[Chapter 43] Building a Better World: This is How the Muslims Do it

Dec 23, 2010

Chapter 43
Still Working for Allah in the West: Theory and Methodology

Building a Better World: This is How the Muslims Do it

It has become chic to talk about a better world in the context of Islam – especially after September 11, 2001. But the real question is what does it mean. It is how we answer this question that will determine our future in the West.

To me making the world better means – and it always has meant – helping a society to be the best it can be. It is helping a society to realize its best and noblest ideals. That means every human group, society and culture has a great deal of good in it. It is our job as those working for Allah to do everything in our power to help that society or group or culture to move ever closer to a fuller realization and practice of that good.

A better world, thus, is a world where literacy is universal; where every child has the best education; where every hungry mouth is fed; where every sick person has free and easy access to the best health care; and where jobs are plentiful. It is a society where equality is the norm and not merely a cliché or a slogan; where justice and fairness are the order of the day; where kindness and compassion characterize human interaction at all levels.

A better world to me is a world in which traffic flows smoothly; in which accidents are minimal; in which drivers are polite; in which cars are not gas-guzzlers; and in which the best transportation is available to all. It is a world in which leaders are elected and not imposed; in which leaders are accountable before the public; in which the press is both free and responsible; in which human freedom is an axiom and human dignity a foundation stone of society; and in which forces of law and order are the servants and protectors of the people and not their masters and tormentors.

A better world is a world in which judges are fair, impartial, independent and fearless. It is a world in which corruption is a thing of the past; in which drug and alcohol abuse is a rarity; in which illicit sex is an abomination; and in which marriage is sanctity and divorces a last resort. It is a world in which God is honored and worshipped and his laws are obeyed; in which priests and pundits, rabbis and Ulema, pastors and clergymen are protected and venerated; and in which churches, mosques, synagogues and all places of worship are inviolate.

It is a world in which torts and injuries are compensated; in which the strong do not oppress the weak; in which the weak is strong and the strong is weak; in which safety and security is the order of the day; and in which a young woman will go freely where she wants to go fearing no one except God and maybe the big bad wolf. It is a world that does not cavalierly squander its resources; it is a world in which business does not exploit the unwary; and it is a world in which truth is the order of the day.

As those working for Allah consciously and voluntarily, it is our job to work to bring about such a world wherever we live. If instead of seeking these goals for the society in which we live in the West, we try to turn that society into a Little Pakistan or a Little Egypt then we need to go back to the drawing board to relearn our ABC of Islam. Such a society – such a world – is an ideal and a goal for all of us good Muslims – all those working for Allah – to strive for. Read the life of Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, carefully and you will know what I am talking about.

If in addition to all the things I have mentioned above, if we could succeed in persuading such a society to believe in one God the way we do; if we could persuade it to believe in Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, the way we do; if we could persuade it to believe in the Aakhirah the way we do; if we could persuade it to observe the Salah, the Siyam, the Zakah, the Hajj the way we do; and if we could persuade it to love the Qur’an and the Hadith and read and follow them the way we do, then indeed we have succeeded in establishing the kingdom of God on earth. Such a society is the best society of all and such a world the best of all worlds.

This is a quick glimpse of what it means to build a better world. And this also is what it means to work for Allah in the West. Now you tell me how many of us ever worked this out in our mind? Or how many of us worked for such a goal in our life? Or how many of us even suspected that this is what we were supposed to be working for?

And then ask yourself what kind of people, personalities and skills we need to accomplish this goal; what kind of an attitude and orientation we need; and what level of trust and involvement in society’s affairs and concerns we need. And then, finally, ask yourself if this is what we have been doing during the past 40 years in the West – if this is where our focus, our priorities, our attention have been. If this is where we have channeled our energies. Or, better still, ask yourself if this is where our hopes and dreams have been – and our vision has been.

Let me say this bluntly – may Allah forgive me: If they had been, we probably would not have had a September 11 on our hands – Wallahu A’lam.

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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