Bigotry: The Dark Danger

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Introduction

Think of every experience you have gone through since the moment you were able to perceive and reason your surroundings until today. Try to remember how events affected you, how you reacted in the face of an unexpected situation, what you experienced as you started to get to know people, and what lessons you draw from your experiences. Who knows how many times you felt hesitant; felt utterly confused and lost; searched for a quick solution but could not find any for a long time; how many times you were hurt because you had not been able to tell who to trust; or regretted a decision you had made but still could not exactly figure out the right path to take; most of the time you have come over by a feeling uncertainty and you probably feel the same way about the future. You are worried about what the future holds for you, unable to decide how to steer your life from now on. But what if someone told you that “there is a guide that will help you navigate the absolute correct path in every waking moment of your life from the moment you became aware of your existence until your final breath”... and what if this someone also informed you that this guide is equally close, accessible, comprehensible and straightforward to anyone, rich or poor, employer or employee, manager or official, teacher or student, city-dweller or countryman alike... Without doubt this would be the greatest, happiest news you have ever heard in your entire life.

This guide, which helps people make sense of themselves and others around them as well as their lives and experiences in the most accurate way possible and helps them find the most beautiful of paths, is the Qur’an. God created humankind in the manner that they can live in constant touch with the Qur’an. Contrary to what many people think, the Qur’an is not a book that defines only what forms of worships to practice. It encompasses all aspects of life in its entirety. It is the most reliable source that people of all ages and standings can turn to regarding every moment of their lives. It is the book to be outright referred to by a student who is late to an exam, an employee who has just been promoted, an entrepreneur whose investment resulted in bankruptcy, a contestant who has come in first in a competition, a mother who is having a hard time relating to her children at home, a rich businessman attending an important meeting. Just like bread and water, the Qur’an, too, is a blessing Muslims must have with them at all times.

Only through complete adherence to the Qur’an can a person think clearly, make accurate judgments and take good actions. on the other hand, moving away from the Qur’an only renders one’s life more complicated. the more people adhere to the Qur’an, the more temperate and peaceful they become. and the more they move away from the Qur’an, the more rocky and unsteady their journey in life becomes, rendering both their minds and souls volatile. Nevertheless, the majority of Muslims either have not read the Qur’an or memorized certain verses and surahs in Arabic without ever knowing their meaning. However, every Muslim should definitely read the Qur’an in their mother tongue, and not just for one time but every day. Because the Qur’an is not to be read once and discarded, but to be actualized. People should check at every turn if they actually put the tenets of the Qur’an into practice or to what extent they have managed to do so.

Many must have surely heard that Islam is built upon 5 pillars of faith and 32 religious duties, yet are completely unaware of the fact that the entirety of the Qur’an is a religious duty for Muslims. Every verse in the Qur’an is considered a religious duty for Muslims. Just as performing prayers and fasting is a religious duty, so are all the virtues and moral behaviors described in the verses such as overcoming anger, exercising forgiveness, eloquence, patience and altruism, having trust in God, being dynamic and daring, preaching Islam, acting in concert with other Muslims, standing united, maintaining an even temper at all times, refraining from haughtiness, and being steadfast in one’s sincerity. Just as Muslims are painstaking when it comes to performing prayers, so too they are as painstaking when it comes to living in complete accordance with the Qur’an.

Along with the moral and behavioral characteristics, the parables on the lives of Prophets and instances from the past societies told in the Qur’an also have many aspects to them that should be deemed exemplary by every Muslim. by drawing from these parables, a Muslim learns about how to wage scientific struggle against disbelievers, what kind of issues this struggle may entail, and what methods may prove effective. Likewise, a Muslim can deduce from the lives of the believer communities of old the villainous methods double-dealing hypocrites employ in driving a wedge between believers, the types of personality disorders they display and the telltale signs of hypocrisy, and thus, acts in due vigilance when dealing with them. in addition to hypocrites, a Muslim also obtains information about the characteristics, logical patterns and reactions of those with weaker faiths, deviators, isolators and irreligious. They learn about how to treat those who think, believe and live differently than they do.

The Qur’an not only shapes the personal lives of believers, but also their social lives, tastes and the quality of their lives. the verses of the Qur’an extolling art, beauty, hygiene, quality and courtesy shows believers the kind of world they should strive to build.

In short, the Qur’an is a guide that encompasses believers’ entire lives. It is the mainstay of the spiritual training believers go through on earth. If believers fail to realize even a single verse of the Qur’an, that point entails the risk of leading to the emergence of a spiritual disease. for example, they could be highly altruistic, charitable and hardworking, but if they are lacking in eloquence, in time this situation may push them away from politeness, mercy and friendship, and drive them into a loveless and estranged state of mind. and in turn, an estranged state of mind may lead to a hardened heart, and completely turn believers, who in appearance live in accordance with the obligations of Islam, away from the spirit and fervor of being a Muslim. or believers who express their deep love for Muslims through words of endearment and praise yet put their welfare before Muslims’ comfort will never be able to experience true love in any way.

Therefore, the secret behind the sincere piety approved by God is to practice the tenets of the Qur’an without fail. Every Muslim should check themselves at any moment to identify their shortcomings and remedy these points as soon as possible in order to better practice the Qur’an. in this fleeting world where we are but momentary guests, we should strive to become sincerely pious believers, who practice religion to the best of our ability in full compliance with God’s wishes, so as to imbue our souls with a quality befitting of heaven and to be worthy of God’s love.

This book collects the verses of the Qur’an under various headings to show and remind us how we can put the verses into practice in our daily lives as a prayer to increase our effort to become more pious. in this way, it will be easier to find an answer to the question “How would God want us to act in this situation?” and implement it in any incident we encounter throughout the day. Humankind is prone to forgetfulness, absent-mindedness and being absorbed in details, thus losing track of what is essential. May God render this book a means to remind us and urge us to remind others what is essential lest we forget, and to make us spend every minute seeking the most of God’s approval.

... “Our Lord, do not take us to task if we forget or make a mistake! Our Lord, do not place on us a load like the one You placed on those before us! Our Lord, do not place on us a load we have not the strength to bear! and pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy on us. You are our Master, so help us against the people of the disbelievers. (Surah al-Baqara, 286)

 

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