Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Islam Is the Goal, Not the Tool

To my Muslim brothers and sister, u might be asking wud should be your major purpose in life. Wud is the purpose of ISLAM in this world as a Muslim? Should we use our Religion as a tool and gain fame, recognition or money out of it?
Rival political parties in certain countries uses Religion to pull in huge votes.
Businessess uses it to a tool to reap profits.
To hold on to Islam as a religion of faith is very different from holding on to Islam as a tool to fish for and reap a certain gain.
I happen to stumbled upon an article by Dr Asri; Mufti of Perlis wich seems to have a rather similiar view as mine. Let me post it out for sharing purposes.

Holding on to Islam means to have complete faith or full confidence in all the contents of the teaching of the glorious religion. The stronghold on the teaching of Islam has to be founded on the faith that Allah s.w.t has commanded us to submit ourselves to him by obeying His Commands stated in al-Quran and al-Sunnah.

We should not be showing off our grip on Islam only because we wish to satisfy the people, or convince the voters, or prevent people from speaking negatively of us or to fish for and reap the benefits of certain rewards or business ventures. We should not be campaigning for Islam to strengthen our political position, nor to increase our sale nor to legalize our fault.
To hold on to Islam as a religion of faith is very different from holding on to Islam as a tool to fish for and reap a certain gain. The genuine stronghold on Islam as al-Din is as can be seen from the life history of all the Messengers and their followers.

Allah says (translated as): “Say: “Verily, My Lord hath guided me to a way that is straight,- a religion of right,- the path (trod) by Abraham the true in faith, and he (certainly) joined not gods with Allah.” Say: “Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the worlds: No partner hath He: This am I commanded, and I am the first of those who bow to His Will. Say: “Shall I seek for (my) Cherisher other than Allah, when He is the Cherisher of all things (That exist)? Every soul draws the meed of its acts on none but itself: no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. Your goal in the end is towards Allah. He will tell you the truth of the things wherein ye disputed.” (Surah al-‘An’am: 161-164)
It is clear from the above verse that Islam is the goal and not a tool. Islam is being held on to driven by the awareness and conviction that it is an obligation and we will be held responsible for it by Allah in the Day of Judgment.

That is how we are supposed to be in holding on to the teaching of Islam even though we have our own weaknesses and flaws in this life. We may fail to practice the teaching of Islam in every aspect of our life but we should not use Islam as tool to reap any worldly gain. We may have sins but we should not legalize our sins only because we have done it.
Therefore, when we hold on to or practice any element in the teaching of Islam, the hold and practice have to be built on faith that brings about sincerity in doing things only for the sake of Allah. In there, mercy and blessing will come. It is not because of any specific worldly interest that supersedes that foundation. If not, this religion will become a plaything to those who always look for gain and opportunity.

If religion is only used as a tool, then we will not be surprised to see the various medicines being sold nowadays using the name of the religion. It is to the extent that there is purportedly miracle water produced by dissolving some ink used to write verses of al-Quran on a plate in water. They claim that if one drinks that solution, he will gain so many kind of miracles that if the companions of the Prophet s.a.w were still alive today they would also be surprised to hear it. Even they had never received any incantation from the Prophet s.a.w that was as extraordinary as that.

Similarly, when al-Quran is regarded as a tool and not the objective, we will then see someone who has never given heed to the teaching of this revered book suddenly hire people to recite the al-Quran near his body after he has died. Will the al-Quran give him any benefit after his death whereas all the while when he is still alive, he never heeded the teaching and commands of Allah stated in the al-Quran? Will his body, after listening to the recitation of al-Quran that commands him to perform the prayer, fast, pay zakat, perform the Hajj, be trustworthy, be just and prohibits him from gambling, involving in usury, drinking alcohols, involving in graft, betrayal and the likes of it, be able to resurrect to perform all those orders and commands?
Whereas the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w stated, “Al-Quran can be a proof on your behalf or against you.” (Reported by Muslim) However, some people use al-Quran as a tool to reap worldly gains by making a business out of offering Allah’s rewards instead of using al-Quran as the guiding principle in life. Thus, some individuals emerge among our community as the supplier for Allah’s reward and they can be hired for thousands of ringgit to manufacture Allah’s reward using the recitation of al-Quran. Subsequently, Allah’s reward can be traded and the Afterlife can be bought. Because of that, the Prophet s.a.w once gave this reminder, “Recite the al-Quran and ask for rewards from Allah for there will be people after you who recite the al-Quran and ask (for reward) from humans.” (Reported by Ahmad and al-Tirmizi, ranked as hasan (good) by al-Albani)

Some make the grand opening of the contest of reciting the al-Quran and the same individuals reject the principles of the al-Quran in another function. Thus, it is not surprising for us to see the different faces between the field of education, entertainment, industry and many more. At times, they want to follow Islam but on another occasion, they seem reluctant to follow Islam.
Today, the price of rice and other goods is going up. Soon, we will hear religious forums or the ustaz on telivision giving lectures on the discouragement of spendthrift, the campaign for frugalness and many more. It as if this religion is needed only during difficult times and is abandoned when life is easy. Or, it is as if this religion is only for the elderly residing at isolated small towns whereas it is irrelevant to those at the top.

Allah mentions the typical human’s character in the al-Quran by saying (translated as): “He it is who enableth you to traverse through land and sea; so that ye even board ships;- they sail with them with a favorable wind, and they rejoice thereat; then comes a stormy wind and the waves come to them from all sides, and they think they are being overwhelmed: They cry unto Allah, sincerely offering (their) duty unto Him saying, “If Thou dost deliver us from this, we shall truly show our gratitude!” But when He delivereth them, behold! They transgress insolently through the earth in defiance of right! O mankind! Your insolence is against your own souls,- an enjoyment of the life of the present: In the end, to Us is your return, and We shall show you the truth of all that ye did.” (Surah Yunus: verse 22-23)

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