[Chapter 28] Beyond Time and Space

Dec 21, 2010

Chapter 28
Still Working for Allah in the West: Theory and Methodology

Beyond Time and Space

Let us revisit this topic one more time. By talking about Muslims in the West as a separate entity with its own unique social and political setting and characteristics, I am not implying that they are better or worse than some other Muslims in some other places – even though there are aspects of the West’s political and economic culture that are clearly superior to the mostly feudal cultural structures that have much of the old Muslim world in a stranglehold.

For, to repeat one more time what I have already indicated, Islam and Muslims are both above time and beyond space. Their origin is Allah and their end is Allah. What lies in between is a kaleidoscope of transient states marked by geography and time. As a result, Inna Hadhi-hi Ummatukum Ummatan Waahidah …In paraphrase this means, surely this nation of yours is one nation – indivisible in terms of space, time or other pernicious categories of human concoction that artificially divide human beings with a view to enslave them.

All parts of this nation of Muslims or Ummah, in all places and at all times, are knit together in a common culture of Islam. It is when that culture begins to sag and develop cracks as it has in much of the traditional Muslim world in a number of ways, that we need to look at things from a pragmatic – time-and-space based – perspective and find pragmatic solutions to real problems of survival and success.

This may appear contradictory to some, but it is not. In life, things often have different parts and aspects that may on the surface appear to negate one another. But deeper thought reveals how they are often different ways of looking at the same basic reality. Islam is a perfect way for people to have their cake and eat it too. Most other systems of thought, belief and behavior offer humans a set of dichotomies – a set of binary alternatives – to choose from. Islam amalgamates them all into one integrated system.

Most people would say you belong either to this world or to the next world; you are either a spiritual person or a person tied to the material things of life; or you are either a leader or a follower. In Islam it is both. This world is the pathway to the next world. So if you want a good life in the next world, make good things happen in this world. So also you cannot become a total hermit or a recluse, nor can you adopt an airtight monkish or monastic culture. Nor are you a leader or a follower all on your own – you are always both. Recall here the same Hadith I have cited elsewhere: Kullukum Ra-'in – each of you is a shepherd and each of you is in charge of a flock.

Still Working for Allah in the West: Theory and Methodology

© 2003 Syed Husain Pasha

Dr. Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional 
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at] 
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.

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