Dr. Pasha on Islam,
Muslims and the World
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time)
Two Kinds of Muslims
The past several decades, I have seen two kinds of Muslims.
Among all the other kinds of Muslims I have seen.
In America and elsewhere.
Those who spend their lives -- and attendant resources -- to build Islam.
Islam, mind you, not Muslims. For, at times, actually more often than we realize, there are clear lines of demarcation between the two: Islam and Muslims.
And those other kind of Muslims who spend -- shall we say use? -- Islam to build their own lives and fortunes.
The first category of Muslims is very thinly populated.
As for the second, it seems to be bursting at the seams.
And then Muslims run around complaining why things are the way they are for them -- and for the world.
Can you imagine what a different world we would have today if only Muslims had managed to reverse this equation?
Or if Muslims would make up their minds to do it even now, at this late stage in their life.
Looking for Resources?
Time was when, like all the rest of us in the West, America in particular, I also used to wonder about resources.
Like everyone else engaged in the so-called Islamic work of one kind or another, I too used to mumble the usual formula: What can we accomplish without resources? And where will the resources come from?
And then it hit me. The reality of Hijrat.
It began to dawn on me how, God Almighty, when he was about to start the count down for a new era of Islam on earth, he did so by stripping the Muslims of Makkah practically of every “resource” in their possession and making them march into the wilderness toward Madinah more or less empty handed.
Everything they owned in Makkah -- their homes, their properties, their wealth, their native land -- they were forced to leave behind. They set out with nothing but God on their lips and the thought of a new life of freedom and faith on their mind.
It was then that the divine bell tolled and the Muslim calendar began to roll.
That is why they call it the Hijri Calendar! The first day of that calendar was the day when God took away from Muslims all the usual “resources” of this world and gave them in return the only thing that really mattered: his unfailing love.
Who but God himself could have said it so beautifully!
Wa Man Yatawakkal Alallahi Fa-huwa Hasbuh!
A Question about Zakat
Just think about all the money Muslims owe in Zakat -- the 2.5 percent annual levy that God has imposed on their savings.
Zakat is a powerful and unique system of social and economic justice, as well as personal and societal purification, that God has placed in the hands of the Muslims.
No, no, no. I am not asking if Muslims give Zakat. I am not asking how many of them do -- and how much.
I am only asking where does their Zakat money go and how does it actually get spent?
“Good question,” wouldn’t you say?
All the Muslim organizations that so hungrily and single-mindedly chase after Muslim Zakat, throughout America and UK -- a new Muslim cult would you say? -- just how do they spend that Zakat money?
What do they do with it? Does anyone know?
Be Safe! That Is Islam!
There are all kinds of people who talk about safety. Theirs and other people’s. So does Islam.
But also, at the same time, Islam does something serious and meaningful about it. Islam gives people a formula that they can recite, at all times of day and night, and that will give them the protection and safety that they need.
And that formula consists of God’s own pure and unfailing words.
It is called Aayatul Kursi, and it is in the Qur’an, which is 255th Aayat of Surah 2, Surah Al-Baqarah.
And it begins with the words “Allahu Laa Ilaaha Illaa Huw…” (2:255).
Keep reading it, Allah will protect you from all harm.
Transparency in Working for Allah: Being Seen to Be Doing So.
That Is Islam!
Those who say they are “Working for Allah!” must internalize the following divine monitoring system on earth:
Islam means working for Allah. That is what Islam means and the Qur’an seems to suggest that very strongly and very clearly.
As a result, those individuals and groups -- those who claim they are Working for Allah -- are not doing anyone any favors. They are just doing what they were put on this earth to do: To Work for Allah!
Illaa Li-Ya’abudoon (51:56)
But there is a small “catch” that seems to go with it. And the Qur’an is quite direct about it.
Quli’amaloo, says the Qur’an in Surah Tawubah, Aayat 105.
Go ahead and do the things you have to do. In other words, plain and simple: “Work!”
But then the Qur’an adds: Go ahead and work, “For, God shall see your work.”
Fa-Sa-yarallahu Amalakum! (9:105)
After that, the Qur’an says:
And so shall Allah’s Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Work, so along with Allah, Allah’s Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, can also see your work.
The story does not end there, but goes on to induct the Muslims -- The Believers: Al-Mu’minoon -- as part of this divine monitoring system of human behavior on earth.
As an integral part of this unfailing divine arrangement to monitor and supervise human action in this world.
Wal-Mu’minoon, says the Qur’an, “and the Believers.“
The Believers also shall and must be able to see and check your work.
Have you ever heard of something the world calls “Transparency“? This is the mother and grand-daddy of all transparencies.
Here is that full passage from Surah Tawubah:
Wa Quli’amaloo Fa-Sa-Yarallahu Amalakum wa Rasuluhu wal-Muminoon (9:105).
Paraphrase, once again:
For, Allah shall soon see and inspect your work.
And so shall Allah’s Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
As shall also the Believers!”
First thing: Work, for, you must, as you were created exclusively for that purpose: to work for Allah.
Next thing: When you work, you will be on the radar -- on candid camera if you will -- of all of them:
Then, Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam;
And, after that, the Muslims.
So, people do you get it?
If Only Muslims Cared!
If Muslims truly cared -- or understood -- the world will not be the kind of mess it is.
They would have devoted themselves to fixing the world -- and making it a better place for all -- instead of trying to make their own fortunes, and improve their own lives, in places like Europe and America.
And the less said about the so-called “Middle East,” the better! (Dr. Pasha)
Socking It To The American People
People generally sock it to the American People in two very important ways.
First, they feed the American People all kinds of poison in the name of food and drink.
And then, second, they send the American People to the poorhouse by claiming to provide the treatment for the host of diseases and ailments that this lifelong poisoning creates. (Dr. Pasha)
A True Islamic Calculus for Human Life on Earth
To all those who have been associated with me in this thing we call Working for Allah, for all these years, I have always maintained the following:
1. Don’t forget that your first consideration should be your personal safety and physical wellbeing -- along with your family’s and dependents’.
And in fact your entire society’s and the whole world’s.
For, you are the keeper of not only your own personal interests but also of the best interests of all of human family and the whole world.
2. Second on the list should be your own economic wellbeing and prosperity, which of course automatically means your family’s and dependents’.
And in fact your entire society’s and the whole world’s.
How in the world do you think you will ever fulfil God’s Commandment of Wa Aatuz-Zakaata, when you can’t even eke out a decent living for yourself and your dependents?
And when the social, cultural and economic life and wellbeing of your community and society and the whole world is in a perpetual slide downhill, right in front of your eyes?
3. Then, when you have attended to all this, you can say comes the turn of what you so casually call “Islam,” by which you usually mean “Leave It To God, It Is Not My Business Anyway!”
Or alternatively, “Me and My Rituals.” Whatever that means!
4. Or you can call the whole package Islam and marvel at how God Almighty made your own health, wealth and wellbeing -- and your family’s and society’s and the entire world’s health, wealth and wellbeing -- not only a part but the very core of your Deen.
That is right: Deen! What so many of you so foolishly and stubbornly -- following the rest of a very misguided and misinformed world -- have been calling your “Religion.”
The world may have a Religion. In fact, it has many. Much of which it made up all by itself.
But you don’t have a “Religion.” You have a Deen. Given to you by God Almighty himself.
And Islam is, and has always been, as you know or should have known, free from the false and malicious charge -- or blemish -- of being a “Religion.“
If this does not prove to you that Islam is from God -- and the Qur’an is from God -- nothing ever will.
And, also, by the way, go and check how often God Almighty, in the Qur’an, couples the commandment to give the Zakat with the commandment to establish Salat!
Then you will begin to understand what Islam is really all about. (Dr. Pasha)
Round the clock, Around the Globe: God’s Sustainability Warranty for Planet Earth!
Round the clock, around the globe – that is God’s Sustainability Warranty for Planet Earth.
Most reasonable people don’t question the fact that our world is a mess.
That is what Global Warming perhaps is.
And that is also what people mean by things like environmental degradation: can’t safely breathe the air we need to live; can’t drink the water without serious health consequences; can’t even live wherever we choose on God’s own earth without wondering what kind and level of toxicity is oozing from where.
And maybe that is what sustainability is all about.
Many of these things are of our own making.
Bima Kasabat Ayidin Naas, says the Qur’an.
So, much of it we will have to fix ourselves. Otherwise, we will perish – sooner than we think.
But here is a divine formula that has been put in place by God Almighty, himself, to protect us and our habitat, the earth, and fill it with enough blessings – “sustainability” if you will – to carry it through for the rest of its natural life.
And that formula is contained in Muslims chanting round the clock and around the globe the following Divine Expressions of Subhaanallah, Alhamdulillah, Bismillah, Laa Ilaaha Illallah and Muhammad Rasulullah!
This is God’s own Sustainability Warranty for Planet Earth – an abode that God made for us to live on and to enjoy.
As God Almighty said in the Qur’an:
Wa Lakum Fil Ardi Mustaqarrun wa Mattaa’un Ilaa Heen.
How Clear Does It Have To Be?
It really hit me hard, and not too long ago, how clear it is. The obvious and simple fact that this world does not have anything like Laa Ilaaha Illallaah or Muhammadur Rasoolullah.
Not separately. Not both of them taken together in the form of the Kalimah:
Laa Ilaaha Illallaah, Muhammadur Rasoolullah!
What more proof does the world want, or do the Muslims want, for the fact that this Deen is directly from Allah Almighty. And that there is no way on earth or in heaven this could have been a human creation.
If it were, would’t there be more of things like this around? And wouldn’t everybody be flaunting their ware and bragging about it?
Muslims, think! Come out of your stupor and ignorance and think!
Non-Muslims, think! Put away your prejudices and fears and think!
For, your creator wants you all to think. And think freely -- and without holds.
Don’t be slow like me on the uptake, as they used to say in England, that it took me so long to see this blazing glory of light right in front of my eyes.
Allah All the Way!
Who will get our literature; who will read it; who will react how to what they read…All these things are decided -- and yes, decided way when, before all or any of us were born -- by Allah.
And by no one else.
Those who have a problem with any of this, my respectful suggestion to them is: Take It Up with Allah!
Slavery vs. Freedom
Slaves submissively take whatever is given to them by their masters -- and stay quiet.
Slaves have no rights.
Free people, on the other hand, stand up for their rights; demand their rights; and fight for their rights.
Free people have rights.
Islam came into this world to give people -- all people -- rights and set them free!
QUR’AN IS WHERE THE ACTION IS!
When we invite people to join us, in what we call Working for Allah, in the West and around the world, this is why: Our work is forever. And it is from the Qur’an.
For, that is where the action is: the Qur’an!
Our work is not “Community-based.“And it is not “Public Opinion-based.“
Not because Community and Public Opinion are not important, but because Islam is even more important, as Islam both subsumes and transcends Community and Public Opinion.
That is because Islam is truth and it is reality based.
At the same time, Islam is rooted firmly in the Qur’an, just as Islam is also continually tested against the inevitable human and situational constraints that determine who we are and what we do in every age and place.
That is why our work so far has stood, Alhamdulillah, and it will forever, Inshallah, stand what is called the test of time.
For, that is the nature of Islam: It is above time and beyond space.
Tonight’s Pasha Hour International Live from America!
Will I, Won’t I? Who Decides and How?
My circumstances being what they are; the world of Allah being what it is; God Almighty being who he is; and given the way he does things; I am hoping he will allow, bless and enable me to do Pasha Hour International Live from America! live tonight: Friday, April 24, 2015.
If he does, it is his grace, bounty and blessing, and I will be able to go live on the air tonight with tonight’s special episode of Pasha Hour International Live from America! An episode in which I hope to be blessed to talk about Surah Al-Fatihah, which continues to unravel and reveal its mysteries -- ever so self-evident to the eyes that see, as the Qur’an puts it -- every moment, as and when Allah decides, in the most spectacular fashion.
If, on the other hand, he decides otherwise, then I will not be able to do Pasha Hour International Live from America! live tonight, no matter how I try. And we will have to use a tape instead.
I am grateful to God Almighty, no matter what his final decision -- which, of course, is also his initial, eternal decision, even though he keeps what he wants and changes what he wants, which, of course, is his absolute and unquestionable right.
Yamhullahu Maa Yashaa-u Wa Yuthbit Wa ‘Indahu Ummul Kitaab!
If people understand this simple, and yet most complex and profound, dynamic, they will know how the universe works and how things happen in this world -- and why.
Placing a Translation-Only Copy of the Qur’an in the Hands of Every Non-Muslim Everywhere:
What Excuse Do Muslims Have for Not Doing It?
Qur’an is of course in Arabic. And now there are also translations in many languages. Thank God for that: Alhamdulillah!
