The truth is we (Muslims) are bankrupt as a religious community

From:  "jagbir singh" <www.adishakti.org@gmail.com>
Date:  Mon Jun 14, 2004  9:20 am
Subject:  "The truth is we (Muslims) are bankrupt as a religious community"
 
—- In shriadishakti@yahoogroups.com, "jagbir singh"
<adishakti_org@y...> wrote:
>
> Only after reading the entire www.al-qiyamah.org will Muslims
> understand the depth of centuries-old deception, falsehood and
> conditioning the Ummah has been led regarding the Resurrection. So
> my question off the bat: When the ulema are so erroneous about Al-
> Qiyamah, the heart and soul of Islam explicitly entrenched in
> numerous surahs, what makes them think there are correct in even
> more difficult issues? Why talk about purifying Islam when the
> unsurpassed beauty of His Holy Qur'n regarding the Resurrection
> has been mutilated beyond recognition by the same people?
>


BY Hamza Yusaf

Muslims were seen rejoicing in some parts of the world in a display
of what can only be called shamaatatul 'adai', which is rejoicing at
the calamities of ones' enemies. This is something explicitly
prohibited in Islam and was never practiced by the Prophet of Mercy,
upon him be prayers and peace. We have seen images since of American flags burning to further arouse the wrath of a nation filled with grief, confusion and anger. Again, Islam prohibits the burning of
flags according to the explicit verse, "Do not curse [the idols]
of those who call on other than Allah, thus causing them to curse
Allah out of animosity [toward you] and without knowledge." This
verse prohibits even the cursing of false gods because of the
consequences. We have also seen image after image of Muslims with
beards and turbans, who by all outward means look religious and
pious - but are they really?

Unfortunately, the West does not know what every Muslim scholar
knows; that the worst enemies of Islam are from within. The worst of
these are the khawaarij who delude others by the deeply dyed
religious exterior that they project. The Prophet, peace be upon him,
said about them, "When you see them pray you will consider your
own prayers insignificant. They recite the Quran but it does not
exceed the limits of their throat." In other words, they don't
understand the true meanings. The outward religious appearance and
character of the khawaarij deluded thousands in the past, and
continues to delude people today. The Muslims should be aware that
despite the khawaarij adherence to certain aspects of Islam, they are
extremists of the worst type.

Our Prophet said, peace be upon him, "Beware of extremism in your
religion." Islam is the middle way between excess and neglect.
Zealots are a plague upon religion. These extremists come in two
types. The first is a reactionary extremist who falls far right of a
centre-point. Reactionary extremists do not want any pluralism; they
view the world in melodramatic, black and white, good and evil terms.
They are good and anyone who opposes them is evil. From among the
Muslims these are people who 'excommunicate' any Muslim who
fails to share their interpretations of the Quran. They use takfir
and character assassination as a tool for marginalising any criticism
directed at them. They are used often by the Western media in order
to scare simple people and cause them to believe that Muslims are
insane. Unfortunately, our communities provide them with much fuel to fire their incendiary flames.

The second group are radical extremists, who while they are almost
identical with the former group, differ in that they will use
violence to further their cause. They are actually worse than the
first. They believe like every nefarious secret society before them
that 'the end justifies the means.' They see any act as
acceptable if it will further their 'cause.' This is blatantly
anti-Islamic for a number of reasons.

Firstly, Islam's means must reflect its noble ends. Any means
that does not embody the core truths and ethics of Islam is not from
Islam and thus denounced as aberration. Secondly, Islam is not a
secret society of conspirators who no one knows what they are
planning. Islam declares openly its aims and objectives and these are
recognised by good people everywhere as pure and congruent with their
own wisdom and traditions. In the case of many of these extremists
even the non-Muslims recognise that no religion of any weight could
sanction the taking of innocent lives. The Quran says that the Torah
and the Gospel have guidance and light and that the Quran came to
fulfil these prior dispensations. Good Christians and Jews who
believe in God and live ethically upright lives have no frame of
reference for such acts, so how could these acts be from Islam, which
confirms what has come before it?

Thirdly, they are invariably people who have never taken a true
spiritual path to God and nor have they studied the humanities. I can
almost guarantee that you will not find a scholar of poetry among the
whole vile lot of these people. They have no true knowledge of
Arabian culture, which is centred in the idea of futuwwa; a word akin
to the western word chivalry. The terrorists posing as journalists
who killed Ahmad Shah Masuud were cowards of the worst type. Killing
themselves was not bravery but stupidity, but killing one's enemy
in such a way is the worst form of treachery and the Arabs have many
poems denouncing such type of people.

Our real situation is this: we Muslims have lost theologically sound
understanding of our teaching. Islam has been hijacked by a discourse
of anger and the rhetoric of rage. We have allowed for too long our
mimbars to become bully pulpits in which people with often
recognisable psychopathology use anger - a very powerful emotion - to
rile Muslims up, only to leave them feeling bitter and spiteful
towards people who in the most part are completely unaware of the
conditions in the Muslim world, or the oppressive assaults of some
Western countries on Muslim peoples. We have lost our bearings
because we have lost our theology. We have almost no theologians in
the entire Muslim world. The study of kalaam, once the hallmark of
our intellectual tradition, has been reduced to memorizing 144 lines
of al-Jawhara and a good commentary to study it, at best.

The reality is we are an Umma that no longer realises that Allah is
the power behind all power; that it is Allah who subjugates one
people to another; that He gives dominion to whom He pleases and He
takes it away from whom He pleases. Our understanding of tawhid has
fallen into such disarray that we can no longer introspect when
afflictions befall us and then wonder in amazement at why the
Americans seem incapable of introspection. Indeed, I personally
attended a memorial service in San Francisco with over 30,000 people
and the Reverend Amos Brown said in no uncertain terms that America
must ask herself what she has done either wittingly or unwittingly to
incur the wrath and hate of people around the world. Muslims on the
other hand, generally prefer to attack the West as the sole reason
for their problems when the truth is we are bankrupt as a religious
community and our spiritual bankruptcy has led to our inability to
even deliver the message of Islam to Westerners in a time when they
were giving us platforms to do so.

It is ironic that the Western media while producing many vile
programs on Islam has also produced and aired material of the highest
quality with a high level of accuracy only to be vilified by Muslims
because it was not good enough. Where is our media? Where are our
spokespeople? Where are our scholars? Where are our literary figures?
The truth is we don't have any - and so instead of looking inward
and asking painful questions such as why we don't have such things
and such people, we take the simple way out by attacking people whom
Allah tells us will do mean things, say bad things and plot against
us. And always when we are warned we are told to be patient, to work
for the good, to trust in Allah, to return to Allah, to implement our
deen.

Conspiracy or not, we are to blame for the terrible backlash against
Muslims. The simple reason is that when a crazy Christian does
something terrible, everyone in the West knows it is the actions of a
mad man because they have some knowledge of the core beliefs and
ethics of Christianity. When a mad Muslim does something evil or
foolish they assume it is from the religion of Islam, not because
they hate us but because they have never been told by a Muslim what
the teachings of Islam are all about.

Hamza Yusaf
http://www.chowk.com/


 


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