Payaam-e-Maghrib = Payaam-e-Mashriq = Payaam-e-Qur'an?
Payaam-e-Mashriq = Payaam-e-Qur'an?
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)
For, if both the East and the West belong to Allah, how can there be one law for the East and another for the West, right? And if Allah's law and message for and from the East is "Fear Allah, follow the Prophets and love and serve Allah's creation!" how can that law and message be any different for and from the West?
What other explanation do you have for Rasul after Rasul of Allah (May Almighty Allah bless them all!) coming and telling their respective people - their respective "Qawms," as Allah calls them in the Qur'an - in their respective times and lands "Ittaqullaha wa Atee'ooni"?
Because that is what the Qur'an tells us they did - tell their Qawms: "Fear Allah and follow me!"
Please take, if you will, some time and study the 26th Surah of the Qur'an - Ash-shu'araa' - to get a good sense of the overall message and method of the prophets of God, Allah bless them, in the service of humanity in different times and places.
And if all that is embodied in the Qur'an, how can this overall law and message - whether from the East or the West, from Mashriq or from Maghrib - be anything other than Payaam-e-Qur'an or the Message of the Qur'an?
And what utility or validity does any message or law have that is not from the Qur'an or that is opposed to the Qur'an? For, the Qur'an is from the Master of the Universe for the use and benefit of all of his slaves throughout his plantation earth and throughout the universe, whereas all other laws and messages are from and for the benefit and advantage of different segments of the human population, often at the expense and to the detriment of others.
This is an important clue for people to keep in mind when they are trying to decide what is from God Almighty and what is not.
From Above or From Below:
Wahy vs. Science
Human life on earth is largely an artifact of knowledge - or its converse, ignorance. That means you do things in this world for two reasons: (a) for what you know; and (b) for what you don't know. As a result, every single conscious and deliberate human act is a function of the complex interaction of your knowledge and your ignorance.
"Iqra'!" "Read!" - Allah's first command to humanity - more than illustrates the absolute importance of knowledge in human affairs and provides a powerful clue on how to go about obtaining it. The Qur'an also shows how knowledge (Ilm) was going to be the basic requirement - the deciding factor - for human beings to qualify as Allah's representatives - Khaleefahs - on earth. The Qur'an is so clear on some of these issues that it does not require a lengthy explanation.
When the angels expressed reservations about Adam, Alaihis Salaam, Allah did not ask Adam, Alaihis Salaam, to demonstrate what a great Sajdah he could make. Allah simply taught Adam, Alaihis Salaam, everything that there was to know, and challenged the angels to show they could match his level of knowledge.
But where would this knowledge come from? We are not talking about esoteric, mysterious mumbo-jumbo made up by some people considered to be "holy" that most people cannot figure out, but real knowledge that can be easily learned and taught by all, and that really helps human beings to live a better life on earth. Such knowledge can only come from above or from below.
From above, it comes from God Almighty in the form of direct divine revelation to the prophets (Allah bless them) called Wahy. From below, it comes from whatever we can figure out by ourselves right here on earth using the tools and skills of observation and analysis Allah has placed in us. It comes from science!
For, science often is knowledge with a component of error attached to it. Wahy is knowledge with the component of error removed from it - Laa Raiba Feeh, as the Qur'an puts it. That means science done right - to a point where all error is siphoned off - is Islam in its pure and original form. And Islam properly understood is science at its best and without any elements of human folly associated with it.
What a perfect meshing and matching of the divine with the human; of what is directly from heaven with what is best on earth; of what God himself chose to teach directly in his books and through his prophets with what he allowed human beings to figure out for themselves using the instruments and abilities he gave them!
But the key to the acquiring of knowledge, whether it is from above or from below, is education. Hence the importance of education in Islam and hence the command Iqra': Read! in the Qur'an to everyone - at a time when the world had made reading forbidden for everyone except a privileged handful.
And hence the declaration by Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam: "I am only a teacher!"
And, of course, Allah does what he does in his own special way.
From Ummiy to Ummiy:
A Model for World Education
Allah first picks a spot on earth where reading and writing were rare. Then he picks a man who himself could not read or write. Allah then charges that man in that place to go teach the entire world.
And that man, Allah bless him, terrified at first at the enormity of the charge that had been so suddenly placed upon him, nevertheless, ends up teaching the world all that it needed to know to live a most wonderful life right here on earth as well as after death in the next world.
Yu'allihumul kitaaba wal hikmah is how the Qur'an puts it.
He taught everyone how knowledge was key to success - Talabul ilmi fareedah.
