What a Glorious Concept!
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)
I trust you are well. And having fun.
"Islam and fun?" you may raise your eyebrows.
"Astaghfirullah! What an oxymoron!" Some others may exclaim in disbelief.
But some others may think — and that is what really matters: "Subhaanallah! What a Deen! What a beautiful miracle this Deen of Allah is that it lets people have fun!"
Provided, of course, I must hasten to add, both to set the record straight and to address my readers' apprehensions, it is done within the boundaries of Allah.
Just like everything else.
And what a glorious concept it is — Allah's boundaries: Hudoodullah!
Deenul Fitrah, as it is often referred to — a complete and comprehensive way of life entirely in keeping with the basic needs of human nature and perfectly in consonance with the primordial functioning of the broader laws of nature that govern the universe.
And it makes perfect sense.
Laws of Nature, Laws of God:
Optimizing Human Life on Earth
For those who know (Alladheena ya'lamoon, as the Qur'an calls them), these are all laws and ways of Allah put in place to aid, facilitate, optimize and enrich human life on earth. And for those who don't know (Allahdheena laa ya'lamoon, as the Qur'an calls this other group), they are little more than laws and ways of nature in whose midst human life is a mere speck without any direction or destiny.
The expression Nature for these wonderful people is simply a code word that stands for "all that we don't know."
And the notion of Allah's boundaries fits nicely into that divine scheme of things. Allah's boundaries are put in place to protect and optimize human life on earth — physically, psychologically and spiritually. It is the very definition of life, if you ask me, this notion of setting limits and drawing lines of demarcation.
Can you imagine a living cell — in human or animal tissue or in a plant — without a surrounding cell membrane to delimit and guard its identity and ensure its well-being? If there are no cell membranes, there will be no life on earth. Period. Am I right on that? I don't know. Why don't you ask your high school biology teacher?
Order and Predictability
Chaos and Confusion
So, boundaries provide order and predictability to life. And life without boundaries is anarchy, confusion and chaos — and headed toward self-destruction. A boundaryless life is an anachronism and a virtual impossibility.
Also important is the nature of those boundaries. Human life sinks into tyranny when the boundaries are unfair, arbitrary and unduly restricting, just as life turns into a fracas and a free-for-all when boundaries are vague, ill defined or porous.
On the other hand when boundaries are fair, just, reasonable, meaningful, necessary, clearly defined and almost predictable — as Allah's boundaries are with regard to everything — they protect, enhance and enrich life. They add the essential elements of zest, fun and excitement to life. They provide security. They reduce anxiety and uncertainty. And they optimize the experience of a tranquil, peaceful and truly meaningful life on earth for everybody.
Imagine how much better our land, water and air would have been today if human beings had done a better job of respecting Allah's limits and directives (hudoodullah) with regard to their consumption of energy; their discharge of pollutants in air and water; and their profligate and wasteful ways in general.
Allah's Boundaries vs. Human Boundaries
Furthermore, human boundaries are for some, whereas Allah's boundaries are for all. Human boundaries are generally meant to protect some against the many. Allah's boundaries, on the other hand, protect all human beings against all harm and evil.
Human beings set up boundaries out of concern for their own claims, interests and possessions. Allah, on the other hand, sets up boundaries out of concern for the welfare of human beings — all human beings. What a magnificent difference!
Allah's boundaries are there to protect people from what their creator knows will hurt and harm them and diminish the experience of life for them on this earth. Allah's boundaries, therefore, are part of the unfolding of Allah's Rahmat and love and mercy for his creation on his earth.
And it is a tremendous blessing from Almighty Allah that he defines his boundaries clearly and fairly. And that he openly warns human beings about them. Allah says in the Qur'an: "Those are Allah's boundaries, don't go near them."
Tilka hudoodullahi fa-laa taqrabooha!
What a Loving, Caring, Doting God!
What a loving, caring God — a most doting God, as I have described him elsewhere. Himself Rahmaan and Raheem. Sends his man Muhammad, Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, as Rahmat. What else do you expect to come out from the source of all Rahmat if not Rahmat?
And not just for this or that chosen or privileged part of his creation but for all his worlds, whatever and wherever and in whatever form and shape they may be — Rahmatal lil'aalameen. What else do you expect from someone who is the master of all the worlds — Rabbul 'Aalameen?
What a clear and powerful miracle, every Aayat of this Qur'an! How can an unlettered man, from an illiterate culture, sitting in a cave 1400 years ago, in a barren desert full of rock and sand, design a perfect equation like this?
Is this proof enough that this Qur'an is indeed from God Almighty? If it is not, then maybe you should work a bit more on learning the nature of proof in this world.
Building a Better World
So, Allah created his boundaries — hudoodullah — out of his immense and abiding concern for your well-being and not because he wanted to protect something that belonged to him or to take away all fun from your life.