Islam Does Not Change
What people need to understand is Islam and Islamic Work -- Working for Allah that is -- does not change. Or is it "do" not change?
Islam remains the same for ever and ever and ever.
How can it be otherwise, when it is a reflection and manifestation in the real world of the infinite and timeless attributes of Allah?
That is true of Islamic work -- Working for Allah -- as well, in some very important ways.
But here is the difference.
While Islam is directly from Allah (Good reason why it does not and cannot change, right?) Islamic Work (Working for Allah), on the other hand, is the application of Islam to human situations mediated by human beings and agencies in ever-changing space-time configurations.
This means those Working for Allah, or those engaged in Islamic Work as they say, must be constantly in touch with reality, and in tune with the changes taking place in the world, around them.
And they must continually monitor their work and its effectiveness, and its usefulness in relation to the goals they set out to achieve. And introduce the changes they must in their methods and approaches, based on the results of their evaluation of their work.
In a sense, this is the essence of Islam: setting goals; specifying methods; mobilizing resources; monitoring progress; ongoing evaluation.
Islam called it Ihtisaab. If Muslims by and large are oblivious of it or indifferent to it, who is to blame?
Work in Islam Is Worship -- Again!
I have said this before, and I am saying it again: Work in Islam is worship.
And it is Jihad.
That means those who are engaged in doing their daily duties -- whatever work it is that they do -- it is as if they are in Salaah.
They are face to face with Allah. And Allah is watching over them. And Allah is also watching their every move, and reading their every thought, and monitoring the minutest movements of their eyes.
And if they are waiting for work to arrive, it is as if they are in a mosque waiting for Salaah to begin.
And in Islam those who wait for Salaah to start, their position is the same, and their reward is the same, as those who are actually engaged in the performance of the Salaah.
So, if they are pure and honest in their motives and intentions, and diligent and thorough and conscientious in the work that they do, their reward is Paradise and not merely worldly success in the work that they do.
That is how amazing this system of Islam is: You do your own work and you get Paradise in return for it, in addition to your own usual reward in this world, provided your intentions are good and your effort is the very best you could, make it.
Islam Means Playing to Win
If you are a Muslim, you must always Play to Win.
And win fair and square, following all the accepted rules and norms.
Not participating in the Game of Life is not an option for you, if you are a Muslim.
Nor can you, as a Muslim, cheat and deceive and cut corners.
Nor can you Play Life halfheartedly or haphazardly. You must always enter and Do Life with full gusto, vigor and interest.
And your object must always be to win.
Of course, in every game, including the Game of Life, winning and losing comes directly from Allah, no matter how perfectly predictable or unpredictable a situation may be. But giving every moment, and every single Play of Life, your best is your obligation as a Muslim.
So, always bear this mind:
As a Muslim, you cannot sit on the sidelines when the Game of Life is being played all around you.
Nor can you, as a Muslim, enter the Game of Life with an attitude of indifference and lethargy.
So, go Play Life with full vigor, and expect to win. What comes out at the end is not in your hands.
Nothing ever was. And nothing ever will be.
But don't let that get to you. For, nothing is in anyone else's hand either. And your opponents in the great big Game of Life are just as helpless as you are. For, nothing is in their hand, just as nothing is in your hand.
Everything is in God's hands. And it will always be.
And it is always he who decides who will win and who will lose.
So, as a Muslim, you have absolutely nothing to lose.
So, go play hard and Play to Win.
Consistency and Persistence:
That Is What Islam Is All About
Allah bless those who are doing the rounds of universities, schools and markets talking to people about Islam.
And handing them literature on Islam.
These good folks should bear one simple point in mind: Consistency and persistence are key requirements of Islam.
The key features of Islam are not so much innovation and creativity, even though they are, as endurance and predictability.
Islam is not a flash-in-the-pan operation. It is not a one-shot deal. Islam is a lifelong commitment and dedication to certain carefully considered values, beliefs, goals and practices.
So, the true test of the success of this new Operation Outreach is that people should say -- after 50 years from today:
"Where is the man -- or was it a woman? -- who used to stand under that tree and give out pamphlets on Islam?
Haven't seen them in a while.
Are they all right, do you think?"
Beginning Islam, Preaching Islam
Blessed are those who go to street corners and university and school campuses, and public and market places, and preach Islam to people and distribute Islamic literature.
For, they are doing God's Work on earth.
They are Working for Allah.
They must rejoice in the knowledge that, no matter how strange this may sound, this is the beginning of Islam. In their life; and where they are.