January 3, 2022

What kind of Muslim are you?

A silly question! Isn’t it? Muslims do not have kinds. At least they did not at the time of the Prophet SAAWS. In his days, either a person was a Muslim or a Kaafir (non-believer). If someone claimed to be Muslim but did not act, think or behave like one, he was called a Munaafiq (hypocrite). So the non-Muslims could be Kaafir or Munaafiq, but a Muslim was just a Muslim.

Unfortunately, over time, like the earlier Ummahs of the previous prophets, Muslims have changed in many ways. They have:

  • Stopped practising,
  • Become degenerated,
  • Moved away from Prophet’s pure Islam,
  • Ritualized Islam like other religions, losing the real Islamic spirit;
  • Added new practices in the matters of religion;
  • Changed the emphasis on things differently from the wisdom and the way of the Prophet; or,
  • Started picking and choosing from among the essential parts of Islam.
  •  

    These changes in the attitudes of the Muslims have created different kinds of Muslims in addition to the real Muslims that the Prophet was sent for. Starting with the real Muslims -- the kind of Muslims the Prophet wanted to see, the following paragraphs portray two of the major categories of Muslims found nowadays. But remember, these descriptions are provided for each person’s self evaluation, not for judging others.

    The Real Muslims

    These are the people who have accepted Allaah SWT consciously, willingly and happily as their God as well as the only and ultimate Lord, Master, Sovereign, Supporter, Guardian and Decision maker in all matters of their life. They have voluntarily submitted to Allaah SWT as His slaves to live every moment of their life as the Master wants. Every choice or decision they make is made on the basis of what Allaah SWT would like them to do in that moment and for that aspect of their life. Every hour of their life is spent with the intention of seeking Allaah’s pleasure and approval and with the consciousness of avoiding Allaah’s displeasure or disapproval. In everything they do, Allaah SWT is always in their mind. Their whole life revolves around Allaah SWT or in other words, they are Allaah-centred.

    They eat and breathe for Allaah SWT and live and die for Him. Their mind and consciousness are overwhelmingly preoccupied with Allaah’s remembrance. They sleep thinking about him and wake up remembering him. They feel Allaah’s presence around them and strive to be the best in His Presence. In addition to the informal remembrance of Allaah SWT in everything they think, say or do, they perform acts of obligatory and optional worship at the prescribed times throughout the day. In the last hours of night, they wake up to stand, bow and prostrate in worship of Allaah SWT. Those wee hours of morning are their most favourite time of worship for which they sleep early to be able to get up early. However, their worship, whether obligatory or optional, is not as a mechanical ritual, but as a passionate act of devotion in which their whole self is submerged and both their mind and soul are imbued with the spirit of submission, humility and surrender. Their preoccupation is not with the physical appearances or the intricate rules of performing the worship but with the spirit, emotions, mental state and attitude during the worship.

    In addition to feeling the presence of Allaah SWT in their consciousness throughout their awake hours, they have such a realistic understanding of the majesty of Allaah SWT that when anyone mentions Allaah’s name in front of them, they feel overawed by His Greatness and feel a shiver throughout their body and humility in their psyche.

    Continuous remembrance of Allaah SWT, however, does not keep them from a normal worldly life. They do not spend all or most of their time performing rituals of worships. Rather, they live with their families, deal with their neighbours, socialize with their friends and relatives, study and acquire knowledge, work and conduct business and all other affairs of life as a normal human being should. But they do all these things in the best possible manner and to the standard of excellence that Allaah SWT desires of them. While performing their worldly tasks, Allaah SWT remains the centre of their thoughts, their aspirations and their plans for life. Whether they acquire wealth or spend it, accumulate knowledge or abandon a pursuit, make friendships or break relations, love something or dislike it, it is all for Allaah SWT. Their likes and dislikes are totally in tune with those of Allaah SWT. And it is not so because they feel obliged to do so. It is because their intellect and their hearts are fully and enthusiastically convinced of the beauty and wisdom of Allaah’s commands. If the whole world approves of something but Allaah SWT disapproves it, they unquestionably disapprove it. If Allaah SWT likes something, they love it even if the whole world hates it. That is why they are never traditionalists. They do not care much about the customs, traditions and the norms of their societies. They rather replace the existing customs and traditions with the Islamic values and practices even if they are alone in doing so.

