Quarterly: Issue No 4
DO WE REALLY WANT ISLAM?
All our problems and controversies today come down, in final analysis, to one MAJOR question: DO WE REALLY WANT ISLAM? Or do we want just an ineffective continuation of the customs and habits inherited from our past? Our whole future, indeed, depends on our factual answer to this question.
The reason why we want Islam today differs from person to person. Some of us want Islam because it was the familiar background of our childhood and adolescence. Others want Islam because their friends and relatives belong to the Muslim community. In short, most of us want Islam because it was just our habit and custom.
What then should be our reasons for our WANT of Islam? We should “want” Islam because
1 we are convinced that it’s teachings , being a result of Divine Revelation , are supremely in conformity with reason;
2 its teachings correspond to the true order of Nature, however hidden the ultimate details of that order may be to our human imperfect knowledge;
3 Its teachings are in full accord with man’s dignity and the natural demands of both his spirit and body.
When we have committed ourselves with such a conviction, Islam becomes not only a desirable but, indeed, the only possible way of life without any “ifs” and “buts”. Islam then becomes a fully self-contained system, to which nothing can be added by way of fundamentals and from which nothing can be subtracted without destroying the whole structure. Thus, the desire to live within that system because no other form of life can offer a similar satisfaction is, in fact, the real “want” of Islam. We must ensure that such a conviction and attitude exists within ourselves.
Islam does not content itself with the spiritual teachings alone but insists on a definite mode of individual behaviour and on the observance of certain social principles. Thus, if we want Islam in the above-mentioned sense, we must commit ourselves to a definite scheme of behaviour and action. In such a commitment, there is no room for a choice in adopting some Islamic teachings which personal inclinations might approve of and overlooking other Islamic teachings, which seem to clash with our self interests. For a Believer (Mu’min) such a behaviour is condemned by Allah, the Most High, as He says:
WHENEVER ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER HAVE DECIDED A MATTER, IT IS NOT FOR A BELIEVING MAN OR WOMAN TO CLAIM FREEDOM OF CHOICE INSOFAR AS THEY THEMSELVES ARE CONCERNED: FOR HE WHO (THUS) REBELS AGAINST ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER HAS ALREADY, MOST OBVIOUSLY, GONE ASTRAY. (Surah Al-Ahzaab: 36)
Thus, in the above-mentioned injunction of the Glorious Quran, a strict warning is given to those who let their views, attitude and course of actions to be determined by their personal interests and predilections, and not by the Quran and Ahadeeth.
A truly Islamic outlook of life is that in which every moral obligation, every decision as to the practical course of our life, is the outcome of a voluntarily complete whole-hearted submission to the guidance of Allah as manifest in the Glorious Quran and the teachings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) whom Allah addresses thus:
NAY, BY THY SUSTAINER! THEY ARE NOT BELIEVERS (MU’MINOON ) UNLESS THEY MAKE YOU (O PROPHET) A JUDGE OF WHAT IS IN DISPUTE AMONG THEMSELVES, AND FIND IN THEMSELVES NO DISLIKE OF WHAT YOU HAVE DECIDED, AND SUBMIT THEMSELVES WITH FULL SUBMISSION. (Surah An-Nisaa : 65)
This injunction lays down, in an unequivocal manner, the obligation of every Muslim to submit to the ordinances which the Holy Prophet, under Divine Inspiration, promulgated with a view to exemplify the message of the Quran and enabling the BELIEVERS to apply it to actual situations . These ordinances constitute what is described as the SUNNAH (literally “the way”) of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). These ordinances, whenever authenticated beyond any possibility of doubt, have full legal force side by side with the Glorious Quran.
Are we then justified, in the light of the injunctions cited above, to accept Western and other religious views and immitate their way of life? Our degeneration begins as soon as we give up living in accordance with the ideology of Islam. Calling ourselves Muslims and performing certain Islamic rituals is not synonymous with leading an Islamic way of life. A muslim who willingly surrenders to the imitation of Western and other religious views of life can never consider Islamic Culture as a moral obligation. The reason is quite simple, i.e. many views of life in Islam are irreconcilably opposed to Western and other religious outlook.
Now let us assess ourselves. Where do we stand? Do we really “want” Islam on these terms? These are the only terms, which Islam offers. And nothing rests upon us except to convey the message. May Allah, the Most High, guide us all onto the Straight Path. Ameen.
Muslims top list of World Refugees
A recent meeting was held in Jeddah of governmental experts entrusted with reviewing the conditions of Muslim minorities across the world. Statistics provided by relief organisations show that Muslims continue to represent the largest number amongst world refugees.
It is reported that Muslim minorities suffer from unfair laws which deny them their right of worship. Some are even imprisoned and tortured just for possessing a copy of the Holy Quran.
“It is indeed saddening to know that the majority of refugees, displaced persons, orphaned children and victims of man-made and natural calamities all over the world are Muslims”, said Dr. Yassin Qurashi, director general of International Islamic Relief Organisation.
The number of Muslim minorities in non-Muslim states
is estimated at more than 400 million out of a total of 1.3 billion. The majority (278 million) are concentrated
May Allah restore the prestige of Muslims and give them their right of existence in the non-Muslim states around the world. Ameen!
50,000 Americans convert to Islam annually
Modest consensus indicate that about 50,000 Americans embrace Islam every year, says Abdul Rahman Al-Amoudi, the director of American Muslims Council. Such optimistic figures show how Islam still appeals to many people in the West.
However, new converts face challenges. Da’wah centres and Islamic Organizations have to tackle the numerous problems encountered by new Muslims.
The biggest challenge lies in the feelings of alienation experienced by new Muslims as they are treated as outcasts by their old friends and relatives. In case such feelings grow, they can ostracize and exclude new Muslims from the social arena, particularly in cases where young girls have to suffer as they adhere to Islam’s high moral code of dressing.
Al-Amoudi says that
The American Council therefore plans to reach this objective to fulfill new demands of the American Muslim society. May Allah grant the American Council the strength and courage to fulfill its objectives. Ameen!
WITCHCRAFT - an act of disbelief
The practice of witchcraft and the belief in fortune-tellers and astrologers are among Satan’s handiwork that Muslims must avoid. They are classified as major sins that have been forbidden by Allah and his Beloved Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Practising magic is considered as the greatest SHIRK (associating others with Allah). The evidence that it is an act of SHIRK AL-AKBAR is the following hadith:
“Whoever goes to a psychic (‘arraf) or fortune-teller and believes in what he says has disbelieved in what has been revealed to Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).”. (Abu Dawood; Tirmizi)
The increase in the number of magicians, fortune-tellers and sorcerers around the world is appalling. Muslims should know that Allah alone can remove what touches the believers with harm.
Only a firm and accurate belief (IMAAN) in the greatness of Allah can save Muslims from such liars and deceivers.