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Islam Gave the World the Gift of Liberty

DR.PASHA | November 09, 2008 | Section: Articles | 2727 reads


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Muslims Forgot Qur’an, Allah Forgot Muslims:
That Simple!

Thus, from this point of view, the biggest enemy of Muslims, and the surest formula for their downfall, was going to be Muslims themselves and their turning their back on the Qur’an, as they have done for quite some time now. It was going to be the theoretical as well as practical separation of Muslims from the Qur’an and their inability to understand it and to translate its divine precepts into dynamic models of everyday individual and collective living and practice on earth.

It goes without saying that the Qur’an will not be of much use to you if you fail to fully and thoroughly understand the world in which you live. That is why the Qur’an itself made reading – education in the broadest sense of that term – the very first requirement of our affiliation with it. That means people with the best and most education in the world would be at the top and those with the least or deficient education will be at the bottom.

The state of the world today speaks to the truth of the Qur’an as it did in the past.

In other words, in terms of the unfolding of human affairs on earth, the greatest danger for Muslims was going to be Muslims themselves: the atrophy and decay of their Iman – their entire internal belief system. And, thereafter, of their Islam – the external manifestation of that belief system in the form of the daily practices that Allah mandated to train them into successful living on earth as Allah’s Khalifah or representative.

Empty Shells of Namaz and Roza

I don’t mean just in terms of the Namaz or the RozaSalaah or Siyaam – as Muslims have come to know them, mostly as empty shells of what they are really supposed to be, but as divine mechanisms that are designed to be powerfully and totally transformative of human bodies, minds, souls, families, communities, institutions, cultures and societies on earth, not just for Muslims but also for non-Muslims.

And not just for humans either, but also for all life-forms. And not just for living beings but also for the entire planet earth with all its component parts both animate and inanimate.

That was going to be the greatest threat or danger facing Muslims after Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, left this earth: Muslims’ own internal state of mind in the form of increasingly deficient Iman in terms of their understanding of and belief in God and his world as well as of the external manifestation of that Iman in the form of their increasingly flawed Islam in all aspects of daily individual and collective living.

And that is exactly how it turned out to be.

Within a few decades of the departure of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, from earth, Muslims fell prey to all sorts of divisions, dissensions and internecine quarrels and warfare that weakened, debilitated and decimated them, exactly as the Qur’an had warned them not to, and never looked back.

Imagining a Different World

I often find myself wondering what would have happened, and how would the world have been different, if Muslims had not taken to quarreling and fighting among themselves and instead kept steadfastly on the path on which the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, had put them – the path of taking the Qur’an to every home and heart that needed it in every nook and corner of the world.

I ask myself, what the world would have been like if Muslims had, as individuals and societies, steadfastly adhered to the path of putting Aakhirah before the worldly perks of power and wealth, the Dunya.

How the world would have been a very different place to live if Muslims had made research and education their main priorities, as they were supposed to do, rather than the building of monuments or the pursuit of an opulent lifestyle.

Maybe then this earth itself would have turned into a piece of paradise for everyone everywhere. Both Muslims and non-Muslims would then have known first hand what it was like to live in God’s Kingdom on earth.

But Muslims allowed their all-too-human weaknesses and proclivities to overcome their better judgment and instincts and the result is the kind of world in which we live today.

Other than all the terrible things that have happened to our world since then, one of the greatest tragedies to strike the world is the deep alienation of Muslims from their Islamic roots and moorings both in terms of theory and practice. So much so that today we have all too many professed Muslims without Islam, just as we have all too many self-proclaimed Mu’mins without Iman.

And the result also is that Islam and Iman are increasingly used as clichés and crutches without their being translated into ideas and actions applicable to the times and circumstances in which the Muslims happen to be living today. Islam, rather than being a panacea for the many ills of the modern world has ended up as a grievance sheet in the hands of many modern-day Muslims today.

Greatest Anomaly in Human History:
Muslims without Education or Character

This has produced some of the greatest anomalies of modern times – you fix the origin of those times at whatever point of history you are most comfortable with: Muslims without education and Mu’mins without character.

How is such a thing possible? How can there be a sun without sunlight or a moon without moonshine? Well, Muslims managed to produce these anomalies in practice, no matter how impossible they may sound on paper.

If Muslims had not read their Qur’an, they should have at least read their Iqbal, for he, warned them that character was key to leadership in the world.

And that character, Iqbal said, consisted in the universal Islamic principles of truthfulness, trustworthiness, commitment to justice for all as well as the courage and strength to learn them; to understand and internalize them; to remain fully focused on them; to speak and preach them; to stand up for them; and work to achieve and implement them in practice – for yourself and for everyone else.

 

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