Muslims of Today,
Caught between Islam and Jahiliyyah!
Or Just Call It PreIslam.
(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?)
Islam is Islam and Pre-Islam is Jahiliyyah. And that basically means Non-Islam: steeped in ignorance; reveling in foolishness; and characterized by stubborn denial of truth and facts.
And it could also be Post-Islam.
A state in which Islam of days past loses its luster, its robustness and its efficacy and becomes a relic and a fading memory. It becomes an object to be cherished and commemorated rather than a reality to be lived and built up and advanced.
And that means people who have experienced Islam more or less return to the way they were before Islam. This could also happen when people pass through Islam like a train passes through a tunnel and leave Islam behind.
The two states of Pre-Islam and Post-Islam could be tantalizingly similar.
It is tempting to think that many Muslims today are in a state of Post-Islam. They seem to have sailed through Islam the way a bullet sails through a bucketful of butter. Nothing much sticks to the bullet.
Not that today’s Muslims do not pray or fast. Or run off to do a Hajj or even an extra Umrah. They do all that.
Nor is it a question of whether or not Muslims will enter Paradise upon death. That question is one that seems well night settled in their favor. For, the default in the case of Muslims is Jannat.
They registered for it at some point in their life and their application will be processed and honored, as all applications are.
Or they somehow acquired a ticket to that lottery and this one happens to be a lottery in which every number is a winning number.
Or someone else registered them, maybe, by calling the Adhaan in their ears when they were too little and too helpless to say no; or by circumcising their males when they were still mere children; or by collecting a crowd to read Janazah Funeral Prayers on them when they died.
And then there is the promise that Allah gave to his beloved Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, that he will not be disappointed when it came to his Ummat. A promise on the basis of which Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, proclaimed that this Ummat of his was a blessed Ummat, enveloped in God’s mercy and Rahmat.
Ummatun Marhoomah, he called his Ummat.
So Muslims have too many things working in their favor. And no supplicant is returned from Allah’s door empty handed.
But because many of the Muslims of today fail to understand that Islam and Pre-Islam are different states of mind. And they represent two very different character-types and personal qualities right here in this world.
So, today, the issue with Muslims is not Islam in the sense of “Piety” and “Religiousness” but Islam in the sense of character and personal and social qualities and human timber. And in terms of their active role in the world as Allah’s Khalifahs or Representatives.
And character here could be taken to mean not only things like honesty, integrity, truthfulness, trustworthiness, but also things LIKE dependability, skills, capabilities, education, leadership and such. It is an individual’s and a community’s worldly wherewithal as it were.
Allah perfected the character of Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, well before he called him to be his Messenger of Mercy to all of humanity and to all his creation.
To All the Worlds as the Qur’an delicately puts it.
Here are the words of the Qur’an — as clear and as direct and as comprehensive as they can be:
Wa Maa Arsalnaaka Illaa Rahmatan Lil-‘Aalameen!
“Pure and simple,
You are our Message of Mercy to all the worlds!”
And how did this “Character” — Personal Qualities — thing happen? Well, hear Allah himself testify to it:
Innaka La-‘Alaa khuluqin ‘Azeem!
1. “What absolutely amazing ‘character’ you have!”
2. “You are a man of the most marvelous ‘character’!”
3. “You surely are a man of great ‘character’!”
4. “Surely, you possess the most amazing personal qualities.”
That is what Allah said in the Qur’an about the “Character” of Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
And what did the world — the people who knew him and dealt with him directly and personally on a daily basis — say about his character?
The world simply said one thing: “True!” That is what the world said about him. The world called him a “Man of Truth.”
Truth in Speech and Truth in Action and Behavior.
The world said, Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, was “True” in his Speech just as he was “True” in his Action and Behavior and Conduct.
That means the world gave him credit for two things that matter most in terms of character in this world:
a) Truthfulness in terms of Speech and in relation to all forms and modes of Communication in all types of situations.
In this regard, people simply called him As-Assadiq: Truth Teller Par Excellence!
A man whose word was his bond. Every single time. Meaning: Every time he spoke, nothing but “Truth” came out of his mouth.
What a testimonial of character! No other man in human history was ever called that. Nor did any man ever deserve that title more.
b) Absolute Reliability, Honesty, Integrity, Transparency and Trustworthiness in terms of practical dealings and transactions of all kinds.
On that score, the world conferred upon him the title of Al-Ameen: “Mr. Trust.”
When Aishah, Radiyallahu Anha, his wife, was asked about Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, what kind of man he was, she referred to his “character.”
Kaana Khuluquhul Qur’an.
1. “His character was the Qur’an.”
2. “He was Qur’an personified.”
3. “His life was was Qur’an in action.”
To the extent the Qur’an is the last word on excellence in every sphere and in every way, this meant Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, could be considered to be at that nearly impossible and super-human level of human excellence in all human attributes and performances.
Attributes needed for success in this world like merit, excellence, human quality and worth and superior performance on every level of human endeavor.
This is what Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, was before he became Allah’s Rasul. He was the most amazing and most perfect human being in every conceivable way.
So, “character” did not mean just being a “nice” person or even what people would call a “pushover” or a doormat. It meant the pinnacle of excellence in every human attribute. It meant sagacity, wisdom, strength and resourcefulness.
Most Muslims of today are a confused bunch when it comes to all this stuff. Their Islam, for many of them at least, has very little to do with human excellence and superior capabilities and performance. Their Islam is generally one of outward “Piety.” And one of wishful thinking.
In some instances at least to the point of dysfunctionality and inefficiency.
By and large, Muslim lives today lack that sparkle of As-Saadiq and Al-Ameen that characterized the life of Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, even before Islam.
From this point of view, it is fair to say that many Muslim lives today are closer to the spirit of Jahiliyyah — The Dark Ages of Pre-Islam — than they are to the truly enlightened times and ways of Islam.