These are notes to myself and to others who wants to gain consciousness.
1. “In a society which trains its citizens in the art and philosophy of achieving instant self-gratification, of becoming thoroughly submerged in one’s own bubble of pleasure, it becomes dangerously difficult for one to develop a world consciousness and concern for others. The intensity of this struggle is signified by the fact that one has to cultivate his concern for society without the help of society, and consequently, many will often be left aside to froth around in the artificial sands of their own world. Yet, for the most part, that world too is not even their own, and is rather the mass amalgamation of what the rest of the world (as they know it) is – from idolizing celebrities that they wished they were, to chasing after the will-o’-the-wisp of appearing important and popular in the eyes of other people (assisted through mediums such as Facebook), to engaging in intense debates on the most frivolous of issues that have no actual connection to their own life (including sports), their mind and efforts become wholly tied in a struggle and existence that is not theirs.”
2. “This attitude also extends to our love of the Ummah: one can gauge the seriousness of the issue by simply looking at how deeply Islamic charities nowadays depend on holding concerts for raising funds for humanitarian causes, and how they sadly have big name Muslim celebrities entertain the Muslim crowds, in order to squeeze out money from the pockets of Muslims. This phenomenon, which has several variations (including basketball tournaments for charity), is extremely telling of the “Ummah consciousness” of a people, and their sheer addiction to fun and self-gratification, where they have to indulge themselves first before coming to the aid of the needy in their own Ummah. It does not seem to carry the same spirit of generosity and urgency when the Prophet ﷺ said, “Guard from the Fire, even by giving half of a date fruit in charity.”
3. “If one truly believes in Islam as a whole, one must believe that the needs of the Ummah supersede his or her own needs. Our enormous energies and talents deserve not to be wasted away in corporate offices, but rather in the service of the greater good of humanity. Becoming doctors, engineers, or accountants is certainly not inherently wrong- but we must realize that building the character of a nation, that curing them of spiritual diseases, is much harder and requires ten times more resources than building the infrastructure of a nation.”
4. “If one believes the state of affairs of the Ummah to be pathetic today, we must believe ourselves individually to be pathetic as well. We have become desensitized to the plight of the world – how else can one describe our historically unprecedented ability to hear tragedy after tragedy, yet go back to spend hours watching T.V shows and games? Television claims to serve our powers of seeing and hearing, but in reality, it has taken control of our faculties of thinking, by controlling what we see and how we see. Ironically, we often accuse our brethren living in Muslim majority countries of being too sensitive, of being too combustible and manipulated by those who seek to give Islam a bad name. Yet few realize that we too, awash in our luxuries and numbed into silence and inaction by them, are also being manipulated by those same forces.”
5. “Islam, though, is not meant to be taken up as a hobby, but as a life calling – and until we forgo our individualistic dreams and build grander dreams for the Ummah, one cannot have high expectations for the future. This is the fundamental mistake made by Muslims today, and in reality, it is this mistake which threatens ruin and destruction on the Muslim community.”
6. “We must find a way to collectively fight back against these sterilizing forces, of creating new forces and institutions that are free from these dangers, and learn to orient our lives and ambitions toward the service of Allah and all of His creation – and if we can accomplish that, undoubtedly our future descendants will surely come upon a time, God-Willing, where decent men and women all over the world from Haiti to China will smile freely, and feel relieved at having found out that the forces of good have not been vanquished, that goodness and altruism still shine throughout Allah’s earth, like the morning glow rejuvenates us after the lethargy of the night.”