But what I have trouble figuring out is this: What is the excuse Muslims have for not placing a Translation-Only Copy of the Qur’an in the hands of every non-Muslim everywhere? And by that I mean, for example, Tamil in South India; Mandarin in China; Russian in, where else, Russia; Spanish everywhere; and, of course, English in every part of the world?
Muslims do so many things, and Muslims spend $billions on so many projects. So what is the excuse Muslims have for not doing this: for placing a Translation-Only Copy of the Qur’an in the hands of every non-Muslim in every part, region and country of the world?
Or maybe Muslims do all these things -- on the quiet maybe -- and I just don’t know about it!
Or maybe the Muslims do it in a nice, relaxed, leisurely sort of way and I am just being a bit impatient -- rushing it as it were.
Today, More than Ever before, Islam Is What the World Needs
Considering all that is going on in the world today, one conclusion seems clear and inescapable: The world needs Islam today more than ever before.
Islam that is derived directly from the Qur’an and Sunnah (the life and example of Allah’s Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam) and Islam that is truly responsive to the realities and complexities of the world in which we live.
So, it seems to me, our work -- the work of taking the Qur’an to every home and heart that needs it, and which one does not -- never ends.
And to this end we have to continue to recommit ourselves every moment of our lives.
Whatever Happened to the Jum’ah Khutbah that Allah Gave?
And that Allah’s Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam, Practiced and Delivered to the Muslims?
Where Did that Khutbah Go?
I do not know what other people do, or have, but Allah gave us, Muslims, Jum’ah and Jum’ah Khutbah as an instrument of comprehensive social, “religious,” political, economic and cultural reform, revival and regeneration. Based on that alone, that is using the Jum’ah Khutbahs alone, Muslims can easily clean the state of Muslims -- and the state of the world -- and build a new and better world for everybody wherever they are, in whichever part of the world.
But Muslims have effectively abandoned the Jum’ah Khutbah the way it was practiced and delivered to them by Allah’s Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam, and managed to blunt the potency and potential of Jum’ah Khutbahs pretty much everywhere in the world.
And then the Muslims wonder why the world is the way it is and why the world is treating them the way it does.
Only Muslims Can Defeat Muslims?
Dr. Pasha has repeatedly pointed out how only Muslims can defeat Muslims. That seems to be the Muslim story -- forever.
Use that model to interpret the events in the world today -- or at any time in the past -- and it’s amazing how the model fits every time and how clear things become.
But it seems that the large majority of Muslims just couldn’t care less about the world. They are consumed by their own passions and preoccupations -- sports, entertainment, business, whatever else.
A Thought about Muslims
Muslims are indeed quite a people and they always seem to want to do their own thing -- never mind what Islam really is and never mind what’s happening to the world.
Muslims may certainly be psychologically and emotionally scarred by how the world treats them -- by all that the world says about them and to them and by what the world does to them. But part of being Muslim also is to accept responsibility for your own state of being in this world -- and by extension for the state of the world, the way the world is, and for what the world has become under the watch of the Muslims.
At the same time, Muslims must give some thought to how easily they are manipulated and managed by others. It seems as if others do not even have to work hard or try seriously anymore: Muslims do the work for their enemies and detractors.
The more you think, the more the prophecy of Allah’s Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam, seems to be manifesting itself in the life of the Muslims and the world.
Does the expression of the Hadith “Ghuthaa’ Ka Ghuthaa-is-Sail” ring a bell anywhere? An expression that seems to express and foretell the sad but utter irrelevance and worthlessness of Muslims in the world.
Our goal is to take the Qur’an to every home and heart that needs it and which one does not.
Our first target in this regard is to reach anyone who is someone, anywhere, and can read English, and put our books and literature in their hands.
Cooperation Commandment of the Qur’an:
“Working with Others!”
We are Muslims. And part of Islam is working with people -- “Working with Others” that is.
“Cooperating with Others” is how the Qur’an puts it. The Qur’an says to Believers: “Cooperate!”
And this cooperation, as the Qur’an makes it clear, must always be in “Good Things.” And never in “Bad Things.”
That is (A) “Cooperate.”
And (B) “Cooperate Only in Good Things, and never in Bad Things.”
If the world today only followed this simple commandment by the Qur’an, what a beautiful, enjoyable, and nice place this world would be!
And what a perfect and unfailing recipe this Cooperation Commandment of the Qur’an is for peace in our own domestic lives; for peace and productivity in our various organizations and working groups; for peace and tranquility in our neighborhoods and communities; for peace and bliss in our societies and countries; and finally for peace throughout the world.
Are there any takers?
Speechless in God’s Universe?
Just Say: “Alhamdu Lillah!”
How often has it happened to how many of us: We all end up saying, more often than not, more frequently than we should, how speechless we are! How overcome we are with life and its kaleidoscopic situations.
How we are short of words and expressions as it were. How we don’t know what to say, for example. That is, how we are short of the right thing to say.
I am sure this is true of most if not all of us.
But here is what I think: Why are we speechless to begin with, why are we short of words in God’s Universe?
All we need to do, at least those of us who say they believe in the Qur’an, is to turn to the Qur’an for answers – and for words to say: whenever we need to say them, whatever the occasion and whatever the context.
For, the Qur’an has words – and ideas – to fit all occasions.
Here are some clues as to what those words could be that people should be saying. Let us start with Alhamdu Lillah! There is no better or finer set of words for anyone to utter – in any context or situation, regardless of time or place.
Alhamdu Lillah! means “All Praise Is to God!” That means, among other things: “Thank You, God!”
And now what excuse or right context or situation do you need to say “Thank You!” to your maker, considering everything you have is from him, and everyone of those things -- whether it is your hand, foot, tongue or eye -- was given to you free?
So, next time you think you are speechless, or short of things to say, just say “Alhamdu Lillah!” and get on with your life. It will cover all situations and meet all your needs.
Islam and Muslims have always had enemies. It is the nature of the thing: You do something good, something really noble and outstanding, and bad people will resist, oppose and fight you and fight what you are doing. That, as I said, is the nature of the beast.
But what is new is that the curve has jumped to unprecedented heights in more recent times. At least it would appear so. Because in every age, the assessment by the Good Guys of that period, like Nuh, Alaihis Salam, for example, was: Wa Makaroo Makran Kubbaara -- meaning, in broad paraphrase of course: The enemies of truth and justice and goodness resorted to the worst and the most terrible and deadly kind of conspiracies and plotting and treachery.
So, the Testimony of Time -- Wal ‘Asr, as the Qur’an puts it -- is that apparently the Bad Guys always had a field day of lies, deceit and propaganda against the doers of Good and speakers of Truth.
So, the ongoing rampage of hate and prejudice against Islam and Muslims, and the barrage of the most vicious anti-Islam and anti-Muslim propaganda around the world within our lifetime, are stunning to say the least. The question is has anyone ever considered the psychological and social impact of this unrelenting wave upon wave of hate and hostility on its targets: the Muslims.
What does all this negative characterizing and all this vicious name-calling do to Muslims as individuals and families, and as groups, communities and societies? To generation after generation after generation of them? The answer is simple and straightforward: damage -- incalculable and unpredictable damage.
Psychological damage and social damage and every other kind of damage of the worst proportions you can think of.
The miracle is that in the midst of all this hate and hostility directed at them, Muslims and Islam not only survive but also continue to grow and multiply and spread -- in their own way of course. This is no less than direct evidence -- proof if you will -- that Islam is from God and Muslims are God’s People, no matter how messed up they may appear to be in their head and in their behavior. And as People of Haqq -- Keepers of Truth if you will -- in this world, Muslims are inexorably and unstoppably on their way to Paradise!
So let me say what any decent and civilized person in the world should be saying:
“May God Almighty bless and guide and help the Muslims!
And may God Almighty forgive Muslims their sins!”
“And may God Almighty replace the hate in the hearts of the enemies of Islam and Muslims with genuine love and respect for Truth and Justice -- and for Islam and Muslims!”
Muslims in Action
Seeing Muslims in action -- more of them, in more action in more of their old homelands, whatever that means -- shows how tangential the connection often is between Islam and Muslims.
In many cases, many may say, if this is Islam, who wants it?
Except that Islam, in many instances, is not what Muslims do, but what Allah so clearly states in the Qur’an and Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, showed so completely and beautifully in action.
And the world is in more desperate need of that Islam today -- the real Islam if you will -- than it ever was!
What a Beautiful Thought, Even When the Moment Is So Sad!
A former neighbor passed away. A couple of years ago.
Got to learn about it only moments ago.
Wonderful people, both husband and wife. And great neighbors.
Good Christian people.
Mid-fifties. That is how old or young Doug was when he died. That was his name: Douglas.
Death comes to all: Muslim and non-Muslim. Good people and bad people.
Here is what his obituary said -- then, two years ago:
“In lieu of flowers, please be kind to everyone you encounter,
forgive someone who has hurt you,
beg forgiveness from someone you have hurt,
or hug someone close and tell them you love them.”
What can Muslims learn from this?
Does it remind them of anything someone may have taught them 1400 years ago: Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam?
And they may be a bit rusty on right now?
May God bless the survivors, keep them and be with them.
Islam Does Not Change
What people need to understand is Islam and Islamic Work -- Working for Allah that is -- does not change. Or is it “do” not change?
Islam remains the same for ever and ever and ever.
How can it be otherwise, when it is a reflection and manifestation in the real world of the infinite and timeless attributes of Allah?
That is true of Islamic work -- Working for Allah -- as well, in some very important ways.
But here is the difference.
While Islam is directly from Allah (Good reason why it does not and cannot change, right?) Islamic Work (Working for Allah), on the other hand, is the application of Islam to human situations mediated by human beings and agencies in ever-changing space-time configurations.
This means those Working for Allah, or those engaged in Islamic Work as they say, must be constantly in touch with reality, and in tune with the changes taking place in the world, around them.
And they must continually monitor their work and its effectiveness, and its usefulness in relation to the goals they set out to achieve. And introduce the changes they must in their methods and approaches, based on the results of their evaluation of their work.
In a sense, this is the essence of Islam: setting goals; specifying methods; mobilizing resources; monitoring progress; ongoing evaluation.
Islam called it Ihtisaab. If Muslims by and large are oblivious of it or indifferent to it, who is to blame?
Work in Islam Is Worship -- Again!
I have said this before, and I am saying it again: Work in Islam is worship.
And it is Jihad.
That means those who are engaged in doing their daily duties -- whatever work it is that they do -- it is as if they are in Salaah.
They are face to face with Allah. And Allah is watching over them. And Allah is also watching their every move, and reading their every thought, and monitoring the minutest movements of their eyes.
And if they are waiting for work to arrive, it is as if they are in a mosque waiting for Salaah to begin.
And in Islam those who wait for Salaah to start, their position is the same, and their reward is the same, as those who are actually engaged in the performance of the Salaah.
So, if they are pure and honest in their motives and intentions, and diligent and thorough and conscientious in the work that they do, their reward is Paradise and not merely worldly success in the work that they do.
That is how amazing this system of Islam is: You do your own work and you get Paradise in return for it, in addition to your own usual reward in this world, provided your intentions are good and your effort is the very best you could, make it.
Islam Means Playing to Win
If you are a Muslim, you must always Play to Win.
And win fair and square, following all the accepted rules and norms.
Not participating in the Game of Life is not an option for you, if you are a Muslim.
Nor can you, as a Muslim, cheat and deceive and cut corners.
Nor can you Play Life halfheartedly or haphazardly. You must always enter and Do Life with full gusto, vigor and interest.
And your object must always be to win.
Of course, in every game, including the Game of Life, winning and losing comes directly from Allah, no matter how perfectly predictable or unpredictable a situation may be. But giving every moment, and every single Play of Life, your best is your obligation as a Muslim.
So, always bear this mind:
As a Muslim, you cannot sit on the sidelines when the Game of Life is being played all around you.
Nor can you, as a Muslim, enter the Game of Life with an attitude of indifference and lethargy.
So, go Play Life with full vigor, and expect to win. What comes out at the end is not in your hands.
Nothing ever was. And nothing ever will be.
But don’t let that get to you. For, nothing is in anyone else’s hand either. And your opponents in the great big Game of Life are just as helpless as you are. For, nothing is in their hand, just as nothing is in your hand.
Everything is in God’s hands. And it will always be.
And it is always he who decides who will win and who will lose.
So, as a Muslim, you have absolutely nothing to lose.
So, go play hard and Play to Win.
Consistency and Persistence:
That Is What Islam Is All About
Allah bless those who are doing the rounds of universities, schools and markets talking to people about Islam.
And handing them literature on Islam.
These good folks should bear one simple point in mind: Consistency and persistence are key requirements of Islam.
The key features of Islam are not so much innovation and creativity, even though they are, as endurance and predictability.
