Quote-Unquote - Book VII (701-800)

Aug 11, 2016


Transparency & Accountability

I don't know what others think. But to me Islam is all about transparency and accountability. Both before God and before People.

When those of us who claim or think they are working for Allah fall short on the fronts of transparency and accountability, we fall short on Islam. Period.


Islam and Ketchup

For some people, Islam is like ketchup. Life goes on with or without Islam.

Fries decidedly taste better with ketchup. But fries go on ketchup or no ketchup.

And, luckily, how many brands there are -- of ketchup. When you run from one, you can always find refuge in any of the others. For, after all, they all call themselves "ketchup."

So also Islam.

Every Islamic outfit not only calls itself "Islam," everybody even has a label that reads:

"The Only Real and Original Islam Ketchup. Directly From the First Tomatoes Ever Made!"


A Trip and a Man and a Book

It was a trip I was supposed to be too ill to make. It was an unlikely trip.

But the trip was made anyway. Allah made it happen -- as Allah makes everything happen.

And on that trip I met a man -- an unlikely man. And he told me an unlikely thing.

He said he often finished the Qur'an -- doing a Khatm of the Qur'an as they say, from cover to cover -- once in two days. 

That is 15 Juz or parts of the Qur'an a day! 

And it is fifteen Khatm a month, right? 

Right here on this earth? Right now in our own age and time? And I met such a man?

How likely is that? The entire trip was supposed not to happen, a most unlikely trip, given how unroadworthy some people were.

And the fact that I got to shake the hand of this man? What a jackpot that was, as they may say.

And he was such an unlikely man. Tall and elegant and most unassuming -- and clean shaven as a whistle. Soft of voice and mild of manner with an incredible sense of humor.

Are there more people like him on this earth?

And are these people the reason why the sun still rises from the East and the sky still sustains and nourishes life on earth by giving it water?

And what a book, this Qur'an.

"It just happens," said the man when he saw me so completely aghast by the news I had just heard. "Once you pick up the Qur'an, you can't put it down."

And he said: "It goes by itself."

What a man!

And what a book!


Doing a Better Job with Our Posting of Our Work

Here is how, maybe, we can improve our work of posting our posts.

And how not to miss our mail.

Let us try and sit down with a laptop of some kind in a designated place. I mean rather than do things while we scurry about with a cell phone attached to our anatomy.

Let us read very carefully -- both the posts that need to be posted and the requests and instructions that go with them.

If necessary, let us set aside a certain time of day or night for doing so.

Let us do the same for reading our mail if we can.

I somehow have this primitive notion in my mind that, maybe that way, we will reduce error in our postings and in our spotting and reading of our mail.


Difference between Must and Can

We all have our job cut out for us. We all are required to do what we must. 

We have a mandate from God to do what we all must.

We are after all his slaves. And slaves don't have much of a choice.

But in reality, we all being who we are, we end up doing what we can.

But in this ongoing fight between our "Must" and "Can," let us not make Islam an orphan: Let us not make it the last item on our To Do List.


Everyone Should Make Islam Their Personal Concern!

Here is what the Qur'an says about the kind of priorities each one of us should have in our lives. And the Qur'an makes it crystal clear that Islam needs to be a most serious personal concern for each one of us.

And the Qur'an lists in great detail the things that we value most in life -- item by item, one after the other -- and says that Islam needs to be at least as dear and at least as important to us as any or all of these things.

And the Qur'an ends this passage with the dire warning that if we fail to personalize Islam in this way, then Allah will decide what to do with us.

Here is a list of the things the Qur'an says human beings may tend to value most in their lives:

our fathers and mothers;
our sons and daughters;
our brothers and sisters; 
our wives and husbands; 
members of our extended family; 
all the wealth we accumulated over the years;
our businesses, jobs and professions;
our favorite houses and dwellings; 

And the Qur'an then goes on to say that if we refused to do that, then we must just wait for Allah's decision to arrive!

This is scary stuff, to say the least.

Here is the Aayat Karimah from Surah Tawubah:

In Kaana Aabaa-ukum, 
Wa Abnaa-ukum, 
Wa Ikhwaanukum,
Wa Azwaajukum, 
Wa 'Asheeratukum, 
Wa Amwaalun Iqtaraftumoohaa,
Wa Tijaaratun Takhshawuna Kasaadahaa, 
Wa Masaakina Tardawunahaa,
Ahabba Ilayikum Minallahi Wa Rasoolihi,
Wa Jihaadin Fi Sabeelihi,
Fa-Tarabbasoo Hattaa Ya'tiyallahu Bi-Amrihi!

A Paraphrase of Aayah 9:24:

If your fathers, and your sons, and your brothers, 
And your wives, and your relatives and your family members, 
And the wealth that you have accumulated, 
And the businesses you fear may suffer and that you so jealously guard, 
And the houses and dwelling places that you love, 
Are dearer to you than Allah, and His Messenger, 
And ceaseless struggle in the path of God, 
Then just wait till Allah brings about his decision.

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