Who are we? Who defines us?
A debate has been going on within certain circles of the Muslim community about defining or redefining Islam and its followers.
Several terms have been designed to make a distinction among Muslims' various political schools of thoughts. These terms sometimes appear attractive, especially in the state of confusion in which we live. They provide us with a different approach to identify ourselves.
However, when we look at these terms deeply, we begin to realize that they are meant to define us in the mold of our thinking influenced by our social and political milieu.
Terms that are in fashion currently are moderate Islam, progressive Islam, enlightened Islam, modern Islam, extremist Islam, liberal Islam, conservative Islam, reformed Islam, orthodox Islam, fundamentalist Islam, medieval Islam, and obscurantist Islam, etc.
What is interesting is that these terms emerge from the limitations of our own readings of Islam controlled by our own social-political experiences. For instance, in the context of the U.S. and the West, it is now fashionable to use terms such as progressive Islam and moderate Islam.
When asked to define these terms, their proponents say that "moderate" or "progressive" Islam opposes violence, accepts the universal charter of human rights, promotes gender equality and recognizes the idea of pluralism.
Dialectically, what they are saying is that there is an Islam that does not recognize the value of non-violence, that rejects universal charter of human rights and that opposes the idea of gender equality and pluralism. If this is the basis of redefining Islam, then it is a weak premise.
Islam is a faith given to human beings to live their lives according to certain values originally defined by the Divine. People have a choice to reject them or accept them because they are responsible for their own actions. Islam does not advocate violence. Those who use violence as a means to achieve their goals, however noble their goals may be, are essentially in violation of their faith. They are the ones who are deviating from the path of Islam.
Why should their deviation cause some Muslims to redefine Islam and form a separate category of moderate or progressive Islam in order to make a distinction between the two? There are always people and groups who use their faith to promote their own political and economic agenda. This is true with all religions. The most effective way to confront such people is to develop a sound argument on the basis of a comprehensive understanding of the divine values and prophetic teachings.
This is a struggle that we all have to carry on within ourselves and in the society at large. Creating further divisions and categorizing ourselves in terms that refer to our own political expediencies will not serve the real purpose of the faith. Islam, after all, demands from every Muslim to be a witness to the truth.
The truth is clear in Islam. We cannot change it for our political purposes. Thus, the coinage of these terms is primarily a weak strategy that defeats the very purpose of the faith.
The questions that ought to be raised, then, are: what is this truth and how do we discern it from the falsehood? The truth will emerge from our quest of knowledge, experiences, wisdom and guidance from the Divine. The truth will not be dictated by a few sound bites of President Bush or Daniel Pipes or people like them.
In the case of Islam, the truth, as perceived by Muslims based on their general readings of the Quran, is that Islam is a divinely revealed faith that commands its adherents to follow the principles of monotheism, justice, equality, and peace in all aspects of their life.
We have to understand our world in the context of these divinely revealed truths and develop suitable instruments to ensure that they are shared with the rest of the world.
Thus, our struggle is to be a witness to these truths and to challenge all those who are in violation of these regardless of what label they assume.
In the Quran, the Divine tells us of people who would call themselves Muslims, yet, would do everything that is contrary to the teachings of Islam. It is not a prudent strategy to say that because of the deviations of others, we are changing our self-definition and coining a new term to describe our relationship with our faith. Our commitment to our faith is based on the criterion of right and wrong.
The propagation of new terminologies by various Muslims is leading our community into a bewilderment of confusing ideas without realizing that the principles of faith cannot be compromised for our understanding or lack of understanding of political realities.
Thus, we have two tasks at hand. First, internally--we have to challenge those who are deviating from the foundation of Islam, and second we have to communicate to the rest of the world the real foundation on which our faith stands.
It is better that we spend our time and resources in these areas rather than wasting our energy in coining and re-coining terms that confuse us and others as well.
When we do what is expected of us in Islam, we will notice qualitative change in our own attitude as well as the attitude of the people in our faith.
