Muslims and the World
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time) Quote-Unquote – Book VIII (701-800)
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The following saying is yet another proof that Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, is truly a prophet and messenger of God. He says:
A single learned individual is harder for the Devil to deal with than a thousand pious individuals devoted to a life of worship and penance.
Do you think the Tabligh Jama’at people ever caught wind of this Hadith Sharif? Along with a number of other equally clear and powerful Hadith hitting the same theme of the importance of education and learning and knowledge in the life of individuals, nations and societies.
I am sure that Hadith is included in that wonderful book that they so diligently and regularly read in their meetings.
Fazaa-il A’maal, is it? Allah bless Mowlana Zakariyya, I think it is his compilation, unless I am mistaken.
How about if they, for a change, focus a full Chilla entirely on reading and mastering the section of that book that is devoted to Ilm or Knowledge?
Not “Religious” or “Sacred” knowledge, but simply “Knowledge” -- from math to language to history to science to everything else including the Qur’an, Hadith and Fiqh.
They will be doing themselves -- and the whole world -- a big favor.
People would say that everybody needs to make a living. Some would say even prostitutes do, no matter how low others may consider that profession.
But to make a living by knowingly, willfully and maliciously lying about an entire “religion” like Islam, or for that matter any religion at all, that hundreds of millions of people throughout the world may honor, cherish and practice, must count as being among the lowest of all professions.
The coincidence that some of these perpetrators may be owners of some of the highest university degrees such as a Ph.D. only makes their offense seem so much more heinous and despicable.
Perhaps one of the biggest threats to the integrity of Islam, as well as to the wellbeing of Muslims, comes from those who have made a career or a business out of Islam and Muslims.
La La Land! No, I am not talking about a Hollywood movie by that name, I am talking about Muslim Reality by any name.
Muslim societies are a sight to behold. Their governments are dictatorships -- Royal, Military, Civilian -- appointed or controlled by Foreign Colonial Masters. And their masses are in a state of perpetual torpor: drugged and numb.
Some are drugged by their so-called Religion, controlled and managed by Mercenary Mullahs. Some are slaves to their passions -- base desires, as some people call them. Some enslaved by their own whims and fancies -- Hawaa as the Qur’an calls these things.
Islam is generally a stranger in their midst.
And those others who wake up, learn their Islam, work to change themselves and their societies to fit the mold of Islam, are set upon and beaten and killed by the same Foreign Colonial Masters who control and manage their governments.
In most cases, the goal of beating up the real good and God-fearing Muslims is achieved by these Foreign Colonial Masters using the very same dictators -- Royal, Military, Civilian -- and their coteries in Muslim countries whom they appoint and pay and control.
Now you can ask if there was a reason why Allah says at the very outset in the Qur’an: Wa Bil Aakhirati Hum Yooqinoon?
Of course Allah has a reason for everything he says and does.
Does it mean you simply cannot be a Muslim in this world -- or even a really good man or woman for that matter -- without the firm belief that this world cannot be the be-all and end-all of everything, and there is a next life, after this life, in which God will administer direct and personal justice, punishing the wicked and rewarding the good and decent people?
Muslims, five times a day, no less, declare from the rooftop, all over the world, that they are witness to the fact that God is their Only Master and Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, is their guide and leader.
And then they get off their high perch and proceed to do everything that is precisely the opposite of what they said.
Their lives, as individuals and as societies, are based, not on what God says in the Qur’an, or what the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, showed in his 23 years of Divine Messengership on earth, but on what everyone else says or does or asks them to do.
Do they even realize what they are doing?
There is no running from Allah. And there is no hiding from Allah. Except maybe to him and with him.
Those of us, Good Muslims, who run and hide, and won’t even bother to write and help and encourage each other, on a regular, systematic and sustained basis, the Qur’an has some choice things to say about them.
The list includes me, except that I am not part of the list of Good Muslims. I am quite possibly the worst there is or could be!
So, here is the Qur’an Karim:
“In Tahris Alaa Hudaahum,
Fa-Innallaha Laa Yahdee Man Yudillu,
Wa-maa Lahum Minnaasireen.
And then down the road in the same Surah: ….
Liyakfuroo Bimaa Aatayinaahum,
Fatamatta-oo Fasawufa Ta’lamoon!
Paraphrase some other time maybe! But what paraphrase is there really?
A poet once said, they also serve who only stand and wait. Or something to that effect.
Maybe they do. But not in Islam. Not in the ordinary meaning of those words.
Sitting and waiting for things to happen is not Islam. It is a treasonous way to throw away the greatest and the most precious gift Allah conferred upon you: the Gift of Life.
Muslims are people who get up, dust off and get busy doing things: Making Things Happen.
For, that is Islam: Making Things Happen.
All good and nice and sweet and wonderful and beautiful and useful things. For, Islam Is All Good!
For yourself; for your family; for your Muslim and non-Muslim neighbors; for the people at your work and business; for members of your society regardless of their race or religion; and for utter strangers.
Just call them Ibnus Sabeel!
That is what the Qur’an came to teach the world. The whole world. And not just Muslims.
And that is what Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, spent his entire life doing!
While Super-Muslims are busy measuring and massaging such exotic things as Aqeedah, they forget some of the simplest and most elementary things like Hard Work in Your Everyday Life.
Doing well whatever it is that you do. Excelling at it. Trying to be the best that you can be.
Actually, I am a little bit behind times on this. The Aqeedah Cult I mean.
The Super-Ms abandoned the Aqeedah Project sometime ago, and they have marched on to some other fun stuff. I don’t know what.
Not because the world’s 1.7 billion Muslims -- not my figures -- have got their Aqeedah right, but because the rich and powerful and often Royal handlers and minders of the Super-Ms lost interest in the project and the money dried up.
The patronage died!
And they are most likely now, the Supers, hiding in their holes, no doubt, wondering, at least from time to time, how to deal with the way the world is beating up on Islam and Muslims everywhere.
Makes them look kind of bad, in a way!
Of course, they will never own up that the world got to where it did at least in part due to their mercenary tricks.
Nor will anyone tell them that. The Donation Crowd in America and UK certainly will not. Their money will dry up in a hurry if they did, maybe.
What is lost in all this diversionary madness and all this bonanza of distractions is the simple fact that Islam is about Hard Work.
Getting up for Fajr is hard. Making Wudu so many times a day is hard. Not to look at semi-naked females everywhere is hard.
Not to engage in endless, perpetual and purposeless gossip is hard.
That is why we were taught to put in an application for help from above -- from Allah. All the time. At least as many times as we can.
Because without Allah’s help, life itself is frightfully hard. Scary and almost impossible, at least on paper.
Just remember all them bacteria and all them viruses that you can’t even see. And that are milling about all the time, trying to get you.
Allahumma Laa Sahla Illaa Maa Ja-‘altahoo Sahlaa!
That is a Hadith Sharif.
And a most beautiful and amazing Du’a it is.
Like all Hadith and like all the Du’as -- from the Qur’an as well as from the Hadith.
So, Muslims have become a nation of Super Corner Cutters.
And where is the surprise if Allah treats them the same way they treat Allah and Allah’s creation. As Corner Cutters!
Without any pride in their identity, or their work, or their products, physical as well as intellectual.
But Allah is not only Rahmaan, he is also most generous and giving. Allah is Kareem!
Muslims turn in Third-Rate work, but Allah and Allah’s Creation still provide them Deluxe Accommodation on earth and treat them like VIPs.
With First-Rate Amenities and Services at every step of their life.
What ungrateful wretches, we human beings in general!
Qaleelun Min Ibaa-diyash-Shakoor.
That is how the Qur’an puts it!
Precisely the way Shaitan had declared to God Almighty a long time ago:
“Mark my words!
They will have no appreciation for what you do for them!
At least not most of them!”
As the Qur’an quotes him:
Wa Laa Tajidu Aktharahum Shaakireen!
I love the way Muslims -- the good ones I mean -- put it all on Allah.
First, they engage in all kinds of questionable practices and blame it all on Allah.
And then, they wait for Allah to come and help them out of whatever bad things they are doing.
Some even turn it into prayer:
May Allah help me wake up for Fajr!
May Allah stop me from being lazy!
May Allah make me read Qur’an more!
May Allah help me to reach out to my non-Muslim neighbors more!
And so on …
Are they good people? Of course they are.
And are they all headed to Jannat? Sure they are, if Allah’s promises are true, and whose promise could possibly be truer than Allah’s?
Wa Man Asdaqu Minallahi Qeelaa?
Innallaha Laa Yukhliful Mee’aad!
I am not saying any of it is wrong. Or that Allah is not totally and one hundred percent in control of his creation. Or that Allah is not the only doer and actor in the world.
All I am saying is, the way Allah made us and appointed us his Khaleefah on earth, and the way he designed this business of Islam to help us navigate our earthly life, and created a fair and just Reward-Punishment Calculus in this world, is:
“Look Here Fellows, Take Responsibility for Your Actions!”
“Get Up, and Try, and Do Your Very, Very Best at Every Stage,
with Regard to Everything and Then See What Happens!”
Now go and read the Hadith that says that Believers should haul themselves to Jum’ah even if their feet are dragging behind them and even if they have to be supported by a couple of people on either side.
I think there is a Hadith Sharif like that. May Allah forgive me for being so tentative about it. Please correct me if I did not get the gist of that Hadith right.
And here is a bit of the right etiquette right from the pages of the Qur’an. Truly sublime.
I think it is Hazrat Ibrahim, Alaihis Salaam. Takes upon himself the responsibility for falling ill.
“When I get sick,” he says.
Sure! All them bacteria and all them viruses, all the millions upon millions of them, they are all in your control, right? You can’t even see them, leave alone stop them from getting at you.
But that is Ibrahim, Alaihis Salaam, for you. He not only had a lifetime of “Doing” all the right things, but he also had a lifetime of “Saying” all the right things. He could not bring himself to say:
And every time “He” makes me fall ill,
“He” “also” helps me get better.
So, when it comes to getting well, finding Shifaa, he has no hesitation in giving credit to Allah.
Hear him say it:
Wa Idhaa Maridtu, Fa-huwa Yashfeeni.
“And when ‘I’ get sick, ‘he’ cures me.”
Subhanallah! What a miracle this Aayat Karimah is! And how much more beautiful its words and melody than all the jazz, calypso, country and all other music in the world:
Wa Idhaa Maridtu, Fa-huwa Yashfeeni.
When I open my eyes and look -- and when are the eyes of a Believer ever completely shut? -- my heart fills with a sadness I cannot describe in words.
Not at all the most terrible and egregious things the world is doing to the Muslims, which the world is, but more so at what the Muslims themselves are doing:
(a) To themselves.
(b) And to the world.
God commissioned Muslims to invite the world to him and to Islam.
To take the Qur’an to every home and heart that needs it,
as it were, and which one does not?
But Muslims seem to be doing everything but that.
The result is what you see:
(a) Muslims in terrible shape.
(b) World in worse shape.
And not a voice to admonish and alert them. And to cry halt.
Presidential advisor Steve Bannon says media are the opposition party. And he may be right.
Even though Bannon holds some extremely foolish and wrong-headed political views, such as Islam being the nemesis of everything decent, good, noble, nice and Judeo-Christian in the world, he is spot on the money when it comes to figuring out the media.
And the media’s adversarial relationship is not with an individual or a party but with Truth and with the American People.
That is because media live to make money – by any means necessary. And to service all kinds of political, social and other agendas, both domestic and foreign.
So, between extreme political expediency and sycophancy and rabid money mongering, the media must lie to live. And the media know a million ways of lying, dissembling, creating distractions and covering up.
Therefore, the media are the flag carriers of fakeness in our society – a society that has waged its own painful struggle with truth ever since its founding. So much so that when we piece together the pieces of fakeness pouring into our lives from everywhere, it is hard not to call ourselves the Fake News Nation of the modern world.
Not only do the media have a million ways to lie, they are also very, very good at it. The media create facts and build news with breakneck speed to fill their ravenous bellies.
Here is an example. A simple Feb. 11 headline proclaims: “Trump Capitulates to China.”
Fact: Trump may not have, does not, did not.
When Trump took the call from the Taiwanese president, it was not necessarily a repudiation of the two-China policy. It may not have been more than a simple act of courtesy.
And Trump said so.
For others, it may have been a big deal. Especially to the media. To them it was big news. Another stick to beat Trump with.
To Trump, it was just being civil.
Trump made a lot of news. Stirred the pot a bit. Got everybody’s attention, including China’s, and then told the Chinese President in a personal phone call later that the entire ballyhoo was generated by the media, and he himself had no problem with the one-China policy.
I am sure President Xi understood.
So do the American people!
In this world of ours, there is Islam. And then there are all these people called Muslims. They are not one and the same thing.
Even though, generally speaking, it may perhaps be so to many non-Muslims. And that is due, at least in part, to the methodology many non-Muslims use to understand what they call “Religion” and the world in general.
