Building BridgesIslam and Society


Learning from each other

“O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into races and tribes, so that you may identify one another.” (Al Hujarat 49:13)

We may come from diverse backgrounds, but we have plenty of similarities –the same basic physical and emotional needs, we laugh, cry, feel hunger and are all chasing that elusive thing called happiness. Have we forgotten our commonalities such that we only focus on the differences?

Ask yourself:

Do I know my faith enough that I am a role model?

Do I understand the pillar and purpose and character of my faith?

Do I have the generosity and honesty in behaviour?

Am I clean and neat, and are my surroundings spotless?

Do I keep my word?

Am I the carrier of the message and are aware that I have a duty (not least if I am living in a non-Muslim land?)

History has witnessed that majority of Islam spread through manner and conduct. Study how Islam took roots in the Maldives and South East Asia. They were spread by those who demonstrated the stellar qualities of Islam when dealing with others.

Majority of mankind is illiterate about their own faith, whether Muslims or non-Muslims. They do not learn and they perpetuate stereotypes, and this ignorance breeds the dangerous world we live in today.

We have the responsibility to put an end to this. Each one of us is responsible. Don’t blame the media, or anyone except yourself. The Qur’an has no room for blaming and complaining. We cannot even complain about Shaitan because we are the ones who are in control of our behaviour, and choose to listen to his whispers.

We as Muslims should believe in the journey of our souls after death, the torture in the grave, and the life in the hereafter. Death is just the beginning. All of us as human beings go through four cycles – when in gestation, in life, in the life in the grave after we die (called barzakh or barrier between life on earth and life in the hereafter) and the life in the hereafter where we will be resurrected in a different form from our physical shapes here on earth, according to the sum of our good and bad deeds. We will be questioned about our actions. If we believe that, what are we doing? Don’t wait for external forces to change our situation. We need to wake up and take action.

Don’t blame our limitations. We are all limited, but we are dealing with the Creator who is unlimited. If our intentions are good, He can add to such intentions His power, and change the word into something tangible such as harmony, peace, understanding and vision for all.

Young and old, male and female, educated or not, we have a duty to show the good manner and conduct and respect for everyone. Islamic manners are like jewels, and they are so beautiful in all situations. Even in the time of war, when an army conquers a land, we have no right to destroy their places of worship or to prevent others from their worship, even if we believe that their actions are wrong. This is the rule of the Creator.

Research for yourself from proper sources on the Muslim manners. Instead of spending time in coffee shops, watching football, going dancing, playing computer games or taking drugs, learn more about Islam and live the message.

We need real men and women, people with respect and integrity, knowledge, wisdom, mercy and generosity for mankind.

Be the earnest role models, and the carrier of the noble message, in our conduct, hygiene, manners, appearance and in every way possible. Do this before it is too late. We can build bridges to bring tranquillity, and can quench the hate, ill feelings, mistrust and suspicion that burn in our hearts. We are all responsible from whatever aspect – follower, leader, politician, mother, father even a simple man on the street.

Even in mass media coverage, where are the religious people to speak out and defend the Muslim faith? Where is the voice of the knowledgeable and wise? Where is their contribution?

The Creator is so merciful and kind but the majority of humankind don’t know Him. Let the people know how merciful and generous He is. He wants success for us and for each other to help attain this success, which is to gain the mercy of the Creator and enter Paradise.

Humble yourself and ask for Allah to show you the way, give you the ability and plant steadfastness in your heart so that you can be the cause and spreader of goodness – the ones who generate benefit and purity.

Our legacy is to continue spreading the message of Islam. Its message has been perfected in the time of Rasulullah (SAW), which means that there are no more Prophets and Messengers to spread the message of Islam. It is now our duty to continue living and spreading the message.

Let’s assume that your parents only taught you ten per cent of the Islamic knowledge they knew. In turn you pass to your children ten per cent of what you know. What is left for them – just a fraction of the original knowledge? We must buck the trend and do the opposite. Start learning and then spread it to our surroundings. Demonstrate kindness to others, concern for the environment and compassion to the animals.

We are supposed to be the contributor to the most noble message known to mankind, in action, behaviour and conduct. Let’s start now, and don’t look back. Start seeking knowledge, read and ask.

Time is short and the duty is humongous. We have been entrusted by Allah and the responsibility is mightier than a mountain.

We need to develop ourselves as heartfelt and committed men and women, not those who are fake and hollow. Visit our neighbours, keep the place clean, and be helpful. Respect each other no matter who they are.

Develop yourself before it’s too late, because it is your responsibility and duty.

May all of us seek the guidance, light and vision of the Almighty Creator, be the beacon of the truth and benefit for mankind. May Allah allow us to go hand in hand with others who are performing the same duty. May He illuminate us and allow us to illuminate the lives of others. May we have vision and wisdom and may our words pierce the hearts of others.

Follow up and give life to this message. At the end we have to look at each other with respect and dignity and appreciate other because we have all been created by the same Creator.

Let’s all of us try, because our combined effort would be powerful, and even if one of us stumbled in the duty, we will have many others who can catch us.

May the Almighty Creator be merciful to us, show us the way, and save us from causing corruption, hurt and harm to ourselves and others.

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