Dr. Aslam Abdullah is editor of the Muslim Observer, director of the Islamic Society of Nevada and the director of the Muslim Electorates' Council of America. He can be reached at [email protected]
Topics: Iman (Faith And Belief) Values: Harmony, Honesty, Truthfulness
how one can exploit any situation.
make other confuse so that he hesistate and lacks conviction in his decision.
example issue of gay marriage for a western citizens.
KEY word : keep the people confuse and in illusion. will pave way for new laws and new ways of acts. This is abc's of Exploitation.
Key tool that works like a magic in this case is called Democracy/Double standards.
Allah our creator rejects such cruelty and evil at its roots.
now we are asking the defination of muslims types. is a true product of democracy which islam rejects at its roots.
The direction western civilization is heading. soon the people will be asked if its okay to marry pet animals.
You may smile now but this is where they want you to be to such a level where animal rights will be equal to human rights. so its easier for them to exploit you.
Slavery is not good enough for them.
"I have travelled to the M.E... I met with some very ... good people. I also met with some very bad people".
"Bush, Israel or Christianity have no part in the exchanges that have been taking place between Muslims on this site".
"I am involved in dawa and inter-faith work, and I can honestly tell you that the bad things people hear about Islam comes from Muslim people..... That is just as bad as apostasy".
"It is the 'true believers' who are killing Muslim brothers and sisters in Iraq now, both Al Qaeda and Americans".
Such commentator shorthand, is misleading, unfair and potentially dangerous, because it distorts the facts and stereotype Muslims, just as do the likes of "Falwell & Coulter"
I could elaborate more on these points and I am sure others could too .... but we seem to be drifting away from the subject-matter-in-question.
AC was a case in point in one extreme and now you too sister Suzanne on the other extreme. You seemed to have missed the quintessence of my comments about taking the middle path (Disparities of People and Pets-Ref: 30428AC) and also about not using un-Islamic language, etc in my last post.
In many instances, we seem to have also lost touch with the realities on the ground. We comment on issues on which we have half-baked knowledge picked up from scattered reading of the media or maybe some of us have become "pragmatic" Muslims.
"Pragmatic Muslims" according to Dr. Ghazali, "because of their utilitarian approach towards Islam. A pragmatist judges the value of ideas, judgments, hypotheses, theories and systems, according to their capacity to satisfy human needs ... Obviously the pragmatic Muslims believe that the truth is to be determined by its practical implications and material benefits... Ironically, without elaborating what should be a "reformed Islam" the pragmatic Muslims are taking cue from the neo-Orientalists in launching attacks ..."
Having said that however, i do understand the need to separate oneself from others in an era when I am being associated with practices of others merely because we both acclaim to be of the same faith. I do not belong to an Islamic understanding that promotes suicide in the name of jihad. i don't belong to an Islamic understanding that promotes the subjugation of women as creatures of less value than men. I don't belong to an understanding of Islam that promotes traditional cultural values of a particular community over an above another in the name of Islam. These are some of the concerns I have being a Muslim in present times. As a mother I am very conscious of the kind of values my husband and I show to our daughter.
Islam is a way of life, one which is filled with the true essence of love like no other. To love oneself means to be good to oneself to take care of one's emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual, sexual wellbeing, dress modestly, to excel in life for oneself and for others etc. but to do so in moderation, equilibrium is the key. I think moderation in all aspect of life is vital, but my sense of moderation is perhaps unorthodox to another. I might be called one who loves dunia (this world) instead of akhirat (hereafter). So what then is the solution?
How do we "communicate to the rest of the world the real foundation on which our faith stands" when we make islam to mean only one or another, when it can mean so much?
I don't care about your husband being an alien, didn't you encounter yet white racist women having black lovers? They also claim, 'how could we be racist when we live with black guys?' I don't buy it Suzanne, I am as much Middle Eastern as Paul Martin British, if you know what I mean.
The prophet had said many times,'obey your leaders/imams no matter of their looks(even with hair looking like black currents?) It is highly disrespectful to portrait the hypocrites in the position of shakes and imams. So you didn't find Islam in M.E., but you found it in North America? You must be tripping me!
