Reading between the lines [Archives:2004/767/Opinion]

August 26 2004

By Alawi Abdulla Abu Bakir Taha
For Yemeni Times
[email protected]

Sometimes, trying to convey what I'm reflecting on is difficult because of the world we live in, and the world we live in isn't what it seems to be. Wherever I go, whatever job I am in, whatever initiative I step into, whatever vision I try to support, I find much of it is based on illusions, lies and hidden agendas. And the man or woman who is sincere and truthful, is seen as the aggressor or rebel. No matter where I go, no matter what I see and even touch, it seems nothing is real in this world. No matter who I have associated with in England and talked to, it seems it is hard for them to be truthful. The closer I got to what I was searching for, the further away I got in wanting what people wanted. But I also see that people who have attached their hearts to this world have a lot to lose. This world is all they've got!
They talk about succession, leaving a legacy behind but when I say:
“What about you building for the next life?”
It is alarming for them to comprehend and I am even talking about some Muslims in the mainstream world. They cover their guilt, their 'knowledge', by coming out with some philosophy or Sufi saying, or some quote from a book about 'one should do it for love.' Yet, love for God is about being true to what you love, and if it is Allah then Allah the All Mighty wants you to do what He has ordained you to do and to bow to no man or woman's whims, system or agenda even if it isolates you.
I remember, when Muhammad (SAW) was trying his best to please the Quriash to work with them, build a solid relationship with them for the interest only of Islam and while he was doing this, a blind man by the name of Ibn Umm Maktoom came to him for help in understanding Islam, the Qur'an. He frowned at him. He was not pleased at the blind man's interruption. Then Allah the All Mighty revealed to Muhammad Surah 80, called Frowning.
“He frowned and turned his back when the blind man came to him. How could you tell? He might have sought to purify himself. He might have been forewarned and the reminder might have profited him. But to the one who considered himself self-sufficient you were all attention. Yet the fault would not be yours if he remained uncleansed. As to him who comes to you with zeal and with a feeling of fear in his heart, him you ignore and busy yourself with tribes. No indeed ! This is an admonition; let him who will, bear it in mind. It is written on honored pages, exalted, purified, by the hands of noble and devout scribes. Perish man! How ungrateful he is! Of what did Allah create him? Of a little germ. He created him and proportioned him. He makes his path smooth for him. He then causes him to die and puts him in his grave. He will surely bring him back to life when He pleases. But by no means has man fulfilled His bidding. Let man reflect on the food he eats: how We pour down the rain in torrents, and cleave the earth in fissures; how We bring forth the corn, the grapes, and the fresh vegetation, the olive and the palm, the dense tree'd gardens, the fruit-trees and the green pastures, for you and your cattle to delight in. But when the stunning blast is sounded, on that day each man will forsake his brother, his mother and his father, his wife and his children: for each one of them will on that day have enough preoccupation's of his own. Some faces on that day shall be beaming, smiling and joyful. Some other faces on that day shall be covered with dust, veiled with darkness. These shall be the faces of the disbelievers, the hardened in sin.” Qura'n Suran 80.
I remembered these very words of our Lord and you know, I felt, that people are pleasing someone else, or doing things to get to some place so they can then apply some law but do it first with silence and insincerity, forgetting that the power belongs to Allah the All Mighty. The means do not justify the ends, and if you compromise once they shall make you compromise a second time and again. If in your heart, you are not bowing to the whims of man, of directors, of funders, of anyone, to be scared to speak out, and stay silent because you are waiting for the time, because people will isolate you and believe me, they try to like a pack of wolves, then man is a fool. For death can be upon us any second, hour or day.
As I evaluated my life, I have to be honest. I smelt the stench of this world. I felt the stench of how community organisations, business centers, councilors and even how the system of the government plays it's cards, enslaving the minds of people, shaping people who deceive each other so much so, that you can't even tell if the man or woman is speaking the truth or talking to you in some code. They throw money to our communities, like throwing a bone in the middle of pack of dogs. What happens? The aim, the objective is lost, the struggle, the disease which they're trying to eradicate is forgotten and replaced with something else. A distraction.
I couldn't sleep today, and the more I thought about everything in life, how the system in all things work within organisations, community, preparing for strategy building, I realised something so important, something that I knew already but never have I understood what we have until now. We speak of it but do we really know? We know of it, we admire it, we want it back when we lose it, or see someone else we know lose it, and we look in the mirror of our own souls. Those with any decency, honor, nobility would cry or at least feel something in their hearts.
Whatever I see in this world, it isn't real. Wallahi! It's not real, it is a mirage, an illusion brothers and sisters. It is a distraction for the heart of a man, woman and children. The only thing that is real is when we put our foreheads on that floor because this is what we shall take with us. The only thing that is real is when we help our fellow man, our communities, with nobility, truth and zeal to stand against all odds and be true to the very words you speak. The only thing that is real, is when we can unite our own families together as one while others can't even together, have no time to even meet once a week, because they have been distracted from the real purpose of this life. Don't tell me about the world and what we must do and how we shall gain our world, our country, our wealth, our economy back if we cannot even come together as a family, as a community and not argue, or fight each other! The truth will set us free and its the truth that will leave us a legacy in the greatest company ever.
Today is the day that I feel much sorrow for many of my fellow men and my heart weighs heavy today more than it has ever been. I would give a mountain of gold, my whole wealth, whatever small thing I have, the belongings of my home, to be in the company of men who still live in this world but their hearts are not in this world, and they never compromise on the integrity Allah the All Mighty gave them.
Years ago, the crusades came with their missionaries to the Arab world, the next was with major weapons but I tell you now, it wont be tanks, bullets, planes or war strategy that they will be concentrating on. It will be 'ideology.' Getting into the minds of our future generation, keeping them busy and wrapped up in the system, chasing that gold nugget of a feeling of power, that they can change a thing. The most powerful tool ever will be 'distraction' and my heart weighs heavy because I can read and see between the lines. I see what it's doing to my people, our ummah.
Salat has never tasted sweeter than today.