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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

{Quick Reflections 37} The Why 4, The Call 2!

Posted by Badeea at 4:34 AM
Instead of starting with a question and working our way until we reach a logical answer by the end of the article as usual, this time we will start with the conclusion or the answer to the question and then work our way to consolidate that conclusion.

The topic again is why we do good deeds, that was discussed thrice before, stressing all along on the concept that making the call and living with this should be a basic principle in life whether doing good went noticed or appreciated or not. This is again crucial to the concept of co-existence with the other, regardless of their belief, and how doing good should be intrinsic to our behavior without necessarily meaning to call others for Islaam (the always logic scriptures that confirm that concept will be detailed six articles from now under the title, "First Things First" if God wills).

To start with, we will explore one of the reasons why Allaah (SWT)1 chose Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)2 to be the final Messenger. We will discuss the characteristic that was intrinsic in his personality for 40 years before he (PBUH) ever received the revelation.

For forty years he was nicknamed by his community as “The Truthful, the Trust-Worthy”. His most noble manners were embedded in his personality in spite of the fact that he lived amongst a very corrupt and ill-mannered community in Arabia and world–wide in general. He did not know of a god at that time and he never believed in idols. Accordingly, his behavior throughout those 40 years was not meant to satisfy a god. Moreover, he did not adopt this behavior aspiring for leadership or recognition amongst his community during that period. Why then did he behave in such a way that made everyone respect him?! The answer cannot be that he had it planned, since his early childhood, that he would need such a reputation for the credibility of a message he would start delivering 40 years later; one he never knew about then! Why then did he behave like that?

Doing good and loving others expecting nothing in return is the noblest attribute rooted inside every one and he (PBUH) had an abundance of that characteristic unequaled in any other human being. God says about him, “And indeed, you are of a great moral character” (Qur’aan, 68:4).

When he (PBUH) was never after any personal reward and was there for others expecting nothing in return, he was blessed by being chosen to be the Messenger to all mankind; the ultimate reward a human being can ever be blessed with.

Moreover, this most noble characteristic cannot go without being taught and spread to others and hence is a fundamental message of Islaam with its epitome and Messenger being Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

That is why God says about him, “And in no way have We sent you except as a mercy to the worlds (mankind, jinn and all that exists)” (Qur’aan, 21:107). It is doing good to all, including even non-living things, expecting nothing in return and teaching that to others that is a true mercy to all. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself addresses the issue of why he was sent to mankind in the following hadeeth3, “I was indeed sent to perfect noble manners”4.

Doing what is best and giving and forgiving without expecting anything in return, not even out of setting an example for others or with the intention of telling people about Islaam, is demonstrated in several events in the life of Muhammad (PBUH) even after he became a Messenger.

There is the story of the Bedouin that turned to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for help. He was a stranger who new nothing about the ongoing struggle between the non-believers, headed by Abu-Jahl, and Muslims headed by Muhammad (PBUH) in Makkah at the time. Abu-Jahl had borrowed a sum of money from that Bedouin and refused to return it to him. The Bedouin kept asking around in Makkah for someone to help him get his money back from the mighty Abu-Jahl but no one could help him. He came across a group of people who thought they could get a good laugh out of the situation. They pointed to Muhammad (PBUH), knowing the enmity between him and Abu-Jahl and told him that he is the one that could help him out most! When he went to Muhammad (PBUH), told him of his problem and that those people back there had nominated him as the one who can help him out most, he (PBUH) looked back at them and understood their scheming. He never told the Bedouin that he is the last one who could help him based on the hostile relationship between him and Abu-Jahl. He never told him about Islaam and that he would help him only if he would believe in him. He never made any attempt to clarify the situation for the unsuspecting Bedouin. He simply told him that he will go with him to Abu-Jahl and help him get his money back. They went together to Abu-Jahl’s house and Muhammad (PBUH) asked Abu-Jahl to return the money back to the Bedouin which he very surprisingly did on the spot. (More details of the story will be discussed 13 articles from now under the title, “Miracles, why and when?” if God wills.)

Again, there was the Prophet’s Jew neighbor who used to pester the Prophet everyday by throwing his garbage in front of his house. One day when he stopped doing that the Prophet (PBUH) rushed to visit him thinking he was ill, which turned out to be true.

There was also the old blind lady that the Prophet (PBUH) met and offered to carry her stuff for her. On their way to her house, and as a way to pay him back, she actually advised him not to listen to that "Muhammad" who had started recently claiming to be a Prophet and asking people to follow him. She went on calling him names, not knowing that it is the same kind man that is offering her help. Nevertheless, he did not attempt to clear his name and when she asked him for his name at the end of their journey, he (PBUH) simply said "Muhammad"!

He (PBUH) used to do good for the sake of doing good regardless of how it will be translated. To him, it was simply a way of life.

-----------------
1 Subhaanahu wa T`aalaa [Glorified and Exalted Be He].
2 Peace Be Upon Him
3 A saying or action done by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as reported by his companions.
4 Authentic hadeeth reported by al-Zurqaniy in Mukhtasar al-Maqaasid page/number 184.

