From Issue: 507 [Read full issue]

Dreams and Wishes

Islam is the religion of rational and critical minds. This is why one of its fundamental goals is to make man aware of the paramount significance of gradation, fortitude, and maturity. Haste is an inherent characteristic of man in general and of the young in particular. Indeed, haste is an outstanding characteristic of our own age. It has made our youth eager to sow the seeds today and to harvest the next day. But Allah's will in His own creation does not allow that: a tree goes through stages of growth, short or long, before it bears fruit. The very creation of a human being illustrates this very clearly. A child is born, breast≠fed and weaned, then he/she gradually grows from childhood to maturity. Similarly, life gradually moves from one stage to another until Allah's sunan (patterns) are realized.

Islam began as a simple religion, then gradually the obligatory duties were introduced, the prohibitions prescribed, and legislative matters detailed. Gradually, the structure took full shape, and Allah's favours and blessings were diffused everywhere. Such development and stages are plain enough, but they are rarely, at all, observed or acknowledged.

The enthusiastic young people are outraged by the corruption that surrounds them as they witness, and live, the rapidly worsening condition of the Islamic Ummah. The common concern initiates group meetings they undertake to put things right, to salvage what is worth keeping. But in their haste and enthusiasm, they lose clarity of vision, they begin to daydream and build castles in the air, believing that they can blot out all forms of corruption and falsehood in addition to establishing the ideal Islamic state overnight.

They underestimate or disregard the incalculable obstacles and pitfalls that exceed their means and potential. Their dilemma is like that of the man who asked Ibn Sirin to interpret a dream for him: he dreamed that he was swimming on dry land, flying without wings. Ibn Sirin told him that he too was a man of too many dreams and wishes. Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) warned his son: " . .and beware of relying on wishes, for they are the goods of fools."

Compiled From:
"Islamic Awakening Between Rejection and Extremism" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi