Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What Islam is About

Yesterday I drank coffee with a man
who said he understood everything
about the Prophet—peace be upon him.

When I asked him to explain the Prophet to me
he told me that the Prophet was all about Paradise
and that nothing on this earth was of any value.

I smiled and drank the man’s coffee
and politely did not inform him
that he was an idiot.

The Prophet—peace be upon him—believed in Heaven,
as assuredly as we all do, for the Revelation is clear on this.
But his concern was not for Heaven.

His concern was for the relentless cycle of bloodshed and revenge
that ravaged his people.
His concern was for the widows and orphans that went hungry
while fat men feasted on oxen and grouse.

His concern was to stop the violence
that unchecked pride wrecks upon a village
and erect in its place a Law answerable to justice and love.

That is what Islam is about.
If you want to chase daydreams about Heaven
that’s your affair. But don’t bring the Prophet into it.

Listen to Najat: Allah is not to be found in the sky
or in the afterlife of your fantasies.
Allah is found when you kiss the dust
and surrender all that you have
to another.

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