Rabb-ishrah li sadri, wa yassir li ‘amri, Wah-lul ‘uqdatam-min-li-saani, Yaf-qahuu qawlii
O my Lord! Open for me my chest (grant me self-confidence, contentment, and boldness); Ease my task for me; And remove the impediment from my speech, so they may understand what I say
[Surah Ta-Ha; 20:25-28]
Thinking back to my childhood, I know that I was quite
disrespectful and sometimes cruel to my parents. I had no respect for them. I
was a person who spoke in a crude tongue when with my friends.
Upon coming across the following words of Allah (Glorified
and Exalted be He),
‘And [recall] when We took the covenant from the
Children of Israel, [enjoining upon them], “Do not worship except Allah ; and
to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak to
people good [words] and establish prayer and give zakah.” Then you turned away,
except a few of you, and you were refusing.’ [Qur’an 2:83]
I began to reflect on my behavior and realized that I
was not following the commands of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) in many
aspects of my life. And so I began to strive to change my attitude. I stumbled
upon this verse during the holy month of Ramadan and it was indeed a blessing
from Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He).
And when it is said to them, “Follow what Allah has revealed,” they say, “Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing.” Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided?
[2:171] - The example of those who disbelieve is like that of one who shouts at what hears nothing but calls and cries cattle or sheep - deaf, dumb and blind, so they do not understand.
Islam doesn’t directly have to do with atrocities of Islamist terrorists but the text of the Quran is very sensitive and open to misinterpretation.
It is very easy to derive the meaning that you want to derive.
One reason Islam became so volatile is that the first book containing information on it was only available 150 years after Mohammad’s demise. For 150 years after the demise of Mohammad, nothing was on record. It is impossible to know what was added or removed to Islam during that time.
When God promised to safeguard Quran, he was referring to the esoteric Quran which was revealed onto Mohammad’s heart. The physical book didn’t exist at the time.
Protection from God for Quran: it would be transmitted from Prophet Mohammad to the hearts of his chosen followers and through Sufism, Islam would expand.
The Quran we have today is not in chronological order. Mistakes were made by Companions of the Prophet when they tried to collect the Quran. Collection of Prophetic Traditions (Hadith) are another issue in Islam. 300 000 Hadith exist that are inauthentic, mixed with the authentic ones.
Islamist terrorists have one thing on their mind: they think towards end times, a caliph will turn everyone into Muslims and rule the world. Islamist terrorists are carrying out atrocities because their plan is the return of the ‘Islamic Golden Age.’
In conclusion, there is only one true issue behind [radicalisation]: wrong interpretation of the holy text.
Many of us go through that phase in our Imaan where we feel down, feel Allah does not Love us or we have lost that connection with Him.
Either we keep screwing things up, or feel burdened by our sins or feel our deeds are not good enough to be accepted by Allah, Most Gracious.
But the fact of the matter is, we have to hold on and hope in the Mercy of Allah, no matter how bad we may be. As Allah says:
“O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it.”
[At-Tirmidhi (also by Ahmad ibn Hanbal)]
Do not despair in the Mercy & Love of Allah and try to do the best you can. Keep fighting the good fight and do not let shaytaan entrap you into further despair.
This feeling down & losing that connection with Allah, is also a test from Allah to see how much we, as His servants pine for Him, miss His presence and strive to earn His love & pleasure.