    While trying to excel morally and socially in worldly affairs, their priority remains seeking Allaah’s pleasure, fulfilling their obligations to Allaah SWT, and to exert their utmost for the greatest obligation from Allaah SWT , i.e., continually struggling (doing Jihad) to make the Islamic way of life dominant in the world. In fulfilling all these Islamic obligations, they work hard to the best of their abilities and to the highest degree of excellence but they trust in Allaah SWT for the results. Their focus is on the quality of their inputs not the quantity of the output and their worry is if they themselves are doing their best not what and how much others should be doing.

    They are the people whose heart beats declare,

    “My worship, my sacrifices, my living and my death is all for Allaah, the Sustainer of the Universe.”  

    They know that the reality of Islam is,

    “To love Allaah SWT, your lord, with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your might” as mentioned by Moses and Jesus peace be upon them.

    Their profound feeling of being the willing and happy slaves of Allaah SWT leads them to the deep love and affection for the last and the most special Messenger of Allaah SWT, Muhammad Sall-Allaahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam. That is where they see a complete, practical example par excellence of the slavery and servitude to Allaah SWT. That is where they find the perfect model of obedience, surrender and dedication to Allaah SWT which model they try to emulate. That is where they learn the wisdom of how to transform the whole life into the style that Allaah SWT wants us to live in. That is where they learn what are appropriate religious priorities; what is the most important and what is the least important; what comes first and what can be left to the last. That is from where they learn to become dynamic and flexible revolutionary slaves as against being stuck in the rigidity of ritualism and rules of performing rituals. That is where they are ignited with the passionate flame for the struggle to bring the whole mankind to the slavery of Allaah SWT instead of pacified spiritualism of ritual worship. In following the model of the Prophet (Sunnah) with love and commitment, they enthusiastically dedicate their lives to the struggle of making Allaah’s religion supreme just as the Prophet dedicated his life for that purpose, while at the same time trying their best to adopt the same excellence in personality and conduct as was the way of the Prophet. It is from his Sunnah that they get the wisdom of balancing the Jihad obligations against the family obligations whether in terms of spending time, energies, resources, money or attention.

    Another Sunnah very dear to their heart is standing up for the right, supporting the weak and disadvantaged, witnessing the truth and boldly presenting it even if it is dangerous to do so or even if it goes against their own interests. As per the Sunnah of their beloved Prophet, they are meek, humble and forgiving when dealings with people in their personal affairs; but very firm, steadfast and aggressive if Allaah’s laws or Islamic sanctities are broken or disrespected.

    Obedience to the commandments of Allaah SWT (Qur’aan) with the willing spirit of slavery and following the footsteps and the model of the Prophet (Sunnah) is what Islam is all about. The true Muslims follow Islam totally, completely, wholly and solely in every aspect of their life. And they are happy and excited in doing so. Non-Islamic practices have no value for them, hence, they do not feel deprived because of the Islamic restrictions. They do not feel left out because of Islam, rather they feel blessed because of it. They do not feel restricted by its provisions rather they feel protected from the ill effects of the Haraam. They do not feel pressured to perform Islamic practices, rather they feel honoured and privileged. They are never apologetic or shy about any of the teaching of Islam, rather they are enthusiastically proud of it. They find the slavery of Allaah SWT really liberating from the servitude of the human beings and from the pressures of the society.

    Knowing that Islam is the only way of life Allaah SWT has approved for people, they make it the mission of their life and the reason for their existence to strive for making it the universal way of life and the dominant world order. Day and night they are always thinking of the wise ways, gentle approaches, tactful styles, efficient means and effective tools to make it happen. The demands of this mission take precedence over their non-critical personal and family needs.

    As Islam is the religion of people living together in a very organized way, they never break away from their community and try their best to bring people together rather than break them apart. Come what may, they always stay with the community and avoid and discourage making breakaway groups. Also they strictly follow the rules and regulations set up for the betterment of the community. In fact, they are meticulous in following the directives and policies of their leadership.

