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  1. #1
    Protected_Diamond's Avatar
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    It's Time to Look in the Mirror

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    Abdul-Lateef Abdullah
    24/09/2001



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    As Muslims, when we look in the mirror, what do we see? According to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala), we should see a reflection of Rasulullah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). "In the Messenger of Allah, you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the meeting with Allah) and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much"[33:21].


    Prophet Muhammad (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) is supposed to be our mirror image - that which we are striving to be and the human criteria for us to judge ourselves by. In reality, however, how many of us actually see this beautiful person when we gaze into our mirrors?


    Two weeks ago, the entire world witnessed a great tragedy. And, along with the victims of the World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings and their families, Islam and Muslims can be counted among those suffering as well. In one fell swoop, Islam - the religion of truth and peace - became *******ized, and Muslim brothers and sisters throughout the West became the targets of hatred and violence.


    Islam became associated with these most heinous acts, these most un-Islamic notions, with the worst of mankind. In one fell swoop. Unfair? Perhaps. But whom do we have to blame?


    The anger being vented at Muslims in the west is the same anger that Muslims should have toward the murderers that crashed into those buildings. We should be the ones who are sad and so incensed. We should be the ones who are putting together military forces to hunt them down and then dispense justice - Islamic justice - toward them. They attacked our religion - Allah's religion!


    As unthinkable an attack as it was for all Americans, as Muslims, it was a direct assault on our entire way of life. All of the gains that American and other Muslims have made in the west (6 to 8 million Muslims in the U.S. alone; Islam is the fastest growing religion) to promote Islam through patience and hard work have been sabotaged, and we are all now on the defensive with many people questioning the basic values of our faith.


    The people that did this in the name of Islam are hiding behind our religion to fulfill their own distorted and twisted agenda. The question for the rest of us is, "What now? How do we respond to this?"


    Let's face it. The problem in the Muslim world today is the Muslims. Right now, the "enemies of Islam" are the people we see in the mirror. When we look in the mirror, we don't see Rasulullah - rather, what we see are the enemies of Islam.


    Harsh? Well, let's look at this rationally. Despite the policies of the U.S. government and its corporate elite that have more or less economically, politically and/or culturally colonized the entire Muslim world, how many Muslims are truly practicing Islam? Despite all the mosques, all the Qur'ans lying around, all the turbans and kufis, how many of us are really following the Qur'an and obeying Allah?


    Let's go back to basics for a second because that's really where the problem lies. How many Muslims in the world pray five times a day? And of those who do, how many pray in congregation? What about Subh prayer and Isha?


    Of those, how many pray with sincerity and concentration - in full awe of Allah's greatness? How many perform ablution correctly? When you consider all of these together, the figure is probably less than one percent of all Muslims, and this is only one aspect of the basics of Islam.


    Yet, despite this depressing reality about our ummah, certain members of our community are quick to call for jihad, or label non-Muslims as the "enemies of Islam," or call other Muslims who may not follow their school of thought "kafir" (unbeliever). But what are we doing? Each and every one of us? And what about our families? And then, what about our communities?


    As an Ummah, we have strayed so far; yet, we still expect Allah to help us (which He often does in his infinite mercy despite the fact that we are not living up to our end of the contract). And we wonder why Allah allows our enemies victory over us?


    I just recently heard a story of an Imam who gave a khutba (Friday prayer sermon) in California about his experiences travelling to Palestine in the late 50's, prior to Israel's control of East Jerusalem. To his dismay, when he went to pray Zhur and Asr salaats at Al Aqsa, he said he could count on one hand the number of people in the congregation! This - the same Al Aqsa that so many Palestinians, many of them children, have died for.


    The point of his khutba was that we take what Allah has given us for granted. What good is Islam's third holiest site if it is not even being frequented by Muslims? And we wonder why Allah took the holy land from us!


    When will we realize that Islam is not a religion of convenience? When will we stop acting like the Christians who believe that just because they are Christian, they are saved and forgiven, and that Allah will help them just because they call themselves Christian? Islam is not a privilege - it is a responsibility.


    When will we truly heed Allah's word in the Qur'an when He says that He will not help a people until they help themselves? Why did Rasulullah (SAW), the companions, the scholars and the saints of Islam literally spend their entire lives and sacrifice so much to preach and demonstrate to us the correct way to live, and to provide us with all the knowledge and guidance we could ever need? So that we can disregard it - yet still claim to be the greatest ummah ever and still expect Allah's mercy and help?


    In the Battle of Uhud during the time of Rasulullah's (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) prophethood, it was apparent that the Muslims - despite being badly outnumbered by the Quraish - were going to enjoy an easy victory. However, at the point of triumph, the unit of archers that the Prophet (SAW) had placed on Mount Ainain and entrusted with the task of rear guarding the Muslim army fled their positions, as they wanted to take part in collecting the war booty that they saw their brethren starting to collect. They felt that the battle was over, despite strict orders from the Prophet not to leave their posts until he gave the word - "even if you see us being killed, left right and center."


    Despite the urgings of several men, they went ahead - disobeying the Prophet's orders, thus disobeying Allah. The results, of course, were disastrous as the Muslims lost 70 mujahideen to the Quraish's 24 men. They almost lost Madinah altogether - on account of that one instance of disobedience.


    Despite their disobedience at Uhud, these men were of the highest caliber, bravery and iman, being companions of the Prophet (SAW). If Allah granted them defeat because of one act of disobedience, how is it that we can expect success in our endeavors despite our failure to obey Allah in even the most basic aspects of Islam?


