Most physicists and mathematicians at the forefront of research are now convinced of the presence of hidden dimensions and a parallel universe. They are now investigating not the fact that other worlds exist but how many they are! (e.g. http://space.mit.edu/home/tegmark/multiverse.pdf) Yet most of us spend a lifetime convinced that what they perceive with their five senses is all there is. We are often locked in our routine which limits our experiences and perceptions of Reality. Have you ever stopped to consider if what you experience day in and day out in your lives is the Real Reality, is there anything more or are we deluded in some way?
The Quran describes the worldly life as nothing except the enjoyment of delusion (57:20). It asks the listener rhetorically about the Real Realty (Al Haaqah). “The Real Reality! What is the Real Reality? What will make you realize what the Real Reality is?” (69:1-3). It then goes on to describe the composite Reality of the worldly and next life and how the former impacts the latter. To navigate successfully through this life, we need a map to look holistically from where we came from and where we are headed so that we can act in context to our overall situation in the journey of life.
Islam is not just a series of do’s and don’ts, nor is it a bunch of rituals and incantations, nor is it just an antidote to magic, nor is it just a means to ask for a job, son, wealth, etc., nor is it culture and custom of our home countries but rather it gives a complete paradigm of Reality for our navigation through the journey of life. The glimpses it gives into the ghaib (unseen) are enough for our guidance and may only be discovered in a very painstaking and short-sighted manner by scientific research, if at all. “(Now consider:) Is one who goes prone upon his face (with no breadth or depth to his line of sight, barely seeing what is touching his face) better guided, or one who goes upright (with a clear line of sight to what is ahead of him) on a straight path?” (67:22)
Guidance should be sought from the worldview and insights from the Quran and Sunnah as well as personal intuition/spiritual experiences. The Prophet (SWAS) has been reported to have said: “A believer's dream is one of 1/45 parts of prophet hood” (Muslim, Abu Dawud and others). In order for the latter to be effective one’s belief and character should be sound. “When the time approaches near (to the Hour), a believer's dream would almost never be false; and the most truthful among you in their dreams are those who are most truthful in their speech.” (Bukhari, Muslim). So it means that to be guided we need to work on ourselves first. What is required is nothing short of being fully immersed in the Islamic paradigm of Reality. [For details read The Color of Allah (SWT) (http://oak-gis.blogspot.ae/2012/05/color-sibghah-of-allah-swt.html)].
There are two things today that stop us from immersing in the Islamic paradigm completely. The first is the predominant global worldview of the Dajjal (New World Order). This worldview is one-eyed and does not have a holistic vision of Reality. It denies Allah (SWT), His attributes, the Messengers, their mission, the purpose of humanity, the meaning of life, consequences of good and evil, afterlife, etc. Many Muslims follow this worldview for all practical purposes and have made Islam a cultural vestige from their ancestral homeland. Daily the internet, TV, satellite channels, advertisements, soap operas, movies, newspapers, magazines, news programs, talk shows, musical lyrics, formal education system, etc. subliminally change our natural thought patterns to adopt this way of thinking. This is true for Western AND non-Western mainstream media. The media sets our daily agenda for thinking; one day it might be a cricket match, another it might be the Pakistani elections or the affair of some celebrity, etc. What we think about affects our perceptions of spiritual Reality, so we need to be careful what we expose ourselves to. Unless one is constantly in touch with Quran and understands what one reads and hears one will drift into Never-Never-Land. The Prophet (SWAS) has instructed the Believers to read Surah Kahf on Fridays to protect them from the fitan of Dajjal. The other obstacle to experiencing Reality is to adopt decadent un-Islamic cultural practices. [For details read Cultural Malaise (http://oak-gis.blogspot.ae/2012/05/cultural-malaise.html)] . Most Muslims today follow the Dajjal worldview in their public lives and un-Islamic traditional worldview in their private/family lives; no wonder Islam does not make sense to their kids anymore who are honest enough to admit it. Cultural Islam must be discarded and replaced by Islamic Culture.Those who do not develop a personal vision of things follow the majority trends in their social circle. They do not understand why people are doing what they are doing. They just follow suit and try to out do each other in the same pursuit. Whatever becomes the fashsion, they feel they should be at the forefront in adopting it. [For details read A Culture of Ostentation (http://oak-gis.blogspot.ae/2012/05/culture-of-ostentation.html)]. This is true for those groups claiming to practice Islam as well. [For details read A Society of Sects (http://oak-gis.blogspot.ae/2012/05/society-of-sects.html)]. In contrast, those who have developed a personal vision based on the study of Islamic sources understand their own unique situation and the manner in which natural universal principles apply to it. Thus they do not react without deep reflection taking into account all the various important factors while asking for divine inspiration to help them make decisions which are right for them.
For most people – men and women - their careers are most important. They can sacrifice almost anything for it – be it health, relationships, resources, social obligations, morality, etc. Unfortunately, most Muslims also end up sacrificing their Islamic worldview. The choice of a career, work culture and employer is very important for a Muslim. [For details read Values at the Workplace (http://oak-gis.blogspot.ae/2012/05/values-at-workplace.html)] . Someone who keeps thinking of how to get ahead in the rat race 24/7 will have a very different mindset from someone who constantly thinks about his own and others’ guidance. The latter’s vision of Reality will be much clearer. Someone who’s thinking and actions are oriented to that of the Prophet (SWAS) and his Companions (RA) can experience better insights into Real Reality.
Science and our religion tell us that other worlds exist. We know that the basic purpose of Islam is to guide us to success in the composite Reality of this life and the next. It is possible to develop the vision intended by Islam if we study and adopt its sources and develop our character for our guidance. We are aware of the challenges from competing worldviews – be that of the Global Secular World Order or Cultural Islam. Our work is clearly cut out for us. We need to work on ourselves. Let’s start changing our condition today.
“O Allah! Let us see the Truth as true, and enable us to follow it. Let us see falsehood as false, and enable us to avoid it.” (Prophetic dua)