They drew and painted. And they created Calligraphy that dazzles beholders to this day.
Who do you think is making all those spectacular “Persian Carpets” all over the world to this day, with their explosive color combinations and breathtaking patterns?
Muslims of yore generated priceless and matchless colors and designs. All you need to do is to look at what is left of their marvelous color sense and creativity inside what the Christians will call the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Grand Mosque in Cordoba.
By the way, why doesn’t anyone call the Millennial Mosque in Cordoba the Grand Mosque? Muslims have no shortage of this and that “Grand” stuff – such as, for example, a Grand Mufti, just for starters.
But the point is this: Those who claim they are working for Allah, how are they going to approach this issue? The issue of people wanting a bit more excitement out of life than they are generally doled out by Card-Carrying Muslim preachers?
They should of course be careful not to do what the Christian Church has been doing fairly consistently: Trying to humor and accommodate people’s increasingly wilding and wandering tastes by diluting their own core beliefs, behavior and teachings.
Whether or not those teaching could withstand the test of changing times is a very different matter altogether. But their rush to mould the church and its teachings to fit the kaleidoscope of people’s rapidly changing demands – and at times aberrations and deviations – actually helped neither the people nor the Church.
So, Muslim preachers of God’s word – those who say they are working for Allah – must beware of these road hazards and they must learn to negotiate them very, very carefully.
I know how people like the Jama’at Islami, especially in a place like India, have forever dismissed the role of emotions in human life. To this day, if you listen carefully, you may be able to catch their leaders and would-be leaders muttering, with a knowing smile, things like: “Come, come, let us not be emotional now!”
And things to that effect.
But it is neither science nor Islam, to dismiss the world of human emotions in that summary and cavalier manner. We are not rabid behaviorists to whom “emotions and feelings” may be dirty words.
Ask any Advertising Executive – or just keep your eyes and ears open – and you would know what important role feelings and emotions play in human life. And in human decision making in general.
While I am still a believer in some kind of a modified Rational Man Theory, to me it is sheer madness to turn our back on the world of human emotions. It is, if you ask me, idiocy, not Islam.
It cannot be Islam, for, Islam fits human nature – every aspect of it – like a glove fits a hand.
And, from that point of view, emotions have no role in human life? What planet do you live on? And what human beings are you talking about?
Besides, Allah did not dismiss human cravings for beauty and joy in life as pathways to perdition. Instead, he reprimanded those who would want to impose that kind of dry and dead life on anyone.
Zeenatallah, the Glorious Qur’an calls it: Allah’s beauty.
So, my common call to all concerned is this: Without compromising your principles and practices, and without turning Haram into Halal, go find ways of providing people opportunities and avenues for fun, relaxation, entertainment – and just a tad bit of excitement.
And for experiencing and expressing joy and beauty.
I told Muslims of the Caribbean to claim Calypso – a highly creative and pungent form of local music, song and poetry – as their own and use it for Halal purposes.
I even discovered a very talented man once – on the road to Maracas Bay – and got him to demonstrate how that could be done.
No one took me up on that.
So, Muslims! Have some good, clean Halal fun and let your fellow-Muslims have some good, clean, Halal fun too.
For, that is what Islam is all about. It is about having good, clean Halal fun, right here in this world, and then thereafter, in the next world.
To me, it is all part of Fiddunya Hasanatan wa Fil-Aakhirati Hasanatan.
Fun in this world and fun in the next world.
Go check out the expression in the Most Glorious Qur’an: Wa Saqwaahum Rabbuhum Sharaaban Twahoora!
So, Twahoor is the critical element, people, not fun or “Sharab.”
So, go find some Twahoor, people, and dance to its tune.
Why Can't Muslims, Plain and Simple, Just Teach the World the Qur'an?
Just now, I finished looking at the report of a "Seminar" some Muslims did somewhere. It was a "Seminar" on the Qur'an -- with 250 people attending.
My thoughts were: Why can't Muslims leave their fancy seminars and such on the Qur'an alone for say the next 100 years?
And just concentrate, instead, on teaching everyone everywhere to read and understand the Qur'an.
How wonderful it will be if Muslims did just that one simple thing for the rest of their life!
And how beneficial it will be for them and for the rest of the world.
Doing Damage to the Qur'an from Within
Those without Taharah -- being technically clean -- are not allowed to enter the Qur'an. Pure and simple.
That is God's law.
Laa Yamassuhoo Illal Mutahharoon.
No one shall touch the Qur'an except the ones who have been thoroughly cleansed.
Implication: No one shall be allowed to get inside the sanctuary of the Qur'an except those who meet the condition of complete cleanliness.
Tat-heer is the word. It means being subjected to thorough purification.
In today's world -- and by most standards -- Muslims are the ones who meet that requirement. They undertake formal ablution, what Muslims may call "Ritual Ablution" -- (Washing Up and also Bathing as required) before they approach the Qur'an.
So, Muslims are the ones with the clearance and the wherewithal to get inside the Qur'an.