If you read my comments you could know that I was Canadian. I wasn't brought up by Christians or Jews, but by Muslims, that's the difference between you and me. I live in Canada, not in GITMO, so I don't really find much sense if any to your comment that I was living in a homogeneous society vs yourself in a multicultural one. Isn't Toronto multicultural enough for you? You want to teach me what the Canadian Muslims are? You make me laugh.
Reverts to Islam? Becoming fundamentalists and even extrmists? Oh yeah, look at the well-known group P4E(Paradise for ever) made up by Canadian-born new comers. Do you need more fundamentalists than them? You call this 'good' Islam? Suzanne, please, once you condemn fundamentalism/extremism(remember the bearded shaiks you met in M.E.?) then when it works for you, you defend them! There is so much confusion in your mind, let the light of faith get inside you and guidance will be imminen
Br Hudd, My husband is from the Middle East, so portraying me as some sort of anti-Arab crusader is incorrect. I'm inciting people to rebel against the ulama, because I stated that I've met some hypocrites who only care about the external show of religion? Again, you are incorrect. Evidently, you grew up in a homogenous society. I didn't - therefore our views of Islam within a diverse society are going to be different. How does this come to equate the fact that one of us is WRONG? If we follow the clear teachings laid out before us - praying five times/day, abstaining from haram things, etc. - how can we judge each other? I take great offence at the idea that reverts to Islam aren't as capable of understanding Islam. Most of the reverts that I've met have seemed more conservative in their approach to Islam than a lot of born Muslims, both from the Middle East and Asia. In Canada, there are many Muslim groups coming out against establishing Shariah. The MAJORITY of these people are born Muslims - uncorrupted by your "Hallelujah Jesus" syndrome. There is NO relation between these movements & reverts to Isl
I get really upset when I hear people like J Falwell & A Coulter say terrible things about Islam, the prophet Muhammed (pbuh) in particular. So to come across similar behaviour from Muslims, is frustrating. These same Muslims start talking about how if we are attacked, then we have the right to attack. Are they really comparing themselves, as a person reading/writing on the internet, to the Prophet and his early followers (pbut) who had to fight for their lives? Who could possibly make that sort of correlation? A 'true believer'.
External stimuli (ie society) should have no affect on religion. Our faith should remain intact, yet we do not live in a vacuum. We interact with other people, their actions affect us the same way our actions affect them. Showing respect for the beliefs of others is not pandering to them, or watering-down Islam. It is simply setting an example for others. We have no control over the actions of others, but we DO have control over how we respond. Responding to vulgarity with vulgarity only validates what the person was saying in the first place. The best way to contradict lies about Islam, is to live our lives to the fullest - within Islam, and to refrain from unnecessary attacks on the faith of others.
I am raising Muslim children in a diverse society, and the 'passionate' and non-'pragmatic' Muslims that Jan refers to make my job really tough. It makes great discussion, but doesn't do much for practical living.
The points about not engaging in un-Islamic language have not only been brought up repeatedly by many but we all pledge to adhere to before we click on to post our comments on this site.
Many on this count have admonished Br. Hudd. And while I may not be old friend Sirius, etc., I must say that I otherwise find Br. Hudd to be the most passionate, and one who has never tried to play a "pragmatic" Muslim that plays both sides of the fence. I guess that quality nowadays is in short supply.
Hudd, my brother in Islam, cool it a bit, for you are in my humble opinion the most valuable contributor on this site. I say this from the bottom of my heart and in a positive vein.
I wish to express my respects to sister Suzanne for her last comment 31159. Yes, sis. It looks so awful - the likes of Hudd vomiting venum on this site and asserting that they are real Muslims or that they are experts. I am keeping clear of this unsavory display. Perhaps some one must tell him that others have also studied a lot and know many things about Islam & its principles. This chap has no clue.
Most important is what you said "Invite to the path of your sustainer with wisdom & a good extortion (speech)". Ud-u ilaa sabiil-i rabbika bil hikmat-i wal maw izat-il hasanah."
Wish you success in your dawah, sister. You are free from rancour - that is Allah's reward to you.
May Allah show us light.
