What is Islam? The definition that we mostly associate with Islam is the complete submission to Allah The Most High as His humble servants. One thing that sometimes we seem to forget is the fact that Islam is a way of life not something that we do once a week like so many other faiths have done. The beauty and essence of our religion is based on how we apply it in our daily lives. We already know that we should be doing our prayers, fasting during the month of Ramadan, Paying our Charity, performing Hajj and submitting our complete selves to Allah and not associate any partners with Him and that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is His final messenger. We should also be implementing the teachings of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) who is the best exemplar of truly living Islam and loving humanity.

When the Prophet Muhammad delivered the message of Islam it wasn’t only conveyed to a particular race, color, gender, or social stature, it was a message from Allah to all of humanity.

Allah (swt) says (Interpretation of meaning):  34:28 “And We have not sent you (O Muhammad SAW) except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind, but most of men know not.”

Our prophet was a man who was obedient to Allah and had characteristics of honesty, strength, patience, love, and great generosity. He taught us everything from how to welcome a newborn child into the world, to how we lay our loved ones beneath the earth. He educated us in business, how to be caring companions to our spouses, and showed us the importance of brotherhood. As centuries have passed we have seen the empathy for human beings deteriorate. The world has become a selfish, arrogant, and negligent place. Humanity is suffering during these times more than ever. Society as a whole has become indifferent towards individuals who are in great needs of food, shelter, and protection.

Our brothers and sisters across the globe are in despair and are being oppressed. We are seeing in the present, worldly events that prove with great assurance that we are living in an era where there is an increasing amount of violence, discrimination, hypocrisy, a decrease in good deeds and so many other injustices that are targeted towards mankind. It is very possible that we are living in the end of times. Human rights are diminishing hastily just as boiling water that evaporates into the atmosphere. It was narrated by Abu Huraira, “The Prophet said, “Time will pass rapidly, good deeds will decrease, miserliness will be thrown (in the hearts of the people) afflictions will appear and there will be much ‘Al-Harj.” They said, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is “Al-Harj?” He said, “Killing! Killing!”

Our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Sudan, Palestine, Iraq, France, and Chechnya are all examples of afflictions and calamities that the ummah is facing. These tragedies are not only tribulations for Muslims but are crises that affect all of humanity. The situation in Afghanistan which shows us what extremism and fanaticism could do to a nation. In Bosnia, when our Muslim sisters were raped and abused. “The ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) ruled that the campaign of systematic rapes in Foca constituted a crime against humanity in a judgment against several men.” (http://www.iafrica.com/) “Top Bosnian Serb denies Muslim rapes”).  The current situation in Sudan which has driven people to flee from their homes and live in refugee camps in an attempt to seek safety and protection from the murders that have killed tens of thousands of people, raping of their women, and torture of their loved ones. The Israeli and Palestinian conflict that has killed many innocent children and scarred families for life, the atrocities of Abu Ghraib in Iraq which stripped and humiliated the victims’ honor, even the prohibition of our Muslim sisters wearing there hijab in France, and the right of Chechnya to have their own governed nation without the occupation of Russia. These are all evident crimes against humanity and it is our duty as Muslims in Islam to make every possible effort to restore human dignity and put an end to this despicable oppression. Allah has made it very clear that oppression is haraam and those who transgress and commit such mischief in the earth will have no protector and will have to answer to Him on the Day of Judgment.

Allah (swt) says (Interpretation of meaning):  20:81 “(Saying) eat of the Taiybat (good lawful things) wherewith We have provided you, and commit no oppression therein, lest My Anger should justly descend on you. And he on whom My Anger descends, he is indeed perished.

Allah (swt) says (Interpretation of meaning):  40:33 “A Day when you will turn your backs and flee having no protector from Allah, And whomsoever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide.”

The Prophet Muhammad, our finest teacher, has demonstrated to us the strength of the ummah when we are united. He used a beautiful illustration in a hadith that was narrated by Abu Musa the Prophet said, “A believer to another believer is like a building whose different parts enforce each other.” The Prophet then clasped his hands with the fingers interlaced (while saying that).” This is such a wonderful example from the Prophet (pbuh). He shows us the direct relationship that we have collectively when we are obeying Allah (swt) and follow the Sunnah and implement (tarbiyya) brotherhood.

We are living a generation where as Muslims we are weak. We think that identifying ourselves only as Muslims is sufficient. But what this nation needs are Muslims who practice and implement the Sunnah of our Prophet. If we follow his authentic teachings we can never go astray.  This life is filled with fitnah (trials) and it is only increasing as the years pass. In the news, we see things that are outrageous we have become somewhat anesthetized from hearing constant calamities facing the world. We have also grown accustomed to pointing the finger at corrupted leaders, and people who are fanatics and so called “jihadists” instead of pointing the fingers at ourselves. Allah is sending his wrath on our nation because of things we have innovated in our religion. We have added and abandoned things in our deen. Allah (swt) warns us about this in the Quran. 

 He says (interpretation of the meaning): 24:63 “And let those who oppose the Messengers (Muhammad SAW) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) (among the sects) beware, lest some fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant, etc.) befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them”.  

As Muslims we must live Islam. It is incumbent on us to show the world the beauty, richness of our belief and enjoin the good and forbid the evil. We need to return as soon as possible to the teachings of our beloved Prophet before we are taken from this short and temporary dunya (world). This life is only a test and a temporary abode filled with hardships. We must learn and understand the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) to have success in this life and the hereafter. We have become consumed with this world’s tangible pleasures and have fooled ourselves into thinking that we will have till tomorrow to submit completely to our Lord. Some of us have become what I call part-time Muslims. When at the mosque, some act righteous to be seen by men and to have the reputation of being a so-called good Muslim; however, at our places of employments or any other time we indulge in sins like shaking the hands of the opposite sex, intermingling with them, celebrating man-made holidays in an effort to fit into Western society. We are only fooling ourselves and no one else. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “”Hasten to do good deeds before you are overtaken by one of the seven afflictions.” Then (giving a warning) he said, “Are you waiting for poverty which will make you unmindful of devotion, or prosperity which will make you corrupt, or a disease which will disable you, or senility which will make you mentally unstable, or sudden death which will take you all of a sudden, or Ad-Dajjal who is the worst expected, or the Hour; and the Hour will be most grievous and most bitter.” (At-Tirmidhi)

We must remember our duty is to Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). We need to get our act together and get with the program. The dunya is deceiving us with its mirage of pleasures. Wake up…Reflect…and learn Islam.

We have been given two great blessings that we have taken for granted our health and free time. Let us remember this hadith of the Prophet. He said: “There are two blessings in which many people incur loss. (They are) health and free time (for doing good)”.

We are blessed. We are a nation that has the best foundation of all. We have strong roots as a tree. This foundation is Islam if we study it sincerely and practice our way of life these tools will keep us on the path of truth and bring us success in this life and the next inshallah. The early generations of Islam encountered hardships, oppression, and death. They fought for Islam so that we today would have the ability and privilege of practicing our deen. Let’s use the tools that Allah and His Prophet have sent us and be among the successful.