Islam Way of Life/Success
Since the birth of humankind, the Assenter community experienced rise and fall. This chapter discuss about what it takes to attain great success (falah). It is possible to attain success in any levels, as a family, a group or as a nation.
The winning strategy
There are four part strategy in Chapter 103.
2The human is indeed in loss.
- those who believe,
- do good works,
- support one another with the truth, and
- support one another with perseverance.
As we can see, doing nothing is a losing strategy. The winning strategy start with spiritual strength of individuals and families, and then on good actions and hard work, and on education, media, cooperations, observing God's Legal Limits and perseverance. This is an inside-out approach, starting with yourself, your family and then your organization.
Note the mention of time as the opening of the chapter. It indicates that success is not measured by how much money you have, but on how you spend your time. This is the fairest possible standard of winning because every body roughly get the same amount of time everyday, regardless of his or her background. Focusing in time does not mean to be impatient or taking shortcuts, because the last verse also mention perseverance.
Basically, every activities mentioned in Believer's Charter is geared toward increasing your spiritual strength. Regular connection to God and His messages helps you remember God and keep you in His path. Participate in social development regularly empowers the powerless. Regular fasting helps you control yourself. The pilgrimage will help you shares benefits of this system. The strength increase through learning His Message and practising it and decreased by forgetting Him and violating his prohibitions.
Imagine you start a travel without knowing your destination. Imagine you shot arrows in the dark. That's why the first step in the winning strategy is to believe. As a human being, you need at least to believe in God and Hereafter. A believer will believe also Koran and Prophet Muhammad for the maximum impact.
"Each child is born in a state of fitrah, but his parents make him a Jew or a Christian." (Reported in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
Parents are responsible for children spiritual education. The golden time is to start it in early childhood, even before the child able to speak. Start by learning to be grateful to the provisions from God, be kind to fellow God's creations, to know and follow the prophets. Parents should encourage children to observe, helps and participate during worship ritual and learn to read the Arabic scripture. So, they can do it independently by the age of seven. Hopefully, when they become teenagers, they already put their trust in God, following the prophets as the model and having learned enough skill to seek help and knowledge independently.
Basically, every activities mentioned in The Assenter's Charter are considered as good deeds towards each other. Equality, Family, Humanity, Fairness and Integrity values provides conditions for peace and prosperity. Money, Respect, Diet and Remembrance wisdom will take you to the next level.
The real test begins outside the mosque, when you are with your family, during transport, at work, school, market or neigbours. What you do in 24 hours a day in your life creates the real impacts. The first and the second steps of the winning strategy provides a strong foundation for the third steps. The third steps can only be credible if the participants are giving examples by doing the walk and not just empty talking. Giving examples is especially important when educating our children, the next generation of The Assenters.
Remind Each Others
Basically, everything in Chapter 3 and 4 of this book cannot be understand and decided alone. Everyone has blind spots that need help from somebody else to watch them over. When it comes to public policy and implementing it, the community need to work together to collect informations and conduct investigations. They will need to work together to promote and implement the policy.
O you who believe, revere God as He deserves to be revered, and do not die except as ones who have surrendered. And hold firmly to the rope of God, all of you, and do not be separated. And remember God's blessing upon you when you were enemies and He united your hearts, then you became with His blessing as brothers; and you were on the verge of a pit of fire and He saved you from it; it is thus that God clarifies for you His signs that you may be guided. And let there be a nation from amongst you which calls towards goodness, and orders kindness, and deters from evil. And these are the successful ones. And do not be like those who separated and differed after the clarity had come to them. And for them is a painful retribution. ( 3:102-105)
The purpose of collaboration is to calls towards goodness, and orders kindness, and deters from evil. The media used includes education, law making institutions, any activities (social, sports) and any media and communication channels. At home, parents need to use family time, television, books, magazine or internet activities as an opportunity to educate our children.
It is important to note that your audience will varies from a basic assenter into an activist believers. They will have different ethnic and religious background, education levels, languages and interests. Therefore, you will need to be tolerance and localize your message, as well as being kindness. There are times that kind actions speak louder than words.
There is no compulsion in religion. Certainly, right has become clearly distinct from wrong. Whoever rejects the devil and believes in God has firmly taken hold of a strong handle that never breaks. God is All-hearing and knowing. ( 2:256)
As explained in Chapter 1, fear and regret is logical consequence of crime. In Chapter 2, higher recognition, generous benefits and forgiveness are logical consequence of contribution towards the society. So, "no compulsion" can be understood as you should not punish people for their faith. In education, you should not punish your children for not following religious ritual, but you may only reward and support them to do it.
