With the upcoming MAS-ICNA Convention 2018 theme being “Quran: the Light to the World,” it seems appropriate to discuss how the Quran speaks to our mission as MAS: to move people to strive for God-consciousness, liberty and justice, and to convey Islam with utmost clarity. In my last post, I discussed the importance of “Congregating for the Sake of the Quran.” In this post, I would like to focus on the concept of movement in the Quran and connecting it back to our mission statement.
Allah (SWT) in His Book speaks of three different degrees of movement of the believer:
The first degree is walking (فَامْشُو ) as mentioned in Surah Al-Mulk:
هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ ذَلُولًا فَامْشُوا فِي مَنَاكِبِهَا وَكُلُوا مِن رِّزْقِهِ ۖ وَإِلَيْهِ النُّشُورُ – 67:15 “It is He who made the earth tame for you – so walk among its slopes and eat of His provision – and to Him is the resurrection.”
A frequent confusion many Muslims have today is that they must choose between their worldly affairs and their spiritual affairs. Allah settles this confusion that the believer should walk when conducting his worldly matters. This isn’t to make the believer complacent towards his condition or injustice, but it is to not sweat trivial nature of this world. We should feel empowered as to never fear or fret the challenges of this world. Indeed, this world isn’t our final destination and any loss or calamity will surely pass.
The second degree is hastening (فَاسْعَوْا ) as mentioned in Surah Jummah:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نُودِيَ لِلصَّلَاةِ مِن يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْا إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَذَرُوا الْبَيْعَ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ – 62:9
“O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu’ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew.”
We are constantly rushing to make our profits, finish degrees, or just so eager for the next phase in life. Unfortunately, our attitude is the opposite of the Quran’s divine guidance. We lazily walk towards the remembrance of Allah and hasten in our worldly affairs. If this is our state, in what capacity are we suppose to receive the help of Allah? We must recollect our spiritual state and come back to the reality that the remembrance of The One, who neither perishes or sleeps, is who grants us the resilience to face hardships.
The third degree is racing (وَسَارِعُوا ) as mentioned in Surah Ali’ Imran:
وَسَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ – 3:133
“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous”
People will often say this world is a rat race. In the words of Lily Tomlin (most commonly known as Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus), “the problem with running a rat race, is even if you win you’re still a rat.” Our dreams and aspirations in this world may be big, but sound virtue is more important than even the most valuable treasures or seats of power. Forgiveness is a virtue that makes us transcend our primal tendencies and rise to a lofty station of Paradise. We should all race to forgive ourselves and one another, but above all plead Allah for His mercy.
It should stand as a reminder that whatever learn about the Quran at this year’s MAS-ICNA conference, we should ask ourselves: in what ways will the Quran inspire us to move? Moreover, in what ways will the Quran help us in fulfilling our mission as a jamaa’? We may walk, hasten, or race, but the one thing we can’t do is sit out.
May Allah unify our strides.