“It is the day after Lailatul Qad’rRamadan, 1431/2010. The news media today produced two photographs, almost side by side. One, of four little children, perhaps between the ages of one and two, lying on their back, covered by flies, in a refugee tent in violence-wracked, flood-ravaged Pakistan, seemingly abandoned by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The other photo, claiming to be that of three million evidently better-off Muslims, bent on garnering 1000-months-worth of instant reward, on this Lailatul Qad’r 1431/2010 night, in what the caption called “Holy Mosques.”

I couldn’t decide which of the two pictures was more poignant to me or which one racked and seared my soul more. For the better part of the day, I have been trying to shut my eyes tight and make those images go away. But I don’t seem to be able to.

And if you ask me, that is the real Hallowed Ground – where those four little children lay infested with flies and fighting off death. And that is where God is that night – with those four little children, fighting off death, with their bodies prey to invasion and occupation by a million flies.” (Dr. Pasha)

If you asked me what is the one thing that may be wrong with Muslims today, my answer would be: “Poverty! Poverty! Poverty!”

And then if you pressed me further, saying, “What else?” I would say: “Education! Education! Education!”

Of course, some people might lump all this and many other similar things under the label of Islam. But that goes without saying. For, Islam is all these things and all other things good.

But the real issue may be: When was it that Muslims last identified questions of poverty, education and lack of political freedoms and human and civil rights as being inseparable parts of Islam?

“To many Muslims today, Islam seems to be all about fasting and praying. And then, for those who can afford it, it seems to be about running off to do as many extra Hajj as possible. The social conditions – disease, poverty and lack of education – in which most Muslims live today don’t seem to bother them.” (Dr. Pasha)