Islam is not a flash-in-the-pan operation. It is not a one-shot deal. Islam is a lifelong commitment and dedication to certain carefully considered values, beliefs, goals and practices.
So, the true test of the success of this new Operation Outreach is that people should say -- after 50 years from today:
“Where is the man -- or was it a woman? -- who used to stand under that tree and give out pamphlets on Islam?
Haven’t seen them in a while.
Are they all right, do you think?”
Beginning Islam, Preaching Islam
Blessed are those who go to street corners and university and school campuses, and public and market places, and preach Islam to people and distribute Islamic literature.
For, they are doing God’s Work on earth.
They are Working for Allah.
They must rejoice in the knowledge that, no matter how strange this may sound, this is the beginning of Islam. In their life; and where they are.
Yet another one.
This is yet another beginning of the endless chain of the Message to Humanity from God Almighty.
The only test -- did I say “only” test? -- of these wonderful individuals and groups, male and female, will be how long they keep this up: Going out and hustling on the streets for Allah and preaching Islam.
And, also, how pure and true their motives and intentions are -- and will be.
And, oh yes, also of course, how sweet and wonderful their demeanor is going to be and how absolutely charming and alluring their approach will be throughout.
Wa Yadra-oona Bil-Hasanatis Sayyi-ah.
“They cope with Evil using Good.”
“They return Evil with Good.”
“They reward Evil with Good.”
I don’t to this day understand what that means -- or how it works. But since Allah says it, I know it must be right.
So, these people, hustling in the streets -- universities, schools, markets and all kinds of other places -- have their work cut out for them:
” When people are bad to them, they must be good to people.”
That alone is an experience worth having in life.
Everyone: Come on; take a chance; go out on the streets and try your hand at preaching Islam to people; you may even come to like it.
And who knows what kind of reward God Almighty may have in store for you, right here in this world, as well as in the next world.
How Good People May Do Bad Things
People -- often Good People -- do Bad Things in all kinds of Bad Ways.
Sometimes, good people do bad things just by doing them.
Sometimes, they do bad things by not doing the good things they must be doing.
Sometimes, they do bad things by saying or speaking -- using all forms, tools and techniques of communication -- bad things.
Sometimes, they do bad things by not speaking or saying the good things they must be saying.
Check this out:
Man Sakata An Haqqin Fa-Huwa Shaitaanun Akhras.
And check this out in the Qur’an:
Kaanoo Laa Yatanaahuuna An Munkarin Fa’aloohu.
Let me give here just one example that I never use.
The whole world condemned the most disproportionate use of force the most powerful state of Israel used recently to perpetrate some of the most terrible atrocities on the tiny Gaza Strip most densely populated with children and women and in the process killing countless children and women and civilians.
And now go and make a list of all those Muslim governments, rulers, countries, leaders, organizations and others who did anything to stop that.
And those who said anything to stop or condemn that.
And those from whom not a squeak or a peep was heard.
Then ask if they are some of the people in this world -- Muslims -- who are in Bed with the Devil.
So, that is how some people do bad things:
through action and inaction;
through speech and communication; and
through equally wicked, evil, culpable, criminal silence in the face of injustice, oppression and some of the most terrible wrongs and atrocities known to man.
There is no such thing as “Armchair Islam.”
So, as a result, there cannot be people who want to spend their life as “Armchair Muslims.”
Islam is “hustling.” Period.
Islam is “hustling” in the Streets.
Islam is camping out on Street Corners -- looking for people to talk to; to invite to Allah; and to do good unto.
All kinds of people: Hindus; Muslims; Jews; Christians; Atheists; Believers; non-Believers; and all others.
Islam is not armchair reading of the Qur’an and Rolling of the Rosaries.
Even though there is no activity on this earth more glorious than the Reading of the Reading: the Noble Qur’an.
And the learning and teaching of the Qur’an.
Khayirukum Man Ta’allamal Qur’ana wa Allamahu!
And even though Dhikr of Allah -- Chanting of Allah’s Most Glorious Name: Rolling the Rosary Beads -- is bigger and better than anything else.
Wa La-Dhikrullahi Akbar!
Yet, when all is said and done as they say, Islam is “Hustling” in Streets -- for Allah and for Allah’s creation.
Islam is “Hustling in the Streets” looking for all kinds of ways to serve Allah and his creation better.
To make the life of the people on earth better.
To make a difference in the life of the people -- a positive and most wonderful difference -- in the life of everyone everywhere.
And to better and improve the life of all other creation of God in this world.
That is Islam in a nutshell.
And that is what we call Working for Allah.
Hijrat and Ghurbat in a Believer’s Life
A Believer’s life is one of perpetual Hijrat -- constant movement and non-stop walking away and running to.
Leaving the world behind as it were.
A Believer is constantly walking away from bad things and moving toward good things.
And his life is one of non-stop running to Allah -- and away from all else.
As the Qur’an says:
Innee Dhaahibun Ilaa Rabbee.
And a Believer’s life is one of Ghurbat -- loneliness; being and feeling alone; unrecognized; unappreciated; and being a stranger in his own land, and among his own friends and in the midst of the most robust and vibrant company.
Blessed be the one who blessed the Strangers, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and said:
And yet a Believer finds solace, comfort and joy in the company of Believers and of Good People and of what ancient Christians -- even some Muslims -- used to call the Righteous.
When Things Appear to Be Going Well
Challenges in the life of those Working for Allah are normal and to be expected.
These things are just as they are supposed to be. Perfectly understandable -- and natural.
Those Working for Allah must start worrying, not when they are facing challenges, but when things appear to be going just “too, too well” and perfectly.
And they have no challenges to deal with.
A-Hasibannaasu An-Yutrakoo An-Yaqooloo Aamanna wa Hum Laa Yuftanoon.
Doing Good -- Randomly!
Muslims are good people. They like to do good things.
And they also tell each other to do good things.
But that is where sometimes the catch is: “What are the good things that Muslims must do?”
And all of us must do?
We are talking outside all the compulsory duties of course -- the Faraa-id.
And outside all that Muslims know to be strong Sunnah.
So, the question is, in matters which involve neither direct Fard, nor strong Sunnah, what kind of good things should Muslims do?
A rude fellow like me will say:
“Trust your judgment.”
“And your common sense.”
“And your past experience.”
“Do some cost-benefit analysis like smart people.”
“See which investment is likely to produce the best and highest returns on your time, money and effort.”
Better people than me, which is practically everyone else on this planet, will say:
“Hey, why don’t you check out this Hadith Sharif? The one which says:
Al-Mu’minu … Kayyisun, Fatin.
Meaning, roughly, a believer is a sharp, smart operative. He or she does not get bitten from the same hole over and over again.
Laa Yuldaghul Mu’minu Min Juhrin Waahidin Marratayin.
A Mirror from God
There is a most beautiful Hadith of Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
And all Hadith of Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, are beautiful.
That most beautiful Hadith goes like this, I think:
Al Mu’minu Mir-aatul Mu’min!
A believer to a believer is a mirror. Not “like” a mirror. But a mirror.
“The mirror,” in fact.
“A believer is a believer’s mirror.”
Believers reflect each other in this common mirror from God.
What one thinks, the other does too. What one says, the other echoes.
And some of us have just been shown that to be true. Right here, right in our own life.
Right at this moment.
To the point of spontaneously crying out:
Sadaqa Rasulullahi, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallama.
“Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, did indeed speak the truth.“
What a blessing, Mashallah and alhamdulillah!
It is one thing to know a particular Hadith to have strong Sanad -- chain of narration.
It is one thing to understand a given Hadith to have unimpeachable credentials.
But then to watch that Hadith suddenly spring to its feet, and come alive right in front of your eyes, who can ever put that experience in words?
When It Pours -- Which Is All the Time
When Allah’s Rahmat -- and his Blessing and his Grace -- comes down pouring from every side, which is all the time, and which is everywhere, you wish you almost had no roof over your head and almost no walls standing between you and that relentless, torrential onslaught.
Fortunate Muslim -- Believer I Mean!
How lucky, how fortunate a Believer is!
Or should we really say how blessed by God a Believer is?
To be able to believe, as he or she does.
And to be able to see, as he or she can.
And to be able to know as sooner or later he or she will.
That not an iota or atom of good he or she does will ever be wasted and go unrecognized and unrewarded.
Nor shall an iota or atom of bad that anyone does go unnoticed and unpunished.
Fa Man Ya’mal Mithqaala Dharratin Khairan Yarah.
Wa Man Ya’mal Mithqaala Dharratin Sharran Yarah.
Does it mean the Bad Guys -- whoever they may be -- shall have nowhere to run, and no place to hide, no matter how long the rope may appear to be that they are getting from God?
Just close your eyes for one moment and try to imagine how personally comforting and rewarding; how psychologically soothing and calming; and how altogether energizing and empowering this thought must be to a Believer -- to a Muslim I mean!
In a world where he or she -- a Muslim, a Believer I mean -- seems so visibly and so frequently buffeted and slapped around by bitter winds of cruelty, injustice and adversity from so many sides.
Islam Is Like Marathon
Sometimes, being a Muslim is like running a Marathon race.
Those who stay the course and make the effort win laurels.
Those who drop off or lag behind are forgotten.
Nasullah, says Allah: “They forgot Allah.”
Fa-Nasiyahum: “So, he forgot them.”
Just for one moment consider these words. How simple, direct and stark they are.
None starker or more portentous: Allah forgot them?
That means the entire universe brushed them aside and moved on. They are nothing but pieces of straw or foam on the crest of a raging flood.
Stakes in Serving God and His Creation
All those who have ever stood up for truth and justice, and spoken up clearly and courageously in defense of people’s rights and liberties, and in the service of God and humanity -- and in the service of God’s creation at large -- they have always been called upon to offer a price: for their thoughts, beliefs and convictions; and for their acts of courage, generosity, service, selflessness and dedication.
Enormous sacrifices have been demanded of them -- always.
Sometimes it is their resources -- time and money and effort and all that.
And sometimes it is their liberty and other fundamental human rights.
And sometimes it is their very lives.
That is how it was then -- in the times of the Prophets, God Bless them All!
That is how it is now -- during our own time.
And that is how it shall be always -- as long as this world lasts.
That is God’s Law in his creation: Sunnatullah!
That is also what is called Nature’s Law.
And that, in a word, also is Islam.
Let Allah Do His Work -- He Always Does
Muslims are a funny breed -- by birth or by conversion.
That is, whether they are “born into Islam” or whether they “converted to Islam” from a state of non-Islam, they are still a pretty funny bunch.
Forgive me, but I do not use that foolish expression “reverted to Islam.”
“Funny” in a cute and cuddly sort of a way, as I have stated elsewhere, and not in a derogatory or pejorative sense.
And who can be more cute or cuddly than people who are on a sure track to Paradise? As it was foretold by Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam?
The record shows he said:
Ummatee Haadhi-hi Ummatun Marhoomah!
“My people are a blessed people!”
Indicating they are on their way to divine Grace and Forgiveness.
Part of Muslims being funny to me is how busy Muslims are expressing the “hope” God will accept their prayers.
If they read their Qur’an they will know that ab initio -- right from the beginning -- that is exactly what God does: HE ACCEPTS THEIR DU’AS (PRAYERS) WHEN AND AS THEY MAKE THEM.
That is his job.
He says he is Mujeeb!
No, don’t believe me. Read the Qur’an:
Ujeebu Da’watad Daa’i Idhaa Da’anee!
“I respond to -- I answer -- the call, the prayers, of those who call me, those who pray to me, when and as they call me, when and and as they pray to me.”
So, to me Muslims are funny because they are always busy telling God what to do and almost not a whimper or squeak about what it is they themselves have to do next.
Nothing about where they go from here.
Nothing like -- for example:
‘People, we have done the Khatm, Alhamdulillah; we have made the Du’as;
let us now all ask: What do we do next?
Let us ask: Where do we go from here?
For example, should we:
Continually work on our Qur’an Readers’ List and update it?
How can we “hit the road,” as these bad Americans say, and recruit new people for the next Khatm?
Should, for example, each one of us commit ourselves to find and train a new “recruit” for the Next Khatm?
Would that be too much of a burden? Or can we all try and work on it?
Would it be appropriate at this stage to think of that foolish man Dr. Pasha who, a long, long time ago used to teach:
“Each One, Teach One!”
And we all recited that chant like a parrot? Only to forget it and turn our back on it the moment the man went away on a break? Or wherever!
So, there is no end to how funny, cute and cuddly Muslims can be.
Islam Is Asking Questions
Pasha Hour International of August 5, 2014, talks about the importance of asking questions. It says Islam came to teach people to think.
And to ask questions.
It says what people call “Religion” generally discourages people from thinking.