He showed them how cleanliness of body, mind, place and clothes was vital to good living.
He asked them to eat and drink only that which was good and to avoid eating and drinking all that which was bad.
He explained to them that marriage was a good thing and therefore must be pursued, appreciated and protected. He also explained to them at the same time that divorce, though permissible in extreme cases, was a bad thing and therefore must be avoided as much as possible.
He pointed out that loving and fearing God in heaven meant loving and serving his creation right here on earth, even if all you do is to save the life of a dog dying of thirst in a desert or release a starving cat out of a cage so it can forage for food.
He told people to always tell the truth, even if it were against their own best interests.
That is just some of what that illiterate man from an illiterate culture taught the world - 1400 years ago. And the world has taken all these 1400 years trying to catch up with his teachings. And it is still working on doing so.
Payaam-e-Islam = Payaam-e-Muslim?
And if all this is the real message of Islam, and the method of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, then should it also not be the message - and the method - of every Muslim, wherever that Muslim maybe? When this message - and the method of love and service and sacrifice associated with it - is fully understood and internalized, what difference does it make where a Muslim is located physically? Whether he or she is located in the East or in the West - or somewhere else?
So, all that I have been saying so far boils down to one thing: Payaam-e-Islam = Pyaam-e-Muslim!
So, regardless of where we are in terms of time and space, the basic message and methodology of Islam remain the same. What changes is people's understanding of that message and that method and their abilities and skills to fit them to the changing demands and circumstances of an ever-changing world.
A Wonderful State of Permanent Peace
What a marvelous equation Allah taught his slaves! An equation that guarantees us permanence in the midst of change and shows us how to deal with change itself, which is an inevitable and defining characteristic of all life in this impermanent and transient world - this world of being and becoming as that beautiful Muslim expression puts it: Kaa-i-naat.
Because that other world that is yet to come - Aakhirah - is a very different world. It is no longer a world in flux and transition; it is a permanent state of being and rest at the end of the long and eventful journey of life. It is a peace at the end of life's long tunnel of turbulence.
Laa yasma'oona feehaa laghwan wa laa ta'theema. Illaa qeelan salaaman salaamaa. Paraprase: They shall hear in it neither wasteful talk nor sinful speech. But rather only saying everywhere "Peace! Peace!"
And that whole wonderful state of permanent peace and bliss will be capped off the only way that makes sense: Wa aakhiru da'waahum anil-hamdu lillaahi rabbil 'aalameen. Paraphrase: And their final assertion will be, "All praise belongs to Allah the master of the worlds."
Nothing but Slaves!
And in the midst of all this, we continue to be slaves of Allah. That is right. Slaves, not servants as some of us would like to upgrade our status. Slave was good enough for our masters, the illustrious Biblical prophets, Allah bless them all. And that includes the mighty Prophet-King Solomon, Alaihis Salam.
Surely, Jesus, son of Mary, Allah bless them both, did not and would not mind being a slave of Allah: Lany-yastankifal Maseehu anyyakoona 'abdal-lillah!
Allah says so in the Qur'an. And what a slave he was, says Allah about Solomon, Alaihis Salam. So given to turning to his master all the time. Ni'mal 'abd. Innahu Awwaab.
A master being pleased and proud - what else can a slave want? Isn't that what a slave's life is all about: turning to his master all the time - and for everything? That is who Hazrat Sulaiman, Alaihis Salam, was.
As was Hazrat Ayyub, Alaihis Salam - Job as the Bible calls him.
How proudly the Qur'an describes them both: "Ni'mal 'abd: What a slave!"
One surrounded by immense wealth, power, majesty, glory and prosperity and the other mired in abject distress, penury, ill-health and helplessness. Two poles that sum up the full range of human conditions between them. And yet both of them nothing but Allah's slaves as Allah makes a point of calling them.
And then Hazrat Zakariyya Alaihis Salam! And then Hazrat Nuh Alaihis Salam - the super-patriarch of all of Allah's prophets and messengers. Allah refers to them all as his slaves.
And then that prince of peace, as the Christians refer to him, the supreme miracle of fatherless motherhood, Hazrat Jesus, Alaihis Salam! Listen to the way he introduces himself as an infant in the arms of his mother to a skeptical audience of his people: Innee 'Abdulllah! "I am Allah's slave!"
How much more clear or definitive does it get?
I Would Like to Know
By the way, since we are talking about Hazrat Isa Alaihis Salam, have you ever read - in any book in any language - a sweeter, gentler and more tender account of the virgin birth of God's beloved prophet, Jesus, may God bless him, than the one the Qur'an gives you?
