"Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own lives." (Ar-Ra`d: 11)
Umar Lee has just finished writing his series of articles titled “The Rise and Fall of
the Salafi Da’wah”. The slight inaccuracy of the title aside (since, as many people
have pointed out, the Salafi Da’wah hasn’t exactly ‘fallen’ yet, although it has
declined since the ‘glory days’), I think it’s a wonderful series, masha'Allah.
As someone who hasn’t had any experience whatsoever with the Salafi movement
– heck, I didn’t even know what they even were ‘till now! – I found his posts
extremely educational and emotionally moving.
His first few posts were on the beginning and the rise of the Salafi Da’wah – the
time that I’ve nicknamed the glory days, because of how amazing it all sounded to me. Reading about it all, it made my heart swell with pride that the Muslim community managed to do such wonderful things.
Then came the 'falling' part. Not fun. I found it downright painful, the way the community ended up so beaten and broken, the way that Muslims turned on each other so cruelly, denouncing each other and destroying the hard work of the individuals who had struggled so hard to establish the foundations of the movement in the first place. Umar's sorrow and pain is echoed in the comments section, where several people described their own sad experiences.
For me, who has only recently become more aware of the Muslim Ummah around the world, who hasn't really had any experience with the 'real world', Umar's articles were a real eye-opener. I know how badly the state of the Muslim Ummah sucks, in general, but I had no idea that all this stuff happened! It made me realize just how ignorant and naive I am in the ways of the world, how little I really know... and then when I complained to my parents about it, they're just like, "Well, you don't need to know that stuff. Go finish your homework." Hmph.
But, I DO need to know this stuff. If I hope to spend my life helping the Muslim community, then I HAVE to know this stuff! To deal with the problems of the present, one must know the history of those problems, right?
Anyway, after reading Umar's posts and the 100+ comments that swiftly followed, I got pretty depressed. No one likes to hear or read about sad things (when I was younger, I'd often skip the sad parts of whatever book I was reading and instead read the happy ending. Later on, I tried to do pretty much the same thing with reality... until reality hit me hard on the head and I realized that bad experiences are needed just as much as good experiences for us to really learn life lessons).
But after reading brother Amad's post, in which he said that there was hope to be felt as well... and that inspired me to stop being depressed and to start using my brain.
My brain concluded the following:
We, the Muslim Ummah, have problems. I, a member of that Ummah, have a responsibility to do whatever I can to solve those problems. To be effective, I should stop thinking in terms of ideals (which is actually pretty hard. Now I know
why some people prefer to live in their own little bubble worlds/fantasies than
reality!) and start thinking practically. To deal with things practically, there are
some very basic skills that need to kick into play: problem solving! (All right, all right, I admit that school can teach you useful things... sometimes.)
The Basic Steps of Problem-Solving:
Define the problem
I think that Umar and others have done a pretty good job of defining the various problems that exist and which need to be dealt with.
Categorize the problem
The sheer amount of issues that we're suffering from means that in order to deal with them effectively, we need to categorize them. The Ummah being as diverse as it is, with so many sub-groups (e.g. converts and 'born Muslims'; various ethnic origins and the cultural background and issues of people who belong to whichever ethnic group they belong to; issues of class - high class, middle class, working class; etc.), we need to sit down and spend some time just organizing it all, 'cuz if
we try to lump them all together we'll simply get overwhelmed - not to mention that more problems would probably arise due to the fact that it's being incorrectly dealt with.
Look at potential causes of the problem
Another thing that I think Umar and the others have done a good job with.
Identify alternatives for approaches to resolve the problem
Brainstorm, people! With all the brilliant minds that we have in our Ummah - yes, they do exist, I know it! - surely we can come up with something that'll be agreeable to all (or at least most!).
Select an approach to resolve the problem
Very, very important! I've noticed that when it comes to dealing with problems, we Muslims spend a lot of time talking and brainstorming, but that we rarely ever manage to take the first step towards ACTION. Choosing our approach to solving the problem is what we need to (finally) do.
Plan the implementation of the best alternative
Yes! We're getting closer to actually DOING SOMETHING!!
Implement the plan
Lights, cameras... ACTION!!!!!!! This is my favourite part... because we're finally doing something! I cannot stress enough how important this is... I'm personally sick and tired of all the TALK that we Muslims are involved in, yet we always disperse without any course of action decided upon or taken. It's when we take action that we're literally changing the state of our Ummah (in however small a manner it may be)!
Monitor implementation of the plan
Action is important, but we've got to make sure that it's the right kind of action! Are we doing what's needed to be done? Is everything going according to plan?
Verify if the problem has been resolved or not*
Results, people! Are we getting them? And are they the results we want and need? (Insha'Allah they are!)
If not... then it's back to step one! (Which isn't neccessarily a bad thing... practice makes perfect; and try, try again!)
So come on, people! Even if I'm just a 16-year old Muslimah marooned in a tiny city on Canada's West Coast (and therefore isolated from and totally useless to the rest of the Ummah), blogging away because it's the only way I can reach out to y'all... doesn't mean that YOU're in the same situation and can't do anything!
With that, let me conclude with saying, may Allah help us all on our quest to solve the problems of this Ummah, and make us sucessful in this world and in the Hereafter, ameen!
(Credit goes to this website for the refresher on the basic steps of problem solving!)
Your little sister in Islam,
Friday, February 02, 2007
Posted by AnonyMouse at 8:18 PM