Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Faith in the mirror


We are feeling somewhat disturbed by the comments/views which some of the non-Muslims have towards Islam, and about their perceptions towards some, if not all of its followers. We may be big in quantity, but perhaps we are not displaying sufficient quality to warrant understanding if not respect from the non-Muslims.

Some of them are making fun of us because we claim to be a peaceful religion yet our actions fall on the opposite extreme. Not just actions. Sometimes we speak too arrogantly about our 'holier than thou' faith. We have the tendency to "play God" not just towards our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters but also towards the non-Muslims. Instead of taking pity and showing compassion when the non-Muslim states suffer from natural disasters [e.g. Hurricane Sandy] some of us said "serve you right" or something to that effect. Why? Because some of us, [unfortunately] tend to treat the non-Muslims as plain "cursed kuffar". Astaghfirullah! Are we too quick to forget about the possibility of anyone having husnul khatimah (a good end). That they might eventually live and die a better person than we do.

In my opinion, when anyone is faced with hardships or calamities, it is humanity that prevails over dogma/faith. I remember watching a film by the Unity Productions Foundation called 'Muhammad, Legacy of a Prophet'. One New York firefighter [a revert] in the documentary said, when he and his colleagues perform rescue work, they simply go out and help regardless of the victims' faith or color. But it must have been difficult for him to be a Muslim firefighter working on the site of 9/11 tragedy. Still, 'Saving a life is like saving the whole humanity' was his principle. That's how it should be. We cannot act on the pretext of Islam's exclusivity when the Prophet's very existence was meant to be inclusive - he (Allah's blessings be upon him) is a mercy to all of creations, to all the worlds - rahmatan lil 'alamin.

Well, at least one notable Muslim opinion leader has said something that represents the religion more accurately. Shaykh Ninowy said: "To love and have compassion for everything would be one of the requirements to be a true Muslim, an ambassador of the Deen [faith]. The non-Muslims do not need more flyers or booklets about Islam - they need to see compassion and action."

We are also feeling somewhat disturbed by the comments/views which many of the non-Muslims have towards an article written by a Muslim in a British newspaper, about his hajj experience which he felt was somewhat affected by the modernization that seemed to overwhelm the holy cities. A Muslim needs only make one small negative remark about his/her religion for him/her to spark heavy criticism and re-ignite deep-seated hatred and misunderstanding a non-Muslim might have towards Islam. But we cannot blame the critics. We speak and act harshly towards them, they bite back.

Hmm...before we go on talking about changing the world, we should consider this - as Michael Jackson sang it so beautifully:

I'm gonna make a change
for once in my life
it's gonna feel real good
gonna make a difference
gonna make it right...
I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
and no message could have been any clearer
if you wanna make the world
a better place
take a look at yourself
and then make a change...

Wallahu a'lam.

Our thoughts are with the victims of Hurricane Sandy and all other victims of Mother Nature around the globe.
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