To many of them, Islam is what Muslims do. And what Muslims are in their daily life.
But to the Muslim mind, that is a most terrible thing to do: To equate Islam with Muslim behavior and practice.
And that is because Islam is from God Almighty. And Muslims are merely people. Like everybody else in the world.
As a result, Islam is perfect and complete and wonderful and every inch a most beautiful and practical thing.
Muslims on the other hand are frail, fragile and fickle human beings, like everybody else on the face of this earth, buffeted by the vicissitudes of time, space and circumstance. They bob up and down in the whirlpools of life’s turbulent waters, pretty much like all other people do.
And part of the reason why Islam stands out so clearly in a class of its own is because Islam has something that others don’t. Islam, most fundamentally, has the Qur’an. Others don’t.
No one, but no one, has a book quite like the Qur’an. There are no ifs or buts about it.
The Qur’an is a book that exists in the original, in exactly the same form, with precisely the same wording and organization in which Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, gave the world well over 1400 years ago.
Whether or not that book is from God is a matter of investigation, discussion and belief. But what brooks no doubt, debate or discussion is the fact that this book that the world has in its hands today is that very same book.
Nor does it bear discussion or questioning that no one else in the world has a book like that. The world today does not have a book given by Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Rama, Buddha or Jaina or anyone else.
It is as simple as that.
Islam has it, others don’t.
The way to Work for Allah is always to try to do more. Not less.
Not very different from the way we work for what we think is our Dunya.
Who among us does not want for themselves and for their family members:
a) More education?
b) Better jobs?
c) Higher salaries?
d) Higher profits in business?
So also, when it comes to Working for Allah, try and go for more, not for less.
Does that make sense to anybody?
Does the thought sometimes cross our mind that maybe IslamicSolutions.Com should have more visitors than it does presently?
Of course it does. And, frankly, we wouldn’t be human if it did not.
But, also quite frankly, given the record of this world, and in particular of this Ummat, with the Qur’an, and the Hadith, we should be out of our mind to complain.
At IslamicSolutions.Com, we are about Islam, not about technology. Even though our motto in anything and everything that we do remains: You Touch It, You Nail It.
And for us, with regard to anything and everything we handle: Best Or Nothing.
That is not because we are so good. It is because that to us is basic, elementary Islam.
For us, Islam is not a home for losers; and it is not a hideout for second-raters and also-rans.
To us, it is self-evident that if Islam is good enough to be called Allah’s Deen, it is good enough to be considered the Best.
Innad Deena Indallahil Islam.
But still, at IslamicSolutions.Com, technology is neither our focus nor our priority. Nor is it a matter of pride or joy for us.
We would rather be wrong and deficient a million times on questions of technology than be wrong one single time about the Deen of Allah.
The one who created the Seven Heavens without a single crack or rupture or imperfection in them:
Maa Taraa Fee Khalqir Ramaani Min Tafaawut.
Hal Taraa Min Futoor?
So, when it comes to anything pertaining to the world, we are always guided by the canon that nothing less than the Best of the Best is acceptable to us -- no matter how often and how blatantly we may fall short of that ideal, while making our best efforts to reach and breach it.
But when it comes to Allah’s Deen, whatever it is and however you define and measure it, even the minutest deviation, departure, shortcoming, distortion or misrepresentation is not acceptable to us.
And it is our firm belief, and our most fervent hope and prayer, that anything we say on IslamicSolutions.Com is Islam and nothing but Islam.
For, that is the goal that we have committed ourselves to.
That is part of the reason why take the precautions we do, and exercise the care and caution we exercise, when it comes to adding anything to IslamicSolutions.com or omitting anything from it.
Including colors and pictures and font sizes and punctuation marks -- and all else.
Question is not if we are being used, the question is Who Is Using Us: Allah or the Devil?
I am not denying the existence of Free Will in human life. In Islam, Free Will is a founding postulate. That means something that is taken for granted at the most basic level.
Everyone knows Islam is about submission. And those without Free Will do not “submit.” They just “succumb.”
They are designed to do what they end up doing: To say yes and do as told.
They are nothing but robots and automatons, mere nodes -- different points -- on the cosmic Reflex Arc.
Saying “No” is not an option for them.
But still this is how Allah’s world works: You are being used.
The only question is who is using you.
a) Allah and those working for him?
b) Or the Devil, Shaitan, and those working for him?
And as you live, you will know. But here is a clue.
If you see yourself impelled, called upon and facilitated to do Good Things, you should know that Allah is the one using you.
Lammatun Minal Malaki!
That is how the Hadith puts it.
When that happens, you should immediately turn to Allah and ask him to fortify you further. You should become very, very careful you do not slip up and you do not become arrogant and conceited and smug.
There are all kinds of Du’as that can help you in this respect, including the following:
Allahumma Yaa Muqallibal Quloob … (Al-Hadith)
Allahumma Yaa Musarrifal Quloob … (Al-Hadith)
Rabbanaa Laa Tuzigh Quloobanaa … (Al-Aayah)
If, on the other hand, you find yourself pulled and propelled to do Bad Things, then you should realize that it is the Devil’s hand that is moving and using you.
You should then immediately check yourself and try to get back on track.
Again, there are all kinds of Du’as and Awuraad to help you. Not the least of which is Ta’awwuz -- A’oozu Billahi …
And the two Mu’awwidhatayin…
Qul A-oodu Bi-Rabbil Falaq.
And Qul A-oodu Bi-Rabbin Naas.
Constant vigilance is called for, because Shaitan is subtle and invisible. And he is patient and persistent in pursuing you.
Here is what one of us wrote recently -- with appropriate editing:
“I also hope people had a wonderful ‘holiday’ period.
For my part, together with my family, we have been reviewing the aayaat we covered in the Qur’an Program over the years.
It is quite amazing how these aayaat reveal so many different things at different times.
Indeed this is part of the many miracles of the Qur’an,
as it were.”
In response, here is what I want to say:
Allah bless you and your family. You always do the most amazing things.
Personally, you and your family could not have given me a better present, as they say, this “Holiday Season,” than this.
For, this whole thing that we do -- writing, speaking, distributing literature, emailing and everything else -- is about each and everyone of us connecting with Allah and his book, and getting everyone else in the world to do the same.
For, we have no other purpose, object or agenda in our mind. And everything else that we may appear to be doing, or engaged in, whether it is our education, our jobs, our travels, our businesses or our family and social life, is simply means to that end.
Qul Innanee Hadaanee Rabbee
Ilaa Siraatin Mustaqeem…
“Say, my master has put me on a straight path…”
Qul Inna Salaatee wa Nusukee,
wa Mahyaaya wa Mamaatee
Lillahi Rabbil Aalameen.
Wa Bi-Dhaalika Umirtu
wa Ana Awwaul Muslimeen.
“As a result,
My whole life now centers around God Almighty.
I have no divided loyalties of any kind.
And I am indeed the first to say yes to his call.”
“And how can I possibly look for another focus or direction for my life, when God Almighty is the one who owns everything?”
Qul A-Ghayirallahi Abghee Rabban
wa Huwa Rabbu Kulli Shayii?
When people get so caught up in their “Worldly Concerns” -- chasing their worldly tails as it were -- that they cannot find time, or energy, or resources to do their bit in “Allah’s Work,” maybe, it just might happen, that Allah Almighty might look at them and say:
All right, People, that is what you want to do?
Great! Happy hunting, Folks!
Don’t worry, we will give you more of the same.
And we will keep you busy chasing your tail --
in every dark and dingy alley of this worldly life.
This just might happen.
And one worldly sign of this happening might be that the more you are able to tackle and solve your “worldly” problems and issues, the more of them seem to pop up in all kinds of places and from all kinds of directions that you least suspect.
Maybe a careful review of Hadith literature will help throw light on what I am talking about here.
And I certainly do not know the difference between “Allah’s Work” and “Worldly Concerns.” So, don’t ask me what it is.
Whereas, on the other side of this fence, when you are busy doing “Allah’s Work,” let us say, for example helping, and caring for, and taking care of Allah’s People politically, economically, morally, financially, socially, intellectually, educationally and otherwise, then, Allah Almighty, and I believe this is a Hadith, assumes responsibility for making sure your “Worldly Concerns” get taken care of.
If I recall that Hadith Sharif right, it goes something like this:
Kaanallahu Fee ‘Awunil ‘Abdi
Maa Kaanallahu Fee ‘Awuni Akheehi.
“All the time that you are engaged in helping out “Your Brother,”
Allah is engaged in helping you out.”
And the thought that occurs to me is this:
With Allah Almighty himself in charge of your affairs --
your “Worldly Concerns,” as it were --
how can anything possibly go wrong with your life?
There is no end to how cute the Muslims are. Across the board.
But some Muslim groups have their own special talents and gifts, cultural practices and habits, over and above a certain base level of general cuteness.
In general, when you hand out free literature to people, many simply do not bother to read it.
Most do not even care to look at it.
Flyers are the worst offenders in this regard. Most people who take them from you either throw them in the nearest trash basket or fold them and stuff them in their back pockets, never to revisit them again.
Muslims, of course, are not the greatest and most avid readers in the world -- of anything. Muslims are generally great talkers: Yap-Yappers, if there is such a word.
They will talk about anything and everything, forever and ever and ever, whether they know anything about it or not.
Endless, senseless gossip is the bread and butter of any average Muslim’s life: generally content-free and directionless. It defines most Muslim social gatherings and encounters.
How much of Muslim Yap-Yapping is hard-core or borderline Backbiting is anybody’s guess.
So what if Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, warned us that our tongues are often our surest passport to hell?
And so also what if the Qur’an says that backbiting is equal to eating the flesh of our dead brothers?
And mind you, Backbiting is when what you say about “Your Brother” is true and factual. Otherwise, it is slander and defamation which renders Muslims accountable before law right here in this world.
The words “Your Brother” are from a Hadith Sharif I think.
In any case, those of you dedicated to distributing free literature to Muslims, beware! Most likely Muslims will not read it.
And be ready for some, if not many, especially of the Indo-Pak type, to take the literature from your hands and immediately hand it to their seven- or eight-year-olds. Something for the kids to play with and to feel good about.
That is Muslims for you! And you want Allah to put these people in charge of running his world?
What kind of God do you think he is? A parochial, tribal, national, ethnic, corrupt God?
Like so many in American and British Political Circles, so patently and so decisively beholden to their contributors, constituencies, political agendas, party loyalties, foreign and domestic lobbyists, as well as personal interests, habits and weaknesses from alcohol to drugs to sex?
Or is he everybody’s God, Rabbul ‘Aalameen, as he so proudly calls himself?
And the most fair and just God?
Muslims do so much for Allah. That is what many of them think. And they may be right. At least in some big, broad sense.
They pray; they fast; they go to Hajj; and some of them even give Zakat. Many of them call it Charity.
And Muslims are not wrong when they call Zakat, Charity. For, the Qur’an does the same. There are places, I think, where the Qur’an calls Zakat, Sadaqah. May Allah forgive me if I am mistaken.
So, the Muslims have so much going for them. And, from that point of view, Muslims have so much coming to them.
But the thought that persists in my mind is this:
How does all this stack up against the market price of a single self-growing nail on one of our little fingers?
Or a patch of skin anywhere in our body? Not plastic and wire slapped on by a surgeon.
But the real kind that God created us with that will make our brain hear an ant crawl and our body convulse in instantaneous reaction?
And another thought:
What do you think is the going rate for a day’s -- no, call it an hour’s; no, actually make it five minutes’ worth -- rental of your body?
Does God seem to come out ahead? What can I say?
So, why the arrogance? What God himself calls Istikbaar!
Absolutely, Allah is the doer and he is the actor. And he has all the power. And we have none.
But you have been told you have responsibility. And you have been given the power. So, get up and assume the responsibility. And feel the power.
You have been commanded to act. So, dust up and start acting.
So, even though Iman comes from Allah -- just as everything else does -- it is, nevertheless, our job, our duty, our responsibility to find out what we need to do to make our Iman better and stronger and more up-to-date.
So, we need to train ourselves to take personal responsibility for everything in our life -- from getting groceries from the store and getting cars fixed to getting our Salaat repaired and our Iman improved.
That is what it means to be a real human being in the real world that God Almighty created for us.
Huwalladhee Khalaqa Lakum Maa Fil Ardi Jamee’aa!
And that is the protocol: We must do what we are ordered to do.
Wa Bi-Dhaalika Umirtu,
Wa Ana Awwalul Muslimeen.
“That is what I am ordered to do.
And I am going to be the first to fall in line!”
Allahu Akbar! If this is not perfection in words, then what is it?
And don’t you think words like these could have come only from Almighty God? And that this Qur’an, from which these words are taken, cannot be from any source other than Almighty God himself?
