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January 28, 2004
That Controversial Extra Step

by Gillette aka Hassan[uddin] Khaja

When a modern issue plaguing the ummah is discussed, the pattern is similar. While there is nothing inherently wrong with following this pattern, no one cares to go the extra mile in finding a solution to the modern Muslims' crisis/crises. When someone does attempt to find a solution, they are assaulted as being incredibly negative, or just being inappropriate. In short, they become overly defensive.

The first step is when the problem is actually identified. Some Muslims are sitting together, and someone brings up a news story that they read about or saw on television. They start the blame game (blame the Muslim leaders, blame the Jews, blame the non-Muslims, whatever).

The next is to finally come to the conclusion that our current state is from Allah (SWT). More commonly, the Muslims in question find that it is actually a punishment from Allah (SWT). While some may argue that it is a test and everyone goes through a test at some point, all agree that Allah (SWT) also uses fitnah as a punishment.

Everyone knows that punishment is a result of sin. We know that Allah (SWT) is punishing us and will only lift the punishment if we refrain from sin and return to what made our previous generations successful.

The Muslims feel very comfortable making idle talk about the fact that sin has led to the humiliation of the ummah. But, it stops there. No one bothers to ask what specific sins are actually causing the punishment of Allah (SWT) to come. If someone seeks to take that extra step, then all hell breaks lose.

For instance, there are a group of activist Muslims who say that we should stop supporting Israel by refraining from Pepsi products. Obviously, their reasoning is sound, because we'd be supporting a government that is at war with the Muslims.

But what about interest? Will anyone boycott riba? Or do we flock to "valid opinions" that state that riba is all right, though we know that Allah (SWT) says that to engage in riba is to engage in war with him (2:279)?

But to attempt to say that sin leads to punishment is apparently a sin in and of itself.

May Allah (SWT) grant us hidaya.


of and relating to...
Wajahat Gilani said

Assalaamualaikum,

How true, but Allah doesn't punish muslims he purifies us through hardship.

Also, each person has his own list of parameters for whats wrong with the Ummah. Hassan brings up the point of riba, I would probably bring up the point of arrogance, both are right. Whats important is to first rectify the wrong in oneself that contributes to the social wrongs that one feels is plaguing the ummah. Than under the guidance of a proper Sheikh and other scholars of various fields, go out and try to work towards a solution. In the case with riba, one would probably get involved with the field of Islamic Finance. To each his own. What is important is to understand that problems will keep coming, this is the nature of dunya, as soon as one tribulation is fixed, Allah will give another (may Allah grant us ease, inshallah). This is true for the individual as well as the community. What is important is how will we deal with the trials that come. Will we become wall flowers that echoe the obvious, or will we be catalysts of change.

walaikumsalaam
Wajahat Gilani

on January 28, 2004 5:53 PM
Gillette aka Hassan said

I agree with the rest of your statement, but isn't hardship punishment?

on January 28, 2004 10:01 PM
Wajahat Gilani said

Yeah I understand what your saying but I think hardship can be either, think about summer camp for football players, the objective is not to punish them, but to stregthen and unify them. Like so much its a matter of perception. I going to follow up this thought with either the Imam or Sidi Walead.

walaikumsalaam
Wajahat Gilani

on January 29, 2004 8:44 AM
Faisal Akhtar said

Assalam-o-alaikom

In response to Gilletes Comment and to elaborate on Wajahats comment.

Hardships is a form of punishment but not always a punishment. Take the examples of the Prophets. They went through intense hardships and trials even when they had no sin on them. In the Quran it says

[Or did you reckon you will enter Jannah when the same thing never happened to you such as happened to those who have passed away before you? Suffering and hardship assailed them, and they were battered about until the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, 'When is Allah's support?' Indeed Allah's support is near.] - surah Al Baqarah 2/214

Abul-Ala-Moududi describes it best when he explains that if the Messengers came as strong and powerful individuals and were extremely wealthy and whoever followed the Messengers at their respective times would have become rich and powerful, then the disbelievers would have been the first to come in line and those seeking worldly gain would have been the first ones to accept Islam. This way, the real devouts who believe despite anything in this world would have been left behind. The tribulations that befall an Ummah are not always just punishment, they are a way for Allah SWT to separate those who are sincere from those who are not. It is basically a cleansing phase. There are two ways of looking at this. One way is the way Gillete looks at this and that is our situtaion is a punishment for our sins and there is another way of looking at it too. Since the Ummah has become diluted with sinners and wrongdoers, this tribulation is Allah SWT's way to cleans those who are insincere so that those who are real believers will succeed. Both these views are correct.

Wasalam

Faisal Akhtar

on January 29, 2004 6:50 PM
Rami said

I was just reading the article "Why me?" in the "What do you think" column a second ago. I believe written by Seeker. I like the comment on the bottom by abdaziz...it relates pretty good to this topic.

"Hmmm, nice article - reminds of the hadith that when calamity strikes we should say alhamdulillah(be patient) and when we are blessed we should also say alhamdulillah (be grateful)"

on January 29, 2004 7:22 PM
Badanes Matt said

Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so.

on June 30, 2004 1:36 PM
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