Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam
scripture Muslims take it as their Book of Faith, mentions scores of times the
phrase A'millus-Sawlihaat – translated generally as “goodly acts”
extolling the Faithful to follow them.
for the religious establishments, this action is taken strictly in the context
of liturgical and spiritual functions, like prayers and chants for holy reward.
The earthly efforts are only included when made in the name of God and endorsed
by a religious establishment.
and works for worldly rewards, such as tilling the land, trading in business or
toiling for wages etc. that benefit the individual, the family, the community
and nation are not included in that category. Being busy and preoccupied in
these is only a Shugul, distraction from spiritual activities and is not
considered as A'millus-Sawlihaat.
students are taught and explained that all actions have a reaction and so the
adjective 'productive' or 'useful' is attached as conditional to make it
tangibly beneficial. But in religion that is not given the importance it deserves
(as for example the word Tayyib in Halal enterprises). As this distinction is
generally blurred, it is attempted here in layman's terms to look at it in
general and where possible in the context of the Quran.
and simplistically, Work/Act/A'mal is done when energy transfer takes
place when an object, is moved over a distance in the direction of the applied
push. Thus productive/positive Work is accomplished only when there is a change
in the object's position on application of the push; otherwise it is wasted
energy and effort; just like pushing a vehicle, which is stuck in soft sand or
mud, without shifting it, because NO resultant positive change has occurred in
the vehicle's position. Energy expended in moving the vehicle in deeper rut is
negative work, that is, it is counterproductive!
context of Quran, the following verse, gives some hint as to what A'millus
who ever submits himself entirely to God (obeys His laws) and is the doer of
good (to others)– Mohsinun, he has his reward from his Lord, and there is no
fear for such nor shall they grieve . … A resultant condition.
The word 'Mohsinun'
in the above verse draws our attention to the fact that the mohsin -doer of the
kind act must interact with another person (the object) and primarily for good
and for their mutual benefit such that it eliminates some part of the deficit
of the other, ushering in a change in mutual trust and harmony among the
parties concerned. Therefore this act of kindness – Ahsan is distinctly
different from the act and function of religious ritual of worship, which is
for an individual's intangible reward, not unlike pushing the bogged vehicle
without changing its position.
This is referred
also in almost the same terms in the verse 4:125:
who is better in (upholding) the Deen than he who submits himself entirely to
God while doing good (to others) – Mohsinun- and follow the faith of
Abraham the upright one?... Abraham had set out to change the condition of his
people for the good.
is more elaborate:
2-:62 -Surely those who believe, and those who
are Jews and Christians and the Sabians (some people of the Books), who believe
in God and the last day and does good (A'millus Swalihaati), they have their
reward with their Lord and there is no fear for them nor shall they grieve.
(Magians and polytheist are referred in 22:17)
enforces the scriptures' message that it is the goodly, practical and tangible
result-orientated acts of one person for another that get translated in God's
'worship' when carried out in submission to Him. This then gives a clue as to
what is Worship. Goodly acts – useful work that brings out change in mankind's
society to progress in harmonious environment, an environment where there is no
fear and grief.
41:34- ...repel evil with what is best (A'millus
Swalihat), when Lo! he between whom and you is enmity would be as if he were a
positive effort is required to change the condition.
mantras, rolling of worry beads and other rituals in God's praise may have its
place in individuals' remembrance of the Creator for focusing attention towards
the Creator's commands to do good to others, which is the ultimate worship that
God says He likes. Ritual acts of religious worship done often as advertisement
of piety are not the “be all and end all” for fostering good human relations
and harmony. Refer to Quran verse 2:177 and chapter 107 that lists some of the
'dos and don'ts' of goodly/Ahsan/ kindly acts, necessary for being a Mohsin,
one of the characteristic of the conscientious keeper of duty to humanity and
therefore to God.
How is this
then to be related to what is the religion of majority of mankind who Believe
in their holy scriptures. As for Muslims, they profess Belief in Quran and have
been doing so for centuries that they are acting according to the ad Deen
/codes given therein. But all there is to see is negative acts and efforts in
pushing the so called Ummah – Muslim nation further in the deep rut, not only
by themselves as believers but with the help of their trusted friends too! A
sort of negative jihad of Believers on Believers for Believers.
Yemen: Collective Failure,
Collective Responsibility – UN Expert Report
59:2- … … but God came to them from a place
they expected not and cast terror into their hearts - they demolished their
homes with their own hands and the hands of Believers. So take a lesson O you
who have eyes!
Do any have
eyes with which to see how deeply bogged they are in the quicksand? Let alone
many other areas of the world; Yemen is a glaring example today to see where
all the elements mentioned in the above verse have come together in the
historic country and its cities dating back over two thousand years and
connected to Biblical and Quranic events; beautiful Sana'a its capital which is
designated a world heritages by the UN; yet the country as a whole is being
bombed since the war between Believers has started causing untold misery.
many other countries are now monuments of blindness of the ancestors for the
next generations to see how they were blind to act exactly contrary to the
scriptures commands for goodly acts to humanity and of Quran's command of
preserving such historic sites for “lessons” to be learned.
Believers are truly blind! For, at their hands not even the Masajid/houses
of worship are safe for life anywhere in the world where God's name is chanted
for spiritual reward.
17:72- And those who are Blind in this world
will be Blind in the Hereafter....
organization (UN) listed the al-Qasimi area in Sanaa, the Old City of Saadah
and Marib Dam, the archaeological city of Baraqish, Al Qahirah citadel in Taiz
and Hadramout’s ancient tombs as being severely damaged. It said the 9th
century mosque of Bani Matar and Dhamar Museum has been completely destroyed”.
is there, as a reaction to action taken. According to nature's Laws and because
the blind erroneously believe that they are doing goodly Work and pretend they
are worshipping God. Mankind seems to be hardwired for negative jihad.
So the Book
13-11... … indeed never will God change the
condition of the people unless they change it themselves... …
therefore assumed that not only Muslims but mankind has been engaged in
negative jihad to change its own condition, according to its worldly strategy
and God is assisting them in accordance to His fixed Laws.
therefore, should stop shouting Allahu Akbar, and excise Allah altogether from
their earthly work so as to make it the work for earthly rewards; which is what
it really is, and let natures laws take care of the reward, as it has always
done and will always do.
regular contributor to NewAgeIslam.com, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer
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