in Pakistan, which was regarded by UN officials as the worst refugee crisis of the last decade, may not be reflected upon sufficiently by many people. It may be that many people have never considered what it is like to live in a tent for months on end, to lack the clothing to protect against heat or cold, to be unable to keep oneself clean, to have just enough food to stay alive, to have no access to doctors or drugs when one falls ill or what it is like to face a new attack at any moment, and may thus be unable to understand what these 1.5 million Muslims in Pakistan are going through. Those who ignore or underestimate this situation may also be unaware that the system of the antichrist is fully active in the age we are living in, that it is shedding the blood of Muslims nearly every day and eradicating peace and good order all over the world. But no matter how much people ignore this state of affairs or close their ears to it, the system of the antichrist is ruthlessly oppressing almost the whole of the Islamic world.
The system of the antichrist is the negative force of the End Times. The positive force that will neutralize it and thus be instrumental in the salvation of the whole Islamic world is Hazrat Mahdi (as), who has started his mission in Hijri 1400, as foretold by our Prophet (saas). At a time when the system of the antichrist is so active, it is unacceptable for Muslims not to talk about the system of the Mahdi which, by Allah’s leave, is the only force that can stop the system of the antichrist, and to keep their distance from it. The Islamic World must be in search of Hazrat Mahdi (as), the signs of whose coming our Prophet (saas) has described with hundreds of details, and must support that holy individual’s intellectual struggle and desire to be among his followers.
Every Muslims who loves Hazrat Mahdi (as), longs for his holy face and wishes to be his supporter and defender must strive for the unity of the Islamic world, for it to enjoy solidarity and brotherhood. Because, by Allah’s leave, the unity of the Islamic world is the quickest and most effective way of saving our innocent Muslim brothers who are being persecuted under the captivity of the antichrist.
Allah has shown believers the fastest and most successful path: when they encounter injustice and persecution, Muslims must be united and wage an intellectual struggle against this corruption, rather than being fragmented and unaware of and uninterested in one another. It is irrational to seek any other path when this path, shown by Allah and certain of success, insha’Allah, already exists. The sole path for a Muslim is that of the Qur’an and our Prophet (saas). That path consists of unity. When Muslims establish a solid wall against denial, using culture, knowledge and ideas, “welded together,” in the way Allah commands, then they will see that all the injustice in the world will come to an end.
Allah loves those who struggle in His Way in ranks like well-built walls. (Surat as-Saff, 4)