Believers, let not a group of you mock another. Perhaps they are better than you. Let not women mock each other; perhaps one is better than the other. Let not one of you find faults in another nor let anyone of you defame another. How terrible is the defamation after having true faith. Those who do not repent are certainly unjust. Believers, stay away from conjecture; acting upon some conjecture may lead to sin. Do not spy on one another or back-bite. Would any of you like to eat the disgusting dead flesh of your brother? Have fear of God; God accepts repentance and is All-merciful. People, We have created you all male and female and have made you nations and tribes so that you would recognize each other. The most honorable among you in the sight of God is the most pious of you. God is All-knowing and All-aware. ( 49:11-13)
Those to whom We have given the Book (Bible, Torah), know you (Muhammad) just as a well as they know their sons. It is certain that some of them deliberately hide the truth. Never doubt that the essence of truth comes from your Lord. Every one pursues his goal. Compete with each other in performing good deeds. Wherever you are, God will bring you all together. God has power over all things. ( 2:146-148)
There are time to negotiate your way. To win a negotiation requires patient, research for the facts and reality on the grounds, as in the previous step "support one another with the truth". You can learn in many examples in the Kuran on how to negotiate. For example how Moses ask help from Aaron to help him to negotiate with Pharaoh.
From Chapter 1 and 2, we learn that concern(fear), problem(regret), growth(rank), solution (forgiveness) and reward (provision) motivates people. To get a deal, you can take time to connect to people by understanding their concern and problem. Therefore, you can offer them a deal that allow them to grow, clean up their mess and/or open opportunities. The wisdom from Chapter 1 teaches you not to be too generous nor to stingy in your deal. Also not too arrogant while not too careless on dealing with human.
There could be times when some of those who have rejected the message fight against God and His Messenger. We will try to learn about the difference between a liberty fighter and an extremist/transgressors.
Fight for the cause of God, those who fight you, but do not transgress, for God does not love the transgressors. Slay them wherever you may catch them and expel them from the place from which they expelled you, for oppression is worse than slaughter. Do not fight them in the vicinity of the Sacred Mosque in Mecca unless they start to fight. Then slay them for it is the recompense that the disbelievers deserve. But if they cease, God is All-forgiving and All-merciful. Fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for God. If they change their behavior, there would be no hostility against anyone except the unjust. ( 2:190-193)
And if two parties of believers battle with each other, you shall reconcile them; but if one of them aggresses against the other, then you shall fight the one aggressing until it complies with God's command. Once it complies, then you shall reconcile the two groups with justice, and be equitable; for God loves those who are equitable. The believers are brothers; so reconcile between your brothers, and be aware of God, that you may receive mercy. ( 49:9-10)
As we can see, community is an essential ingredient to the success. However, being in the wrong communities is a receipt to disaster. Therefore, being in a moderate community would be the way to go.
Thus have We made of you a Middle Ummah, that you might be witnesses over the people, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves… ( al-Baqarah 2:143)
For example, if you are in a community that trying to rationalize everything including religious rituals, then you are in a extremely liberal community which will only wasting your time arguing trivial things. On the other hand, if you are in a community that continuously criticize many others Believers communities, you might start to worry because you are in an extremely conservative community. By the time they declare other Believers communities as infidels, then it is time to leave. In fact, reporting this even to the authorities could be a good idea, because "declaring others as infidels" is historically the first step that ends up into violence between Believers communities. This declaration could be explicit or implicit, such as refusing to pray behind certain person.
So, learn to read signs and try to stay with the moderate community of Believers. Experience shows that the level of believe is inline with the level of love to the Prophet. So, try to stay with the community that genuinely love the Prophet, by following not only the basic teaching, but also the examples from the Prophet on every aspect of their life.
As we can see, a good communities would not only helps you intellectually (with the truth) but also emotionally (the perseverance). Therefore, a good community will make you like a member of their family, brother or sister.
"The believers are brothers. Then make peace between your brothers & remain conscious of Allah that you may obtain mercy." (49:10)
With perseverance, it should not be difficult to find a good community. With the advance of communication, such as internet radio and internet phone, we could participate regularly within a communities that is separated by hundreds or thousands kilometre apart.
Do you know a Moslem who are your national heros or instrumental in changing the course of history?
What are his legacy? What events that triggers his actions? What is his methods to achieve his goal?
Please, share your stories in the discussion page