Suppose you hear a cry from the kitchen:
“Honey, Sugar Jar Empty!”
That is TTSpeak: no verbs if we can avoid them.
I have never in my entire life heard a response like the following one:
“I heard you Dear, May Allah fill it with sugar!”
A more likely reply, I expect would be:
“All right Dear, I going now.”
Again, no verb. That is Trinidad.
Translated in plain American it means:
“I am on my way, sweetheart!”
To get sugar of course.
But that is not always the response we get when we talk to teach others and scream out in pain:
“Hey, guess what.
Our Iman seems to be running on fumes!”
You know what the Dominant Model is when it comes to responding to a distress call like this? Even from some of the best of the best of the best of us?
It is likely to be:
“May Allah make our Iman better!”
It is almost an exact equivalent of:
“Honey, may Allah fill our jar with sugar!”
And it is rarely, if ever, anything that sounds like this:
“All right Dear, I am heading out right now to get some.”
I do not hear Muslims taking personal responsibility for their situation, whether it is about improving their Salaah or their Iman. I do not generally hear Muslims saying things like:
What do you think I should do?
Do you have any ideas how I can improve my Iman?”
And even more rarely does one come across anything like this:
“Oh my God! Really?
Innaa Lillahi wa Innaa Ilaihi Raaji’oon!
Laa Hawula wa Laa Quwwata Illaa Billah!
I am going to start working on it right away.
And, oh by the way, any ideas? Any suggestions?
What do you think I should do to make my Iman better?”
Not once, people! Not once!
Shows the disconnect that Muslims, by and large, have with reality when it comes to Islam.
So far as Muslims are concerned, it seems to me, their Deen is a set of cliches and platitudes.
The way I see it, most of us are Legacy Muslims -- born into Islam, through no active or rational choice of ours in this world. And more or less stuck with our heritage of birth.
And that means most of us are Muslims by habit and custom. Not through careful thought and agonizing personal search and transformation.
As a result, many of us mouth these cliches and platitudes because everyone else does. And we never feel the necessity to think seriously about any of the things we do; like real people; alone; with pain filling our hearts and with eyes flooding with tears.
And the fact that mercenary mullahs by the dozen fill every street corner with their snake oil pills makes it impossible for us to climb out of the hole we find ourselves in.
So, let us change the old dysfunctional culture we have inherited from our priests. And replace it with a more real and vibrant set of beliefs and practices that are closer to the nature, text and spirit of Islam.
If you ask why is the world the way it is, one answer would be:
Because the Muslims are the way they are!
For, in many ways, how the Muslims are, that is how the world will be.
In other words, Muslims’ deeds and words, not to say their State of Goodness or Badness, and their level and type of Iman should we say, will have a direct correlation with the life, fate and destiny of the world.
And that means, if the Muslims are good, and if their Iman is strong and pure, and it is of a higher grade altogether, the world will be a good place to live for all of its inhabitants.
But if, on the other hand, the Muslims are bad, and their Iman is flawed and weak, and their words and deeds are not good, the world will also turn out to be a bad place to live for all of its inhabitants.
And here is a shot across the bow for Muslims to pay attention to and it is directly from the Qur’an:
Wa-Maa Yu’minu Aktharuhum Billahi Illaa Wahum Mushrikoon!
“Most people’s Iman is flawed, tainted and mixed with Shirk!”
So, now you know one reason why there are all these sad and bad and mad goings on in the world all the time.
It has to do with the kind and type and level of Iman most of us possess and how it is liberally leavened with generous assortments of Shirk.
Just for starters, we love everything and everyone else more than we love Allah.
And we fear everything and everyone else more than Allah.
And we work for everything and everyone else more than we work for Allah.
And we spend more time, effort, money and resources on everything and everyone than we spend in the path of Allah.
That is just for starters. You go figure out the rest.
Islam is from God. It is complete. And it is pure.
Alyawuma Akmaltu Lakum Deenakum!
Even though in human practice it may come out laden with all kinds of seeming imperfections and problems.
So, mixing Islam with all kinds of other things, whatever those things may be, simply does not cut it. It neither makes sense, nor does it work out in practice.
Islam “and” Feminism do not mix. One is Islam, the other Jaahiliyyat.
It is “Something Else.”
So also, Islam “and” Fascism do not mix.
Or Islam “and” Nationalism.
Or Islam “and” Communism.
Or Islam “and” Capitalism.
Or Islam “and” Extremism.
Or Islam “and” Fanaticism.
Or Islam “and“ Racism.
Or Islam “and” Sexism.
Or Islam “and” Jingoism and Chauvinism of any kind or category.
One is water, each one of these things, and the other is oil or fire.
And the two do not coexist in the same bosom, in the same human heart, in harmony.
They simply do not mix!
The Qur’an makes it abundantly clear:
Wa Man Yabtaghi Ghayiral Islami Deenan Fa-Lan Yuqbala Minhu.
“Whoever is looking to replace the Deen of Islam in their life
with Something Else,
it shall not be accepted from them.”
Islam is a set of ideas, beliefs and practices.
All from heaven -- to earth and beyond.
And Islam is a most complete, comprehensive, solid, sound and unassailable system, as it has to be if it is from God Almighty himself, the maker and master of the universe.
And Islam is not a hotchpotch of all kinds of good, bad, indifferent and hit-and-miss stuff, as it would be if it were the product of human mind and experience shaping it over centuries and across cultures.
Says the Qur’an:
Innaddeena Indallahil Islam!
Islam is the only system of life with the seal of approval from God.
Now, it is up to human beings, in every age and place, to examine Islam carefully and figure out if what I am saying here seems to make sense or not.
Living and driving in the United States, or UK or Europe, or Little Trinidad, or Big Messy New Delhi or Bombay or Marhum Cairo, who does not get stuck in a traffic jam?
How scary the situation could be depends on the individual, most likely -- and a lot of other things.
But does the Qur’an come to the rescue? Who could tell.
The Qur’an is supposed to. There is not a human ailment or malady -- difficulty? -- for which the Qur’an is not a cure. So declares the Qur’an.
And we are not talking all of the Qur’an. Or even entire Aayaat (plural for Aayat) of the Qur’an.
Or even full words.
But each and every single letter of the Qur’an, such as Alif, and Laam, and Meem.
That is right. When it comes to the Qur’an, each letter counts.
And that is a direct paraphrase from a Hadith Sharif.
So, when stuck in a hopeless bumper-to-bumper traffic jam -- a daunting and seemingly insurmountable obstacle -- should you do what Hazrat Musa, alaihis salam, did?
This is not going to stop me.
For, my God is with me,
And he will open the way for me.”
Kallaa Inna Ma’iya Rabbee,
See the meaning of the expression “Hidaayat” -- “opening the way”?
And in this case, parting the sea, nothing less.
The rest, as they say, is Qur’an. You know: the Qur’an tells you what transpired thereafter.
Memorize, recite and repeat the following Wird -- as often as you can and whenever you can and need to.
Helps with all kinds of difficulties and challenges. Hazrat Yunus, Alaihis Salam, read it and Allah freed him from the belly of the beast.
Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam, said there is no better or more powerful Du’a than this one.
I have all kinds of trouble with the words of the Qur’an. For, I don’t know how to translate them in plain, simple English.
Without jeopardizing what is left of my Iman.
But here is what the Qur’an says:
Wallahu Shakoorun Haleem!
I know what the Arabic says. It says:
“Allah is most appreciative and most kind
and most patient and most forbearing
and most tolerant.”
But I know I cannot help thinking:
“Allah is most grateful!”
For, that is what the words mean in Arabic.
And also, I cannot help thinking:
“Allah says: ‘Thank You!'”
But I dare not say these words, even though I just said them. And I shudder as I say them. But say them I must.
For, that is my job, and that is the commitment I made:
To bear and carry Allah’s words to Allah’s people.
I must deliver that Amaanat to whom it was addressed: Allah’s people everywhere.
And this was the responsibility the heavens and the earth were too frightened to accept.
And they ran from it when it was offered to them.
Fa-Abayina An Yahmilna-haa!
But foolish human beings that we are, we came forward to shoulder it. And we said: “Yes, we will do it!”
Wa Hamalahal Insaan!
What a foolish, foolish decision that was on the part of the Human Race!
Innahoo Kaana Zalooman Jahoolaa!
But do you see the kind of God you have?
While you all are busy saying “Thank You!” to each other, as you must, for that is part of Islam, how little you realize that Allah also looks at you and says:
“Thank You, My Slave!
Don’t think I don’t know what you are doing.
And what you have done.
And for my creation.
Even though I am As-Samad,
I do not need anything from anybody.
And even though I am Al-Ghaniyy,
And could not care less about anyone or anything.
But thank you anyway.
For what you are doing.
And for what you have done!
I don’t know after saying these words in relation to God Almighty I will have any Iman left!
But that is your God for you! Directly from the Qur’an.
For, that is what the Qur’an says.
What each and everyone of us must do is to learn Islam, from scratch as it were, and to preach and teach it to everyone everywhere in the world.
This is the job for which Allah created us in the first place.
As the Qur’an says, in a different context:
Wa Lidhaalika Khalaqahum!
And that requires total and unflagging focus on the part of each and everyone of us.
And that requires that each and everyone of us put everything else on the back burner, whether it is our jobs, businesses, relatives, parents, children, everything.
If we don’t do it, the results will be disastrous -- for us and for the world.
And that is precisely what is going on in the world right now.
Islam is all about Good Things. The Qur’an calls it Ma’roof.
And Islam is not about Bad Things, which the Qur’an calls Munkar.
I wonder if there is any place in Paradise for people who all they did was teach people how to write e-mails.
And whether the concerned angels even know what this thing is about. And how to report it.
You know the Social Media stuff?
But, in any case, here is one more tip for would-be e-mail writers -- those among them who say they Work for Allah.
Muslims that is.
For, the Corporations, especially American Corporations, are already on top of it. At least those of them that you may consider to be worth their salt.
They set the standards. Standards that pretty much run the world.
Muslims can criticize America and American Corporations all they want. But they will go farther in life if they learn from some of the better practices in America and in the American Corporate World.
I know it is a lot of hard work, but would it be better -- more “Islamic” perhaps? -- if, every time we write an e-mail, we change subject heading of e-mails to reflect actual content?
Does anybody think so?
When you are Working for Allah, it is always good to have people with you. But that is not always possible. It doesn’t happen that way.
Sometimes, the baseline is no more than one solitary Muslim household. That is all you get as part of your team.
When angels came to destroy the people of Lut, Alaihis Salam, Hazrat Ibrahim, Alahis Salam, was concerned what would happen to Lut, Alahis Salam.
Inna Feehaa Lutaa, he said.
“But there is Lut there, in that place.”
But angels told him not to worry. They said they were fully aware of who was in there, in that place.
When the angels went looking to remove all the good guys from the land of Lut, Alaihis Salam, before destroying it, they could not find more than a single Muslim household.
The words of the Qur’an are devastating:
Wa Maa Wajadnaa Feehaa Ghayira Bayitin Minal Muslimeen!
“Not more than a single Muslim household could we find there!”
Elsewhere Hazrat Lut, Alaihis Salaam, pleads with his people, when they came rushing to molest and dishonor his visitors -- who were actually angels in human shape:
A Layisa Minkum Rajulun Rasheed?
“Is there not a single decent human being among you?”
So, those of us Working for Allah, should not lose heart when we do not see a crowd gathering around us to help us with this work.
The work must go on.
And we must go on with our without help.
Dr. Firdaus Kamalodeen
Alhamdulillah and congratulations to the Muslim Mother-Daughter team from Trinidad on being featured on the front page of Tuesday’s edition of the local newspaper Newsday which captured them having just completed voting the day before.
This is how Muslim women exercise power in a democracy, which is what Islam is all about.
While some Muslims in some parts of the world seem to have just gotten an epiphany and came to the realization that Muslim women maybe should be allowed to drive, Muslim women in Democratic Trinidad not only drive, they also vote.
In one picture featuring our people, Allah showed how to do Islam.
Here in Trinidad and Tobago, when it comes to selecting the country’s leadership, it is the model of Islam that is followed.
And as part of that model, Muslim women have full and equal rights of participation along with Muslim men and along with all the non-Muslim men and women in the country.
How beautiful Islam is -- if only people will not use it to advance their own personal, political and economic agendas and plans!
When Muslims meet, as they should, they talk.
And they talk and talk and talk some more.
Little do they realize that they will answer to God Almighty for every word they utter.
And meetings are good. For meetings, done right, could be vehicles for debate and decision making. For civilized give and take.
Qur’an calls it Shura!
And then someone randomly says something. And we all follow the leader.
It scares me no end that we will answer for every word we utter -- and fail to utter. Answer to God that is.
So, I suggest, we consider the following three things before and during every meeting:
One, what do we want to do, accomplish that is?
Two, how do we plan to do it -- using what tools, techniques and resources?
