If The Oceans Were Ink Part 1

1:14:00 AM

Writing, or shall I say blogging nowadays has never been more alike thieving activity. By that I mean, I would turn into a nocturnal owl, doing my business late at night sneakily while everyone is asleep, robbing all the time I could, to ensure a mission impossible, possible.

Just done with my confinement and finishing the book called "If The Oceans Were Ink". I'd like to share an excerpt from the book which helps me put things into perspective.

If the Quran served as the spiritual and philosophical foundations for the Sheikh, the Prophet's life was a model for how he put them into daily practice. "Islam is not an idea," he told me one day via Skype. "It is a history."

A mere three sips into the first coffee of the morning, I was confused, and said so.

"Well, in other religions, such as Christianity, they emphasize abstract ideas, like closeness to God, and being good neighbour, and loving one another."  

"So, aren't you concerned with these values, too, as a good Muslim?"  

"Yes, of course, but we don't want spirituality to come through these big ideas. Christians are not so concerned about what Jesus did. They're not concerned with the details of the way he led his life. Our spirituality comes through doing the five prayers, as the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) did. Of through giving charity, just as the Prophet did. We want the closeness to God through this history." Without the particulars of this history, Islam wouldn't be so very different from any other faith," the Sheikh observed. 

"Because at the end of the day, every religion and creed calls for justive. Everybody knows you need to be nice to people. To give people justice and their rights, to do charity. You don't need Islam for this! Doesn't the United Nation have the same concerns? These ideas you can make from you own home!" 
- conversation recorded by Carla Power, American Jewish Journalist with Sheikh Akram Nadwi

The nuances between religions are comparatively vast, the deeper we look into it, at least for Islam. Values may be shared. In many cases, they are mirroring each other. But getting the fundamentals straight has helped me to become a better believer. Reassured of why and HOW I do what I do.

Through the role models of people of the faith who came before us. Prophets, righteous people, truth seekers and martyrs. I use to have many conversations discussing the above mentioned 'big ideas'. At the end of the day, we couldn't even agree on basic concepts on how things should be practiced or conducted. Judging by different circumstances, to what extend, measurement or how should we observe kindness, freedom, forgiveness, precaution, justice etc before the table is turned and takes a toll on us at an individual level or society? Alcoholics could also be the most generous people. Prostitutes could also be the most well intentioned people. Criminals could also be living their live purposefully. So how? Role models who showed us the nitty gritty examples on how to best live our lives.

The Islamic way of life based on Islamic scholarship context that of which 'do as the Prophet Muhammad did' (verified and relevant) involves the subsets on how clean oneself after intercourse, dealing with interest based mortgages, how to perform burial rites, inheritance law, divorces and even how to greet people.

Rather than seeing Quran & Hadiths as a precept of laws, more correctly they are a tool for guidance, throughout one's spiritual journey...and real life journey.

Thank you Allah for giving me something to think about and this time alone at night to digest it. I can now sleep peacefully after getting this out of my mind. Thank you for the epiphany. Raihanah, thank you for lending me this engaging book of memoir about faith and friendship.


Do you have any comments, concerns or inquiries? Or else, just drop me a note to say hi! :)