Muslims, Good Muslims that is, seem to be always hurting for resources and numbers. But somehow that seems to be the nature of this Deen. That seems to be how this Deen works. The funny thing is -- it is really most...
Human nature may be mostly about caring about oneself and about one's own. It may be mostly about promoting self-interest.
Islam, however, is mostly about caring about others.
And that is largely because there is a perfect equation in Islam, given in a Hadith, that quotes Allah as saying -- in my broad paraphrase:
So long as an individual is engaged in helping other human beings,
and promoting their wellbeing, God Almighty will be engaged
in helping such individuals and promoting their wellbeing.
When we look at the world around us, it gives us a lot of pain. But that is a sign of a heart that is not dead. Not fully anyway. Dead hearts don't feel anything. They just are dead.
Things are what they are in the world. Problems of every kind and description abound.
The point is first to do our best to understand them. And then to set about systematically to address them -- and looking for solutions for them.
Search for solutions is neither easy nor short-lived. It sometimes extends over years and decades. And sometimes even generations.
The important thing is never to give up. But to continue looking and searching.
It is Allah's promise in the Qur'an that you look hard enough, and Allah will guide you to the answers:
Walladheena Jaahadoo Feenaa,
Allah's world is sweet and wonderful -- such as it is. And there is a lot of room for hope and optimism.
And where there is none, hope must be generated. Optimism must be created.
It is a candle that must be lit in every heart.
That is what Islam came into this world to do.
And that is the job of the Muslims today: to light that fire of hope in every heart.
To tell everybody what the Qur'an says:
A-laa Inna Nasrallahi Qareeb!
Meaning: Good days are just around the corner. Keep up the effort. Don't lose heart.
The world needs to be shown that there is a better way -- with better likely outcomes.
That is part of the job of Muslims in today's world. To rise to levels of being part of the solution. And not just be part of the problems that plague the world.
"When you are working for Allah, you are downstream from the Rahmat of Allah.
Allah's Rahmat, blessings, and support come in many ways and forms and surround those who work for Allah and provide them strength and sustenance.
A-laa Inna Naswrallahi Qwareeb, is how the Qur'an puts it. Allah's help is not far, says this Aayat Kareemah." (Dr. Pasha)
People say life is tough. And it surely may be.
People say they are facing all kinds of odds. And those odds are mountainous.
I am not saying no. I am not saying they are not.
But here is what I want to say, and this is what I want to ask everyone: What are mountains for? [...]
"We are all weak, mortal – helpless. And we all need help.
Without help, from all kinds of sources, human life on earth is inconceivable.
We are often the sum total of the help given to us, or not given to us, by our parents, teachers, friends, relatives, governments and others.
But above all, we are an embodiment of the help God Almighty gave us, every step of the way into this journey we call life.
We are a reflection of his love, mercy, compassion and helpfulness.
And of his benevolence and charity and giving.
Every pore in our body is. Every possession in our hands is.
And without his continued help, giving and sustenance, we will not survive in this world for one microsecond.
That is why it makes sense for us to turn to him for help in all our affairs, big or small.
And ask him for help.
For, without his help and decree nothing ever gets done in this world.
And without his disposing of things, nothing moves, nothing happens.
Whatever it is that you need, the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, indicated, ask him, not others.
Even if it is only your shoelace that you need help with, turn to God for help, a Hadith seems to suggest.
That means nothing is too big or too small for you to ask or for him to give.
And he loves to give more than you love to ask.
Just consider this:
No one else has a name: The Greatest Giver and Bestower of All – Al-Wahhaab.
No one else calls himself: The One Who Loves to Do Favors More than Anyone Else – Al-Mannaan.
No one else carries a title that says: The Most Generous and Giving of All – Al-Jawaad.
Nor does anyone pride himself on being the Most Bounteous and Noble of All in Giving – Al-Kareem.
And no one else ever set himself as the Most Tolerant, Patient, Gentle and Forbearing in the face of importunities from those in need or distress – Al-Haleem.
So, the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, doesn’t want you to take your mind off these attributes of your creator even for one moment.
And he wants you to rush to him every time you need anything, no matter how small, and no matter how big.
And the fact is, no one else owns anything.
And no one else loves to give the way God, your maker and master, does.
So, it is to him you must turn and it is him you must ask for help.
In all things, small or big." (Dr. Pasha)
“I once heard a Christian religious leader tell this story and it stayed fresh in my mind. Here is how the story goes:
A very pious man once drowned in a flood. As the man got trapped in the rising waters of the flood, a boat came to him and a man in the boat said: “Hurry, get in the boat.” The man turned down the offer of help and said: “God will save me!”
The boat went away, the man stayed and the water kept rising.
After a while the same boat showed up again and the same conversation took place. The boat went away a second time, and the man stayed in water, and the water rose further, this time reaching the man’s chin.
The boat returned a third time, offering to rescue him. The man said “God will save me!” and sent the boat away this time also. The man drowned and, then, upon resurrection, he asked God: “Lord, why did you not save me?” God said: Three times I sent a boat to rescue you and every time you turned down my offer of help.
This is a story told by a Christian Priest. But it seems to me there is a moral in it for Muslims as well – and for everyone else. Will someone please tell the Muslims this story?” (Dr. Pasha)