In the name of Allah the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

In our nature there is a natural instinct to gravitate toward the things in life that instinctively please us and bring about a state of inner contentment. This gravitation toward the good is something natural that is at the root of our very being and it is also just as natural for us to dislike its opposite. Unfortunately in the west our society is leading us away from this feeling of inner contentment. The ever-rising tide of conformity with its self imposed ideologies leaves our souls with a feeling of being lost, with what seems like no hope of being found. Abandonment of the self and disharmony is the end result. As a direct result of our present social environment, which from the earliest stages of our development shapes and moulds our thoughts and actions, our spirits are left yearning for inner balance. But the human spirit has a resilience that is second to none, which helps us to counterbalance this overwhelming force.

Within us there is the desire to pursue a feeling that elates us and bring us to a state of equilibrium. It is a force or emotion that is the most comforting to us spiritually and brings about our innate disposition or natural state. This force or emotion is the strongest energy in the entire cosmic, multi-dimensional Universe. It is in fact the energy that the entire of creation is based on and was the catalyst for the inception of our own cosmic existence. This energy is Love. For Allah has said of Himself

“I was a hidden treasure and I loved to be known, so I created.”

People often talk of “in an ideal world” without realizing that we already have one. Through nature and through our surroundings we begin to love others, and ourselves. Through loving others we learn about each other. Through learning about each other we learn about what others love. By learning we gain an understanding of what they love. Through this understanding we come to love what they love. And some love and show us Islam. Islam can only be taught by others, truly. After the years of our senses being bombarded daily, it is quite a welcome relief to be shown such a peaceful, all encompassing alternative to our present situation of crisis. And in the west an alternative is needed. The Church for centuries has kept us in the dark. New Age movements and religious pluralism hint at better prospects but only add to our confusion. Blind imitation of our ancestors is difficult to renounce, but essential in order for us to follow the Truth of our Reality. The only movement leading us to that Reality of Love, is Islam. As soon as we start on this path of Love our situation changes and becomes one of ease. This path has many aspects. Our love to be for primarily for Allah. Love for Islam and its followers. Love for the miracle of the Qu’ran and its deliverer (pbuh&p) and love for the guide’s that preceded and succeeded its appearance into our realm (as.) The Qu’ran is our guide and with proper instruction the Qu’ran can be our means to access the blueprint of Creation.

For inside its miraculous covers lies the mystery of our existence unfolding. It opens the doors to knowledge and understanding. It offers us guidance in this world for the next. It speaks to us about the order in the Universe, the laws of nature and the celestial bodies. It describes Angelic realms, the worldly realms, the stars, the winds and seas, vegetation, animals and most importantly the nature of the human self. It deals with matters relating to moral and ethical values, social order and juristic principles. It teaches us Astronomy, Mathematics and Science. It is in fact the basis of all modern day Sciences and some of its Sciences we were unable to understand until our present time. Yet in all of these matters, in all its pages of wisdom it contains no contradiction nor inconsistency, and openly challenges us to bring even one verse ‘the like thereof.’ It commands us to ponder and reflect on its meanings, and to use our intellect. As a result of this we should recognize its true value and use it as our all-encompassing guidebook for our lives. As a book lying on our shelves it is lifeless, but by opening it and living according to it, we can bring it to life and transform it into something that is living and alive. Then in turn we become more alive and we truly start to live. And in this life our love will increase, for our Creator, for each other for the messengers and for the rest of Creation.

If we conduct ourselves well, with good manners and live according to the Qu’ran, setting a good example as those who presented Islam to us who have converted to Islam, my hope is that Islam will flourish and become a viable alternative to our neighbors. With proper organization and education of our recently converted communities as well as the already established communities we can hopefully build solid foundations for the future generations to come. So we must maintain our efforts to increase our learning, stay persistent and not be disheartened by the prevailing atmosphere that surrounds us. We must nurture a feeling of optimism for the future, knowing the blessing of the generations to come. For with the coming of our Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his return, a.s.) we have Gods guarantee that the Muslims of our future will exist and live on the Earth in absolute peace and tranquility. The knowledge of that should be our comforting factor when faced with the hardships of modern living. By realizing our full potential as caretakers of the planet and by the means of the Divine Names and Attributes, the beauty of our Creator can be mirrored within us. Then we can fulfill our pre-time pledge, to remain in union with our Beloved Creator and honour the station we were given, as the pinnacle of His creation.

Allahumma salli ala Muhammad wa ali Muhammad.

Written by Saleem McGroarty In honour of the late brother Shaykh Salman Tawheedi whose presence will be sorely missed. May Allah have mercy on his soul and be pleased with his deeds in this world.

Asalaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu

Contributed by the Nuradeen Community Project)