And from asking questions.
But Islam does the opposite. It insists that people learn to think and to ask questions.
The Qur’an seems to suggest -- often quite strongly -- that thinking and reasoning and understanding are the pathways to Paradise.
The Qur’an emphasizes the importance of the role of thinking in human life so much and so repeatedly that it may not be an exaggeration to refer to it as a Manual of Thinking and Asking Questions.
Or simply as a Manual of Human Thought.
The Qur’an seems to suggest -- and quite clearly and strongly -- human success and salvation, both in this world as well as in the next world, depend on the ability to think, to reason, to ask probing questions and to make sound judgments.
In doing this, the Qur’an takes the exact opposite path to what most people in this world refer to as “Religion.“
Is it a surprise then that what people call “Religion” is from people -- meaning it has an entirely human source, as it is mostly a human creation or artifact -- whereas the Qur’an -- and Islam -- has an entirely divine origin?
And they are -- Qur’an and Islam both -- directly from God and not a product of the human mind.
How much clearer can it get?
The Methodology of Quote-Unquote
Humans communicate in many ways. And for many purposes.
Some give speeches. Some write articles. Some sing and dance.
And some, as Shakespeare I think put it, communicate through silences.
The Internet has caused a virtual explosion in both the amount and forms of communication. Emails, Blogs and Social Media are everywhere and used for every conceivable reason or purpose, and at times without any rhyme or reason or sense.
Quite often, talking for the sake of talking is a favorite human pastime.
And also, apparently, quite a powerful human need. Meaning: People need to talk or else they will go mad.
Our Methodology of Quote-Unquote is meant to serve a very special purpose. It is designed to make people think and ask some serious and meaningful questions on issues of importance to human life and society.
Each Quote picks a specific idea or point and addresses it clearly and concisely and in as few words as possible. Often, the ideas are quite clear and specific.
This is a whole new methodology of public communication we believe we have developed and we are using for our purpose.
And that purpose is simple: To convey to people some precise points and make people think.
And ask some meaningful questions.
Of course, on the broad and most inclusive subject -- what else? -- of Islam, Muslims and the World.
Qur’an Is Not an Excuse for Running Away from Working for Allah
Qur’an is the most valuable gift the world has been given by God Almighty.
Qur’an certainly is the most valuable possession Muslims have.
And the Hadith Sharif makes it clear that there is no better activity than learning and teaching the Qur’an.
And yet the Qur’an is not an excuse for running away and hiding from real life and its challenges and problems.
And from Working for Allah.
Look at the life of Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alahi wa Sallam.
His life was all action. Nonstop action.
And yet, was there then or ever, or is there now, anyone who read the Qur’an more?
Or taught the Qur’an more?
So, those who are turning to the Qur’an and coming forward to read it, and it is a great blessing that they are doing so, they should not forget that reading the Qur’an is not a substitute for doing their daily and hourly duty of taking the Qur’an to every home and heart that needs it -- and which one does not?
And that is how Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alahi wa Sallam, spent his entire life:
Working all the time, and in every conceivable way, to take the Qur’an to every home and heart everywhere.
His workstation was the entire universe. Ask yourself what is yours.
Do not use Allah’s book to hide from working nonstop to bring everyone else in Allah’s world to Allah’s book that Allah, out of his Rahmat and Mercy and Grace, has now placed in your hands.
Try and work to be worthy of that book.
And of that trust.
Read the Qur’an and you will know!
To Muslims, a Frank Question:
Are We Men Enough -- And Women Enough?
The question is this:
Eidul Fitr, 1435.
Are we men enough to do it?
And women enough?
To do what?
Get out on the Mall?
On the Day of Eid, and not a day or two later.
And not after a week or two.
But on the very day of Eid.
And give out candy to the people you run into?
And tell them, as you do so, Eid Mubarak?
Are we men and women enough to do it?
I don’t know what you would have done if you were a Muslim in Gaza?
Or in Egypt?
And I don’t know why you are not there. But the fact is that you are not.
You are somewhere else: safe, sound and secure.
In your air-conditioned comforts.
“Enjoying” Eid, as they say, with your families and friends.
Is that what people call “Fate“?
The fact that you are not on the Killing Fields of Gaza and the Torture Chambers of Egypt, but wherever you are -- safe and sound and comfortable.
Don’t scientists and pseudo-scientists call this kind of thing “Chance“?
But being where we are, are we men enough and women enough to get out on the Mall on the Eid Day and give out candy and say Eid Mubarak to all the people we run into?
All the people who happen to walk into the Mall that day?
If this sounds to you as if I am challenging our Manhood -- and Womanhood -- and not our Deen or Iman, then you are right.
That is precisely what I am doing.
For, in the ultimate analysis, Islam is for Men and for Women who are real men and women.
It is not for bums.
Eid On the Mall
For Eidul Fitr 1435, here is a suggestion for Muslims in America, Caribbean, Europe and around the world: This Eid, go out to the Malls and celebrate Eid in the Malls by giving out small gifts to whoever you meet, Muslim and non-Muslim.
And saying Eid Mubarak to them all.
Can you do that Muslims? Or do you have 15 excuses for not doing even that?
Certainly Not the Butler
(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?)
Muslims -- many of them fairly good ones, at least so-called -- would like to take credit for what they speak, write and do.
In general for all that they are and for all that they do. Many of them use important-sounding words like “accomplished” and “achieved” and “produced” and even “created” to produce and flaunt a list of all the things, events and activities they find themselves associated or identified with in this world.
How little do they realize that this world has only one actor, only one doer of things, and it is not they! Pitiful, pathetic humans that they are -- the healthiest, strongest, toughest and the most resourceful ones among them.
And if there is praise to be claimed, or given, and there is plenty, that praise must be given, all of it, to the real actor, the real doer of things -- Fa’alul Limaa Yureed -- and not to all kinds of pretenders and wannabes.
And that praise must be free from the taint of Shirk.
That is right, you may not know it, but there is Shirk in Alhamdulillah!
Like in so many other things that we say or do. Like in practically everything.
Your local Mullas can fight all they want over what is Little Shirk and what is Large Shirk. But to me Shirk is Shirk, period.
For, one single Alhamdulillah, spoken with full and proper understanding, doesn’t leave room for inserting other names in the list.
Nor does it even leave open the door for uttering any other words -- unless they are all subsumed under the broad umbrella of Alhamdulillah as subsets, specifics, details and commentary.
So, it is Allah all the way -- and no one else.
It is him and him alone: In the beginning as well as in the end: Huwal Awwalu Wal Aakhiru! just like the Qur’an says.
The Work Goes On
The most important question for each one of us to ask regularly is: Where do I go from here?
Working for Allah is a life-long business. So we cannot slack off or retire from it.
Our commitment and pledge is first to Allah and then to anyone or anything else. And Allah will hold us accountable right here in this world as well as in the next world.
This should make us continue working for Allah regardless of being few in number and irrespective of who else does or does not work for him -- and regardless of others dropping out by the wayside.
May Allah keep us close to him and help us continue to work for him.
May Allah help us to work with others who are working for him.
May Allah open the hearts of those who may have been once involved in working for him to rejoin us to work for him again.
May Allah continually open the hearts of new people to work for him.
We Are Working for Allah!
Those of us who are in any form or shape affiliated with this work that we have been calling Working for Allah are standing at a crossroad. Each and everyone of us must, therefore, stand before their God -- Rabbus Samaawaati Wal-Ard (Master of Heavens and Earth) -- and ask themselves: “Where do I go from here?”
This work does not belong to any individual, group or organization. It is the personal and most important responsibility of each and everyone of us, male as well as female.
Our commitment, when we first gave it, was to God Almighty, and not to individual human beings like ourselves. And it is he, God Almighty, and not just our fellow-workers for Allah and others, who monitors our activities on a day-to-day basis.
As a result, the accounting for our commitment, and for all we do or do not do, will also be before God. And not before a court consisting only of our fellow-humans and fellow-workers.
That means one day we will all stand before God and answer for all we did or for all we did not do -- and what reason.
But that also means that we are also answerable to the people in whose midst we live and work -- our fellow-workers for Allah and others.
And God also has a way of holding us accountable right here in this world -- before we die and depart this world.
Please read the Aayah that starts with Quli’amalu Fasayarallahu ‘amalakum …
And read the Aayah: Yadullahi Fawuqa Ayideehim…
The Computer Knows
Upon hearing how the computer was routinely sending all my mail to Spam -- read: Rubbish Heap -- it dawned on me, Allahu Akbar, finally the computer seems to provide validation to what some humans have been saying to me from time to time, that much of what I say -- and write -- is just that: a heap of rubbish.
Evidently, the Computer Knows!
And maybe, just maybe, all those Spies from around the world who prowl the Internet, and snoop on Free Citizens everywhere, know too.
However, if all my mail going directly to the garbage pile of Spam would save me from having to answer for any of it -- both for what it says and how it says it -- before God Almighty, on the Day of Judgment, imagine what a victory that would be.
How easily we humans forget, not the least the actual, or would-be or wannabee Muslims among us, that one day, before too long, we all will be standing before God Almighty, utterly guileless, helpless and defenseless, and answer not just for every deed we did, but also for every word we uttered -- or wrote.
And, take this -- but don’t ask me for an explanation, not right now -- also for every thought we thought, no matter how hidden we kept it, deep down in our own hearts, from the rest of the world.
If only the world knew this and understood this!
And if only Muslims knew this and understood this!
And if only all the Crooks in the world -- political, economic, “religious,” academic, media, or just plain, ordinary, everyday Crooks -- knew this and understood this!
What a different world our world would then be!
Wonders of Hadith Sharif
Wonders of Islam never cease to amaze me.
Among them the Hadith Sharif, each a marvel in its own right.
Tell me what is the sense -- what is the probability or likelihood, let us say -- of a child of the barren Arabian desert, like Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, not someone from Greece, Rome, China or India, but someone arising out of, and surrounded by, nothing but burning sands and flaming rocks, making a statement like the one below.
Not merely in passing, but as a commandment, as a general admonishment, if you will. And that too, more than 1400 years ago?
How do you account for any of it from a purely rational -- scientific and historicist -- point of view?
Now hear this. It is one of the most revolutionary statements you will ever hear or read in your life.
Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, said:
“Go see a doctor, people!”
Or alternatively translated:
“Everybody: every time you get sick, go find a doctor and take medicine!”
His original words in his pure, pristine and inimitable Arabic are really not easy to translate in English. And here they are:
“Tadaawow Yaa ‘Ibaadallah!”
And those words mean all that I said above -- and much, much more.
This is what I call the Ijaz of the Hadith Sharif -- the miraculous nature of the Hadith Sharif.
It is just like the Ijaz of the Qur’an.
Different in some important respects. Otherwise, it is part of the same continuum of miracles.
Following Lord’s Law -- or Shari’ah -- in Sports and in Life
It is important for a sports team to realize the following, which is also exactly what every human being must realize:
Playing is about winning.
In Islam. And in life.
That is right. Always play to win. For, that is Islam.
I know, sports is supposed to be for fun; it is supposed to be in the name of sportsmanship; and, when it gets to the professional level, it is supposed to be all about money.
I am not denying any of that. In some ways, I have been a part of that all my life.
All I am doing is providing a perspective, if you will, that may help you to navigate the choppy channels of life with the light of Islam tightly strapped to your helmet.
It is God’s promise that he will hand you a light that you will be able to use to walk on earth.
Wa Yaj’al Lakum Nooran Tamshoona Bihi!
So, keep in mind that playing is about winning. So, always, play to win.
And, of course, when you do that, you play to win I mean, you must always try to do it the right way.
That means following all the rules of Islam.
And, at the same time, respecting all the rules of honesty, integrity and good sportsmanship that human beings have pieced together over the years.
All that is part of what the Bible calls the Lord’s Law.
And it is also what is known in Islam as the Shari’ah.
How Sick Can We All Get!
We are humans. Our specialty is we all get sick.
Not that many of us are not sick to begin with: sick of mind; sick of soul; if not always sick of body parts.
But when God made an illness, he also created a cure.
No matter what the ailment, there is always a remedy for it. It is just a matter of looking for it -- and finding it.
That is what the Hadith says. And what a beautiful Hadith it is -- like every Hadith that came out of the blessed mouth of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
And the worst and biggest disease of all? Alienation from God!
To live in God’s house; to make use of God’s things; and never even to bother to say “Thank You!” to God? No disease can be worse -- or more deadly -- than that!
And nothing catches up with you more quickly!
Islam Is Calling
The call of Islam is loud and clear and penetrating. It is God calling his flock to come home to him.
Everyone and everything hears it except the humans.
Humanity is lost and confused and helter skelter.
And Muslims? Muslims couldn’t care less.
