Opinion 23 November by Syed Mustafa Ahmad on Manners

By Syed Mustafa Ahmad

In the present world, it is quite clear that a majority of the Muslims, are not morally or ethically uplifted. In one of the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, Prophet said that Akhlaaq are obligatory for 24 hours. However, we have been preached that apart from Kalimah, we should offer Namaaz, give alms, remain on fast and go on pilgrimage, if conditions are fulfilled. If a sane person ponders over all these basic things, all are subjected to some conditions. If the conditions are not fulfilled, there are chances that any action may be called null and void. But in case of Akhlaaq, there are no conditions. They are obligatory through out the life. Whether one prays or not, he or she has to be morally uplifted in order to get closeness of God.        The above thing makes it clear that how much Akhlaaq are important. Without Akhlaaq, there is no guarantee that we can be called as true Muslims. But the question that is of utmost importance is that what are the reasons that make it possible to oversight more obligatory things than obligatory things? In the coming lines, I will discuss some causes in concise manner.       First is lack of knowledge. We are not enough educated to understand Islam in its original form. Nevertheless, we know a lot but we know partial things. Prophet Muhammad used to pray that God, show me the truth in its original form and the evil in its original form. This supplication encompasses a lot of lessons for us. It trains us that a mere translation of the Quran and Hadith are not enough. The origin of any verse and Hadith has to be seen. Moreover, all the verses of Qur’an must be inter related and the period of the world should be kept in front so that everything becomes crystal clear. Our irony is that more than 90% people don’t know the Arabic language. Furthermore, understanding Quran and Ahadith have been made so difficult to understand that it needs so many disciplines to be mastered over so that understanding of Islam is possible. This hard and fast rule is responsible, apart  from the role played by some immature and emotional maulvis, who have very narrowly understood Islam and its teachings. Quran is a guide. It has come to let us know why we are here and what to do here. Sunnah always has source from Qur’an. In other words, Sunnah is the practical translation of Quran. But this treasure has been hijacked by Muslim Jurists. Every Jurist has inclination towards a particular thought. He or she reads Qur’an and Sunnah; but still the particular thought doesn’t leave him or her. In this way, Qur’an and Sunnah is reduced to beliefs. Everyone tries his or best to align himself or herself with a particular ideology. If anyone doesn’t align with him or her, he or she is declared deviated. In this manner, the grand edifice of Islam is reduced to some hard core beliefs and the world of Akhlaaq falls into oblivion. Religiosity takes place of Deen( the complete way of life). Respecting like minded persons is followed in letter and in spirit while humiliating opposite groups is also religious deed. Hence, the result is that those things that are the cause of some punishment at some times, take lead over those things that are always welcomed by Islam.       Second is materialism. We honor those who have money to have a comfortable life. Moreover, we respect the rich in order to get something tangible from them while those who do some low class jobs,  are never taken into account. It is opposite of Islam. In the historical books, it is written that in the court of a Persian King, a Companion of the Prophet Muhammad walked on the rare or precious carpet with his mule. All the courtiers were amazed at his bravery. He responded that we have been taught by Prophet Muhammad in such a fashion that we live here; but we have something better that this waiting in the life Hereafter. What does it mean? It means that a majority of the Companions of the Prophet were poor but they got the statuses that no rich can think of. However, in the present world, it has become the futile norm to respect those who have material access while denounce those who are devoid of these. It is a clear violation of Islam. And hence, the result is that we are at the lowest rung of the ladder of Akhlaaq.     Third and last is imitation. We blindly imitate others. By imitating others, we have forgotten our basics. The Western world is not fully wrong. It has some best things to offer. But we cannot go on following them, without looking over good and bad things. Their cultures have a lot to offer to us but they have some loopholes that must be discarded. Ours position is that we imitate them without looking at the pros and cons of a thing. We think that the West have progressed. We have no recourse but to follow them. It is a fallacy to a large extent. Europe went through the “dark ages”. They were enslaved by the illogical rules and regulations. But today, Muslims are going the darkest ages.  In this way, the West lead us in technology and morality. But they have some apparent loopholes that defame their picture. They don’t respect old people the Muslims do. They have less respect for women than the Muslims. These apparent things are forgotten by us when it comes to following them. Hence, the result is that today, the West are right in saying that we are not morally uplifted. Have we shown them the character of Prophet Muhammad, Hazrat Usman, Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Hussain,etc., We must not have been where we are.!       In short, we should weigh everything the way it needs to be weighed. On the Day of Judgement, the most important deed will be of character. So, let us build our character first and then radiate the light of good character in every direction. Are we ready?