Hina Khan Palwasha
“If you wish to find yourself, you must first admit you are lost.” Brian Rathbone
Indeed, we as an individual as well as a nation are lost!
They say exploring the world lets you explore yourself but the truth is a little indepth analysis is a good thing. It plays a more vital role in letting you discover other aspects of your identity besides just having a name or profession. But, what if you travel the world and seven seas and find nothing? And, what if you dive deep into yourself and still find nothing?
The question regarding who you are is the first part of the whole dilemma whose second part is why are you here? And if the former isn’t answered correctly, it can lead to a very horrible state of ignorance which unfortunately, has victimized 90pc of the mankind who only seek the second part but never ponder over the first. The other 9pc of them get so much entangled and confused in the first part that they hardly reach the second.
The problem with this population is that each and every individual paints his own canvas, never completes it and leaves the world without any contribution. The successor repeats the history and meets the same destiny. Trust me! this world is full of unfinished canvases.
In my journey as an art enthusiast I have tried to explore the reason behind these unfinished canvases. One of my mentors made a traditional remark while saying “free your thoughts from the societal, cultural or ethnic boundaries and you will be able to paint a complete and true self”.
In fact, all of us often see and hear around some powerful statements like “be yourself” or “let your inner self guide you” or “let the real you come out.” Yes! They make us positive for a moment. We like them; we share them and we feel a sense of freedom of letting out everything that we have been holding on without considering the fact for once that what it was and why it remained hidden so far. And then what?
To find the answer, let’s get to the base. What exactly is this “thought” which governs us and which needs to be freed. Oxford university defines a thought as: “a formation of a philosophy” whereas, it defines philosophy as:
“A theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behavior.” So, guiding principle means direction and direction means, Perspective and what we are is what our perspective towards life is.
Therefore, Quran states: And hold firmly to the rope of Allah SWT altogether and do not become divided (03:103) which means that let the rope of Allah SWT (Quran) be the single and strong perspective of your thoughts. Such an immortal and perfect horizon, broader than all the aspects of humankind will definitely develop a mature philosophy granting us true freedom of thought. The question is if undoubtedly Quran is the perfectionism that we must attain then why are Muslims still lost and confused?
Well, although we call ourselves Muslims, unfortunately we haven’t catched even glimpse of our Holy Book’s message (2:101). It is clear that sorrows, worries, insecurities, hardships and loved ones play the same role in leading the mankind astray as worldly desires and lust for money. And those who go astray are often ignorant about it themselves (2:9) and consider the righteous as fools (2:13). Why do we forget for a second that we are custodians of our faith? Our religion is merely the trust of Allah towards us and we are continuously betraying Him by helping the culprits in robbing our religion. Indeed, we are deceiving none but ourselves (2:19) and we will be questioned for this betrayal (7:6). Is betraying a human greater sin than betraying Allah SWT? Are we afraid of humans more than Allah SWT? And is the punishment of death severer curse than having a dead soul? (2:18)
Oh we have a specially designed argument for it i.e. “it’s impossible in today’s world”. So, what is this today’s world? Definitely a mirage! In the name of globalization and technology our thoughts have been enslaved without our consent making us think, speak, dress and react the way we are told, making most of our time and energies useless. Every day we hear about thousands of people getting killed, injured, molested and enslaved around the world. We feel sad for a moment, fulfill our responsibility by expressing our condolences with trendy hashtags and then return to our busy lives naming it a twist of fate. Wow! what a freedom of expression. We have become no more than animals. We are on the verge of same ignorance which prevailed the Arab peninsula hundreds of years ago. About whom Caliph Umar Farooq R.A claimed that their heads were bowed to everything from a stone to an animal. They hadn’t any personal respect. Quran gave them dignity.” Even our Holy Prophet SAW, after so much revival had prophesized this time long ago when he said: “For whoever among you lives after me will see much discord. So hold fast to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs who will come after me. Adhere to them and hold fast to them. ” [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].
For all the said reasons, we are still in that 9pc who after a lot of struggle are unable to conclude anything or reach any destination due to baseless and countless perspectives of their own. And before the time comes that we also leave the world without any necessary contribution, we shouldn’t waste our time and energies on the things that we aren’t supposed to. Instead we should add up ourselves in the remaining 1pc who know the truth i.e. be it the universe of inside or outside, canvas has been made, colors have been selected and the picture has been painted. We have just been handed a simple and easy task and that is to explore and praise it.
We should adopt Quran as a single and strong perspective to see and understand ourselves and the world around us. Only then even a single individual out of a nation could bring back the same unity, grace, prosperity and dignity to whole civilization which prevailed 1400 years ago in minimum time frame of 25 years.