by Muzafar m alidina
A lack of, or a genuine disinterest of participating and being enthusiastic about one’s own religion is a problem that plagues our communities today. Fortunately or unfortunately, the excuse that “it won’t make a difference” or that “I am not interested” doesn’t hold true anymore.
We always hear the stories of great personalities, and how they upheld their religious fervor in the thickest of times. One such example is that of Bibi Zainab, on the night after Ashura, where in the worst of times she recited her night prayers (Namaz-e-Layl). If you ask those who have tried to recite this prayer early before dawn or even late at night, you’ll be taken aback by its difficulties. The question then becomes, would we have done the same thing? It is a completely different discussion to compare a woman of such high regard with ourselves, but have we ever thought what it must feel like to stand up in the middle of the night to recite the night prayer after witnessing and participating in the events of Ashura? It goes without saying that prayers need to be accompanied by sincere action, and that one without the other only goes so far.
Too many times we get caught up in the ebb and flow of things. Yes, we participate in gatherings, prayers, supplications, in condemning the crackdown in Bahrain, but the question remains: will we remain there until the end? Or will we dissipate into the crowds like the people of Kufa time and time again?
With the rising of what the world has dubbed as the “Arab Spring”, we as Muslims around the world can no longer excuse ourselves from striving to become closer to Allah (S.W.T). If we truly desire to change the world, and if we truly want the world to be one that will be ready for our coming Imam, change has to come from within. The various revolutions have shown us that seeking reform in the Ummah is possible, but only to a certain extent. The stumbling block remains with the much longer metamorphosis, of the Greater Jihad, a struggle with ones own identity. Inexplicably we as Muslims get dragged to the edge of our seats with every unfolding event, hoping for that great miraculous sign that may change the world forever. What we forget is that there may be no shattering earthquake, splintering lightning from the skies, but a gradual, slow transformation of peoples. Only when we realize this, will we awaken and take steps on our personal struggles.
As the Prophet (peace be upon him) says, “whosoever knows oneself knows his lord”. The idea is that only through recognizing man’s true nature can one come to recognize his Lord. Self-recognition will be the crux of the matter when change finally arrives.
Sometimes we wonder how the wounds of this world will ever heal, and if it’s even possible. The answer lies within each and everyone of us.