Gold leaf

Years ago, when I had just become Muslim, I was invited by a friend to spend an evening smoking fruit-flavoured tobacco from a shisha pipe.

When I declined, suggesting that it was not a good way for a Muslim to spend his time, my companion responded that we would adopt my puritanical stance when the caliphate was restored.

The logic seemed to be that in the absence of a Muslim ruler, none of us had any hope of jettisoning our bad habits or addictions.

Fast forward to today, and it seems that little has changed. All around me, people are campaigning for the return of those great “Islamic” empires of the past.

But ask the question, “Are we establishing Islam in our homes?” at your peril. Apparently we need to establish Muslim rule, before we can possibly hope to establish prayer in our homes.

I wonder what glory has to do with the simple calls of faith. Quranic verses embossed in gold leaf on magnificent buildings will never be a substitute for verses inscribed on our hearts.

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