Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, whom we love so much, would get all sorts of questions. One day, while sitting in the wilderness, someone asked him about trust in God: “Should I trust in God and not tie my camel?”
The camel was the primary mode of transportation at the time in Arabia. If you lost your camel, you’d lost one of your key assets. And if you were traveling far in the desert, losing your camel could mean death.
The Prophet’s answer: Tie your camel, then put your trust in God.
That principle does many things for us.
As Muslims, we have been become political footballs, first in Europe, then in Canada, and now in America. We are the number one victims of ISIS, as well as war and terror. Yet, we are blamed for causing terrorism.
We had two choices in this election: Someone who hit us where it hurt us the most. Then there was the other presidential candidate who swung right back, defending Muslims and the diversity of this country.
For many of us Muslims, who spent millions of dollars and votes supporting Hillary Clinton, we tied the camel - I guess.
Now is the time to trust God. He controls the world. We do not. He sees the whole picture and truly knows the best for everyone. We love Him, we trust Him. He is the Creator of us all. He created you and I, as well as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. He strategizes and He is the best strategizer (Quran 8:30).
Houston Rockets NBA star Hakeem Olajuwon illustrated this beautifully. He had always been a good basketball player, and was always a Muslim. However, when he truly embraced his faith in a mosque in Houston in the 1990s, he transformed.
He would still lose games, but he ultimately led the Rockets to victory. And this is what he told me about trusting God (Tawakkul).
"Before I started practicing my faith, I used to completely rely on myself,” he said. “When I had done my best, I would be extremely frustrated if I didn't win. It would irritate and anger me. And that was causing me to be bad to others by fighting and swearing.
"But when I started practicing my faith, I learned that results are not my property. I started doing my best but then I left success and failure to my Creator. Now I was not irritated by failure and was not overinflated by success. That caused me to calm down and improve my behavior towards others on my team and we became a team."
So trust God. Don’t despair (Quran 39:53), and don’t give up. That is not Sabr (patience). Sabr is to do your utmost and endure whatever it takes to achieve that goal.
I have a personal goal. And I would like you to be my partner in achieving that goal. To liberate America from fear, hate, and anger, which were there before Trump, and may not end with this election cycle.
We must engage with America to end the cycle of war, terror, and hate, which has caused us to lose trillions, kill millions, and dehumanize each other, despite all of us being God’s creation, Who created us from the same man and woman (49:13).
Seek help with Sabr (patience) and Salat (prayer). That increases trust in God. Open your hearts and minds for your neighbor, white, blacks, and all shades in between.
And pray that God opens the hearts of our neighbors toward us.
It is time for reflection as well. It will take many Sajdas (prostrations to God) and many Duas to achieve balanced, thoughtful conclusions. But for now, I will say this: American Muslims are achievers. They achieve what they set their mind to. We wanted to build mosques and we have doubled the number of mosques since 9/11; we wanted to build Muslim schools and we have tripled the number of Muslim schools since 9/11; following the beautiful example of the Prophet, we have responded to disasters in America and abroad by rushing to help, thus multiplying our relief organizations.
But what we have not done is devote resources to take America forward. We have not invested even one percent or .01 percent in what we have invested in mosques, schools, and relief organizations.
So for now, I would just say, let’s do a personal audit: An audit of our personal time and money. What percentage are you committing to your empowerment to take this country forward? That is the camel that still needs to be tied before we expect God to do miracles for us.
Comment by Boer: Though there are significant core differences between our two religions, we also have many similarities that we need to capitalize on. Much of what Abdul writes today resonates with me. I similarly feel that Christians spend way too much time, money and effort on “religious” matters when they should instead be religiously engaged in society by contributing to its welfare, to the common good. But religiously, not secularly. With the Spirit of God in their hearts not only but also in their minds, in how they create images of a just society according to the insights of their religion.