The interplay between the Arabs' lack of a sacred scripture of their own and the culture that prevailed prior to the coming of Islam lay the groundwork for the acceptance of ideas and conceptualizations that were foreign to Islam and which were bound to colour our perceptions of it. One such idea was that of Determinism (al-jabriyyah), that is, the belief that human beings have no genuine free will and that everything we do is predetermined by Fate. Determinism is alien to an Islamic perspective, which places great importance on the moral code and people's accountability before God for their choices and actions. Islam does not acknowledge the notion that God controls human beings' decisions as one of its premises.
Those upholding the Shariah and those in a position to explain its legislative rules ought to take a firm stand to prevent deviations and discrepancies by teaching and guidance that will eradicate them and expose superficial ideas and corruption. It is reported in a Tradition that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to Abd Allah ibn Amr ibn al-As: "I have been informed that you pray all night and fast during the day!" Abd Allah said, "I answered: '(Yes) I do.'" The Prophet then said: "If you do so, your eyesight will become weak and you will become weak. There is no doubt that your body has a right over you, and your family has a right over you. So fast (for some days) and do not fast (for some days), and pray for some time and then sleep." [Bukhari]
Issues to Address
The true challenge of the day is to choose the right battle - to mobilize the creative energy of the peoples in the attempt to find real solutions to real problems. The march toward democracy in the Global South entails a thorough reconsideration of the three "fundamentals": economic (and agricultural) policy, educational policy, and cultural and media policy (in the general sense). The secularist elite would be well advised to acknowledge that it truly has nothing new to offer in these three vital policy categories. There can be no true political democracy without a profound restructuring of the economic priorities of each country, which in turn can only come about by combating corruption, limiting the prerogatives of the military, and, above all, reconsidering economic ties with other countries as well as the modalities of domestic wealth distribution.
Scientists estimate, that between 30 to 50 percent of all food produced in the world is wasted at the table and lost in the production process. If this food is saved, the number of undernourished and those facing starvation can be drastically reduced. And if one is a vegetarian, one knows that he or she has enriched the Earth, and helped to reduce the threat of global water crisis. One's decision to go meatless, or minimize meat consumption, also contributes to slowing down a global food shortage and climate change. This advice stands sound. In my opinion, all of us should encourage a vegetarian diet among themselves and their families.
Humour is recommended in principle and is deemed to partake in recreation (istirwah) both for the joker and his audience. The Prophet is known to have had a sense of humour and practiced it in his own interaction, words, and action, both with children and adults. It is a condition of a permissible joke, however, that it is clear of lies. Similarly, jokes, whether in words or in action, are either forbidden or reprehensible (mahzur, makruh) if they are tactless and harmful to one's audience or to those who may not be present, or when it involves taking of someone's belonging in the name of a practical joke.