Three, why do we want to do it -- what are our motivations and our reasons for wanting to do it?
For, often, they are the difference, our reasons and intentions are, between Good and Bad.
Between Right and Wrong.
Between Ma’roof and Munkar.
Between Haqq and Baatil.
And between Islam and Kufr.
That is how serious some of these things are.
What are the key concomitants and requirements to power in this world? Answers could be many.
Some theoretical. Some empirical -- based on an analysis of historical data.
For much of the world, it is wealth. That is how the world generally looks at wealth and power. They go hand in hand.
Even today, November 2016, Wall Street and its Big Money hold Big Power.
And the Big Media are a part of that equation. Five mega-media conglomerations controlling roughly 90 percent of what over 7,000,000,000 (seven billion) people around the world see and hear on a daily basis.
Thirty-two-year old Mark Zuckerberg (Big Money Estimate: over $50 billion) has more people visiting his Facebook than there are human beings on this planet!
And Big Money in all its forms and variations exercises enormous power and leverage on the lives of the American People and the people throughout the rest of the world.
But according to the Qur’an, the key qualification of leadership is something different. It is Ilm -- knowledge, understanding.
Earlier people, the Jews if you want to call them that, Jews after Moses, Alaihis Salaam, had trouble accepting the man God appointed as their leader: Because the man did not have Big Money.
Let us follow the story in the Qur’an:
Wa Qaala Lahum Nabiyyu-Hum.
“And their Nabiyy -- prophet -- told them.”
Innallaaha Qad Ba’atha Lakum TalootaMalikaa.
“Allah has appointed this man Taaloot your leader.”
Qaaloo Annaa Yakoonu Lahul Mulku ‘Alainaa?
“They said how can he be our leader?”
Wa Nahnu Ahaqqu Bil Mulki Minhu?
“When we are more deserving of leadership than him?”
“Wa Lam Yu’ta Sa’atam Minal Maali?”
“And the man doesn’t even have enough money?
Qaala Innallahas-tafaahu ‘Alaikum,
“Allah said the fact is God has chosen him over the rest of you.”
Wa-zaadahu Bastatan Fil ‘Ilmi …
“And God has granted him vast knowledge and understanding.”
Qur’an, all you people out there?
I don’t get it. I just don’t.
I don’t get the fact that Muslims don’t seem to get it.
And I don’t get the fact that the Non-Muslims and the world don’t seem to get it.
They all seem to have some vague notion that That Book-- The Qur’an Karim: Dhaalikal Kitaab -- is from God Almighty.
Some believe it; some allege it; some dispute it; some quietly dismiss it; and, for some, it is just another cliche -- along with a million cliches that fill their lives, and that sometimes influence and guide their actions.
So, Qur’an and God, all kinds of people make all kinds of association between the two -- positively or negatively, warmly and passionately or only lukewarmly and even somewhat skeptically, their mental fingers crossed, as it were.
But these are all matter of belief -- or disbelief.
If you think this assertion is true, it is belief.
If you do so -- believe that Qur’an is from God -- with the bottom of your heart as it were, it is faith or Iman.
And if you say “OK, let us talk about it!” it may be no more than an assumption -- a working proposition that may take you in either direction: belief or lack thereof.
But what most people seem to be clueless about is a simple fact of empirical, verifiable data. It is an objective reality that anyone anywhere can see with their own eyes.
And that fact has to do with how many times the Qur’an makes a reference to God Almighty -- right in the body of the Qur’an -- and does so in the most direct and unequivocal manner.
We have much to be grateful to the West for.
Even though, at the same time, we as Muslims also have a lot of very serious issues with the West.
That is how it is in a family. And we are one family: Muslims and the West.
One Human Family. Children of Adam all.
Along with all the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Atheists -- and all the others.
And it is not uncommon among family members to fight with each other -- and sometimes like cats and dogs.
So, it is not at all surprising that we all have our fights. Muslims and the West and all the rest of us human beings.
But at the core of it all is the fact that we are members of one common human family.
So, I am saying, we much appreciate what the West has done -- in more recent times. And that means going back in time, not just a few decades, but maybe even a few centuries.
The West has increased our sensitivity to such vital human issues as Privacy.
But, to tell the truth, this is nothing but Johnny Come Lately! For, Privacy has been a Muslim issue since the advent of Islam on this earth: over 1400 years ago.
Beautiful Hadith, as all Hadith are:
You protect the Privacy of others,
God Almighty will protect your Privacy.
And much more than even that: One of the key attributes of God Almighty is Sattaar:
The One Who Loves to Protect and Cover Up
the Faults, the Imperfections, the blemishes,
the failures and the Slip-Ups of His Creation!
So, like all other good things in life, and in this world, we, meaning Islam and our God, your God too, for there is only one God anyway, invented this one too:
The concept that we so proudly call Privacy today!
And how can I ever forget that most beautiful Hadith Sharif in which the question arises about people throwing off their clothes in the privacy, let us say, of their own homes, and going, you know blank naked?
The words of the Hadith are as fresh, as immortal and as profound as any that ever issued from the mouth of a human:
Innallaha Ahaqqu An Yustah-Ya Minhu!
Paraphrasing something that cannot ever be paraphrased or translated on this earth:
“God Almighty deserves the most that we be bashful
and observe Privacy in his presence!”
The world does not appreciate how beautiful each and every Hadith of Sayyidinaa Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, is!
And that includes most Muslims!
And the world does not even know this fact: How beautiful each and every Hadith is.
And that includes most Muslims.
At a time like this, in a world like this, there perhaps is no better way of spending your time and talent than to learn and memorize as many A-Haadeeth (plural for Hadith) as you can.
Except the Qur’an of course, which is the word of God Almighty himself!
By Hashim Mohammed
I am a Muslim and I want to offer an advice to America and American People.
Don’t worry, I am from some part of the world which you won’t even find on the map.
And relax, I am not about to make a beeline to America either.
My advice is free, willing and purely in the name of God Almighty.
I am giving this advice to the American People because I am a Muslim, and the job of a Muslim, the way I understand it, is to offer the best advice they can to all and sundry.
Fa-dhakkir, says the Qur’an.
It means “Tell them, give them advice, remind them!“
So, here is my advice to America:
The American people have spoken in the latest presidential election,
The election, to the extent anyone could tell, was by and large fair and above board.
In such a situation, it is only natural and logical that one person wins and the other loses. What other outcome could anyone envisage?
The important point is that the people have spoken. And they are a free people -- Americans I mean -- at least for the most part and in some very basic and important ways.
It is completely understandable that many will be pleased with the outcome while many others will not like the results.
But in the end, everybody has to accept the results, especially the people on the losing side.
The latter have to accept the results and stop grumbling and protesting.
In many ways, this is more or less the best deal we have on the face of this earth: people freely electing their leaders.
America is one country and her people are one people. So this is time for the American People to cooperate with one another in all that which is good, as the Qur’an says, and which will make America and the world. a better place -- for all.
Life goes on for everybody. So, maybe, the American People, all of them, should move on also.
Your brother in our common humanity,
People always wonder. People always ask. And people always talk about: Who are the best people in the world?
The Hadith of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, has a very simple definition:
“The Best People are those who are best to their womenfolk!”
In the original words of the Hadith Sharif, it reads like this:
Khayirukum, Khayirukum Li-Ahlihi!
So simple, and yet, so profound!
Isn’t this proof enough that this Islam is from Allah?
And Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, is indeed the Messenger of Allah?
The Qur’an says:
Ta’awanoo Alal Birri Wat-Taqwa,
Wa Laa Ta’awanoo Alal Ithmi Wal Udwaan!
Work together in good causes,
But do not help each other to do bad things.
Mitt Romney and Donald Trump said some pretty nasty things about each other during the recently concluded American presidential campaign 2016.
According to a newspaper report, here is a sample of what each of the two men thought and said about the other:
“In March, the former Massachusetts governor called Trump “a phony” and “a fraud” when discussing the then-candidate.
Trump has called Romney a loser and has said he “choked like a dog” during his 2012 presidential campaign against President Barack Obama.”
The campaign ended on Tuesday, November 8. Donald Trump won the presidency.
And now here is what the media say is happening between the two men:
“Romney and Trump to discuss secretary of state position, NBC source says.”
They may not call it that.
And Muslim little boys and sundry Islamic priestly pretenders may not recognize Islam when they see it, but this is Islam -- even if it is pressed into service using any other name.
That is one reason why I say: God Bless America!
And let us hope and pray that this Trump-Romney cooperation will be to promote good things and not to perpetrate bad things.
People again wrote to me asking me to join the fight. And Here is what I wrote back to them:
You guys just do not get it.
I do not want to “fight back” just for the sake of fighting back. And who am I fighting, and for what reason, anyway?
There was an election. Maybe you did not get that memo.
And Trump won fair and square. Maybe you did not get that memo either.
Man up and say it: “There was an election and Donald Trump won.“
That verbalization of a simple truth will help you and help America move forward -- and possibly heal, no matter by how little.
So what if the Popular Vote went the other way by a certain margin? Not the first time.
But, we have a system in place and that system says loud and clear and in plain English:
Donald J. Trump Won on November 8. 2016!
And he will be President 45 of the United States of America!
I want you guys to tell me who you really are and what you really stand for. Then I will decide how to react to your blank invitation to join the fight.
As for myself, I have decided how I can best be of help and service to America and the American People.
I plan to redouble my efforts to get everybody re-initiated and re-pointed in the direction of the old notions of Honesty and Integrity and Truth!
Democrats received a shellacking in the race for the White House. And that was mainly because they had a flawed candidate who ran a flawed campaign.
Hillary Clinton had no message, no voice, no personality, no charisma. She tried to be all things to all people -- depending on the day and the place. And in the end she was nothing.
How much heavy lifting can surrogates do when the candidate herself lacks all oomph?
The Dems were against a formidable candidate -- a fighter to the core. And they never took him seriously.
They seemed to have fallen for the nonsense the media were parading about Donald Trump being nothing but a clown, an entertainer and a fad.
Clinton called Trump voters a Basket of Deplorables. How do you put something like that behind you?
And she failed to win over the supporters of Bernie Sanders.
And now the Democratic National Committee (DNC) keeps sending me e-mails asking me if I was ready to fight back!
Fight whom? And for what? Who are we fighting and what is the fight about?
I don’t think they have a clue.
Don’t get me wrong. I am a born fighter. And I never run from a fight. But the future is not about fighting. It is about coming to terms with reality.
What is really needed is for everyone -- Democrats as well as Republicans -- to define:
a) Their true identity -- who they really are.
b) Their true mission in life and in politics -- what they really stand for.
c) Their true goals -- what they really want to achieve for themselves and for this great country.
Once this is done, they need to then devise an effective strategy to achieve those goals.
Right now, at least the Democrats are totally rudderless and lost.
And Trump is waist deep in the swamp that he set out to drain.
Maybe one way out for the Dems is to put Sanders in charge of party policy and direction. Maybe he can still help them reemerge from the wilderness and regain relevance.
The fact is the electorate has changed. People are no longer as dumb and docile as they used to be.
Nor are the traditional media as mighty and dominant.
God Almighty’s Grace seems to have manifested itself in part in the form of Social Media and set the American People free. The People now appear more capable of thinking for themselves than at any point in the past.
So, the only way forward for the Dems is to level with the American People and do some serious soul searching.
Their mission should be to serve the People. Not fight Trump. At least not right now.
The Bible says “Wages of Sin Is Death.”
But from the perspective of the Qur’an, wages of Truth could also be death.
Islam is Truth.
And God is Truth.
Qur’an uses the expression Haqq.
And Allah’s name is Haqq.
So, when you pursue truth; and you speak truth; and you try to live by truth, you may rub a lot of people the wrong way.
You may pose a threat to the existing power structure -- to the status quo as it were.
It causes all kinds of anxiety -- economic, political, psychological, professional, financial, military and all other kinds -- to all kinds of people.
And the forces of Status Quo galvanize themselves and will want to stop you, punish you and prevent your nefarious influence from spreading to others. They would want to limit damage and protect themselves and their interests.
So, they will hound and harass you; impose all kinds of sanctions on you; and, if they can and must, they will seek to physically eliminate you.
Hang you; shoot you; blow you up; poison you; give you cancer; toss you in the ocean alive from an airplane.
The Qur’an calls these things Sunnatullah -- the way of God Almighty.
Your reward for going through these things is Jannat.
And possibly Ridwaanullah!
So, those who say they Work for Allah, must wake up -- and smell the colors and fragrance of Jannat.
In the American election of a President, there were so many processes and screening sessions over a lengthy period of time to arrive at the stage when finally two persons were chosen to go up for the final position of President.
And the people chose who they wanted.
We don’t see even 10 percent of this process happening anywhere in the Muslim World.
May Allah have mercy on the Muslims!
