Western way of life
Western way of life
Alhumdoelillah! They say that there are over one billion two hundred million Muslims on the face of this planet today. We read quite often that Islam is the fastest growing religion, yet, if we look at Islam as it exists today, we note that the direction that the Muslim leadership throughout the Muslim world looks for solutions is geared to the Western Jahiliyyah Way. In so doing, not only do they become subservient to the West with all its glitter and glamour, but the morals, the lifestyles and ethics of the western world is accepted and imitated. Our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam said:
"If you imitate a people then you become one of them."
We have reached a critical juncture in the history of the Muslim Ummah and as concerned Muslims, it is imperative that we begin to examine our lives and do some serious soul-searching in a critical and objective manner. If we fail to derive any inspiration from the great accomplishments of our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam in destroying the entire conscience of the ungodly lifestyles that he came to demolish, then I am afraid to say that we are heading for doom.
The heads of almost every Muslim government have today placed Islam aside and have adopted the western way. They consider Islam to be outdated and have opted for the modern western way that they find more beneficial in this life. Unfortunately, the bubble of that pipe dream is about to burst because the world is rapidly changing and Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala is reassigning the distribution of Ilm, wealth, talent and leadership.
Yes, there are Muslims today, who, when they speak of the western way, they do so with a sense of reverence. They have a tendency of elevating the western lifestyles and the accumulation of material wealth to a divinely ordained way of life. Indeed, Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala desires the best for us, but the western way with its egotistical lifestyles should not be construed to being the best for that is most certainly not consistent with the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an. People are degenerating and heading in the wrong direction which will ultimately lead them to the end of a dead-end street. Ignorance of Almighty Allah's Din, love for this Doonya, amassing material wealth and chasing after name and fame in this passing life will result in our destruction.
As Muslims, we must fully understand that change is imminent. If we are not going to bring about necessary changes to our lives, we must understand that we should not be among those who are obsessed and hooked on this life in exchange for the Aghirah. Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala tells us that every human being is born in a state of Fitrah. This means that everyone is born a Muslim, in a state of submission - until they are able to speak; and then they become other beings deviating from the submission that Almighty Allah has commanded of them. Concerning Fitrah, our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam said:
"Every child is born into Fitrah - in a natural state; it is the parents who make him a believer or disbeliever."
Fitrah represents the natural things in life. Before we can appreciate the natural things that Almighty Allah talks about, we have to discard those things that are not beneficial to us. Why? Because we reach a point of saturation where the good appears to be bad and the bad appears to be good. We become pleased with our ability to do wrong and become accustomed to it. So, to understand the True Reality we must remove the veil that doing wrong places over our eyes.
Alhumdoellilah! We are all Muslims. We have inherent strength to fight against evil deeds. However, we surrender to our appetites with barely a fight. We surrender to our passions, we surrender to our lack of control, and we surrender to following tribal customs. We surrender to the whole situation of seeking to be wealthy and pursuing wealth, name and fame. We surrender to our Nafs and ignore what we should be doing. If we place the 'western way' under a microscope we will discover that there are many pitfalls. There is really nothing that one can do but to admonish and warn those lost souls.
Sometimes when we warn, it only increases the hardness of people's hearts - like Fir'aun. When Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam came to him, he warned him and gave him clear warning, but the heart of Fir'aun became hardened. Often the Imaam will speak about coming to Jummah Salaat on a timely basis; The Imaam will elaborate on the importance and the great reward of performing the Sunnah and Nawafil prayers. Sometimes the Imaam will speak to brothers and sisters about observing the proper Islamic dress code. It hardens them to say: "I will come for Jummah just before the Salaat starts, perform my two Fard with the Jamaat and depart immediately after the Salaam because I have fulfilled my obligatory duty". They give the impression that they have accumulated sufficient good deeds that will outweigh the blessings and Baraka'h of performing the extra Sunnah and Nawafil prayers.
Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala demands of us to give the warning - nothing more, nothing less. They will taste the consequences of what they do. As for those who heed the warning, know that Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala will reward them on a grand scale because they heeded the warning and they desire Fitrah. Almighty Allah informs us of this in the very first verse of Surah Al-Ma'ida:
"O you who believe! Fulfil (all) obligations."
The million dollar question that I now ask myself very sincerely is, do we really desire Fitrah? Are we, who call ourselves the Ummah of Almighty Allah's Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam heading toward the standard religion or have we reached a point in our lives where we are so pleased with ourselves that we desire no real change? Are we so satisfied with ourselves in doing what is not pleasing to our Glorious Creator and Sustainer?
Have we become blinded by our inflated egos in our quest for achieving the "American dream" that we have found a way to avoid doing that which Almighty Allah has commanded and continue doing that which Almighty Allah has prohibited? Have we found a better way that will lead us to the Path of Seerathal Mustaqeem? Almighty Allah said concerning Nabee Adam Alayhis Salaam that, after falling as a result of the deceit of Shaythaan: verse 37 of Surah Al-Baqara:
"Adam learnt from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord turned towards him;for his Lord is Oft Returning, Most Merciful."
