Suppose you hear a cry from the kitchen:
“Honey, Sugar Jar Empty!”
That is TTSpeak: no verbs if we can avoid them.
I have never in my entire life heard a response like the following one:
“I heard you Dear, May Allah fill it with sugar!”
A more likely reply, I expect would be:
“All right Dear, I going now.”
Again, no verb. That is Trinidad.
Translated in plain American it means:
“I am on my way, sweetheart!”
To get sugar of course.
But that is not always the response we get when we talk to teach others and scream out in pain:
“Hey, guess what.
Our Iman seems to be running on fumes!”
You know what the Dominant Model is when it comes to responding to a distress call like this? Even from some of the best of the best of the best of us?
It is likely to be:
“May Allah make our Iman better!”
It is almost an exact equivalent of:
“Honey, may Allah fill our jar with sugar!”
And it is rarely, if ever, anything that sounds like this:
“All right Dear, I am heading out right now to get some.”
I do not hear Muslims taking personal responsibility for their situation, whether it is about improving their Salaah or their Iman. I do not generally hear Muslims saying things like:
What do you think I should do?
Do you have any ideas how I can improve my Iman?”
And even more rarely does one come across anything like this:
“Oh my God! Really?
Innaa Lillahi wa Innaa Ilaihi Raaji’oon!
Laa Hawula wa Laa Quwwata Illaa Billah!
I am going to start working on it right away.
And, oh by the way, any ideas? Any suggestions?
What do you think I should do to make my Iman better?”
Not once, people! Not once!
Shows the disconnect that Muslims, by and large, have with reality when it comes to Islam.
So far as Muslims are concerned, it seems to me, their Deen is a set of cliches and platitudes.
The way I see it, most of us are Legacy Muslims — born into Islam, through no active or rational choice of ours in this world. And more or less stuck with our heritage of birth.
And that means most of us are Muslims by habit and custom. Not through careful thought and agonizing personal search and transformation.
As a result, many of us mouth these cliches and platitudes because everyone else does. And we never feel the necessity to think seriously about any of the things we do; like real people; alone; with pain filling our hearts and with eyes flooding with tears.
And the fact that mercenary mullahs by the dozen fill every street corner with their snake oil pills makes it impossible for us to climb out of the hole we find ourselves in.
So, let us change the old dysfunctional culture we have inherited from our priests. And replace it with a more real and vibrant set of beliefs and practices that are closer to the nature, text and spirit of Islam.