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Tawfique Chowdhury at the GPU 2008: The World in a State of Peril & Solutions


Following is the text of the speech that was prepared for the GPU Conference 2008 by Shaykh Tawfique Chowdhury. The videos all the way below are the presentation at GPU, however, the organizers  and other interruptions did not permit full time for the prepared text. For comments, please stick to the topic presented here.


Brothers and sisters: The world is in a state of peril:

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Peril, because:

  • Of its failure to answer the pressing challenges of our times – such as war and poverty
  • Of its failure to uphold basic civil rights and liberties in the face of the problems of terrorism.
  • Of its failure to implement justice in Guantanamo and Palestine.
  • Of its failure to recognise its spiritual demise in the face of atheism and irreligiousness.
  • Of its financial crisis that has crippled economies and tamed giants
  • Because of its failure to answer the real need of mankind – to answer the question of who we are and why we were created. What a shame, that the greatest of questions: Who we are and why are we here – is the same question that is the most unclear in mind of humanity today.

All of this, because the world has dismissed Islam. They have dismissed Islam from being the answer to their problems and the solution for their dilemmas.

Humans beings have forgotten their creator and so they have forgotten who they are and what their identity is!

ولا تكونوا كالذين نسوا الله فأنساهم أنفسهم أولئك هم الفاسقون
Do not be like those who forgot Allah so Allah caused them to forget themselves. They are the wrong doers.

In the face of challenges such as this, the onus is on the Muslims to rise up to the cause. Rise up of sons of Umar, sisters of Aishah and students of Ibn Abbas. Arise, the sons and daughters of Islam to answer the call that Allah has placed on you.

Arise my people and realise your destiny.
Reach out and grab it. It is yours!!

Brothers and sisters:

  • We were not created:
    • To be slaves and beggars
    • To be followers and fans and admirers of others
  • We were created:
    • To be leaders and lords
    • To be the pioneers and challengers
    • To be to be the ones who are admired and praised and followed
    • We were created to guide mankind and liberate them and free them from the shackles of this world.

“From the worship of slaves, to the worship of the Lord of Slaves, From the injustice of religions to the Justice of Islam, and from the contractedness of this world to the vastness of the hereafter!”

كنتم خير أمة أخرجت للناس
You are the best of people, made for the benefit of Mankind!

However, the question arises:

How can we call others to the truth when we don’t have a unified solution to present to them. Our religion is one and God is one and Prophet is one, our destiny is one – but our hearts are not one!

Our situation, reminds me of a period in history known as the period of the Three kingdoms. Have you heard of the history of the three kingdoms:

  • It is a part of Chinese history from 220 of the Christian era.
  • It is a part of the past history of China that followed the Han dynasty which used to be a period of stability and unification.
  • In the time of the three kingdoms which was a period of disunity – the great country of China was divided into three smaller kingdoms, each of which developed with own laws, values, customs and way of life.
  • But, for 300 years approximately, the three kingdoms fought each other, even though there were periods in that time when China was unified, this quickly fell apart.

It is interesting to note, that the tension between the three kingdoms created many good things:

  • Beautiful art
  • Strong local communities
  • Romantic heroes and great valour and battles from which developed stories of Chinese mythology.

The negatives however, is that:

  • This period embodied countless battles and loss of life
  • The citizens of each kingdom made the kingdom more important than overall China.
  • People lost sight of the bigger picture, of the greater vision, or the bigger identity.
  • They created a mythology around the heroes who did battle against their fellow Chinese and they rallied behind them against their fellow countrymen.
  • China lost its unity and power and failed to grow into its true potential. Now take a look – a unified China – the next world power and the power balance in the world changing from the west to the east! All of this because with unity, China is realising its full potential.

Muslims today we are living the legacy of the period of the three kingdoms:

  • Instead of kingdoms, we have our own sects and organisations – that are like pseudo-kingdoms that have become casino online more important to us than our unity, our religion and faith. The problem is not the presence of organisations themselves. The problem is that instead of using them as vehicles and means to the noble end of calling to Allah, our disunity shows that we are actually more focused on calling to the organisations themselves! We have forgotten what Allah says in the Quran: قل هذه سبيلي أدعو إلى الله
  • My friends, just like in the time of the three kingdoms, we too have set up kings and heroes for these sects and organisations – and have develop stories of their respective greatness.
  • We support this scholar over that, and rally behind this imam over that and we have forgotten our combined greatness and glory.
  • Yes, these disunited groups, sects and organisations have helped Islam – by adding to its projects, values, culture and achievements, but…. At what cost?
  • At the cost of:
    • the ummah failing to achieve its true potential!
    • At the cost of defeat at the hands of its enemies!
    • At a cost of the ummah losing its leadership and resigning itself to physical, intellectual and cultural slavery.