    Understanding the huge responsibilities they have from their Master and realizing the kind of efforts it takes from the Sunnah of the prophet, they are very conscious about how and where their time is spent. Hence they do not have any time for leisure or useless, meaningless activities. In fact they avoid any activity which is not an act of slavery to Allaah SWT or which is not going to lead them towards their goal of Islamic dominance. They get more relaxation and enjoyment from exerting themselves in the way of Allaah SWT (Jihad) than anyone can get from any hobby or leisure activity in the world.

    Their enthusiasm about Allaah SWT, His Messenger and Islam pervades not only their hearts, intellects and souls but also their wealth, resources and pockets. They eagerly and generously spend in the way of Allaah SWT, rather than spending on their frivolous, non-essential family needs or desires. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances of the Ummah, their spending in the way of Allaah SWT may even take precedence over their basic family needs. Not only their wealth and resources, but also they are ever ready to sacrifice their careers, businesses, friendships and relationships for the sake of Islamic struggle. Realizing that the act of balancing the demands of worldly life and family obligations against the demands of life-long struggle for the supremacy of Islam in such a way that neither is short changed is like walking on a tight rope that is thin like a hair and sharp like a sword, they keep a close watch on how and where their attention and resources are being spent and readjust as needed.

    These are the people about whom the prophet said:

    “A person who is pleased to accept Allaah SWT as his Lord, Muhammad as prophet (model) and Islam as his only way of life is the one has really experienced the taste of the faith.” And,

    “The person who gives for Allaah, refuses for Allaah, loves for Allaah and disapproves for Allaah, has perfected the faith.”

    This is the way of life of the blessed for which we pray in every Raka’ah of every Salaah when we say,

     “Guide us to the straight path -- the path of those upon whom You bestowed favours.”

    Other than True Muslims

    The Duaa mentioned in the previous paragraph does not stop there. It continues, “Who did not incur wrath and were not misguided.” If the qualities of the people who attract Allaah’s favours are as described above, what are the characteristics of people who attract Allaah’s wrath or who go astray. The prime example of the people who grossly incurred the Wrath is that of the Jews and the primary example of the Misguided is that of the Christians. Unfortunately, many Muslims have also adopted the same attitudes as the Jews or the Christians had done before Islam. We can call those Muslims the ‘Jewish Muslims’ and the ‘Christian Muslims’. These two terms may sound like oxymorons, but in reality they are very true. One may ask, How can a Muslim be Jewish or Christian. Ideally it can not be. Practically, as the ensuing paragraphs will show, Muslims do have adopted Jewish mentality or Christian attitude while claiming to believe in Islam. This is despite serious warnings from the Prophet SAAWS to Muslims not to follow the footsteps of Jews and Christians.

    The Jewish Muslims

    The Jews were the Muslims of their time before they became the Jews because of their attitude and behaviour. Just as us, Muslims, they were given the same responsibility of excelling in morals and service to humanity, spreading Islam, making Islam the dominant world order and establishing the kingdom of God. They did not fulfill their Islamic responsibilities and rather adopted an attitude we can call Jewish attitude. For that, they were cursed and the Holy Qur’aan repeatedly mentions about their incurring the wrath of Allaah SWT.

    The question is why were they condemned? What were the personality traits, attitude and mentality because of which they were characterized as Jew instead of Muslims? After all, When Jesus came to them, the majority of the Jews still believed in oneness of Allaah SWT, they avoided images in worship and they performed the rituals of their religion.

