Are you passive or pro-active?

Category: Featured, World Affairs Topics: Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon) Views: 8452

Are you a passive person? When you see something wrong, do you try to fix it or do you move on justifying to yourself that for sure someone else will address it? When you're walking down the street and you see something on the sidewalk and you know that someone might slip on it, do you pick it up, or do you look the other way as if you didn't see it? When you see someone smoking in a non-smoking area, do you kindly bring the persons attention to what he's doing wrong, or do you just cover your nose, or leave the place? When was the last time you participated in a public poll or in elections? Remember the last time you saw someone double parking and you knew that he's going to cause a traffic jam, did you go and ask him politely to park somewhere else so that the traffic flow wouldn't be disturbed? Or did you just say to yourself, "Isn't there an officer around here to see this?" and then you just walked away. Why are we so passive? Why do we always believe that "someone else will do it"? Why don't WE take an action? I'll tell you why, because if it doesn't directly affect us, then why should we care? Or, "we won't change the world, so why should we care?" Right? Isn't that the reason? That should not be how a Muslim (One who submits to God) should think, that is not how a Muslim should act. As inheritors of of the final message of God, the Muslim community should be an example of ONE body; if one part is not functioning it affects the rest of the body. 

Do you think for example that as long as you don't do drugs then your safe? Think again, because your duty isn't just to prevent yourself from taking drugs, but to help prevent it on a larger scale as much as you can. How many people are robbed by addicts that are desperate for money to buy drugs? How many people are killed by addicts? Those that were robbed or killed, they didn't do drugs, but it still affected them indirectly. This does not mean that if we see wrong we should get aggressive and force people to do what's right? Of course not. Our Lord, The All Mighty says, "Invite (all) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for your Lord knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance." (Quran 16:125). We must maintain the balance between "taking an action" and "being wise and not offending people".

The Dangers of being passive:

- God the Almighty says in the Quran: "And fear tumult or oppression, which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong: and know that God is strict in punishment." (Quran 8:25). See how God the Merciful is warning us that misconduct doesn't just affect the ones that do it, but it has a wider range.

- The Companions asked the Messenger of God, "Will we be destroyed even if the righteous ones are amongst us?" Prophet Muhammad replied, "Yes, if corruption increases." It was also reported that God ordered Angle Gabriel to destroy a village that had become extremely corrupted, but Gabriel asked God, "O God, in this village is your servant that constantly prays to You", God replied, "Start with him! For his face never changed with disapproval to what had been going on." Because this righteous man was passive, he too was punished with the sinners.

- Omar ibn Al-Khattab said, "If a sin is committed in private, it only harms the one that does it, but if it is committed in public and no one objects and changes it, it will harm everyone!"

- The Messenger of God said, "Either you enjoin Good and forbid Evil or else God will send His punishment to you, and you will supplicate to Him, but He won't respond."

But why does Islam stress so much on taking an action against what's wrong? The Messenger of God , gave us a great example to demonstrate the importance of this Islamic behavior. "The likeness of the man who observes the limits prescribed by God and that of the man who transgresses them is like the people who get on board a ship after casting lots. Some of them are in its lower deck and some of them in its upper deck. Those who are in its lower deck, when they require water, go to the occupants of the upper deck. The occupants of the lower deck said to themselves, 'If we make a hole in the bottom of the ship, we shall not harm the ones who are in the upper deck.' If they leave them to carry out their design they all will be drowned. But if they do not let them go ahead (with their plan), all of them will remain safe." This example shows us the importance of thinking of our community as one body. It might seem that such a concept is alien somehow. The reason we might feel that is not because it really is an odd concept, but because we have drifted so far from the spirit of Islam where a person feels responsible for the whole society and we have become rather self-centered.

