Ask A Question About Islam And Muslims

17 Questions

It is nice and humble to focus on service. Some people do feel called to serve communities other than their own, and I have met some people who are not Muslim who dedicated their lives to working for Muslim communities or the Islamic cause. Sometimes it is a lifelong calling, and sometimes it is a temporary calling (for instance, on a specific sociopolitical issue that one feels strongly about, or as a stepping stone to discovering one's identity or beliefs).

That being said, the psychological motivations behind dedicating one's self to service (especially to serving the "other") can be complex. There are psychologically healthy and unhealthy reasons for service. For instance, a genuine desire to help someone in need, versus the desire to feel needed. Wishing to aid those who are marginalized, versus re-living unresolved psychological trauma surrounding feelings of non-belonging. Etc.

For that reason, it doesn't hurt to look deeply at one's motivations for service to be sure it continues to be a healthy arrangement. Also, I could foresee such an arrangement eventually breaking down due to the tension of wanting to serve the Muslim community while at the same time not wanting to be part of the Muslim community, which might strike some Muslims as strange. Not everyone wants an "outsider" to help them; this may be particularly poignant today, given the legacy of European colonialism in the Muslim world, and the way some Western organizations take a paternalistic approach to Muslims and try to "save" Muslims from practices they deem backwards or uncivilized. Basically, while some people want to serve, not everyone wants to be served. 

Anyway, from an Islamic perspective, what is important is the view of Allah. That is, what is important is your relationship to the divine. What is important is the view of the divine on your religious beliefs and practices, and overall actions in life, not the overall view of Muslims or the view of Islam as a faith. 

Similarly, the core teaching of Islam is serving Allah, not serving Muslims. There are many ways to serve Allah; serving Muslims is religiously meritorious when it is done as a way of serving Allah, but it is not the only way to serve Allah.

From a historical perspective, there are some respected figures in Islamic history who were not Muslim but aided Muslims or the Islamic cause. For instance, the Christian king of Abysynnia who protected the early Muslims from persecution. If you go through the account of Karbala, you will see that a number of people who were Christian also stood up for Imam Husayn. Also in the classical era of Islamic history, Muslims and people of other faiths worked harmoniously together on scientific and other projects and also occasionally shared the same site for houses of worship. (That being said, there was more of an equal playing field in those times; there wasn't the post-colonialist or "clash of civilizations" imbalanced power dynamic.)

Overall, despite the stereotypes of Muslims being intolerant, I think most Muslims are comfortable with religious diversity because the Quran gives a place to other religions and doesn't say that all other religions are false or that all other people are doomed. Also, most Muslim cultures have historically had religious minorities. I think some Muslims also secretly like people who are different because it can get a little boring seeing the same type of people again and again. That being said, if you do work within the Muslim community, I am sure some Muslims will encourage you to convert!

Anyway, I certainly don't mean to be discouraging in any of the above; your situation is unique to your own self and surroundings; these are just some thoughts on the overall dynamics that might arise. I wish you the best in whatever paths you take in life!

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. Both sides of the God debate have their own arguments and rebuttals and so if a certain argument has caused confusion you should seek its response from those who have been well trained in the intellectual sciences. It is also important to consider the role of religious experience when forming the presumptions to your intellectual framework and to realize that atheists also recognize the validity of theist arguments based on the presuppositions of theists. 

May you always be successful.

The faith means that you believe in something. The action according to the faith is the logical result of your faith. Action on the faith has degrees. Faith must be reflected in action in whatever degree the person has. Faith with no action at all means there is no real faith.

Wassalam.

The true faith has got real sweetness in the heart and the mind of the
believer. The sweetness of the true faith is based on knowing,
believing and loving Allah SWT, the most Merciful, the most
Compassionate. Loving Allah SWT increases when you think about his endless and
countless bounties and his endless and countless mercy on us. The
love of Allah SWT will lead to loving every beloved servant of Allah
SWT. When you love Allah SWT you love those who are so close to
Allah SWT, and the best of them are the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), and his
Ahlulbayt (AS), because they are the best servants of Allah SWT who got that
status of the love of Allah SWT .Real Habibullah, are Muhammad (SAWA) and
his holy progeny – Ahlulbayt (AS). Those who love Allah SWT, love the
Prophet  (SAWA) and love the Ahlulbayt (AS) and more love to Allah
SWT, the Prophet (SAWA) and the Ahlulbayt (AS) will bring more
sweetness in the life. And then it goes on till it reaches a stage
that the person who loves Allah SWT, the Prophet (SAWA) and
the Ahlulbayt (AS) does not feel anything in the life more sweet and
more enjoyable and more meaningful and more beneficial and more
beloved than the love of Allah (SAWA) and the Prophet (SAWA) and the
Ahlulbayt (AS).

Thinking about the bounties of Allah SWT increases the love of Allah
SWT and thinking about the virtues of the Prophet (SAWA) and Ahlulbayt
(AS) increases the love of the Prophet (SAWA) and Ahlulbayt (AS) in hearts of sincere believers.

The love to Allah SWT and the Prophet (SAWA) and Ahlulbayt (AS) gives
us unlimited benefits and it is a love which gives us benefits which
remain with us all along, not only in our life in this world but also
after that till the next life which is in the Hereafter. In fact, the
love of Allah SWT and the Prophet (SAWA) and Ahlul Bayt (AS) is the
best love whatsoever. It is in fact the real love and the true love which
is not based on temporary emotions and imaginations which can diminish after
some time but it is the love which shines all along our life and makes
our life happy and prosperous and successful.

Listening to Allah SWT by reciting the Holy Qur’an and trying to
understand and talking to Allah SWT by praying Salaah or Dua, that
also increases the love of Allah SWT in our hearts.

Reading the sayings and reading about the lifestyle and the teachings
of the Prophet (SAWA) and the Ahlul Bayt (AS) makes our love to them
more.

Remembering Allah SWT and the Prophet (SAWA) and the Ahlul Bayt (AS)
in every matter before any word and before any act that also increases
the love to them in our hearts.

Our present Imam, Imam Zaman (ATFS). His love, in fact, is the cream of the
love of Allah SWT, the Prophets (SAWA) and all the Imams (AS). So
remembering him, reciting his Ziyarat, talking to him, doing good
deeds and gifting the reward of it to Imam Al-Mahdi (AS) will increase his love in our hearts.

Wassalam.