Why can't we discuss religion without bringing up Bush, Israel or the West. I agree that they are responsible for some very negative media about Islam, but the type of "discussion" that goes on in forums like this only cements what people read. If a person is curious enough about Islam to come to discussion forums, it is unfortunate that they encounter nothing but venom and intolerance. Then we wax magnificence about Islam being a religion of peace. Bush, Israel or Christianity have no part in the exchanges that have been taking place between Muslims on this site.
I am involved in dawa and inter-faith work, and I can honestly tell you that the bad things people hear about Islam comes from Muslim people. Not apostates or kufir, but intolerant rigid Muslims with no respect for anyone but themselves. Most of the non-Muslims I talk to don't believe what people like GW Bush or Jerry Falwell say about Islam. But they experience exchanges like this and get the wrong idea about Islam. People who ask questions are not necessarily attacking us. One day you will have to stand in front of God and explain that in your zeal to promote "real Islam" you turned many non-Muslims away from the religion. That is just as bad as apostasy in my opinion, but God knows best.
"Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful exhortation; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for THY LORD knoweth best who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidanc
May the ALMIGHTY give you the courage and strength to continue .
Dr Syed Alwi
Having said these, I bid you Salam!
Dr Syed Alwi
There have been some really nasty remarks made to Dr. Alwi, Suzanne and others. And it isn't just on this particular article either. Why are people being attacked personally here? Are some of you so insecure that you take a disagreement to your position as an attack on you?
For example, Dr. Alwi was advocating human rights and tolerance. He was then accused of advocating alcohol, being (gasp!) a Shiite, and basically being an all-around fraud. He never mentioned alcohol or implied that he was in favor of it. He was even disparaged for being from Singapore.
If you want a website where the the requirement for entering an opinion is that we all agree on any point, then I suggest that you start your own site. Finally, read what Islamicity has said as the guidelines for this discussion board.
You quote people's comments and then say,
"That sums it best for me."
What's your point?
Let me put it in simple terms for you since you are Americana.
True Islam = Following Quran + Authentic Sunnah (Sayings + Actions + practices of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)) + saying + actions + practices of the three rightly guided generations that came after the Prophet (pbuh)
Muslims don't need Islam defined by = GW Bush (can this man read??)+ Necons (Zionist fascist racist Jews or any other Jews) + Evangelical (Zionist)Christains etc + Non practicing so so muslims who have sold their souls to the enemies of Islam and Allah (SWT).
Islam = True religion of all Prophets (including Isa (pbuh))of Allah (SWT)
ISLAM = ONLY RELIGION ACCEPTED BY ALLAH (SWT)
Jan SIMPLE, YES!
"Your approach only further alienates people from the religion." What is the meaning of this comment? What religion? A democratic Islam? 'Truth stands clear out of error', says the Quran, did you not read in the Quran,'They(the people of the book, Jews and Christians)will never be pleased with you unless you followed their form of religion'. This is what I see on this site posted by Muslims like you and Mr Dr Sr Alwi, you don't know how far to bend over for the Westerners to appreciate you! Wouldn't this anger any honest Muslim? I come to this site to read intelligent articles & comments that would lift my spirit and fill my heart with hope for the North American Umah. You and your kind don't give me that assurance, but rather warrants a sort of Islam in which Muslims would follow the same agenda like the non-Muslim as their democratic freedom, if that be the case, then Islam-RIP!
those who are exploiting religion." (Br. Aslam)
2. "We are all ignorant, for we all do not know the absolute truth... but some are more enlightened than others." (Br. Imran)
3. "a sincere and honest Muslim has the necessary knowledge to distinguish between truth and falsehood. If such a Muslim, that noticed the ignorance, which is the number one enemy of Islam, according to the prophet,pbuh, would keep silent would commit a terrible transgresion. In a well known hadith our beloved prophet said,"If you witnessed a wrongdoing(ignorance is one) straighten it by your hand. If you couldn't then by your mouth. Least you couldn't do that as well, then change it into good by your heart(in your heart)." (Br. Hudd)
4. "these people don't have to claim to be speaking for Islam .... these are the anarchists - and they abound in human society from time to time." (Br. Almi)
5. "Thus, we have two tasks at hand. First, internally--we have to challenge those who are deviating from the foundation of Islam, and second we have to communicate to the rest of the world the real foundation on which our faith stands."
