Have you ever wondered how malicious ideologies are infiltrating their way to Islamic discourse? Have you ever observed what the root cause is for the rise of such malicious ideals that distort our fundamental doctrines? Have you ever felt helpless owing to the fact that these overwhelming changes are undermining you or your loved one’s faith?
If so this article is dedicated to addressing how the biggest problems are not the propagators of such ideas that come at the detriment of your faith, culture, family and core social values. The key issue is your attitude and that of the people around you. The problem is YOU. And this is why!
Individuals are all unique in their own ways, and they are all capable of having varied perspectives on society and cultural norms and problems that entail these norms. They have had adversity throughout their lives, which has shaped their morals and worldview. And for this reason, it would be the individual’s responsibility to propagate his point of view in order for it to prevail. It might be spread via pamphlets, articles, fictional and non-fictional books, TV commercials, video games, movies, animations, lectures and a wide variety of other mediums. To a person who has true faith in his worldview, even the walls of abandoned buildings and graffiti on them is a means of creating awareness of his views and ideals.
What truth would be there to believe in a world where those that adhere to the truth are no different from a corpse in the sense that they don’t act on truth, don’t see the truth, don’t listen to the truth and do not speak the truth? When they are there to write regarding truth, the task seems menial — trivialising the cause which compels them to focus their time and energy on victimising themselves and blaming others. They begin resisting the idea out of fear. “It won’t benefit anyone and I would be wasting my time.”
A good analogy that would paint a better picture of the issue would be that of two shop owners — one rich and the other poor. The rich shopkeeper had the privilege to build a much better shop with higher quality goods. Whilst the poorer shopkeeper had a rough start and had to invest more emotionally and physically into his responsibility of making profits. The rich shopkeeper only put his money behind the construction and acquiring of better products and he left it there hoping that customers would come to his shop. While the poorer shopkeeper focused a lot on trying to satisfy the customers even if with low-quality products and paid a lot of attention to appealing to those around him and aggrandising his place among markets.
Whilst the rich owner complains about the lack of success on his side and spends his time throwing meaningless insults and wallowing in utter despair, the poorer but much-dedicated counterpart even with low-quality goods is thriving.
And hence, the fact that we possess the truth is not at all sufficient and hence we should return to our sole authority that is the Qur’an and Sunnah to derive examples from those that have come before us.
Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Convey from me, even a single verse.” (بَلِّغُوا عَنِّي وَلَوْ آيَةً)
Being aware of the root issue itself is not sufficient. Just because the rich shopkeeper is aware of the reasons behind why he is lagging behind is not sufficient to solve his problems and get past the hurdles in order to beat his competition. But rather, for him to go above and beyond, he would need to act in accordance with what would benefit him and his business and should be willing to make sacrifices.
“Verily, Allaah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allaah)” Qur’an 13:11
Here are some ways in which you can get more people to care about your shop as the rich shop owner that has been blessed with Islam and cursed with the lax and cheap attitude.
- Create a YouTube channel. It could be dedicated to any subject and should not just be restrained to core Islamic teachings but rather, should be covering other topics in light of Islamic morals. Creating a historical YouTube channel or a channel that does book reviews or anything that discusses contemporary geopolitics would definitely be beneficial especially since these topics are criminally underdiscussed within our societies. And even when they are discussed, they are discussed from viewpoints that are inherently distorting and misrepresenting our values.
- Write blogs. Writing, unlike other forms of media are very simple to execute. We are all capable of reading and writing. A lot of Muslims tend to have this irrational disgust and deterrence when it comes to reading articles let alone writing them.
- Podcasts. With the recent rise of podcasts, it is easier than ever to talk about what you love and what you stand for. You are not even burdened with the task of writing let alone spending hours behind curating a decent video.
- Creating posters and edits. We as Muslims have not put much effort into aesthetics and have not done much to make Islamic calligraphy relevant in today’s society. Muslims during the Islamic golden ages put an extraordinary amount of effort into geometry and other sciences and made active use of these sciences with regards to aesthetics whilst we are lagging far behind not just in terms of modern standards but also the standards of the masterpieces and architectural marvels throughout our history.
- Affiliate marketing. In these days where Muslims are lagging behind in terms of industrialisation, it would only be common sense to promote and encourage products made by Muslims.
To conclude, there are various ways in which we can fight for our beliefs and in the age of the internet, we need to diversify the various mediums through which we wish to represent our faith, culture, values and criticise flawed ideologies and social norms that are contradictory to our faith and come as a detriment to our society. It is counterproductive to blame our adversaries when it is we who are hypocritical in the eyes of our values.