Firstly apologies for the long lag in enteries... Alhamdulillah Allah (SWT) blessed us with a baby girl a couple of months ago and I have been serving Allah (SWT) by adjusting to parenthood. May Allah (SWT) bless us all with children and teach them the true Islam.
It is this, the "true Islam" that I am wishing to discuss today. Recently my inbox has been plagued with emails articles from various media sources and "Islamic" organizations that seem to highlight what "Islam really is and isn't". Be it that it seems to be in the eyes of the media which should essentially reduce all credibility, however I have become more and more anguished as I see the repeated theme seem to seep into communities... our Muslim communities and become acceptable to some. So acceptable that religious organizations are willing to publish such articles and send them out to those on the mailing list. Granted they do have a disclaimer on the top stating "we at ________ do not necessarily agree with the opinions posed in this article" yet I never see any articles from "fundamentalist" (as most Westerns seem to call the group of Muslims who refuse to abandon their shariah) sent out for mass read.
Ideas like "Islam is a personal relationship between you and God and it doesn't matter if you cover or not, or pray on time or not..." My question is have these people read the Qur'an?? Initially I was so filled with rage after I read ever article, I could hardly contain myself, but that anger has since turned to sadness.
Such explanation of Islam and "change from the extremist view" (i.e. the Shariah) has been described as the equivalent to the Christian Reform in numerous of these articles. The Christian Reform eh?? One of the reasons I was so drawn to Islam was due to its consistancy and strong rootedness in the Quran. That the religion doesn't change, that it doesn't abandon teachings and values just to "fit in" and be more "easily accepted" by the mainstream.
We as Muslims need to ask ourselves why this "reform" is happening. We need to sit back and evaluate ourselves and the environment we are living in. We need to acknowledge there are outside pressures contaminating our beliefs. We need to read and re-read the Quran and Hadith and figure out what the relgion really expects of its followers. We can't take pride in the fact that the Quran has been unchanged for 1400 years and speak of that with confidence and pride to others but then go and change how we are to act as Muslims.
I am telling you, true Islam, Iman... Ihsan is in the heart. It is conciousness of Allah all of the time-- it does NOT mean a "relationship that is between me and Him and as long as I know He exsists the rest doesn't matter." Being Muslim has the five pillars of faith and the 6 articles of belief... one of which is the acceptance of the Quran. It tells us all we need to know about prayer, covering, behaviour, mingling with the opposite sex, alchohal.... the list goes on. By abandoning the instructions of Allah, we abandon the words of the Quran.... think about it.
I hear lots of Muslims complaining about living in the West amongst so many that stray from the path of Islam... how it is so angering/discouraging and that they want to move to a Muslim country. Although I am in agreement that yes, it is angering and discouraging, we need to remember that Allah (SWT) put us where we are for a reason. The Prophet (SAW) was also considered strange in his time. He faced struggles and persecution as well. The difference is he didn't change for the sake of "fitting in"... he never abandoned his principles. And I believe -- quoting a friend of mine, that "if we as Muslims are abandoning aspects of our faith by living in this country, then it is time to make hijra" but if we are those that can see the difference, then we have a duty to be here and help establish the truth.
And of course, Allah (SWT) knows best.