    When they were cursed with the wrath of Allaah SWT, they still believed the Torah to be the sacred and respect-worthy word of God. They handled it with utmost reverence. They believed in the miraculous powers of Torah and recited it for blessing their homes and businesses, They recited its verses for getting out of difficult personal or family circumstances. They hanged verses of Torah on their doors for barakah and decorated their houses with Torah plaques. They were very meticulous about the rules of Fiqh in the rituals of religion, about purity (taharah), about performance of worship, about marriage and death ceremonies and things like that. They would go to great lengths in asking Fiqh questions, arguing the issues and discussing and splitting hair on the matters of Fiqh. In fact, their quest for details of Fiqh and definite pronouncements for every imaginable situation had made the rules of the religion very cumbersome, onerous and too demanding. The common people who wanted to practice religion were straight-jacketed by the rules of Fiqh. Appearances and forms had taken great importance in their religion. All the religious sentiments were attached to and all attention focused on totally insignificant matters like washing hands for eating, donning caps (yarmulkes) on their head, growing beards and locks, wearing traditional clothes and celebrating some religious and quasi-religious festivals. This was the condition of their majority (especially Pharisees). Some of the Jews (Sadducees), however, had gone to the other extreme and become modernists who wanted to be in good books with the Romans by changing their lifestyle to the lifestyle of Romans and the thinking style to that of Greek philosophers. Some others (Essenes) had started going to the extreme in spiritual direction by abandoning the world, living in isolation, adopting celibacy and dedicating themselves entirely to the performance of the religious rituals. But all in all they had abandoned the propagation of the religion and working collectively in unison for the supremacy of Islam.

    In short, instead of keeping the Islamic attitude of:

    • Accepting Allaah’s sovereignty and Lordship completely in all aspects of life;
    • Submitting to the Will of Allaah in all affairs of life purely for the sake of becoming His obedient slaves;
    • Making Torah the sole determinant of their lifestyle and manifesto of a revolutionary movement;
    • Living according to the spirit of the commandment of God in the Torah and excelling in their day to day conduct; and,
    • Dedicating themselves to a lifelong struggle (Jihad) for the Islamic revolution, establishment of the kingdom of God and making Islam the dominant world order.
    • They had adopted the attitude of:
    • Treating Torah as a means of blessings and Barakah;
    • Being so world-oriented as to resort to the worship of Allaah SWT only for the worldly objectives and benefits (like success in business, winning lawsuits, etc.);
    • Performing the acts of worship as mechanical rituals -- not the acts of passionate obedience and humility to Allaah;
    • Emphasizing the ritualistic laws and rules at the cost of the spirit of the commandments and the excellence they should bring to the conduct;
    • Being consumed by the insignificant and unnecessary rules of rituals while completely ignoring the revolutionary duties entrusted by Allaah SWT, and not dedicating much time to the work of spreading the message of religion; and,
    • Believing in hidden meanings and powers of the sacred texts, esotericism and mystic practices. Believing in and using things like cabalah, charms and amulets.

    This un-Islamic attitude to religion had become so ingrained in the minds and the religious institutions of the Jews that they won’t listen to any prophet who was sent to correct their attitude and direction. During all these infractions they thought they were true Jews. In loyalty to their ritualistic approach to religion, they harshly treated the prophets sent to them to bring them aright. Allaah SWT sent prophet after prophets to bring them back to Islam, but, as a whole, they remained stuck to their Jewish life style. Finally, prophet Jesus was sent to woo them back to Allaah, moral excellence and to their duties of spreading Islam and establishing kingdom of God. Jesus was sent with the most astounding miracles so that the Jews would clearly know that Jesus was extraordinarily special person form Allaah SWT who was presenting the true essence of religion to them and if they did not listen to him they would be subjected to the harshest wrath of Allaah SWT.

    To deal with their ritualistic and Fiqh dominated mentality, Jesus told them that the greatest commandment of the religion of Allaah SWT is to love Allaah SWT with all one’s heart, all one’s soul, all one’s mind and one’s might. (Matt 22:37) He talked about the unnecessary burdens the religious authorities and scholars of Fiqh had placed on people through their detailed pronouncements of Fiqh. He addressed the teachers of Fiqh and ritualistic religious authorities as hypocrites, blind guides, snakes and sons of snakes. For their emphasis on rules of rituals instead of the passionate obedience of Allaah SWT that brings excellence in all affairs of one’s life, he used the example of them calculating Zakaah (tithe) on small things like mint but neglecting justice, mercy and honesty. For their emphasis on trivial things of religion but disregarding the significant issues, teachers of law (Fiqh) and Pharisees (Faqeehs and Mufti’s) were told, “You strain a fly but swallow a camel.” For their emphasis on outwardly appearance, he gave example “You are like whitewashed tombs that look fine on the outside but inside are full of decaying corpses.” And “You clean the outside of the cup and plate while the inside is full of what you have gotten by violence and selfishness.” (Matt. 23) To cure their love of the worldly life he called on them to leave their jobs and take time out of their family affairs to serve the Islamic movement he had started.