Let us all hope that Muslims around the world learn a lesson from this presidential election 2016 that just ended in America.
And let us all hope and pray that Muslims everywhere will insist that they too should have the right to choose their leadership at all levels -- from the lowest to the highest.
For, as Dr. Pasha has made clear repeatedly, that is Islam.
Here is a question Muslims must answer: What are they really into?
Muslims rose to the top of the world by connecting with Allah’s book the Qur’an.
Then, for the longest time, and for most Muslims, the Qur’an was a lost treasure. So much so the Qur’an quotes Allah’s Rasul, Alaihis Salam, as saying on the Day of Judgement, if not earlier:
“My Lord, my people have abandoned the Qur’an!”
And the Aayat Karimah is:
Wa Qaalar Rasulu,
Inna Qawumit-takhadhu Haadhal Qur’ana Mahjooraa!
So, Muslims must make a return journey back to the Qur’an.
Or should I say Muslims must “revert” to the Qur’an?
When you Work for Allah, sometimes it is one person or two who listens to you or responds to your invitation to come Allah.
Rest of the time you may draw a blank. No one gives you the time of day.
Often, more often than some of us have come to realize or accept, those inviting the world to Allah -- Working for Allah that is -- are subjected to all kinds of trials and tribulations.
And sometimes those trials and tribulations include exile, physical torture, imprisonment and even death.
That is why it is important that those associated with this work in any form and fashion, and to any degree, understand Islam first, second and last.
For, outside Islam there is nothing.
November 9, 2016 AM. Wednesday.
The elections are over. What a night, Allahu Akbar!
And America won!
God Bless America!
And all your homes and lands too!
A voice that emerges out of the wilderness to verbalize the notions of Truth and Justice -- and mutters things about Restoring Honesty and Integrity to Government -- is referred to in the language of Islam as Haqq!
And Haqq -- Truth -- is God and an attribute of God.
And if more Muslim little boys stopped using Islam as a meal ticket, and if many more Muslims boldly leaped out of the pockets of their Priestly Pretenders, and learned to think for themselves, as Islam expects and wants them to do, they too will see this simple truth.
As simple as that.
There is no balancing between Islam and Non-Islam.
In today’s Digital World, if technology is made subordinate to Islam, and pressed into service as an instrument of Islam -- fully and entirely -- it is Islam.
If, on the other hand, Islam is trimmed to fit the size and design of our own personal and preexisting technological bent, aptitude, needs, tools, desires and habits, it is Non-Islam.
It is that simple.
Now, let us all go and read that Hadith Sharif in Bukhari Sharif -- Hadith # 1:
Innamal A’maalu Binniyaat.
“It is really our intentions and motivations that
drive, and determine the true worth and value of, our actions.”
Our website -- I wish we could call it Allah’s website -- is what it is. I am referring to www.Islamicsolutions.com.
There are a million ways of looking at it. But we look at it in one simple way. Every single word in that website is Haqq -- truth and nothing but the truth.
And there is another way as well. And that is, not just the facts or the data, but also the motivation behind every word in that website is also Haqq -- truth and nothing but the truth.
Which in this case becomes “For Allah,” and for no other reason, small or big.
Once this is clear in the minds of all concerned, it is no rocket science to figure out that our content trumps our form and style -- and appearance -- every time.
And that means, once certain barest minimum requirements of technology and form and appearance are met, our focus should entirely and always be on content.
On the “Islam” inside the pages and behind the technology of our website.
On learning it ourselves and teaching it to the rest of the world.
For, that is what we are after in this world: to teach ourselves, and to teach the rest of the world, Islam. And that is what we hope our website IslamicSolutions.Com is and becomes.
The world has all kinds of other great places to get its technology fix from. But it is Islam that we are most worried about.
Finding The Right Way to Greet Each Other — and Also of Filling God’s Earth with God’s Blessings! [Quote – 750]
Humans greet each other in all kinds of ways. Even some animals seem to do it. Nose rubbing is one such way -- for both humans and animals.
And some ways humans use to greet each other are, naturally, more fancy -- should I say “cool” or should I say “awesome“? -- than some others.
The Brits, as usual, seem to have a lock on it. They proceed from an intricate matrix: Good Morning, Good Evening, Good Night, Good Day, Hello, and the rest.
And the Devil takes what is in between? Is that how it works?
But they don’t tell you when one begins and the other ends, do they?
But the Qur’an does. And in all kinds of the fanciest ways -- and in some detail too. All you need to do is to read the Qur’an.
The Americans, so typical really, just say a sweeping “Hi” and move on -- at least in most cases.
But then research shows that Islam gave the world a fairly airtight and effective formula, not only to say Hi or Hello to each other, but also, at the same time, to fill each other’s lives as well as Allah’s earth with Allah’s Blessings.
Correct me if I am wrong. But I suspect the going greeting formula among Sahaabah Kiraam was Assalamu Alaikum, and it was not Sabaah Noor or a variation thereof.
And this Divine Greeting has stood the test of time for a millennium and a half -- right here in this world. No matter how much Muslims and others may have tried to change it, and introduce all kinds of alternatives or shortcuts to it.
So, my question to modern-day Tech-Savvy Muslims is, hey People, is your Cell Phone or Hand-Held Gizmo the one that determines your ultimate speech patterns?
So, depending on the APP you use, Allah will become “Al”?
Human life is all about technology. And so is Islam.
It is all about learning to do what we do better -- and pressing into service the best tools for each task at hand.
But the difference in each situation, and on each occasion, is not Technology but Islam.
What won Badr, in the early stages of Islam, for a rag-tag band of 313 poorly armed and inadequately equipped Believers, against a formidable armed-to-the-teeth foe 1000 strong was not their Tech-Savvy and superior weaponry, but their Islam-Savvy and their superior commitment to Work for Allah.
And to sacrifice everything in their power and possession for that purpose, and for that cause.
Today, the story with our own IslamicSolutions.Com is no different. What we need, more than anything else, is Islam-Savvy and, maybe, just maybe, not so much Tech-Savvy.
And you get Islam-Savvy when Allah decides to give it to you. But one worldly sign of Allah’s decision in Heaven is you moving heaven and earth, right here on earth, to work hard, and day and night, to acquire that Islam-Savvy.
When you put that goal before all else in your life, and Allah crowns your effort with his approval, then you acquire Islam-Savvy.
For all kinds of reasons, from physical to emotional to technical to financial, it may not always be possible or easy to do what we all must do for Allah.
Even if it is making a simple phone call to someone.
But we must tell and encourage and motivate each other -- to do so.
And we need to get out of our Comfort Zones to talk to each other.
It may not always be easy, but it is something we all need to train ourselves to do.
It is all part of what the Qur’an calls:
Wa Tawaasawu Bil-Haqqi
Wa Tawaasawu Bis-Sabr!
Meaning, it may not be easy, and it may be challenging in all kinds of ways. But you still got to do it.
Do the Right Thing, as it were. And tell and ask and admonish and advise each other to do the Right Thing.
And to do what we all must and can do.
For Allah and for People.
Are you 60 years or older?
If you are, and you are a Muslim, the angels of God are looking for you. I am told they want to talk to you.
If you don’t believe me, check out the Hadith Sharif that has something to do with Abnaa-u-Sitteen!
What beautiful words!
I am so tempted to coin an expression The Jannat Generation.
Muslims, American Muslims of course, who else, are happy to call this period of one’s life The Golden Years.
Of course, poor Muslims, they have to fulfill the prophesy of their prophet, Alaihis Salaatu Was Salaam, in every way they can.
They have to follow every Jew and every Christian they meet. Even if it means diving headfirst into a lizard’s hole.
They think that is the best way to make a life for themselves in America! And to make their fellow-Americans like them.
They never learn, do they?
Allahummaghfir Li-Ummati Muhammadin, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!
Allahummarham Ummata Muhammadin, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!
Allahumma Tajaawaz ‘An Sayyi-aati Ummati Muhammadin, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!
Allahummarhum, Wahdihim, Wansurhum Alaa Kulli ‘Aduwwin Wa Mufsidin Wa Zaalimin Fee Kulli An-haa-il Ardi Wa Arjaa-il Aalam!
Min Kulli Jinnin Wa Ins!
The moment Imam calls out Allahu Akbar, the entire congregation, whether it is three people or 3000, goes down and bends over in Rukoo or falls down to the ground in Sujood.
Not one exception anywhere!
No hedging; no arguments; no debates; no votes; no discussion; no excuses; nothing.
Allahu Akbar and action!
Not Allahu Akbar and meaningless talk or procrastination or a litany of foolish double talk.
Those are our standards. The standards that our God -- God of the Worlds Rabbul Aalameen -- set for us.
And for the entire world.
Even the worse of us follow them in Namaaz -- or Salaah.
But even the best of us cheat on them in real life -- outside Namaaz and Salaah.
And we -- and the entire world of Allah -- pay the price for our cheating and our double standards.
For the way we turn our back on Allah’s standards in real life situations -- outside Namaaz of course!
Doing Islam is like a moving a mountain.
One or two people cannot do it. Nor can even an army for that matter.
But that is the job. And some people in every age and place get chosen by the Almighty to handle this job.
Once these people -- whether it is one person, 10 or 10,000 people -- realize and understand that they are the ones called upon to do the job, their shoulders must remain glued to the wheel.
Or the mountain in this case.
Until such time as the mountain moves or these individuals and people die doing it.
As for the mountain itself, it will move as and when and how Allah tells it to move.
It happened then; and it will happen now -- and always.
If Islam weren’t from the Almighty himself (Innaddeena Indallahil Islam); and if Islam weren’t so beautiful and exhilarating doing it in this world, it will be the most perfect Fool’s Errand.
But Islam is Islam and only those come to it, in any form or shape, who are called upon to do it.
That means Islam is the ultimate Invitation Only affair in this entire Universe -- Islam in all its phases and forms and formats, whether it is showing up in the Masjid on time or reading and responding to an e-mail pertaining to this work.
Wa Maa Aamana Ma’ahoo Illaa Qaleel.
Wa Maa Aktharunnaasi Wa Lawu Harasta Bi-Bu’mineen.
The difference between those who followed Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, directly, during his own lifetime, the Sahaabah Kiraam, and those of us who claim to follow him today is a fairly simple and clear one:
They had their priorities right.
And we have our priorities mixed up and upside down.
When you say you Work for Allah, these should be some of your standards:
When we edit our work for printing, let us say:
If it is not good enough for a textbook for Harvard and Princeton and Stanford, it is not good enough for us.
Even though for every dollar they have, we have only $.0000000000000000000000000?
And for every 10,000 qualified people they have, we have only .0000000000000000? human element.
And compared to their levels of training, education, sophistication and skills, we have only .00000000000000000000000?
But we have Allah’s Book in our hands where all perfection resides.
There is no other book on earth that manifested itself on earth with the claim of Laa Rayiba Feeh!
Meaning: No imperfection, or blemish, or shortcoming, or deficiency, or doubt could be associated with it.
Or placed at its door.
And anything that comes out of that Book, or speaks in its name, or using That Book -- Dhaalikal Kitaab -- as a reference in any shape or form, that work must strain every sinew to attain the highest level of perfection that is possible for a human to reach on this earth -- in this world of imperfection.
That Book -- Dhaalikal Kitaab -- was perfect when it showed up in this world in a barren desert, among an illiterate people, at the hands of an illiterate man, at a time when there were not too many books, not too many libraries, no printing presses, and not too many people knew how to read or write.
Nor were all human beings even allowed to do that -- learn to read and write I mean.
At such a time, in such a place, among such a people, That Book –– Dhaalikal Kitaab -- was a Model of Perfection in every way.
Today, when education is common, universities are everywhere, and computers rule the world, and people tote them around in the palm of their hands, there should be no reason for anyone to give That Book -- Dhaalikal Kitaab -- or to anything that emerges from That Book or is associated with That Book anything less than our 10,0000 Percent.
And then ask: Is this really good enough? Did we really do a good job?
Allah bless all the Coworkers and their families and their leadership for the amazing work they all do. Getting our literature revised and proofread and printed.
And all our audio recorded, shipped, cleaned, debugged and posted.
Month after month, year after year.
These amazing men and women. All over the world. Allah bless them all.
No, often these days I do not read the proof. I try not to. But may Allah reward these people who do. And may Allah accept their efforts.
I do hope and pray, however, people will read this literature and listen to our tapes. For, this material indeed is unlike any, no matter how you look at it.
And it is fundamental to a clearer understanding of Islam, Muslims and the World in our time.
The fact is, people will read and listen, if he wants.
And if they don’t, well, it is his world. And they are his people.
As for me, I feel I don’t even belong. Just like an outsider looking in. I seem to have nothing in common with this august assembly of his devotees.
Others may have a claim on him, I don’t. If the angels forget to count me as among those present, I will probably be the happiest soul alive -- or dead.
