We had the honour meeting an islamic scholar (not a fiqhi) in Lahore, named Dr. Israr Ahmed, in a personal conversation.
My friend asked about his personal struggle. He said something like this: Now-a-days we are being bombarded with all sorts of ideas. When i sit among secularists, i am carried away by them. When i go to religious elite, i become religious. Like there’s so much confusion.
Dr. Israr gave us a 3-step process to find certitude and ultimately Truth and to assimilate truth, to put in my stammering, vague terminology.
1. Access/check/scrutinize your Faith (emaan). Is it real, is it based on certitude, yaqeen? Sadly, our faith is mere dogma. Its racial creed i inherited this religion, and i subscribe to it. This is not true, real emaan with yaqeen. The real faith is testified from within. (I forgot what he explained later.)
2. Learn Arabic. Learn Qur’an. Qur’anic grammar is very easy. So learn arabic quickly, you’re young, you must learn and then keep fixed in Qur’an.
3. Following the model of Prophet. The best model to follow that is.
I believe that most modern confusions stem from the first problem. And then all deficiencies of thought are a direct cause of the lack of Qur’anic learning or even mere reading in Arabic, the language in which Allah has talked to mankind. And then all deficiencies in action is due of lack of following like an instinct the sunna of Rasool ullah, saw.
This is similar to what is very much known among scholars, preachers and Sufism about the reality of Islam: Intention, Knowledge and Action.
I was searching about homeschooling, because i’m interested in it, and i came across the blog of a writer from Canada who wrote a book on home-schooling. It shocked me partially to read their ignorance, even those who can write books, not surprisingly. He writes in a causal way:
“We all have our favorite term and can passionately defend it and explain why it describes our family’s way. Of course, we all know there is no one right way to learn or to live…”
Okay, there may be no right way to learn – acceptable. But so causally say that there’s no right to live, no aim, no purpose, no direction, clearly shows how ignorant the masters of westernized oriental are. We, Muslims, cannot find much good in the alien to Islam educational systems, while i agree there’s nothing wrong with the tools, provided the “direction” is right. As the Quran urges us to know: “81:26 | Then where are you going?” (Source.)
Is it possible that God does not merely save followers of other previously valid religions besides Islam out of a divine amnesty, but for the truth that exists in previous religions, including those such as Native American religions, and others?
Response by Shaykh Nuh Mim Keller:
“Every true religion has been revealed by God through His messengers the prophets (upon whom be blessings and peace), so all religions were originally the truth. But how much of this original truth remains is irrelevant once they have been superseded by a subsequent revelation, since the very fact of their abrogation shows they are no longer acceptable to God or adequate for men. The position of Imam Ghazali cited in the Letter to ‘Abd al-Matin entails that followers of such faiths, if unreached by the new prophet or his message, will be saved by a general amnesty from Allah regardless of the amount of truth or falsity in them, as He has said,
“We do not punish until We send a Messenger” (Qur’an 17:15).
All salvation, for Muslims or others, is out of divine favor and amnesty, not because of works, even the work of having true faith, for faith is counted in Islam among one’s works, it being rigorously authenticated that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,
Shall I not inform you of the best of your works?—belief in God . . . (Bukhari, 3.188–89: 2518. S).
And he (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said:
“None your works shall enter any of you into paradise.” Someone said, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?” and he said, “Not even me, unless Allah conceals me beneath a mercy from Him. But do what is right” (Muslim, 4.2169: 2816. S).
So not even by the truth of one’s religious convictions does anyone enter paradise, but rather only through Allah’s favor in accepting one’s faith of them, in which sense all who enter paradise are under the “divine amnesty” of Allah’s mercy.”
Read rest of the article here.
I have been blogging for more than year. I blogged here until now since I started: Umer Toor Blog. Unfortunately, some unfortunate person hacked it. I view that incident as not a sad one, although most, usual bloggers ‘lesser mortals’ are often too emotionally attached to something as virtual as a self-journal on internet; rather it has allowed to me take a break, stop and think about blogging itself.
What make our blogging useful for us, even if its too personal? It has to be beneficial to oneself at least as we don’t just want to be entertainers who waste others time as well. I know i’m ‘talking to walls’ as this blog is new, but whoever reads it is requested to please answer: How do I do blogging, in which way should I approach it that serves as beneficial to my life, and help expand my life’s learning curve (i just invented it) as well? The subject-matters i’m interested in are: An objective examination of life, of higher principles, to know thyself; Education philosophy; seeing Orient and particularly Islam from our own eyes not from western eyes, so readily available in our pseudo-universities; Modernity, its historical roots and causes, and its implications for Orient – sort of Occidentalism; TV studies; Taming the bewildered, restless, pointless youth (that means taming myself first); Perspectives on marriage.
What do you say? How do I write to get best from audience, good enough to be incorporated in one’s thought-process, and implemented in action as well? How?
‘O Allah! make me very small in my eyes; make me elevated in eyes of others’.
I’m involved in a project of a new public school. Of course, i’d love to learn and add some aspects of American education system, if they conform to our world-view. Fareed Zakaria in this interview has focused more on the problems and challenges an American system is facing.