AWAKENING FROM THE HEEDLESSNESS OF THOUGHT; LESSONS FROM THE REVERTS CORNER
“Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, “We are Christians”: because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant. And when they listen to the revelation received by the Messenger, thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they recognise the truth: they pray:
“Our Lord! we believe; write us down among the witnesses.” [Surah Al-Maeda, 5:82-83]
Flashing through the memoirs of some reverts to the fitra (pure state) of Islam and their zeal towards propagating the deen (religion), to unveil the darkness in the eyes of others that have not yet seen the light of Islam; my mind trembled with sorrow. This sorrow is not because of deprivation but, a mindful objection to many of the Muslims (myself inclusive) that were born on this state from birth, and do not see this blessings and favour of Allah as an ultimate gift and the key to success from the state of infancy. It is unfortunate, materialism and lackadaisical attitude has made some of us forget Allah’s Rahma (Mercy) on us.
Thinking of what most of them (reverts) went through before finally entering into the fold of full submission, is a great lesson for many of us that take the deen to be an ordinary form of worship (to reach the Creator alone), whereas, the deen of Islam is more than ordinary form of worship, it is indeed a lifestyle on its own. If we all follow the injunctions of Allah and His Rasul (Muhammad ﷺ), we will all be fine. Perfect lifestyle is in total submission (Islam):
“…This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion…” [Surah Al-Maeda, 5:3].
Some of these reverts have proven to be intelligentsia, with the manner of their insight and the propagation of the deen. To mention a few of these people, we have; Abdullah ibn Salam, Salman Al-Farisî, Marmaduke Pickthall, Muhammad Asad, Khalid Yasin, Gary Miller, Rowland Allanson-Winn, Henry Edward John Stanley, William Abdullah Quilliam, and the conceiver of knowislam.com.ng (Know Islam Project) initiative, Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman.
Activities of these reverts is an applauding one that moved me, and I begin to think about the roles of the Muslims that have already inherited the light (of Islam) from birth. Like a sarcasm on us, most of us do not realise and value the ultimate gift of Allah for making us Muslims. Thus, many of us whine and dine in the light of Islam and refused to take up responsibilities, to the extent that some even neglect the obligated duties and responsibilities. They feel relaxed because they are already in light (guidance). The consequences of not doing our assignment makes some of the Muslims bask in ignorance and negligence, and others in excessiveness on the religion. While some don the garb of liberalism, others swim in the river of extremism.
Personal experience has shown that the situation of liberalism and extremism is mostly caused by parental guidance; as majority of the parents and guardians do not heed to the call of Allah. Some of the knowledgeable ones are being conspired into the life of materialism; that much of their time is given to the activities that accumulate wealth, and they barely had time to perform the obligated acts, let alone the recommended acts. Many abandon the obligated and recommended duties of guiding their offsprings. So these offsprings that are not grounded in the knowledge and understanding of the deen become the product of Extremist and Liberalist in Islam. Hence negligence and harshness become part of their belief.
And Allah reminded us in the Qur’ân, Surah Aal-e-Imran, Verse 104:
وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful.”
“…And it is they who are the successful.” Allah enjoined the responsibility of calling and inviting people to what is good, and keeping people away from evil act on the Muslims; and that these people are the successful. Unheeding attitude of most Muslims make this responsibility to be seen as uncalled for. The responsibilities that most of us refused to take is now being taken up by some of these reverts. Being aware of the loophole of many of the Muslims Ummah make them strengthen themselves on the injunctions of Allah. And having exposed to the truth of Islam, and the understanding of the injunctions of Allah, these reverts stood firm to guiding the unheeded ones, on the chosen lifestyle (Islam).
If these people that have struggled through the state of darkness into the light of Islam, could actually realised the necessity of calling others, that are trembling on the path of error, and they took up the challenge towards enjoining all that is good (right conduct), and forbidding all that is wrong (indecency); What about many of us that are on this path since birth? It is so demeaning on most of us, that we couldn’t see the light within ourselves, to be able to share the sacred words of Allah and His Rasul (Muhammad ﷺ), to those that are not privileged from birth. Many of us actually gave in to the rat race of life, perpetrated by the Chief deceiver (Shaytan) to lure mankind in order to distract us from righteous act, as he was convicted for the crime of proudness and disobedience to Allah’s Order. He (Shaytan) expressed arrogance to his Creator:
Surah Al-Baqara, Verse 34:
وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ أَبَىٰ وَاسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ
“And (remember) when We said to the angels: “Prostrate yourselves before Adam.”. And they prostrated except Iblis (Satan), he refused and was proud and was one of the disbelievers (disobedient to Allah).”
Because he was rejected for his act of disobedience and arrogance, thus, he promised to mislead mankind from the straight path (total submission to Allah’s Will, Islam), so that mankind may follow his path (of error) and become the congregation of Jahannam (Hellfire) with himself. (Iblis) said: “Because You have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. they will not be dutiful to You).” [Surah Al-Araf, 7:16-17]
Hence Allah warn mankind beforehand not to be weary on the remembrance of Allah and the performance of righteous deeds. That we should not heed towards the path of error prepared by Shaytan: “O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaitan (Satan). And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaitan (Satan), then, verily he commands Al-Fahsha’ [i.e. to commit indecency (illegal sexual intercourse, etc.)], and Al-Munkar [disbelief and polytheism (i.e. to do evil and wicked deeds; to speak or to do what is forbidden in Islam, etc.)]. And had it not been for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure from sins. But Allah purifies (guides to Islam) whom He wills, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” [Surah An-Noor, 24:21]
Many times, Allah display the plots of Shaytan in His book (Qur’ân); “Shaitan (Satan) threatens you with poverty and orders you to commit Fahsha (evil deeds, illegal sexual intercourse, sins etc.); whereas Allah promises you Forgiveness from Himself and Bounty, and Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.” [Surah Al-Baqara, 2:268], and the expression of our Noble Prophet, Muhammad (ﷺ), for he declared in his last sermon: ion. “Beware of Satan for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.” [Ibn Hisham: As-Sirah an-Nabawiyyah]. Thus, many of the Ummah are giving in to Shaitan’s trick and deception in the name of passion and fashion of the time. This situation is common among many Muslims that some do not even regard the way (Sunnah) of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) to be an acceptable standard for them to model their life on. Whereas Allah says:
وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ
“And verily, you (O Muhammad SAW) are on an exalted way of life.” [Surah Al-Qalam, 68:4] And as recommended example for mankind to follow: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad SAW) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” [Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:21]
Learning from the reverts corner. Thus, this serves to awaken us from the heedlessness of thought to the injunctions and commandments of Allah, and that we strengthen our self (body and soul) towards attaining the mercy of Allah, Fii Dunya wal-Akhira (in this life and the Lifeafter).
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
“Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!” [Surah Al-Baqara, 2:201]