Muslims think they are going to Paradise. And they are busy building an earthly Paradise, right here in this world, converting this world into Paradise full of all the pleasures of the Next World.
A practice run of sorts.
But the trouble is, they are not doing it for all. They are only doing it for themselves -- and what many of them call their children.
It is all about their children for them. Their own children -- and their own jobs and businesses and careers and homes.
And the full of list is in the Qur’an.
Let everyone take care of his own.
Muslims eat Halal Chicken and go to the mosque and do Islamic cookouts. And they are all happy doing that.
And the world of Allah, at the point of collapse? In utter confusion, chaos and “state of loss,” as the Qur’an calls it? That is not their responsibility -- is it, really?
And, frankly, they could not care less.
As for the Qur’an telling us that Muslims were created to save the world?
Really? I never heard that before.
Does the Qur’an really say that?
Well, let me figure this out. I think I got it. How will I save the world if I cannot save myself and my own family? Huh? Did you ever think about that, Mr. Busybody?
As for me, that is what I am doing right now, get it? I am busy saving “myself and my family from the fire of Hell,” as the Qur’an says. Doesn’t the Qur’an say that?
Once I am done doing that, I am going to turn to other things and other people and start saving the world. How about that?
And all this time, Islam keeps calling. And the Qur’an keeps talking.
And God Almighty waits!
Islam Means This
Here is something simple and clear about Islam which most Muslims seem to miss:
“Islam means Working for Allah full time, period.”
Muslim Kind of Islam
What most people don’t understand is that Muslims are people. And in that sense, speaking generally, Muslims are no more or less, and no better or worse, than most other people in this world.
And what do most people want out of life? Simple: All kinds of security – personal, economic, emotional and all else.
That means most people want a safe, secure and comfortable place to live; good jobs, careers and businesses; excellent health; education for themselves and their children; and so on and so forth, as they say.
As a result, and in hot pursuit of these goals, Muslims, just like all the other people in the world, tend to cut corners and do things one way when they think God is watching, and another way when they seem to somehow convince themselves that maybe God is not really watching.
Even though Muslims, especially good Muslims, know full well that they are on God Almighty’s unfailing and unerring radar all the time, every second of their life.
Isn’t there a beautiful Hadith – and to me all Hadith Sharif are most beautiful – that seems to suggest that believers who commit violations of God’s Law are not really believers when they are actually committing those violations?
Sins as some people might call them.
So, Muslims often seem to carry a priority list in their pockets: father, mother, children, jobs, businesses, and so many other things, and then after all that, God and his work.
So, Muslims, it seems to me, tend to practice different kinds of Islam, depending on their needs and circumstances, such as the following for example:
Safe Islam; Convenient Islam; Installment Islam; Slow Islam; and so on.
Allah, however, seems to take a very different view in the matter. Here is what Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah 9 (At-Taubah), Aayah 24, regarding this matter:
If your mothers and fathers,
And your sons and daughters,
And your brothers and sisters,
And your wives and husbands,
And your close relatives and family,
And the wealth you have amassed,
And the business whose decline you fear,
And the homes and residences you love —
Were dearer to you than Allah,
And his Rasul,Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam,
And Jihad in his path,
Then just wait,
Until Allah brings about his decision.
What commentary or explanation or Tafsir can anyone offer on this Aayat?
Get Up and Change the World
Muslim or not.
Educated or not.
Rich or poor.
Man or woman.
Get up and change the world.
There is too much ignorance, too much injustice, too much corruption, too much poverty, too much inequality, too much greed, too much exploitation, too much oppression, and too, too much lying and cheating and deceiving in the world today.
And altogether there is too much denial to too many human beings of some of their most basic human rights from political freedom to economic and social justice.
Some of the worst offenders in this regard are Muslims and Muslim societies.
So, get up and change all that. And make this world a better place for all.
For yourself and for everyone else.
That is Islam!
What Is It We Are After?
Those of us who think or say we are “Working for Allah,” what is it that we want?
Answer: We want to teach the world -- Muslims as well as non-Muslims -- what Islam is all about on a day-to-day basis, and in a practical way.
That is what we are after and that is what we want to do.
We want to change the entire culture of ignorance and misunderstanding. And lethargy and apathy and indifference.
And using the Qur’an -- Islam -- as basis, we want to tell the world that there is a better way of doing things. And that way is Islam.
Not in terms of blanket, broad or sweeping statements of principle in an abstract way, but in the form of some very specific, concrete and practical issues.
Even though we will outline and state abstract theoretical principles when that becomes necessary.
Like, for example, the issue of “Taking the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It -- and Which One Does Not?” The point is, who is supposed to do it?
Who is responsible for this work?
And do you think that this is a part-time pursuit, when Allah says in the Qur’an it better be a full-time deal and when Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, spent every minute of his life doing it?
That is one very specific question, with a very clear focus.
So, who is supposed to do it?
Our argument is, “You are!” whoever you may be -- man or woman; rich or poor; good or bad: You Are Supposed to Do It!
And then only recently we raised another issue -- an issue we don’t think Muslims think about it even in their dreams. An issue that never, to the best of my knowledge and recollection, ever made the Muslim agenda in any shape or form.
Not in their writings that I know of. Not in their conversations that I have ever been a part of.
We want to ask the “Good People,” those people who think or say they are “Working for Allah,” did you ever stop and think what happens when you don’t do your work.
Or when you delay or slow your work? Or when you do it only when it is safe and convenient and pleasant and easy and comfortable?
The world pays the price of your action and inaction and the price of your doing things slow or fast and how well or badly you do the things you do.
That is what happens.
In this way, we are calling on people of the world, especially the so-called “Good People,” to think along some new lines -- think in terms of the consequences of their actions -- and their inaction.
And then recently we also pointed out -- the world never thought about it to the extent we know -- look, no matter how well you do your job, you are already 50 if not 100 years late.
Generations of people have died without ever hearing the name of God with their ears and without ever seeing a copy of the Qur’an with their eyes.
Who is responsible for that?
Naturally, most of us were not around then. But do we get the point I am making: We are playing catch-up with time. We are running after a fast-moving train to overtake it. How fast and how desperately do you think we must run?
So, our goal is education.
And we are after waking up the whole world -- Muslim and non-Muslim parts of it -- to the terrible conditions in which we all live and calling on them to awake and change their condition.
For, God Almighty will not change our condition unless we get up and decide to attend to it ourselves.
We are fortunate that Allah looks at our intentions and our efforts and not at the results, fruits and final outcomes of our actions.
Otherwise our fish will really be fried. Or should I, out of deference to her majesty whose language everybody says English is, say our goose will truly be cooked?
So, that is who we are and that is what we are really after: Educating, waking up and changing the whole world.
Delay Has Consequences
Islam means one simple thing -- along with so many other things.
It means “Taking the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It -- and Which One Does Not?“
And those who commit themselves to this goal may claim that they are “Working for Allah.”
What these people need to do is to start appreciating the urgency -- if not immediacy -- of the situation they are in.
That is, for every day, or hour, or minute they delay things and put off doing this -- I mean “Taking the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It -- and Which One Does Not?” -- there is no telling how many of the roughly 8,000,000,000 (eight billion) people of the world they will be losing to their cause.
People, who, if these other people had gotten to them in time, that is a day or an hour or a minute earlier, might have leaped to their feet and said “Labbaik!” to their call and accepted and embraced the divine gift of the Qur’an that they were being offered.
But now, because of that delay of one day, one hour or one minute, who knows how many of them died without ever setting eyes on the Qur’an; without ever hearing the message of the Qur’an; and without ever being given the opportunity to say “Yes!” to their Creator.
And how many of them were plucked by Shaitan and locked up in his dungeons out of which they cannot escape.
This realization should give those “Working for Allah” a better appreciation of the absolute urgency that is involved
Fifty Years Worth of Catching Up To Do
Those of us who think we are “Working for Allah” like to feel good. And every once in a while, every human being, rich or poor, good or bad, could do with a little bit of feeling good.
And from time to time we like to congratulate ourselves and say nice things about ourselves and about the work we do. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
We say, look how fast we are writing and producing Islamic Literature and how much of it in a fairly short time.
We even call ourselves “prolific” and would freely start throwing words like “gifted” around if modesty and a sense of shame did not leap to the rescue and stopped our tongue.
And we say look how fast we are printing and publishing and distributing Islamic Literature.
All these are wonderful things. May Allah accept them and grant them success.
Provided of course that what we are writing is first-rate material and not third-rate stuff.
And also hoping our printing, proofreading, editing, production and everything else of that kind is up to the best professional standards that we can manage.
That is because for one thing, writing and producing third-rate material is worse than not writing and printing anything.
But more importantly, Allah does not even look at stuff that is not the best of its kind. The Qur’an makes this perfectly clear.
And so does the Hadith.
And there is one more thing these good people – all those people who write and print and distribute Islamic Literature and undertake other related activities of that kind – may want to keep in mind.
This literature that they are writing and printing and distributing now should have been written and produced and made available to the world at least 50 if not 100 years earlier.
Allah of course does what he does, and he has own perfect timing for doing what he does. There is no denying or disputing that.
But at the same time, what is to tell that Muslims, by and large, by not making first-rate Islamic Literature in the English language available to the world 50 or even 100 years earlier may have lost several generations of potential Muslim converts – from both Muslim and non-Muslim backgrounds.
So, these wonderful folks have at least 50 years of catching up to do – if not a full 100 years worth.
That thought alone should keep them on their toes in case any of them thought of sitting down and taking some rest or lying down and resting their backs.
But still should they all feel good about what they do and about what they accomplish on a daily basis?
Absolutely! Not a doubt about it.
But the best way to feel good in a situation like this is to turn to Almighty Allah constantly; to break down and cry before him frequently; and to beg him to help us, and to bless and guide what we do, and to make it easy and enjoyable and fruitful for us – and for his world.
Two Things Muslims Must do
Here are two things that are absolutely, positively required of all Muslims, so far as the Qur’an is concerned:
1. First of all, all Muslims -- men as well as women -- must learn to read the Qur’an, properly and correctly, in the original Arabic language and script.
There are no ifs or buts about it. This is what all Muslims -- men and women both -- are supposed to do.
It is part of the Universalization of Education for which Islam came into this world.
2. Second, all Muslims -- men as well as women -- must read the entire Qur’an, cover to cover, from the “Alif” of Alhamdulillah to the “Seen” of Minal Jinnati Wannaas, with translation in their own language, and with minimum notes and commentary from those same books.
Most translations of the Qur’an have notes and brief commentaries in the margins.
Muslims have no excuse for not doing these two things.
Or for doing one and not doing the other.
This is also part of the same purpose of Universalization of Education for which Islam came into this world.
However, at the same time, Muslims must NO LONGER allow one fellow to take one Aayat of the Qur’an and hold forth for hours on what it means in the name of giving so-called Tafseer.
This is part of Deprofessionalzation and Declericization and Detheologization of Islam.
It is time for Muslims to put an end to this mostly priestly practice and deprofessionalize and declericise and detheologize Islam.
And return the Qur’an -- and Islam -- to ordinary Muslims to read and to understand.
All of which is part of the overall purpose of Democratization of Islamic societies, which is one of Islam’s greatest contributions to human culture and civilization.
So, let us get on with it Muslims!
A Muslim’s Life Is Love
How can a Muslim lose? For, for a Muslim, life is love.
A Muslim looks above – and loves God above.
A Muslim looks below – and loves God whose creation he surveys as far as the eye can see.
A Muslim looks up and sees the sun, the moon, the planets, the stars – and the uncharted galaxies.
And a Muslim’s heart fills with awe and admiration at the grandeur, majesty and the interminable flawlessness of the celestial world above.
And a Muslim’s heart brims with God’s love.
A Muslim looks down and sees the earth and its many shapes, forms, contours –and denizens, from humans to beasts, from the animals to plants, and from the living to the non-living.
And a Muslim’s heart rejoices at what it sees and dances with the daffodils, as a poet once put it.
And then a Muslim’s heart runs over with God’s love.
And it rocks with the love of all things above and below.
And it hums to the tune of all things that are of God’s creation and design.
Ya Jibaalu Awwibee Ma’ahu Wattayir.
A Muslim does not adore or worship anything or anyone other than God.
But a Muslim absolutely and unconditionally loves God – and loves all things that God designed and created.
Three Things Muslims Must Do
There are three imperatives in the life of Muslims. Three things that Muslims must do.
- Democratize Muslim societies around the world.
- Deprofessionalize and de-clericise Islam?
- Universalize education -- for both men and women?
Put Your Life Where Your Mouth Is
Muslims must learn to put their life where their mouth is.
Muslims say they are Muslims. And, of course, they are right in doing that -- in calling themselves Muslims.
