When this time comes – Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
King Richard I of England (1157-1199) who fought in the Third Crusade, set out with a large army to fight King Salahuddin Ayubi (1137-1193) of Egypt. The legends of Richard’s army were becoming so popular that there were signs of weakness in the Muslim army. Salahuddin Ayubi summoned two of his special spies and ordered them to go and find out the situation of Richard’s army. The spies disguised themselves and left, and joined the Christian army. One night and one day they roamed around and observed the Christian army. Upon their return, they informed Salahuddin Ayubi that they had seen two things in particular in the tents of the Christian army. One is that their soldiers are drunk and are busy jollifying. Secondly, the clergy who came with the army are engaged in religious discussions. We found them discussing the issue of whether Jesus’ urine or faeces was clean or unclean.
Salahuddin Ayubi, after hearing this incident, called his military officers and while addressing them said: By God, the Christian army will be disgraced. This is the fate of a nation which is in a state where its elites are indulged in luxury and its religious class is engaged in a debate on the virtue of its leaders. You move forward trusting in God. Surely you will succeed. After this, the army led by Salahuddin Ayubi advanced and defeated the Christian army so severely that they fled the field.
One of the hallmarks of a nation’s weakness and decline is that its religious leaders engage in frivolous religious debates and its secular leaders indulge in frivolous luxuries. Wasteful religious debates are a sign that man’s relationship with spiritual realities has been severed. He has the shell of religion left, not its reality. Then how can those who are living in the world of words show any deed in the real world. In the same way, the indulgence of the elites of the nation in vain luxuries is a sign that life is a name of happiness for them and not of struggle. They are living in personal desire and not in the wider demands of life.
Magical religion creates mental inferiority and magical luxuries create practical weakness. And nothing can save those who have these two things together from destruction.