There is a connection between Iman and Fitr. The Rasulullah, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim, indicated in the renown hadith that Fitr was a naturalness of being; a being uncontaminated by influence, initially inherent in all humans, a reverberation of “Alastu birabbikum”. This is not ‘tabula rasa’ but ‘tabula pura’, not blank but pristine or even primitive. The Prophet then goes on to state that it is changeable, corruptible, which means that it can be built upon but also changed beyond recognition. In its ongoing integrity it is an unconscious acceptance of reality, how things really are, the recognition of Divinity and the relation of existence to it; an innate understanding of itself in relation to all around it.
Fitr needs no proof, it understands wholesomeness and sound transaction without dogma or precedent and in the current world it is a vanishing quality, but not extinct. However, it is not something that modern man understands or recognises, either in its appearance or value.
Fitr is being in harmony with this world as the creation of the Divine and Iman is being in this world in harmony with the unseen of this world, but neither contradicts the other and indeed, they confirm each other.
In my experience I have lived with people of the Deen who do not recognise the people of Fitrah. Deen in this sense means those people who accept Islam, Iman and Ihsan in principle and are engaged in implementing that acceptance to one degree or another.
The Deen as revealed by Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, and implemented by His Rasul, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim, is essentially in harmony with man’s existence on this earth, and it is significant that the Rasulullah did not include Islam among those ways that change man away from his natural being, although these days its current manifestations could equally be included on that list. These deviations from our nature and the Deen that Allah has named Islam are like a bacterial culture or fermentation. They act upon the original and change it by their nature to something else which may still be halal or acceptable like yoghurt, vinegar or black tea, but it can equally progress to the haram or unacceptable such as wine or poison. In all cases it is different from its pristine nature despite the degree of its transformation into something else.
The natural allies of the people of Deen are the people of Fitrah, because one is totally based upon the natural acceptance of the Divine and the other the natural order of things. The integrity of any society is based upon a wholesome mass that interacts with an agent that turns it into active benefit, if we take bread as an analogy. Another understanding is that a wholesome body demands that element that will bring out its reality; it is in the nature of things. When a people want the best, someone to lead them to it will emerge, and conversely if they do not, he will not. This is why waiting for a saviour or Mehdi is so destructive because it goes against nature and the very possibility of what is said to be desired. The Jews of Madinah lauded the coming of their messiah and prophet over their fellow citizens, only to deny the Prophet when he came, because he was a fantasy to them, a means over a perceived opponent and nothing to do with the reality. Many Muslims today see the Mehdi in this light, which blinds them to their own state and the Salihun among them. The Mahdi will be a result, not a cause.
There is a widespread upheaval of dissent about the current structure of society and among that mass will be those who use their intellects and also those their innate sense of justice, but most are anxious for themselves and their ‘way of life’, and could probably be bought quite cheaply with a variety of ‘currencies’. What is deafeningly clear is that among all that clamour there seem to be no ‘solutions’ and it is not about gold and silver, they are merely weapons. They are right, something needs to be done but weapons have to be wielded by an army and an army needs a strategy with a general to achieve its aim otherwise we end up with a stockpile. An army is people, and the army of Badr is not like the army of Makkah, and we all know what happened there.
All my life I have been told about ‘good people’ and I have also been told that the worst of people are good people who stand by or keep silent when the opposite is required. So when I hear ‘good people’, I know it needs qualification and I also know that sentiment is not enough and agreement or disagreement mean nothing. Your agreeing or not does not change anything. I will be asked about what I did and so will you, so let us move quickly to action; action that we can answer for to the One who will be asking.
As an individual, as a group, as a community we must find our natural allies, one by one or in groups and share with them the gift of knowing why we are here and what we must do. It begins with the individual obligation to affirm the Unity and His messenger, which immediately turns into the social obligation of communal prayer followed by, or twinned with, giving out. Prayer and Zakat are the necessary foundational practices upon which are built mundane daily activity, which in fact, imbue the mundane with the Divine. Each person, meeting, activity reveals your connection to reality or distraction from it; connect your standing at the checkout with your standing on the plain before Allah, when your life will speak for itself without need of intermediary or possibility of change, other than the merciful intercession of Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wa sallim.
Read the Word of Allah and you will become confident of His promises and careless of yourself; you will look upon the other with a compassionate eye and do what you are able. Do not limit yourself to reward, look to the Giver, see how He loves His people. Be careless about yourself and concentrate on giving what you have to others. The habit of the Rasul to empty his house of money each night is profound; it is the maintaining of his connection with, and reliance upon, his Lord; a turning of the mundane into the Divine. Understand, it is not about money! We do not give because the other needs it, he or she is like us, recipients of His promise; our need is to give of what He has given us according to that promise. Everything we hold onto is a barrier for us, let it all go so that we may see clearly what He has given us and let it go until there is nothing left but His presence, subhanahu wa ta’ala.
The greatest possession is Islam, it is enough for us, take it to those who do not have it and those who think they do but do not, and if you leave your house with this intention, Allah will bring you a recipient and that is better than everything that the sun shines upon.