Have you ever heard the saying “Everybody wants to change the world, but nobody wants to do the dishes”?
It is like this with some (not all, but some, of our Muslim brothers and sisters) – those who are essentially absent from the present, dreaming of the future, yearning for the past, but neglecting what has to be done in the present.
Consider, for example, how often we hear young Muslim men and women saying, “we need more Muslims in science!”, or “we need more female engineers, doctors, lawyers, architects!”, or “we need to cultivate our knowledge and rebuild our civilisation – look how behind we are from where we could be!” – yet we often find many of the same people unwilling to simply keep up in their studies, to focus on what opportunities have come to them, or to even support those around them who are striving in those ways.
Some may say, “we should not seek progress just for the sake of progress, as do many secular societies”. It is true that “progress” in of itself is not something to be worshipped. However, the difference for Muslims is that, for Muslims, we seek progress (e.g. improving technology, medicine, strength of resources) purely to serve our Creator, by fulfilling our duties to His Creation.
On a recent episode of Women’s AM (Islam Channel) that I appeared on, called ‘Islam and Science’, it was mentioned how many of the great engineers and scientists of Islam’s past were women, and how these extraordinary cases should be seen again. The thing is, women excelling in such fields was never a big deal in Islamic history – it was taken as a given that women could and would do those things – it was really no big deal. That is what made Islam so great – excellence was its standard. To achieve that standard again, brothers and sisters, we have to be present in the present. If you really want to see Islamic civilisation thrive once again, work hard on what you’re doing, and “become so good at what you do, that you cannot be ignored”.
(The Islam Channel episode discussing ‘Islam and Science’ will be uploaded by the Islam Channel team soon.)