The Islamic Garden
Brotherhood – All for One and One for All
Accepting Islam is usually thought to be joining the ranks of the Muslims. Obviously, people naturally merge with like-minded people. However, Islam is more than just a religion or an ideology under which people gather, it is the way of life; the way life evolves and pushes us along with it. As Muslims, we have a role to play in life and if we isolate ourselves from the world, we will not be able to play this role.
Does being a part of the Ummah mean that we only stick together and build ourselves up and focus attention on each other? While we are supposed to advise and support one another, we are supposed to do so with a clear purpose in mind. We build our ranks and organize ourselves with the aim of then going out and spreading goodness, support and help in every work or pursuit that involves decency and piety.
The entire world is the playing field and wherever there is an oppressed person to be helped, we should be there. Wherever there is injustice we should be there to stand against it. Wherever there is ignorance we should be there to teach. Wherever there is harshness and harm, we should be there to remove it and help the people to heal – regardless of who they are.
Almighty Allah sent the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as a mercy for all the worlds and as we are his followers, we should strive to have the same affect. Mercy. For everyone.
Although Muslims come together on the basic beliefs of Islam, and offer mutual support and brotherhood, Islam contains a message and meaning that far exceeds our individual and collective acts of worship. Those acts of worship help us to draw closer to Almighty Allah. They help us to purify our hearts of greed, hate, harshness and revenge. They elevate our spirits until we only want what is good for ourselves, our loved ones and all those around us. They fine tune our thinking, sharpen our conscience and make us grateful to our Creator for everything we see, hear and perceive. Acts of worship have a purpose. The Creator does not need our praise or prayers; He prescribed these things for us so that we could find the ways to fulfil our true potential as humans.
A great part of our potential will only be fulfilled when we are on the course of giving, compassion and sincerity. Our individual influence on the world can be great and only Allah knows how much, but our collective influence on the world can be truly remarkable if we gather together to stand up for all that is good and decent; for all that develops and enriches – never for that which harms and destroys.
Almighty Allah created all things with compassion and He created all things good and He did so for wisdom that far exceeds our mind’s ability to understand. Our role as Muslims is to be the people who rise up to call for justice, to stop oppression as well as anything that removes violence and harm and brings about a noble and virtuous end. Our influence goes beyond our own nationalistic, cultural and familial boundaries and encompasses all human kind.
The mercy of Allah knows no limits. He, the Almighty created all people and He watches over them, hears their cries and prayers and responds as He wills. He allows us freedom, and creates the design of our lives with love, wisdom and compassion allowing us to choose and respond and take responsibility for our final destination.
The Islamic requirement to stand up for justice is no small thing. It requires that we are honest, first of all, with ourselves and if we need to amend our thoughts, words or behaviour we should hasten to do so and do this with humility and gratitude for the life we live. Then our family, friends and all our loved ones come under our circle of influence and the wisdom we have acquired. The gentle manners, kind words, and strength of spirit lead us to give advice, share experiences, offer support and all in all speak the truth in a way that touches the heart of the listener, penetrating pride, aversion and fear.
The impact of the success of one human being spills out onto so many. The human race is so obviously interconnected and in need of each other that cooperation, forgiveness and tolerance can not be over emphasized. What we have to insert into our human framework is piety and mercy on all levels and aspects of life and Islam teaches us how to do that. Almighty Allah sends His wisdom, His guidance to anyone who seeks it.