By Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
I’ve come to realise, the reason I can see things the why I do, is precisely because I was not raised in a supposedly “Muslim” country. This is Allah’s wisdom as I see it. Strange how some of the most respected Muslim people in our time, taking the religion forward, are converts like Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Dr Timothy Winter (Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad), Imam Zaid Shakir, Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), and even those who aren’t, are usually brought up in and living in the West… God works in mysterious ways, as we English have often been fond of saying!
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, taught “the greatest Jihad (struggle) is against our nafs (own nature/ego)”
How many “Muslims” have forgotten this most essential teaching of our Prophet? Instead, externalising their struggle into wars against others! Bear in mind, whenever those whom God has made a covenant with become corrupt and turn their backs on Him, to serve their own evil desires, He punishes them! Why should Muslims think we’re any different? We have a covenant with God, through Abraham and Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them. Many Jewish scholars state Muslims are the heirs of Noah’s covenant too, as we are Bnei Noach.
Like Israel, Muslims have a duty to God, we must as best we can, strive to do our duty; this being to help guide people away from idolatry (which can come in many forms, not merely statue worship…), to grow into true human beings, full of compassion, mercy and service to their brothers and sisters in humanity and all of God’s creation. But those who’ve lost all and have nothing to give, cannot even be of service to themselves! Yet still they persist in their arrogance against God! The fact that Israel exists today, is part of Gods plan – this being especially clear after the 6 day war! Israel did not have it easy, by any stretch of the imagination. Which indicates to me, God was helping them, even when few others were doing so…
Hence, my comparison to the Jewish people, Muslims today are in a similar position, though no where near as severe, as the Jews were before the re-establishment of the state of Israel. Muslims being divided, in a state of loss, barely even managing to hold on to their religion! There may be many states full of “Muslims”, with “Muslims” in their governments. But none of these places have any Islam (obedience to God’s will). The Qur’an may be regularly recited, but few actually understand it! Muslims are in crisis at the moment…
“Those who behave arrogantly on the earth in defiance of right them will I turn away from My signs they will not believe in them; and if they see the way of right conduct they will not adopt it as the way; but if they see the way of error that is the way they will adopt; for they rejected Our signs and failed to take warning from them.” Holy Qur’an 7:146 (Yusuf Ali)
“Yet when We bestow Our favors on man he turns away and becomes remote on his side (instead of coming to Us) and when Evil seizes him he gives himself up to despair!” Holy Qur’an 17:83 (Yusuf Ali)
In the Holy Qur’an, God’s warns us not to be arrogant. When we do, what differentiates us from Pharaoh or the Quraysh chieftains in the time of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him? Nothing! So, how then can we claim any piety or religious superiority? Until we learn our lesson, our punishment will not lessen…
“The Qur’an may be regularly recited, but few actually understand it!”
As a North American, in my studies of constitutional law, most of my colleagues and friends (especially the Americans!) are absolutely shocked to hear that the United Kingdom has no written Constitution.
All the more confused they are when I speak of this or that aspect of UK “Constititutional Law”.
“How can you study law that doesn’t exist! You just explained to me that the Brits never put anything down in writing outlining how their system is supposed to work! You told me there exists no Constitutional documents concerning stuff like “The Prime Minister”, “Parliament”, “Democracy”, “Freedom of Speech”, “Freedom of Religion”, etc.”
“Difficult enough it was for me to accept that there does not exist any written UK Constitution, now you’re telling me your studying this non-existant Constitution in detail! Have you completely lost your mind? How can you study something that you just told me doesn’t exist!!!”
What they don’t get is that ANY country’s constitution, even the American Constitution they’d always assumed to lie on that piece of paper starting out with the three words “We the People”, does in fact not truly exist in the form of drops of ink, it exists in the hearts and minds of the people.
The rest is just paperwork.
The other day I was “debating” with this Jewish Moron (yes, we’ve got them too!) who kept telling me Torah, Torah, Torah! Torah is EVERYTHING! Torah is Truth!
Yet this Torah-worshipper never even bothered to acknowledge its Author.
The Torah, the Koran, Holy though they may be, are not what we’re supposed to be worshipping here! What we should be worshipping is their Author! Holy though they may be, they are but “Constitutional Documents”. They are but God’s means of communicating with us in our limited mental and linguistic capacities.
It took Americans four score and seven years and several hundred thousand dead to finally come to terms with the fact that “All Men are Created Equal” meant ALL Humans, not just All White Men, but All Humans.
And Brits like Paul DON’T EVEN NEED A SINGLE DOCUMENT to be free and democratic and respectful of others!
These values simply lie in the hearts and minds of the English/British/UK people.
What’s put down on paper may have immense educational importance to help us understand what God wants of us, but we mustn’t forget that, Holy though they may be, they are but wasted ink on paper if we are for whatever reason incapable of taking these values into our hearts and minds.
What most people believe to be The Holy Koran or the Torah is in fact just a couple of books.
The True Holy Koran or Torah lies in the hearts and minds of those capable of understanding them.