When rituals are not connected to the principles, all it’s left is an empty vase. This is the best way to kill a religion. The People of the Book did it. And we’re doing the same.
If you understand the general principles of Islam, you don’t need to know each one of its applications. As to applications, there are many, but the principles are few.
The purpose of the rituals is to reinforce the principles. On one end, we develop a unique relationship with God based on consciousness, gratitude, patience, thoughtfulness, and love. On the other end, the fruits of this relation are manifested in the way we work, relax, or interact with others.
I always had a problem with the concept of slavery to Allah, until the day I learned that no matter what, Humans enslave themselves to something. In the end, freedom is a matter of choosing our master.
Loyalty is not to imams, sheikhs, or groups. Loyalty is to beneficial knowledge wherever it’s found.
There is no correlation between knowledge and faith. Some Israelites are described in the Quran as people of great knowledge, but their hearts were as hard as rocks.
“Indeed, Allah would never change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” Every Muslim knows that change comes from within. How many Muslims are waiting for change?
Muslims want perfection from you. Allah wants progress. If you ignore the first and hold on to the second, you’ll be fine.
Before you say I tried everything and give up, remember that Noah counseled his people for 950 years!
Before telling me how you are different from other Muslims, tell me what you have in common with them.
Some Muslims have made Islam so complicated that you can’t scratch your head without a hadith that allows you to do so.
‘If we are behind today, it’s because of the Mongols who burned libraries in 1258!’, some people say. In 1945, Japan received two atomic bombs on its head. Today, Japan is known for innovation, quality, and hard work. The culture of excuses equals suicide.
When we forgot the universality of Islam, it’s normal that the world doesn’t understand what’s this religion is about.
Newton’s first law states the obvious: An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. For Muslims to move from rest to motion, we need the kind of force that lifts off a rocket to travel upwards. It starts by developing a severe allergy to rigidity, status quo, and mediocrity.
For Muslims to get out of rigidity, we need three things:
- Discover what we were
- Reimagine what we can be
- Realize where we are today and how to get from A to B
About realization, Confucius said: “We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.” Let’s waste no time in the futile.
Endless debates are waste of time. The ego stands in the way and creates more hatred between people. In the end, everyone sticks to their opinions.
We can’t keep the same mindset and hope for things to get better. As Einstein said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”.
In the Quran, the Queen of Sheba is one of the rarest leaders who accepted the message. Most of the other leaders, like the Pharaoh, brought ruin to their people. Moral: give more space to women to express their wisdom and leadership.
Historically, unity has been motivated by enemies in common. Here are some enemies against whom we can unite: ignorance and poverty.
Schools teach us the merits of individualism and competition. Islam teaches us to compete for good deeds and to cooperate for the rest.
Don’t worry about changing all Muslims at once. You just need to signal yourself to a few of them. In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell showed that it’s possible to spread ideas and create change with few souls.
The change will come from the Muslims with a vision. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery said: “If you want to build a flotilla of ships you don’t sit around and talk about carpentry. You set the saws ablaze with visions of exploring distant shores.”
Muslims Millenials and Gen Z have something other Muslims never had: The Internet. Beneficial knowledge and innovative ideas are more accessible than ever.
Not every Muslim wants lectures and Islamic sciences. By limiting our offer to the Muslim audience, some gifts will never blossom to see the sunlight.
There’s nothing original in what I’ve said, but it needs to be repeated over and over again. The French author Andre Gide once wrote: “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.”
Allah grants success to whoever He wants. Our part is to make the effort with good intentions in heart. The rest is none of our business.
May God blesses our passage on Earth and grants us success in our endeavors.
Article posted the 30 January 2021
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