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What's Your Extension?

Just like you can’t change the format of a file by changing the extension in its name, you can’t become a Sufi or a Muslim by calling yourself one.

Which god are you kidding by performing salat as if you’re doing gymnastics, having no clue as to what you’re reciting? Which reality are you witnessing by repeating the Word of Unity and the Word of Testimony without ever once considering the reality it points to? When are you going to understand the difference between the name and the named, and that the named does not change when you change its name?

It’s common sense to know that claiming to be this or that isn’t sufficient to get you to heaven. If all you do is try “fixing” other people and forcing them to be “Muslims,” instead of strengthening your own inner faith, then you are far from the reality of Islam even if you call yourself a Muslim. Remember Muhammad (saw) had said “At the end of times, a thousand Muslims will fill a mosque, but there won’t be single person with genuine faith among them.”

Today, 1.5 billion people comprise the Muslim population, let’s assume this is more than the Christian population; if you think this is victory, you’re wrong; it’s merely self-deception. If one is dedicated to names and labels, he can’t READ the Quran; he can only pronounce its letters. Remember, names and words function as indicators; they only serve to help you to find your way. Instead of collecting and carrying them along with you, try following them, try finding the reality they reference. When you read something, try to see the message it’s trying to convey, rather than merely pronouncing its letters.

They say the word ‘riba’ for example means ‘interest’ and is ‘forbidden,’ without really considering the type of application it actually references. In a country with a 100% inflation rate, they set their eyes on a retired employee’s piggy bank savings and intimidate him with hellfire. Yet, when they change the word ‘interest’ to ‘profit share’ in an alleged Islamic bank system, it suddenly becomes legit!

‘Don’t look at illegitimate things!’ they say and they cover their heads and eyes and refuse to watch TV, oblivious of the fact that ‘to not look’ actually means ‘to not desire the illegitimate’!

So consumed with names and labels, they fall far from the true meaning of the message.

He says ‘Allah,’ they make it ‘God.’

He says ‘Rasul,’ they make it ‘prophet.’

He says ‘the Heavens,’ they make it ‘sky/space.’

He says ‘understand the system of Allah through Islam,’ but they choose to be content with being ‘Muslim.’

They fall far from Muhammad’s (saw) path of faith, but they are so sure they’re on the right path.



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