59:19 And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient.
The difference between Muslims and Kafirs. (or is there really a difference?)
Iman implies the possibility of Kufr. The idea that a Muslim is different from a Kafir is deeply ingrained in our minds. On the basis of this firmly held notion, Sayyid Mawdudi drives home true nature of Iman.
‘Does it mean that a Kafir has two eyes, a Muslim will have four? Or a Kafir has one head, a Muslim will have two?
You will say: “No, it does not mean that”.‘
We all think that Muslims will go to heaven and Kafirs will go to hell. But Kafirs, he appeals forcefully to our sense of fairness, which is inherent in every decent human being, ‘are human beings like yourself. They posses hands, feet, eyes and ears. They breathe the same air as you, drink the same water and inhibit the same land. the God who created you also created them.
So, why should they be ranked lower and you higher? Why should you go to heaven and why should they be cast into Hell?‘.
Obviously, a Kafir is a Kafir because he ‘does not understand God’s relationship to him and his relationship to God‘, nor, therefore, does he live by it. But, Sayyid Mawdudi asks us to think, ‘If a Muslim, too, grows up ignorant of God’s will, what ground can there be to continue calling him a Muslim rather than a Kafir?‘
Now he leaves it to us to question which must follow as its conclusion: ‘Now, in all fairness, tell me: if you call yourselves Muslims but in fact are as ignorant and disobedient as a Kafir, can you in reality be superior to the latter merely on the strength of bearing different names, wearing different clothes and eating different food? Can you on this basis be entitled to the blessings of God in this world and the Hereafter?‘
‘Look at the clock fixed to the wall: there are lots of small parts in it, joined to each other… If you do not wind it, it will not show time. If you wind it but not according to the method prescribed, it will stop or, even if it work, it will not give you the correct time. If you remove some of its parts then wind it, nothing will happen. If you replace some of the parts with those of a sewing machine and then wind it, it will neither indicate the time nor sew the cloth. If you keep all its parts inside its case but disconnects them, then no part will move even after winding it.
Imagine Islam like this clock… Beliefs and principles of morality, rules for day-to-day conduct, the rights of God, of His slaves, of one’s own self, of everything in the world which you encounter, rules for earning and spending money, laws of war and peace, principles of government and limits of obedience to it – all these are parts of Islam…
[But now]… you have pulled out many parts of the clock and in their place put anything and everything: a spare part from a sewing machine, perhaps, or from a factory or from the engine car. You call yourselves Muslims, yet you render loyal service to Kufr, yet you take interest… which un-Islamic gadget is there that you have not fixed into the frame of clock of Islam?
Despite this you expect the clock to work when you wind it!‘