April 3, 2003

From: Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia
To: My Fellow Muslim
Subject: A TALL ORDER AS OF NOW

My Dear Yusuf Bhai,

As-Salaam Alay-Kum

From one ordinary soul to another, allow me to thank you profoundly for your message, which re-emphasized the unabated decay in morality. You have rightly suggested the need to take a different approach to calm down the inflamed minds of the Muslim Ummah.

You are absolutely right that any twist of words or a skillful use of language will not be able to hide the truth. The ultimate truth, which we as Muslims must face in these days and times, is to take heed to the call of Maulana Wahiduddin Khan: “Man! Recognize Yourself! Know what you are doing, and what you ought to be doing!”

Sadly, what we Muslims are not at all doing is “reading” in between the lines for the “voice of reason, and what we Muslims ought to be doing is to live by the commandments of the Holy Quran. No wonder we are in a state of a moral and spiritual bankruptcy.

Our minds have long been “inflamed” as we have yet to come to grips with the crude fact of “life” as stated by Norman Cousins: “Nothing is more powerful than an individual acting out of his conscience, thus helping to bring the collective conscience to life.” Wisdom shift, as you prayed for can only be applied when, we, the people of the Muslim Ummah, sincerely learn how to speak out collectively along with an open-hearted commitment to face up to the “truth” as guided by our conscience. I guess the best example that I can cite is a “Letter To The Editor” published in The Washington Times – National Weekly Edition, in the issue of December 16-22, 2002, wherein, the writer asked two straight questions as follows:

1. What religion has motivated the perpetrators of terrorism in Bali, the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Russia, Israel, Kenya, France and the U.S. – in fact, of nearly every act of terror occurring weekly around the globe?

2. Why haven’t we heard a single prominent American Muslim leader condemn all of this bloodletting in the name of Allah, unconditionally?

My friend, these questions are no propaganda, as they come right from an individual heart imbibed with a true conscience. Another ordinary soul spoke his mind. Likewise, we as Muslims have equal responsibility to bring our collective conscience to “life” and come to the defense of our great religion of Islam.

As a firm believer in the Quranic scripture and the Law of Nature, allow me to bring to your kind attention yet another example set forth by the editor of The Washington Post sometime back in the 1950’s or 1960’s as follows:

Some years ago a little girl in Rockville, Maryland, wrote the following letter to The Washington Post:

“We are studying the world. We would like to have some information on these topics:
How the world started.
How the world changed.
How the world actually is now.
Our relations to the world.
How we can best leave the world for others to follow us.”

The editor replied in the paper in these words:

“We can answer just one point. how the the world is now. The answer is, terrible.”

But when the editor saw his reply in print, he reconsidered and in the second edition on the same day he offered a totally different response:

“All the answers are in the Bible, particular in the story of Jesus. We do know one thing: the world is a beautiful place.”

Indeed, the world, as created by Almighty Allah, is a beautiful place, and as always, the answers are in the Holy Quran, particularly in the tradition of our beloved Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him). The truth of the matter is that this very sentiment was expressed in your message dated December 5, 2002: “We as Muslims have a difficult job in correcting the image of Muslims. It will come about only through the behavior of the Muslims as ordained in Quran and given in the tradition of The Prophet. It may seem A TALL ORDER AS OF NOW. ”

Warmest personal regards,

Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To: Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia
From: My Fellow Muslim
Dated: March 30, 2003

Sir,

I do not support terrorism. But by smart twist of words and mastery of language fact can not be hidden. What world is witnessing today is not just terrorism but a kind of arrogance that comes from the military and economic might. We seem to have become heartless and selfish. We can feel our pains but can not sense the anguish of others. There is total bankruptcy of morality at all levels. We can not go on quoting scriptures at a time when the passion are high. Maybe we need another approach to calm down the inflamed minds.

When I watch BCC, I marvel at the calm displayed by the western journalists compared to the middle east ones who not only struggle with the language but get excited and fail to make their point. This does not present a pretty picture. In these days of propaganda it is very difficult for an ordinary soul like us to know the truth or read between the lines. I can only to pray to Almighty to grant us the wisdom shift truth from the untruth and stay on right path.

Regards,

A Fellow Muslim

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

THE FEAR OF GOD

A society in which everyone is just in his behavior towards others, and unfailingly wishes others well, is bound to be one of exceptional unity. The more pervasive the atmosphere of mutual goodwill, the higher the degree of unification. If we think of the members of a Muslim society as being the bricks which make up a massive building, we see how each separate brick, being inextricably linked to the other bricks, gives strength to those others and to the entire building. Each brick may be a separate entity, but the connection between it and the others – always close and never in conflict – is one of interdependence and harmony. It is the function of the brick, not to destabilize the edifice, but to consolidate it. It does not seek to fashion the building after its own style, but rather moulds itself to whatever shape will produce a strong and durable structure.

What is required for such an Islamic society to come into being? The answer is simply that people should fear God. The secret of all good in this world is THE FEAR OF GOD, while the absence of this fear is the root of all evil. The companions of the Prophet used to observe that “your greatest well-wisher is one who fears God with regard to you. ” Indeed, it is the truly God-fearing man who is predisposed to treat others well.”

There can be no better rein upon an individual’s actions than the thought that God will one day call him to account for his deeds. When one is on the point of being overwhelmed by some animal instincts, or one feels tempted to assert oneself at the expense of others in some matter of honour, prestige or vested interests, there is only one thing which can keep such urges in check so that one does not deviate from the path of justice, and that is the clear realisation that all matters will be judged by God and that no one will ever escape punishment for his misdeeds. One might conceivably escape being punished in this world, but there is absolutely no way that one will be able to escape God’s punishment in the world beyond the grave.

A Muslim society should be one of mutual benevolence and justice for all, but this can only be so if all its members have the fear of God in their hearts. When one Muslim has dealings with another, he should not feel that he has to do with a mere human being, but that it is God Himself – God with every strength at his command – with whom he has to deal. Every human being should strike him as a creature sustained by his Maker, and he should never forget that everything he does in life will finally be judged by God, who has full knowledge of both his inner thoughts and his outward deeds. A Muslim should bear it ever in mind that one day he will die, and shall have to give account of himself to God. He keeps praying to God to be kind and compassionate towards him on the Day of Judgement. This very prostration of himself before God will make him kindhearted and compassionate towards his fellowmen.

Excerpts from a book titled: Islam As It Is
Author: Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Publisher: The Islamic Center – New Delhi, India (Year 1992)

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