"Thus, our struggle is to be a witness to these truths and to challenge all those who are in violation of these regardless of what label they assume." (Br. Aslam)
That sums it best for me.
I know you perceive what I want to say and maybe appreciate my point.
I am not the critic of everyone who posted. Apparently that job has been sufficiently filled. I am simply a person who posted my opinion - which I understood to be the purpose of the site. I know you don't care what I think, but my opinion is as worthy as yours, as is everyone else who posted. If there are misconceptions of the religion, from within and without, only reasonable dialogue is going to combat it. Your approach only further alienates people from the religion.
Dr Syed Alwi
There is only "one" Islam, but there are "many" interpretations or levels of understanding/misunderstanding of Islam. It is like MATH. 2+2=4. But people who are not good in math, but preach it will say 2+2=7.
There will always be people who will misuse religion or pervert it. Hilter, for example, misused Christianity, and preached his own version of extremist Christianity -- a fact that the West likes to forget and does not mention in their history books. The European colonist slaughtered the Aztecs, Incas, native indians in the name of Christianity. Does that make Hilter's or Colonist's interpretation of their religion "True Christianity"? I think not.
Tim -- Having or not having a pope or central authority makes no difference in religion. Christianity has hundreds of sects and cults. Buddism has many sects... so what did a central authority accomplish. little or nothing.
There hasn't been a religion in human history that wasn't used in direct violation of its own teachings. Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddism, Hinduism, etc... It is not religion's fault, it is man's own fault. But it is so easy and convenient to blame religion, because it detaches one from blame. A falling of mankind. So before you start labeling religion, try labeling yourself.
Hudd -- Intolerance is an un-Islamic attribute. In any discussion it is un-Islamic to respond with an attack. Islam does not encourage eye for an eye. You only get two walls and war in the middle.
Everyone -- before you respond, put yourself in the others shoes and try to understand where they are coming from. If you can't, ask for clarification. If you can, your response should be constructive and not with malice intent.
We are all ignorant, for we all do not know the absolute truth... but some are more enlightened than others.
Today the target is Islam... Tomorrow it will be something else... and History will rep
Dr Syed Alwi
That's very sad that you weren't offended by Tim's words. You either have a poor image of your religion or you have difficulties in understanding directly addressed invectives to your faith. Doctor Sir Alwi is an apostate, but then how would you know? It takes more than expressing the shahadah for a person to be a Muslim.
What's wrong with us? Nothing except the fact that we are Muslims. Thus we don't follow the North American criteria of evaluating people. Muslims have their own judgement(dean) and as the Holy Quran states:"Lakum deenukum wa liya deen", Eng. "To you your way/system, to me mine". As a 'free' Canadian woman you can choose whatever your 'way' conditions you to follow. I am conditioned by Quran and Sunah like any of my Muslim brothers, I do not have the liberty to follow what I think is right. If I chose the wrong to follow, my brothers would criticize me and call me all sorts of epithets that they might see relevant to my position. It is their freedom. You want to arrest us that freedom, Suzanne? As a 'good' Canadian you admonished the Muslims for their freedom to express their opinion because it hurt the kafer
those who are exploiting religion."
Salaam - Islam is not only being used, it is being manipulated for political purposes. There are two sides to this coin - the extremist wahaabis, and the extremist "progressives muslims" (Progressive Muslims Union, Muslim Wake Up). At this time it is the extremist "progressive muslims" who are intent on using US imperialism to impose their order.
Actually this is not very different than what the wahabbis did --- they too got huge amounts of US money - now the US has found a new stoogie the "progressive muslims" to do their bidding.