Allah himself -- and or Allah’s Friend Ibrahim, Alaihis Salam -- gave Muslims that name: Muslims.
But if Muslims are truly Muslim, should they not put their life where their mouth is?
Should they not be doing the following?
- Democratize Muslim societies around the world?
- Deprofessionalize and de-clericise Islam?
- Universalize education -- for both men and women?
Islam Came to Change Things
Islam came to change things. Not to follow everything that everyone else does.
At the same time, Islam retained and reinforced the things people were doing that were right.
And that were good.
Islam changed and corrected those things that were not right. And that were not good.
The difference was careful thought and deliberation.
And systematic analysis and study.
One worldly test Allah provided people to decide what was right or wrong, and what was good or bad, was how useful that thing was for people and their well-being in this world.
The Qur’an says:
Ammaa Maa Yanfa’un Naasa Fa-Yamkuthu Fil-Ard.
“That which benefits people, stays on earth.”
How simple and yet how profound!
When Islam Comes Calling
If Islam is democracy, as it is.
If Islam is all about justice and freedom for all, as it is.
If Islam is about Empowerment of the People, as it is.
If Islam is about helping the poor and the needy, as it is.
If Islam is about giving voice to the voiceless, as it is,
And if Islam is about rooting out corruption from society, as it is.
Then those of you who are not keenly, and with bated breath, following the Lok Sabha -- Lower House -- elections of 2014 in India unfolding right before your eyes, and doing everything in your power to help the process, you are out fishing when Islam came calling.
There is no greater Carnival or Mardi Gras on earth than nearly 800,000,000 (eight hundred million) people standing in line in brute sun and pouring rain to exercise the most fundamental right that God Almighty gave to all human beings -- men as well as women:
The Right To Vote and The Right To Elect Their Own Leaders and Rulers!
A Model for Selling Potatoes and for Doing Islam
Some of us decided to organize Listening Groups -- or Discussion Groups -- to listen to portions of Pasha Hour International prerecorded programs.
Not a bad idea, in fact, I should think.
But what “Inquiring Minds,” as they say, would be curious to know is this:
Then what happened?
Any follow up?
How did people react when they listened to portions of Pasha Hour International?
Were there any comments?
Were there any questions?
Were there any reactions at all?
How many people were there listening?
How many men? How many women? How many children?
Did they appear interested or did they act like they were bored or distracted?
And a host of other similar questions.
Let me give an example to show why this is important.
Consider this. We opened a shop to sell potatoes.
At the end of the day, after we close shop and go home, will we talk to anyone about how many people came?
How many potatoes we sold?
How much money we made?
How much money we lost?
How many rotten potatoes we had to throw away?
And what possibly we may or may not do different the next day?
Or won’t we?
Or will we just curl up and go to sleep and never talk about it to anyone, till SOMEONE ELSE talks to us about it?
Till someone else asks us: “Hey, what happened that day in the Potato Shop you opened?”
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the difference between “Doing things for ourselves” and “Doing things for Allah“!
The day we start doing things for Allah the same way as we do things for ourselves, or better, we will change this world.
We will make this world a better place -- For All.
And that is precisely what the Qur’an came to tell us to do!
And that is precisely what Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, showed us how to do!
If the potato shop example is not quite clear, let me give another example: What about the College Entrance Examination you took yesterday?
Will you ever be anxious about it inside yourself?
And will you share that anxiety in some form with others?
And will you buy a newspaper or sit on your computer to find out the results?
Do you think “Islam” deserves less?
Or consider this other example -- a third one.
We submitted an application for this most coveted job in the world.
Everybody wants “Jannat,” right? Paradise?
It should be somewhat of a coveted place, correct? Otherwise, why would so many people want it?
And Jannat real estate should have some kind of a market value, don’t you think?
And that market value should be the same as at least the least valuable parts of the land where we live?
Or will we say the same as the most valuable parts of the land around us?
Wouldn’t we then ever call up to find out what happened to our job application?
Just think, people, for, Islam is about thinking?
And Islam is for thinking people.
At least so says the Qur’an!
Islam Is Democracy, period!
I have been saying this for years. No, make it decades.
“Islam Is Democracy!”
That means where there is no democracy, there can be no Islam.
No matter how hard you try to fit the square peg of Islam in the round hole of any of the following -- or any other similar -- aberrant, extreme, irrational and deviant cultural, economic, religious and sociopolitical systems:
And all else of that kind.
Just ask yourself this:
How can Islam possibly be part of any of these -- or other similar -- social and cultural perversities and oppressive, foolish, unjust, unfair, exploitative and anti-People and anti-God systems of thought, life, behavior, governance, claiming privilege and status, and exercise of power and authority?
Tell Them We Are Patriots
If people ask you who we are, tell them we are Patriots – with the capital letter “P.”
If they ask you what do you mean tell them we are loyal and devoted to every square inch of land on this earth: every country; every continent; every place everywhere.
And if they ask you what we do, tell them we love everybody.
Tell them love is our job; tell them love is our mission in life; and tell them love is our modus operandi – meaning that is how we operate in this world.
That is how we do things: love.
And if they ask you how is that possible for anyone to love everyone, and in effect hate no one, tell them to roll back history and look at the life of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, who is our Guide and our Role Model.
Tell them how he loved all and hated no one. Even though so many people, who had unreservedly loved him only days ago, had now come to hate him fiercely, with some of them even wanting to kill him.
All this, not for anything bad he did, mind you, but purely on account of the message of “No God but God!” that he preached and would not stop preaching even when they begged him to do so.
Tell all those who ask about us that we are nothing but an infinitesimally faint reflection of that most glorious and most perfect human life on earth: Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Tell them that we are merely a most distant shadow of a pure and shadowless light on earth.
The Games Muslims Seem to Play
It is amazing how Muslims continue to play the games they do. But why is that a surprise?
That is how people are. And Muslims are nothing if not people.
Even though, in many instances, there may be more to the Games Muslims Seem to Play than would meet the eye.
Try to look for the invisible fingers of Shaitan -- the Devil -- and the more visible hand of the human agents and cronies of the Devil behind Muslim action.
That will often shine a blinding light on a good bit of what many Muslims may appear to be up to -- as individuals, groups, organizations, governments and societies.
And help you to figure out what exactly is going on in the world.
Converts All of Us
In a very important sense, we are all converts. Every Muslim man and woman worth our salt.
That means we have all given our Islam some serious thought. And we have all -- should I say “thereafter”? -- then made a serious commitment to Allah.
Without such a serious stage of analysis and reflection, and personal decision-making, there is really no Islam. Even though God Almighty’s door is open to all.
And even though God Almighty never turns away anyone from his doorstep empty handed.
Care and Caution
People say all kinds of things about Islam -- and Muslims.
By “people” here I mean all of the following groups and individuals:
those who don’t know much about Islam;
those who harbor all kinds of prejudices against Islam;
those who don’t like Islam for whatever reason;
And those who fear and hate Islam -- again, for their own reasons.
As well as all those who have a bone to pick with Muslims.
And those who covet Muslim lands and resources.
And those who grudge Muslim power and influence in the world.
And those who want to turn Muslim societies into slave plantations -- more than they already are.
And those who fear that if real and true Muslims rise in the world, that would mean the end of their corrupt ways in the world.
And the end of their reign and regime of oppression and domination in the world.
And all those who see Muslim societies -- and populations -- as nothing but mere consumers, and as “markets” for their goods and as sources of unlimited wealth and profit for themselves.
And for their own “kind” of people. That is:
For their own countries.
For their own race.
For their own religion.
For their own political ideology and grouping and block.
For their own region of the world.
And for their own whatever.
Keeping all this in mind, here is my very simple definition of Islam for today.
And that special definition is:
“Islam is exercising utmost care and caution in everything.”
And who is a Muslim then?
A Muslim is one who does exactly that. Meaning:
“A Muslim is one who exercises utmost care and caution in everything he or she does or says.”
Just see below how clear and emphatic -- and how definitive and unassailable -- the Qur’an is on this subject!
Hear the Qur’an say it in its own words:
Innassam’a Wal-Basara Wal-Fu-aada Kullu Ulaa-ika Kaana ‘Anhu Mas-oola!
“On the Day of Judgment, in the presence of God Almighty, every man and woman will be closely scrutinized and questioned concerning all that their ears, their eyes and their hearts were busy thinking, saying and doing in this world.”
Fugitives from Justice
Those Muslims who have not committed themselves to take the Qur’an to every home and heart in this world, and who are not straining every sinew and bone for the accomplishment of that purpose, are fugitives from God’s inescapable justice.
It will catch up with them, no matter where they hide, and no matter how hard they run.
And it already has -- in more ways than you can count.
All you need to do is just take a good look at all that Muslims are caught up in and all they are doing around the world.
And all that is being done to them by others.
Purpose of Our Life in This World
“Ultimately,” as they say, the main purpose of the life of everyone of us on earth is to take the Deen of Allah to every inch of this earth.
In other words, to take the Qur’an to every home and heart in every corner of this world.
That is why we were created by God. And that is why we exist.
Each and every one of us.
Male as well as female.
That is what each and everyone of us is supposed to do.
Each and everyone of us -- male as well as female -- is supposed to dedicate everything we have to the achievement of that purpose.
And it is for the fulfillment of this mission -- this central obligation in our life -- that God has given us whatever he has: education; job; business; family; health; wealth; everything.
If we refuse to do that -- as most Muslims in this world have done and are continuing to do -- that is, if we renege on our promise to God and on our duty to do everything in our power to take the Qur’an to every home and heart in this world, then whatever blessings God has given us will all be taken away from us: one thing at a time.
And that is precisely what is happening in the world today. Muslims are on the run and Muslims are losing everything.
Review world history. And study current affairs. You will see how Muslims are losing, one after another, the blessings Allah had conferred upon them.
They have lost their place of honor and dignity in the world.
They have lost their “empires,” if you can consider them a blessing.
They have lost their political power around the world.
They have lost major chunks of their lands. And they are fast losing whatever lands are still left in their possession.
They have become slaves in their own so-called “countries,” while others around them enjoy the fruits of freedom.
Many of these so-called “countries” were created for them, at the spur of the moment, by their Colonial Masters, many of whom continue to be their Ex-Colonial Mentors, Minders and Handlers.
While the earth is unlocking its treasures on Muslim lands, the main beneficiaries and exploiters of that wealth are the former Colonial Masters of Muslims who used to formally own and occupy Muslim lands.
In other Muslim lands, such as the so-called Middle East, vast hordes of Muslims from around the world live and work in Modern Slave Plantations.
Without rights; without dignity or honor; and without voice, recourse or justice.
If much of this applies to Muslims as a global community and as an Ummah, the fate of individuals will not be different if they turn their back on Allah and the promise they made to him.
Individual Muslims who renege on their individual personal duty to take the Qur’an to every home and heart that needs it, will suffer the same fate: blessings given to them by Allah will be taken away from them, one by one.
It may be slow in coming for many or some of them. But come it surely will.
For, that is Allah’s Law on Earth. And Allah’s Law does not change.
Job Not Yet Done
So long as there is a single non-Muslim on the face of this earth -- man, woman or child -- to whom the life-giving message of Islam is not conveyed in the clearest, sweetest, gentlest and the most respectful and attractive manner, our job on this earth is not done.
Frankly, till we make sure this is done, we cannot even think of saying goodbye to this world.
And to this life.
We cannot even escape in the safe arms of death from this enormous personal responsibility that Almighty God has placed so squarely on the shoulders of each one of us: Muslim man and woman.
For, our job in life is not yet done.
Character, not Aqeedah
I have said this several times before. And I want to say this again.
The real problem with Muslims of today, by and large, is not their Deen or Aqeedah. But their character.
Their ability to tell the truth and act in an upright and truthful manner.
It is not that Islam somehow mysteriously builds character in people. Islam expects people to bring that character with them as they come into the fold.
Khairukum Fil Jaahiliyyati, Khairukum Fil Islam!
“Best before Islam, best after Islam.”
Integrity or Bust
The so-called “Islamic Work” -- or Working for Allah -- is all about integrity and trust: Personal Integrity.
When that is compromised, everything else is lost.
How can people trust you with their Deen and Aakhirah when they cannot even trust you with the small things of this Dunya?
Whose Boys Are We -- And Girls?
Sometimes we fight, quarrel and taunt each other.
“Whose Boy are you?” we say.
“Whose water do you carry?” we say.
You know, that is who people are: prone to fighting, and arguing, and quarreling.
If not about one thing, then about a host of other things.
Wa Kaanal Insaanu Akthara Shai-in Jadalaa, says the Qur’an, in the clearest terms.
But what people often forget is that humans are that way: they do carry water for one person or another.
That is often the nature of human life on earth.
