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WHEN I SAY I AM A MUSLIM!

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What does it imply?

By Col Bakhtiar Hakeem
 
I am one of the billions of Muslims, spread all over the world. The word ‘Muslim’ is like any symbol, which is one representation of a concept. The other two inseparable components are, image and properties. So Muslim must have, and do have an image and a set of properties. This is varying for some, absolute for some and unquestionable for others. It is first of the identities for some, while rest all is built on it; and last of all just like a pedigree issue; and most insignificant for some. What all it includes to be a muslim, if attempted to list here, may not serve the purpose of this brief article.  It is very much like the following exercise. Can you name the animal which has two ears, eats meat, has claws, four legs, and has fur, a tail, can run fast, stalk and a predator? No, probably you will be forced to list half a score names. Now, can you name the animal which mews? O’ Ya! how easy. Do you see the one which mews has all the aforesaid properties and attributes. My task at hand is not that simple.
When I say I am a Muslim what does it imply? It implies following: -

Islam is not a religion, equal or similar to Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism or Jainism. It means belonging to Him, bowing to Him, being subservient to Him and to none of the mankind.

It implies I am not a Muhammadan. I am a Muslim.

Islam is not a set of worshiping rituals, meant for hereafter.

I do not differentiate amongst His prophets, He forbids me to do so. It further implies neither Moses (a Prophet of Islam, pbuh) brought Judaism nor Jesus (a Prophet of Islam, pbuh) laid the foundations of Christianity.

 Prophet’s way of life, their customs and traditions were the ideal path. It was the reference line, but not a Must. For last of prophet pbuh, always offered Tahajjud, and never paid zakat.

It implies I do not draw boundaries and lay restriction which were not drawn and laid by Allah. Hadood Allah are the boundaries.

I am neither a shafi, hannafi, maliki, hanbali nor a jafri, since none of the prophets of Islam pbu them; were any of these.

By the dictates of Quranic injunction, all men are equal by birth, there is no superior or inferior by pedigree.

The last of His book. Quran is the final and finished form of His message for mankind. It was completed in Prophet’s life; Allah proclaimed so in 5: 3 Quran. And I need not be looking for any thing else and search for schools, groups and sub-classes and books and rulings. More so when Allah claims this Book has been made easy for you; 17:22,32 & 40 Quran.

I want to conclude here. The significance of any right up does not lie in its length. Making things simple may not be easy, or spectacular; for this would not be an achievement for a majority. Can these odd six hundred words ask the prudent reader to review being a ‘muslim’, the implications this identity has, or find a new definition of the religion of Islam? It could be a gasping comparison of what He wanted out of a ‘conduct’ (2:171 Quran) called muslim and what have they proved to be by their exhibited behavior. Bravery is needed for change, brave can change and cowardice makes you live peacefully, without making waves, doing exactly and repeating what Romans are doing in Rome.



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