This Eidul Adwhaa, 1434/2013,
Let Us Teach the World to Say “No!” to Evil!
(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?)
This Eid is an Eid of Resistance – resistance to evil.
And it is an Eid of Rejection – rejection of all things evil.
And this Eid is an Eid of standing up to all evildoers.
But first, Muslims of the World, Eid Mubarak!
And non-Muslims too. I don’t see why they should be left out of the celebrations of this Eid.
Or any Eid. It is their Eid too, if only they knew it.
So, this Eidul Adwhaa, Muslims and non-Muslims of the world unite to reject evil and support good. For, that is what Eidul Adwhaa is all about.
Islam is good. But there is evil in this world.
Islam is good because it is from God. But the Devil personifies evil. And the Devil has evil followers in this world. And the evil ones on earth follow the Devil’s evil ways.
And some of them bear Muslim names and affect Muslim ways.
Islam is about loving God and loving good. And it is about providing selfless service to humanity. But Islam is also about rejecting the Devil and denouncing evil in all forms and manifestations.
That is why Islam teaches that we must stand up for what is right, good and just. And we must also denounce what is bad, wrong and unjust.
Islam teaches that we must categorically reject evil.
That is why A-'oozu Billahi Minash-Shaitwaanir Rajeem is part of a Muslim’s daily routine of chants.
I come in Allah’s protection from Satan the Rejected One!
And Eidul Adwhaa is all about rejecting the Devil and his evil ways. It commemorates, among other things, the persistent rejecting and stoning of the Devil by Ibrahim, Alaihis Salam.
That is why Hajees return from Jabalur Rahmah and Mount Arafat, which is both literally and figuratively the summit of Hajj, arm themselves with a collection of pebbles and proceed to Mina to stone the Devil.
That is what Ibrahim, Alaihis Salam, did over 3000 years ago. And that is what countless generations of Muslims have been doing for the past nearly 1500 years. This is a phenomenon that has no parallel in the world.
That is because Islam is from God Almighty, who is the source of all love and justice and goodness. As a result, Islam is also all about love and goodness and justice: Love of God and love of God’s creation without boundaries or demarcations of Muslim or non-Muslim, human or non-Human.
God is so much love that all love, in all forms and measures, in all humans and animals on earth, is nothing but a pale, infinitesimal and transient reflection of his most radiant, boundless, all-encompassing and immortal love.
That is why Islam, the system God Almighty designed to run his world, is also all about love. And it is about justice and goodness.
It has to be. It cannot be otherwise.
And yet, this world has not only good things in it but also bad things. As a result, it is part of human nature to love good things and not to love bad things. And it is good for human beings to train themselves to do that.
That means there are things in this world most decent people like and appreciate and admire. Most good and right things are that way.
Most honorable people support them, stand up for them and want to do them.
But at the same time, there are things in this world that are odious, atrocious and absolutely hateful and despicable. These are things that are bad and wrong. And most decent people would resent them, run from them and denounce them.
This is the way of the world. It is also, believe it or not, how human nature comes across in most instances and in most cultures and civilizations.
This is not propagating or perpetuating hate and prejudice, but teaching the world to love what is good and right and, at the same time, to be wary, and in fact to be actively and positively resentful and disapproving, of what is bad and wrong.
A sense of outrage at the right time for the right reason directed at the right target is what sets human beings, especially good human beings, apart from the rest of God’s creation.
But human nature or not, Islam teaches human beings not only to love and support what is good and right, and what is noble and nice, Islam also teaches the world how it must vigorously and actively resent, reject, denounce and oppose what is bad and wrong, and all that is evil and terrible.
This is part of an equation that is called al-Hubbu Fillah wal-Bughdu Fillah. That means loving for the sake of Allah and also at the same time being able to rise to levels of righteous indignation, anger and resentment for the sake of God Almighty.
That means doing so not for base or selfish reasons but purely for the highest and noblest of motives. Not to gain a worldly advantage of some kind, but solely to please your Master in Heaven.
Otherwise, the norm of the Qur’an for the really good people is to resist evil with good and to meet anger with kindness and compassion.
Here is how the Qur’an characterizes these good people:
Wa Yadra-oona Bil-Hasanatis Sayyi-ah.
They meet evil with good.
That simple and that direct. That is how powerful and how clear is the model and the method of the Qur’an.
And God commands the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, to always try and do one better than the best others would do.
Says the Qur’an:
Idfa’a Billatee Hiya Ahsan.
Resist – or push back or defend yourself – utilizing means and methods that are better, nicer and nobler.
Elsewhere, the Qur’an tells Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, to tell people to say nice, good, gentle, sweet, kind things to people.
Qul Li-'Ibaadee, Yaqwoolul Latee Hiya Ahsan.
Wa 'Ibaadur Rahmaanil Ladheena Ymshoona 'Alal Ardi Howunan wa Idhaa Khaatwabahumul Jaahiloona Qwaaloo Salaamaa!
Idhaa Huyyeetum Bi-Tahiyyatin Fa Hayoo Bi-Ahsana Minhaa Awu Ruddoohaa!
Wal 'Aafeen 'Aninnaas.
Waswfahis Swafhal Jameel…
The Hadith of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, encapsulates this model as clearly and as completely as it can possibly be done: the model of how human beings must positively, actively and vigorously resent and reject all that is bad and wrong and evil, even if they do so only inside their own minds and hearts.
The Hadith does so by creating a three-point scale of human reaction to all things wrong, bad and evil.
At the top of the scale come individuals, groups, organizations, nations and societies who have the power and ability to stop bad and wrong things from happening: to nip evil in the bud as it were. The Hadith Model requires them to stop Evil – all things wrong and bad – with the power and influence of their hand.
Act, says the Hadith. Do all you can do. Use all the power and resources you have been given to stop all things wrong and bad and evil and terrible from happening.
But should such power and ability be out of your reach, the Model of the Hadith asks you to consider moving down one step on the scale and mustering whatever abilities and skills you may have been given by God to speak out against Wrong – against all that is bad and terrible and wrong.
In other words, press into service the power of your speech and communication, using all available modalities and instrumentalities.
However, should even that much be difficult for you to achieve or deliver, then delve deep inside yourself and ask where you stand in the solitude and confinement of your own heart: Do you stand on the side of all that is good and right or have you aligned yourself with all that is bad and wrong?
In other words, if you cannot act to stop evil, nor you can you speak to stop evil, can you at least resent evil in your own heart and dissociate yourself in practice from it as best as you can?
That, says the Hadith, is the lowest level of Iman. For, if you cannot even reject and resent evil – all that is bad and wrong – in your heart, then your heart, for all practical purposes is, dead. It has no life left in it.
So, we have to teach and train a whole new generation in how to actively resent and reject evil in its own hearts and minds.
We have to teach the world the model of doing and saying the right thing and at the same time of condemning and rejecting the wrong thing in the deepest recesses of one’s own heart.
That is the other side of the coin of love that God Almighty teaches the world through Islam to make this world a better place for all.