The beginning of the end?…
The sign of a community having lost its ways and has become incapable in distinguishing the right from the wrong is when its most admired traditional sections of the community being to accept the liberal ideas voiced by those in the remote parts of the community, in-order feel accepted and appreciated. This is exactly what is happening now all across the Muslim world. Almost all traditional communities which held the traditional values of religion close to its heart and strove to set up it in all walks of life, are rapidly being uprooted and replaced with the vile ideas of modernity and liberalism. What was once seen as two opposing factors; liberalism and conservatism, have now blurred the lines and is difficult to distinguish between the two. The fusion of two opposing ideas being morphed together and slipping into traditional communities are readily being adapted in many of the American Muslim communities more so than anywhere else. The American Muslim community is young compared to Muslim communities in other countries. In order for it to survive and be rooted in the principles of Islam it must look to Muslim communities, its elder brothers as it were, in UK and France. Only then can the American Muslim community be able to resolve the issue of adapting both the demands of secular and the religious values in its core.
However, like the unruly rebellious teenage son who reuses to listen to the parents and adhere to a moral code of conduct. The American Muslim community is much the same, it refuses to take lessons and examples of guidance from Muslim communities elsewhere. Instead it has decided to take it on itself to reassert a new ‘funky and cool’ version of Islāmic values and ethos. Islāmic Society of North America (ISNA) has long been seen as a platform where traditional scholars were allowed to voice their views and teachings to the masses of American Muslims. It was the only ray of hope against the tidal wave of salafist ideology and criticisms.
Scholars like Hamza yusuf and Abdullah ibn Bayah were catapulted into fame much to the thanks of ISNA. Becoming instant celebrities within the American Muslim community and in turn the rest of the Muslim world.
Much to the dismay and alarm of many, ISNA a traditional sunni stronghold has finally bowed to the pressure to modernize its appeal and attract all the various ill-fated deviants in the Muslim community. At this years ISNA convention the organizers allowed the first Muslim female to recite the Quran in front of both male and female listeners, the audience which included both scholars and other dignitaries. What next in line? Allowing women to call the Adhan? This is a daring attempt to slowly reshape the view of traditional Islam by those calling for changes in the ’7th century version of Islam’. All the more saddening is to realize that the prominent guests invited to talk at the event likes of whom included ‘Shaykh’ badawi and Imam zahid Shakir did not have the nerve or even dare to address the impressibility of this. Out of fear they will be branded a ‘narrow minded exclusivist fundamentalist’ opposed to ideals of American values of ‘freedom of expression’ and women rights. Issues like Women leading prayers or women calling the adhan, do not come to the forefront of mainstream Muslim events unless they are allowed to simmer and eventually boil into the mainstream Islāmic events. The willful code of silence adopted by the American Muslim scholars and their refusal to discuss the unIslamic ideas creeping into even the traditional circles of Muslims, is only allowing those in the modernity camp to gather momentum and steam. Until finally one day they have enough courage to completely change the very fundamental beliefs of Islam.
This is what Islamaphobes and anti Muslim groups want to see happening within Muslim communities, the willingness to take hold of the tenants of Islam and be eager to change and adapt where and when needed.
Has the American Muslim Community lost its ways? Maybe …
If not, then it is heading towards this brick wall sooner than later.
“The voice of a woman is haram for a man to listen to if it will be a cause for fitnah for him, except in specific circumstances based on dire need.
Likewise, if a woman knows that her speaking to someone or in front of someone will cause a fitnah she is prohibited from doing so, except in specific circumstances based on similar need”.