, by DR. FIRDAUS KAMALODEEN
Alhamdulillah! Tabaarakallah! Ever since we learned, in one of Dr. Pasha’s International Qur’an Programmes, these meaning and significance of these two most profound and amazing expressions, “Alhamdulillah and Tabaarakallah,” I made a personal resolve never to open my mouth or correspondence without them.
May Allah bless all of you – whoever may be working for the Deen of Allah in whatever capacity in whichever part of the world – and your families and give you the best in this world and in the next world.
So many things get in the way of doing what we must do including writing this piece. Yes, things have been hectic, but still there are no excuses.
Challenges to our weekly live Saturday morning (9:00 AM New York Time on www.IslamicSolutions.com
) radio and Internet broadcast of Pasha Hour International
are ongoing. But mediocrity of service and a general lack of standards is what we have come to accept because “This is Third World; this is how the people are; and this is how things work in a Third World society.”
This thinking and logic seem to be almost all pervasive, at least in our community. Muslims are very much a part of this culture. They have not done anything to address it; nor are they bothered by it.
We accept mediocre standards and all kinds of lame excuses without trying to push things upwards and help ourselves or others to raise standards of performance or level of service. Even though as Dr. Pasha repeatedly points out on Pasha Hour International and in Qur’an Programmes, Islam means doing things in the best possible way and to highest standards.
And then we give an excuse for our failure to produce or secure an appropriate level of service or standard of performance saying: “This is how the people are. This is how things work here.”
But excuses are excuses and as such, notwithstanding how busy things have been, there is no real excuse for not doing what we are all supposed to do: to find the time to do what we must do and do it in the best possible manner that we can do it.
One question to ask, however, is this: Will our culture of excuses work if we left Islam out of it and applied this same principle of excuses to our jobs and professions?
USING ALLAH HIMSELF AS AN EXCUSE
“InshaAllah” then becomes our favourite omnibus advance excuse for all the things we are not the most serious or determined about doing. Dr. Pasha once told us of a child who told his parents not to say InshaAllah when they promised the child the things he asked for. “Don’t say InshaAllah, just say you will do it,” it seems the child would say to the parents.
What more commentary does anyone want on the state of our culture of excuses, as Dr. Pasha calls it? That is how we Muslims have abused this ‘concept’ of Allah being in charge of everything and used it as a cop-out and cover-up for our failings.
That is because often many of us don’t want to take personal and direct responsibility for our failures. So we blame it on Allah, with a “Well that’s what Allah wanted.” Or when we simply don’t intend to try our utmost to do something, so we just say “Insha Allah” to try and get people off our backs.
Allahu Akbar, isn’t that a lack of integrity on our part, to say the least? Why can’t we have the veracity and character to say what we really think or intend to do or not do? Allahu Akbar, of course Allah runs and decides everything, but don’t we have responsibility for our actions? So shouldn’t we be true to our word and take responsibility for them?
BREAKING OUT OF A CULTURE OF EXCUSES
With people like ourselves, really it can only be Ar-Rahmaan who will tolerate such a concoction of human misery that we Muslims have made of our lives. May Allah forgive us and help us to break out of this pervasive culture of excuses that we have built around us!
And may He, Almighty, give us the courage, the strength and resolve to be people who take responsibility for their actions – people who discharge their responsibilities to the best of their abilities.
May he help us recognise our deficiencies and make up for them by seeking out whatever is necessary so that responsibilities are discharged in the best manner possible – and that we don’t perpetuate this culture of excuses in which we are mired.
THINGS WE REALLY VALUE IN LIFE
Allahu Akbar, how easy it is for us to run after things that others put a value on – such as money and gold and other trinkets of this life. But it seems to me the things which ought to have the most value in our life, we throw them away without any second thought. Didn’t Sayyiddina Muhammad, sallallahu alaihi wasallam, say to the effect that “Let your today be better than your yesterday and your tomorrow better than today”?
Wouldn’t this be enough to transform the world to a better place, if he had only said this? How can anyone improve upon this? What else do we need in order to build a better life for ourselves and to build a better world for all of Allah’s creation?
Allahu Akbar. And we Muslims, we wait until somebody writes a book and gives a series of lectures or courses, which we pay hefty sums for, before we will accept this idea, this principle.
So what part of our life does this not apply to?
BUILDING A CULTURE OF ZERO EXCUSES
Dr. Pasha has repeatedly mentioned to us about cultivating a culture of no excuses. What an amazing principle! I am trying to do this in my own life and at the same time I am also trying to cultivate this culture in my dealings with others and especially in our office.
What an amazing concept this is!
Viewed as a management principle, or simply as a matter of dealing with life and its everyday problems and situations, this notion is certainly ahead of the times. Or is it we who have been lagging? For, Islam always gave us the best and showed us how to raise ourselves to the pinnacle of glory in this world and good in the next world.
InshaAllah I plan to put up a banner in my office that will look something like this: “Cultivate a Culture of Zero Excuses!” – Dr. S. H. Pasha.
This is to remind me, and others, about this amazing principle of success in our worldly affairs – a principle which holds the promise, at the same time, of taking us closer to Allah and giving us the best in the next world.
BUILDING A BETTER WORLD FOR ALL
But that is one of the greatest and most miraculous beauties of Islam, is it not, as we have been repeatedly shown in Dr. Pasha’s International Qur’an Programme: Islam gives us the best in this world and promises us the best in the next world.
Nothing and no one else in this world comes anywhere close to giving us a better or comparable deal. Is it any wonder then that Islam spread like wild fire and people flocked to it in droves?
That is what will happen even today if we Muslims got rid of our culture of excuses and got down to doing our work the way it should be done: to the highest standards of excellence.
I have not the slightest doubt, as Dr. Pasha has shown us again and again, that that is where the future of our world lies. And I am optimistic about Muslims. We Muslims might be somewhat slow on the uptake, but with Allah’s help and grace, we will get it eventually, if He wants it to happen of course, and we will make Allah’s world a better place to live – for all of Allah’s people, regardless of their race, gender, class, nationality or religion.
KEYS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
Dr. Pasha says something which gives us every reason to be optimistic.
“A careful study of the Qur’an and Hadith,” he says, “leads to the conclusion that Allah has placed the keys of heaven and earth in our hands. All we need to do is to insert the right keys in the right keyholes, say Bismillah and turn – and watch the wonders of Allah unfold.”
That is all we Muslims need to do. Especially those of us who claim or think we are working for Allah.