Here is a paraphrase of an advice given to a fairly brilliant post-graduate university student who wrote to apologize, and provide some excuses, for not being able to be as active as before in what we have been calling Working for Allah.
The student’s explanations included the following:
Continued and more focused work on the methodology and literature review parts of the thesis; concurrent work on a new competitive and refereed scholarly conference paper; preoccupation with tests that seem to be getting tougher all the time; and such.
Now, I am known to have a serious weakness, among all the other weaknesses that afflict my character: a marked penchant and alacrity for giving advice, whether it is asked for or not.
And whether anybody pays any attention or not, and whether anyone listens or not.
I just love to offer advice to anyone who happens to be within earshot.
So, here is how my advice came out:
May Allah help and bless you. Right now, your thesis, your tests, your conference papers and your journal publications are your Islam.
So, make sure you stay with your Islam.
At the same time, also make sure you do not abandon “Allah’s Work” – which is basically doing your own work; doing your family’s work; doing your neighbors’ work; as well as doing everybody else’s work – when you are done navigating these rough patches of your student life, and things get a bit smoother and easier.
I could say that because that is what Islam is all about: going about living your life in a way that is best for you and best for the whole world, both at the same time.
And doing it all within the framework of Working for Allah, at the core of which is the duty and responsibility of Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It.
How I wish Muslims would seek clarity in life –and in relation to Islam, which is what life is all about.
And which is also what Islam is all about.
For, in Islam, life and Islam are synonymous. Life lived according to the laws and commands of Allah is Islam, period.
Confusing? Sit down and work on it and you will see how amazingly clear and simple it really is.
And, oh how I wish Muslims would at least accept clarity when it is offered to them, as it is being done here, on a platter as they say!
God bless the Muslims. And God bless his world.