Islam, February 1998
Fear Not! Despair Not!
Prof. Dr. Halil Necatioglu
Opinions about the life in this world and interpretations of it differ greatly from one person to another. Each person pursues a path depending on his experiences, on the education he has received, on his desires and inclinations, on the code of conduct of the society he is part of, and on his beliefs. Thus a person continues to perform various deeds -- good or evil, fruitful or harmful, lawful or unlawful.
Praise be to Allah, we are Muslims. We are pleased with Islam, our faith, the Qur'an, the rules and prohibitions, the worship and obedience, the duties and responsibilities. We do not mind the hardship we might have to go through in pursing our faith; we can give up our property or lives if necessary.
We want to live as practicing good Muslims: we want to treat everybody nicely, leave behind charitable works, a memorable name or sign, and a well-lived life, enter our abode in the hereafter with a bright face, be rewarded with paradise, see the beauty of Allah Almighty, and be a neighbor to Prophet Mohammed there.
We are aware that we aim high and that it is a hard task. Our work is troublesome, and we may have to experience severe difficulties. May Allah be with us and be our helper. May He protect us from the difficult tests, forgive us our shortcomings, and shower us with His Mercy.
We do have many duties and responsibilities at various levels. Time is very valuable and limited; life is short, and the path is long. People are unaware; friends, weak; foes, strong. There is plenty of traps and mischief. Those who hold responsible positions are unaware, conditions are severe, and well-aware Muslims are few.
Let it be! One poet wrote:
Let the destiny gather all kind of hardship for me,
I will be a coward if I run away from a virtuous act for the nation!
He said "for the nation"; we say "for Allah!" He also asked for a fake freedom against a pseudo oppression, yet we ask for "happiness in the hereafter" instead of this paltry world. He was wrong when he fought against a well-meaning ruler whereas we are struggling against the true kufr, shirk, oppression, imperialism, Satan, charlatans, and bloodthirsty enemies.
If we do not work hard, we may lose everything including our religion, faith, honor, country, nation, rights, freedom, comfort, happiness, peace, lives and our abode in paradise. We have to have more resoluteness, more patience, more forbearance, more devotion, and more loyalty.
How did the Great Ottoman State get divided? How was the Balkans split? How did the imperialists get hold of the oil fields? What happened to Criema, Caucasia, Kazan, Middle Asia, Middle East, Holy Lands, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, India, Malaysia, Java, Spain, Andulusia, Sicily, Malta, Crete, Moro, and Cyprus?
We must read a lot and travel, increase our knowledge and experience. We must observe the world and ponder about it. We must feel sorry and shed tears about our present state. We must work hard, work hard, and work hard!
There is suffering, but there is cure. There is hope--but no room for despair, fear, laxity, or loss. One cannot hide the truth for long. "A liar's candle only burns till bedtime." When the truth arrives, the falsehood perishes.
The victory, success, benefits, martyrdom, paradise, and endless happiness are awaiting in the end.
How fortunate it is to be a Muslim!