I did a mental outlining for this article on a Friday morning, during my morning walk. There was not enough time to start drafting because I have to get prepared for the Friday prayers.
For Muslims, it is the best Day of the week. It is the Mother of all days and a day of congregation.
Michael H. Hart in his book, The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, chose Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. (the Prophet) to lead the list of the world's most influential persons as he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.
“He who obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allah ...” (An-Nisaa’ 4:80). Allah described obedience to the Prophet as being a part of obedience to Him.
So, can we emulate him?
As fate would have it, the Friday sermon on 22 July 2016 talked about “The Reflection Of a True Believer”.
The Imam elucidated that Muslims today are living in an age of slander and libel. Injustice is rampant, ignorance is widespread and neglect has created much chaos. The Prophet had warned us these would happen during the end of times. He had said “...one who still has faith (belief) in the morning and in the evening he has become a non-believer or one who is a Believer in the evening but by dawn the following day has become a non-believer, for he has sold his religion for the love of worldly possessions."
Today, the signs preceding the great slander and the final days have begun to appear. Humans are seen to be living devoid of guidelines and restrictions, without any means of differentiating right from wrong, truth from falsehood and jihad is no longer about defending honour.
Social ills involving ethics and morals like corruption, murder, adultery, robbery, etc have become more rampant and serious.
Why do we seem to be so lacking in our own inner strength and morality?
According to the Imam part of the the problem is due to lack of faith in our hearts. Iman (the mental or intellectual aspect) associated with faith should be strengthened
There are many other areas to look at. And talking about emulating the Prophet, let us look at him as a leader. As Mr Hart said he was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.
In today’s scenario... who would fit that bill?
A friend forwarded an article where a Filipino said the people are still paying for the corrupt practices of one of its ‘First’ family many decades ago.
A common happening in political rivalry is to accuse the opponent of having sexual scandals or even being a homosexual. Some may be true and some not and in some cases, the former go scot-free. In some, the story just disappear after the elections.
Injustices in the form of poverty, racism, human trafficking and abuse (physical and verbal) is widespread.
What is disturbing are most of these things are happening in our own beloved country.
We have also witnessed super-power leaders using false pretense of a country having weapon of mass destruction to invade.
Can we do something now before it is too late or just pray for divine intervention?
To effectively address injustice, we must understand its underlying causes or root cause. These causes may have to do with under-development, social problems and/or international conditions/pressures. The roots of discrimination, and other injustice could stem from more complex political, social, and economic problems. Ameliorating these root causes and strengthening civil society may help in addressing these issues.
Addressing political injustice is often a matter of fair governance such as an accountable police force, legislative, executive and the judiciary. Such measures can be done by reforming state institutions and/or revising state constitutions. There is a lot of work to be done here under today’s circumstances.
Citizens views are paramount since political leaders are elected by the former. In other words, a culture of political involvement and public participation /inclusiveness should be fostered.
While drafting this article, I have my radio on and the DJ is playing the song ‘Cherish’ by the group Kool and the Gang. Among the lyrics are “Cherish the love, cherish the life, cherish the love, The world is always changing, nothing stays the same, But love will stand the test of time, The next life that we live in remains to be seen”.
Let us cherish our multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society that emphasises unity, loyalty and respect for others. Let us all strive to maintain ‘face’ (good name and good character) and avoid shame towards individuals and the country as a whole. Surely, we do not want to sell our religion and morality for the love of worldly possessions.
Let us become leaders with a vision to make Malaysia a well-respected country in eyes of the world in economic, social and political terms. Let us strive to be successful on both the religious and secular levels.
We may not match the supreme successes of the Prophet but at least we could try to mirror his qualities.