    The answer to our problems is simple - forget all the complicated politics. The answer was given to us 1,400 years ago, and it is still the same as it has always been. Practice Islam. Just two words - practice Islam.


    Don't follow our desires, our lusts, greed, or emotions… just practice Islam. This doesn't require a new movement, a new sect, a new organization, a lot of arguments over minutiae, or fancy jargon. It just requires humility and effort. Our individual and collective will in line with Allah's will. That's it.


    Start praying - five times a day, each time as if it is our last prayer. Start paying zakah and acting charitably, just like Rasulullah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). Start fasting, with consciousness of Allah. Start raising and teaching our children to be good Muslims, and to fear and love Allah more than anything else - regardless of what society might say.


    Start reading and striving to understand the Qur'an. Start seeking knowledge. Start being kind and respectful to our wives, and following Rasulullah's (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) guidance as to how to treat one another. Start treating non-Muslims not as enemies, but as potential Muslims.


    Start putting our egos aside and listening, asking questions, reading, taking an interest in our education and, ultimately, our fate. Start treating our neighbors in the way of Rasulullah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam), with kindness and respect. Start correcting our brothers and sisters when they are wrong in the best way, a way that will create change and not sew hatred. All in all, start practicing Islam.


    Now, if all of us, or at least a good percentage of us, began to take these steps toward Allah - looking inwardly at ourselves and outwardly at those for whom we are responsible - what can we expect that Allah's response would be? Just as the hadith says, if we walk toward Allah, He will run toward us. Many of us have experienced this individually, but what would happen if Muslims acted in such a way on a collective basis? One can only imagine, given an ummah of over one billion followers. Details aside, we can be sure that some amazing things would happen - within ourselves, our communities, and throughout the entire world.


    All of the horrible, un-Islamic, inhumane things happening in the world today are caused by illnesses of the heart. Although many of these things are not caused by Muslims, many unfortunately are. Regardless of who is to blame, the illnesses remain the same. Hearts are diseased, and disease likes company so people suffering from the same illnesses often act together in their attempts to bring down as many others as they can with them. The only solution, the only remedy is practicing Islam - not simply "being Muslim".


    "But only he (will prosper) that brings to Allah a sound heart." [26:89]



    Various groups (not to include those who are truly fighting to defend Muslims and their lands around the world) talk about the backwardness of their people to justify their efforts to establish Islamic states. In reality, however, Islam has to be practiced first in order to have an Islamic state. A true Islamic state is the reward from Allah for those who PRACTICE Islam. Did Allah not give the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and his companions Madinah as a reward for their patience, suffering and steadfastness in Makkah - when they were not even allowed to take up arms in self-defense?


    As Muslims, we need to stop talking about what is due to us and start thinking about what is dues from us, and what and who we are responsible for.


    We are responsible to Allah, first, for ourselves, and second, for the world. Thus, we cannot help the world figure out its mess until we clean up our own house, starting with each and every individual Muslim. We must begin the work of returning to Islam through practice. This is the only hope for us and, in effect, for the rest of creation.

    It's Time to Look in the Mirror

    “Whoever puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is Allah for him.”

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    renak's Avatar
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    Re: It's Time to Look in the Mirror

    That was a very nice article. I hope you get a lot of responses. I'm curious to see the reaction.

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    Al-Zaara's Avatar
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    Re: It's Time to Look in the Mirror



    Mashallah, VEEERY GOOD POST!!!
    I loved it. Enjoyed reading it and really, I hope more Muslims will read this.
    I'm really shocked that the thread has only one reply... Why so? Is it too long for our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters to read? Or does the truth hurt? This article is a great reminder, for each and every Muslim.

    JazakAllah khair for sharing!!!!


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    Re: It's Time to Look in the Mirror

    The answer to our problems is simple - forget all the complicated politics. The answer was given to us 1,400 years ago, and it is still the same as it has always been. Practice Islam. Just two words - practice Islam.


    Don't follow our desires, our lusts, greed, or emotions… just practice Islam. This doesn't require a new movement, a new sect, a new organization, a lot of arguments over minutiae, or fancy jargon. It just requires humility and effort. Our individual and collective will in line with Allah's will. That's it.


    Start praying - five times a day, each time as if it is our last prayer. Start paying zakah and acting charitably, just like Rasulullah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). Start fasting, with consciousness of Allah. Start raising and teaching our children to be good Muslims, and to fear and love Allah more than anything else - regardless of what society might say.


    Start reading and striving to understand the Qur'an. Start seeking knowledge. Start being kind and respectful to our wives, and following Rasulullah's (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) guidance as to how to treat one another. Start treating non-Muslims not as enemies, but as potential Muslims.


    Start putting our egos aside and listening, asking questions, reading, taking an interest in our education and, ultimately, our fate. Start treating our neighbors in the way of Rasulullah (salAllahu alayhi wasalam), with kindness and respect. Start correcting our brothers and sisters when they are wrong in the best way, a way that will create change and not sew hatred. All in all, start practicing Islam.


    So tru sis Tho it would be nice if Muslims actually took interest in their religion rather than just calling themselves Muslims... if u know what I mean.

    And Allah swt knows best.



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    IbnAbdulHakim's Avatar
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    Re: It's Time to Look in the Mirror

    while its impossible to ever mirror the prophet (saws) we can do our best to try to become 1% of the perfection he truelly was.



    I hope the brothers take this as seriously as i do inshaAllah :brother:

    Lets try to stick to as many sunnah's as we can!!!!
    It's Time to Look in the Mirror

    -
    My tears testify that i have a heart
    yet i feel me and shaytan never part
    -


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