Reflections on the
Muslim Village Project
Verily! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves (as they stayed among the disbelievers even though emigration was obligatory for them), they (angels) say (to them): "In what (condition) were you?" They reply: "We were weak and oppressed on earth." They (angels) say: "Was not the earth of Allâh spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?" Such men will find their abode in Hell - What an evil destination! [An-Nisa 97]
Many people had the idea of building a Muslim village, where Islamic lifestyle in a natural environment would be practised, but the idea got very popular once Sheik Imran Nazar Hosein started to propagate it as a means for preparation for the end times.
Myself being one of those who tried to set up such a village, I would like to share my views based on the experiences gathered in the nine years I spent on this project. I do not like to say "the time I wasted on this project", because we gained experiences and hopefully also reward with Allah swt. Nonetheless, people should understand the reasons why the project failed as well as the other Muslim village projects, besides countless wannabe villages which did exist merely on internet forums. In fact, I do not know of a single project which has succeeded yet, and frankly, I do not believe that there will be ever a community which reaches the point where it can establish a "free and fair market, where goods are exchanged using gold dinars and silver dirhams".
In order that people understand why I do not longer believe in the concept of a "Muslim village", I would like to point out the reasons why the projects failed in order that people do not waste any more time and effort on a dream, which in practice proved to be not realistic. Everyone is free to disagree with me and try it once again, but at least he should learn from the former experiences and ponder on the alternatives presented, what else could be done as a preparation and how to disconnect oneself from the godless globalized society. The alternatives are very simple, straight forward, and do not require any huge investment but rather a commitment to the cause.
First let us shed some light on some projects conducted so far. Needless to say, we are not talking about "ordinary" Muslim villages, where "normal Muslims" live in a village. There should be hundred thousands of them. We are talking about villages, where people gathered who felt somehow different from main stream society and wanted to separate themselves for the sake of a "purer, more Islamic " environment.
There was a project on South-Sumatra, Indonesia, a few decades back who built up a village with around 1000 inhabitants. They had no political agenda and just wanted to follow a stricter Islamic lifestyle for themselves. President Soeharto apparently felt threatened nonetheless and used his special Christian forces to surround the village and kill everybody inside! I met with one of the few survivors, who happened to be in Holland at the time of the attack.
In Malaysia a few decades ago happened something similar. Two groups made up of locals had tried setting up their own communities. Government troops came one day and shot all of them dead. Another peaceful local group who called themselves 'Arqam' were highly successful both socially and economically; they even had their own halal manufacturing industries. They were shut down by the government and the Amir, Ustadz Ashaari imprisoned and brainwashed into 'confessing' what any discerning Muslim knew was government-manufactured nonsense! The Ustadz was literally salivating during his national TV 'confession' which was a clear indication that he had been drugged for the charade.
In the US a village was built as a showcase for Islam but "even as construction continued, it became clear that a village of exemplary Muslims is not something to be engineered. We came to understand a couple of very important issues:
1. There have to be objective conditions for a community to develop such as, or at least some of them, area job opportunities, existing business opportunities, traffic corridors & distance from major cities, for a community to be able to sprout, grow and maintain itself.
2. More importantly, Dar al Islam started in 1980 and a lot of the north American converts which were at that time attracted to the idea were short on authentic Islamic knowledge and had an abundance of opinions, many of which foreign to more traditional & scholarly knowledge. That caused a variety of tensions & conflicts among the area residents. These conditions may have changed to some degree as many young Muslims are now pursuing formal knowledge.
There are a few residing Muslim families who way back were able to work out an arrangement to purchase some property from Dar al Islam and it has not closed the door on making future similar arrangements with people who would be part of Dar al Islam's program staff in some form or another. But an 'Islamic village' is not on the current screen of possibilities."
I knew these comments about Darul Islam before I started my own project, still I went ahead because my project was more geared for end time preparations, so traffic corridors to major cities I wanted to avoid anyway. From quite the beginning, my own project suffered from all kinds of fitnah hard to imagine. Finally I became seriously sick because of all the quarrels and issues. Some slander about my person can be found still on the internet today.
But the final death stroke (for the project, luckily not for me) came when the government claimed that more than half of the land which we bought would be state forest, which could not be owned by private individuals (although it was exactly this same government which issued official land certificates).
