Thursday, August 21, 2008

Concerning Moderate Fundamentalism

Ive been asked why I call myself a Moderate Fundamentalist. For some reason people like asking me arb stuff. I'm a pretty simple guy with simple concerns. I guess its because I have a tendency of answering anything people ask. I like strawberry Milkshake. Yeah - I just threw that in there.
OK, coming back to my classification. Its because of two Ayah in the Quran.
Thus We have made you [Muslims] a Wasat (Moderate/ Just) nation, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger Muhammad be a witness over you." (Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 143)
coupled with
And hold fast, all together, by the rope which God (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude God's favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth God make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided. (Surah Al Imran, Verse 103)

I sometimes wonder whether that is a contradiction in a sense (Not the Ayats but my classification) It does seem quite 'oxymoronic', but the way I see it - as long as I act on the fundamental articles of faith, and i'm moderate and just in everything I do, I should be ok. Recently, the term fundamentalist has been used in discourse as a blanket term to describe conservative sects like the Wahabis or the Taleban. Maybe its about time that we reclaimed this term. Fundamentalism as a concept is fairly new (It was first used to describe American Protestants in the early twentieth century) but now we have all these new terms and labels that are thrust upon us in the post 9/11 world. I mean, theres
Militant Islam
Islamo Fascism
Islamic Terrorism

All of this is contrasted with a notion that there is a Moderate Islam out there. American Think Tanks like to push the Suffi agenda because its 'moderate'. There is a war going on inside Islam and many of us are just caught in the crossfire. Its bigger than our petty little differences like whether we stand for salaatus salaam or not (This is such a small issue yet it is always blown out to sucha proportion). Whether or not a fist length beard is waajib or not. Whether we should only use a miswak as opposed to toothpaste.
The thing is - theres always been division and internal conflict- our Greatest Sahaba have been martyred by Muslims. I just read the seerah of Hazrath Muawiya (R.A) and it saddens me. I really want to know how we could be united. I wrote about this before but I want to touch on it again - what if when the the Mahdi appears, and we dont want to follow him because his mannerisms dont resemble our own? There is a daarool Uloom mentality that is washing over us and we becoming so isolated in our own school of thought that we fail to realise that there is an entire world out there of Muslims. Its bigger than us. We all think we are the chosen ones and the other 72 are doomed to hell. Show me the brotherhood in this kind of mentality?
I do not agree with what some Aalims say, but I still respect them. We always fail to realise that the Quran is perfect and that our interpretation is not.
I do not want to be a moderate if being moderate means further division in this Ummah. I do not want to a fundamentalist if a fundamentalist is one that disregards any system but his interpretation of an Islamic One.
I just want to find my place
I know that there is a shift from the beginning of this blog. In a way it captures the dissonance I feel when I try to understand all of this.


Sofi said...

Many people will probably echo your thoughts.

I am all up for reclaiming Islam. Reclaiming and reviving the true, peaceful, spirit of islam from THEM (i.e those who incite terror – they be legitimate or not).

Emmy. I love Atif Aslam. I’ve told you that havent i? Oh yes, I have. Right. Anyway.

#tumhi ho, mujhe me haan

Anonymous said...

So, er... are you for or against killing apostates?

You are not?

Well, stop your brothers who think otherwise! Think the blood is not in your hand if you just say, "I'm a moderate"? History will hold all of you accountable.

Sofi said...

>>History will hold all of you accountable.

it would be great if you can start off with holding yourself accountable rather than posting as anonymous and preaching hypocritically :)