A study conducted by *Prof. Hussain Askari* of George Washington University entitled *“How Islamic are the Islamic Countries”* showed that most of the countries that apply *Islamic Principles* in their daily lives are not ones that are traditionally Muslim. New Zealand ranked 1st, Luxembourg 2nd, Ireland 3rd, Iceland 4th, Finland 5th, Denmark 6th and Canada 7th. Malaysia ranked 38th, Kuwait 48th, Bahrain 64th and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 131th.
The study, published in the *Global Economy Journal* might be shocking to most of us but when we look around us and see the reality of the situation, we find that the results of the study are accurate and true.
As muslims we seem to care only about performing religious obligations/rituals/sunnah (prayer, fasting, niqab, beards, etc), reading the Qur’an and the Hadiths, but we don’t practice what we espouse. We listen to religious lessons and sermons more than the other people on the face of the earth, but we are still not the best of nations. In the last 60 years, we have listened to 3,000 Friday sermons.
A Chinese merchant once said: “Muslim merchants come to me and ask me to put fake international labels and brands on their goods. When I invite them to eat, they refuse because the food is not halal. So it is halal for them to sell fake goods?”
A Japanese Muslim said: “I traveled to the West and saw Islam in practice applied in the daily life of non-Muslims. I traveled to the East, I saw Islam but did not see any Muslims. I thank Allah I knew Islam before I knew how Muslims act.”
Religion should not be reduced to prayer and fasting. It is a way of life and it is about how we treat others.
Performing a religious obligation is up to you and it is something between you and Allah. However, good ethics is something between you and other people. In other words, if we do not put Islamic ethics into action and practice, corruption will become rampant and disgrace will be our future.
We should not judge a person based on how he performs religious obligations for he might be a hypocrite.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Verily, the bankrupt of my nation are those who come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers, fasting and charity, but also with insults, slander, consuming wealth, shedding and beating others.”
I believe *Islam* (external aspect of faith) is incomplete without *Imaan* (internal aspect of faith) and *Ihsaan* (social aspect of faith). Ponder, understand and realise this…
Lord Bernard Shaw is said to have said: Islam is the best religion and Muslims are the worst followers.
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