Besides the fitnah both from locals as well as of those who were supposed to build up the Jamaat, a major problem was the establishment of foreigners in Indonesia, especially for those who have already foreign spouses and cannot marry an Indonesian, both in terms of generating an income and getting residence permits.
My own overall experience was nicely summarized by the founder of the Egyptian Muslim village project:
I have read your letter with great concern. I felt like you were talking to me, having the exact same problems. I'm trying to close down the village project here too but I myself am having trouble accepting failure after all the work, time and money invested. It's just too sad and depressing.
I've been working to set up the village for almost 3 or 4 years now, but its getting more and more difficult... it's because most people don't want to do anything, just talk and object.
People who have joined have paid some money but are taking the village as a back-up plan refuge if things turn bad in the cities, and they are waiting for "others" to build the village.
People who ask are waiting for a ready-made village that they can simply move in to, with everything ready for them services schools and the whole thing.
Also others that are in the village seem to be more focused on their personal interests. I think I might have been too dreamy with my vision for the villagers and for the selfless giving, group work and innovation that I expected from them.
Siwa-Oasis in Egypt where the project should have taken place.
And yes, we have the fitna too, it's like people are looking for it. They don't want to follow orders either.
Can you believe that we broad casted the village presentation on a group that more than 60.000 sheikh imran fans viewed, only 20 people emailed and NONE so far actually joined!
My question is, how is the Umma going to have a village or any kind of victory, if they are all waiting for some1 else to do it for them? Iv tried to start up the project, laid its foundations, brought together some people, raised enough money and bought land and started on some construction and brought in some animals, but in the end it's supposed to be a group project with everyone working to make it work. they don't know what a Jamaa is, theyr not willing to sacrifice for the project.
If they don't want to help themselves how can I help them?
On this, one of the founders of a Malaysian village commented:
Mash Allah, his response is like an exact reading of our situation. It seems Shaytan creates the same fitna for Muslims with the same niyah, regardless of location.
Yes, the Muslim Village turned out to be an impractical concept in execution, mostly due to issue with getting the Jamaat organised and focused rather than divided. Our MV in Malaysia encountered similar issues to you and the Egyptian one. The more I look into solutions to the problems of today, the more I realise that our lack of community organisation and unity is the biggest hurdle for Muslims.
At this point, we are pursuing creating a network of small family farms just outside Kuala Lumpur with similar-minded brothers and sisters rather than one MV. I think this may be more practical and allows other the freedom to pursue their own projects as they please with some mutual joint understanding and sharing.
There were other projects in South-Africa and Pakistan. As far as I know they did not reach far. Sheik Imran himself said as a reaction of closing down of my "village":
I am aware of the difficulties and dangers involved in the establishment of Muslim Villages. The good news is that there are probably hundreds of villages now being established in many many parts of the world (you would be surprised) but with NO information on these projects available to those who would want to spy on them. Secondly, I have wisely chosen (for reasons of security as well as other reasons) not to be directly involved in any of these projects.
Yes, very wise not to get involved in a Muslim Village project, the Sheik is right! And for those who do not stumble accidently over one of those hundreds of villages probably being established with NO information available, I would like to give the following advices:
Seeking guidance only from Allah. Anything can be used as inspiration but do not subscribe to any scholar or hope for a project popping up on your browser solving your problems. Only trust in Allah and look for signs. If Allah already gave you guidance to understand the issue about Dajjal, trust that He will also open you a door and a way out like He promises us: "And whosoever keepeth his duty to Allah, Allah will appoint a way out for him, And will provide for him from [a quarter] whence he hath no expectation. And whosoever putteth his trust in Allah, He will suffice him." [at-Talaq 2-3] Never write anybody emails like I got so many: "I want to make Hijrah. Please help!" Only ask for Allah's help!
Keeping focus! It is obvious that we have to make efforts to get out of Dajjal's system. That is the first priority and not joining a Muslim village! I admire Sheik Imran Hosein for his analyses of Gog & Magog and how he convincingly explained how those who follow the globalized way of life become a part of the godless system of Gog & Magog. The point of view that we have to separate us from "the system" is indeed supported by countless verses of the Qur'an and Ahadith. However, the "Imperative of the Muslim Village" has no support whatsoever, in fact, the opposite is the case:
"(Remember) when the young men fled for refuge (from their disbelieving folk) to the Cave." We do not know how many these young men were exactly, but they were few, certainly not enough to form a village!
