Friday, August 10, 2012

I Will Be Anything For You - the universality of Muhammad's message and the course of true love

I will be anything for you
I will be a Persian orphan for you,
I will be an Indian merchant for you,
I will be a Victorian barrister for you,
I will be a Chilean miner for you,
I will be an American rapper for you,
I will be an African farmer for you,
I will be a German cellist for you,
I will be a Canadian lumberjack for you,
I will be an Ottoman soldier for you,
I will be a Japanese Samurai for you,
I will be a Brazilian dancer for you,
I will be an Irish Peer for you,
I will be a Welsh rugby player for you,
I will be a Chinese magistrate for you,
I will be a dervish beggar for you,
I will be an Eastern prince for you,
I will be a Swedish designer for you,
I will be a Scottish inventor for you,
However pleasing you want me to be,
From your most noble to the very dregs of your society,
I will be anything for you...

What will you be for me?

Someone thoughtfully shared a BBC documentary with me entitled 'Great British Islam' covering three Victorian Muslims - Marmaduke Pickthall, Baron Headly (Irish Peer) and William Henry Quilliam (Liverpudian lawyer).

The first gentleman I am aware of, being in fact the first Muslim Englishman who translated the al-Quran into his native language (and indeed his version is the very first Quran I found in my home). His tale is covered in a small way earlier in a posting entitled Books connect us all - Lat, Marmaduke Pickthall and Yusuf Ali (Click Here to read).

Abdullah Quilliam and the mosque he built in Liverpool.
Baron Headley
But the other two Victorians were a complete mystery to me, so I found it a great joy to learn a bit about them from this thoughtful little documentary. As I watched it, I learned something - Sometimes what makes you special is the sincerity and earnestness that you exemplify by showing that really, when you cut through the veneer of class, nationality and creed, we are all just human beings driven with the very same ambitions, hopes, desires, fears and vulnerabilities. What is suppose to make Islam, and by default Muslims, special is their ability to blend and integrate into any nation and class. For people like Baron Headley and Quilliam did not try to propagate and defend Islam by demanding for special privileges and with fiery sermons from the pulpit. Instead through their meetings, gentile afternoon teas and publications, they spoke and wrote of poetry, literature, the aesthetics as well as science, business and industry - things which would appeal to the devout Christians of the Victorian era to help them see the Muslims in a different and better light.

For I think this is the universality of the Prophet's message (pbuh) which is often lost to our current generation. And I make this charge and challenge against the most 'fundamentalist' to the most 'liberal' amongst the Muslims - prove me wrong, please. 

Well, that was what I got from watching the video. It just struck a poignant chord in my heart, like how a true love story should. Why don't you watch it and decide for yourself? 

. Have a great Friday, sunshine. . wa min Allah at-taufiq .
Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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