Thursday, January 12, 2006

A SENSE OF PURPOSE. (let's break free)

Who will take the initiative? How do you take an initative to change the world that you live in? Here’s what I figure, you dont. You do not take an initiative to change the world. You take one to change yourself. And take it from there. I figure that people relate to honesty still. I figure people still respect principles. I figure I can change myself. I figure you can change. I figure we can change the world.
I live in a society based on false notions of Islam. Of politics. Of humanity. I am part of it. I take credit for the society’s triumphs and I take blame for its failures. I seem to have a strong chin. But of course, I am not happy with how society is behaving. At the same time, I find gems in the same society that gives me more than just hope; those gems feed me with inspiration, with motivation and with the all-too-hard-to-find sense of purpose.

"I can see you smile
back at me
Together we can climb this wall
and pocket that sun

The devil grins
wrinkles on his face
experience by his side
Faith is our only saving grace

Dont think you cant
for then you wont

hold tight to the rope
and pull the skies down

You can do it alone
but do take me along
For I do intend to wait
If I get to sing the song

Everyday I come back to life
everyday I am brand new
everyday sees me stare it in the eyes
everyday I win some to lose a few

I see us all lining up
some want to be break free
the dogs keep barking
up the wrong tree"

1 comment:

sara said...

We see frequently people complaining about rampant evil practices , degradation of society, onslaught of vulgarity and obscenity etc. this is generally followed by advices and discussions to follow the right path that has been neglected for a long time. In brief, it has become our national characteristic to find faults without looking for their remedies in right earnest.

What is unfortunate and disconcerting is the perception and the manner oftreatment of the problem. Everyone joins in and contributes his bit by making one remark or the other on the social ills and the drift from the religious practices. In doing so, they place all the blame on others, absolving themselves completely. They totally forget and ignore the fact that they are as much part of the society as others, whom they are blaming. People indulge in this sort of discussion for the sake of discussion and criticise others for the sake of criticism. They have little or no desire to improve the situation, or bring any changes in the decaying social order. They do not have a clue of the correct track or the righteous path. Neither do they try to analyse the situation, nor look for the causes which have been instrumental for the drift to the present day degradation.

So, what is really needed is an honest, sincere and objective analysis of the present situation and then an equally honest, sincere and pragmatic solution is required to correct the situation. Unless there is a strong will and commitment to bring about a material change, there is little hope that we would come out of the present predicament. No amount of discussions and criticisms can bring about any improvement in the present situation. Hence, as the very first step, we should make it a habit never to participate in the discussions which are purposeless and aimed at criticising others.

For analysing the situation pragmatically, it is easy to recognise that a society is made up of individuals. Thus, each and everyone of us are part of the society. As individuals belonging to the society, we are to be blamed as much for the degradation as anybody else, and the responsibility of ills rests on our shoulders as much as the shoulders of others. So, why not look at our own actions instead of finding faults in others; search your own self, it is a lot easier to correct oneself than to correct others. Now, at this stage Shaytaan is bound to come your way and show a hundred and one ways to absolve yourself. For instance it can be argued:

How can it help the society when only one individual mends his ways and the rest do not change.
How can one individual correct himself in a miasmal environment.
An individual by himself as a mentor or reformer would be an out cast and be jeered at.
An individual is likely to lose the worldly benefits if he adopts the righteous path all by himself.
So, if you can't beat them, join them i.e. keep doing what others are doing. It definitely requires a lot of courage and resilience to combat Shaytaan's schemes. But once the initial step is taken, the rest of the journey should be smooth and calm.

Therefore, the bottom line message is; correct yourself first. It is obvious one can not correct himself completely overnight. So, priorities have to be set. For instance, one may not be in the habit of offering prayers (Salaat), keeping fast (Sawm), reciting the Qur'aan, giving obligatory charity (Zakaat), obeying parents etc. On the other hand one might have been in the habit of drinking, gambling, womanising, cheating, lying, backbiting, to mention a few. In such a situation, one should make one's own selection of priorities, as the circumstances of every individual varies. One must make a beginning, no matter how insignificant and small, but it must be with a will and conviction, so that one sticks to it. Then gradually, but firmly, one should attempt to leave the don'ts and adopt the do's one by one. As one will progress on the righteous path one will feel the Help of Allah, as He has promised in the Qur' aan,

"And those who strive hard for Our Cause We shall certainly guide them to Our Ways." (29:69)

For example, if one does not pray at all, he should start with one Salaat at least, which could be of his choice. If one does not recite Qur'aan, he should start by reciting only a few verses daily. Similarly, if one is a habitual liar or backbiter, he should try to cut down the frequency in such indulgence. When one makes sincere and honest effort to leave what is forbidden and adopt what should be done and ask for Allah's Help and Mercy, He will inshaa' allah grant him that.

When one changes and moulds one's lifestyle in line with the precepts of Islam, one will most certainly find oneself peaceful and contented. The attainment of this exalted condition is very easy. It is easy in the sense that Allah's Help and Blessings will follow all along if one endeavours to tread the righteous path with sincerity, zeal, conviction and perseverance. But it can become difficult if one tries to achieve it without bearing the above qualities and tries to change others before changing himself. One should apply all the principles and precepts of Deen in one's day to day life and present one's ownself as a model to begin with. Incidentally, by presenting oneself as a model of which one desires others to follow, one would be imitating Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, as he never asked anyone to do something which he would not be doing himself.

Having attained the position of self­modelling, one can, then be in a persuasive position to influence others.

It is the Law of Allah that every human being enjoys a sphere of influence in which his/her opinion and advice carry weight. Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam has also pointed out towards this Divine Rule and said, "Each one of you has (control) a sphere of influence, and everyone will be asked about those who were under his influence." Muslim

It is very true. If we look around we will see that every individual has his/her own sphere of influence, big or small and people within that sphere look up and listen to him/her for advice and opinion. The sphere can be very small comprising at least the family members. Therefore, if none else, a person can at least influence his own family members. His goal of influencing will become easier if his family members see him practising the same things which he asks them to do. So, as the saying goes, charity begins at home; make a beginning to influence your family members first. It is the religious duty of every individual to make his family members tread the righteous path. For, Allah has said in the Qur' aan,

“0 you who believe! Save yourself and your family members from a fire whose fuel is men and stones." (66:6)

Explaining family members to follow one's advice is much easier than convincing others to adopt his ways. Also this is a sunnah, as Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam did the same when he received the first message from Allah, i.e. he presented it to his family members to begin with.

It is true that initially one would face some resistance even from the family members. Some will adopt the change quicker than others, some might accept the change in a piecemeal, while still others would threaten to revolt. Being the members of the same family, they should all see the wisdom and truth in the righteous path and will rally round the leader of the family sooner or later.

When the family members start following the Islamic teachings and precepts, one has succeeded in creating a small world for oneself i.e. the family around him. This by itself should be a great source of happiness and contentment. If one could correct oneself and make one's family members follow the precepts of Islam it will undoubtedly be a great achievement - an achievement for which one could expect the Mercy and Blessings of Allah the Almighty.

Going back to the original topic, our society today is doing nothing more than lip service instead of some constructive work. By passing judgement in the cosy atmosphere of our homes we cannot expect to correct or alleviate the ills of the society. It is a futile exercise with no positive or concrete results.

So, why not do something positive and rewarding, where you have control and can exercise restrain. If one could bring about desirable changes in one's own household, it shall indeed be a big leap forward. Those who are genuinely concerned with the present drift from Islamic teachings can make a beginning within their own family.

This way a number of households will emerge acting upon the teachings and precepts of Islam. Such households might help others to emulate and change their way, for the better.