"'. What do you advise me to do if I should live to see that?' He said, 'Stick to the main body (jama'ah) of the Muslims and their leader (Imam)'. I asked 'What if there is no main body and no leader?' He said 'Isolate yourself from all of these sects, even if you have to eat the roots of trees until death overcomes you while you are in that state.'" This hadith tells us to separate from all sects and isolate ourselves at a time when there is no Jamaat and no Amir (which is now), it does not tell us to try and form a new Jamaat but to isolate ourselves! And that is exactly the experience of the projects so far: At the time of fitan it becomes close to impossible to create unity and stop the quarrels. So better to isolate (uzla) with a few proven companions only like the dwellers of the cave, not with a community whose members one got from the internet. In addition, any community of seriously practicing Muslims of sufficient size will be regarded as threat and labeled as "terrorist camp".
"A time will soon come when the best wealth of a Believer will be goats which he will follow to the mountains, fleeing his religion." This hadith tells about a believer fleeing to the mountains, again, alone or with his family and a few close friends only.
Acting immediately! Once understood that the first priority is disassociating oneself from Dajjal's system, immediate steps should be taken! No doubt, we have to get back to nature and a simple way of life as far as possible. Hopefully, when the system collapses, one does not depend on the system anymore and is far enough away from it not to get drawn with it into the abyss. Wherever you are, you can acquire basic skills like learning how to make fire using a wooden drill (not as easy as you might think when watching a youtube video), how to make a basic shelter and so on. Get used to live in nature, bring your family out for camping, get yourself in shape, fit and healthy. Once you start moving and you are doing efforts, Allah will assist and guide you inshaAllah:
"As for those who strive in Us, We surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good." [al-Ankabut 69].
"Lo! those who believe, and those who emigrate [to escape the persecution] and strive in the way of Allah, these have hope of Allah's mercy. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. [Al-Baqarah 210].
"And as for those who emigrated for the Cause of Allâh, after suffering oppression, We will certainly give them goodly residence in this world, but indeed the reward of the Hereafter will be greater, if they but knew! Such as are steadfast and put their trust in Allah. [An-Nahl 41, 42]
Tepee Village in the
Do not be one of those sitting behind their computer, joining countless groups and forums, collecting all kinds of info concerning alternative energy, permaculture, herbal medicine and waiting for the dream of the Muslim village to materialize on the screen but not taking any serious action!
Keeping things as simple as possible: "Allah desireth for you ease; He desireth not hardship for you." [al-Baqarah 185] Many people found the website of my project, and as it looked so nice and convincing, they really wanted to join. Then came the calculations: "We need money for the travel, for buying land, for building a house, for building up a business, for getting the residence permits, so we need at least 40,000 Euro! We do not have such an amount, so forget it!" If one follow fixed ideas, it will most probably not work out and will end in a dead end road! We must become aware of doors opening for us, for signs of al-Fatah, the Opener of doors! We do not depend on money but only on Allah! Of course, we should "tie our camel" and make preparations but they must get balanced out with trust in Allah and taking risks if necessary when we feel we should go now. For Hijrah, choose destinations which do not impose serious investments in time and money. Choose those which are easy for you and where it is easier to blend into the local community and you are not looked upon as an exotic bird. Living e.g. in a tepee or simple hut on vacant or rented land, and not building any concrete structures, is a huge saving on investment and makes one flexible while getting more in touch with nature.
For those living in Europe and having no funds for Hijrah to other continents, Spain might not be a bad option. There are many deserted villages where one can stay for free without any problem. Most probably, Spain will not be save from nuclear fallout, and chances of surviving Armageddon are not very good over there, but one would die as one of those who did efforts to disassociate oneself from Gog & Magog and hopefully even of those who succeeded.
Hopi Indians believe that the United States will be destroyed, land and people, by atomic bombs and radioactivity. Only the Hopis and their homeland will be preserved as an oasis to which refugees will flee. Bomb shelters are a fallacy. "It is only materialistic people who seek to make shelters. There is no shelter for evil."
