Posted by: Dawud Israel | April 13, 2008

The Problem of Broken Solutions?

As I left for Jumaah (Friday prayers) I opened the door to my car door. But as I did it in a hurry and sat down in the drivers seat I realized I couldn’t fit the key into the ignition. This was incredibly weird and so I took a closer look at the key and I realized I had twisted it as I opened the door! It was super strange to see a key bent so sharply but subtly.

(mine wasn’t broken like this but you get the point)

I learned something from this. I realized that even though there may be a key to ever door–it may not be the solution in itself. By this I mean, it’s not enough and does not suffice. You may have a problem and the solution but the one who is doing the problem-solving is the real show and if he messes up–the solution becomes a problem.

Let’s take this a little further. Muslims have a number of problems and there is a mentality that if we implement just a few Islamic solutions and bang the problem will be solved. The masjid gets an imam and the problem will disappear. The Muslims get an Islamic state and the problem disappears. But that is not how it happens. It is not about me saying, “This is the solution to all the Muslim’s problems” and bang that is it. It’s more than that.

Why did the problem exist in the first place? Why did the solution exist in the first place? Opposites attract and so these two would be brought to each other someway–but this doesn’t happen. Allah has caused these solutions and problems to exist not to see if we can solve these problems and put one and one together to make two–that would be pointless and below us. No, he made these as trials to see how we behave and handle ourselves. When we kick, scream and shout like children crying, “This is the solution!” we are actually creating a problem and breaking the key we think is so invulnerable.

Are we grateful to him? Are we patient? Are we understanding of the lessons he wishes to teach us?
The problem and solution are easy in reality. But only when we go through the timely process of applying Islam to our lives will the solution solve the problem with almost no effort of our own.

Returning to my story it seemed hopeless to fix a key like this. But I was patient and said the duaa, “Inna lillahi wa inna illahi raji’oon” (From Allah we come and to Him is our return) and I tried to hammer down the key and got it back to it’s proper shape and made it in time to catch the last bits of the jumaah prayer. 🙂

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, Ameen.


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