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I Too Have A Dream!

DR.PASHA | December 16, 2010 | Section: Articles | 1844 reads


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I Too Have A Dream!

Dr. Pasha

 

The Ahle Sunnat Wal Jam’at
Association (ASJA) of Trinidad
and Tobago & Tobago

 

April 2002

 

Note

As usual these are some random thoughts, quickly pieced together, to clarify some important Islamic concepts and ideas. I hope and pray they are helpful.

The responsibility for them lies entirely on my own weak shoulders as I purport to represent or speak for no individual, organization, association, institution, country, society or people.

Dr. Pasha

Foreword

In this unusual book Dr. Pasha has used simple and clear language to bring out several important aspects of the teachings of Islam – not the least as they pertain to the relationship of Muslims with their non-Muslim neighbors and fellow-citizens.

Dr. Pasha has very nicely brought out the broad scope of Islamic teachings and illustrated their applicability to the broader society in which we live.

His drawing upon the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and the example of Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, to highlight the role of Islam as a social message is of particular interest and relevance to a multi-religious and multiracial society such as Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr. Pasha also makes it clear that the timeless and universal message of Islam in a place like Trinidad, which holds a unique place in history as a part of the Western world and the Muslim world at the same time, must be conveyed in a language that fits the understanding of the people and the place.

Dr. Pasha’s dream approach is quite apt. For, these are – or,  at least, they should be – the dreams of every Muslim, not only in Trinidad, but everywhere. Many of them are also dreams and hopes that most non-Muslim Trinidadians would be happy to share with their Muslim fellow-citizens.

I hope, and I pray to Almighty Allah, that Muslims, not only in Trinidad and Tobago but throughout the world, will take Dr. Pasha’s words to heart and come forward to carry out their duty as the stewards and custodians – as Khulafa’ – of Allah’s earth. And that, in this capacity as Allah’s representatives on earth, they will amply fulfil their role and responsibility as the servants, helpers, teachers and guides of Allah’s people, with a renewed spirit, understanding and dedication.

For, as we all know, Islam is the most beautiful thing there is. And, if Muslims fully and properly understand Islam, they will be the most beautiful people in the world, just as everything they do will be the most beautiful thing in the world.

I pray to Almighty Allah that he will help us all to get to that stage.

Amin!

Yacoob Ali
Acting President General
Ahle Sunnat wal Jama’at Association (ASJA)
San Fernado, April 2002

Bismillah!

I Too Have A Dream!

Dr. Pasha

(1)

A Dream that Changed a Nation

Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech changed America.

It did so by providing the inspiration for the American Civil Rights struggle.

Dr. King, though a non-Muslim, pinned that speech on a beautiful passage from the Qur’an that talks about the ultimate notion of human equality in the midst of all the diversity of color and race that is part of human life.

Here is a paraphrase of that Qur’anic passage:

“And so we made you all peoples and tribes so you would know and understand one another. (And yet) surely, the most exalted before your Lord are the most God fearing and the most pious and sound of character” (Surah Al Hujurat: 49:13).

Given the context of the times and circumstances in which he delivered his speech, Dr. King phrased his message to say that he dreamed of a day when his three little children will be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

The Qur’an gives the name of Taqwa to this comprehensive and powerful concept.

In Islamic culture, Taqwa stands for a person’s character and personality that is shaped, by fear of God and by a strong and overpowering awareness of his power and presence, into a model of virtue, piety, compassion and service to God’s creation.

Dr. King translates this as the content of character.

What a beautiful dream Dr. King had!

And what a beautiful and touching rendering he provided to this universal and timeless concept of the Qur’an that deals with human beings whose lives have, ultimately, been shaped by the awareness and fear of their creator and master!

(2)

We All Have Our Dreams

However, Dr. King is not the only one with a dream. In the struggle of life, we all have our dreams – some large, some small.

In fact, dreams are a good bit of what human lives – and struggles – are made of.

It is perhaps fair to say that to be human is to be able to dream, to be able to hope, to be able to aspire, to be able to plan and live for a better day.

Certainly, to be free is to dare to dream – to be able to populate the nooks and crannies and the prisonhouses of our minds with darting little fingers of light, like so many fireflies under a dark sky.

In fact, to be able to dream is the last shred of dignity in a human body – and mind – that may have been shorn of all other rights and dignities by so many unkind hands on so many flimsy pretenses and pretexts.

As so many hundreds of millions of people are these days, in so many different parts of the world, including tens of millions of Muslims – locked in poverty and steeped in ignorance, often without much hope or recourse.

When clouds crowd our horizons, the key to success is not to abandon our dreams, and hopes, no matter how hard the journey and no matter how long the road.

 

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