MIA: Missing in Action! I have no problem with that.
Muslims don’t get it.
And they don’t even listen.
Nor, when they do appear to listen, do they actually pay attention and try to process and understand what is being said.
And over and above all that, they are Shaitan’s Prime Target for all kinds of harm and jeopardy: physical; spiritual; psychological; material; financial; political; and all other kinds of harm.
Usually, instead of the heights and expanses you want them to explore, and to which they are not generally accustomed, Muslims reflexively tend to drag you to the depths that form their traditional comfort zones.
So, in any age and place, dealing with Muslims is the Challenge of the Century.
All this is prelude to one simple personal statement -- and all statements are personal statements:
“I AM, AMONG ALL THE THINGS THAT I AM, AN AMERICAN PATRIOT!”
Now, can we talk?
But before you go any further, let me add this part-rhetorical question:
“CLAIMING TO BE A MUSLIM, AS I DO, WHAT ELSE CAN I BE?”
And then let me add this comment:
“IF WE UNDERSTOOD ISLAM FOR WHAT IT REALLY IS, THIS SHOULD BE CLEAR AS DAYLIGHT!”
Many of us good people, those who say or think we Work for Allah, are Episodists.
Many of us.
We “work” when we are told to -- when we have to; and when we are called upon -- and then we go dormant. We go underground as it were.
Basically, we just go where our heart is.
We wait for the right time and occasion to do the right thing: that is, to Work for Allah.
We wait for orders and invitations to stir off the couch -- orders and calls from our local Mullas; from our so-called leaders; from whomever.
But Islam is about total absorption.
Islam is about being totally consumed in and by your work -- 24 hours; 7 days a week; 12 months a year; for all the years of your life that Allah grants you in this world.
And making everything else secondary to it.
Qur’an means Reading. And reading is what Muslims must do. Especially the Qur’an. They must read the Qur’an as much as they could.
No excuse, I should say, should go untapped and unused -- for reading the Qur’an.
For those of us, that is, who may need an “excuse” -- or a reason as they say -- to get out of their Facebook and other hot pursuits and pick up the Mushaf.
So, our goal should constantly be bringing in new people. Even if it happens in the form of rewiring and reconnecting with the old people.
It seems those who are busy doing Allah’s Work, Allah gets them to be even more busy doing His Work.
And he finds them all kinds of new and exciting opportunities to do so.
Only Allah knows what kind of reward such Busy Bees of Allah’s Work would be entitled to from Allah -- both in this world and in the next world.
Dr. Firdaus Kamalodeen
There is a huge world out there for us to access through Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp social media.
So even as we concentrate on printing and distribution our literature explaining what it means to Work for Allah in the West, and inviting people to join us and lend their shoulders to this wheel, we have to spend time and energy in reaching all kinds of other and more and newer people through these new media channels.
There are many encouraging signs through our limited Twitter experience. Some people we do not have a clue about are re-tweeting our tweets or adding us to their circulation lists, making our tweets and broader message available to a lot more people.
But there are many many conversations taking place all around, on the social media, to which we can and must add our voice.
So let us channel at least some of our energies and efforts in these directions as well.
If a tiny band of Muslims cannot work together as a team for the achievement of our common goals, under a leadership that we ourselves elected and put in place, following a program we wholeheartedly approve and support, then, we should be very afraid to bring the sacred and blessed name of Allah to our lips.
Even the Bible makes this clear as the Commandment (Exodus I think) clearly states:
Thou shalt not take the name of thy God in vain!
So, let us all make Tawubah and get on with the job of Working for Allah with renewed commitment, vigor and sincerity.
And trying seriously not to use Allah’s name in vain -- to cover up our failings and shortcomings.
Allah says in the Qur’an, Iblees and his ilk see you the way you cannot see “him.”
Says the Qur’an:
Min Hayithu Laa Tarawunahoo.
Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, says: Shaitan races through your veins like blood.
Says the Hadith:
As a result, part of the challenge of being a Muslim is to be able to recognize Iblees and his Ilk -- Shaitan -- in all their disguises.
The Qur’an and Hadeeth both make it clear that Shayateen -- plural for Shaitan -- come in the form Jinn as well as humans.
So, there are two kinds of Shayaateen: Jinn and Ins.
Ins is human beings whom God created with clay. Jinn is a creature God made with fire.
Iblees, the Shaitan, was a Jinn, says the Qur’an. And he chose to disobey God’s command.
This is how the Qur’an puts it:
Kaana Minal Jinni!
Fa-Fasaqa An Amri Rabbihi!
And the job of the Believers -- Mu’mins, Muslims -- everywhere is to be able to identify both kinds of Shayaateen in their midst in a timely manner and deal with them both effectively.
Allah designed Islam as an Operating System by which his world will work.
He also gave it to Adam and his progeny as a toolkit with which they could run their mandate as Khalifah on earth -- run the affairs of the world.
Muslims, following earlier people, turned Islam into a supernatural thing. And packed Allah’s earth with all kinds and grades of Islamic “Priests.”
A system that came from Heaven to set humanity on earth free from the tyranny of priests, ends up as a toy in the hands of its own “priests”?
That is, people who pass themselves out as “Islamic Priests“? Can you believe that?
And whom their followers -- so many among “The People” -- accept and support in that role: the role of “Islamic Priests”?
What kind of Zulm is this? And what kind of price will Muslims pay for this Zulm?
Don’t be surprised if Shaitan is laughing all the way to Hell -- Jahannam.
There is not a doubt that we are all on our return journey to God – each and every one of us.
The Qur’an makes that categorically clear.
Wa Inaa Ilaihi Raaji’oon!
“We are all marching back to God!”
The first step in this return journey was our arrival in this world as a newborn baby, I should think.
Or was it our conception in our mothers’ wombs?
Or was it the encryption that was written when we were still in our fathers’ loins?
Or was it some earlier time when our return journey to God was really ticketed and commenced?
Regardless, it seems to me, the train is on the move, for each one of us, regardless of our gender, age or station in life.
And this train of life is unstoppable – for all of us. That is one thing human beings have not been able to figure out how to do: stop the train of life from moving.
For, in this world, to be alive is to be marching to one’s death. Because life in this world is the precursor to death.
Death that leads to life. Death that separates one life from another.
So, for us humans, our beginning is our end. And our end a new beginning.
But what is striking is how we approach our end – the end of time as it were. For, the Hadith Sharif says, when an individual dies, that is the end of time for that individual.
It is Qiyaamat (Day of Resurrection) so far as that person is concerned.
That is how the Hadith Sharif characterizes that situation.
But I am intrigued by how people seem to approach their destination. Some people, it seems to me, just sit and wait for the train to slip into the station.
But some others, even as they know the platform is approaching, keep themselves busy doing whatever it is that they have been doing.
These are two very different approaches to one’s end of time.
One is to wait for the icy fingers of death to reach out and grab you – and be mindful of it all the time.
Even though constantly reminding oneself of one’s own mortality and impending death – for, death is impending for all, old as well as young, for, as I said earlier, to be living is to be dying – is an Islamic requirement.
And the other, to put it out of your mind and just keep on working – especially, if you happen to be one of those who think or say they are Working for Allah.
They are people who, if they are holding a plant in their hand intending to plant it, they want to finish planting it, if they can, before they are whisked off.
And that, by the way, is also a Hadith Sharif.
They are people who want to keep doing their work till the very last picosecond (one-trillionth part of a second) of their life on earth, while the angels are busy doing their own job preparing to parcel them off from the mortal coils of Duniya (as Shakespeare calls it) into the immortal life of Aakhirah – the life that is forever.
Khaalideena Feehaa Abadaa!
O, for a proper English translation of the Qur’an!
I shudder every moment I realize how the Muslim Ummat today is without a real good and proper translation of the Qur’an in God’s most beautiful English language.
And I say to myself and to my fellow Muslims:
Muslims, what face will you show Allah on the Day of Judgment?
What answer will you give when he asks you:
I gave you all that money.
And I made so many of you so enormously rich.
And I gave you all that knowledge.
And made so many of you Ph.D.s and professors.
And I made so many of you such great experts in my beautiful English language.
And I gave you all the technologies and tools anyone would ever need.
And I situated so many of you right in the heart of my English-speaking world.
And I gave you decades and decades of my time to work with all that.
And yet, all of you put together could not, would not, did not, produce a single readable translation of my book, the Qur’an, that my English-speaking world could read, and easily understand, and maybe even enjoy?
Maybe, just a tiny little bit the way my own most beautiful and amazing book, the Most Noble and Glorious Qur’an is?
What do you have to say for yourself?
Each one of you?
Everyone in this world -- and Muslims in particular -- will do well to remember that this is Allah’s world in which they live.
And that means, in this world, things will always be done -- they will happen -- the way the owner and master of the world(S) -- Rabbul ‘Aalameen -- wants them to happen.
It is all as simple as that!
Innallaha Yaf-‘alu Maa Yashaa’
“Surely, Allah does what he wants!
Not a doubt about that.”
Laa Yus-alu ‘Ammaa Yaf-‘al,
Wa Hum Yus-aloon.
“No one questions him about what he does.
But they shall be questioned!”
If the Qur’an contained nothing but these two aayaats, that would have been sufficient for me -- forever and ever!
Sometimes I think what people may think is the last, may, in the life of a Muslim, may even be the first.
Last of what, or first of what, don’t ask me what any of that means.
But I have heard educated people say, scientists and such, that many things in life, in this world, stretch from infinity to infinity, on either side of the spectrum of reality.
One negative, maybe, and the other positive.
So, where things begin and where things end may all be in the eye of the beholder as they may say.
And then I open the Qur’an and my eyes hit the following words of the Aayat Karimah, describing Almighty Allah:
Huwal Awwalu Wal Aakhiru!
“He is the first!
And he is the last!”
Does anyone know what that means?
“He was, when nothing else was.
And he will be when nothing else will be.”
How? That is not ours to fathom.
But is that the truth? Of course, it is!
Kullu Man Alaihaa Faan,
Wa Yabqaa Wajhu Rabbika,
Dhul Jalaali Wal Ikraam!
And what is that expression “else” doing in these two lines above?
I have not a clue!
This work is about Allah. And it is not about anyone of us as individuals or groups.
And it is not about our kith and kin.
And this work is not even about our community or society.
This work is purely about Working for Allah -- wherever and whenever we are on God Almighty’s earth.
And doing it the best way we can possibly understand or know how.
And to tell you the truth, as they say, nothing else matters: not us; not our friends and relatives; not anyone else; not our lives; or careers; or anything else.
The only thing that matters is that we do the Work right -- and well.
As a result, when, from time to time, we use references to the past, we do so, purely to provide perspective on the work. We do it to make our work understood better by us -- today and tomorrow.
Because, if we do not understand the true nature of our work, the best of us will remain episodic workers at best -- for ever.
So, our references to the past, then, whenever they occur, are to provide perspective on our work: how it started; where it moved; how it sputtered; and how it “succeeded” or failed.
And where it is headed tomorrow -- in the future.
If we study he Qur’an carefully, we would know how the Qur’an uses the past to understand the present and illumine the path to the future.
Seeroo Fil Ardi Fanzuroo Kaifa Kaana ‘Aaqibatul Mujrimeen.
Travel around and see what lessons the past holds for you
-- how the criminals finally ended up;
And what fate they met.”
Some of us plod along on the often lonely path of Working for Allah, while the rest of us linger -- and tarry.
And take a break -- and rest.
And slow down.
And get busy with other pressing demands of life.
Or just plain get distracted and lose focus.
But the reality is, it is Allah’s blessing and bounty that he gives to whom he wants.
As he says it himself:
Dhaalika Fadlullahi Yu’teehi Man Yashaa’.
As they say in America: There is no fighting City Hall!
The fact is, Allah makes some folks move along and some others linger -- and fall behind.
While all the time we think it is us. It is not.
It is him.
A lot of times, he just facilitates what we want -- what is deep down inside us -- giving everyone the object of their desire.
Helping both sides!
Kullan Numiddu Haa-ulaa-i Wa Haa-Ulaa-i.
“We lend a helping hand to everyone,
These, and those others.”
Allahu Akbar! What an Aayat!
How simple and plain. How clear and lucid.
And yet how powerful and profound.
And how frightening!
I write, not to show off. Or to kill time.
I write to produce literature to train people into Islamic Theory -- our people, more than anyone else.
That is, those people who join us in the work we do and whom we call those Working for Allah.
We express this work in different ways, using different words. For sometime now we have been calling it Taking the Qur’an to every home and heart that needs it -- and which one does not?
But what is it in reality?
It is, first of all, accepting and embracing Islam fully and wholeheartedly, regardless of whether we come from a Muslim or non-Muslim background.
Next, it is learning all we can about Islamic practices -- and adhering to them to the best of our ability.
Alongside this, more importantly it might be said, our work also is to learn and to understand Islamic Theory.
