Friday, January 4, 2013

There is no Prefixes to the word 'Muslim' - a journey in the meaning of words...

Are You a Muslim?
Who are you to say I am a Muslim?
Who am I to say I am a Muslim?
I want such declaration to come from
No one but Hu, no one but Hu, no one but Hu...

If you meet my soul, perhaps you may believe him,
But I want to hear it from Hu Himself, from Hu Himself, from Hu Himself...

I find it most amusing to hear people speak,
"Oh... I am Muslim!" and "Oh... he is not a Muslim!"
When the light of their knowledge is barely a flicker
In the cosmic chasm of their manners,

Go on... name your country Islamic!
Name your company Islamic!
Name your trade and your title Islamic!
Name your book Islamic...
For Allah Almighty loves a challenge!

Oh Lord! I am cowering in my sickness,
I am hiding in a mousehole in the plain of my soul,
For I am not worthy to be there, to be here, to be anywhere
Where the where is without You!

Oh Allah the Just! Oh Allah the Wise!
You have given humanity Islam,
And now they think they deserve Islam!?

I am prepared to laugh now,
But all I do every day is cry
And I don't even know why...

Oh God
I don't even know why...

Well, I know that I am a sinner.
Let us start from there.
There is no prefixes to 'Muslim'. In the dictionary of life that I often leaf through there is no word or phrase such as an Islamist. Or modern Muslim. Or progressive / liberal Muslim. Or a fundamentalist Muslim. Or a political Muslim. Or a traditional Muslim. And certainly no reformist Muslim, no neo-Muslim, no revolutionary Muslim, no conservative Muslim, no lipstick Muslim, no secular Muslim and no hardcore Muslim. To the word 'Muslim' there is no prefixes to redefine the meaning of a Muslim. A Muslim is simply a Muslim.

Right. Moving on...

Am I a Muslim? Muslim is a noun, as in a Muslim. But it is also an adjective in the sense that it describes the 'Muslim' as a human being professing to practice the religion of Islam. And that is where most people stop. And in the name of Allah, the Most Nuanced One, the Most Subtle in His ways, I rather think it is a woefully inadequate meaning to give to the word Muslim.

For to say, "I am a Muslim" is to actually mean, "I am undertaking a journey which began even before I was born and one that shall continue after I have passed on. And it is a journey of self-discovery, through which I hope to find the meaning of God as how God intended me to understand Him. And I cannot say with any certainty at which point of the journey towards Muslimhood I am at, only that with each step I find myself sadly inept and negligent and am barely able to carry the little knowledge that I have of myself, and therefore, of God Himself. It is a journey whose caravan head is none other than the Master himself, Saydeena Muhammad (s.a.w.s.), in train with his Companions and the Saints. The light shines somewhere in the far distant, and I can hear the music in their voices, laughter and weary tears. I can smell the perfume of their presence though they have longed died (as far as we understand what life and death mean). My ragged soul, much tested and found to be wanting by this world's trials and tribulations, is glowing not with my own piety, not my own poor facsimile of faith, but with the reflected glorious spirit of my ancestors who came before me, and my descendants who shall soon come after me. I am unfit to be called a Muslim. I am a soul set adrift in the Sea of Temptation and am still searching for my true harbour. Once I am there, only then I will know that I am a Muslim, if it pleases my God to welcome me home."

It is Friday, sunshine. With the rising Sun comes a rising contemplation of who I am ...of who we all are.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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