When you talk about exposing, are you also going to expose the "leadership" of such organizations, that are essentially doing the job as outlined by the Rand Corporation to divide up Muslims? These people may not be directly employed by Rand (although there is a former employee of Rand on the PMUNA board of directors) - but they are following the road map laid out by them... The information is out there, and it is important to understand, and expose these designs.
may Allah reward you abundantly, it is true that the U.S and the west are trying to blackmail islam and muslims generally by giving us all sort of names like terrorists, extremists, fundamentalists etc but they will never succeed because Allah will continue to guard islam and muslims. Thanks, was salam.
I am a Muslim, and I was not offended by anything Tim said. I don't feel the need to brand Dr. Alwi a traitor, an apostate, an anti-Muslim. What is wrong with you people? There is nothing wrong with questions and discussions in and about religion. In fact, that is what keeps a religion alive. The fact that none of you is able to put forth your view of Islam without first insulting someone says a lot about you. Perhaps you should focus on that, and not worry about how other Muslims (or non-Muslims) practice their religion. In the end, it is God who will judge us - by what is in our hearts.
Too often, we hide behind the name "Muslim" as though it makes us righteous without question. People especially from homogenized "Muslim" countries do not understand the worth of other faiths. Simply by being born Muslim, they see themselves as closer to God than other people. They twist the Quran to fit their cultural beliefs, and distort the religion beyond belief. It is just as bad for a "progressive" Muslim to "modernize" the religion than it is for a man to twist the religion into something that allows him to deny his wives/daughters dignity and happiness? ALL of us need to look at the early years of the religion, and the fact that Islam freed slaves from bondage, it freed women by offering them more to life, it asked people to purify their hearts. Is Islam still doing that for us? If not, why? The fault lies with us.
Islam has hundreds of dos & don'ts. Abstaining from Alcohol is one of them. It is not a cardinal sin (Gunaah-e Kabirah). It is not the sole criteria to judge if one is Muslim or not. Like people dis-obey many of these hundreds of rules in Islam, a perticular Muslim could be dis-obeying this also. Allah will judge his good deeds and bad ones and which ever is heavier, well that will be the judgemnet. Allah can forgive any sins for anyone. That is his sole prerogative, we can not take that for granted.
Having said that, we do not need a religious police like in some Muslim countries. Hwr drinking is not a birth right to a Muslim. Muslims do not have to rise in defence of that right. Dr. Alawi, please reconsider. All of us have some defects. We have to accept them as such & try to get free from them - not defend or encourage them.
"These Malaysians" is in bad taste. Please address specific people or group who are making derogatory remarks. I am not a Malaysian, but I would feel hurt, if I was.
Dr Syed Alwi
Dr Syed Alwi
There are converts to Islam in the West but there is no real big rush by the natives to become Muslim. I am around Muslim converts and they back me in what I said.The biggest numbers are still from immigration and from the fact that Muslims in the West often have large families.
Finally, I rarely watch television because there is little on worth watching and it is nothing but a propaganda medium.
Islam does NOT have a clergy like Catholicism, hence no Muslim Popes. Its also a demented fantasy on your part to think that the growth of Islam in the West is immigration only. If you werent so backward and ignorant you'd know what you were talking about.
Second is the fact that Islam cannot modernize itself. All ancient religions have this problem and there are no nice, easy solutions. We simply live in a world that the ancients could not possibly understand. Modernizing but without losing or corrupting the core elements is the goal.
This leads me to agree with Dr. Alwi. Too many Muslims make all these wonderful statement of how
Islam brings peace and equality to the people of the world and then act like intolerant barbarians. Respect for opposing views is a must in a free society and this has to include tolerance for anyone who wishes to separate themselves from their religion. The Middle Eastern mindset creates so many of the problems faced in Islam. Non-Middle Eastern Muslims cherish Islam but can't relate to many of the Middle Eastern attitudes. It is said that Islam is growing in the West but it is not from the locals joining Islam but through immigration.
1. I am not a middle easterner. I do not identify
with any ethnicity. I was born in India but I am
not a nationalist. I learn from everyone.
2. Read human rights articles by Dr. Fathi
Osman or many other Islamic scholars and
also read the objectives of Sharia, you would
find that the human rights document legging
behind in protecting human rights.
3. In fact, Islam calls for human dignity which
combines both the rights and responsibilities.