Examples of those who took an action and weren't passive:

- The believer in the Family of the Pharaoh

espite the Pharaoh's severe opposition to the message of Prophet Moses one of the royal family members embraced Islam. God says, "A believer, a man from among the people of Pharaoh, who had concealed his faith, said: 'Will you slay a man because he says, 'My Lord is God?- when he has indeed come to you with Clear (Signs) from your Lord? And if he be a liar, on him is (the sin of) his lie: but, if he is telling the Truth, then will fall on you something of the (calamity) of which he warns you: Truly God guides not one who transgresses and lies!'" (Quran 40:28). How did God reward this believer's action? God continues, "Then God saved him from (every) ill that they plotted (against him), but the burnt of the Penalty encompassed on all sides the People of Pharaoh." (Quran 40:45). God protected him from all the conspiracies they had planned. God does not abandon those who struggle for his cause.

Are you afraid for your children and what might happen to them? Listen to your Lord, "And let those fear who, should they leave behind them weakly offspring, would fear on their account, so let them be careful of (their duty to) God, and let them speak right words." (Quran 4:9). Fearing for your children is not an excuse, in fact God tells you that if you fear for them, then speak right words and fulfill your duty to God. He will protect them.

- The believer mentioned in the Quran, Chapter 36 (Yaseen)

God sent three Prophets to a village. Can you believe that? Three Prophets at the same time for just one village. Of course one would think that that is more than enough. No, that's not how a Believer should react. A man came from the other side of the village to show his support to the message. He didn't react passively and comfort himself with the fact that there were three Prophets already No, he took an action! God says, "Then there came running, from the farthest part of the City, a man, saying, 'O my people! Obey the apostles. Obey those who ask no reward of you (for themselves), and who have themselves received Guidance'." (Quran 36:20,21). Then what? They killed him! They killed the man that came to support the Messengers. But God never forgets those who struggle for his cause. The Almighty says, "It was said: 'Enter the Garden.' He said: 'Ah me! Would that my People knew (what I know)! For that my Lord has granted me Forgiveness and has enrolled me among those held in honor!'" (Quran 36:26,27).

- Solomon's Hoopoe (Hud-hud Solayman)

Solomon , a Prophet and a King had amongst his Kingdom a bird, a Hoopoe. This Hoopoe proved to be more passionate about God's religion than many human beings today. When it saw a kingdom worshipping the sun, what did it do? Did it say "I'm just a Hoopoe, what can I do?" Did it say "No way, this is too big for me, did I see anything? Nope I didn't see anything"? Do you know what the Hoopoe did? It approached these people and investigated what they were doing, gathered the information and flew back to Jerusalem to tell Prophet Solomon . God says "But the Hoopoe tarried not far: he (came up to Solomon and) said: "I have compassed (territory) which you have not compassed, and I have come to you from Saba with tidings true." (Quran 27:22). It told Solomon all about what it had witnessed, and that Hoopoe was a main reason that the people of Saba got an opportunity to know and accept the true religion of the One and Only God. (Sigh) If only we had a couple of those Hoopoes today. If only Muslims today would have the same enthusiasm for the religion of God as the Hoopoe had.

- The Ant

There wasn't just a Hoopoe that took action, the Quran also give an example of an ant. When Prophet Solomon was marching with his army and was approaching a colony of ants, the queen ant jumped into action and called out, "O ants!! Get into your habitations, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (under foot) without knowing it!!" (Quran 27:18). Since Solomon had the gift of understanding the speech of animals, he heard the cry of the Queen ant. God tells us, "So he (Solomon) smiled, amused at her speech.." (Quran 27:19). Thus Solomon was able to avoid harming the Ants. If we compare ourselves with this ant, who will turn out to be more passionate and dedicated to the welfare of their fellow beings?

-The Companion Al-Habbab ibn Al-Munzir (rAa)

This companion demonstrated to us how one could object and at the same time maintain the highest levels of courtesy and politeness. Before the Battle of Badr, Prophet Muhammad told the Muslim army to camp in a certain place. Habbab saw that there is a more strategic place that if the Muslim army camped at, would give them an upper hand in the battle. He didn't say "Well if the Prophet said so then why should I say otherwise?" he wasn't passive, and at the same time he wasn't rude. How did Habbab present his opinion that contradicted with the opinion of the Messenger of God ? He asked, "O Messenger of God, is your opinion based on a revelation from God, or is it war tactics and strategy?" The Prophet replied "No, its war tactics and strategy." So Habbab proposed, "Then this is not the most strategic place to camp." Prophet Muhammad accepted his proposal, a proposal that was one of the main factors that led to the victory of the Muslim army in this critical battle.

