Muslims vs. Islam
I always hesitate to use the expression “vs.”
Because, I am not sure things in Allah’s Creation – what some people, Thomas Jefferson for example, may call Nature and what our Aslaaf, forefathers, used to call Kaa-i-naat – are all that sharply neatly sundered, separated and arranged into unrelated Dichotomies.
Allah talks about Azwaaj -- Pairs. And those may be related and conjoined pairs, one tapering and fading into the other.
Read the Aayat that says:
Wa Yukawwirun-Nahaara Alal-Layili.
I don’t even know how to translate or paraphrase this Aayat. Except, maybe, to say something like the following – and, at the moment, I don’t even have any dictionaries at my disposal:
“He wraps the Mantle of Night over the Day,
And he wraps the Mantle of Day over the Night.”
Do you know what that means? I certainly do not.
Or, do you know or understand what this means?
Wa Aayatul Lahumul Layilu,
Naslakhu Minhun Nahaara,
Fa-Idhaa Hum Muzlimoon!
Can I have a shot at so-called Translating or, more appropriately, Paraphrasing this Aayat? Sure I can.
But would I know any better then what that Aayat really means compared to what I know – or Don’t Know – now?
That is why I hesitate to cast things in terms of clear-cut Dichotomies, as if one half of any given Pair really has nothing to do with the other. As a result, I try to avoid using the expression “vs.” as much I can.
But when it comes to Islam and Muslims, cast as a Pair, my heart shatters into a million pieces as I contemplate the mutual relationship between two sides of this Pair: Islam and Muslims.
Islam is so clear and so complete and so self-explanatory and so self-standing. And Muslims are who they are. And their actions are what they are.
No, we are not talking about what people call Aqeedah. Except in extreme cases of course, like Qadiyanis, Ahmadis and others of that ilk.
But we are talking about Amal.
Allah’s Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, defines Iman as that which takes root in the Heart and which, then, is confirmed through Action.
Maa Waqara Fil-Qalbi,
Wa Saddaqahul Amal.
How much clearer can it get?
And we are talking about Character.
For, Character was one of the main areas of Focus for the Divine Mission that Allah gave his Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, on this earth.
Along with imparting Education, Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, was charged with building the Character of his Flock -- the Muslims.
The Qur’an names this process Tazkiyah:
Read the Aayat Karimah:
"Huwal-Ladhee Ba'atha Fil-Ummiyyeena Rasulan Minhum,
Yatlu 'Alayihim Ayaatihi,
wa Yu'alimuhumul Kitaaba,
These are the things Allah’s Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, was sent to do in this world. And that is precisely what he accomplished.
And this was Islam. And this was the Deen: Complete and Full and Chosen by God.
Al-Yawuma Akmaltu Lakum Deenakum!
But what correlation and overlap do Muslims of today -- Rabi'ul Aakhar 1442; December 2020 – have with any of these things?
First, their Character!
Then, the state of Education and Knowledge among them!
So, given all that, when we say Islam and Muslims, the thought leaps to mind: Why not Islam vs. Muslims?