    Some Jews listened to him and followed him in the same manner as the real Muslims follow the Prophet SAAWS and Islam. They gave their full heart and soul to Allaah SWT. They became the new Muslims of Jesus’ time. The remaining population remained Jew to be condemned and cursed. Although the fact that the Jews should love Allaah SWT with all their heart, mind, soul and might was still clearly documented in their scriptures but they had disregarded it completely. They did not heed the reminders of this message even from Jesus and missed that last opportunity. Hence, they were condemned with Allaah’s wrath.

    Unfortunately, majority of the Muslims treat religion nowadays in the same way for which the Jews were condemned. Instead of attaining excellence in your conduct, being passionate in your worship of Allaah SWT and dedicating considerable time of your life for the supremacy and propagation of Islam, if your preoccupation in religious affairs is things like: holding gatherings for Khatme-Quraan, Aayat kareemah or Soorah Yaseen; raising issues about cap, the length of the trousers or shirt-sleeves just for the purposes of Salaah; the length / shape of beard; placing of hands and positioning of feet in Qiyaam; manner of raising finger in Qa‘dah; and, the shape of the physical structure of the Masjid; and/or if you go into too much little details of Fiqh rules, give too many pronouncements on what is acceptable / unacceptable in minute issues, or ask too many questions about little things; or you use taaweez, amulets, charms and assign numerical values to Qur’aanic alphabets; you fall in this category. The litmus test is that a Jewish Muslim has no time, desire or concern for working tirelessly with an Islamic movement for the supremacy of Islam and establishment of an Islamic state and whenever little time they give to religion it is given to the performance of some traditional (self-serving) rituals concentrating on the form, appearances and that sort of things.

    The Messenger SAAWS came to free people from too many rules, hence, gave broad and diverse guidelines within which people can have flexibility and ease. He did not want to overwhelm people with burden of detailed regulations. Instead of spending energies on teaching the form and appearances, he put all emphasis on the spirit in the performance of the worship. His mission was to develop revolutionary, dynamic soldiers of Islam, who will give the topmost priority to the domination and supremacy of Islam, not ritualistic people entangled in the web of intricate rules.

    If your approach to Islam resembles Jewish approach, please re-read the description of the true Muslims to identify where the correction in the approach and attitude is needed.

    The Christian Muslims

    Not long after Jesus’ departure, the Christians took his personality and his teachings to the extremes beyond limit so that they completely lost the way of Islam. There extremism and misguidance was most pronounced in three areas.

    As the Jews had reduced the religion to ritualistic formalities and legalistic intricacies, to bring them back on track, Jesus had emphasized the love of Allaah SWT and the spirit of obedience more than the Fiqh and the laws. The Christians blew his de-emphasis of the law totally out of proportion despite Jesus’ clear pronouncement on the fact the law must be fulfilled. They abandoned the law and Fiqh completely. They went to the other extreme and got rid of all rules of Tahaarah, Halaal and Haraam. All rules of the religion were regarded unnecessary.

    Jesus emphasized passionate love of Allaah SWT as the prime objective of Islam. The Christian gave their love but not to Allaah SWT. The object of love became Jesus instead of Allaah SWT. In their love and respect for the prophet Jesus, they deified him and started worshipping him instead of Allaah SWT. They regarded Jesus as the manifestation of Allaah SWT,  hence, Allaah himself. They started celebrating his Milaad, and other important events in his life. They started singing hymns (Naats and Qaseedahs) for him. That became an important part of their religious activity. They started calling upon him for help, support and intercession to earn the grace to enter into heaven. Thus, Allaah SWT and His law were totally abandoned and replaced with Jesus’ personality cult.

    To cure Jews’ overindulgence in worldly and carnal affairs, Jesus emphasized the need to make sacrifices for the religion and de-emphasized career and family responsibilities, the religious Christians took that teaching to the extreme as well. They regarded the fulfillment of moderate family responsibilities to be against spirituality and aggrandized abandoning the world completely.