And a more respectful, supportive and sympathetic treatment of his mother Mary's (may God bless her) ordeal of childbirth and her encounter with her people when she returns to them after a prolonged and mysterious absence with infant Jesus (may God bless him) in her arms?
I don't mean a novel or a history book or a children's book from recent times, but a real serious book from ancient times, the Bible for example? If you have, please let me know.
I would like to know.
Honor of Allah's Slavery
Therefore, for a human being, there is no greater honor than to be a slave of God Almighty. If that expression slave was good enough for all of God's prophets, in the Bible, by name, it is good enough for you and me - and for everyone else.
There is a reason why Allah emphasizes that notion in the Qur'an repeatedly - the notion of all humans being nothing but Allah's slaves. And that is why whenever some of us try to raise our position a degree by calling ourselves servants rather than slaves because we are embarrassed by what others may say or think about us, Allah lowers our position a notch. We get a slap on our wrist from Almighty Allah.
That is how it works. As that other prince of poetry and Islamic thought put it: Khud badaltey nahin, Qur'an ko badaldeytey hain. Iqbal, right? I don't remember. Paraphrase: Some of us would rather change the Qur'an than change ourselves.
Making Masters Out of Slaves
But unlike much of human slavery, this is one slavery - being a slave of God Almighty - that uplifts and liberates. By making a human being a slave of the creator, this form of slavery places in the hands of the slave the keys to the treasures of heaven and earth. And it gives every individual human being the right and the title to be treated with the greatest honor, respect and dignity in this world.
Being Allah's slaves makes human beings the masters of all they survey, as someone put it, and all that they cannot even readily survey. It literally makes them the masters of the universe.
Read the Qur'an: Sakkhara lakum maa fis-samaawaati wa maa fil-ard. Paraphrase: He made subservient to your needs all that is in heavens and earth.
Slave of Allah: Master of the world! What is wrong with that?
Slave of Allah: Master of the world! What an equation! And what better deal can anyone imagine, ask for, offer or receive?
Making masters out of slaves! That is what Allah does with his slaves, the human beings. And that is also what Muslims did with their slaves. They not only set them free, they made them masters of their empires.
Hazrat Abu Bakr, may God be pleased with him, the first elected ruler of the Muslims - and quite probably of the world - used to refer to Hazrat Bilal, may God be pleased with him, an Abyssinian slave that he purchased and set free, as "My master."
They Made Their Slaves Kings
Slave dynasty. Ever wonder what or who it was? It was former Muslim slaves being appointed by Muslims to be their kings.
It was Memlukes - slaves - becoming Muluke, kings. In India, in Egypt, elsewhere. Black slaves, white slaves, all kinds of slaves. Muslims made them kings and followed them to the ends of the earth. Very different from the way the Western world treated its slaves.
In many ways the world is a bad place. Mostly because of the way human beings act. Read today's newspapers and you will see in their headlines how our air, land and water are being destroyed by human activities. Or, if you will, read the Qur'an and get those same headlines from 1400 years ago: Zaharal fasaadu fil barri wa bahri bimaa kasabat aydinnaas.
One of the most egregious ways in which human beings abused our world was by treating slaves the way most of them did - in many cases worse than animals, and they often treated animals pretty bad.
For hundreds of years, European and American civilizations, and what may be called the economic and industrial miracle of the modern age, were built on the back of racialized slavery and fed with the blood and sweat of African slaves, many of them Muslims.
That is what the world got when the Muslims allowed their own culture of the Qur'an and civilization of Islam to decay and be dismantled - one final manifestation of which was their being thrown out of Spain (before there ever was a Spain, mind you) in 1492 by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand.
It was also the year Christopher Columbus set sail to transnavigate the globe. There were Muslim seamen and guides on board - and maps and navigational instruments derived from the discoveries Muslims had made earlier.
In general, Muslims worked diligently to bring about their own downfall - in Spain (that was yet to be Spain) and elsewhere. All you need to do is to look at how Muslims act now and you will have a pretty clear idea how they must have acted then. Practically everywhere Allah gave them a long rope and the Muslims all too often used it to hang themselves.
This is not to deny the role of all kinds of other factors that were involved, but only to point out the role the Muslims themselves played in their own defeats and destruction.
