11 February, 2009

Bridging the Gap

In the name of Allah the beneficent, the Merciful

How often the outcome is perfectly against our expectations. Behaviours can be unexpected, situations can be unpredictable but I figured out 'that' day even logics can be incredibly clueless. Without pinpointing any one let me state here, "Our illogical logics have contributed a lot in our journey from the real to unreal".

I am talking here, of the Muslim Ummah. Few weeks back I was having a debate with a Qadiyani friend. In search of some convincing material I went through many books at several bookstores but in vain. Shop keeper advised me to visit a certain 'scholar' at Khatm e Nabuwwat office. After greetings, I expressed the purpose of my visit. He took a meticulous glance at me from top to bottom and after a deadly pause he said, "You!! What can 'you' do? Look at yourself; you are wearing a collar. You are testifying yourself that Hazrat Isa (AS) was actually hanged. You are wearing buttons. Oh! Did the Prophet (SAW) ever use buttons?? His soul would be quivering because of 'you'. Wearing the western dress what can you do for religion? Go away. Your efforts are not required "

I wanted to say, "Molana Sahib! Do you know that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) never wore a 'shalwar qameez'. The eye glasses you are wearing and the air cooler you are using were never a part of his sunnah. And yes, do you know he never broke hearts ", but the shocking behaviour, situation and logic made me wordless. The mentioned molana are not the only villain of my story. They are numerous to add to it. I remember the ironic remarks of a tableeghi guy when I told him about my islaah activities, "Huh! What sort of 'islaah' are you doing, explain! ". I remember the Malaysian "scholar" prophesising that I was a potential 'fitna' of the future. I remember my religiously motivated friend telling me that "I have invented a religion of my own".

Many passionate youngsters become victims of such remarks daily. Collars, ties, pants, shirts all incite our religious' ego'. We are so quick to judge others on the basis of 'outward' appearance. The dress one's wearing and the length of his beard are enough for us to judge one's inner beauty. There is a distinctive difference between the Islamic dress code and the non Islamic dress code. Islam has given us the rules that we ought to follow, but it has not told us the dress hat we 'must' wear. Islam is a universal religion. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) being a native Arab spoke Arabic, wore Arabian dress, and ate Arabian food but that does not imply that the same becomes 'compulsory' for us. He accepted dresses of different societies as a gift. Taking care of the Islamic set of laws on clothing one can wear whatever he likes. 'Did the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) ever use such dress' is religious blackmailing. What Islam demands from our outer looks is simplicity, modesty, prevention from adopting label of any other religious group but what we are more concerned about is myths and lengths.

One more thing that we've done efficiently is to blame the tools. TV, internet, cameras, speakers are all suffering from our baseless criticism. When we were unable to educate the masses about the appropriate use of these gadgets the easier way was to tag them as 'prohibited'. As a result, we have two extreme groups. One who'll follow the verdict and stay away from them and the other who'll use them for every good and bad purpose. Very few have understood what Islam really demands from us. Because of this sticky mind-set not only have we failed to compete with the west in the media war but also we've made distributions in our own society.

Allah has made the religion easy for us, but sometimes we overburden our self and misrepresent religion. Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, "Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists." (Bukhari). We need to compromise to bridge this gap. There are many things which we can simply overlook because they don't weigh that much. How often for these small things related to appearance we break hearts. Don't we remember the incident when a Bedouin urinated in the Holy Mosque in Madinah but the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) didn't scold him at all. We know that a youngster came to the Prophet (SAW) and said that I want to seek permission to do zina. What did he reply to him, "Do you want any one to do the same with your mother and sister". He said, "No" and his mind changed. We stress so much on the sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) that were Sunnat e Aadat (Sunnat because of his birth in Arabia) but we forget so many of the Sunnat e Risalat (Sunnat of Prophethood). Sahabas narrated that they never saw anyone smile more than the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Have we ever seen any religious person stressing on greeting others with smile? Instead, we see that the religious are too stern.

Well, all this is the cry of my wounded heart. We are ready to divide ourselves on the slightest of things. I don't wish to debate that which particular group is the right one. In fact, I just want to say a simple thing, "Learn to compromise. Think before you speak. There are high chances that you might be wrong. So, before criticising someone give it a second thought that in the process you might be hurting someone, for no good reason". I was watching Dr.Zakir Naik on the television when an elderly relative of mine came and said, "What Da'wah will he do with these western clothes". This is the picture of the muslim ummah. Go to an Islamic bookstore you will find bulky books containing material against every Islamic organization.

Prophet Isa (AS) said to Bani Israeil "You blind guides, straining out the gnat while you gulp down the camel!" And as per our habit we are following the Bani Israel in this as well. This is the journey I was talking about; the journey from spiritual to material, from outer to inner and from real to unreal. It's high time we started compromising and worked hard to bridge the gap that we've created between ourselves, to solve the differences and to substitute the frowns with smile. I end with the prayer to Allah that this effort of mine stops us from pulling each others legs and brings us close to each other. I hope I'll not get a new holy tag out of it.

Author : Muhammad Awais Tahir

Send your comments and suggestions at Muhammad.Awais.Tahir@gmail.com




Post a Comment