Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Islamic State

So, I wanna establish the Islamic State. Where it's gonna be, how I'm gonna do it... Allah knows best. But I've got some ideas on how to start.
Here's some of them:

Start an international grassroots organization. In every country, every city, start working with the Muslim community. As my father has often said, it starts with the people. The Muslim community as a whole is sadly ignorant, which I believe is a part of why we're such in a pathetic state today, globally. How many of your 'average' Muslims (whether they be male or female) have a true understanding of the basics of their religion? How many of them know about Tawheed, the Oneness of God, that fundamental belief of Islam? How many of them know the details of the shahadah? How many of them know how to pray the Salaah as the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) prayed it, and pray five times a day? How many of them know the details of Zakaah? How many of them truly fast the month of Ramadhan - not just with their stomachs, but with their souls? How many of them, who HAVE the ability, HAVE the money, to go for Hajj have instead gone to Disneyland?

(Having said that, what scares me is that I myself am sadly lacking. I don't know what I should know, and what's worse is that I don't think I truly practice Islam the way I should. May Allah grant me - and everyone else - true Islam, Iman, and Ihsaan. May He help us be true Mu'mineen, Muslimeen, Saliheen...)

So anyway, yeah. The Muslims as a whole need to start pulling up their socks. There is no hope for us at all if we do not take the first step to becoming true Muslims. We can't expect to get out of our pathetic situations if we don't make the effort to truly obey Allah. After all, God helps those who help themselves.

“Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)” 13: 11

The youth especially need to start learning. As a teenager myself, I know how the average 'Muslim' teenager in the West knows very little about Islam (and often doesn't care much about it either), and the main things on their mind are their friends and what's hot right now. It's scary, really. I've talked to teenager girls, supposedly Muslim, who pray only when their parents force them to - and even then, they've got no idea WHY they're praying, have no idea what they're reciting in their prayer. And these are the kids who go to MUSLIM schools. May Allah save us all, especially we of the next generation, for we are the face of the future.

Some really important stuff that needs to be established in all the Muslim communities are:

Islamic libraries, where the 'average Muslim' can borrow books written by the knowledgeable Islamic scholars and improve their own knowledge of the Deen. Videotapes and audiocassettes of lectures by various shuyookh (scholars) should also be made available, as well as materials for kids to learn from. I know that this is possible, and that it will work, because the Islamic centre my dad runs has an Islamic library, and al-Hamdulillaah it's a great success.

Social services.
Of course, these cover a lot of things, from Islamic counselling (for marital problems, parenting problems, personal problems, financial problems...) - done by someone who has knowledge, of course - to stuff like mental health institutions (or something to help out those brothers and sisters who suffer mental health issues).
We also need to do something about taking care of our poorer brothres and sisters, those who can't make ends meet and have trouble with housing, food, education, etc. I think a food bank is an awesome idea, and I know it works, too - again, the Islamic centre that my dad runs (let's call it 'the Dar') has a food bank program and there are many who benefit from it, al-Hamdulillaah.

There are also need to be programs that raise awareness of issues in our Muslim communities. Drugs, smoking, alcohol, gender relations (especially for teenagers!!!!!!!), Internet safety... we may think that 'our kids' - the Muslim kids - already know about this stuff, or that they won't be affected by this stuff, but the thing is: we ARE. For example, several months ago I was at a Masjid for an all-girls basketball tournament. As I was in the kitchen helping out with stuff, I overheard several girls talking about how they were experimenting with drugs, or how their friends were experimenting with drugs. I nearly fainted!

We also have to start teaching ourselves how to behave when interacting both with Muslims, and with non-Muslims. Very often you find that Muslims will be on their best behaviour with non-Muslims, catering to their every need. But when it comes to fellow Muslims, our attitude is terrible. At stores owned by a Muslim brother (or sister) we try to bargain the prices down, or, if we're the ones doing the business, we try to cheat our Muslim customers and make them settle for less. Astaghfirullah! And it's not just business - even everyday conversations are totally different depending on whether we're talking to a Muslim or a non-Muslim. If it's a
non-Muslim, we listen to them respectfully before giving our own opinion. If it's a Muslim, we try to talk over the other person and insist that we are right and they are wrong.
Oh, and let's not forget about the 'time' issue. Muslim time, apparently, is totally different from standard time. Invite someone over for an Islamic lesson or program, and they'll show up an hour later when it's ending - and then they get mad that you didn't wait for them!

So, in this regard, I think we need to start educating ourselves about the proper, Islamic way to interact with fellow Muslims, as well as time management in Islam. Where are our adaab (manners)? Why aren't we trying to emulate the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam)? Is it any wonder that the world doesn't pay much attention to us, except to mock us, to degrade us, to talk about how 'uncivilised' and 'backwards' we are? If we want to change how we're viewed by the world, we have to change the way we are! We have to get down to the basics - to the Quran, to the Sunnah! Only then can we ever expect our honour and dignity as a Muslim Ummah to return. Only then can we expect to be successful, in this world and in the Aakhirah (Hereafter)!

Okay... this is getting long, so that's it for now. I'll write more soon, insha'Allah...


Me2 said...

woow,, you'll be a perfect leeader inshaa Allah
are you sure you're only 15 :)

the ideas are great,, it can be applied in the western muslims communities,,, but in the arab world,, you'll need more than that,, as you mentioned "The Muslim community as a whole is sadly ignorant" that's right

you'll need to solve their problems first, you'll need to change the education system first in the muslim world, you'll need to change the way they're thinking before reaching the start point of such program

if an american muslimah for example visited an arab country,,, most average people here won't ask about how it's hard for her being a muslim there,, but they may ask a question like: have you seen britny spears!!!

AnonyMouse said...

Awwwww, shukran, ya ukhti! :)

Yes, I just realized that the Arab world will need more... I have some Arab friends, and my dad lived in Saudi for several years, and I've started reading some Arab blogs, and from all those I've noticed that there's a LOT that needs to be changed there. Personally I think that it has a lot to do with the leadership, but of course there are other things as well.

Insha'Allah I'll talk about that in more detail in a future post :)

Your ukhti,

Me2 said...

Assalamu Alikom
well little sister :)
just take care when dealing with arabs, you'll be surprized & don't believe everything you read for them, just find the message behind their writings