And that means what Islam really is and what our work is all about; and how to do that work in the context of the Western World in which we live and of which we are a part.
Thus, my writings are directed at our Fellow-Workers for Allah -- and of course at the whole world -- explaining what our work as Muslims really is in this world; how to do that work; and why we should do all that work in the first place.
And the sum and substance of that explanation is that our work is not about running around doing this chore or that, whenever the fancy takes us, or someone tells us to do it, but it is about inviting the entire world to Allah.
And doing so in a systematic and persistent manner.
Our work, thus, is learning Islam and teaching it to the whole world.
Even if we are the only person doing it.
It is for that reason that Allah created us.
And it is the dotted line on which we signed when we came forward to embrace Islam -- and claim we are Muslims.
And it is the covenant we recommit ourselves to every time we put our head down on the ground to do Sajdah.
It is as simple as that!
Physically, human beings are tied together by a common drop of Adam’s blood. But the psychological and spiritual bonds of faith tie them tighter together.
Du’a -- praying for each other -- is a rope that God dropped from heaven to bind us together on earth.
Across all the earthly distances that separate human beings in this world, Du’a, this rope of Allah, creates bonds of caring and sharing their joys and sorrows among them.
Believers then become like one single body -- when one part suffers, the entire body responds with fever and aches and wakefulness.
And that is a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
The One Thing We All Need To Do —
When We Say We Are Working for Allah —
Is To Read Our Literature! [Quote – 725]
All those among us who think or say they are Working for Allah, the greatest personal favor anyone of them can do to each other is to read our literature -- carefully, systematically and painstakingly.
Almost word by word.
And over and over and over.
Books like Four Words that Changed the World -- All It Takes Is You.
And books like Still Working for Allah in the West -- Theory and Methodology.
And all the other books and articles that are on www.IslamicSolutions.Com.
It is also the greatest favor they can do to themselves. For, that is the core and essence of our work -- first and foremost.
And everything else is predicated upon it.
If they all read and understand the literature, they will know what the real work is that we all are supposed to do.
And how to go about doing that work.
And why they should be doing it in the first place.
If, on the other hand, they cheat on reading the literature, or cut corners, or make excuses, or pretend they did not hear the call, or honestly think they did not need to do it, they will at best be mere flashes in the pan -- here today, gone tomorrow.
From time to time, they will be doing bits and pieces of this and that as they feel the need or the pressure and as they are told to do.
At best, their work will be episodic, disjointed, directionless, ad hoc, purposeless and in a sense helter-skelter.
As the Qur’an puts it, they will essentially be:
Fi Kulli Waadin Yaheemoon.
“They will be wandering here, there, everywhere,
without really knowing where they are going,
or what they are doing -- or why.”
Others, the more sturdy ones, will move to greener pastures -- to anything from Islamic Cookouts and Halal Travel to any other Islamic outfits and celebrity joints that may be peddling a brand of Islam with more jazz, oomph and pizzazz.
All will end up in Paradise. After they all die. No doubt about that.
And that is the beauty of it all. Islam, at any level, is basically anybody’s ticket to Paradise.
But right here on this earth, which is the real question, Allah will find his own people who will do his work.
People who will not cheat; who will not cut corners; who will keep their word; and who will fulfill the promise they made to Allah. And they will be true to the covenant they entered into with Allah.
Fa-Minhum Man Qadaa Nahbahu wa Minhum Man Yantazir.
“Some kept their word and already fulfilled their commitment;
Some others await their turn.”
Wa Maa Baddaloo Tabdeela!
“But the one thing they did not do was to
change the terms of their contract with God.
And go back on their word.”
So, that is our work, people, that is our work: to read and make others read; to learn ourselves and to teach others.
Even as we never stop running around like mad doing all the chores and physical labors that we must do and that are associated with our work.
Burning the midnight oil during the night, as it were, and searing the soles of our feet during the day in the blistering sun.
“They will live like monks during the night,
And like brave soldiers on horseback during the day.”
And that is what we all are supposed to do.
Read! And get everyone else in the world to read!
Learn and teach everyone else in the world.
Understand and make everyone else in the world understand.
And do all the work pertaining thereto. As long as there is a breath left in our body.
Not on others’ sayso or behest.
But on our own initiative and responsibility.
That is our work.
“That is your God!
And that is the work you do for him.”
Fa-Maa Dhaa Ba’dal Haqqi Illad Dalaal?
“Once we turn our back on Haqq,
And the right way of doing things,
what else is there but to get lost and go astray?”
Dr. Judy Kamalodeen
In our busy life, when we catch a moment to reflect on what is going on, there seems to be no alternative but to say Alhamdulillah for all that we have or don’t.
And for all that we are and we aren’t.
In the meantime, let us help each other to grow and support all our efforts and all our families.
Change is part of life. May Allah make it the best for all concerned.
Islam is not just for individuals. Even though individuals are always at the core of it all.
Islam is about building, nurturing and training teams that will work for Allah in their private as well as in their public affairs.
And Islam is about becoming a part and parcel of such teams -- wherever they exist, and regardless of all the odds.
I don’t know what others think. But to me Islam is all about transparency and accountability. Both before God and before People.
When those of us who claim or think they are working for Allah fall short on the fronts of transparency and accountability, we fall short on Islam. Period.
For some people, Islam is like ketchup. Life goes on with or without Islam.
Fries decidedly taste better with ketchup. But fries go on ketchup or no ketchup.
And, luckily, how many brands there are -- of ketchup. When you run from one, you can always find refuge in any of the others. For, after all, they all call themselves “ketchup.”
So also Islam.
Every Islamic outfit not only calls itself “Islam,” everybody even has a label that reads:
“The Only Real and Original Islam Ketchup. Directly From the First Tomatoes Ever Made!”
It was a trip I was supposed to be too ill to make. It was an unlikely trip.
But the trip was made anyway. Allah made it happen -- as Allah makes everything happen.
And on that trip I met a man -- an unlikely man. And he told me an unlikely thing.
He said he often finished the Qur’an -- doing a Khatm of the Qur’an as they say, from cover to cover -- once in two days.
That is 15 Juz or parts of the Qur’an a day!
And it is fifteen Khatm a month, right?
Right here on this earth? Right now in our own age and time? And I met such a man?
How likely is that? The entire trip was supposed not to happen, a most unlikely trip, given how unroadworthy some people were.
And the fact that I got to shake the hand of this man? What a jackpot that was, as they may say.
And he was such an unlikely man. Tall and elegant and most unassuming -- and clean shaven as a whistle. Soft of voice and mild of manner with an incredible sense of humor.
Are there more people like him on this earth?
And are these people the reason why the sun still rises from the East and the sky still sustains and nourishes life on earth by giving it water?
And what a book, this Qur’an.
“It just happens,” said the man when he saw me so completely aghast by the news I had just heard. “Once you pick up the Qur’an, you can’t put it down.”
And he said: “It goes by itself.”
What a man!
And what a book!
Here is how, maybe, we can improve our work of posting our posts.
And how not to miss our mail.
Let us try and sit down with a laptop of some kind in a designated place. I mean rather than do things while we scurry about with a cell phone attached to our anatomy.
Let us read very carefully -- both the posts that need to be posted and the requests and instructions that go with them.
If necessary, let us set aside a certain time of day or night for doing so.
Let us do the same for reading our mail if we can.
I somehow have this primitive notion in my mind that, maybe that way, we will reduce error in our postings and in our spotting and reading of our mail.
We all have our job cut out for us. We all are required to do what we must.
We have a mandate from God to do what we all must.
We are after all his slaves. And slaves don’t have much of a choice.
But in reality, we all being who we are, we end up doing what we can.
But in this ongoing fight between our “Must” and “Can,” let us not make Islam an orphan: Let us not make it the last item on our To Do List.
Here is what the Qur’an says about the kind of priorities each one of us should have in our lives. And the Qur’an makes it crystal clear that Islam needs to be a most serious personal concern for each one of us.
And the Qur’an lists in great detail the things that we value most in life -- item by item, one after the other -- and says that Islam needs to be at least as dear and at least as important to us as any or all of these things.
And the Qur’an ends this passage with the dire warning that if we fail to personalize Islam in this way, then Allah will decide what to do with us.
Here is a list of the things the Qur’an says human beings may tend to value most in their lives:
our fathers and mothers;
our sons and daughters;
our brothers and sisters;
our wives and husbands;
members of our extended family;
all the wealth we accumulated over the years;
our businesses, jobs and professions;
our favorite houses and dwellings;
And the Qur’an then goes on to say that if we refused to do that, then we must just wait for Allah’s decision to arrive!
This is scary stuff, to say the least.
Here is the Aayat Karimah from Surah Tawubah:
In Kaana Aabaa-ukum,
Wa Amwaalun Iqtaraftumoohaa,
Wa Tijaaratun Takhshawuna Kasaadahaa,
Wa Masaakina Tardawunahaa,
Ahabba Ilayikum Minallahi Wa Rasoolihi,
Wa Jihaadin Fi Sabeelihi,
Fa-Tarabbasoo Hattaa Ya’tiyallahu Bi-Amrihi!
A Paraphrase of Aayah 9:24:
If your fathers, and your sons, and your brothers,
And your wives, and your relatives and your family members,
And the wealth that you have accumulated,
And the businesses you fear may suffer and that you so jealously guard,
And the houses and dwelling places that you love,
Are dearer to you than Allah, and His Messenger,
And ceaseless struggle in the path of God,
Then just wait till Allah brings about his decision.
When we do or say something, others watch. And they listen.
And, when we think, no one is watching or listening, Allah is.
That is the difference between faith and lack of faith -- between being a Muslim and not being a Muslim.
As a result, all Muslims, at all times, must speak and act as if they are on Candid Camera all the time.
And the whole world is watching their every move.
And the whole world is listening to them.
And when it may appear no one is around, and no one is seeing what we are up to, or hearing what we may be saying, then we must rest assured in the belief, and in the knowledge, that Allah is with us all the time.
Wherever, and in whatever situation, we may be.
Wa Huwa Ma’akum Ayinamaa Kuntum!
That is Qur’an.
And that being the case, we must always be mindful of God’s presence. And we must act appropriately.
And God deserves more respect than all the others. We need to be more mindful of his presence than we are of the presence of anyone else.
Here is a Hadith:
Wallahu Ahaqqu An Yustahyaa Minhu!
Islam is a Deen of Ilm.
That means Islam is a Deen of knowledge, and science, and education, and scholarship, and research, and inquiry.
And Islam is a Deen of Fikr.
That means Islam is a Deen of thinking, and reflection, and analysis, and understanding.
Muslims have largely ritualized Islam. And they have taken all life and functionality and effectiveness from some of the most powerful tools of Islamic education, motivation and regeneration such as Jum’ah Khutbah that God Almighty gave them.
As a result, many if not most Jum’ah Khutbahs are stillborn.
Most Jum’ah Khutbahs are ineffective at best and dysfunctional and narcotizing at some of their worst.
Is it any surprise then that the Muslim Nation -- the global and divinely constituted Muslim Ummah -- is in the kind of disarray that it is?
Two Qualifications for Giving Jum’ah Khutbah —
on University Campuses in the United States [Quote – 714]
Recently, I gave a Jum’ah Khutbah -- after much humming and hawing from the organizers -- in an Ivy League University.
In that Khutbah, I said, among other things, those who do not have a firm grasp of Arabic should not put themselves up as candidates to give Jum’ah Khutbah.
But the knowledge of Arabic, I pointed out was only a necessary and not a sufficient condition as a qualification to give Khutbah.
And I pointed out that both Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab knew Arabic well. But that does not qualify either one of them to give Khutbah.
And then I said, as a second requirement, those who give Khutbah on a university campus in a place like the United States should have a strong command of the English language, which, once again, is a necessary but not a sufficient condition in and of itself.
They should be able to speak English well, clearly, effectively and even eloquently. For, the Jum’ah Khutbah was a place and an occasion for some measured and effective eloquence.
And those who do not know Arabic well, as well as those who cannot speak English clearly and well enough, should be extremely hesitant to give the Khutbah.
For, the Jum’ah Khutbah is not just a “Holy Ritual,” as some may say.
The Jum’ah Khutbah is, in fact, a most potent tool the Muslims have been given by God for their ongoing education, motivation and regeneration as a community or Jama’at and as an Ummah or a global nation of believers.
Our job -- the job of all us -- is to take the Qur’an to every home and heart that needs it -- and which one does not?
We have no other job in this world.
And that is the job we have committed ourselves to.
And Allah will hold us to our word, for, as Muslims, Our Word Is Our Bond:
Wa Kaana ‘Ahdullahi Mas-oola!
And every other job and or duty that we may have in this world as responsible and productive members of civilized society, and as citizens, parents, spouses, neighbors and all that, is subsumed under this broad framework.
