By Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam
The need of the hour for the Muslim world is introspection. This alone will help it come out of the woods which they have got themselves in, perhaps as a heavenly curse. Much of the world is cursing the religion, Islam, which has been an abode of peace, brotherhood and equality. The religion which was revealed to unite the whole world, irrespective of religion, region, colour or creed has divided Muslims themselves even further into sects, while their tribal, ethnic, linguistic, racial, regional and other divisions continue to hold sway as before. Rather than leaving it to God, we Muslims have taken the task of imparting justice in our own hands, in every matter, whether it is supposed blasphemy by Christians and Hindus in Pakistan or of Americans through idiotic films like “The Innocence of Muslims”. We need to introspect, what the following Hadith says,
• Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. (Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)'s farewell sermon)
It is not a tough task to know whether we are hurting anyone through our actions and deeds or not.
Just being true to ourselves will help us realise where we stand. On individual level we are prone to hurt the people around us with our deeds. We do the same misdeeds which we do not like if done against us. Very simple examples of everyday life are capable of teaching us to take the right path. We will not feel hurt or will not be sentenced to hurt by the people in our lives, if, we do not hurt them. I do not say, we do it consciously but, for sure, we do it. These small mistakes of ours take out the pleasure of life which we cherish so much. And blame others for it. It is so simple, let us stop for a while and think, why does it happen to us? It is said, it takes two to clap. Does it not mean that we also are as much responsible for our ‘hurts’ as others are. Or perhaps it is only because of our own misdeeds that we perish.
Introspection - the honest one, makes it clear that we will not be hurt if we do not hurt others, as the above Hadith says. Then why do we get hurt, every now and then. Why does it seem that the whole world has nothing to do except trying to harm the Muslim world? All are busy in blasphemies one way or the other. An average Muslim has come to believe that the whole world is against Islam and that Muslims are being mistreated by other faiths for no fault of theirs. The ‘conspiracy against Islam’ theory keeps doing rounds on every roundabout of Muslim localities, on every tea stall and virtually in every household. Some of this can be attributed to the exclusivist, supremacist, narrow education imparted in petrodollar-funded madrasas that teach the syllabus issued from Saudia Arabia. This type of education, based on a literalist understanding of our scriptures, inevitably creates suspicion in our minds towards people belonging to other religions, even other Islamic sects. Conspiracy theories of ‘Islam in danger’ have come to inhabit the hearts and minds of one and all. This has transformed Muslims, even in secular countries like India, into an entirely strange entity. It would help us immensely, if instead of pointing fingers at others as a matter of habit, we look within and introspect. There has to be a reason why the world is against us, considers us global terrorists, for instance, or backward, uncivilized.
Many of us may be afraid of introspection. Yes, may be. Because introspection shows us our true face whereas in our heart of hearts, we take ourselves to be very upright and pious. Introspection is not something to be afraid of. It makes the path of our life greener and brighter. There is light everywhere. It takes us out of the darkness of illiteracy and makes us worthy of forgiveness on the Day of Judgement because introspection teaches us not to hurt others and not hurting others paves a way of fulfilling the rights of the human being (حقوق ا لعباد).
Lack of introspection on the individual level translates into lack of introspection on the community level which tends to brew innumerable problems.
We tend to flow with the events taking place in the world and forget to introspect and understand that blaming others for everything is not the cure of any disease. We will have to understand the value of “apne gariban mein jhankna” meaning ‘self-criticism’.
There were blasphemies, hate speeches, disrespectful and disgusting literature before the advancement of media also but it was not dividing the society as rapidly as it is doing today. In this scenario “community introspection” is also a need of the hour.
Presently the Muslim world is in total disarray and turmoil.
Rashid Samnakay writes for New Age Islam exhorting the Muslim world for ‘community introspection’:
• Should not this gathering be turned into useful conference-Shuaraa- 42: 38 of Heads of Governments too, to find solutions to the problems that beset the Muslim-world and the world at large, particularly in this hostile age for Muslims; perhaps somewhat of its own making? ----This practicality was first suggested by a Muslim Scholar G.A Parwez.
• Three million Muslims annually in one place every year should help solve at least one World problem; out of the many that Muslims have today, and redeem the benefits of the Hajj in this world too 2:201,18: 10,
None of the suggestions put by Mr Samnakay can be put to practice without ‘introspection’. Muslim world must be asked to follow suit.
According to the second rightly-guided Caliph and companion of the prophet Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him):
• “Assess and adjudge yourselves before you are adjudged and assessed on the Day of Judgment, and weigh out your deeds before they are weighed out for you”.
• Umar, a man of his word, reportedly used to whip his right foot at night and say to it “What have you done today?
والله أعلم بالصواب (And God knows the best what is right)