Isn’t it amazing how time can fly? Not that I’ve been having fun. It’s just been a really busy week. Every time I’ve sat down to write for the Blog, something else has cropped up. Fortunately, I’ve been busy on other things and so, thankfully, have been a face in the crowd as certain public “dramas” have played themselves out.
I must say that I have not enjoyed them, but I must hold my tongue. Discretion, as they say, is the better part of valour!
However, suffice it to say that on a personal level I thoroughly dissociate myself from anybody who demeans the religion of another person. When you violate someone else’s sacred space you trespass on their soul.
I also think that we have to be a lot more honest about the pressing issues, and understand that 80% of the Deen exists in the realms of ikhtilaf (differences of opinion). That’s why we have four schools of legal thought, or madh-haib.
Absolutism (which I think is just another symptom of extremism) doesn’t belong to Islam, and nor should it be our public face. The Prophet (s) explicitly told his noble Companions to avoid (ghuluww) extremism. I mean, why would the Qur’an tell us we’re an “ummatan wasatan”, a community of the “the middle path”?
I’m sure I’m not alone when I suggest that those who claim to speak in the name of Islam should express more caution in their utterances.
I think we need to appreciate the fact that Islam has never been about absolutes. Faith is seated in the heart, and not in the appearance and not necessarily in the ritual. And no, I’m not saying that people shouldn’t pray, fast or go on Hajj.
But only in the case of what the Fiqh experts call the “mujma ‘alay” is there unanimity in Islam. This unanimity is on things such as the need to perform, for example, the Salah – and even then, you’ll find great minds such as Abu Hanifah and Imam Shafi’i gently differing on questions of wajibah (obligatory) and Sunnah (not obligatory but recommended).
And surely, this is the joy of Islam – its diversity. Why can’t we celebrate that? Or do these obscurantists who curse the arts, and seek fame in finding the haraam, think that we should all become mindless ants?