That is what those two words Assalamu Alaikum do for you: fill your life with God's blessings. And do bear in mind that your local Muslim is the only one who can supply you your daily dose of divine blessings - unless you go looking for other Muslims, just like your own local Muslim, elsewhere.
Assalamu Alaikum! If you know of any expression in any language or culture that gives you more or does a better job of making life on earth better for all human beings, let me know. I will be eager and agog.
Defining a Muslim
Therefore, next time, when anyone asks you who a Muslim is and what he or she does, tell them:
- A Muslim is someone who makes life on earth possible and good for you, your family and for everyone else by invoking on you and yours the blessings of Allah all the time - 24/7 as they say - regardless of who you are.
- A Muslim is someone who continually knocks at the doors of Allah's mercy, love and grace around the clock - for you, your family and for everyone else, regardless of who you are.
- A Muslim is the guardian of the gates of peace in this world - and of an ever-lasting peaceful life for all in the next world.
- You surely have heard the expression Peace on Earth? Well, a Muslim is the one who offers you double the deal - peace on earth as well as in heaven - and cuts the price by one-third: two words instead of three - Assalamu Alaikum instead of Peace on Earth!
It Is the Same Message -
All the Time and Everywhere
Therefore, whether it is Iqbal or someone in our own time, and whether it is from the East or from the West, the message - Payaam - that can or should emanate from a Muslim's heart, mind, tongue and pen, is one and only one: Assalamu Alaikum!
Assalamu Alaikum! It is the same message all the time and everywhere. That message never changes, regardless of time or place. It hasn't for the past 1400 years. What makes you think it will change now or in the next 1000 years?
That is why to me Paraam-e-Maghrib = Payaam-e-Mashriq. Which should equal, when rightly conceived and properly delivered, Payaam-e-Qur'an and Payaam-e-Islam.
But if you would rather hear the Qur'an, as you should, on the subject, here it is: Wa-lillahil mashriqu wal maghrib. Fa-ainamaa tuwalloo, fa-thamma wajhullah. Paraphrase: East and West belong to Allah, so no matter in what direction you turn, that is where Allah's presence will be.
I wish I could tell you about a Hadith - saying of Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. It is closely related to the Aayat I just cited and it goes like this: Ana 'indi zanni 'abdee bee... Don't ask me what that Hadith means now. But if you really want to know maybe I will tell you some day, should Allah make that happen. In the meantime, you can ask anyone who knows Arabic, and they will tell you what it means.
So, the message - Payaam - is the same. Frankly, what other message can anyone who calls himself a Muslim have, no matter how it is conceived or in what language it is delivered or to whom?
Those human beings, including Muslims, who remember this message from the pages of the Qur'an - this Payaam-e-Qur'an - will rise to the top. Those who forget or ignore it will sink to the bottom. Humiliation will be heaped upon them in this world - with worse to come in the next world: Lahum khizyun fid-dunyaa. And Wa la-'adhaabul aakhirati akhzaa.
And still, in spite of Allah's message being so clear, some of us Muslims run around asking everyone: Will you, kind sir and dear madam, please tell us what is wrong with us and why Allah's world is treating us the way it does. For answers you can do one of two things: You can either read the Qur'an or you can read your newspapers. I would say maybe you should do both, except that you may need a pinch of salt to go along with the newspaper fare. That is the nature of their business.
© 2006 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.