Islam and Qur’an Will Continue to Flourish
I wonder how many of us ever think about the soul-numbing comment Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, once made about the future of Islam and Muslims. “A day will come,” he said, “When all that will remain of Islam will be its name and all that will remain of the Qur’an will be its script.” I wonder how many of us ever ask if this time is that time. May Allah All-Mighty continue to protect his Deen Islam and his Book the Qur’an. My first reaction is to say: “Yes, this time is indeed that time. For, Islam has become an empty shell and the Qur’an is a stranger among Muslims and the rest of the world.” And then some time passes and my heart begins to cry out, “No, it cannot be. This time cannot be that time. For, there is still a good bit of Islam left in the world and the Qur’an is beginning to get a measure of traction in the lives of Muslims. At least in their individual lives even if not in their societies, cultures and collective lives. And an occasional non-Muslim still does drift into Islam for whatever reason.” So my aching heart turns a somersault and whoops out in joy: “The good times are here. Islam will still reach every home and heart that needs it. And God’s majestic book the Qur’an will still light up every bosom in every society and culture. For, a benighted humanity, run out of all options for a better life, has nowhere to turn but to Islam and the Qur’an, even if it has to vault over the heads of Muslims to get to Islam and the Qur’an.”
A Living Fossil
Islam is life itself. It is the message and methodology of life designed by the creator for his creation. And yet in many ways it is possible to think of Islam as a Living Fossil. And to think of Muslims as dead men walking. You can call them modern-day dinosaurs if you will – alive and well. And you may look at the entire world as the Jurassic Park of Islam. Because everything Islamic that Muslims are and do today, even in their less-than-ideal state of Islamic living, goes back 1400 years. Historically speaking, there is nothing modern or new or of recent origin about Islam. That means everything truly Islamic in the lives of Muslims, even today, after the passage of fourteen long centuries, is exactly what the Qur’an preached and the Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, taught and exemplified in his own noble life one thousand four hundred years ago. And yet it is all a vibrant part of our own everyday life and reality today. There is nothing like it anywhere else. And those who have not seen or experienced the reality of Islamic teachings in any way cannot even imagine that something like this is possible or that it exists in this world today right in front of our eyes. That is why we need to understand clearly that everything about Islam is a Real-Time Miracle.
Messenger Is the Message
If you want people to believe you, become the message of which you are a messenger. It is as simple as that.
Hallelujah! Art that Is Islam
Only recently someone – in fact someone I hold in great esteem as they say – talked to me about art that he called “Islamic.” I said: “Art is art and it is Islam.” He said, “Heh?” And I said, “Yea, that is right. Paint the most beautiful and evocative things in the most beautiful way. That is Islam. And that is also art.” And then I continued: “Of course you should not be painting nudes and things like that – any local Mulla will supply you with a list of things you should not portray in your art.” The man who had just taken up landscape painting showed visible signs of excitement. I pressed home the advantage and said: “Don’t you see the world around you? The grass; the flowers; the water; the sea; the mountains; the sunset; the sunrise; and all the rest of those things? Have you ever seen better art than that? That is all art, period. And that is also all Islam, period.” “And guess what,” I wanted to make one more point before we parted. “Allah is the greatest Artist. That is what he calls himself: Al-Musawwir. And he is the greatest designer and creator – Alkhallaaq and Al-Baari’.” And then I thought to myself: What a great system of ideas and what a great world of imagination this Islam represents! Under its magic touch, whatever you touch turns to gold, right in your hands. And then I said to myself and for anyone who would listen: Tabaarakallahu Ahsanul Khaaliqeen – “Glory to him, the most beautiful of all creators!”
Friends Like These …
I think in practically every culture and language there is something to the effect: It is not the enemies or strangers I fear. It is people who call themselves friends that I am sometimes most concerned about. Or maybe there isn’t. But the Believers, what do they have to fear, right? For, God says in the Qur’an that he is their friend. Or as the Qur’an puts it: Allahu waliyyulladheena aamanoo. Paraphrase: “God is the friend of those who believe.” How much more comforting or empowering can anything get?
Tragedy of Karbala … Then and Now
The tragedy of Karbala is not just that people with Muslim names killed Husain, the beloved grandson of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and mutilated his body, and that too in the month of Muharram during which all bloodshed is clearly forbidden. At the same time, the real Karbala Tragedy of our own time is the fact that Husain, while he continues to be a hero to the Shi’a, has become a stranger to much of the Sunni world.
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