The antidote:
So what is the antidote to this poison that flows in our veins? To this devil that rides the waves of our passion?
It is to work on a methodology towards achieving a unity that will not waver and quiver.

There are two parts to this methodology.


Is a remedy that is clearly mentioned to us in the Quran when the Angels asked Allah about the divine wisdom in sending down to the earth – human beings – a creation that would destroy it and become disunited and spill blood!

“أتجعل فيها من يفسد فيها ويسفق الدماء؟”
Will you send to this earth a creation that will ruin it and spill blood?

The angels were right that indeed human beings were endowed with those traits that only serve to harm itself. Allah says:

خلق الإنسان ضعيفاً Mankind was created weak
وكان الإنسان عجولا Mankind is hasty
وكان الإنسان قتوراً Mankind is miserly
وكان الإنسان أكثر شيء جدلاً Mankind is ever given unto arguing

So Allah explained to them His divine plan:

وعلّم آدم الأسماء كله
And He taught Adam the names of all things!

This was the divine plan! Through knowledge Allah would save humanity. This was the way that Allah would join our hearts together and save us from fighting each other.

Why? Because knowledge does that to a person. When you gain knowledge:

  • You gain wisdom and learn to appreciate the wisdom and goodness that others have – ensuring that you don’t divide over petty matters.
  • You remove ignorance from yourself which is the prime cause of arguments and problems
  • The more you gain knowledge, the more you realise your ignorance and this humbles you and removes pride – the same pride that causes you to see yourself above others and thus incapable of uniting with them.
  • The more knowledgeable you are, the more God fearing you are – the more you love others that are also God fearing and all of this leading on to further unity.

So the first step towards unity and the first part of the methodology:
Gain knowledge as much as you can!
Both: religious and non-religious knowledge.

The second remedy – is to act upon that knowledge which you have gained.

  • To struggle and strive to implement that knowledge in yourself and in your family and friends.
  • To develop a strong sense of selfless social service
  • To become contributing citizens of your state
  • To cultivate that love and mercy for humanity
  • To feel responsible for the problems of the world and to strive with your wealth and time for its remedy

There are many things that show the importance of knowledge with action.

  • The first of these, is that the Arabs used the same three letters for knowledge and action. Knowledge is علم and action is عمل
  • Allah says tens of times in the Quran: إن الذين آمنوا وعملوا الصالحات
  • AlHasan used to say: The concern of the scholars is action and the concern of the ignorant is narration
  • Some of the pious predecessors used to say: We used to safeguard our knowledge by acting upon it.
    One of the scholars of the past used to say: If a person goes out to seek knowledge itself, then he never benefits from it, however if a person goes out to seek action through that knowledge, then he benefits even from a little bit of it.

My friends, when you act on your knowledge:

  • You appreciate the value of it and appreciate all those who are acting upon it. You are filled with love and admiration for those who are struggling for Allah’s cause and thus your hearts come together and you become united.
  • When you act upon the knowledge, you fill that void that other people’s actions leave and thus you support the rest – and preserve unity in that way.
  • When you act upon that knowledge, then you bring on the blessings of Allah and He increases you in further knowledge – that only serves to strengthen your unity.

So the methodology for achieving unity and the methodology of our revival is very simple:

Knowledge and action
Be the most knowledgeable you can about the truth and be the most merciful that you can be to mankind!


One of them for knowledge, the other for action:

Firstly: AlKauthar institute – is our attempt at pushing out knowledge to the world:

  • Intensive weekend seminars in 5 continents with a combined base of over 5000 regular students and with our courses spanning the world – Australia, South Africa, India, UK and Canada.
    For the past few years, we have been the largest provider of intensive Islamic weekend courses in the UK.
  • Find out more at:

The second vehicle for action: Mercy Mission – a professional project based community development organisation:

  • An organization that uses the students of AlKauthar and other than AlKauthar – and involves them in projects that benefit their society. Mercy Mission is active in the UK and in Australia and is being launched in the other regions of South Africa, Canada and India early next year inshaAllah. Our vision is to: Achieve a world wherein every Muslim can live faithfully to their belief acting as true ambassadors of their faith and where by their virtuous example, humanity can appreciate the beauty of Islam.
  • Find out more at

I invite you to:

Believe as I believe – that responsibility for rectifying the problems of the world rests with the Muslims. And in order for Muslims to live up to our responsibility, we need to be united. And To achieve unity, then we need to seek a robust methodology that is simple yet profound in its impact – that methodology being knowledge and action.

