By now, you may have noticed that i do not like to criticize people, their trends, or culture. However, on this occasion i have been compelled to come out and speak out. Through a link on another website i ended up watching the first few minutes of a ‘islamic’ conversation between two muslim scholars. Done in the format of a television chat show. Where audience are surrounding the two speakers on stage.
What struck me first was the appearance of these two islamic ‘scholars’. Let alone the audience, the ‘scholars’ were the ones who actually forced me to write this blog post, in some respect. Over the past several years I have seen a dangerous trend emerging amongst the american muslims. It’s all good and well to try incorporate islamic teachings and moral values into the western life. But, should this lead us to compromise on our appearance, our traditions, our ways of interaction? There once was a time not so long ago, where scholars who graduated from prestigious islamic universities like as Al Azhar, would feel embarrassed and shy to address the masses. Not because they were incompetent, or that they had stage frights. It was because of the immense burden of trust, loyalty and fear of showing off they harboured within their pious souls. The feeling that they will do injustice to the high station they have been given. That is, to be the representative of the prophets, the awliyah and the saliheen. Many shuyukhs would have a shower, then apply itr and scent on their persons, wear the best clothes which were most demonstrative of the sunnah, and there after offer two rakats of salah in repentance. All these stages would be done in preparation to giving an address or conducting a class of fiqh/hadith. Once they were on the stage, humility and constant vigilance of the presence of Allah would be on their minds, hearts and souls. Behind every word spoken, considerable thought and wisdom would be placed, so as to use the best form language for the people. A language by which they could easily could understand the sayings and teachings of the prophet (saw). The ulema were a people who used to be fully aware of the impact they had and continue have on people. The audience in term saw the scholar(s) as a morally upright, pious individual who is also a representative of the sunnah, the ways of the beloved (saw). They were seen as the spiritual backbone of a community.
What struck me the hardest from the clip i saw (posted below, at the end) is the appearance of these ‘ulema’ on stage. They are dressed in a very liberal and open/casual way. Much to the same as the audience: Tight jeans, t-shirts/shirts and with a next-to-nothing beard. You see, the problem arises (and something which unfortunately finds rooms to grow), is when we have our ulema also become very laxed in following the sunnah. The audience/the masses then go on to see this as a normal and an acceptable thing to do. To appear as ‘trendy’ with pencil-line beards and have no ‘islamic’ feel to the appearance of an individual. That, only what in the heart is what counts and the way you dress has nothing to do with one’s Islam.
This poison of idea which is slowing finding a footing in the hearts of the western people is not only alarming, but dangerous. Once a people lose their closeness to their traditions and heritage, then there remains nothing else which will stand as a barrier to complete annihilation. The sunnah is a great barrier against the destruction of ones’ Islam. Once the fort of sunnah has been captured by the devils, then entry into the castle of iman and Islam is no hard job at all!
Our past was our greatest asset as muslims. As soon as we severe our relationship with our luminous past, the sunnah. We are heading down only one path. That is, nothing other than the path of destruction.
- Another of the lethal ideas being cultivated amongst american muslim population, is the idea that they do not wish to inherit or import indian/subcontinent Islam. Which means, their way of dressing talking and observing islamic practices.
Now, to some degree i agree with that, as most of what is done or practiced in the indian sub-continent is heavily ‘cultured’ Islam and not the actual Islam practiced by the companions of the prophet (Saw). What this means is, most of the islamic practices done, – from the marriage ceremonies to the way of eating and dressing, is done on the decree of fashion dictated and formed from the ‘Bollywood’ orientated ideas. With that said, it does not mean we as muslims have to completely abandon the many good which is accompanied with ‘indian subcontinent’ Islam. Just as there are many islamic practices which have been doctored to the fashions of the Bollywood world, there are also many aspects of ‘indian sub-continent Islam’ which is close to the actual Islam practiced by the companions of the prophet (saw). Take for example, the education and teaching systems, the sunnah form of eating and the adherence to segregation of the sexes. Where full barriers are observed when travelling or interacting between the sexes, in some respects. The indian railway system is a brilliant example. Although the county is mostly adverse to Islam, it nonetheless has deep-rooted islamic values in its day-to-day systems. The trains have complete compartments where men are segregated from women. Compartments only reserved for women where no men are allowed to enter! India is the biggest and largest democratic country in the world. How come the issues of segregation is not undermining them from becoming one of the fastest growing economies in the world?
The clip also shows examples of where this ‘segregation issue’ is thrown the window. We see groups of men and women sitting in the same room with no apparent barriers for segregation. A very open and ‘hippy’ Islam is accepted. ‘Where all is accepted, and where all things are done’. These are very dangerous times we are traversing through. The only thing is, the times to come will be more dangerous than now. Where let alone practicing sunnah, but just to say a person is a muslim will be sen as backward, out-of-date and not ‘cool’.
Looking at the clip and not listening to the intro of the guest ‘scholar’, one would never realize the two sitting at the center of the audience are ‘ulema’. Allah! These are indeed strange and trouble times we are living through. There has been and continues to be much talk about a ‘modern version of Islam’. Although, all within the islamic community are outwardly against such an abhorrent idea, it is nonetheless slowly being formulated and brought into the society. The wheels of change have been set in motion, and the disastrous result is only matters from occurring. A cloned version of Islam!