Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Soulful Reminders

I’m on the morning school run of late, sending my daughter and have since been tuning to IKIM’s radio station (91.5FM).

There’s a delightful morning Zikir every 7am, followed soon by a morning motivational talk before the 8am news snippets.

You’re not far off to think Radio IKIM as filled with theology-centric items but you’d be surprised. Just this morning, the motivational speaker (missed his name, shame on me) quoted Donald “You’re fired” Trump in his talk.

His talk centred on what Islam could provide to a nation so advance that everything seems to have been catered for. He was talking of Japan, of punctuality, of advancement in technology, etc.

To great nations and even greater people, he said, Islam provides the sense of purpose: The Why.

I can only regurgitate so much of what was conveyed during the morning talk, but what was running through my mind was this: despite the greatness of Islam, so-called Islamic countries don’t have anything to offer the world.

Nothing at all.

The fact remains that we have to go back centuries for the glory days of Islamic civilization is the sad testament of how we have erred from the path of greatness.

The middle path of moderation, of sincerity, of progress. In total contrast to what is occurring in some countries including our own.

Weird in that Donald Trump came up in all this, isn’t it?

Not really as the good Ustaz quoted the billionaire property magnate saying something along the lines of “Success without happiness is nothing” or something like so.

Yes, I know that it’s easy for those moneyed to say so, but Trump was talking of his own context of being divorced from his former better half.

I believe in Islam, this is the concept of Redha (acceptance?).

Two examples come to mind: extreme ones, really. The first is something I read in New York Times quoted by a mid-level Afghan official in the face of assassinations committed on his colleagues.

Others have either given up their struggle to provide a better future for country, or armed themselves with security personal.

He says this instead: His life and death is God’s, and if God decrees that he should die, he will die. Wherever, whenever, however so.

In other words, he will not shirk from his responsibilities. He accepts what is happening as something decreed by God.

The other example is the Palestinians. Here is a group oppressed in their own land while neighbours – some richer beyond belief – lift not a single finger to help. Being in such a situation would have broken even the strongest-willed.

Unless, that is, they accept their predicament as God’s will.

I used to be cynical about the surplus of attention to the Palestinian cause when there are other oppressed (muslim and non-muslims alike) group all over the world, but not anymore.

Instead there is now only admiration of their strength of resolve and faith.

Especially since it brings forth a question I don’t dare (can’t?) provide an answer.

What do I have to offer?

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