Change must come from within
Allah, Liberty and Love. No, that’s not the title of a latest movie; it’s a book by Irshad Manji. Taking a cue from the title, one could expect an ‘explosive’ and read- at- one- go type of book. But no. It is all about how one can shape one’s life to live in a peaceful, loving and caring manner as per the holy Quran teachings.
Just as we have the saying that God favours those who favour themselves, Manji quotes the Quran that Allah does not change the condition of the people until they change what is inside themselves. For good life and a peaceful world, change is the only mantra that works. Change is the law of nature and until one changes with the changing trend, one would be left behind as a misfit and good-for-nothing fellow!
The book has an appeal to the Muslim community to work for change not only within but outside in the whole world. They should not let a few disgruntled persons to bring discredit to the entire community. They should muster courage and be brave enough to be agents of change. They should take up the responsibility to let the strayed ones ‘come back’ and understand the very essence of the holy book that teaches love, brotherhood, peace and progress. If there is love and amity, progress is a follow-on and natural process.
The stress on the need to first change from within can never be over-emphasised. The Quran as well as the Hadith lay great importance on the correct understanding of Islamic teachings. The clergy, hitherto not very liberal and dynamic, needs to understand the need of the time and steer the community on to the path of peace and progress. The Muslim community by and large is crying for such a change and freedom from its cocooned existence. Follow the Quranic teachings and be faithful to its teachings, and life can’t but be beautiful and peaceful.
The Quran points out very clearly that the believer in Him should not shun the unbeliever, but should help him understand the holy teachings so that he too gets a chance to be a loving and caring man of God; or else both will go to hell.