Linguistic and Cultural Formalism Part 3

Beliefs & Practices, Education / Monday, June 14th, 2010

Lack of Religious Sense

To me the greatest causes of this mishap was the lack of correct religious sense. It is not enough that one should have a heart-felt love of Islam: one should also have a developed sense of looking at things from an Islamic view-point. A man should have not only emotionally attachment to Islam but he should also hate all unislamic philosophies, thoughts and ideals. As a matter of fact, The Qur’an expresses in numerous places its hatred for the devil and the standard-bearers of falsehood and ignorance before giving a call to pin one’s Faith in God. It says:

And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah had grasped a firm handhold which will never break (Al-Baqara: 256).

Even the Muslim’s affirmation of faith, the Kalama, begins with the denial of gods and goddesses. It first says that “There is no god” and then affirms the overlordship of the Lord with the words “except God”. The traditions of the Prophet tell us that the faith of a Believer is not perfected or its true sense and meaning understoodly him until he learns to abhore apostasy and all its manifestations. A tradition of the Holy Prophet, related in Bukhari, runs as follows:

Whoever has these three qualities shall be informed with the beatitude of true faith. First, God and his Apostle are dearer to him than everything else; secondly, he loves a man only for the sake of God; and, thirdly, he shudders at the very idea of going back to apostasy after having been saved by God, as one fears being consigned to the fire.1

Awareness of Ignorance

A Muslim should so abhore acting against the interests of Islam or joining hands with its enemies that he should seek the forgiveness of God at the very mention of such a suggestion. He should not even dream of such a possibility. He should not only be sentimentally averse to ignorance but should also be fully conscious of its deceitful manifestations as that he may never be taken-in by its artifices. A Muslim should never allow himself to be duped by the pious fraud of ignorance, even if it appears dressed in the coverings of ‘Ka’aba and with the Qur’an in its hand. He should always seek refuge in God against it and he should be bale to identity it in whatever shape or form it is presented him.

The tactics, or, better still, the strategy of Satan in fighting the Muslims is that he always attacks wherever he finds a weak and vulnerable flank. He does not take recourse to the same device against every individual or every section of the Muslims. His sneaking whisper to the pious and elect in Faith is never an allurement to indulge in the pleasures of the flesh for he has no hope of success in such an endeavour. He tries to mislead them by a spectacles of fame and glory, self-conceit and jealousy, self-rule and love for power and self. He tells them to strive for self-government, the advancement of their culture and language and the supremacy of their nation at all costs. These are some of the high-sounding objectives which have often led astray even the most learned and erudite as well as those strong in Faith and spirit.

The Indiscretion of the Arabs

This was the song of the Sirens sung by Satan to lure the Arabs. They were told that the Qur’an was revealed in their language, the last Apostle of God was sent to them, the House of God and the resting place of the Prophet were in their land and that no people could lay a greater claim to understand the teachings and tenets of Islam than they. It was, therefore, not at all fair that the world of Islam should look forward to Constantinople as its political centre, and, that a Turk, neither of Arab descent nor speaking the language of the Qur’an, should preside over the destiny of the Arabs. The argument was quite appealing to those who had been dreaming for a long time of an Arab Empire, for self-rule, for sharing the laurels of self-government; and, since they were also dissatisfied with the haughty behaviour of the Turks, they raised the banner of revolt against them. They became a tool in the hands of British imperialists. The Sharif of Mecca sided with the Allies, the enemies of the Turks, in the metropolis of Islam, and so did the Arabs of Iraq and Syria. The nefarious plans of the Imperialist powers materialised, the Turks were defeated, the Uthmani Caliphate came to an end, and the solidarity of the Islamic world was torn to pieces. This, however, was not the end of it. With the downfall of the Caliphate the bulwark of Islam was also demolished. The European powers now had nothing to fear; no power to reckon with; and they achieved a free hand in the lands of Islam. A national home for the Jews was conceived, the State of Israel was carved out and strengthened and, finally, the Arabs were made to part with Bait-ul-Muqaddas, the Dome of the Rock also. All this was the result of attachment to pagan ideologies which has so powerfully captured the Arabs hearts and souls.

Partnership; the Zealotry of Ignorance

Every student of the Qur’an and the tractions of the Holy Prophet of Islam knows that the blind partisanship of any faction merely for the sake of race, blood, colour, language or culture is a tradition of the pagan past repeatedly denounced and denigrated by the sacred scripture and the percept of the Prophet. The Writ of God declares in no uncertain words:

When those who disbelieve had set up in their hearts zealotry, the zealotry of the Age of Ignorance… (Al-Fath: 26).

Similarly, a tradition of the Prophet reads:

He is not of the Muslims who gives a call for partisanship; he is not of the Muslims who fights for partisanship; and he is not of the Muslims who dies for the sake of partisanship.2

Once a Mahajir3 and an Ansari4 had a scuffle and both of them cried for help to their people. The Mahajir gave the call of Ya lal-Mahajirin5 while the Ansar appealed with the slogan of Ya lal-Ansar.6 When the matter was reported to the Prophet, he admonished both of them, saying: “Give up these battle-cries for they are filthy, odious.” This Prophet so hated the zealotry of the Days of Ignorance that he always discouraged those who raised this slogan or who called the people to rally in its name. The Prophet never called names or used a harsh word even against his bitterest enemy but he did permit the reproving of pagan zealotry as severely as possible without the least courtesy or consideration or taking resort to a figurative language.

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