Habitual Distractions

There are times when I feel like receding into a more simpler state of life. I reminisce about times gone by when things seemed easier, and life felt less complicated. But just as soon as I start taunting myself with these selective recollections, I realise that that is all it is. Selective memories of what felt good, or not so bad. If life really was simpler back then, it’s only because I lacked the realisation of what was really happening in my life and around me, and not because it was any easier.

The more I learn about myself, and especially others, the more complicated life gets. And since I can’t unlearn it all, I can’t see it getting any simpler either. That got me thinking about habits this morning. Hardly seems like there’s a connection between the two but I realised that if it weren’t for the blessing of habits, I’d constantly be distracted by the mundane. But when the mundane becomes habit, it frees up my conscious state of mind to focus on what’s really important. And when what’s really important is daunting and seemingly insurmountable, that’s when I slip into the state of morbidity that makes me yearn for the distractions of the mundane without the burden of real life attached to it.

Life, by its very definition, will not get easier. I can try to keep it less complicated, but the only way it can become simpler is if I grow oblivious to all that I’ve learnt already. I’d rather not. There’s too much beauty and wisdom that I paid a heavy price to experience and acquire that would be lost in the process.

When Will We Awaken

I received an e-mail from someone earlier today about a certain Dr van der Hoven from the Netherlands that supposedly did some research about the effect of reciting the word ‘Allah’ compared to the recitation of other Arabic words. This e-mail has been doing its rounds for some time now, but this time I decided to see if there was any way to determine the authenticity of this claim.

So I Googled it and was not surprised at all by the results. The exact same article was published on numerous Islamic web sites as if it was a testament to the relevance of Islam and the truth about our way of life. I am a Muslim first and foremost, but the last time I checked, Islam taught us to verify the accuracy of information about others before we repeated it…and for good reason as well. As can be seen from this article, we’re so desperate to prove to the West that we’re on the right path and that they’re missing the point or the truth or both, that we’ll grab the tackiest piece of information without question just to satisfy our own doubts.

Yes, doubts! We’re so doubtful about our beliefs that we search for miracles every chance we get. We need these miracles to confirm our faith, as if faith is supposed to be based on miracles that we can witness in our own time. What is wrong with us??? We went from being the greatest nation, greatest culture and most revered group of human beings to being the most punished, abused and helpless nation on earth. There was a time when everyone else imitated US! Now we’re like mad dogs looking for the scraps of the icons of the West so that we can appear to be ‘with it’ or ‘accepted’ or ‘cool’. We’ve become despicable in so many ways.

We used to teach the world about hygiene and manners and truth…now they’re teaching us after they took the accumulated knowledge of our pious and knowledgeable predecessors and adulterated it to make it appear as if they were responsible for it. The contribution of Muslims to every great endeavour is lost to history because we have very few, if any scholars that are capable of being ranked amongst the great Muslim intellectuals of the past. We established civil societies, human rights, social and welfare structures and amazing architecture when the rest of the world was still experiencing the Dark Ages.

What are we now? A group of weak excuses that have to resort to suicide bombings, guerilla warfare and politicing just to make a point. I┬árespect and honour the brave Muslim men, women and children that are fighting to defend the lives that are being abused and trampled on by the corrupt politicians of the West. But that wouldn’t be necessary if we had leaders with backbone. Leaders who practised and understood the PRINCIPLES of Islam and not just the literal interpretation of the traditions and Quranic injunctions and enforced it when it suited them.

The honourable Sahaabah (companions of the Prophet Muhammed S.A.W.) spread Islam to parts of the world that couldn’t even understand a word they said. But people saw their ways and admired what they stood for, because their behaviour was exemplary. Just the way they carried themselves was a good enough example for people to immediately realise that their way of life was superior.