Yet the fact is, when it came to their treatment of slaves, Muslims did things a bit differently. They too had slaves. But the Muslims took their slaves and made them masters of their vast empires. They made them kings. That is how an entire dynasty of slaves came to rule large parts of the Muslim world. It was called, for obvious reasons, Mamaaleek - the slave dynasty.
Amazing people, these Muslims. They did some amazing things, even when they did not seem to be doing many things right.
Islam and Non-Islam:
A Rivalry of Truth and Falsehood
I thought I would explain that important difference quickly - the difference between Islam and non-Islam on the subject of slavery - hoping it would help people see through the avalanche of often false and malicious propaganda let loose against Islam and Muslims by non-Islam.
First of all, Islam forbids lying, deception and cheating as means to political and economic ends. Non-Islam for the most part thrives on them. And non-Islam does something else: having committed the most egregious falsehoods and cover-ups, non-Islam papers over its guilty conscience with all kinds of lame excuses and by projecting its own failings and inadequacies onto Islam and Muslims.
That is why the Qur'an calls one the Haq or truth and the other Batil or falsehood and points out that the world is the primordial playground of the rivalry and jockeying for power and influence between the two - truth and falsehood, Haq and Batil.
According to the Qur'an, those who love and fear Allah, use truth as their principal tool, while those who love and fear this world, use falsehood as their major weapon. It is a most simple equation.
Once again, either read the Qur'an and find out or read the newspapers and figure out.
The Missing Link: A Clear Focus
This is the missing link in much of human beings' search for identity and direction in today's world. And in a sense it has always been. Their search for what I call focus.
Instead of proudly owning up to our identity as the slaves of Allah, throwing ourselves at his mercy and in exchange receiving from him the gift of both worlds, some of us feel uncomfortable by how Allah describes us in the Qur'an. Some of us prefer to throw ourselves at the mercy of human beings just like us and yet often receive from them in return nothing but rejection and humiliation or little to minimum wages for our toil and sweat.
Focus, focus, focus!
That is what human life is all about: a clear focus. And that is what Islam is all about. And that is what the difference between Islam and non-Islam is all about. And key to having the right focus is putting Allah first - and last and in the middle and everywhere else.
For, the equation is quite clear: Allah made you and the world in which you live. And he made everything you have and own and use in this world. And that includes your family, job, business and everything else.
So, the right thing for you to do is to put God Almighty over and above everything else you have.
Everything We Have Is a Gift from God
You must understand that it was God Almighty who gave you these things - whatever things you possess and think you own, including your life, your family and all your worldly possessions. And they are all gifts from him to you for a certain limited period of time. And that, as a result, he can take them all away from you whenever and however he chooses.
And the fact is, he always does: God Almighty always makes you return and surrender every little thing he gave you. Sometimes he does it during your own lifetime in this world. But he most definitely and unfailingly does it every time you are about to depart this world.
Just look at the way the healthiest and fittest ones among us end up. Those blessed with the best of health and longest of life end up the oldest, the most ailing and decrepit, the weakest and the most dependent and helpless. They end up returning their gifts of youth, energy, health and independence, and finally life itself, to where they all came from - God Almighty.
So when you die, you go to him alone, with every single one of your worldly possessions and connections left behind. King or commoner, pauper or prime minister, no one escapes this fate. If we had any sense at all, we would understand this fundamental fact about human life and prepare for it.
Dealing with Our Human Predicament
So, here is how you deal with this predicament that you are in. The fundamental human predicament of being a slave on Allah's plantation earth with seeming mastery over your fate and your surroundings but in reality being entirely at the mercy of your maker and master. The supreme predicament of appearing to have everything, but in truth and in reality owning nothing.
You must, mentally and theoretically speaking, return everything you have to its rightful owner and master - God Almighty. And then receive all these things back from him as a gift and a blessing. Lease it all back from him.
When you do that the only logical thing for you to do is to dedicate everything he gives you to the supreme task of seeking his pleasure and serving him. That is your way of saying "Thank You!" to him. And it is part of your lease requirement.
And it is also in fact the smartest thing you can do. For he says that the more you thank him the more he will give you. Hear him say that in the Qur'an in his own words: wa la-in shakartum, la-azeedannakum.
That is why the Prophet, Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, says Alhamdulillah is the finest form of Dua that a human being can make. How could it not be? You keep saying Alhamdulillah and Allah keeps giving you more. You pocket what he gives you and say Alhamdulillah and he gives you even more. And so on ... ad infinitum ... forever and ever. What a Du'a indeed.
