Glad Tidings to the Stranger

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم والصلاة والسلام على رسول الأمين نبينا محمد و على آله وصحابته أجمعين


In this world today, there are over 7 billion people. They are from different nations and people. They are all different in different ways, but there is generally only 2 categories of people. Those who believe and those who disbelieve. The party of Allah and the party of Shaitan.

اسْتَحْوَذَ عَلَيْهِمُ الشَّيْطَانُ فَأَنسَاهُمْ ذِكْرَ اللَّـهِ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ حِزْبُ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ أَلَا إِنَّ حِزْبَ الشَّيْطَانِ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ
Satan has overcome them and made them forget the remembrance of Allah. Those are the party of Satan. Unquestionably, the party of Satan – they will be the losers. (58:19)

أُولَـٰئِكَ حِزْبُ اللَّـهِ ۚ أَلَا إِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّـهِ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
those are the party of Allah. Unquestionably, the party of Allah – they are the successful. (58:22)

As we advance in technology, sciences, and different forms of entertainment, we start to move further and further away from belief. Arrogance starts infiltrating us. We believe we are special, and better than other nations. That somehow advancement in material things equals advancement as a human species. We usually call this progress.

But what is progress?

Is it progress that more and more murders are taking place every year? That more people are starving, more racism is happening, that slavery still happens even today, that 50% of the wealth on earth is owned by only 62 people, and much more. Is this really progress?

We will never have true progress if the focus is on materialism while ignoring the spirit.

But the followers of the Prophet PBUH are not like this. We realize that progress is betterment of the individual and society as a whole. And this betterment is in the ultimate sense. It’s not enough to do good, but we must do this good to please Allah, and not showoff to the people.

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“Islam began as something strange and will go back to being strange, so glad tidings to the strangers.’” (sunan ibn majah)

When Islam first came in Makkah, the number of believers were small, and Islam was considered a new religion (strange). As their numbers grew, Islam became less strange, and nowadays Muslims make up 1/4 of the world’s population but true believers are much less. This means that true Islam is not seen by the common people, and misinformation about Islam is widespread. Thus Islam appears as strange once again.

Islam doesn’t follow this idea of progress through change. This progress is based on material gains.  Which of course is false. They also apply progress to morality as well, making what was haraam halaal, and what’s halaal haraam. We know Islam has no need to change. That it is perfect. Thus we’re seen as backward for not changing as everyone else has.

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا
This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. (5:3)

As a people we like to think we’re strong, and powerful.

But there were many nations that came before much greater than our own, and they were utterly destroyed. There is hardly a trace of them left. Allah destroyed them for their arrogance and disbelief.

أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَيَنظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۚ دَمَّرَ اللَّـهُ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ وَلِلْكَافِرِينَ أَمْثَالُهَا
Have they not traveled through the land and seen how was the end of those before them? Allah destroyed [everything] over them, and for the disbelievers is something comparable.  (47:10)

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِعَادٍ ﴿٦﴾ إِرَمَ ذَاتِ الْعِمَادِ ﴿٧﴾ الَّتِي لَمْ يُخْلَقْ مِثْلُهَا فِي الْبِلَادِ ﴿٨﴾ وَثَمُودَ الَّذِينَ جَابُوا الصَّخْرَ بِالْوَادِ
Have you not considered how your Lord dealt with ‘Aad – (6) [With] Iram – who had lofty pillars, (7) The likes of whom had never been created in the land? (8) And [with] Thamud, who carved out the rocks in the valley? (89:6-9)

There were great nations, many greater than our own. And where are they? There’s only small traces of them, and some, none at all. Where is their power and might today?

The nations today are following the steps of the nations before. Our heads are becoming big with the gifts Allah has given us. Computers, Phones, spaceships, tall buildings and so on. And then they attribute it to themselves and call it progress.

If following the steps of the previous nations is progress or normal, then better to be strange.

And our kids. We want them to be strange too, but their natural inclination is to fit in. So we must try our best to surround them with things reminding them of who they are. That yes they are Muslim, and yes Islam appears strange to the people, but we know that it is the most correct way to live. We know that it guides man to good, and away from evil, and the reward for our efforts will be eternity in paradise.

I pray Allah grants us the strength to hold firm to our religion. To raise a generation and be a generation that spreads the goodness of Islam for the world. So that we don’t follow the steps of the nations before us, who were destroyed completely. But instead follow the middle nation upon justice truth and light.

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