The Left: Water in the Desert
At one point or another, we all ask ourselves, “Why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing here?” The purpose of life is a fundamental question in our hearts, and for good reason. Whatever one’s answer is to this question will have a profound influence on the type of life one chooses to live, so it is vital that we come to the correct conclusion.
I remember going to the corner store when I was young and seeing the hoards of impoverished people outside the store, getting high and talking idly, the guys making inappropriate passes at every woman who walked by. Nearly every time I went to that store, those same people would be there. Some of them would play various dice games or gamble some other way, while others merely watched them. I remember thinking, “Don’t these people have any aspirations?” It was as though they believed their lives were purposeless and completely without meaning, and their resulting aimlessness and lethargy accompanied their drug use.
One day, I heard there had been a shooting in that same exact area, and there had been multiple shootings and homicides in that area in general. The killings were so frequent, and stray bullets often took the lives of people uninvolved in the conflicts, that it seemed that nobody assigned any value to a human life. I pondered whether people would still behave this way if they knew the purpose of their lives and if they saw human life as being valuable, but the general mentality was that life was not precious at all.
Some of the local music coming from my neighborhood mirrored that view. Chief Keef, who is also from Chicago’s south side, brags about his criminal pursuits and raps, “You wanna call the cops? You gonna get a cop dropped.” “Dropped” is a reference to shooting an officer. Another part of the lyrics states, “300 bitch don’t make me bring them killers out. Real shit, free all my hitters out.” Chief Keef is referencing a gang in Chicago. He threatens to bring out his “killers” and then calls for the freeing of his peers.
I desperately wanted to know the origins of this violence, as well as the origins of the inequality and poverty I saw in my neighborhood. I wanted to know why people behaved in such a violent manner and how I could change this. In my research, I came across a variety of left-wing literature inspired by communism that cited capitalism as the cause of the conditions in American ghettos, along with other forms of institutionalized racism, which lead to the rise of this violence. At the time, I accepted this as being true. Even today, I still believe that institutional racism and the legacy of Jim Crow laws are responsible for such living conditions in the ghetto. But Iremember thinking that while some of this literature did well inexplaining the causes of the violence, in terms of an actual solution, all of these left-wing theories failed miserably: none of them answered the fundamental questions of what the purpose of life is and why we are here. If people in the ghetto realized the purpose of their lives and that they were here for a specific reason, then wouldn’t they live differently?
Neither communism nor socialism answers the fundamental question, “What is the purpose of life?” I wanted to find an ideology that could address the needs of my community and improve the living conditions there. I remember reading various feminist literature, and I agreed with a lot of what they said in terms of patriarchy and the injustices facing women, but when I began to take a closer look at some of the things they were advocating, such as “free love” and “sexual liberation,” I thought about how that attitude was already the norm in the black community, in which it led to a cycle of single parenthood, poverty, and kids not knowing their father was.
Then they started saying things like having a nuclear family was an oppressive capitalistic structure. As I learned more about what these feminists were supporting, I agreed less and less with what they were promoting. I remember watching a video from a socialist group who outlined the oppression, injustices, and various social problems existing and caused by capitalism, and when it came time for the question and answer session, Iexpected the guy to ask something profound and meaningful. Instead, the question was, “Will we be able to smoke weed in the new socialist society?”
At the time, I was not a fan of drugs but supported legalizing them because I subscribed to the concept of “individual freedom,” but despite that, I was turned off by the question. I was looking for serious solutions to some of the world’s problems, and their primary concern was whether they would be allowed to use drugs under the current system? These leftists were seriously lacking in terms of personal discipline, and it came as no surprise to me that as I researched various countries that tried to implement a communist/socialist system,they all failed miserably.
Because these ideologies are made by humankind, none of them could answer those fundamental questions, “What’s the purpose of life?” and “What am I doing here?” Not knowing one’s purpose or objective in life is the root cause of so manyproblems. Without this knowledge, people become attached to instant gratification and living only for pleasure, unable to divert their temporal desires in favor of higher ones. This is the reasonmany people turn to drugs or alcohol: they are all trying to fill a void in their lives, and these substances give them a temporary escape from the real world.
I knew the answer couldn’t be found in any system created by humankind, so I gave up on my search. But one day while packing, I found a Qu’ran. I began reading it, and it brought me back to my childhood. I had Muslims and Christians in my family, and when I was a little boy, my favorite uncle occasionally took me to the mosque. I believed in God for most of my life. In fact, I remember when I was about 6 or 7 having a conversation with my mom about God. She was talking about someone she knew who didn’t believe in God, and I was shocked at what she was telling me. Naïvely, I responded, “Mommy, everyone believes in God.” At the time, I thought the only religions that existed were Christians and Muslims.
She corrected my misunderstanding and told me that therewere indeed people who did not believe in God; I just wondered how someone could possibly come to that conclusion. At the time, belief in God was so natural to me that atheism seemed to be a very strange viewpoint.
As a young boy, I was very religious. I prayed a lot but as Ientered my teenage years, religion had less of an influence of my life and I became more rebellious and secularized. I never in a million years believed the answer to my critical quest could be found within religion. But as I began reading the Qu’ran andresearching Islam, it became clear. I saw Islam as something which beautifully and comprehensively addressed the needs of my community.
After having been searching and looking for so long, embracing Islam felt so natural to me. Islam emphasizes giving to the poor, redistribution of wealth, and securing the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter for everyone. But unlike socialism, it was not a purely materialistic objective. It also made use of our innate spirituality. Also, it took a clear stance against drugs and other vices, which are certainly contributors to the problems I saw in my neighborhood.
