Human consciousness is in a constant metamorphosis, as it continues to suffer the effects of the clash of politic agendas/powers, colliding new cultures and the boom of ways of communication. Perception and thinking, facts and concepts, are being redefined to reflect a world drowning in the love of the self, glamour, and power, and the absurd craving of eternity on earth. This “modern” consciousness regards mischief as reform, evil deeds as good, and true believers as wretched! “And when it is said to them: ‘Make not mischief on the earth,’ they say: ‘We are only peacemakers.’ Verily! They are the ones who make mischief, but they perceive [it] not. And when it is said to them, ‘Believe as the people have believed,’ they say, ‘Should we believe as the foolish have believed?’ Unquestionably, it is they who are the foolish, but they know [it] not” (2:11-13). In the realm of such consciousness, the good sincere effort invested is in vain, as it does not have the horizons to prosper and to grow, but instead serves the system of life designed by “modern” consciousness. “Say: ‘Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds?’ Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they thought they were acquiring good by their deeds!” (18:103-104).
It is not permissible for the sincere believer to be absent-minded – unaware of the absurd contradictions of the “modern” consciousness: to be unaware that the claimed battles for peace are, in reality, a battle to extort lands and guarantee more gains; to be unaware that those who are claiming to fight for human rights are, in reality, ones causing misery, discrimination and division among nations; to be unaware that democracy, which is claimed to give freedom and power to people is, in reality, used as a tool to build walls, to allow killing and the spread of insanity, as well as being used to feed the dream of being free!
It is not permissible for the sincere believer to be naive, trying to cause a positive change, without taking into account that the surroundings are imprisoned in this modern “consciousness.”
“And among them are those who listen to you. But can you cause the deaf to hear, although they will not use reason? And among them are those who look at you. But can you guide the blind, although they will not [attempt to] see? Indeed, Allah does not wrong the people at all, but it is the people who are wronging themselves” (10:42-44).
Positive change can occur when one first focuses his/her striving on cleansing one’s consciousness from the anomalies and bugs infecting the modern age, allowing, therefore, willpower to have the horizons to prosper in the realm of the way of Allah, the realm of the Haqiqa (truth).
Free the self from the worry of not fitting in, the worry of being left alone, and strive to find in such a reality of today, pride and optimism. Indeed, feeling like a stranger is a sign of Iman and is worth the glad tidings of the Prophet (pbuh). Behold, he said, pbuh, “Islam began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began, so give glad tidings to the strangers.” It is incumbent, actually, on the sincere believer, to seek this “stranger” status. Not, of course, to desert society and choose to be like an outcast, but to continue to strive for goodness, while feeling as a stranger to the way modern consciousness approaches public matters with lies, plots, mass killing, mass extortions, and yet regards it all still within this consciousness as noble actions, freedom and peace!
It is incumbent upon the sincere believer to look at the world around him/her through the lens of the words of Allah (swt), to heal the consciousness and restore it, to conceive and see the world and life as it should be, and then plan life accordingly. The sincere believer should read and ponder upon the following Ayah: “O mankind, fear your Lord. Indeed, the convulsion of the [final] Hour is a terrible thing. The Day you shall see it, every nursing mother will forget her nursling, and every pregnant one will drop her load, and you shall see mankind as in a drunken state, yet they will not be drunken, but severe will be the Torment of Allah. And yet among men there are such as dispute about Allah, without knowledge, and follow every evil one, obstinate in rebellion! About the (Evil One) it is decreed that whoever turns to him for friendship, him will he lead astray, and he will guide him to the Penalty of the Fire” (22:1-4).
The Quran does, indeed, enlighten the consciousness, guide the heart, correct thinking, reset objectives, show the right path and help one be upright upon it. “And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command. You did not know what the Book is or [what is] faith, but We have made it a light by which We guide whom We will of Our servants. And indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path - The Way of Allah, to Whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. Behold (how) all affairs tend toward Allah!” (42:52-53).
The light of guidance is that with which one sees, hears, walks and acts. It makes one attain the status of “stranger” with pride, full hope and optimism. To seek it, one needs, then, to seek the greatest of all gifts, The Love of Allah (swt). Read and ponder upon the following Hadith Qudsi: “Allah (mighty and sublime be He) said: ‘Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him[/her]. And My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him[/her]. When I love him[/her], I am the hearing with which he[she] hears, the seeing with which he[she] sees, the hand with which he[she] strikes, and the foot with which he[she] walks. Were he[she] to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him[her], and were he[she] to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him[her] it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he[she] hates death, and I hate hurting him[her].”
Ya Allah, please bestow the gift of Your love to us.
Article by Sh Jamel Ben Ameur PhD