    Thus, in all three essential matters of religion: the faith, the law and the spirituality, they are misguided. Despite their being astray, they are mostly dedicated in following their religion. As against Jews’ carelessness for the propagation of the religion, the Christians allocate a lot of their time and resources and make a lot of sacrifices for their misguided religion. Hence, they were classified separately from the Jews into the misguided category.

    All those Muslims whose religious attitude and emphasis resembles the Christian approach are the Christian Muslims. Although they are using the name of Muhammad SAAWS as compared to that of Jesus Alaihissalaam, they are as misguided as the Christians. The Prophet SAAWS did not come to put his own name and/or personality in place of Jesus, but to bring people to acclaim: “My formal worship, my sacrifice, my life and my death are all for Allaah, the Lord of the Universe.”

    If you find yourself venerating the person of the Prophet or spending your time in Qaseedah’s for the Prophet instead of following his footsteps (Sunnah) and carrying out his mission (Islamic Dawah); or, if the extent of your religiosity is the celebration of Milaad and Mi’raaj, or you equate spirituality with abandoning the worldly life, you fall in this category. If Allaah SWT did not like Christians for their misguided religious attitudes, he is not going to accept that kind of attitudes from those who claim to be Muslims - specially after His most wonderful messenger, Muhammad SAAWS, has so clearly identified the straight path. Please re-read the description about the true Muslims so that you can make necessary adjustments in your attitude and religious approach.

    This distinction between true Islam and the Jewish and Christian approach to religion is such  an important thing to remember that Allaah SWT made it obligatory for us to pray in its regard in every Rakaah of every Salaah. When, at the end of Surah Faatihah we say, “Guide us to the straight path - the path of those upon whom You bestowed Your favours,”, we are mainly asking Allaah SWT to help us become like the true Muslims who did not behave like Jews or Christians.

    By reflecting on the Jewish and Christian traits as compared to the true Muslim attitudes, you will see how beautifully Islam saves us from the extremes and brings balance and moderation in our life. Alas! We have let Shaytaan lead us away from that beautiful balance. Not only we have lost the balance, we lost it badly and without realizing it. Normally, one would expect that people on one extreme will not have the characteristics of the people on the other extreme. Unfortunately, there are some people who combine the characteristics of both Jewish and Christian attitudes. One such group is the so-called Sufi’s of our era. Their mysticism and esotericism originates form Jewish roots and their exaggerations mimic the Christian misguidance.

    The ‘Wanna be’ Muslims

    The above-mentioned  classification, which relates to the Duaa we make in the Soorah Faatihah, is based on a person’s outlook, attitude and understanding of the purpose and spirit of Islam. Another way to look at the different kind of Muslims is from the perspective of the level of commitment and actions.

    The true Muslims, as described in the first part, have a well balanced lifestyle and approach to everything. The balance and moderation is reflected in every aspect of life and Islamic activities. Although maintaining this balance is a very delicate task and is regarded as if walking a tight rope that is thinner than a hair and sharper than a sword, they strive every hour of their life to maintain that balance according to the Islamic / family needs of that hour. Their main criteria in doing so are the models of the Sunnah of the Prophet SAAWS and his companions. These true Muslims can be visionaries or followers. Visionaries have a vivid picture in their mind of their Islamic goals and objective and a well thought out strategy to accomplish them. At every juncture where decision has to be made, they can clearly visualize a true Islamic society and its functioning and can set their course and direction to reach there. The followers may not have a clear vision of the future but they have clear understanding of their responsibilities and dedication to follow through and fulfill those responsibilities.

    Sometimes Muslims may have a fair and reasonable understanding of Islam but their level of action and commitment may be lacking for a variety of reasons. We may call them ‘Wanna be’ Muslims because they are not at the level of real Muslims but they want to be there.

    They can be any of the following:

    The Daydreamers

    They are the people who have superficial, but proper understanding of Islam and of the kind of relationship a Muslim should have with Allaah and His messenger. However, this understanding has not become immersed in their hearts, mind and souls. That is why they talk about it and they dream about an Islamic state and Islamic society but they are almost zero practically. Neither are their own life style reflective of the true Muslim’s life style in terms of the strength of relationship with Allaah nor do they dedicate any time or efforts for bringing any change in the society. Although they talk and argue about Islam relentlessly, they hardly contribute anything practically either to their own success in the Hereafter or to the success of the Islamic movement. They have though a lot of pride in their Islamic knowledge and understanding and they keep dreaming about doing something about it.

