Not only that, what about who controls whom and who decides the destinies of whom in this world itself? To whom do we hand over this world and its rights, powers and privileges?
Let the Qur’an answer that question.
Qur’an: Wa laa yattakhiza ba’dunaa ba’dan arbaabam min doonullah.
Paraphrase: Let us agree that we won’t claim rights and powers over each other that belong only to God; that we will not become the overlords, worldly masters and Shogans of one another in this life.
If we can’t agree on any of this, let us then, for the time being at least, agree to disagree and leave each other alone.
Qur’an: Lakum deenukum wa liya deen.
Paraphrase: You go your way and I shall go mine.
Dear Islam: How Beautiful You Are!
Islam, thy name is compromise – where compromise leads to goodness and truth.
Islam is all compromise where compromise opens the door to greater justice, compassion and equality for all.
Islam is all accommodation where accommodation makes possible the building of a better and more peaceful world for all.
Islam is all negotiation where negotiation helps people to set aside their prejudices and hate and phobias and take a more honest and objective look at the truth that came to them in the form of the Qur’an and Islam.
Islam is all peace where peace enhances human rights, dignities, liberties, freedoms and opportunities for all – regardless of race, religion, gender, tribe, territory, country or class.
Islam, how beautiful you are!
Who but God Almighty could have fashioned you?
You are so wonderful and so encompassing and embracing of all, Dear Islam, that anything truly good and genuinely beautiful in any place or culture or society in this world, we can put a flag on it and call it Islam.
And claim it as our own.
Divali or Deepavali: A Festival of Lights
A festival of light did you say? Now, wait a minute. That is us. Light is us.
Islam is all about light.
Not in some small, marginal way, but in a most fundamental, sweeping and global way.
According to the Bible, God said: Let there be light! And there was light.
Islam goes beyond that. Way, way, way beyond that.
According to the Qur’an, God Almighty not only set up the universe with the light fixtures of the sun, the moon and the stars, but much more than that, God Almighty himself is the light of the heavens and earth, the Qur’an declares.
Allahu noorus-samaawaati wal ard, says the Qur’an.
And then that most beautiful passage from the Qur’an – like all other passages of the Qur’an, each one of which is more beautiful than the other – which says: And then the earth would have lit up with the light of her master!
Every time I read that miraculous passage or Aayat of the Qur’an, I feel like closing my eyes and going into a trance. That is how magical it is – the notion of divine radiance and light suddenly sweeping and filling the earth.
Here are the words of the Qur’an. Close your eyes and recite them as often as you can and see if you feel anything.
Wa ashraqatil ardu bi-noori rabbiha.
Triumph of Light over Darkness
So, when you want to talk about a celebration of light, then you are talking to the right crowd. I mean the Muslims of course. The Muslims, as usual, may be somewhat clueless about it, but that is what Islam is all about. It is about light.
When you want to talk about the triumph of light over darkness, that is us too, because that is what God does.
And that is what God’s book came into this world to do. And that is what God’s last and final messenger and prophet came into this world to do. Pull people from all kinds of darkness into divine light.
In the words of the Qur’an: Yukhrijuhum minaz zulumaati ilan noor.
So, let the Hindus of India and the world know that they are not alone in celebrating the victory of light over darkness; of knowledge over ignorance; of enlightenment over superstition; and of good over evil.
The Muslims are with them. And Islam is with them.
True Enlightenment Means
Worship No One but God
But there is one thing Muslims will not do, and Islam does not permit. And that is worship anyone or anything but God Almighty – the maker and master of all things.
Not Sri Rama.
Not Sri Bharata.
Not even Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Nor, can, do or shall they worship the lovely lands on which they were born, whether it is India or Arabia.
Muslims don’t and cannot worship anyone born of a mother or of a father. For, true enlightenment means the realization that none deserves to be worshipped but God.
For, God Almighty is the only one who is worthy of all worship and adoration. And he has neither a father nor a mother. Nor does he have offspring or a family.
As the Qur’an puts it: Lam yalid wa lam yoolad.
Paraphrase: He neither begets, nor is he begotten.
As a result: Laisa ka-mkithlihee shaiyi’.
Paraphrase: He resembles nothing; nothing resembles him.
Allahu Akbar! How clear God’s word is. And how simple, elegant and clear this Qur’an is.
And how much in need of clarity humanity is at all times and in all places.
As a result, those who believe in one true God cannot worship, not just humans, but also any other creation of God such as animals or trees or anything else.
“Me Too!” or “We Too!” Never Had It So Good!
And yet the concept of “Me Too!” or rather “We Too!” never had it so good. That means any thing good that exists anywhere around the world, Islam has – and Muslims should have – no problem or hesitation in declaring an instant affinity with it.
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