By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, MMNS
When Adam was created a very special being was created. ALLAH actually put more of Himself into human kind than any other part of creation. He told the Jinn, Angels, Devil, and everything else to submit to humankind. This puts us directly under ALLAH with nothing in between.
It also gives us a great amount of responsibility to live our lives as Muslim human beings. When you consciously accept to become a Muslim, thoughts and activities you did prior to accepting the highest station of creation (Conscious Muslim human being) should be suppressed with as much vigor as possible.
All ethnic groups and cultures of Muslim groups have their own cultural baggage that denigrates the religion as well as the individual. There are cultural practices that automatically place women in an inferior, sub-class from men. This is not from scripture. It is from misogynist, chauvinistic ideas of men. Nevertheless they are seen by non-Muslims, and some Muslims, as part of the religion. These types of negative portrayals create a mindset that stifles the positive forward progress of the community.
There are other groups, primarily reverts to the religion, that have cultural baggage they brought with them from another life.
I witnessed a terrible example of this when two brothers in a disagreement actually went to fisticuffs â€“ at the masjid â€“ instead of using their religious instruction to solve the problem. The altercation actually started over unproven accusations that they didnâ€™t take time to discuss. They just let violent, uncivilized behavior take over their minds and a worst situation developed. Settling differences with brawn rather than brain is the result of a barbaric mentality that has no place in the life of a conscious Muslim.
When most reverts accept the religion itâ€™s because they see a superior way of life dictated by the directives of the Almighty ALLAH through His human example, Prophet Muhammad (s). We look at where we came from and the negative effects backward lifestyles had on us and vow to live a new, fruitful, productive, moral and peaceful life. Some of us even make the journey to Mecca to perform the hajj to increase our spirituality and thus the tools to achieve this new life.
Human beings are animals. The same physiological characteristics that make up our bodies are present in most animals, especially mammals. We even use cats, dogs, and fetal pigs in laboratories to study our own human physiology. The only difference between our brain and the brain of a cat is our brain houses â€œmind,â€ which makes us human.
So even though we have this animal nature, our human mind is supposed to control it. This is true for ordinary human beings and is supposed to be especially prominent for those of us who have become Conscious Muslim Human Beings. So whatever your ethnic or cultural baggage, whether misogyny or brutal aggression, Islam is supposed to free you from that. And this freedom is yours regardless of your cultural or ethnic background. The Qurâ€™an speaks to all people.
It is understandable that these things are difficult to overcome but every effort must be made to make the change. ALLAH made us (Muslim human animals) to be the cream of creation and endowed us with a piece of Him to take care of the creation.
Let us try to remember ALLAH the next time challenges confront us. Let us think before we do an action whether ALLAH would approve of what that action is and the manner we are doing that action. Remember Ihsan, â€œbehave as though you see ALLAH, aware you canâ€™t see Him, but also aware that He sees you.â€
As Salaam alaikum
Al Hajj Imam Abdullah El-Amin