Who will reform Islam?
30 October, 2006
By Ahmer Muzammil
Jack straw? Or maybe bushy & mushy can have a slumber party and knock out the intrinsic technicalities? Well a religious minister must have the necessary intellect to delve deeper in this conundrum, wouldn’t he? Yes, but ours oozes insincerity, fakeness and he just puts on too much makeup for my liking to be involved in any kind of serious discussion, besides shouldn’t he actually graduate legally first. And no Aamir “the aalim” Hussein it’s not cool to get PHD’s thru drive thru while the rest of us have to labor for years just to get a whiff of ‘em. The problem with all the above individuals are that they have agendas from there respective masters. Asking them to reform Islam is like making a 3rd rate medical doctor from Texas (who probably thought that cricket is nothing more than an insect) the chairman of Pakistan Cricket board, just because he is tight with mushy. Hahahahaha, I mean can you imagine how funny that would be? Say what? They actually did?
Boy, now I am pissed off. Loot & plunder our country, rape the hell out of poor people while feeding them patriotic dung, but you don’t dare and I mean it, you don’t mess with cricket; this is where I draw the line!
Jack straw has a problem with veiled women, although my understanding of Islam might not find it incumbent to be veiled but what right do I or jack straw has to tell anyone how should they be dressing up? What’s next? He will complain about the nose-hair and hair growing out of ears as “unacceptable & divisive”. How about the yellow dot on the forehead, how does that figure in to assimilation? What kind of bull-shit is this anyway? We loathe Taliban for forcing morality on us, and we turn around and threaten people to look more and more like us or else! This is hypocrisy at its saddest. This argument that the immigrants should dump their cultures and their religious values all together and adopt the entire value system prevalent in the society at large is as narcissistic not to mention dictatorial as it can get. What I find amusing is that Jack has no qualms meeting women who are baring cleavage and guts (which in some cases can also be a health hazard for the
unsuspecting victims who have to witness it), but he is gung-ho on snatching the veils off of Muslim women. For security purposes absolutely, they should have a mechanism to check respectfully who is beyond the veil, but to deny a group of people basic right to practice their religion according to their understanding is against every norm of western democracies.
Like I said earlier I am of the opinion that it should be Muslim women deciding how they should present their selves in public and not there husbands and brothers, if we have given this right to all other groups, then why are we being so prejudice against this particular group? If you naively believe that those Muslim women in the west especially, are too submissive and they can be coerced in wearing a veil or hijaab by force, I suggest you attend a MSA (Muslim Students Association) meeting. You might find that surprising but in principal I do believe that Britain or any country for that matter does have a right to ban veil, hijab, yellow dots on the head etc. In a democratic country, the majority should be able to make laws that they deem appropriate for themselves. I am not saying that it’s the right thing to do but in principal they can ban Veil “IF” that’s in fact what the majority wants. However if you choose to go that route as a nation than you might have to stop beating the drum of civility and claim of freedom of expression would be nothing but a farce.
I think that Muslim societies have some critical issues that must be dealt with as soon as humanly possible by scholars of our religion. Open dialogue should and must be conducted on issues of Fiqh, and the difference of opinion should be celebrated. This is the most basic principle of Islamic jurisprudence that in matters where there is Ikhtilaaf (difference of opinion) amongst SCHOLARS, (The reason I have scholars in caps in this statement is because not every tom, dick and hary can render fatwas even on matters of FIQH) the opposing argument is never criticized. You follow what you deem appropriate and you give me the courtesy of following what I deem to be the correct path. However Aqeedah (fundamentals) is (are) something that should remain beyond the bounds of reformation.
(1)We can not have a discussion whether there is one GOD or if it's a board of directors who are running the show in this factory that we call Universe.
(2) Finality of Prophet-hood can not be challenged, I am sorry but you are a MUSLIM if you believe that “There is no GOD but Allah and Muhammad (PBUH) is the last messenger”, anything else is just not good enough. Besides why the insistence on being MUSLIMS anyway, believe me its boring here, you guys are too cool for this team, I promise I am not being sarcastic (I am).
(3)The concept of hereafter and reckoning must be considered as an absolute truth.
There is Black, white and Gray in Islamic jurisprudence. My humble submission is that lets leave the Black and white and have a ball with the grey. Your definition of Black and white can differ from mine and that's where the true learned Muslim scholars can come in. We have a strong lineage and its not just Glory of the Past as some allude to it. If you just talk about it and don't put those values in action that made our forefathers great then YES, its rhetoric but it can and will serve as roadmap as to how we reach the promise-land, whatever it may be.
Muslims masses are wary about this "enlightened moderation" crap because they feel that it's imported and dictated. It's our problem and we must address it ourselves. Our scholars say that Prophet (PBUH) and the companions (RAW) were probably less conservative than the conservatives of today and they were definitely not as “Enlightened” as the liberals of today. So it’s somewhere in the middle where I respectfully submit that most of us lie anyway. It's in our interest to empower the half of our population; the women-folk in our society must be given the stature that Allah SWT and the Prophet (PBUH) graced them with. However that empowerment doesn't mean that they should have the freedom of topless dancing if they choose to do so. We do need working women in our society, how can you have a functioning civilization when half of your team is not allowed to play their roles as doctors, educators, judges, nurses etc. But this warped idea that freedom is some how without any limits is absurd, freedom without limits is called anarchy. I agree, papacy has no place in true Islam, therefore we shouldn't listen to anyone just because there beard is un-kept. With the same token I wouldn’t rush to get my religious advice from Sheema Kirmani (kathak dancer) either.
I truly believe that the transformation of Islamic world for better will start from me as an individual. I would have to strive to become a better Muslim first and foremost, and I have always said that if your Islam does not make you a good human being in every sense of the word then there is definitely something wrong in your understanding of your deen. If your understanding Islam doesn’t make you a good law-abiding citizen, a loving and faithful husband or wife, a role model parent and a compassionate boss then I am sorry you slept thru Islam 101 and you will get and “F”.
Prophet (PBUH) said to his companions "Shall I tell you who will be kept away from Hell-fire? Someone who is polite, humble, of good ikhlaq (mannerism) and of easy disposition". We need to start praying salah regularly, with all due respect we including myself are not able to wake up for fajr and we are complaining that Allah swt is not sending the glad-tidings. We are expecting the victory of Sahaba from Allah swt while we treat our bothers and sisters in Islam as shudras, I am ashamed to say that the maasi who worked in my house had separate plates in which she could eat in. And she was the lucky one; at least we weren’t beating the living daylights out of her.
The problem with the liberal intelligentsia is that just like their opponents they are extremists at the core of their existance. They will whine & moan at the umpteenth degree about huddood ordinace which I personally referred to as a stupid ordinance in a previous article, but you won’t hear a whimper when Tunisia, France, Turkey and other’s snatch the basic right of freedom of expression. They make everything so ambiguous and when you read them it's like rocket science. It's nothing but big fancy words that can make them look smart. We need to start with basic things, when the prophet (PBUH) was passing away, as a last advice he said "Don't leave your salah's(prayers) and treat your subordinates nicely, and you'll be ok". Let's start there. I know it sounds too simplistic for some of you brain surgeons out there but as a Muslim if you are confused whether 5 daily prayers are a big deal or not, or alcohol is OK as long as you are not drunk, then I am sorry, majority of Muslims will not be able to take you seriously in the matters concerning the reformation of Islam. He (PBUH) just might have something there, we have tried everything else and it aint working. Desperate times call for desperate measures.