1 comments on "{Quick Reflections 37} The Why 4, The Call 2!"

Sara on April 24, 2007 at 3:38 PM said...

I do not believe that God chose Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as a 'reward' for his good manners, because this important matter that changed the face of life forever has been predestined long before Prophet Muhammad lived on earth. In fact, the very fact that he was that noble and that honourable is a demostration of the divine wisdom that implanted such a good soul in Muhammad to be the eternal model of moderation and good well.

Being a good person should not always be accompanied by being rewarded, or we will only be good if we expect an immediate divine answer, but if this stance went unrewarded we would turn our face and frown. I believe that the most important lesson tobe learnt from the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is that being genuinely good is how we are to lead our lives without waiting for immediate payback.

I agree with you that the core of Islam is good manners and having a pure heart, and as you said this cannot be done with embracing the idea as a way of life.

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2009 THEME: Islam in the West and Our Children (Discussion & Resources regularly updated)

There is increasing concern that second and third generation Muslims in the West are mostly no longer Muslims so they actually end up adding to the Christian or Atheist population of the West, albeit racially from a non-Western origin. Accordingly, the ratios mentioned in the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3X5hIFXYU) would be correct in regards to race or ethnicity but not necessarily to religion.

It is a grave danger facing our children and grand children from a real life stand point as statistically only 1/5 of the second generation stay really Muslims when they grow up and are independent and almost non from the third generation are Muslims. And that is why the Western authorities are still permitting the immigration of Muslims inspite of the figures provided in the above video. They know that on the long term the descendants of Muslims in the West leave Islam because their parents raised them up with an Eastern mentality in a Western society instead of an Islamic mentality that encompasses all cultures.

You can see more about that by Jeffrey Lang; an ex-atheist American Mathematics University Professor who reverted to Islam in 1982. He has also written 3 books that I highly recommend; "Struggling to Surrender", "Even Angels Ask" and "Losing my Religion; A Call for Help".
Now I will leave you to enjoy 2 short excerpts from one of his lectures followed by links to his most important full presentation regarding our children.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmqN75NI0xg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT1KGyxBXC0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMANKaX8khw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgivQJKtQME
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga2rIUWcPPs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYb2v3Yx1LY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhMN_TZavW0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHeM0H0EMAw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD-YefJH9x0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2eVOKjOqHE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBQp7aZjxjc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4_xxQVGU44

Here is a solution that is yet to be implemented.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geRM4AlFBOU&NR=1

Raising children here is not an easy task ofcourse but if we do it the right way they will be true Muslims in shaa Allaah who are "Informed Muslims" rather than "Muslims by inheritance" like their counterparts in the East. Hopefully they will then be a much better generation than ours.

Quickly, I do believe that the best 4 authors (for example, there are many others but these are my favorite) who could guide us through this difficult process are Yahiya Emerick, Jeffrey Lang, Jamal Badawi and Dalia Mogahed.

Here are some links for future reference and for an ongoing learning process that I have started collecting slowly.
Please spread the below information to all your Muslim contacts in the West.

Jeffrey Lang:
http://meccacentric.com/jeffrey_lang.html I highly recommend the lecture titled "The Purpose of Life". It has true meanings that I have not come across in any Arabic literature.

Yahiya Emerick:
Articles:
http://www.islamicedfoundation.com/articles/articles.htm
http://www.islamfortoday.com/yahiyaemerick.htm I highly recommend reading and spreading the last article in this link by the name of "The Confusion of the Scholars"
Books:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_adv_b/?search-alias=stripbooks&unfiltered=1&field-keywords=&field-author=Yahiya+Emerick&field-title=&field-isbn=&field-publisher=&node=&url=&field-feature_browse-bin=&field-binding_browse-bin=&field-subject=&field-language=&field-dateop=&field-datemod=&field-dateyear=&sort=relevancerank&Adv-Srch-Books-Submit.x=29&Adv-Srch-Books-Submit.y=8 There are only 14 books, about half for adults and the other half for kids. The extra are just repetitions.

Jamal Badawi:
Many products including books, articles and lectures mostly for adults. You can find them by searching his name online. My favorite is;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMfWURGcvBI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HXGRYaUy6g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyMD_tE6U68
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AixgiXpAFTY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WUgbgLgMXM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3VLRoQ3qUw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5UvvkCDrm4

Dalia Mogahed: (Obama's adviser)
Has one book so far but has a great potential. "Who Speaks for Islam".
You can watch her debate with Irshad Manji (an openly Lesbian Canadian Muslim who is distorting the picture of Islam in the name of "Progressive Islam")http://fora.tv/2008/07/01/Irshad_Manji_and_Dalia_Mogahed_-_Who_Speaks_for_Islam

Finally here is a website for a store that sells lots of Islamic products including Islamic cartoon DVDs in English and Arabic for kids.
http://www.astrolabe.com/category/17/Cartoons_and_KidVid.html?sid=ceb7c5cf8de15b8f1cb92ad29e183a44
 

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