How To Be Egyptian: How To Be Human (Part 1)
BismiLlah Al Rahman Al Rahim
Most Egyptians were born on January 25th 2011 again. A beam of hope shines through our sky like never before, we are motivated and enthusiastic to change, to make the best out of our country. It might temporary to some but others are set to make a difference.
What kind of difference? Political? Economical? Cultural? In every dimension and facet of our Egyptian life, each one of us is seeking to put their best into it.
But, since we want to start from scratch we have to erase everything and reset all of our set ideas and re-question them.
For that, the very question of our identity comes immediately to mind. What is it to be an Egyptian? What makes me Egyptian?
Instead of enumerating all of our history, we would like to observe the spiritual aspect of it in the coming posts, God willing.
To be Egyptian means to be human with a culture. To belong to a certain country with its traditions and heritage. Do we really know what it means to be human? Are we living up to that name?
In this post, we will see what makes us human.
Second, the commentary of the 99 Names of God will have to follow. We will pass the notes taken from the classes of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s “99 Names” at the Rihla trip 2010.
After having an idea on our being human, we will, lastly, observe the relation between Islam and Culture based on a paper by Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah called “Islam and the Culture Imperative” and a talk from Zaytuna whose main theme was “Monoculture”.
After reading an article on suhaibwebb.com called “Spiritual Pitfalls for the Muslim Blogger” by Shazia Ahmed, it says:
Blogs are a means by which we can openly share our opinions on an array of issues, and it is common to find Muslim bloggers discussing their communities, masjids, Islamic organizations and institutions, and other Islamic projects they come into contact with. While it is easy to complain about the wrongs and negatives that one may see in different settings, it is much harder to actually become involved and invested, and work to make things better. We should be cautious of letting our blogs make us into arm-chair critics, who, while other are rolling up their sleeves and doing actual work, sit back as spectators, concerned more with commenting than constructing. We should be wary of becoming isolated from the community, relegating ourselves to the role of observer and pundit rather than actual participant.
Another issue we should be cognizant of is a feeling of self-importance that may come from constantly sharing our opinions with others, and latent feelings of arrogance, over-confidence and condescension that may arise from this. One may begin to write desiring or expecting the admiration of others, seeking to gain their approval, or to be talked about and discussed. This is very harmful to the sincerity of one’s intention, and leads one to a disproportionate perception of the importance of one’s opinions and writings.
So I decided not to take the risk of saying anything incorrect or falsely interpret it.
Please forgive me for not having expanded my views on this matter, I only pass on knowledge that I find meaningful without my input out of fear of misjudgment.
For this first part, I will share some pages of a book I’m currently reading that answers exactly our question on being human (I was going to quote from it anyway)
Roger Du Pasquier’s “Unveiling Islam” translated from french to english by T.J. Winter aka Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad.
I- The Challenge of Our Time