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Ideal Muslimness [1]

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

In the name of God, Compassionate, Merciful بسم الله الرحمن الرحيمِ | Peace be with you السلام عليكم

Reaching the reachable
by Dr. al-Hashimi. Revamped by Sr. Zaufishan
"The ideal muslim personality has no comparison. A muslim's humanity literally glows in every aspect of life. They are people of high moral character with their relationships with parents, family, friends and society at large...."
...Sound too idealistic? The problem with Islam is that it's got a pretty weak membership. The beautiful, fundamental essence of muslimess has been floundered about over the centuries and thrashed against competing forces like wars, industrialization, imperialism, socialism, feminism, and every other –ism on the planet. And so, the muslim community is left without a Khilafa and a handful of exquisite muslim icons who work breathlessly to represent their chosen lifestyle.

Dr. Hashimi's book is simplistic in its approach and fascinating in exploring the real depths of defining:muslimness. A superhuman-like samaritan whose mission is to serve humanity and sacrifice his talents and live for Allah etc etc, it all sounds a bit god-like to actually live by, but I believe it can be done.
The only failing of ‘The Ideal Muslim’ is that after being translated, the practicalities of attaining this muslimness became hidden in the coddling English. A new edited version reads below…

Amongst our lives today, every inch of land, with all our technology, usurping media, troubled muslim lands and political conference after yawn-inspiring political conference, muslims need to hold onto something tangible they can see hope in. Saying ‘have more taqwah!’ isn’t enough for a person leading a monotonous life. So, what do we do? Firstly, take a breath and begin in Allah’s name sincerely. You can’t do everything, especially not on the first go and there’s no benefit from complaining over something you can’t control.

While most of Islam’s teachings are obligatory upon men and women alike, some aspects of the faith are emphasized more for one gender than the other. An obvious example is the dress code, where emphasis is on the women attire more so, although it shouldn’t be forgotten that men are instructed to dress modestly too. Remember that men were commanded to lower their gaze and guard their modesty before women were told. You heard the Lord; don’t be preaching and screeching at a woman when the muslim man wont stop wearing his short shorts. Certain prohibitions also apply only to men i.e. wearing of gold and silk.
Education is the key. It’s the most important thing a muslim has. Without ‘ilm, a person cannot do anything. I once heard an American friend saying how being muslim is like a fireman; everything is burning down and it’s your job to put it out. They’re always alert and running into houses rescuing people and putting out the fires. ‘You can’t just walk into a burning house’ I thought. It could be dangerous, you don’t know how many people are in it, you don’t know the cause, the layout of the house and where everything is. What you need is a blueprint. You need training of the safety procedures and a level of communication to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

Without that knowledge, that education, everything will keep burning into ashes. But another point I’d make here is that society does not change overnight or ‘stop burning’ just because a muslim runs round stamping his muslimness onto everything he touches. No. It has got to start from within. No person is going to listen to the muslim talking about what’s haram and halal and how to get to heaven, if his actions don’t’ match his words. And actions my dear friends, always speak louder than words. Did you know, over the thousands of ahadith of the Prophet of Allah (pbuh), the most common of them, those that were reported the most… Do you know what they contain? Was it what he said? No. Was it what he preached to his companions, did he spend his life preaching? No. It was his actions. His behaviour to his children. His care to his wives. His attention to his friends. It was his actions, emanating like a 100w bulb from his heart, that changed the people around him.

And this is the rehabilitation we desperately need as muslims, to keep striving on that straight path, that Siraat-il Mustaqeem. To get back on that road to reach the goal of becoming an ideal muslim that people will love and Allah will love.

Through all this there are a few simple conditions, a few steps that are necessary before we try to convert our egos and mentalities. One is the need for balance. Keep everything moderate. Check your anger when something really hits that nerve, look at how you’re treating the different people around you – giving the best friend so many smiles and compliments but asking the other to ‘call me later, I’m busy’.
‘There had come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book- where Allah guides all who seek His good pleasure to ways of peace and safety, and leads them out of darkness, by His Will unto the light- guides them to a path that is straight’ (5:15-16)
With this guidance, life becomes better, enjoyable. The 1st step towards this guidance involves the formation of a sincere Muslim individual who will present a vivid and beautiful picture of Islam, so that when people see him, they will see the true Islam in action, and when they meet him/deal with him, their Imaan-faith, will increase. (note: a sign of a pious person= when you meet them you are reminded of Allah). This is exactly what the Prophet (pbuh) did at the beginning of his da’wah- spreading Islam, when he tried to mould individuals who would embody Islam and become ‘Walking Qurans’ on earth. They were a unique example of a unique way of life. When people saw this life embodied in sincere, believing individuals, they themselves embraced and entered Islam into crowds. And we still need such unique individuals today, as without them life is unbearable, decent values cannot be upheld and the true pure light of Islam cannot shine.
What are you waiting for – become that ideal Muslim. I dare you.
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Thank you. Have you read Muslimness.com?