Looking Past Muslims to Islam
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.
Love of Game vs. Love of God: Is There an Organic Connection between The Two?
Those who love football find football.
And those who love soccer or baseball find soccer and baseball.
In the same way, those who love God find God.
So, it is a question of what it is that you love or seek most in life.
And how well and how hard you do so.
And in what contexts and places.
It would be interesting to know how Love of God intersects with Love of Game in the lives of many, or at least some, of the high-end football, soccer and baseball players in the world.
Invariance of Inviting People to Allah and Constancy of Allah’s Way
Sometimes those working for Allah may wonder why we have to keep doing the same thing over and over again.
Why, they may ask themselves, do we keep working so hard and see such minimal results.
Why do we all follow the same old style of doing things, they may say?
Why do we, they could ask themselves, for example:
- Keep on preparing and distributing literature the way we do;
- Keep on producing the same old-fashioned audio and video and computer material;
- Keep on designing and populating the websites the same old-fashioned way;
- And keep on doing everything as it was done over 1000 years ago?
And why do we, they could say for example, keep on trying to:
- Reach out to people;
- Invite them to Allah;
- Give them the message of Islam;
- Answer the same old questions over and over;
- Show them the miracles of the Qur’an;
- And try to share with them the joy, beauty and practicality of the teachings of Islam?
And it is perfectly normal and natural for them to feel and wonder about things in this way and to ask these questions of themselves and others.
After all, they are human beings – are they not? – even though they have chosen to be in the special category of those who have dedicated their lives to work for Allah and to serve his creation without asking for anything in return.
As for results, regardless of whether those results are a lot or a little, I will leave that question for another day. But I do want to make clear the role of seemingly dull and redundant routine activity in Islam and in nature.
While in many ways things in the world change and evolve, by and large the universe is a giant amalgam of mini and mega structures and processes that pretty much perform the same routine functions repetitively, over and over, billions of times.
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