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Indifferent Minds
Sheharbano Ali

 I happened to go for ‘umrah in February, 2020 and this was my first ‘umrah trip after consciously studying Islam. Throughout my trip, I carefully observed people while I tried to find out how they think regarding God, or religion in general, as well as what responsibilities they assume as His creation. And as a result, what exactly is established and transformed in them whether good or otherwise. To give the readers a gist of it, I wanted to discover what relevance God has in the lives of my fellow human beings and what, if any, change it is bringing in their morals and personalities as a whole. I also wanted to study their different mind sets and how, what they claim to have faith in, is changing the way they view the world, themselves and other human beings.

Not to my surprise, I concluded that God never comes into our lives as a relation, let alone the most important relationship out of all the relationships we have in this world. The idea of God pretty much only remains in theory and does not translate into our lives in practice as it should. Everybody cries their eyes out in order to get to Paradise but nobody is really looking forward to die or in other words, is hopeful for the meeting with their Lord God; the Only One and supposedly the Most Important One in their lives. There is hypocrisy in words and actions, whereby there is not even a shadow of desire to seek the truth delivered to us by Him through his messengers from time to time and through it purify ourselves in both knowledge and deeds. Yet, everybody wants to get to Paradise and that too, through their own invented ways. God doesn’t enter our lives as a living and alive entity. He doesn’t enter my life as my Creator, my Sustainer, as the one who has given me the gift of life along with the good news of meeting Him one Day. If this fact enters into my life as a living reality, then surely it will have very different effects upon my entire personality and life as a whole.

Anyway, I also noticed many rushing through the crowd, eager to get to touch the building of the Ka‘bah and upon reaching there, kissing its cloth, touching it and feeling a sense of satisfaction upon achieving their goal as if the purpose they came for has been achieved. I even encountered two ladies congratulating each other upon successfully fulfilling the same task which further confirmed by observation of how much this particular practice means to our fellow Muslims. Rather than looking at the house of God and reminding ourselves of the original purpose for which it was built by our forefather Abraham (sws), it looks like people have come to believe that God actually lives in it. It should have been a place which reminds us of how God chose Abraham (sws) and promised to bless only those of his lineage who are God-fearing. It should be a constant reminder for us to make sure we fulfill our covenant with God and thank Him for the gift of tawhid (His Oneness) that is the most liberating feeling that we human beings could possibly have. Otherwise, we would all be slaves to creation like our own selves. We should send salutations to each of his offspring that were chosen by God for the task of delivering His message for our guidance and remind ourselves that now after the prophetic era, this responsibility lies upon us of spreading religion in our circles.

During my trip I also met people boasting about the number of ‘umrahs they had offered in their lifetime assuming to be God’s special people instead of humbling themselves for the same reason.

While in Madinah, I noticed people visiting the Prophet’s grave and saw them pushing their love for him to an extent that overshadows the love they have for God. Yet again to my disappointment, I saw not a shadow of determination or motivation in them to find out the purpose why he was sent just like all other prophets and then adopt his practices along with his unprecedented character.

Not surprisingly, I also observed that the Qur’an is far from being used for its original purpose and on the contrary it is used for every other purposes like specific things to be read at specific times for a specific set of numbers in order for some worldly gains. If not this, then a lot of importance was given on reading and reciting the Qur’an with each letter pronounced perfectly, but what about studying it to be guided? If this is not happening, then nothing else matters no matter how accurately you pronounce its Arabic words or else.

The fact is that the real essence/purpose of religion has been left far behind. God never enters our lives as any other relationship we have in this world and neither do His instructions for us. God never entered into my life through my experience, inference and established history ie. guidance revealed to by God through His messengers. If God becomes my discovery and not a given, by my parents to me since I was a child, then surely I will develop an altogether different relationship with Him. And then if the Qur’an enters our lives with the realization that this is Our Lord God directly talking to us through these words then our approach towards it might change. I once heard Ustadh Ghamidi saying in a lecture on Youtube that the reason for the downfall of Muslims lies in the fact that the Qur’an has not been placed as the pinnacle and standard by which we, Muslims, live our lives and use it to purify our knowledge and actions as we progress with its understanding. If we use it to obtain guidance other than using it for purposes not sanctioned to us by the Prophet (sws) himself, such as transferring our rewards to the deceased, then surely a new world of knowledge will open for us taking us out of darkness into light!

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