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[Chapter 26] Working for Allah: The Long and Short of the Story

DR.PASHA | 424 reads

Chapter 26
Still Working for Allah in the West: Theory and Methodology

Working for Allah:
The Long and Short of the Story

Here is news for you. Whether this news is good or bad is a decision you will have to make. But the long and short of the story is this: You are working for Allah – still and always! Now and forever!

And you are working for him whether you know it or not and whether you like it or not. That is the nature of life – and the nature of this world. Everyone and everything in creation works for Allah. It is called Islam.

And it does not really matter whether you are Tony Blair, Her Majesty the Queen, President George Bush, Pope John Paul or some lowly peasant or factory worker in some distant part of the world. Nor does it matter whether you are a Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu or someone or something else.

And it also does not matter whether you call him Allah or call him God or refer to him by some other glorious name. By any beauteous name or title, he is Allah, God Almighty, the maker and master of the worlds. Most people – if not everyone everywhere – know who he is. To most people he does not need introduction.

This educational seminar and leadership training camp is put together to make clear some of these ideas and to work out some of their practical implications keeping in mind the demands of the times, place and circumstances in which we live – in the West.

I have written these pages to help our discussion on how those of us living in the West – the Western Wing of the Muslim Ummah – can best understand and practice Islam as a complete and comprehensive way of life beyond a set of what people call rituals such as prayer and fasting (Salat and Siyam). To me, however, nothing in Islam is pure ritual. But that is a matter that I don’t have the time and resources to go into at this time.

SOME QUESTIONS WE NEED TO ASK

Some of the questions we need to ask – and I hope we will be asking them directly or indirectly, implicitly or openly throughout the seminar and as we read these pages – include the following:

What does it mean to work for Allah in the U.K.? In Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England?

What does it mean to work for Allah in France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands and other parts of Europe?

What does it mean to work for Allah in the United States, Canada, the West Indies and South America?

What does it mean to work for Allah in the West in general? Is it the same like working for Allah anywhere else in the world, or is it in some ways different from that?

Is it the same or is it in any way different from working for Allah in Egypt, Jordan, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Libya, Malaysia, China, Russia and Indonesia?

What is common and what, if anything, is different?

Is it the same like working for Allah a thousand years ago; five hundred years ago; a century ago; two years ago – before September 11, 2001 – or is it somehow, in some way different?

Is Islam the same everywhere, and in every age? If the answer is yes, how is it the same? And if the answer is yes, then how do you accommodate change, for the unchanging law of the universe is flux and change?

Are Muslims the same everywhere? Or are they different from place to place in some important cultural and practical ways that would have a significant impact on the way they understand and practice Islam?

If the answer is no, then how and in what ways is it different? And how do you ensure continuity?

Is Working for Allah a one-size-fits-all model of life – or is it going to be different in different places and times?

Continuity vs. change – that tension is always part of life. And for us Muslims, if we are truly a living, vibrant people, that tension has to be a part of our life and culture as well. So, what changes and what continues the same in our understanding and practice of Islam as we make our Hijrah from Egypt and Pakistan to U.K., Europe and the United States – physically, culturally, politically, intellectually and emotionally? But the point is how many of us have made, or are willing and ready to make, that Hijrah?

I am tempted to say, no Hijrah, no Islam. But I can’t spend any time at this point to explain it. However, let me assure you that there is no contradiction between what I am saying and between the Hadith that says there is no Hijrah after Makkah opened up to the Muslims.

END OF CHAPTER 26
Still Working for Allah in the West: Theory and Methodology

© 2003 Syed Husain Pasha

Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional 
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at] 
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.

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