The purpose of human existence and the reason we exist is not something that has been philosophized by multiple Muslim philosophers on Earth, but it is something that is clearly stated in the Qu’ran. We are here to worship God, plain and simple. I remember coming across the following verses in the Qu’ran:“Satan’s plan is to incite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling, and to keep you from the remembrance of God and from prayer. Will you not then abstain?” (al-Ma`idah 5:91).
Reflecting upon seeing the high and drunk people hanging around those corner stores, and the conflict that came from them, this verse made so much sense to me. Why should humans drink alcohol or smoke marijuana? These substances lower our cognitive abilities and lead to a variety of social problems, including what feminists call “rape culture.” Many rapes occur while the victim and/or perpetrator are under the influence of alcohol. Though liberals want their “individual freedom,” which includes using alcohol and other drugs, intermingling of the sexes, and hedonism, they seem baffled when faced with the problems that inevitably arise from this lifestyle, such as the mistreatment of women.
What do they honestly expect will happen, when there’s a bunch of sex-crazed teenagers and alcohol within a social setting? Is something positive suppose to result from this? A man can be charged with rape for having sex with a woman who is under the influence of alcohol (and therefore unable to give proper consent, due to her judgment being impaired), and I fully agree with that.
However, I also believe that we were not meant to drink alcohol or “get wasted” to begin with. The use of alcohol is really quite foolish if you think about it: people get drunk when they have ingested more toxins than their liver can process. There are several stages of drunkenness: the first is to simply have temporarily lowered inhibitions, which encourages people to take greater risks than normal. Next comes memory loss and exaggerated emotions, which is why some men are more likely to get into fights when drunk. Then coordination is lost, making them a danger to the public if they drive a vehicle. Finally, if too much alcohol is consumed within a certain timeframe, the result is death. Many people who get drunk say that they had a great time, but I don’t consider a hangover and partial or complete memory loss of the events while drunk to be “fun.”
I believe that instead of numbing our senses with drugs and alcohol, we should remain in a fully alert, cognitive state. Without the use of these mind-altering substances, people will be more likely to behave morally. But there is more to the problem than that. The huge number of rapes on college campuses is a direct result of a hypersexualized culture that neglects to teach restraint and self-control. Instead, a desire-based morality is accepted and promoted within liberalism. Though it is easier to give in to one’s desires than to practice discipline and refuse to be ruled by base urges, the easier path in life is not necessarily the best path to take.
The left, which includes radical feminists, liberal feminists, communists, and socialists, are described in the following verse in the Qu’ran: “The deeds of those who disbelieved, may belikened to a mirage in a waterless desert, which the thirsty one took for water; but when he reached there he found nothing to drink….”
This is an excellent way to sum up the behavior of such people. While they firmly believe that their lifestyle choices are good—and perhaps even that their ideology is superior to any other ideology—it is merely an illusion. They do not acknowledge God’s existence, nor do they believe there is a purpose to life (other than hedonism, if one may consider that to be a “purpose”), and so everything they do becomes purposeless.
If we adopt an atheistic viewpoint, then the universe, planets, and the life-forms on Earth (including humankind) are all merely accidents resulting from a cosmic explosion without any purpose. Stephen Hawking referred to human life as mere “chemical scum” in recognition of the insignificance of human beings in the grand scheme of the universe. But if life itself is an accident, then why should we care about social justice? Therehave been thousands of species before human beings that have all gone extinct: why should we pay any attention to social justice for humans, when in the end, as scientists predict, all human life will go extinct? What is it all for?
From this world view, patriarchy is merely chemical scum with XY chromosomes having hegemony over those with XX chromosomes. Rearranging this social formation is merely a chemical reaction in a human species, which will eventually die off. So what does it all matter? According to Darwinism, it’s all about survival of the fittest. That is what matters in terms ofevolution, so why look after the poor and the needy?
The reality is that without a purpose in life, the basis of all of these ideologies become useless. In fact, the more one examines secular/atheistic liberals and the way they act, the more one exposes themselves to Christian hereticsm relying upon the concept of human equality and egalitarianism, which Christianity solidified to justify their policies.
The Qu’ran states, “We have not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them without purpose, even though this is the belief of the disbelievers.” Just as the planets have a natural law, so do human beings. The purpose of humans having intellect and free will is that of duty and worship, not hedonism and doing as we like. We were put on this earth for a serious purpose, and a failure to achieve that purpose could lead to punishment in another life, where we will be held accountable for all that we do. It is because Islam believes humans exist for a purpose and must fulfill that purpose that it prohibits alcoholconsumption and anything that takes us away from that purpose.
There has been an increasing amount of people on the left,particularly feminists, who label Islam as “patriarchal” andclaim it oppresses women. Moreover, the neo-atheists’ approach is to make religious people seem irrational and illogical, but the reality is that people who deny God are a small fringe group. All human societies have had metaphysical/spiritual beliefsincluding a belief in God—you don’t find atheism anywhere,really, until the rise of communism. No matter how hard one may posture as a “rational atheist,” the reality is that the heart of all beings yearn to worship God. It is not our duty to be condescending to such people, but to realize that they are lost and in need of guidance. Meaningful dialogue with them in apeaceful manner can help them find their way.
There is no running away from it: the heart of all humans beings yearn for God, we yearn to believe that our lives are apart of something greater than ourselves and that our lives are significant. When people don’t worship God, they try to find happiness in drugs or sex, but this fails, as it cannot fill the void.Our hearts are hungry for God’s perfect peace. Our souls are thirsty to be in the glory of God. The left will never be successful if they don’t acknowledge their creator.
Remember, it is not the Prophet Muhammad who madeIslam great. It is Islam that made the Prophet Muhammad great.It is not Khallid Ibn Waleed who made Islam great. It is Islam that made Khallid Ibn Waleed great. It is not Malcolm X whomade Islam great. It is Islam that made Malcolm X great. Let us continue down the straight path with purpose and meaning.