Two Kinds of Muslims
Some Muslims profess faith in God and the Messenger and declare Islam as their religion; but then they confine this Islam to only part f their lives.
To the extent of this part, they express great attachment to Islam, extensively perform worship ritual like Prayers, use of the rosary, remembrance of God’s name. They are very particular in confirming to outward piety in matters like food, dress and other external social, cultural customs. Thus they are fully ‘religous’.
But beyond these conventions their lives are not rules by their God. If they love, they love for the sake of their own selves, their country, their nation, or for anything else, but not for Allah. If they become displeased, are angry, hate someone, make enemies, or wage war, it too is for the sake of some worldly or selfish interest.
Their relations with their business, their wives and children, families, societies – will all be to a great extent unaffected by Islam and based on secular considerations. As landlords, traders, rulers, soldiers, professional people – in all spheres they will behave as if they are autonomous, having no connection with their position as Muslims.
When such people establish cultural, educational and political norms and institutions, these have nothing to do with Islam, even though they may seem Islamic.
They live as Muslims when they lives as fathers, sons, husbands or wives, businessmen, landlords, labourers, employers. Their feelings, their desires, their ideologies, their thoughts and opinions, their likes and dislikes, all are shape by Islam. Allah’s guidance holds completely sway over their hearts and minds, their eyes and ears, their bellies, their sexual desires, their hands and feet, their bodies and souls.
Neither their loves nor their hatred are formed independently of Islamic criteria. Whether they fight or make friends, it is purely for the sake of Islam. If they give anything to anybody, it is because Islam requires it to be given. If they withhold anything from anybody, it is because Islam wants it to be withheld.
And this attitude of theirs is not limited to personal lives; their public lives, their societies are also based entirely on Islam. Their collectivity exists for Islam alone; their collective behaviour is governed by the precepts of Islam alone.
What kind of Muslim God desires
The above two kinds of Muslims are significantly different from each other, even if, legally, both are included in the Ummah of the word ‘Muslim’ is applied to both equally. Historically the first kind of Muslim have made no achievement which may be worthy of mention or which merits our being proud of it.
Nothing else ‘Muslims’ have done has left an Islamic imprint on the pages of world history. The world has received no benefit from their existence; indeed, Islam has suffered decay because of them. Because of the preponderance of such ‘Muslims’ in Muslim society, power and world leadership largely passed into the hands of rebels against God. For these ‘Muslims’ have been content merely with ensuring that they enjoy the freedom to live religiously within the narrow confines of their privates lives.
God never desired to have such ‘Muslims’. Nor did He send His Prophets or reveal His Books to create them. Indeed it is the second kind of Muslims who are desired by God. Only they can ever accomplish anything worthwhile from the Islamic point of view.
to be continued…
Source: Let Us Be Muslims by Abul ‘Ala Maududi, edited by Khurram Murad.