Archive for the ‘Islam’ Category

I am not much of a politics person but I just happened to come across a recent article by Thomas Friedman. I usually avoid reading him-for several reasons. I find him blatantly biased against the Islamic world and well, he has a certain talent with the written word that makes even his ludicrous neo-imperialist ideology seem fair seeming to a naive outsider. But there’s something that we might learn from him. When he laughs at the growing divide amongst Muslims themselves, it’s time to sit up and take notice. Not because he’s saying so. But because our Prophet (PBUH) never meant us to be like this. We have Hadeeth quoting Muhammed (PBUH) that the whole Ummat should be like one single body-so that even if a finger is in pain, the whole of the body should agonize over it. It makes sense even if you are not much a believer of the Hadeeth tradition, doesn’t it?
Why are we are silent over the rising sectarian violence that’s raging in Iraq then? The problem is that we have divided ourselves-we have forgotten the Book and grabbed false messiahs for our salvation. Why the Sunni-Muslim divide in the first place? Both the sects believe in Muhammed (PBUH) and his Prophethood, but both fail to realize that he neither went by the name of either ‘Shia’ or ‘Sunni’. These are inventions of generations that came much later.
Why must we fall on innovative interpretations of Islam when it’s all so clear in the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet?
The question is: why are we searching for alternate identities when all they are serving is growing sectarianism? Is it serving any purpose? Why are we so skeptical about just following the Quran and the Prophet? Why do we need the ‘add-ons’ so much when Allah Himself proclaims in the Quran: “This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed MY favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as religion.” (5:4) Why the thirst for ‘improvisations’ in the divine message, when they can only imperfect at their best, because they are so human?
It’s sad how we divide ourselves over something as small as who was the Prophet’s successor AFTER his death-a time when Islam was already a complete entity, as we see from the verse from the Quran. While that may be a serious issue indeed, is it serious enough to demand a re-interpretation of our entire religion? Is it serious enough for us to be divided like this for centuries on end? Is it serious enough to give us the right to kill our own brethren? How can we allow the killing of either sect by members of another when Allah condemns the unjust killing of any life:
” For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.”
and elsewhere:
“…And that ye slay not the life which Allah hath made sacred, save in the course of justice. This He hath command you, in order that ye may discern.” (6:151)
and yet again:
“And slay not the life which Allah hath forbidden save with right. Whoso is slain wrongfully, We have given power unto his heir, but let him not commit excess in slaying. Lo! he will be helped.” (17:33)
We say we kill in the name of Islam when Islam requires us to have a VERY just cause to kill; we say we take the Quran to be the word of Allah and yet we flout it in the name of religiosity.
I admit these are tough times, but that shouldn’t be reason enough to forget the divine word, no? In fact this is just the time to bond even more firmly, to Allah and to all our brothers in faith. If Islam means ‘peace’ let us not violate it, except for a cause justified by Allah-for instance when one has to punished for murder or other such sin-and killing another because you don’t like him or his leader cannot in any way be defined as justice.
And may better sense prevail. And may Allah unify this broken Ummat again towards Him. Ameen.


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