It appears as if that we have returned to Jahiliyah. When Islam was revealed, we who were the most ignorant of peoples were pushed into the world of enlightenment in a short span of 30 years. This was an enlightenment that permitted a desert people to overshadow the two superpowers of the time and inherit civilization. We left the world of objects, materials, idols behind and learned to worship the Eternal, our Creator. Our minds were captivated by the ideals emanating from the Creator.
We saw in the Prophet (peace be upon him) the perfect ideal to strive towards. Our minds were filled with these ideas and we had long left the dismal world of objects such as the pagan Arabs lived for – idols, well-bred horses, women, cattle, silk, armour and weaponry and more. We had left the world of our lives revolving around specific people - chiefs, tribes, families, mistresses, titles, social acceptance.
Yet today, we are once more captivated by the world of objects and have forgotten our enlightenment. Instead of worshiping Him who is Perfect, who is Eternal, who is All Powerful, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, we live in a world where we objectify the world around us. Have we come back to idol worship? Have we merely changed our idols?
Let us see how we spend our lives. We spend a third of our lives studying. Not to explore the creation of Allah, but for more mundane ends of material well-being; building careers. This meaningless education serves two purposes:
1. Wastes valuable time and money so that at the end of our education we are desperate to recoup the time and resource deficit incurred and thus put ourselves at the mercy of employment.
2. The education serves to brainwash us to sit quietly in cages and take orders, both without complaint and asking why? Why do I need to know these facts?
Thus primed, for the next third portion of our lives we serve our material overlords, in gilded cuffs and golden cages. Somewhere down this line we lose our innocence, our spirit and our soul. And by the time we reach our final third portion of the cup of life, for those of us who have not gone insane, we enter the arena to a game we have already lost. For an arm broken can be mended, but a spirit broken is far harder to remedy. In our twilight, we may return to our prayers, but those are but prayers of our own funeral. We may attempt social good but the plant that is already dead cannot be revived with water.
If we could have instead touched upon our yearning for the living Islam, the ideal that our hearts call to strive towards; the life that is an adventure and not a career or a tour; we would then be learning as a means for striving in that very adventure, not a meaningless list of facts and tests the purpose of which is not understandable.
Then will our revolutions bring real change rather than endless cycles of clouds but no rain, repeated reruns of betrayal and tyranny. And then will our prayers come alive with purpose and our masjids be transformed into meeting places of revolutionaries and adventurers.