4. Who is a Muslim is very well defined in the
5. We seek the application of the Quranic
principles of dignity and justice based on our
capacities and abilities.
6. Quran is a book of guidance that inspires to
live our faith in chaning circumstances as it
asks us to remain commited to it.
7. Words such as moderate, progressive, or
extremists are relative words. They are not
absolute themselves. For instance,
moderation in drinking in the western world
has different meanings. In Ireland moderation
means drinking less than 8 pegs of liquor or
beer, in England, less than 5 pegs, in the US
less than 3, in Germany more than 7. etcs.
If we have to define Islam in relation to each
situation what appears to be moderate in
England may be perceived as extgreme in the
8. Those who misuse Islam for political
purposes must be exposed as deviants as
those who are exploiting religion.
9. In the end, religion is all about sincerity. It is
not seeking domination of other people. It is
submitting to God, almighty.
Salam, Laura Nour Rabbeth
why shoud we need to be defined?
you can find people doing the some or more all around the world.
definition only lead to division and we all know what they say about divid and conquer!
western coined ,derogatory words/phrases to attack muslims.
As far as the tile goes, any muslim who ponders on the Quran KNOWS the answers !
Muslims are destined for leadership, we are reduced to position some of us question the very notion.They think we dont have any eligibility to claim leadership. They make statements that 'We are stuck in the past', but they failed to understand,this is human society reached pinnacle of its development in 7 th century.
We have removed GOd from our life. Our standards for good,morality,development,acheivement, progressive society has been altered.Pomp of life and glitter of the world has replaced Allah from our life.Would you think,if we have million nobel laureates in our society Allah would be pleased with us?!
As Dr.Aslam Abdullah mentioned we have two tasks at hand ,but the message should be simple.We are leaders and however our state right now,we have to work for leadership.If we fail to convey with this unwaveringly we would always be misunderstood.
Coming to differences in muslim society, we all claim to follow one divine quran thats alhamdulilah good enough to unite this ummah. we are divided over applications of sunnah, but fard is clear among us.
Fornication,Telling lie,Slaying life,Backbiting, Drinking alcohol,Gambling,improper income, Interest, Adultery,Sodomy,Shirk,Arrogance, pride all these are still considered wrong in all the sects. Sunnah is not jus following Adabs of prophet,but also application of fard as he(pbuh) did.
Islam has been defined once for all by Lord himself, there is no addition and subtraction anymore as if implying the notion that islam has become incompatible with time.Allah says in glorious quran(i have not reproduced exactly), either you take it fully or ignore it, but dont try to fool around with partial agreements.
So,ALLAH defines us.
Dr Syed Alwi
Thus the rise of different classifications of religion (ie. moderate, conservative, radical, etc.). The problem with Islam is the same problem with many other religions, ideologies, and concepts. It is a human problem. It does not matter how perfect a religion is, rather how imperfect man's understanding and practice of religion. So Dr. Abduallah, there are not 2 but 3 tasks at hand. The first and most important is better understanding of Islam. Then can one challenge those who deviate from it, and communicate/demonstrate to the rest of the world the truth.
As I see it, the truth is that there is only one Islam, but there are many different levels of understanding and misunderstanding of Islam. Thus there are different "types" of "Muslims" (liberal, conservative, fundamental, etc.) -- all under the same religion, but many with their own set of interpretations/misinterpretations and practices/mis-practices.
Islam is not a simple religion, it is an advanced religion. To understand it, you must want to understand it. Sadly, most want to use portions of it out-of-context for personal, and political gain or cultural acceptance... a failing of mankind... a challenge to the righteous.
I agree with Dr. Aslam Abdullah that Muslims should not be divided or classified as fundamentalist, extremist, moderates, etc., before Allah (SWT), a Muslim is he who follow what He has ordained him to be. Islam, itself, means "peace" and we are ordained to promote and establish "peace" on earth. To achieve this - we have to establish "peace" and "harmony" in ourselves by going deeper and understanding true Islam as expounded in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW). The chaotic situation in our Muslim communities in general is the product of the selfish interest of our leaders and the inabilities of our religious leaders to do something to correct these terrible mistakes. Our religious leaders are not at par with the changing modes of time. We cannot effectively confront modern civilization. Western cevilization is more appealing to so called modern Muslims than what we are taught of our very own Islamic civilazation. It is very urgent that educated Muslims who are concerned with the inundation of western civilization into the fabric of own Muslim society - must to think of how we can effectively slow down if not completely stopped this onslaught. Wassalam.
