Working Together to Share Allah's Message with the World!
A Letter to a Very Smart Individual
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)
I am grateful to you for responding favorably to my overtures. Other Muslims are marching merrily to Jannat and don't seem to give a Blank about what happens to the world of Allah, in which their God appointed them Khalifah.
As the Qur'an put it:
Innee Jaa'ilun Fil-Ardi Khalifah.
Khalifah could mean Successor or Replacement: JaNishin, as they may say in some other languages.
But the problem is God of Islam -- God as presented by Islam, the Qur'an that is -- is a difficult God. He neither dies nor retires.
Nor does he get tired and take a day off to rest, like all of us good people.
Here is the Qur'an:
Maa Massanaa Min Lughoob.
My Paraphrase, God Almighty says:
"We were not affected by tiredness."
Laa Ta'khuzuhoo Sinatun wa Laa Nawum.
"God Almighty neither gets drowsy, nor does he fall asleep."
So, Khalifah as "Successor" or "Replacement" does not cut it.
Jews and Christians are lucky in that sense. They say they have a God that works hard for six days and then, since at the end of all that hard work he gets tired and exhausted, (my sarcastic words), he takes the Seventh Day off to rest. Well, try creating all these heavens and earth and the rest of the stuff and you will know what God had to deal with for six long days.
So, both Christians and Jews agree that on the Seventh Day God needed a rest. Their mutual fight is about which day was it that God decided to take off: Jews saying it was Saturday and Christian arguing, no, it was in fact Sunday. Interesting fight!
But nobody seems to be asking what kind of God is it that gets tired and sleepy and all that? Just like us Mortals? Is that the Best God we can find? Or should we look to hire a different God? Maybe a God who is not prone to all these human and mortal frailties and limitations?
Nobody seems to be able to have either the insight or the courage to ask this question. And to say Hey Guys why can't we have a God that has more stamina than our God, a God that works 24-7? Like the kind of God these Muslim Fellows have?
The kind of God they say there is in the Qur'an? Why can't we also have that kind of God? A God that the Qur'an calls Al-Hayyu, Al-Qayyoomu?
Ever-Living, Ever-In-Charge of Everything.
Nobody ever says things like that! Even though it will be the most natural thing to say, don't you think?
So, the only issue seems to be whether the Day of Divine Rest is Saturday or Sunday? Which of these two days is really the day of R&R for God: a Day of Rest and Recuperation!
That is how the Christian World, meaning America, Europe and all their admirers such as myself and my ilk, decided to take the Weekend off, meaning both Saturday as well as Sunday. Even though we created neither heaven nor earth. Nor did we create a single star in the sky or even one solitary blade of grass right here on earth.
All we did, most of us anyway, was to sit around behind a desk in an airconditioned office all day and then drive home in a nice car to a hot shower and luxurious bed at the end of the day.
So, my trouble is I do not need and cannot have a God that gets tired so easily and that falls asleep at the switch. I would rather have a God that neither sleeps nor gets weary or tired.
And such an Al-Hayy Al-Qayyum God is found only in Islam, in the Qur'an that is.
So, that is why I even almost bite my tongue every time I say: Have A Nice Weekend.
I ask myself, am I saying: Rest Just Like God Rested?
Thus, am I inadvertently validating the concept that God, at the end of Six Days, did get tired and decided to Rest?
I shudder at the thought. Thomas Jefferson's words really. He said I shudder at the thought that there is a Just God in Heaven.
Obviously, some would say, that is not how you make friends with Christians and Jews. By questioning their very fundamental beliefs and behaviors.
So, if Khalifah does not means Successor or Replacement in this context, then what does it mean? Well, the best meaning we could come up with probably is an Agent, a Deputy, a Representative, and things of that nature.
So, when Allah decided to make us, he did so saying he was going to appoint someone on earth as his own Viceroy or Governor General, who would manage the affairs of Planet Earth according to God's Instructions and Directives.
So, We the People, as America happily calls us, are God Almighty's Representatives or Khalifahs on Earth. Which means we cannot adopt, like so many Muslims seem to do, an Attitude of We Don't Give a Blank about what happens to Planet Earth and its Billionfold Inhabitants, because all we care about is my wife, my husband, my kids, my job, my business and that is it.
So, do you see how I am able to lose not only my Christian and Jewish friends but also many of my Muslim Co-Religionists as some people may call them. Because I seem to be trouble wherever I go.
Against such a backdrop, Allah suddenly sends you -- of course, in Allah's Book, there is no such thing as "Suddenly" because everything Allah does is done in a most measured and precise way:
Kullu Shayi-In Indahu Bi-Miqdaar.
So, you come along and seem to react positively to my overtures, Allah bless you. Even though I have been trying fairly hard and asking everybody I could find to help me get in touch with you. Several times, I came and sat at the Masjid Office for extended periods of time hoping and asking the Egyptian Young Gentleman would put me in contact with you.
And now I am hoping you and I can work together to find a place on God's Earth from where a Message of Positive Cultural Engagement could be shared with the American People: White, Black and Every Other Shade. And the Rest of the World.
Like Allah says in the Qur'an:
Ta'alawu Ilaa Kalimatin Sawaa-in Bayinanaa wa Bayinakum
An Laa Na'buda Illallaah.
Which simply stated means exactly what the First Commandment most emphatically and unambiguously declares:
Thou Shalt Not Take Any God Besides God!
If the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims all agree on that one single Concept or Proposition -- Thou Shalt Not Take Any God Besides God! -- then why can we not all find a way to talk about it in a positive and meaningful way?
My insistence on this theme, along with so many other themes of the same kind, is not desperation. But merely a reflection of how, with every advancing day, I see that the window around me is getting tighter and tighter all the time. And I need to get on with what I need to do. With whatever it is that God enables me to do.
With all my training in so many areas; and with all my varied skills; and with all the talents and gifts with which God Almighty has blessed me; whether it is in languages, in science, in research, in management and organization, in communication, or in other fields.
But nothing lingers on forever! Every window closes, sooner or later. And I am watching the world around me with a fair degree of interest.
As someone said in Beautiful Farsi Language -- one of God's Many, Many Beautiful Languages all over the world:
Ba-Labam Raseedah Jaanam,
Tu Biyaa Ki Zindah Maanam,
Pas Azaanki Man Na-Maanam,
Ba-Chi Kaar Khawhi Aamad!