    The difference between day dreamers and visionaries is that the visionaries walk their talk and they do so in a very systematic, organized and planned manner while the dreamers just dream, talk and waste their time in talking and discussing without having any strategies, goals, action plans and personal commitment or dedication.

    The day dreamers do not harm anyone through their dreams except themselves. They harm themselves through their inactivity and thus losing the chance to attain the success in the Hereafter.

    The Diplomats

    The diplomats will not say or do publicly anything that will be controversial or unpopular. Unlike the people who have an opinion on everything, the diplomats are on the other extreme expressing no opinion on anything. They will not take a public or vocal stand on any issues, will not speak up even for serious issues and will play neutral even at critical points. Keeping themselves away from any controversy is their primary concern. They will even walk away from the situations where the Prophet would have taken a stand.

    These people can not create any change in the society because the process of change starts with taking a different point of view, opinion, attitude or action that is not popular or generally accepted in the society. Although these people are usually very popular and well-thought of in the Muslim community, they are away from true Islamic spirit because Islam is all about creating a change towards the better and the Muslim is the agent of change.

    The spoilers

    They are the day dreamers who are emotional and easily excitable. Not only they daydream without doing anything practically, but they get carried away so much in their daydreams that they get pumped up way beyond reality. They also lack depth in their Islamic knowledge and the understanding of the progressive stages of the Islamic movement as shown by the Sunnah of the Prophet SAAWS. Consequently they end up doing or saying the kind of things that hurt Islamic cause rather than helping it. Often, they end up doing totally improper acts which are not suitable at the current stage of Islamic movement.

    They are more harmful than the daydreamers because their excited, emotional reactions and haphazard, naïve behaviour causes setback to the Islamic work. They can be called Sheikh Chillee’s.

    Sheikh Chillee is a fictional character who was extremely poor. To have a source of income, he bought some eggs to hatch chicken with the idea of raising a flock of hen and selling the eggs to earn a living. As soon as he brought the eggs home, he started dreaming about the potentialities: How he will have chicken from the eggs, which will grow and lay more eggs giving him chance to increase his flock and egg marketing potential, from income of which he can expand the business, go into large scale farming and branch into farming of sheep and beef and so on and so forth until he will be filthy rich. At that time, he will own big mansions and have a lot of servants. If any of the servants do not behave properly, he will punish them with his stick. He got so carried away that he picked up his stick and pretended as if he is beating his misbehaving servant. In the excited movements he ended up breaking the eggs he had bought, shattering all his dreams of becoming rich.

    The Boasters

    These are the daydreamers who are practically good for nothing but on top of that they boast as if they are doing a lot.  

    Their pretensions, boasting and false talk erodes public faith in, increases skepticism about, and diminishes the credibility of the sincere Islamic workers. They can be called Tees Maar khan’s.

    Tees-Maar Khan is another fictional character who was a lazy bum, week, coward and good for nothing fellow. He, however, talked as if he is the most productive, bravest and strongest person with extra-ordinary accomplishments to his credit.

    The Criticizers

    They are the wannabes who expect perfection from everyone else but themselves. Not only they themselves are inactive and out of commission, they are never happy with the work of other people. They do not have anytime for Allaah SWT or His religion but ample time and energies to find fault with others’ work and behaviour. Usually their criticism is valid but unwise, untimely, out of context and out of place. As human work can never be perfect and there always is room for improvement, it gives them ample opportunities to criticize the shortcomings. They ignore all the positive aspects and contributions of the work or behaviour of others, but concentrate on the little flaw that they might perceive. They cause unnecessary conflicts, antagonism and ill-feelings while destroying the spirit and initiative of the people who try to do something. Some of them will take little, insignificant issues and create big conflicts and frictions by making huge noises about them destroying, stopping or hindering a lot of good work in the process.

    October 26, 1998

    Posted in Paradigms & Attitudes, Ummah State of Affairs on January 3, 2022 by Ayub Hamid

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