An attempt to "re-package" Islam to denote the religion in a "new and improved" mode is nothing more than an appeasement of the West and also to pacify the West post-9/11.
A handful of Muslims are falling into the trap or becoming "Rand Robot" either by design or default for reasons similar to the ones of the likes of Salman Rushdie claim to notoriety.
Mr. Alwi's agenda, from his letters, appears quiet similar. The Islamic corporal punishment bogey is just a red herring - to stir much ado about an issue that is by no means a priority. What this guy really wants is the curtailment of Islamic influence, even in Muslim communities. Read what he wrote in letters to Malaysiakini (non-Muslim operated website) and other such forums:
"Indeed, even the concept of God has been put under the microscope.... how does the Syariah of the 10th century adapt itself to the 21st century? ...And what about Darwinian evolution? Where does that put God? The questions can go on endlessly. But the ideas of modern skepticism armed, with the blades of modern science, have clearly torn apart the domain of religion. One must remember that the business of religion is not necessarily a rational one....It seems to me that Malaysia is becoming "too Islamic"...The more Islamic Malaysia becomes - the less comfortable many people both in and out of Malaysia will be. Time for you people to think twice about Islamisation".
ISLAMIC CORPORAL PUNISHMENT:
Where on earth the type of corporal punishment that Alwi alludes to is applicable?
Saudi Arabia? Even there are some reservations on its applications. It is one thing to call for a "better and comprehensive application" of the Shariah in Saudi Arabia and criticize its misapplications, if any, and another to jump on the anti-Islam bandwagon, and make wild statements, such as the ones made by Alwi and quoted above.
Guess some people prefer Hell Fire or Electric Chair!
why american tend to put their all beliefs on declaration of independence , bill of rights , and constitution, is it a word of god or some religious writings i mean when ever something is said to americans that this is wrong that is wrong do this or do that they will say ohh this is wrong according to the constitution ohh this is right according to the constitution, i know that constitution is a thier main source and its a good source of rights , but do the americans really follow it i am not sure about dont say that i hate america if was to hate america i would not be leaving in it, i have been living in america for four years and thankfully i do understand things. remember that during the 1960 how the people of america has suffered hardship only because of the americans and on the basis of constitution and rights.i am talking about the discrimination . what my point is that americans are not right at all time and americans know it very well.
creator bless the whole world and the universe not just america
One solution is the memebers of the former group - pls migrate to later. Second solution is - let us be separate groups to be distinguished but not to despise each other (Qur'an).
THIS IS THE VERY REASON WE NEED A CALIPH. ONE VOICE TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT. ONE VOICE TO SAY THIS OR THAT IS CORRECT.WE ARE DIVIDED AND LACK LEADERSHIP .WE HAVE POLITCAL LEADERS WHO HAVE THIER OWN AGENDA BUT THEY ARE AFRAID OF TRUE ISLAM!WE ARE MUSLAMS SLAVES OF ALLAH IT IS OUR RIGHT TO HAVE A CALIPH TO LEAD US . NOT THE WESTERN IDEA OF WHAT ISLAM IS . WE SHOULD DEFINE OURSELVES IN NOBLE TERMS
time to make salat my brother. Allah said in the Quran Al_Kareem "I(Allah speaking) didn't create the mankind and Jinn only to worship me". If you worship Him as He commanded thru His messengers, you don't need anybody to identify you.
faith into different catagories, or groups is
rediculous. Where in the Quran does it say that
Islam should be separated this way? When people
ask me what religion I am, I say Alhumdulillah, I
am muslim, and when they ask what religion muslims
follow, I say Islam, Alhumduli
Dr Syed Alwi