Chapter 1: Race To Win

Progress has become the norm of the world and man in this progressive world may feel that they are heading in a particular definite direction, while on the other hand they also feel a little lost. Especially when they are faced with simple questions, either they choose not to give way to these questions or that they choose to ignore them when they arise.

However, time and again it is these simple or fundamental questions that matter the most. These are the questions that ensure that we are headed in the right direction, they are like our guiding compass.

Questions like why am I a Muslim? What makes me a Muslim? Why was I created? Why does Man exist? What is the purpose of life? What if I live my life without a purpose? If there is one God then why are there so many religions? And So on ….

After 1400 years of Islam, if an ordinary Muslim is asked, Why are you a Muslim? What do you think their answer would be? If they are asked 'why do you worship your God?' What would they reply? It is these questions that we avoid, it is these questions that we run from.

As a child, I had hundreds and thousands of questions and at every given opportunity I would reach out to the Imam e Jamat or an Islamic scholar and ask them these questions. They would either very calmly reply ‘You are too young for these questions’, or they would say ‘You would not understand the answer’, or they would say ‘One must not ask questions regarding Allah (SwT) and Ahl al-Bayt (‘a)’. Which lead me to believe that Islam does not have answers to all my questions. By the time I was in my teenage, I had come to believe that Islam does not have answers to any questions at all. Islam is a blind faith and you have to blindly believe in Allah (SwT) and the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a).

However, these questions never went away, they might have been on the back seat, but they were there and after a decade they came back again. I chose to ignore them and get busy with my educational life. Especially with the intense competition in the university, one cannot take the risk of diversion or distraction. I convinced myself that I will definitely get back to these questions when I get some time on hand, let me first get over with my exams and maybe, get a good job and then InshaAllah I'll have enough time in hand, where I can sit back and give a thought to these questions.

But life just seemed to be stuck in a vicious cycle, a kind of a never-ending rat race, where every time we think that we are at the end of the racecourse, we realize that the race is about to begin. We have to gear up and get ready else we will lose the race. No matter how hard we try, the cycle never breaks and the race never ends. We try harder hoping to finish the race, however, we forget that everybody is trying harder at the same time, everybody wants to finish the race. Not just finish it but win it. We barely realize what we've missed on the way, or what we've sacrificed, until its too late.

My wife used to work in a multinational corporation, one day her boss asked her to come past midnight to attend a client call and she said it is not possible for her to work at such hours. He lashed back at her stating "With this kind of approach, how do you expect to grow in your career? Learn something from your seniors. Look at me, I invest so many extra hours at work that I lost count of them, I leave home before my son wakes up and by the time I am back, he is already asleep, one has to dedicate oneself to work." My wife politely replied "Tomorrow if your son asked you 'Father what was more important to you, your work or your son?' what would you reply?" and she left the room.

We talk about all the sacrifices one had to make to achieve success in their career or life, which include their peace of mind, their quality time with family, etc… however, what we forget to mention is the amount of religion we have sacrificed to gain the worldly pleasures.

We barely pause to think about our life, Am I living to work or am I working to live happily? Again, it's these questions that we avoid and run from. This book is aimed at asking questions that we have been avoiding and running away from. So, today let me invite you to the world of questions, where we are free to ask anything and everything and free to learn the answers that my heart has been yearning for years to know. I invite you to the joy of asking and learning, I invite you to the bliss of knowledge.