Time for Action:

Brothers and sisters, no one will clean the mess that is around us except us. If we turn away from it, we are just leaving it for our children, and it will get worse. If we want our Ummah back in shape we have to have a positive impact on life, we all have to contribute. Let's stop being passive.

Don't underestimate the impact you could make. If you are sincere in changing yourself and your surroundings then call unto God with humbleness and He will assist you, and if He assists you, nothing could go wrong.

Dear Brothers and sisters, our Ummah needs every single one of us. God didn't say that He doesn't change the condition of "a person" until he or she changes "him or herself", No. God said, "Verily God will never change the condition of a people until they change themselves" (Quran 13:11).

I'm just hoping that you will take a step forward. Let the step be as big as you decide, but please, please, don't just stand there when things get worse. Please take a step forward.

Amr Khalid is an Egyptian Muslim activist and preacher. The New York Times Magazine, in reference to Khaled's popularity in Arab countries, described him in its April 30, 2006 issue as "the world's most famous and influential Muslim televangelist. Amr Khaled has also been listed among the world's most influential people by Time Magazine.

  Category: Featured, World Affairs
  Topics: Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon)
Views: 8452

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Older Comments:
Assalamualaikum to all muslims i m very much gratitude to, that they had given us so heard touching message and to encourage us to be more pro active regarding our duties hope peoples would not only read it but also follow the same.

Assalamualaikum to all muslims, i'm very lucky to be selected by The Almighty to read this article, it's so touching and i realize that i have to be more pro-active to take an action to solve muslim's problem even in my place, congratulation to whom concern about the matter,let spread this article to all muslims,barakallahu fik, syukran jazilan

This is a great one and a great challenge to every one for a change keep it up brother

It is a reminder of all goodness as already known to muslims,May God bless you dear brother in Islam.And may Allah help us prevail in our believes of peace and coexistance in this world.

Masyaallah this article should be spread to all muslims. As khalifah of Allah, it's our responsibility to remind others to change our ways in order to be a better man. The writer has expressed this very well by using the hoopoe as an example. I know the story very well but I had never thought of it as being proactive as we all should be. Alhamdulillah I got the chance to read it. I'm going to email it to others.

Good article,may Allah help us to be able to do all this.

Ya! sometimes we forget about that.. just thinking we arent a part of the changes.. still have a mindset that other peoples will do that for us..

However, a big change started by a little step right??

Really nice article, thanks!!

It is a great article, I pray for the brother. may Almighty Allah be with him and increase his knowledge. our muslim world today need more of word of transformation like this. Allah has said, he is talking to people of knowledge...what some bad muslims doing today and think they are doing that for Allah. I can say is because they lack the knowledge and understanding of the duies of muslims, the purpose of our creation by Allah. may Allah give us more understanding of this. my regard to all western muslim brothers and sisters may Almaighty continnue to shower his mercies, joy, blessing and increase ur Iman and other muslim. give u aboundant knowledge to overcome all challenges. may he be with u as u continnue to spread his teaching.

Brother very nice your article. I am so happy.

Depends where you are. When I am in Mideast, I feel
more pro-active. Its easier to be thus, in a Muslim
country. But I affectionately call the West
#FunkyFitna! And I don't waste time trying to fix
Fitna ...

Dear Br.Assalamu Alaikum varahmathullahi........
I feel that all muslims should read this good article. I am under the impression that muslims should be neither submissive nor aggressive. All submissive muslims should act as advised by the author to increase their (emotional)attachment to (the basic principles of) islam. This would help avoiding of misunderstanding that "muslims have an emotional attachment to islam"