And that comes down to distributing our literature: To every male and female we know.
To every non-Muslim and Muslim in that order, if you don’t mind my saying so.
And that means SINGLE-MINDED FOCUS on doing that.
When we take our eyes off that ball, and when we lose focus, we get into all kinds of trouble.
The Battle of Uhad is a most illustrative, and most painful, example of momentary loss of focus on the part of Muslims.
Go, study the incident -- the Battle of Uhad I mean -- and you will know what dire consequences followed that Loss of Focus on the part of Muslims.
Muslims had that battle won. But that Loss of Focus on the part of Muslims, snatched for them, defeat -- or near-defeat -- from the jaws of a most glorious victory, with the most terrible personal consequences.
We all raise important points in our mail.
At one time or another. And in one way or another.
The rest of us, those who get these e-mails, we all have a responsibility to address those points.
Each and every one of us is expected to, and required to, do that.
That is our job. That is what we are all supposed to do.
And we all got to do that without constant reminders from others.
I don’t think we pay each other “enough” to send us reminders. In fact, not one of us gets paid for any of this. We all know that we all do this work for free, as it were.
Except for whatever compensation or reward God Almighty may choose to give us, should he find any of what we do good enough -- and sincere enough: done only to please him, and not to rake up praise and recognition and appreciation from onlookers.
Not for showoff purposes, that is.
This “showoff” business is a trap that Shaitan has set up for us everywhere.
And all too many of us are caught up in that trap in one way or another. That means while many of the best of us claim that we are working purely for Allah, not too many of us are immune from feeling puffed up, and wonderful and flattered, when other people shower praise and recognition upon us.
So, recognition by God, and reward from him, is the only payment we expect -- and we hope we get.
So, we all need to do our job, and we all need to do our duty.
And we all need to do that without reminders from others and without other people being constantly after us.
Media are a strange beast. Reading them right, and dealing with them effectively, is one of the greatest challenges of modern times.
Questions to ask when dealing with the media is who are the media outlets working for?
And what political, religious, cultural and personal stripes do they wear?
And those stripes are not always easy to spot. And the media agendas are not always easy to identify and unravel.
As a result, with regard to any news story that the media report, a question that one can never get rid of is this:
Is this particular story true?
How much of it is true?
And what could be the possible or true origin of the story,
regardless of how the media themselves source that story?
So, keeping all those caveats in mind, here is a story from Turkey, reported in one of the Turkish media.
Read it how you will and make of it what you will.
The news report, and I am paraphrasing it here fairly closely, says that President Erdogan of Turkey has decided to withdraw all suits filed in his name pertaining to the charges of “Insulting the Nation’s President.”
The defamation suits Mr. Erdogan thus decided to withdraw are said to number 2000.
Mr. Erdogan was reported as saying that he was withdrawing these suits in the spirit of the unprecedented unity that the Turkish nation as a whole displayed in resisting the 15th July military coup.
Islam should not be the last refuge of scoundrels, charlatans, misfits, adventurers and nincompoops.
And of those who may find or invent all kinds of excuses for cutting corners and compromising the integrity of the Islamic ideals of excellence in everything one does.
If Islam is the finest system of life, designed by the Most High God, who is free from all blemish and imperfection, that excellence and beauty and perfection should percolate to the level of human life on earth.
That means those claiming allegiance to Islam must reflect that beauty and excellence in their appearance, demeanor and conduct.
And that means those claiming to be Muslim must dress the best; appear the best; and act and behave the best, at all times, in all places, and under all circumstances.
That to me is Islam!
Jum’ah Khutbah is one of the most visible, and easily measurable, signs and indicators of the Islamic Nation‘s --Ummah‘s -- social-psychological-spiritual health and wellbeing.
And an accurate barometer of its rise and fall.
For, as the Jum’ah Khutbah goes, so is the Nation of Islam -- the Ummat -- likely to go.
And so are specific individual Muslim communities -- in each time and place.
As a result, saving the Jum’ah Khutbah in each and every community from decay and degeneration is not a luxury. It is a dire and urgent necessity.
Therefore, it is not a Fard Kifaayah to work to save the Jum’ah Khutbah, and to work to make it better in every conceivable and measurable way, it is a Fard Ayin.
Meaning, it is the personal and individual responsibility -- Fard Ayin -- of every Muslim to work to make Jum’ah Khutbah the best it can be in each and every community.
And to work tirelessly to ensure that, in each and every community, the best Jum’ah Khutbah is delivered, by the best and the most capable people, in the best and most effective and eloquent language, and with the best and strongest content and style.
In other words, the bottomline is this:
Let Muslims in each and every community make the Jum’ah Khutbah rise from the dead --
from an empty ritual where it has now ended up in most places --
and Allah will breathe new life and vibrancy in this Ummat --
and in that community.
As surely as a downpour of rain from God Almighty
makes the parched earth rise from the dead and produce
the most lovely vegetables and fruits and flowers and grass.
Inna Dhaalika La-Muh-yil Mawutaa!
So indeed will God Almighty bring back to life
those that are dead!
Slaves don’t get Medal of Honor for service.
If they are lucky, it just may save them some extra whipping -- if we are to go by the rather sad, tragic and most reprehensible standards of 300 years of slavery in the Western Hemisphere: America, North and South and Central and the Caribbean.
What no one should forget is that we are all fully owned slaves of Allah. As a result, what we do -- and what we must -- in the service of God, and God’s Creation, is nothing but a tiniest fraction of what is really expected and required -- and needed -- of us.
Just tell them to keep on working!
Allah and his messenger and the believers will all
watch and observe and keep track of what you do.
People Reacting with Pain and Empathy to Disastrous World Events:
Is A Sign of Our Iman!
And of Our Islam!
And of General Civilized Conduct!
And of One’s Basic Humanity! [Quote – 707]
Last night, July 15-16, 2016. There was an attempted coup d’état in Turkey.
Thank God Almighty that evil and wicked coup appears to have failed, leaving behind, at the time of writing, a debris of nearly 1000 dead and 2000 wounded.
Everyone, everywhere, I am sure, watched on every TV and Social Media channel as the Coup played out.
The question is how do we react?
In words, in gestures, in actions, in feelings and emotions -- or in whatever other legal, civilized, noble, normal way possible?
This will be the crucible -- the true test -- of our Deen as well as of our Iman as well as of our membership in the civilized human race: Western or Eastern.
That means our reaction to the events unfolding in Turkey in full public glare -- on TV and on every other media portal -- will be the true measure not only of our Iman and of our Islam, but also of our basic humanity, of our core moral fiber, of our religious and humanistic conscience, and of our civilized human conduct in general: Western or Eastern.
Does anyone think some Muslims somewhere, maybe, should be doing a Khatm of Qur’an for Turkey -- and making Du’a for Turkey; and for its democratically elected government of President Erdogan and others; and for its brave and free people who faced bullets with bare chests and took on mutineer military tanks with empty hands -- and made them turn back?
Let us look at it this way -- those of us (in the West and in all other parts of the world) who value and cherish freedom, democracy, Islam, God, morality, human decency, and common compassion and “charity” (to use a Biblical expression) in this world?
God forbid, if our own child, or wife, or husband, or parent, or brother, or sister, or friend, or someone else of that kind, were involved in a serious car accident last night, and we watched it all on live television in real time, is this how we will react?
That should tell us, and that should give us, a true measure of who we are -- as individuals; as a people; and as members of civilized societies in the West and around the world.
God’s greatest gift to humanity is not merely the fact that God showed humanity the pathway to God, but also the fact that God Almighty ensured through Islam the right, the freedom and the liberty, for all human beings, both as individuals and as societies, that human beings require in order to choose God and follow the path shown by him.
Or not to do so, should they so choose, and follow a different path, which may be at variance with God’s own chosen path.
I don’t know who says what on this subject. But this is what the Qur’an has to say on the subject of choosing, or not choosing, God and his path:
Wa Hadayinaahun Najdayin.
“And we blazoned before him two different paths.”
Do you know that one single human being is all it takes to change the world of Allah?
When I say “change,” I mean to produce good, positive, noble, nice, sweet, wonderful change that will make life on earth better, not only for the human race as a whole, but also, at the same time, better for all of God’s creation on earth, whether that creation consists of plant, animal or human life.
Examine the history of humanity on earth. You cannot fail to see that it was almost always individuals who appeared on world stage and spearheaded change in the world.
So, don’t ever think you are one person, but a single individual, so what can you accomplish?
Don’t forget, you are an individual human being. That is who you are.
You are someone whom God created in the finest mold:
Fee Ahsani Taqweem!
And you carry in yourself the might and majesty of the entire universe.
And you have behind you all the power and all the resources of God Almighty -- your maker and master.
Don’t for one moment forget who you work for. You work for Rabbul ‘Aalameen -- the master of all the worlds.
So, you can change the world, if only you would set your mind to it.
And if you would do what it takes to make it happen -- by systematically proceeding to acquire the following:
All the knowledge you need to know and understand Islam as well as the world;
All the skills and techniques you must possess for effective communication and persuasion;
All the resources that must be available to you to do your job well;
And all the support systems and coalitions that you must build in order to achieve your goals and purposes on earth.
When you do all this -- and do it all for no other reason than to please Almighty God, and not in the pursuit of your own personal goals and agendas, and you do it with your heart and mind filled with charity and love for all and with malice and hate toward none -- you will change the world for the better as surely as the sun fills the world with daylight and as the rain floods the earth with life-giving water.
And when the time comes for you to leave this world, the world would be a better place for your having passed through it.
And there is no other thing you could have done in your life that would have been more compelling, or more rewarding, or more consequential than this.
Islam is all about caring and kindness. Regardless of who it is you care for: a human being or an animal.
And Islam is about family and social and personal responsibility. It is about doing all that needs to be done to help everyone everywhere.
And Islam is about scholarship and about excellence and hard work in one’s daily life.
And Islam is all about being the best you can be in the field of your choice, whether it is science or education and whether it is carpentry, rocket science or manual labor.
And Islam is about keeping an open mind; and about continually seeking to improve one’s mind; and about inviting and helping others to do the same.
And Islam is about getting to know other cultures; and it is about learning new languages, whether the language is Spanish or Arabic, German or Russian.
Islam is about wanting to learn new things all the time.
Let us get this sorted out.
God made us, right? Well, if you are not an atheist, then that is your position, correct? God created us all?
So, if God did make us, then who do we belong to? Who owns us? Whose property are we? Who has patent rights on us?
No mumbo-jumbo, religious or otherwise. Just plain, simple, direct answers, please.
If our creator, or maker, is not our master, our owner that is, then who is?
OK, if he is our maker and master, then, who should tell us how to behave? Whose writ or mandate should run our lives?
I say God Almighty’s. What do you think?
And that is precisely what the following Aayat means -- the passage from the Qur’an that I started out with:
A-Laa Lahul Khalqu Wal Amr!
“He made us. Created us, that is.
So, it is his right to run our lives.
And our world.”
Human nature may be mostly about caring about oneself and about one’s own. It may be mostly about promoting self-interest.
Islam, however, is mostly about caring about others.
And that is largely because there is a perfect equation in Islam, given in a Hadith, that quotes Allah as saying -- in my broad paraphrase:
So long as an individual is engaged in helping other human beings,
and promoting their wellbeing, God Almighty will be engaged
in helping such individuals and promoting their wellbeing.
Humans have a predictable trajectory in life. Some a bit different than some others in some minor details no doubt. But the basic process -- and the basic beginning and end -- is all the same.
We are all born weak and vulnerable, just as the Qur’an says.
And then we grow to great strength and resourcefulness and accomplishments, many of us, again just as the Qur’an states.
And then the curve inflects, and we return to a new state of feebleness and dependence as life fades and as strength drains from our limbs and muscles and bones.
We increasingly become a slave of time and tide, doing things only as we are able to do them, if do them at all.
As always -- we should not forget this, as always -- suddenly the mind and body seem to have their own calculus by which they operate. And the Law of Diminishing Returns comes increasingly into play.
That means it now takes more time and more effort and more resources to do what at one time seemed effortless and instantaneous.
The arrogance of personal self-sufficiency and omnipotence falls by the wayside as we turn to everything and everyone in sight for help and support and assistance.
The flame inside flickers for many for a while and then eventually dies.
Life returning to the life-giver!
There are minor variations to this theme in some of the details. But the fundamentals of the story have not changed over time.
Nor are they ever likely to.
The Qur’an sums up the entire human saga -- a saga for which there are no exceptions -- in the following words:
Innaa Lillahi Wa Innaa Ilaihi Raaji’oon!
“God is the origin -- of all.
Just as God also is the end -- of all.”
We -- see how personalized this is -- all come from God. And indeed we all shall return to him.
No truer words were ever spoken.
And no human being, in their right mind, can possibly miss being a live and active witness to this unfolding of the invariant saga of human life on earth, episode after episode after episode.