That is why the really, really smart thing to do is to be Allah’s Boys -- and Girls.
And no one else’s.
And to be the boys -- and girls -- of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
And of all those who follow in his glorious and most blessed and beautiful footsteps.
Ila Yaumid Deen -- till the Day of Judgment!
Growing Sometimes Means Outgrowing
We all grow. Men as well as women.
There is no program or school that teaches us how to do it. We just do it. Each, how they can.
Sometimes with help from here and there, parents and others. Also, quite often, in the teeth of all sorts of impediments, counter-currents and setbacks.
Many succumb, while many others make it to the shore. Almost all of us carry the burn marks all over our bodies as proof of our adventures.
And many of us pay -- and how dearly we do! -- a heavy price for the mistakes we make and the tumbles we take.
But one simple lesson many of us fail to learn is to “Let Go.”
To outgrow those who have outgrown us.
To walk away from those who have sent us repeated signals -- often clear and unmistakable signals -- that they have no further use for us. That they don’t know what to do with us any more.
And to say Sweet Adieu to them.
But if we had read our Qur’an, we would know how to do it.
How to say Goodbye and Godspeed to those who insist on leaving.
Wasfahis Safhal Jameel, says the Qur’an.
“Say Goodbye to them nicely and sweetly.”
For, as those charged by God with the ultimate responsibility of bringing every one of his slaves back to his doorstep, we cannot afford to really turn our back on anyone.
We cannot give up.
But, at the same time, obsessing with one chronically reluctant individual, or group, at the expense of others, is bound to be dysfunctional. It will defeat the purpose of building Islam as a movement on earth and moving it forward to bring others into the fold.
It will get in the way of our being able to take the Qur’an -- and its message -- to every home and heart that needs it around the world.
That is why it is important that we train ourselves to read the signs carefully.
And to interpret them smartly.
Who Is “Peddling” for Whom?
In the English-speaking Caribbean we call them “Peddlers.”
Those who work extra hard, and with notable dedication and diligence, for a cause, issue or individual, we call “Peddlers” for so and so. Or “Peddlers” for such and such a thing.
And that is fine.
But what is truly amazing is that no one seems to ask who in this world is really NOT “Peddling” for something or someone. For, it seems in this world everyone is peddling something -- or for someone.
So, the question really is not whether or not we are peddlers, but who is peddling for whom or for what.
Keeping this whole thing a secret has to be one of the most cunning strategies of Shaitaan.
Be That Special Person
Many people respond initially to Allah’s call to work for him. But, often, few stay to finish the work.
There are many reasons why this happens. Regardless, here is a simple message to all those Working for Allah:
“Beware of the Devil! You are on his radar!”
The Devil -- Shaitan -- has many weapons in his arsenal with which to attack and neutralize those Working for Allah. Not the least, telling those Working for Allah how they are wasting their time and talent doing “this kind of work.”
And quietly whispering to them that talented, important people like them could do so many other things besides or along with Working for Allah.
Many people fall a prey to these whisperings and before they realize it they are lost, often irredeemably. Sooner or later people like that fall by the wayside and end up being debris on the sands of time.
That is partly why my advice to all those Working for Allah was this:
“No matter what, when or where, always try and be that one last person still left standing when all others have fallen by the wayside.
That means even if you are the only person left in the world to continue the work, then keep on Working for Allah till the last breath of your life. And make sure you do so adhering to the method of your Jama’at and the guidance provided by your leadership. For, ultimately, your pact -- your Bai’at -- is with Allah and not just with other human beings like yourself.
Don’t forget what Allah said in the Qur’an that when you made your Bai’at -- your pact with your leadership -- Allah’s hand was above your hands.
How much more serious do you think this can get?”
I hope I will be blessed by Allah to remember my own words should such a time ever come in my own life. And there have been any number of occasions in my life when, rightly or wrongly, I could not help wondering if this time was that time.
Allah Is Sufficient for a Believer
Allah Is sufficient for a believer, just as the Qur’an says.
And so Is Working for Allah, if we truly understand what we are doing.
Because if we all do what we are supposed to do for the Qur’an Campaign, we wouldn’t have time to work with any other group, except to have a cordial relationship with them.
Islam Is All about Integrity in Speech and Conduct
Islam is based 1000 % on personal integrity. That means the credibility and believability of those who “Preach” Islam and “Practice” Islam.
Where our personal integrity is compromised, everything else becomes irrelevant.
In fact, Islam itself becomes a moot point.
After that, it does not really matter what else we do or don’t do in this world.
Now, go and try to figure out if all this has any relevance to the fact that Allah prepared Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, for years as As-Saadiq and as Al-Ameen before he sent him out in the world as Rasul and Nabiy.
Of course, As-Sadiq refers to integrity in speech, whereas Al-Ameen has to do with a person’s integrity in conduct and character.
One Man a Nation
Prophet Abraham, Alaihis Salam, was a great fighter. Not for this or that petty cause or issue. But for God.
That means for Truth; for Justice; for the Universal Right of All Human Beings to love, honor, cherish, adore, worship and obey one God: The Almighty!
Call it a Fundamental Human Right if you will.
In fact, the commitment Prophet Abraham (Alaihis Salam) to his cause, and to his mission of Taking God’s Message to Every Home and Heart, was so great, and his fight for God above and for Humanity below was so focused, single-minded, sustained and unflagging, and often so lonely and solitary, that God declared him a nation entire of himself.
Imagine that! God Almighty changes the entire human equation to comfort and console someone who loved God unconditionally and whom God loved.
One single human being -- Abraham, Alaihis Salamm -- was elevated to the level of an entire group, an entire nation, an entire society -- all by himself. All that based on the great suffering that Abraham, Alaihis Salamm, endured and all the enormous sacrifices he made.
And based on all the love that he possessed for God.
That was, maybe, God’s way of not just comforting and consoling Prophet Abraham, Alaihis Salam, but also of showing him what the true worth and value of his work was in the eyes of God.
So, nowadays, when many of those Working for Allah go through the same sorrow and suffering that Prophet Abraham, Alaihis Salam, went through, and they also experience the same sense of being alone and unsupported in the world, they must draw comfort from knowing that they are not alone.
They must know that they are very special people in the eyes of their maker – and their true master and employer in this world – and each one of them is nothing less than a full-fledged team and a nation.
So, where are all the solitary and lonely fighters for Allah and Humanity today?
Here is a message for them:
You may be one in your own eyes, and in the eyes of the world, but in the eyes of your creator you are a sea swell of humanity -- each one of you a Nation Entire of Himself or Herself.
And before you take one more step in your lonely and solitary path, stop! Tarry a while; take a breath; and then take along this personal message that Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, left for you:
Toobaa Lil Ghurabaa!
My personal greetings, congratulations and felicitations to those lonely, solitary souls, who are shunned and rejected by others because of their love of God and because of their Working for Allah!
A Qur’an-Hadith Continuum
People fight and argue all the time. And they do that over everything they can possibly think of. And that includes Muslims.
Here is how Allah characterizes human beings in the Qur’an:
Wa Kaanal Insaanu Akthara Shai-in Jadala!
“Humans are most prone to arguments and disputations!”
And these disputes also involve Qur’an and Hadith.
How is the Qur’an or the Hadith in relation to the other? How are the two interrelated?
To me this whole thing is a non-starter. And to me the whole thing is self-evident – well, almost.
To me Qur’an is Qur’an and Hadith is Hadith and you cannot have one without the other.
Qur’an, of course, is from Allah, and Hadith, as everyone knows, is from Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
But then one should not forget that Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, was also from Allah. The bottom line, as they say, is this: He was Allah’s man on earth, right?
So, what does that, then, make the Hadith? The fact that there is this special individual, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, through whom Allah is speaking to the whole world.
Let me put it to you this way:
If you look down at the world – better call it reality – from above, from Heaven as it were, it is the Qur’an.
And when you look up at the same world – reality that is – from below, from the earth as it were, it is Hadith.
From this point of view, one is Al-Kitab, while the other is Al-Hikmah.
And that is language I have taken from the Qur’an: Al-Kitab wal Hikmah.
From this point of view, the Qur’an is Al-Kitab, while the Hadith is Al-Hikmah.
And they are both from God: Hadith from the mouth of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and the Qur’an Allah’s direct speech.
To me the differences between the two are as clear as their similarities. Or should I have used the word “identity”?
Many Come, Few Tarry
I don’t know who said this: “To God, many come, but few tarry.”
Or words to that effect.
Could it be Jesus, God Bless Him? The words do have a Biblical ring.
Or maybe no one ever said it – and I just made them up.
Regardless, the words speak an eternal truth about the nature of God and Man – as some people would say.
“Man,” as you should know, is not my word.
Thomas Jefferson used it: All Men Are Created Equal. Sad, but he did.
Thomas Paine used it: Rights of Man. Even more sad, but he did too.
If I am not mistaken, Yusuf Ali uses it in his translation of the Qur’an, and quite a few times, which is nothing short of a disaster.
Alhamdulillah, I don’t. At least to the extent I am aware.
Instead, I try to use the words that render the expressions in the Qur’an – Annaas, Al-Ins and Al-Insaan – the best and the closest to the original text of the Qur’an: People; Human Being; the Human.
So, the words “Many Come, Few Tarry” provide a remarkable insight into the relationship that binds human beings to God.
The word “tarry” means to wait; to stay; to stick around.
The fact is that these words, “Many Come, Few Tarry,” as a characterization of human relationship with God, speak an eternal, and a very disconcerting truth, about who we are as human beings.
These words seem to say:
While many of us may be tempted to come to God initially – and enlist to do Allah’s work, as in Working for Allah – most of us would leave after a while.
There are a number of reasons why this happens. But the most important one – and it is the only one that really matters – is the fact that their names are not on Allah’s Final List.
In other words, these are people who failed to make the Final Cut.
Looked at from a worldly point of view, reasons for this human attrition in the business of Working for Allah could be many. One of them is motivation.
That is right!
Many of those who leave midway to find a more comfortable personal niche elsewhere are people who came into this work with mixed motivations to begin with.
They wanted other things than Allah and his work.
Or they wanted more things than Allah and his work.
Evidently, the Aayat A-Laisallahu Bi-Kaafin ‘Abdah? was not enough for them. Allah was not a sufficient reason for them to stay and work for him till their death.
Most likely, many of them loved themselves more than they loved Allah and his Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, all claims to the contrary.
This created in many of them a discipline deficit when it came to Working for Allah on a sustained basis. So, they began doing things their own way. Not being accountable to the leadership, or to the Jama’at.
And they began dropping out of Working for Allah at one stage or another as suited them.
Some, soon after they joined the work, while some others hung around till it was time for them to go.
Or till someone or something finally came along to embrace and claim them and dangle in front of them what they had always been quietly – quite possibly even unconsciously – hankering after.
The Qur’an provides a very graphic and detailed portrait of these people. Here is just one of those many Aayaat in the Qur’an:
Wa Maa Aktharunnaasi wa Lau Harasta B-Mumineen.
“When it comes to Iman, most people will not make the Final Cut, no matter how much it may bother you.”
Me and My Namaz
Iqbal was one of the greatest poets the world has ever known – in any language, culture, time or place.
Just like Ghalib before him.
And just like Khosroe centuries before both of them.
Just like the other two, Iqbal too wrote not in one language, but in two languages: Urdu and Farsi.
All three of them did: Khosroe, Ghalib and Iqbal.
Here is something Iqbal once wrote – my paraphrase:
When I fell to the ground,
To do a Sajdah before God Almighty,
A voice from the earth cried out to me.
Your heart brimful of the idols you adore.
What will you get out of Namaz?”
Me and My Astaghfirullah
An occasional Astaghfirullah rolls out of my tongue. And it falls flat to the ground.
For, nothing ever changes in my life. No matter how many Astaghfirullahs I mumble.
My evil intentions; my sinful speech; my wicked ways; my furtive glances; my confused conduct; they all remain the same.
Day after day; night after night; and place after place.
Nothing ever changes.
Maybe that is why my Astaghfirullah doesn’t seem to go anywhere.
Because Astaghfirullah means:
“I ask God to forgive me!”
Because Astaghfirullah means:
You know, just as I know, in fact even more and better than I do or will ever know, all the terrible things I have done – and I am continuing to do.
So, please God, forgive me!”
Because Astaghfirullah means:
I give you my solemn word, and I make to you a most serious and sacred commitment, that I shall never again repeat the terrible things I have done in the past – or I am doing now.
I promise you I will change.
Because Astaghfirullah means:
“I promise, Oh God, I will go and make amends, I will make restitution, for all the wrongs I have done, and for all the injustices I have committed, against you and your creation whose keeper and protector you are.”
