A Model for Selling Potatoes and for Doing Islam
Some of us decided to organize Listening Groups -- or Discussion Groups -- to listen to portions of Pasha Hour International prerecorded programs.
Not a bad idea, in fact, I should think.
But what "Inquiring Minds," as they say, would be curious to know is this:
Then what happened?
Any follow up?
How did people react when they listened to portions of Pasha Hour International?
Were there any comments?
Were there any questions?
Were there any reactions at all?
How many people were there listening?
How many men? How many women? How many children?
Did they appear interested or did they act like they were bored or distracted?
And a host of other similar questions.
Let me give an example to show why this is important.
Consider this. We opened a shop to sell potatoes.
At the end of the day, after we close shop and go home, will we talk to anyone about how many people came?
How many potatoes we sold?
How much money we made?
How much money we lost?
How many rotten potatoes we had to throw away?
And what possibly we may or may not do different the next day?
Or won't we?
Or will we just curl up and go to sleep and never talk about it to anyone, till SOMEONE ELSE talks to us about it?
Till someone else asks us: "Hey, what happened that day in the Potato Shop you opened?"
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the difference between "Doing things for ourselves" and "Doing things for Allah"!
The day we start doing things for Allah the same way as we do things for ourselves, or better, we will change this world.
We will make this world a better place -- For All.
And that is precisely what the Qur'an came to tell us to do!
And that is precisely what Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, showed us how to do!
If the potato shop example is not quite clear, let me give another example: What about the College Entrance Examination you took yesterday?
Will you ever be anxious about it inside yourself?
And will you share that anxiety in some form with others?
And will you buy a newspaper or sit on your computer to find out the results?
Do you think "Islam" deserves less?
Or consider this other example -- a third one.
We submitted an application for this most coveted job in the world.
Everybody wants "Jannat," right? Paradise?
It should be somewhat of a coveted place, correct? Otherwise, why would so many people want it?
And Jannat real estate should have some kind of a market value, don't you think?
And that market value should be the same as at least the least valuable parts of the land where we live?
Or will we say the same as the most valuable parts of the land around us?
Wouldn't we then ever call up to find out what happened to our job application?
Just think, people, for, Islam is about thinking?
And Islam is for thinking people.
At least so says the Qur'an!
Islam Is Democracy, period!
I have been saying this for years. No, make it decades.
"Islam Is Democracy!"
That means where there is no democracy, there can be no Islam.
No matter how hard you try to fit the square peg of Islam in the round hole of any of the following -- or any other similar -- aberrant, extreme, irrational and deviant cultural, economic, religious and sociopolitical systems:
And all else of that kind.
Just ask yourself this:
How can Islam possibly be part of any of these -- or other similar -- social and cultural perversities and oppressive, foolish, unjust, unfair, exploitative and anti-People and anti-God systems of thought, life, behavior, governance, claiming privilege and status, and exercise of power and authority?
Tell Them We Are Patriots
If people ask you who we are, tell them we are Patriots – with the capital letter “P.”
If they ask you what do you mean tell them we are loyal and devoted to every square inch of land on this earth: every country; every continent; every place everywhere.
And if they ask you what we do, tell them we love everybody.
Tell them love is our job; tell them love is our mission in life; and tell them love is our modus operandi – meaning that is how we operate in this world.
That is how we do things: love.
And if they ask you how is that possible for anyone to love everyone, and in effect hate no one, tell them to roll back history and look at the life of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, who is our Guide and our Role Model.
Tell them how he loved all and hated no one. Even though so many people, who had unreservedly loved him only days ago, had now come to hate him fiercely, with some of them even wanting to kill him.
All this, not for anything bad he did, mind you, but purely on account of the message of “No God but God!” that he preached and would not stop preaching even when they begged him to do so.
Tell all those who ask about us that we are nothing but an infinitesimally faint reflection of that most glorious and most perfect human life on earth: Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
Tell them that we are merely a most distant shadow of a pure and shadowless light on earth.