Allah bless Muslims!
They are the people who claim to have “The Book.” That too, not just any book, but “That Book” – that most special of books that has no doubt or error in it!
And Muslims say they are heir to the tradition of “Reading” that Allah promulgated in the world through “Iqra’!” and through “Qur’an” – 1400 years ago!
And Muslims proclaim to the whole world that Allah taught, and he provided education to, all of humanity, using the medium of “The Pen” — Al-Qalam.
Wa ‘Allama Bilqalam.
And yet – O Paradox of Paradoxes! And O what a tragedy it is! – Muslims are perhaps the ones today who, mostly, will not read.
Reading is simply not part of the Muslim culture anymore.
In other words, the culture of “Reading” seems to have gone out of the life of Muslims for the most part.
Then they, I mean the Muslims, spend their time wondering what hit them, what went wrong, and why they have all the problems they do.
In response, Muslims hold all kinds of conferences, they listen to all kinds of speeches, and they ask everyone everywhere what went wrong with them.
Will someone tell the poor lost sheep of Islam to reclaim the heritage of “Reading” they seem to have abandoned so thoroughly? Will someone tell the Muslims just to start reading?
“Reading what?” did you say? I thought you would, Muslims, I thought you would say that.
But let me ask you this, Muslims! For those not used to reading, does it really matter what they read? The thing to do is to start reading. Just like Allah said: Just Read!
Read in the name of your God. That is what really matters.
And if you did, read in the name of your God I mean, you will very quickly figure out what it is you must be reading – “in the name of your Lord, Master and Creator.”
And what, if anything, you must not be reading.
It is just like holding a debate on what to give a man who is dying of hunger and malnutrition to eat. Does it really matter? Give the man “Something To Eat” and save his life.
That is why Allah said: “Read!”
He did not tell us what. But he did tell us to make sure that whatever it is we read, we read it in his name.
That is sufficient to light our path to a bright new future.
That is how that command from God Almighty – “Read!” – saved and changed the world 1400 years ago when the Qur’an first proclaimed it a universal mandate to all of humanity.