SIMPLE CIVILITY AND SOCIAL GRACES? WE INVENTED THAT TOO!
If you want to deal with the concept of thanking Allah – as well as people – at an even more basic level, then here is what Prophet Muhammad, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam, says: Just try smiling when you run into a fellow human being.
So, we invented the art and science of smiling too.
Remember the catchphrase “Service with a Smile”? That is us too. But with one serious exception. We don’t use smiling as a means to boost our businesses, we smile because that is the least we can do.
That is the smallest “gesture” or token of appreciation we can display at the wonderful divine gift of being brought face to face, by an ever-loving God Almighty, with another member of our ilk.
Yet another human on this Planet of the Humans? Wow, what joy!
In one simple gesture, we are saying: Thank You God for making another one just like us. And thank you God for this wonderful opportunity that you made it possible for us to meet this person.
For, among other things, no matter how much we search, there is no greater wonder or miracle on the face of this earth than a real, walking, talking, living human being.
Thank you Lord, thank you!
At the same time you are also saying to this person who suddenly registered on your radar: Thank You My Dear Fellow Muslim, or Thank You My Dear Fellow Human, for coming into my life even if it is just for a few seconds.
And, folks, let me make it quite clear that what goes for face-to-face meetings also applies to telephone encounters. So next time you pick up the phone, you know what to do.
Allahu Akbar! What a Deen this Deen is!
And what a loving, merciful God, God is. And what a fountain of divine mercy Prophet Muhammad, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam, is!
So, ladies and gentlemen, next time you want to know who the Muslims are, just think of us not only as the people who would keep your streets, communities, neighborhoods and environment clean, but also as the people who invented the art of smiling as an act of social grace and charity at the most fundamental level.
For some of you who may have wondered about it, where do you think Dr. Pasha’s International Islamic-Community Clean-Up comes from?
Or for that matter where do you think Dr. Pasha’s Campus-Community Clean-Up comes from?
Do bear in mind, however, that all translations from original Arabic are my paraphrases. What they try to do is capture the essence and spirit of the Hadith to the extent they can. They do not provide literal translations of the Arabic text.
Well, how is all this for making “gestures” of thanks to the Lord?
WHAT IS SAID ABOUT ISLAM AND MUSLIMS
What people need to understand – Muslims among them – is that Islam is not the kind of mumbo jumbo people sometimes call “religion.”
Islam is a confluence of the most beautiful ideas and principles on how to live life on earth to the fullest and in the best and the most perfect possible way, right here in this world. And, at the same time, how to make sure that life lived on this side of the grave leads to the greatest possible success and joy and the most wonderful results on the other side of the grave as well.
That is smart thinking.
So, what it boils down to is that Islam is for smart people and it is not for dumb people. And that means Islam is the really smart way of living life in this world.
The trouble with the Muslims is that Muslims want to go to Paradise, but they will not work for it in this world. Whereas the fact is that to gain entry into Paradise after death we have to work for it in this world and earn it.
So, if Paradise is what Muslims will get after death, this world itself is up for grabs for anyone who will work for it. If Muslims behave properly in this world, and do all they need to do to be successful, they will be rewarded in this world with success, like everybody else.
By the same token, if Muslims won’t do what success requires in this world, they will also be denied success in this world, just like everybody else.
That’s God’s immutable law.
Of course, all this must be interpreted keeping in mind the laws and principles of right and wrong, Halal and Haram, that God has provided for our guidance.
As for the fate of this world itself, it lies squarely in the hands of God – just like everything else. But what God Almighty has done is made Muslims the keepers and custodians of this world. He did so with the specific mandate to the Muslims to go and make this world a better place for all – every animal, every tree and every human being.
Muslims thus have been charged by God to create the best conditions and the finest environment on earth for the survival and success of everyone and everything.
ISLAM AND ELECTIONS: THE TWINS THAT NEVER CAN PART
What makes Muslims really Muslims is the fact that they have willingly and voluntarily accepted and embraced this divine mandate. They have opted or, as they say, “elected,” to do so. Muslims, thus, are the ones who have chosen or “elected” to say “Yes” to God Almighty.
Could they have said “No” to him? Of course they could have. But that would have made them non-Muslims. So, instead, Muslims exercised their right of choice the right way and said “Yes” to God.
And it is the birthright of every human being in this world: to be able to say “Yes” or “No” to anyone, including to God Almighty himself. In fact, Islam came into this world to give humanity that choice – and that right – to say “Yes” or “No.”
Islam came in this world to give an oppressed humanity the freedom of thought and behavior to be able to choose the kind of leaders they want to rule over them.
Islam came into this world to teach human beings to use free and fair elections as the basis for all power relations among them.
Thus, in Trinidad or anywhere else, to be able to choose our leaders freely is one of the blessings of God Almighty. Being able to elect our leaders is one of the key contributions of Islam to human civilization and culture.
As the Qur’an says: Wa amruhum shoora bainahum.
Paraphrase: Muslim life is characterized by the fact that Muslims conduct all their affairs on the basis of free and fair exercise of choice.
That is what God ordained in his heaven. What Muslims do on earth may be a very different matter.
What we are doing here is clarifying the theory. We will deal with Muslim practice, Inshallah, when Allah makes that possible.
WHAT PASHA HOUR INTERNATIONAL STANDS FOR
That is what Pasha Hour International is all about. It is all about Islam, Muslims and the World. But at the same time it is not one of your typical Muslim programs.
Pasha Hour International is about saying nice things about people – about friends and even about foes: about Muslims and about Hindus, Jews, Christians and Atheists.
And about all kinds of other people.
Not because we at Pasha Hour International are nice people, any more than anyone else, but because that is the onus or burden God has placed upon us as Muslims.
That is the mandate Muslims have from God Almighty: to say nice things to and about others. And to say what they say as nicely as they can.
To me there is no greater test of a human being’s inner strength or wisdom or skills than that.
Muslims, thus, have a direct mandate from God to build bridges and create connections among human beings.
Thus, just like Islam itself, Pasha Hour International also is about building bridges of understanding and cooperation, and it is about creating conditions of coexistence and cooperation, among cultures, societies, religions, races, genders and people in general.
So, help us God!
© 2007 Syed Husain Pasha
Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at]
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.
|Next:||Peace and Love: Season’s Greetings 1428/2007|
|Previous:||Pasha Hour International: Live from America! December 8, 2007|
Jump to Article:
Dr. Pasha’s Thanksgiving Message: 2016!
This Thanksgiving — And Every Other Thanksgiving!
Filled with Men and Women Without Character.