Inviting People to Allah:
Reuniting the Creation with the Creator
There are many ways to thank your master. One is to simply say Alhamdulillah - which is the best way of saying "Thank You!" to God almighty. But the higher and the more comprehensive way to thank Allah is to love and fear him in his heaven and to love and serve his creation right here on earth.
That is what Islam does. It takes the best and makes it even better. Only God can do that.
Human beings, on the other hand, often tend to do the opposite. They take what is better and all too often make it worse. Look at what they did with slavery. And with all the animal species that have become extinct or are on the verge of becoming so. And look at what they have done with our land, air and water.
In other words, the best way - and in fact the right way and the only way - to truly and properly thank God Almighty is to do what he created you in the first place to do. And that is to make a concerted and focused effort to reunite an alienated and estranged creation with the creator. To let God's will be done right here on earth as it is done in heaven, as a well-known Christian prayer puts it.
The purpose of your creation, the Qur'an tells you, was so you will serve him; invite everyone else to serve him; and manage and run the affairs of his earth according to his commands and instructions for the benefit of all of his creation. That is why he made you in the first place. Hear the Qur'an say it: Wa maa khalaqtul jinna wal insa illaa li-ya'budoon. Paraphrase: I created you for no other reason than to serve me.
That is right. That is where it all begins - and ends. The all-out and relentless effort, both organized and individual, to bring every one of God's lost sheep back to the fold of God's love, mercy and service. Everything else is filler in the middle.
He gives you a family, because you would need one in your work. He gives you a home, because you need shelter - a place to live - when you work for him. He gives you a career and a job and a business, because you need all those things to be able to do your work for God Almighty better and properly.
What is more, he is so kind and generous that he makes your pursuit of all these things - your career, your family, your home, your entertainment and leisure activities, your every worldly human need - count toward your service for him. He does that when you decide to put him first, acknowledge him as your true and only master and decide and dedicate yourself to work for him.
Clear Focus vs. Random Acts of
Virtue and Goodness
That is what it means to have focus. And to have Islam.
And being a Muslim means having the right focus - having a clear and sharp focus on life and its responsibilities and on your own role in Allah's world. Islam is not random acts of goodness, virtue and piety, even though Allah does not allow even an iota of good to go unnoticed or unrewarded.
Islam, therefore, is not a little bit of namaaz here and a little bit of hajj there with a lot of free and idle time in between, even though namaaz and hajj and fasting and zakaat will forever remain the pillars on which Islam is built. But who ever told you that the pillars, no matter how strong and big and ornate, are all of the structure?
Pillars are a part of the building, not all of it. The only place where you see huge columns standing all by themselves are ancient ruins - a state of dilapidation to which most Muslims have returned Islam in recent times. I mean many of the good, "observant" Muslims, not the bad ones. Because they have held on to the pillars and abandoned the whole superstructure that the pillars are put there to support.
Being Uncomfortable with God's Terminology
If God's choice of words and expressions - like when he refers to us as his slaves - makes us unhappy or uncomfortable or embarrassed, then we have a serious problem. What it is telling us is that we are forgetting who our real master is, God or other people like us. And when we put pleasing people above pleasing God, we are in for a lot of trouble.
How clearly Allah tells the people-pleasers among us - those who seek to please our fellow-humans even when it may involve displeasing God, our master: A-yabtaghoona 'indahumul 'izzah? Fa-innal 'izzata lillahi jamee'aa. Paraphrase: Do they seek honor, dignity, recognition and power and position from people? Surely, Allah is the one where all honor, power, position and dignity reside.
Against this background, a Muslim is simply a person who acknowledges his true master, God Almighty; comes to terms with his true identity as God Almighty's slave on earth; realizes his role as being one of serving God's other slaves on earth and inviting them back to their master; and thus throws open the gates of peace, blessing, joy, comfort and wellbeing - for himself and for all the creation of Allah.
That is who a Muslim is and that is what a Muslim does or must do. What a glorious way to live!
An Average Muslim's Trademark
And all this wealth of meaning and goodness is packed in those two wonder words Assalamu Alaikum - an average Muslim's trademark everywhere - that in effect mean: May Almighty Allah shower upon you all the most wonderful blessings of this world and the next world and may he fill your life with all the miraculous wonders of earthly and heavenly existence.
Can't you see that these words - Assalamu Alaikum - are there for a reason? And Allah makes Muslims spill them all over the world for a reason? And can't you see that at least a part of that reason has to do with your own well-being? For, on the one hand, not an iota of goodness do these two words leave out without channeling it in your direction. Nor do they, on the other hand, leave out an iota of evil that they do not ward off and turn away from you.
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.