Practical Implications of Iman
Allah’s Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, says (I am paraphrasing the Hadith) that Iman has deep roots in the heart but it is confirmed by externally visible and verifiable action: Maa saddaqahul ‘amal.
That means it is another way of saying, “If we had Iman, we will not have these problems – or we will not be acting that way.”
Or to break it down further, every one of us must clearly understand and see and say to himself and herself things like:
“If I had Iman, I would not lie.”
“If I had Iman, I would not cheat.”
“If I had Iman, I would not be late to meetings and appointments.”
“If I had Iman, I would not make false promises or break my word.”
“If I had Iman, I would not be wasting my time.”
“If I had Iman, I would not be jealous of the achievement of others.”
“If I had Iman, I would be nice to everyone.”
“If I had Iman, I would learn a new skill today.”
“If I had Iman, I would do my level best to educate myself.”
“If I had Iman, I would do my very best to help educate someone else.”
“If I had Iman, I would teach someone a new skill (Hunar) today.”
These are examples of a winner way of thinking and acting. Allah’s Deen is for winners. Allah’s Deen is by definition a winner. And those who associate with Allah’s Deen in any form or fashion also have to emerge as winners. Otherwise, their assertions of association with Islam as well as their character both lack credibility. And their claims to have Iman sound hollow.
For, if you have Iman, your action, your character and your behavior must prove it. That is the Hadith I am talking about. Here are the glorious words of that Hadith – divinely guarded by Allah’s mercy and so meticulously and carefully preserved by Muslims in their books of Hadith: Al-iman maa waqara fil qalb, wa saddaqahul ‘amal.
Paraphrase: Iman’s true home is the human heart, where it takes root and resides. But Iman must be continually confirmed and verified by action. That means if Iman is true and valid, it must flow in everyday life in the form of appropriate and suitable human conduct and action.
You can take all I have said so far on the question of character as a mere commentary and reflection on this one beautiful Hadith.
So, question: What should Indian Muslims do? Answer: They must simply get on with the business of character building.
Question: But how, how do they do it? Answer: Using every lawful and peaceful means at their disposal and using the fullest power of their imagination and creativity.
Character Building for Indian Muslims
Pas chay baayad kard aiy aqwaam-e-Sharq?
What should the Indian Muslims do, then, on the character front? How should Indian Muslims – and others – go about changing their character in ways that will help to turn their life around?
And in doing so, how can they build a better and brighter future for themselves – and for the entire world?
Indian Muslims have to start putting together immediate, complete and comprehensive plans and programs for character building. And they must do so using every means, method and resource available to them.
And where means, methods and resources are in short supply, they must improvise. They need to be creative and invent their own solutions.
They must change their age-old attitude of being Lakeer kay Faqeer and be flexible, inventive, innovative and bold.
The only condition or caveat I would place on this is that every means and method they use be strictly Halal, peaceful and, as much as possible, legal in the societies in which they live.
I say “as much as possible” because sometimes some laws in some places may be, they just may be, so morally wrong and so patently unfair and unjust, and so against all canons of human decency and accepted norms and modes of civilized conduct, that Muslims need to work to have those laws repealed and changed.
If necessary those laws must be resisted by all civilized and decent human beings everywhere regardless of race or religion.
One example is the Identity Card laws that the British Colonizers imposed on their colony in South Africa. Gandhi started his Civil Disobedience movement by resisting those barbaric laws. What a man Gandhi! What a vision, what courage and what confidence that man had to take on the entire British Empire, almost all alone, on a day when the sun of that empire never set!
Another example is the segregation Black Codes in America that used the legal framework and the judicial system to perpetrate the worst kinds of unspeakable atrocities on American Blacks.
So, keeping these limitations in mind, Muslim efforts for change, in India and in every other part of the world, must not only be Halal and peaceful, they must also be within the bounds of the law, both internationally and in their own societies.
And they must be open and aboveboard.
Success in Both Worlds
Muslim change programs, therefore, must include the building and strengthening of all those qualities and skills that are required for success in this world as well as for success in the next world. And in most instances, they are both the same: Success in both worlds. That is the nature of Islamic laws and teachings.
What Indian Muslims – and Muslims around the world – need to understand is that what leads to real and true success in this world also sets you up for success in the next world. That is the amazing gift of Islam to humanity. Work for legitimate and true success in this world, with an open mind about Allah and his Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and it will set you up nicely on the path to success in the next world.
Thus Wudu, five times a day, or as many times as you need it, gives you all kinds of cleanliness and hygiene in this world and also at the same time takes you to Jannat in the next world, provided you believe in God and his Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
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How the World Died a Thousand Deaths!
Right Before Our Eyes!
When We Say We Are Working for Allah —
Is To Read Our Literature! [Quote – 725]
And Other Disadvantaged People of the World –
Including the “Poor Muslim Kids” of India!