We were created by Allah(swt) for the sole purpose to worship Him and Him alone. No other.
I have been thinking about this concept for some time just as I have been thinking about the words Brotherhood and Sisterhood in Islam.
We know what – ‘brotherhood/sisterhood in Islam’ and ‘to worship Allah(swt) -‘ means. But do we really think about the depth of acts and meanings associated with these phrases in a way where we seek to find new grounds of understanding. It takes time to reflect. Thinking is so hard, believe me. If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t been posting in a while is because I’m so distracted by many things happening in my life that I haven’t had a chance to think. Just think. And when I try, its just so hard.
But alhamdullilah (‘Praise to Allah(swt)’) there are times once in a while when you really understand something (because of the blessings of Allah(swt)) and you are one fraction of an inch less in ignorance. [Any reduction in ignorance, no matter how small, can make all the difference in how you perceive the world than the person standing next to you.]
Alhamdullilah, I’ve been blessed to be able to actually comprehend two recent experiences about ‘Brotherhood/Sisterhood in Islam’ and ‘worshiping Allah(swt), that have expanded my understanding, that I would like to share.
Note: Brotherhood/Sisterhood in Islam and ‘Worshiping Allah(swt) are two very diverse topics – while they have similiarities, at least for now I wish to share two ‘separate’ experiences
Brotherhood/Sisterhood in Islam
So I was at Jummah at my university earlier this year (at least I hope it was this year…time is flying so fast, its hard to remember if it wasn’t the end of last) and at the Khutbah I was listening to the Khateb talk about the topic of treating ones family (more specifically their wife well). It was an interesting topic but as I was sitting with my fellow muslims I starting thinking – and not too deeply, but reality sort of hit me on the spot. I was at jummah with my fellow sisters and brothers in Islam. The Khateb was an older man, probably in his 40s, at least to me he would of course be an uncle. I respected him not just because he was an older person but also because he is a person just like anyone of us. Define respect – what is behind respect. The reason why we respect older individuals is not because of their ‘age’, their ‘physical age’ – it is actually because of the experiences that they have gained and the level of maturity that they have benefited from because they have lived out a longer life than we have. I realized for the first time, while I was sitting there for jummah prayer what it means to truly call someone a ‘brother’ or a ‘sister’ in Islam. The khateb is not an uncle (he may be, but at least for me he is not), he is a brother, a brother who is older than me, a brother that I am connected to in the fold of Islam. I never brought these concepts to heart, until that moment when in that Jummah I realized that standing before me is my older brother, and around me are my actual sisters and brothers.
To go beyond conceptualizing and to bring bonds like these to your heart, to accept those around you as your family (remember we all came from Prophet Adam and Huwa) is the true essence of what it means to be of the greater creation of Allah(swt). That day I saw one of my older brothers give a beautiful khutbah.
And it made me realize in a broader sense that we need to start developing our relationships with others. This ummah needs to step up and connect with one another. We need to end stereotypes, fight discrimination within our hearts (we are unrightfully judgeful when we interact with people everyday), and embrace those around us. They are a part of us, they are our family; whether or not we grew up together. Imagine embracing everyday with this mindset. I feel that a lot of times, people don’t give one another a chance, a chance to understand and develop a relationship. Developing a relationship, I know, is hard work! And even I’m guilty of the fact that everyday I find at least one instance if not more where I don’t give someone the chance to either get to know me, or I take the intiative to know them or I don’t give them the chance to help our relationship grow and reach the next level. We need to stop playing with ourselves. Stop being selfish and feeding our own independence. At the end of the day, each one of us depends solely on the blessings and sustanance provided to us by Allah(swt). In order for us to connect and truly show pure love for our Lord, we must show love to all that is around us (people, animals, the earth, etc). We can’t ignore someone or something that is seeking to develop a relationship with us – someone with good intentions.
Are we scared of developing a relationship with those who don’t have good intentions? Is that why we find ourselves sometimes hiding from the world? Realize two things : 1) we are in no position to ever know what is truly in anothers heart or mind 2) fight your inner voice that starts to whisper judgments about another person by rationalizing that it may be the act (or behavior) of that person that you disagree with, however it is not the person themselves that is in infinite error
When you see someone who is acting or behaving in a way that you disagree with, I’m not advising you to become their best friend, however if Allah(swt) will’s some sort of interaction between you and him/her – remember not to let your judgments affect your behavior towards them. Respect all, enjoin the good and forbid the evil.
To Be Continued