In the Name of God, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوۡمٍ حَتّٰى يُغَيِّرُوۡا مَا بِاَنۡفُسِهِمۡ

Verily, God does not change a people’s condition unless they change their inner selves. [13:11]

The seed doesn’t grow outside the soil. The growth of a human being doesn’t begin in another soul. It begins within your own self. When you realize that change begins within your own self, then indeed, God will change the condition of your life.

– Amir Zabidi

Why should we be in a state of change?

A human being of wisdom should always be in a state of change. When I am discussing change and reform, I am discussing the positive aspect of change. A human being can change himself into different directions. It can be a positive direction or a negative direction. A Muslim should always choose the positive direction. A Muslim should carry the seeds of optimism and Husn Adh-Dhan (Thinking positively of God and the people).

When it comes to that type of change, then we as Muslims should embrace that type of change. Every direction which leads to positivity and to the destinations of positivity, is a destination of success and succour.

We should always be in a state of positive change, because God wants us to develop and become better human beings for each day. When we obey the positive orders of God, the whole humanity will benefit. God only encourage us to perform the actions which will lead to a spiritual utopia that will give your heart and the society the sweetness of tranquillity and peace.

Why should we try to change our negative perception?

Many cultural Muslims have learned to stick to a view that will only lead to negative consequences. This applies not only to cultural Muslims, but also to prejudiced non-Muslims who only think badly about Arabs and Muslims. We have learned from childhood to never change our perception. Especially from our cultural parents who have fed us with cultural concepts that have blocked our minds from the reality of the true perception me and you should embrace as Muslims.

For example, in our communities they have made it a big taboo to marry divorced woman. The reason for this is, of course, that another man has seen her body and that after her divorce, she went through Mu’tah marriages and Misyar marriages, in order to at least try to find the love she always wanted. As a faithful Muslim, you and I must live into a woman’s experiences and situations that have made her experience these circumstances. As a Muslim, we need to think more about the direction that will lead to the world of open-mindedness. Of course, this does not only apply to divorced women, but the problem lies in the Arab mentality which values a woman according to her virginity. We must change our perception. As an Arab, I grew up in this mentality, and I can tell you it was never easy for me to accept a non-virgin woman, but thank God, I was able to change my perception. This is the very essence of being strong enough as a Muslim and crushing your ego to embrace the true Islamic mentality!

Honour culture is also one of the examples found among the mentality in our communities. This is also a view that must be changed. Honour culture is not a part of Islam. Being murdered just because you like the wrong woman or the wrong man who unfortunately belongs to a family of this barbaric culture is not a part of Islam. Dare to stand up and go against the values of your parent if they are based on Jahiliyah, and this is arguably one of the greatest Jihad.

Changing all these disadvantages will undoubtedly provide a positive image of Islam and a positive image of yourself. When you as a Muslim and as a person are ready to change yourself and crush your ego to reach a higher level of consciousness, then your perception of reality will become sharper and you will approach the truth even more.

We can never force anyone to change their perception. The majority will always hold on to what their parents taught them

The majority are so firm in what their parents taught them. Our prophets (as) have spent thousands of years trying to change the perception of the masses, but only a small minority were willing to stand up and follow the message of truth. The same goes for our time. People’s hearts have become harder, and when people’s hearts become harder, they automatically become narrow-minded human beings who only think about their own desires and their own ego.

Changing yourself takes time. It is not easy to take the step. Imagine yourself a 10-year upbringing based on narrow-mindedness, and suddenly a time comes when you want to change a 10-year upbringing that will be difficult to change for many, but if you want the change, you should be willing to take the step to change your perception of the world you live in. The moment you are willing to do it, is the moment that you will change you as a human being. We must change our perception of how we as Muslims view our fellow human beings, our women and the society in which we live in. We must be strong enough to discern the disadvantages of our culture from the true Islamic doctrine.

How will this reform change our generation and the future generation?

This generation we live in right now in the western world is thankfully much more open-minded than the village mentality that our parents grew up in and want us to embrace. There is not much left to hone and shape. The disadvantages are much smaller than they were 60 years ago. We who live in this generation must make sure to erase every single cultural and social disadvantage in order to pave the way for positivity for our future generation. Just imagine what society would have looked like if the majority of Muslims had been ready to embrace the true Islamic values instead of these cultural and social disadvantages.

It is so tragic that this world has become so selfish and so materialistic that you are not even willing to think about the future of your children. The human being today is willing to crush the earth in order to earn a drop of the worldly pleasure. A world that does not want to come close to God will begin to worship its own desires that will lead us to all these problems and the world will experience obstacles in all worldly aspects whether it comes to the environment, world politics, the social part, the economic structure and the cultural world.

When you as a human being are willing to change yourself, you will automatically change the world you live in. Your spiritual growth that you receive from God will help you become a person of positive benefits for humanity. The world needs people who have undergone social and spiritual change. It is tragic to choose people who are stubborn and obnoxious and prioritize them above those who are willing to come up with positive changes that will change the perception of how we as human beings view life. We all make mistakes and we must be willing to understand this. Once we realize that all of us aren’t flawless, then we will understand that we are facing the beginning of a change that will lead to beautiful destinations

Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his Holy Progeny (as)

| Amir Zabidi 

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