Because Astaghfirullah means:
“I promise, right in front of you, Dear Beloved God, and right now, that I shall never return to my dubious days of the past and my questionable practices of the present.
And that I shall work very, very hard to purify my motives and my intentions.
And that I shall work tirelessly to modify my behavior.”
And because Astaghfirullah means:
“You be my witness, Oh God, that I shall change my ways and my behavior and my conduct.
No matter what price I have to pay.
No matter what it costs.
No matter how hard I have to work.
And no matter what sacrifices I have to make.”
So, these are some of the things that Astaghfirullah means.
I don’t know how well I have internalized these things. Maybe not very well.
But I have a feeling that, maybe, that is why my Astaghfirullah appears to fall flat. And does not seem to go anywhere.
Otherwise, one Astaghfirullah should have the power to transform a life.
And to remake the world in which one lives.
Loving God Means What?
To love God means to love God’s Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
To love God’s Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, means to love the family, the household, of God’s Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
You can fight all you want, you can quibble all you want, but the fact is you cannot love one without loving the other two at the same time.
How much of a Rocket Science is this for people to figure out?
Love of Ahl-e-Bait
It is as simple as one, two, three. You love Allah, you love his Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
You say you love Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam? Very well, then go and fall in love with the family of Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Along with his work.
And the Glorious Book, the Qur’an, that he brought from Allah.
And the Noble Companions who helped and supported him.
How to fall in love with the family of Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam?
You are serious, right? You are not joking, correct? And you don’t know how to fall in love? And you want me to tell you that?
Maybe you are one of those who never had a mother. Or, maybe, had a monster for a mother.
Or maybe you never had any children of your own.
Or a pet of any kind.
For, if you had experienced the love of a mother, even for a millisecond, and even if you had cast just one fleeting glance of love at one of your children, then you would not be asking this question: How to fall in love with the family of Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
You would know.
You would know it by instinct, if you are not among the most wretched of the world, who never tasted a mother’s love and never loved a child.
Didn’t Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, say something like forget Iman, Islam and all that, unless you learn to love me more than all else -- including yourself?
And did he not walk a strong man like Umar, Radiyallahu Anhu, through that difficult path step by step, inch by inch, in a rough and rugged place like Arabia where men were men?
Yes, no question about it, love of the family of Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, is the critical crucible of Iman, Islam and Muslims in every age and place.
But, how do you really love Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and his family?
Of course you love them with all your heart, mind and soul. But, at the same time, and in the same breath, you also learn to do more than just emotions and feelings.
You love them by devoting yourself to the fulflillment and continuation of the mission for which God placed them on earth:
To Take the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It!
That is how you love the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and his noble family: with both your mind and heart as well as with your actions and behavior.
As well as in a practical sense in your everyday life.
It is as simple and elementary as that!
Household of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam
This ignorant and foolish world can fight and quarrel all it wants. And it can say whatever nasty, painful and small-minded things that come to its mind.
But the fact is that Allah will not abandon the Ahlul Bait -- the blessed and noble family of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Not in this world, and not in the next world.
Nor will Allah abandon those who love the noble and blessed Ahlul Bait of his Beloved Rasul, Sallallahu Alahi wa Sallam.
Ahlul Bait are the family, the household, of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. They will be a part of this world for as long as the world lasts.
They are the children -- descendants -- of Fatimah, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and Ali, his nephew, who embraced Islam when he was a mere boy.
And at a time no one else would stand up to express support for Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, when he openly invited his clan to join him and embrace the message of La Ilaaha Illallah -- No God But God.
Thereafter, Ali, almost single-handedly turned the tide of practically every battle in favor of Islam and Muslims.
And when the Muslims elected him as their fourth Ruler after Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, he showed them what the divine notion of Government of the People by the People meant in actual practice.
And that was a full 1200 years before this blessed notion of the Kingdom of God on Earth was so clearly and powerfully articulated by the 16th American President Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburgh Address in the year 1863.
An Offer Muslims Cannot Refuse!
Muslims, here is an offer I don’t think you can really refuse.
Many of the best among you spend their time rolling your beads and chanting Astaghfirullah, …, and other similar things. Every one of them more wonderful than the other.
Then, at the end of the day, you go home, thinking you have done your “Good Deed” for the day, even as Allah’s world burns and crashes around you.
Even as the hungry go unfed; the naked go without clothes; and the weak and the meek are set upon and pounded to dust by all kinds of bullies and thugs right in front of your eyes.
Some of you might even call what you do – I mean your chanting of Subhanallah and Alhamdulillah – ‘Amal Saalih.
And I am not saying it is not.
And some of you might even spend the rest of the day, and even part of the night, counting all the blessings you might have raked up doing those chants.
And keeping track of all the Houses in Paradise that you might have won as a result.
All those Gardens.
And all that Real Estate.
Now, here is my offer to you, Muslims:
I have heard there is some choice Real Estate for sale in Paris, Rome, New York, Amsterdam, … and some other very nice places.
I know these places and I love them. Take it from me, they are beautiful.
I suggest you go down to those places – to Paris, Rome, New York, Amsterdam – and meet the property owners, and do some very nice chants singing the praises of the owners of those properties.
And see how many deals you can clinch that way.
How many real nice properties you can walk away with.
No, I am not being nice or nasty. All I am trying to do is make you an offer you cannot possibly refuse.
Actually, I am also thinking about this most glorious Aayah of the Qur’an – and all Aayaat of the Qur’an are most glorious indeed, one more than the other – that raises some profound questions about the approach that many of us have to Islam – and to life in general.
I think it is from Surah At-Tawbah, Surah 9 of the Qur’an, and I think this is how that Aayat Karimah goes:
A-Ja’altum Siqaayatal Haaj-ji wa ‘Imaaratal Masjidil Haraami Kaman Aamana Bil-laahi wal Yawmil Aakhiri wa Jaahada fi Sabilil-laah?
Just let me know.
I mean when you come back from your successful trip to Rome, Paris, New York and Amsterdam, with all the Plum Real Estate Deals you can get for doing nothing but chanting the praises of the owners of those properties, drop me a line and let me know.
So, I can spend the rest of my earthly life chanting your praises: chanting how great – and how smart – you are.
Do you think that is part of why Allah said in the Qur’an that Islam is really for smart people?
Give God a Break!
With regard to anything, just because you don’t see it does not mean it is not there.
For, as all educated people know -- or they should know -- that with regard to anything: “Absence of Evidence” is by no means “Evidence of Absence” with regard to that thing.
I am suggesting we use the same universally accepted scientific principle -- that same self-evident logic -- with regard to the existence of God.
In other words, what I am saying is: Give God a Break!
Just because you do not see him does not mean he is not there.
But when it comes to God, the evidence available to human beings is not just plentiful, it is overwhelming.
What most humans do not have in their hands is the Smoking Gun, as it were -- the critical, clinching proof.
That God keeps in his hand.
For, just think about it. If he gave that away, the game will be over, don’t you think?
Modesty, Thy Name Is Man
Human beings have much to be modest about.
Their life on earth is only a matter of decades -- for the best placed among them.
And the most robust among them in health could be laid low by an organism they cannot even see.
And those who think are the most powerful and indomitable among them are in a holding pattern for death, which no one knows when it will strike, how and where.
Not one of them has ever beaten the odds of death, decay and turning to dust.
And human knowledge is so pitiful that it barely goes beyond a few random facts of dubious validity tagged on to some ill-formed guesses and hypotheses.
Against such a backdrop, the thought that an All-Powerful and All-Knowing God exists is tantalizing.
And the belief -- for a belief is all it is -- that he is also a Loving, Caring God is overwhelming.
Destroying Democracy in the Name of Democracy:
Egypt Yesterday, Ukraine Today
Russians co-presided over the destruction of Egyptian democracy. Along with the European Union (EU).
Bandar went specially to Russia and got Putin’s permission and blessings for moving on President Morsi and Egyptian Democracy.
And now in Ukraine, it is payback time for the Russians.
For, it is the same Usual Suspects of Anti-Islam trying to destroy Ukraine’s hunger for democracy and freedom and return it to slavery. And doing it all in the name of democracy.
That is the new game in town.
Destroy democracy in the name of democracy. Just like they did with Egypt.
That is the special formula developed over the past few years!
Crying for Humanity
Human life is a mixture of joy and sorrow.
All human beings laugh and cry at one time or another. Some do more of one, while some others do more of the other.
And we all cry and laugh for a lot of different reasons.
I do my share of both. But what I cry most for is humanity.
That is right. I cry over the condition in which I find human beings.
Not in any one particular place, but all over the world. With some variations, the story of humanity everywhere is pretty much the same: ignorance; poverty; wretchedness; injustice; cruelty; slavery; greed!
How can someone love humanity and not shed tears at what one sees.
Islam Is a Record That Is Played Over and Over
Islam is a message from God Almighty to all of humanity. And to all the universe.
And that message is summarized in the four words of La Ilaha Illa Allah -- There Is No God but God!
And the other three words -- Muhammad Rasul Allah -- are an operationalization, a practical demonstration, of that concept.
In fact, the three words of Muhammad Rasul Allah are an entire Owner’s Manual of the concept of La Ilaha Illa Allah: How to practice, use and live the concept and message of La Ilaha Illa Allah in one’s life, in this world, at all individual and collective levels of human existence.
And among other things, for human beings, commitment to Islam requires an endless repetition and recitation of this message -- La Ialha Illa Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah -- all the time in one’s life.
And it is a record and a tape that is played over and over and over, from one end of the universe to the other, and from the beginning of time to the end.
There is nothing broken about this record. It is the soundest thing there is.
Once it breaks, which it cannot, or its chanting by the universe ends, the world ends.
Talking Islam vs. Doing Islam
For all too many people, how easy it is to talk Islam.
That is partly because Islam is so beautiful, so wonderful, so easy, so logical, so systematic, and so great.
Islam is so perfect in every way, and so clear in everything it says, that it is easy to talk about it.
And it is the most natural thing to do: to talk about Islam and do so in the most glowing of terms.
That is because Islam is from God. And, being from God, it cannot be anything but perfect.
But all too often, how hard it is for the same people to do Islam. To practice Islam.
To live Islam the way it ought to be lived. The way Islam deserves to be lived.
That is because we humans, who all the time hanker or pretend to live or do Islam, are beset by so many imperfections. And by so many impurities in our mortal, sinful hearts and minds.
We are prey to flawed motives and questionable intentions. And we are creatures of imperfect characters and deformed personalities.
We are, all too many of us, not the gold that Hadith talks about. But base metal -- all too many of us. And we bring our impurities and imperfections into Islam.
And because our egos -- our Nafs -- are all too often so bloated. So oversize. So untamed.
Where, then, is the surprise if we say one thing and do something else? At times just the opposite of what we say?
The great Tamil sage, Tiruvalluvar, said, about 2000 years ago how the bad influence of those given to disparity between words and deeds would haunt you not only in your waking life, but also in your dreams.
And Allah warned the Believers in the Qur’an in even more stark terms:
Why do you say things that you do not do?
Don’t you know what a great sin it is, in the eyes of God, that you should be saying things that you do not practice?
The End or the Beginning?
Part of the challenge of living life on earth is to be able to figure out where something begins and where it ends.
That is why science and its methodology are such pitifully inadequate and pathetically artificial and limited human constructs.
Even though they are the best and the most useful and practical tools God has placed in our hands to be able to live our lives on earth successfully.
Maybe that is why every time I write something, I feel that it is my last. And this is the end.
But then, before I know it, something else comes along. And Allah gives me something better.
And life jumpstarts all over again!
The difference is between Bismillah, which is the beginning, and Alhamdulillah, which is the end.
When I Say “Ultimately!” in Relation to God Almighty
When I use the expression “Ultimately” in relation to God Almighty, every time I use it, here is what I mean by it – and I mean it in all its micro and macro connotations; and in all its conceivable dimensions.
So here is what I mean:
(a) In the beginning.
For, God is the beginning of all things.
(b) In the end.
For, God is the end of all things.
(c) And in the middle – and at all other stages of that thing, whatever it is that I am referring to.
(d) And with regard to everything that meets the eye.
For, that is who God is.
(e) As well as with regard to everything that is hidden from the eye.
No, I did not make any of this up. It is all directly from the Qur’an.
Here is the Qur’an in its own immortal words:
Huwal Awwalu Wal Aakhiru Waz Zwaahiru Wal Baatin!
“He is the first and the last and the manifest and the hidden.”
Every time I read this Aayat Kareemah – this most noble and glorious passage of the Qur’an – it sends my head spinning and my whole body tingling.
Sometimes I feel if I had been given in all my life nothing but this one most glorious Aayat – not a thing but these eight words I posted above – my life would have been the richest and the most complete and the most fulfilled.
And I would not have dared to ask for anything else!
© 2013 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.