Ilm 2 Amal
The one thing that humans do amazingly well is to complain. It seems that this is a generic skill of all people from the most diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds that I’ve seen first-hand from every corner of the world. And naturally, because the Muslims are the very best at everything – like, ever - then likewise we have to accept the crown of being the masters of lamentation.
Whether you’ve been fortunate/unfortunate enough to be stuck in an ‘Eid gathering around your Pakistani uncle’s house whilst waiting for the chai, or popped over to your English convert neighbour’s house to share a pot of tea, or whether you’re sitting in an Egyptian Cafe sipping on the black stuff, or whether you’re sitting around at the local Timmy Horton’s with your Somali friends waiting for a “Double Double” – and I really mean sitting around – you can be sure that we all won’t miss this prime-time opportunity to have a good old moan and whinge. As well as to surmise over why tea and coffee is always linked to our miserable state…aha! It’s the Americans again poisoning our mind and hearts with their national drinks! Oh wait…
We’ve always been plagued with the need to constantly and fruitlessly complain about things but not do anything about getting up and changing our condition despite the very clear Qur’anic injunction to do so. Although not even on the same page of eloquency with the Qur’an, perhaps the old saying, “If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it” might just hit home.
What must be kept in mind is that the solutions to our big international problems are becoming increasingly dependent on the condition of the Muslims living in the “West” due to the financial and political clout that one can utilise from such shores. Yet at the same time, the very same instigators and supporters of those causes that create our international misery have learnt that they can be even more effective by compounding our national and local misery too.
Hence the rise of the right-wing, the increase in xenophobia and the rampant Islamophobia that is being dished out to the various Muslim communities in the West has to be addressed urgently before things get out of control. That is if they already haven’t.
To fight to preserve our status as loyal contributing Muslim citizens of our countries here in the West locally has become our number one collective priority (after personal individual preservation), because it is only through the establishment of a firm foundation here that we can build progress and provide real help for our fellow brothers and sisters in humanity over there.
You’ll be amazed over the next few days to see hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world, and tens of millions in non-Muslim countries, religiously fast the 9th and 10th days of Muharram, obediently and in devotion, despite the fact that it is a purely voluntary act of worship.
What if we could get even 10% of the same numbers of people devote themselves to their obligations, and then specifically those civic and political obligations that are necessary to ensure the preservation of our community? It would truly be a whole different ball-game.
The good news on the horizon is that a number of Muslims in recent times have taken it upon themselves to coolly and intelligently analyse the various problems we are finding ourselves in, and then others are taking to the next stage in offering advice and steps to take to rectify the problem, and then we have those at the final stage who are best of all implementing and acting upon these strategies and helping to motivate and inspire others from all communities to work together and do more of the same.
We all have different skill-sets and abilities yet we need to work together to do as much as we can in each of these three stages, but especially the last aspect of action itself. We hope that here at 1st Ethical we’ll be able to continue showcasing in our “What We’re Following” section on the left a selection of the latest different pieces that illustrate all of these three stages, which will hopefully inspire us all to do something about it as opposed to just sit around and complain.
I think after the failure of the recent Cancun climate-change summit, I’m going to leave it to the others to “Stop Global Warming”, and I’m going to focus on telling the Muslims to “Stop Global Whining” instead. Get out and do!
Now that really would bring about a change in the current climate.