"Calling" May Be a Nice Word,
But Why Not Call It What It Really Is?
A Fard? A Duty?
And an Obligation We Cannot Escape?
(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?)
"Calling" is a nice English, Western, Christian word. We can all go and figure out what it means, and where it came from.
Broadly speaking, "Calling" has some reference to something we strongly want to do, inclined to do, and for doing which we may have a rather strong urge or impulse -- and all that. Which is all well and good.
But in Islam, as per the Qur'an and the Hadith, our way of looking at things is a bit different.
Therefore, our job as Muslims is to systematically learn the culture, the lore and the ideas and concepts of Islam.
And to systematically acquire the vocabulary and terminology of Islam.
Our job is not to shoehorn Islamic ideas and Islamic terminology into Western-Christian Concepts and into English words and vocabulary and terminology.
And so also the practices of Islam.
Our Sajdah, for example, is not Western-English "Prostration." It is "Sajdah." Or Sujood.
And it shall remain so forever.
No insult or disrespect to anyone. But that is how it is. There are things in Islam that are different from non-Islam, including Christianity and things Western in general.
English translations of the Qur'an don't help. Including translations by Muslims. They don't help either, because most Muslim English translators simply follow or imitate their non-Muslim masters and mentors.
Islam takes a broader view, and if you ask me a more scientific view, of human beings act. That means when we act as human beings, there are several levels of activities we can engage in:
One, activities that are a physiological requirement of our corporeal (physical) body. We just have to do them, because our body cannot stay without doing them. Breathing, for example.
Two, things about doing which we have a bit of choice whether to do them or not to do them. For example, we can choose whether or not to go for an early morning walk in the park.
Three, things which we are absolutely, positively required to do, either by a government or by God Almighty. With regard to these things we do not have much of a choice, whether or not to do them.
The bottomline is, failure to do these things will result in penalties and punishment.
Those things that God Almighty requires us to do -- makes it obligatory and compulsory for us to do -- Islam calls them Fard, whatever the English equivalents that you may choose.
So, the word "Calling" to describe an "Obligation" from God is inaccurate. In fact, it is highly misleading. And it will put us on a wrong track.
Therefore, it may not be bad practice for us to keep checking the words we use in our daily conversation to see what they really mean and where they may be coming from.
And that is because the English language which is now the language of many of us Muslims, and our children, is primarily designed to serve the purposes of Western-Christian thought.
And to the extent Christianity is a different system of belief and behavior from Islam, our use of English as Muslims must be undertaken with circumspection and thoughtfulness.