These are the Signs that great destruction is coming. The world shall rock to and fro. The white man will battle against other people in other lands -- with those who possessed the first light of wisdom. There will be many columns of smoke and fire such as White Feather has seen the white man make in the deserts not far from here. Only those which come will cause disease and a great dying.
Near Oraibi, Arizona, there is a petroglyph known as Prophecy Rock which symbolizes many Hopi prophecies. It shows, among other things, two different paths: The "life path" established by the Great Spirit divides into the lower, narrow path of continuous life in harmony with nature (K) and the wide upper road of white man's scientific achievements (G). The narrow path (N) that returns to the straight Path of Life is the last chance for people to turn back to nature before the upper road disintegrates and dissipates, eventually disappearing at the time of the "great cleansing" that also Islam mentions.
For those coming from the US or Canada and having no funds, one should probably try to live with a local native community. Most interesting would be the Hopi Indians who have similar prophecies like Islam (see left). At places like the Roots School one can learn about survival and stone-age skills. There is an interesting video about a brother in Canada, who wants to set up a village over there. But his first focus is on getting survival skills and try to convince an already established community of native Indians of the merits of Islam.
Especially for those residing already in a Muslim country, joining an already existing "normal Muslim village" might be not a bad option. A brother called Morris e.g. has posted a video about a village in Cambodia of local converts.
I received once the following email: Hmm that's interesting... Should it (the Muslim Village) be in a Muslim country? I feel even South-America is not a bad idea.... Generally speaking the Latinos are more welcoming n open minded n humble.... When most Muslim countries have backstabbed Gaza yet we find many South American countries standing side by side with them (despite the economic probz n sanctions applied by the zionists stooges) to the extent of even providing them free citizenship...which most so called Muslim countries turned their backs to...at the end we find them having more humanity than most so called Muslim countries.
For people coming from Western countries, it is normally quite easy to get residence permits in South-American countries like Paraguay. (Of course, there is a reason: Not many people like to stay there as it is still a rough place.) South-America is the least populated continent besides Antarctica. While not everywhere very safe in terms of violent crimes, one is inshaAllah far away from the epicentres of Armageddon and might be able to introduce Islam to those who were left out from the efforts of da'wah by the early Muslims. Brazil has 6 Million horses. One can ride from the south of the Amazonas jungle right up to Patagonia. A good indicator is the population per square kilometre (although of course it does not make much sense in countries like Algeria or Egypt, where most land is uninhabitable):
- Paraguay: 17/km2
- Bahia, Brazil: 27/km2
- Malaysia: 90/km2 (on peninsular Malaysia of course much more)
- North Sulawesi, Indonesia: 310/km2
- Java, Indonesia: 1100/km2
For the most advanced in Hijrah: Afghanistan, because the black flags of al-Mahdi will arise there inshaAllah. Of course, only recommendable for an elected few. But also other Central Asian countries could be interesting for those who can get used to cold climate (I can't)! I personally have doubts about Mecca and Medina, because although the person Dajjal will not be allowed to enter, the Saudi regime is surely under his power. The society is decadent, ignorant and arrogant, and one cannot be possibly more far from nature than in those airconditioned condos. The cleansing will be terrible:
Abdullah bin Amr r.a. reported that the Messenger of Allah s.a.w. said: "There will be a Fitnah (suffering, trial, temptation) that will cleanse the Arabs (tastanzifu), its dead will be in Hell. During which the tongue will be more severe (ashadd) than a blow of the sword." [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]
The spiritual journey we do when doing Hijrah is one of the most important aspects in our lives. Letting go of all securities the system offers and surrendering oneself to Allah alone, seeking His guidance and sustenance, after getting brainwashed and attuned to the system throughout life, requires a radical change, not primarily in a change of location but first of all in a change of mind-set. Rather than following our logic and rational mind, using all these modern gadgets, we have to open ourselves for intuition and God's guidance. We have to let go the securities and gain trust in Allah in order that He suffices us. Those will succeed who surrender themselves to Allah and nothing else.
All guidance comes from Allah, and He is the best of helpers.
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