Nabee Adam Alayhis Salaam recognized his state of error; he turned to Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala. And this is the whole concept of repentance or Taubah - the turning back. It is the quality that Almighty Allah has put into the hearts of those with Imaan as opposed to the quality that Shaythaan, or those who deny faith. It is the ability to recognize the state of error and to turn and beg and to beseech Allah's forgiveness. Nabee Adam Alayhis Salaam needed Allah and had to turn back because Allah instilled in him the sense that he would always be dependent upon his Glorious Creator and Sustainer as we learn from verse 112 of Surah At-Taubah:
"Triumphant are those who turn in repentance to Allah; those who serve Him; those who praise Him; those who fast; those who bow down; those who prostrate in Sujood; those who enjoin what is right and forbid what is evil; and those who keep the limits of Allah, and give glad tidings to believers."
Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala warns mankind against their arch-enemy, the chief deceiver - Shaythaan, who, on the basis of deception, also deceives us in this earthly life. He seduces and tempts us on the basis of what we may want to achieve or obtain in this life. He makes everything appear necessary, makes us yearn for this life with all its glamour and glitter at the expense of the Aghirah for so declares Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala in verses 5 and 6 of Surah Fatir:
"O mankind! Certainly the promise of Allah is true.
Do not let the present life deceive you, nor let the chief deceiver deceive you about Allah."
"Verily Shaythaan is an avowed enemy to you: so treat him as an avowed enemy.
He only invites his followers that they may become companions of the blazing fire."
The Tafseer of these verses states that deception of evil takes two different forms. The seductive temptation of this world may deceive us into forgetting the Aghirah and Shaythaan himself may blind our spiritual vision that we may be easily enticed to follow his ways. Islam, the Din of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala is easy. But, those who deny faith become pleased with what they are doing. We commit evil out of our inflated egos for purely misguided reasons at the expense of our Imaan and developing Taqwa. We forget who we are, what we are, why we are here and where we are heading to.
The story of Nabee Adam Alayhis Salaam, which most certainly applies to each and to everyone of us, demonstrates the haughtiness, the ego, and the pride to which we can all succumb to; yet the inability to turn back is a trait or characteristic of fundamental evil, or of one without Imaan. The characteristic of righteousness is being able to say: "I am sorry"....of being able to say: "I have made a mistake." One must be able to say, first to Rahmatul Liel Ala'meen, and then to those who are amongst us: "Will you please forgive me."
Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala accepts our Taubah because He is dealing with the soul, the inner quality, and the spirituality of man. But, it is on the basis of this worldly life that Shaythaan deceives us and tells us that our pride will not allow us to apologize. We are better than the next one. After all, we are more knowledgeable and to apologize would make us lower than them. Almighty Allah assures us that begging for Taubah and forgiveness raises, it elevates; it does not lower the esteem. Begging for Taubah disciplines and trains the soul because the soul must endure a certain kind of humiliation.
As this life runs its course, there are certain outcomes. There is a consequence, a certain turmoil that will come about which Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala has predicted. It is what occurs when humanity violate the Divine Sharia'h; when we do certain things and we find out that at the end of the spectrum, where we are today, there are certain happenings that have been prophesied. These prophesies are becoming more and more evident and unfolding before our very eyes. The revolution is taking place all over the Doonya in accordance will the Will of the Most Glorious Creator.
These changes that Rahmatul Liel Ala'meen informs us about in the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an is constantly occurring. It is just a matter of being able to see it; of looking at the changes taking place all around us and recognizing the similarities of other corrupt societies that were destroyed. This is the pattern and the Sunnah of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala that is immutable, never changing. As the Ummah of His Most Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam, Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal requires a revolution in our lives before we can change what is in us and what is around us. We must determine whether we are merely passengers on a bus, or whether we are willing to drive the bus. Are we just along for the ride or is it our responsibility and duty to plot the course?
Almighty Allah tells us in no uncertain terms that our Ibadah and all other good deeds are not a favour to Him. He says that Islam is a favour given to us and that we must come to the realization to practice it whether we want to or not. When it is time for Salaat, we make preparations to perform it. We must give and we must abstain. We must struggle and we must sacrifice with our wealth and with our lives. We must be prepared to live and die for the Pleasure of none other than Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala because then and then only will we be entitled to say: "Alhumdoelillah! I am a confirmed Muslim."
The Muslim position is clear. The Muslim does not claim to have a religion peculiar to himself. Islam is not a sect or an ethnic religion, but is a Divine Message for all of mankind. It is the one religion ordained through all the Ambiya Alayhim Salaam. It is the Truth taught by all the inspired Books. In essence it amounts to a consciousness of the Will and Plan of Almighty Allah and a joyful submission to that Will and Plan. If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, he is false to his own nature, as he is false to Almighty Allah's Will and Plan as confirmed to us in verse 85 of Surah Al-Imran:
"And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam never shall it be accepted of him,
and in the Hereafter he shall be one of the losers."
In conclusion, let us take heed of what has been revealed to us in the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an. Again and again Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala describes the fate of nations that have come and gone; how they indulged in evil, how they rejected the signs of Almighty Allah, how they were destroyed and how they ended up in the trash heap history.
"O Ya Rabbal Ala'meen! grant the Ummah of Your Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam the benefits of a good deed in this world, the reward of a good deed in the Aghirah, and protect us eternally from the sufferings and the agony of Jahannum." Ameen.
(Brother Abdul Hamid Lachporia Saheb)