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Muslim Life - Live like a muslim

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Muslim Life - Live like a muslim

Mesaj  Admin la data de Lun Mai 16, 2011 8:04 pm

To be a Muslim today is to live in accordance with the will and pleasure of God. Muslims often say, with joy and pride, that it is easy to be a Muslim since Islam is "the straight path" leading to paradise. What this means, in other words, is that the principles of Islam are simple and straightforward, free of ambiguities, confusions, inconsistencies or mysteries, and that comprehending them or living in accordance with them is not difficult. The assumption here is that if one somehow comes to "the straight path" by accepting Islam, which is God's last and final revelation to humanity, one will fairly effortlessly arrive at the destination which is a state of eternal blessedness in the presence of God. I must confess that I am totally amazed, and overwhelmed, by this assumption. To me, being a Muslim seems to be exceedingly hard, for to be a Muslim one has constantly to face the challenge, first of knowing what God wills or desires not only for humanity in general but also for oneself in particular, and then of doing what one believes to be God's will and pleasure each moment of one's life.
To be a Muslim means, first and foremost, to believe in God, who is "Rabb al-'alamin": creator and sustainer of all peoples and universes. The Qur'an, which to me is the primary source of normative Islam, tells me that God's creation is "for just ends"2 and not in "idle sport."3 Humanity, fashioned "in the best of moulds,"4 has been created in order to serve God.5 According to Qur'anic teaching, service of God cannot be separated from service to humankind, or--in Islamic terms--believers in God must honor both "Haquq Allah" (rights of God) and "Haquq al-'ibad" (rights of creatures). Fulfillment of one's duties to God and humankind constitutes righteousness, as stated in Surah 2: AL-Baqarah: 177, which reads as follows:
It is not righteousness That ye turn your faces Towards East or West; But it is righteousness To believe in God And the Last Day, And the Angels, And the Book, And the Messengers; To spend of your substance, Out of love of Him, For your kin, For orphans, For the wayfarer, For those who ask, And for the ransom of slaves; To be steadfast in prayer,
And practice regular charity; To fulfill the contracts Which ye have made; And to be firm and patient, In pain (or suffering) And adversity, And throughout All periods of panic. Such are the people Of truth, the God-fearing.6

For Muslims, the Qur'anic notion of righteousness has been actualized in the life of the Prophet Muhammad-- known in the Islamic mystic tradition as "Insan al-kamil" or the complete human being. Through his God-centeredness, the Prophet of Islam attained the highest degree of "'ubudiyat" (service of God) and became a model of righteous living not only as the spiritual and political leader of the Muslim "ummah", but also as a businessman, citizen, husband, father, friend, and a human being in general. Following him, there have been individual Muslims--recorded and un­recorded--in every age, who have known that being a Muslim means more than seeking or worshiping God. The poet Iqbal speaks for them when he proclaims, "There are many who love God and wander in the wilderness,/I will follow the one who loves the persons made by God."7

Considering the emphasis placed upon the interrelatedness of "Haquq Allah" and "Haquq al-'ibad" both in Qur'anic teaching and in the life of the Prophet Muhammad, the exemplar par excellence of this teaching, it is difficult to understand their compartmentalization in the minds and lives of many present-day Muslims. But what has happened is not surprising given the fact that many generations of Muslims have been told by their leaders that the primary duty of a Muslim is to engage in "'ibadat"--which is understood as "worship" rather than service of God--and to obey those in authority over them rather than to engage in "'jihad fi sabil Allah"8 to ensure that the fundamental rights given to all creatures by God are honored within the Muslim "ummah."

For many contemporary Muslims, being a Muslim means following the "Shari'ah" of Islam, as pointed out by the well-known Muslim scholar, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, who says:

The Shari'ah is the Divine Law by virtue of accepting which a person becomes a Muslim. Only he who accepts the injunctions of the Shari'ah as binding upon him is a Muslim although he may not be able to realise all of its teachings or follow all of its commands in life. The Shari'ah is the ideal pattern for the individual's life and the Law which binds the Muslim people into a single community. It is the embodiment of the Divine Will in terms of specific teachings whose acceptance and application guarantees man a harmonious life in this world and felicity in the hereafter . .

Being a Muslim today means taking a stand against those who insist that being a Muslim means following the trodden path and sanctifying tradition without subjecting it to serious reflection or scrutiny. According to the Qur'an, Adam was elevated even above the celestial creatures on account of his capability to "name" things, i.e., to form concepts or to exercise the rational faculty.23 in one of the most significant passages of the Qur'an,24 we are told that God offered the "trust" of freedom of will to all creation but only humanity accepted it. What this says to me is that it is not only a right of Muslims, but also their duty and indeed their glory to think and to choose.


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