Many Instances of Oppression, Suffering and Pain,
But Every Time the Same Guilty, Culpable Silence!

(With apologies to Martin Niemoller, a Protestant pastor in Nazi Germany.)
(The stanza on Muslims is added. But it is breathtakingly apt.)

First they came for the Communists,
And I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the Socialists,
And I did not speak out.
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
And I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
And I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Catholic.

Then they came for the Jews,
And I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Muslims,
And I did not speak out,
Because I was not a Muslim.

Then they came for me,
And no one was left to speak out for me.

END

Islam has created the finest and most glorious Scale of Life for human beings to rise to a higher level of living.

That means to rise from a lowly and “Supine Animal Level of Living,” where most people prefer to reside, to a more active and “Sublime Human Level of Living,” where all of us must aspire and strive to be.

And, according to Hadith Sharif, here is how that Scale of Life operates:

No matter who you are, or what you do, always ask yourself how you can do better. How you can rise to a higher and more active and human level of living.

Start out by looking around you.

See what things may not appear quite “right.” What things may appear to need changing or improving.

And what “wrongs” may clamor and cry out for “righting” or “stopping.”

And what good “causes,” “issues” and “efforts” may need your shoulder to the wheel to make them happen and to bear full fruit.

Right around where you live, where you find yourself. And extending, in never-ending concentric circles, to Infinity.

And then, try and stop all the wrong and bad things from happening.

And work to make all the good and right things happen.

But if you find yourself unable or unwilling to actively stop bad things from happening or make good and right things happen, then at least SPEAK UP!

Use your mouth, your body language, use your pen, your computer and your camera. Mobilize all your powers and skills of communication.

And throw your weight and your influence, and your resources and your energies, in the direction of stopping “bad and wrong” things from happening and making “good and right” things happen.

Speak and write in support of those who are actively engaged in the struggle to make “good and right” things happen in this world and stop “wrong and bad” things from happening.

Don’t sit on the fence and watch.

Don’t sit like the proverbial fly on the wall.

For, in the struggle between “good and bad,” and between “right and wrong,” there are no walls that Islam allows on which you can sit like a fly and watch from what you think is a “safe and comfortable distance.”

What a beautiful Scale of Life this is that Islam creates.

END

“Muslims are constantly in the habit of asking God to help them with this, that and the other.

And that is as it should be.

For, without God’s help and guidance and without his command and will nothing happens, nothing ever gets done.

So, Muslims would say: “May God make me a good person,” which is absolutely great!

Because if God does not want to make us good people, there is no way any of us will ever get to be good.

But there is another side to this story, a very important one. And it is the need for everybody to take personal responsibility for their own actions.

But often, Muslims are not very good at that. In fact, there is a singular dearth of that quality in contemporary Muslim culture and psyche.

Muslims, therefore, need to teach themselves that skill: Doing the best they can, with regard to everything, and then trusting God to take care of that thing for them.

A man once came to Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and asked:

“Should I tie my camel or should I leave him in God’s trust?”

The Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, gave him the most amazing and the most perfect answer anyone could ever give. He said: Tie your camel first and then leave him in God’s trust.

That answer not only covers that particular situation from every angle, it also typifies the teachings as well as the spirit and approach of Islam to life and its responsibilities in this world: Work the hardest you can to do the best you can with regard to anything and everything and then ask God for help.

Let God then do what he would.

In other words, tie your camel first and then entrust him to God’s care.

Don’t run around pleading to God: “God Almighty, you are so kind, you are so merciful, won’t you please make me tie my camel for me, please?”

Or saying, “God Almighty, O kind and loving One, please tie my camel for me.”

Even though God is perfectly capable of tying and securing the camels of those he wants – and he does.

In other words, Islam isn’t praying all the time saying: “God, please start my car for me.”

Islam is acquiring the best car you can and maintaining it the best way you can.

And it is then filling the car with oil and gasoline as needed.

And then when the time comes to start that car, Islam is getting inside that car; inserting the key in the ignition; saying Bismillah; and then turning that key clockwise.

That is what it means to trust God with your car; with your camel; or with anything else in life.

And that is what Islam is all about.

And it strikes me as one of those basic lessons that many Muslims need to learn urgently.

May God, the Most Loving One, help and forgive the Muslims, his favorite people on earth.” (Dr. Pasha)

“I know Allah is most forgiving and most accepting of excuses from his slaves, and he is most compassionate and generous.

Yet I wonder how in the world I will ever account for all those seconds and minutes I spent not doing his work however we may want to interpret it.” (Dr. Pasha)

“I don’t know if this is called a redundancy or a tautology, or even gibberish, but it strikes me that there is no fool more dangerous than an ignorant fool.

From an Islamic perspective, ignorance is not bliss.

In Islam, there is no equivalency between knowledge and ignorance: Hal yastawilladheena ya’lamoona walladheena laa ya’lamoon, the Qur’an asks.” (Dr. Pasha)

“Allah’s law is, the more work you do, and the more productive you are, and the more thankful you are to God Almighty, the more he gives you: time, energy, resources, everything. That is called Barakat.

On the other hand, the more you slack off or complain, and the more excuses you make, the more he throws you at the mercy of your own excuses. Your complaints and excuses then assume a life of their own and turn into a self-fulfilling prophesy. I have seen that happen over and over.”  (Dr. Pasha)

“There are those who say, “Time, time, time … If we had more time, we would have done this; we would have done that; and we would have done something else,” they say. “If we had time,” they say, “We would have taken care of a lot of things that we didn’t have time to take care of.”

I say to them, your problem is not time, for, you had all the time you were supposed to have in the Divine Calculus. Your problem is that you wasted all the time God gave you, however much it was.

And now you are doing the same with whatever time you have been allocated right now: squandering and wasting it. And on top of that, you are spending part or all of that time doing something worse: second-guessing and blaming God Almighty.

So, I would say to them: “Ladies & Gentlemen: Your problem is sense, as in common sense – and not time. So get on with your life and do the best you can and stop blaming God.”” (Dr. Pasha)