Alhamdulilah! This is where it begins. This is where our matter & purpose begins. With praise, “hamd”. Alham­dulilah, this is the first edition of ISLAM HERE. Monthly, we will endeavour to bring our readers thought-provoking and clear articles that will, Inshallah, aspire from you only the best that Allah, glory be to Him, has bestowed you with. You are the Mus­lims, and what an incredible honour that is. After embracing the Deen of Islam 14 years ago, I have yet to see an end to this overwhelming mercy. How lucky we all are.

Such is this enigma that is our passion for this gift we have received, that there isn’t a day that passes we do not undermine ourselves for not taking its full benefit. Right now, you have picked up this newspaper because it said on the cover, in BOLD writing, “ISLAM HERE”. So let us start here. What we are saying is in fact Islam is here. The meaning of it is existential of course. What is being described in the title is the experience of what the Deen of Islam is. Not as an Ideology, a political paradigm or a binding together of principles, that is religion. But what the Deen of Islam is when it is

Active, Visible & Practised among people.

ISLAM HERE

What we know is that Islam has been given to us as a Deen. The word “Deen” comes from the Arabic root letters: “Dal”; “Ya” & “Nun”, which when collected in that fashion means to be obligated or to manage a contract that also expresses repayment or compensation of that obligation or management. Deen is a contract. Islam comes from the root verb in Arabic “istaslama”, which means to submit. So, the Deen of Islam is that it is a contract of submission.

From here we know of the five pillars of Is­lam: Shahada, Salaah, Zakaah, Saum & Hajj. We enter that contract by way of the Shaha­da, openly declaring that there is no god except Allah & that Muhammed is His messenger. May Allah bless him & grant him peace. Allah is the Whom we have submitted to & Muhammed is the how we have submitted to Him. Our contract of submission correctly speaking is based on his life. The active & visible aspects of his life. How he transacted & fulfilled his contract with Allah and his contracts with people. In his movements & stillness, in his looks and thoughts. In him we have the perfect example. May Allah bless him and grant him peace.

It is his practice that we base this entire affair on. From it we, the Muslims (those submitted to this contract) delineate who we really are. What men are in relation to other men, what men are in relation to women. What women are in relation to other women & what women are in relation to men. What we all are to Allah. A complete pat­tern of life. Not in part but in totality. When his wife Sayyideta Aisha, radi’Allahu’anha, was asked after his passing, “who was he?” She replied, “He was the Qur’an walking.”

This is more than just a Muslim view or an opinion. It is essentially who and what the Muslims are. May Allah preserve you & I in His Deen & by His Deen, may He give us success, in life; in the hereafter; in marriage & in wealth. Amin. For if success is not what we aspire to, then what do we approach the house of Allah for when the muadhan calls: “Hayya alal Falaah!” “Hayya alal Falaah!

Nabeel Abdalhaqq

ISLAM HERE

Cape Town Editor