And our final call is that all praise is for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

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Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Sh. Tawfique Chowdhury is the founder of AlKauthar Institute, the unrelated Australian twin of AlMaghrib. A graduate of Islamic University of Madinah, he has also excelled in secular fields: An IT Project Manager, and soon to be a doctor as well (he is completing his medicine degree). He is very active in working with many Islamic organizations around the world and is also an international media contributor appearing on numerous TV and radio stations. The most notable are his appearances on ABC Asia Pacific, AlMajd Channel and the Islam Channel in the UK, where his lectures are frequently shown.



  1. AsimG

    April 10, 2009 at 4:19 AM

    Alhamadillah good read

  2. Abdullah Brown

    April 10, 2009 at 4:28 PM


  3. Sadaf Farooqi

    April 12, 2009 at 3:34 AM

    Excellent methodology suggested. I agree that Muslims should seek knowledge with the intention of acting upon it.
    May Allah grant us unity.

  4. Nahyan

    April 14, 2009 at 8:11 PM

    MashaAllah, that’s an excellent speech and reminder by Sh.Tawfique.

    jazakallahukhair for the post.

  5. john

    April 22, 2009 at 8:32 AM

    We were created:

    * To be leaders and lords
    * To be to be the ones who are admired and praised and followed
    LORDs..????? R U OK?? PRAISED and ADMIRED??? Are our actions for the sake of Allah, for his pleasure or to please the people??? May Allah forgive anyone who has this evil intention.

    All PRAISE and thanks is due to ALLAH, The LORD of al-Alamin

  6. muslim

    April 30, 2009 at 9:30 PM

    asalam alaikum br tawfique.
    The above comment picks on semantics (I trust) as I believe that you did not intend that we as Muslims are to be lords as we would call Allah Lord– That being said, I think that it raises the same problem as your previous article for readers. There are semantic choices that are problematic in the minds of the Muslim readers. And since the articles are read, I believe these need to be revised. I am also wondering when you will post the follow-up to your previous article. I am curious to see if such revision brings clarity in the minds of the Muslims. That article has caused such a division amongst the Muslims in our community, and I wish that you would write the article soon inshallah so we can stop speculating and gain understanding. Having listened to various lectures, spoken to you, attended your classes, I believe that you have been grossly misunderstood and misrepresented by comments I hear and see after your previous article. By pointing out aspects of being Muslim in the West doesn’t mean that you are forsaking the beliefs of jihad and wala and bara etc. Unfortunately people are making a straw-man argument it seems. However, one very big problem we have is that Muslims these days don’t know who to listen to, who to follow. When there is argument between learned people in the ummah, those with a lesser knowledge don’t know who to follow, what to believe. Inshallah can you address this issue either by article or comment. And please brother, can you write your folllow-up as I sincerely want the division to end, the slander to stop and the ummah to focus on bigger issues. I hear about people talking about boycotting Al kauthar classes because of the article. It is craziness–

    • Qas

      June 25, 2009 at 4:35 AM

      I think he can write all the follow-ups we would want, but those who hate him, will hate him regardless. Let them boycott Al-Kauthar I say. Their loss.

  7. Sam

    June 20, 2009 at 10:06 PM

    Br Tawfique to earn this lordship will come at a price, we both know what this price is as you are heading towards it.

  8. Talha

    June 25, 2009 at 2:53 AM

    “Muslim” makes a good point….

    Sheikh promised us a follow up on the previous article which cause so much disunity….

    Time has been taken to write a new article but the follow up ignored….

    Well.. what will sheikh Say in the follow up….

    Say you, ‘bring forward your proof if you are truthful?

    but what truth can you bring that will give you ground to stand on if you go against the word of Allah!

    May Allah guide us All to follow quraan and sunnah…. and not to deviate according to our intellect.. thinking we know better!

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