But it is hard: ignoring reality and going by some ideas in a book.
It is hard but it needs to be done.
It is in our interest, and it is in the interest of the world, to do so.
And then there is another thing: That Book, the Qur’an, is also a part of our reality.
In fact, that book is much more real than anything and everything that we consider to be real in this world.
Empirically speaking, there perhaps never was a better system of belief and behavior than Islam.
Nor was there perhaps a worse set of its exemplars and spokespeople than modern-day Muslims.
So, the burden falls on those outside the fold of Islam to look past the Muslims and evaluate Islam on the basis of what Islam itself really teaches and promotes and claims to be.
And they are most fortunate in this respect, I mean the non-Muslims.
And so are Muslim peripheralists and borderliners who may have been born into Islam, but who may then have drifted away from Islam and Muslims in later life.
For, they have available to them the original word of God in the Qur’an – pure and unadulterated.
They do not need to depend on hearsay or cultural accretions and traditions, but they all can go directly to the pure and pristine teachings of the Qur’an.
At the same time, they also have available to them the unadulterated words and deeds of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, in the Hadith.
In the form of raw data and basic facts.
And, both the Qur’an and the Hadith are more reliable, more authentic and more true than any other material they would be able to lay their eyes upon, whether that is a newspaper; a magazine; a popular or scholarly book or journal; a historic document; a computer output of some description; or just about anything else in this world.
So, non-Muslims, as well as Muslim peripheralists and borderliners, must look past the somewhat less than ideal Muslim reality of today at the original purity and higher reality of the Qur’an and the Hadith and make their reasoned and pragmatic choices – about life and about Islam – based on them.
In this way, they will not only choose and act wisely in this world, but they will also open themselves to divine grace and blessings to come pouring down on them from Heaven.