I Am Just A Muslim
ParadiseLost 05 May 2012
In our families few of us can say we’ve never disagreed with our siblings. But when a family member makes a mistake—even a big one—or has a view we don’t agree with, even fewer of us decide to divorce that family and change our name. Today, the same is not true of our Muslim family. Today, we’re no longer just ‘Muslim.’ We’re ‘progressives,’ ‘Islamists,’ ‘traditionalists,’ ‘salafis,’ ‘indigenous,’ and ‘immigrant.’ And each group has become so alienated from the other, that we’ve almost forgotten that we share a common creed.
While real differences do exist within our ummah, something very serious has gone wrong. Within the fold of Islam, differences are not only tolerated—they’re encouraged as a mercy from God. But as soon as we label and marginalize any who disagree with us, our downfall begins. Once we accept and internalize these labels as our main source of identity, the result is disastrous. As a result, we create our own camps, attend only our own gatherings and conferences; soon enough, we’re talking only to those who agree with us. Dialogue within the ummah disappears, our differences become only more polarized and our views become more extreme. Before long, we stop caring about what happens to the ‘other’ group of Muslims around the world, as we amputate limbs from the unified body our prophet taught us we were. The ‘other’ (who happen to still be our brothers) become so foreign—even despised—that we no longer wish to be referred by the same family name, and even join our enemies against them.
Suddenly those differences, that were once a mercy, become a curse–and a weapon to defeat Islam. Our enemies “summon one another to attack [us] as people, while eating, invite others to share their food.” (Abu Dawud)
On March 18, 2004 RAND, the influential U.S. think tank, released a report to help ‘civilize’ Islam by effacing it and remaking it in the image of Western secularism. In the report, Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, Resources, Strategies, Cheryl Benard writes, “Modernism, not traditionalism, is what worked for the West. This included the necessity to depart from, modify, and selectively ignore elements of the original religious doctrine.”
In order to “depart from, modify, and selectively ignore” elements of Islam, Benard suggests a simple strategy: label, divide, control. After labeling each group of Muslims, she suggests pitting one group against each other. Among other strategies, Benard suggests “encourag[ing] disagreements between traditionalists and fundamentalists,” and “discourag[ing] alliances between traditionalists and fundamentalists.”
By succeeding at this division and supporting the ‘Modernist’/ ‘Progressive’ Muslims, Bernard hopes to invent a ‘civil democratic’ Islam that is less backwards and problematic. More specifically, she hopes to create an Islam that will surrender itself to the hegemony of the Neo Conservative Agenda.
So if the first step to deforming Islam is to exploit the labels that exist, let’s say: “Thanks, but no thanks.” God tells us: “And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided” (Qur’an,3:103). So although we really appreciate this effort to ‘civilize’ us and our religion—we’ll have to pass. You only reform something that’s corrupt or outdated. And you only fix something that’s broken.
And while it’s nice of you to want to call us ‘modern’ or ‘moderate,’ we’ll do without the redundancy. Islam is by definition moderate, so the more strictly we adhere to its fundamentals—the more moderate we’ll be. And Islam is by nature timeless and universal, so if we’re truly Islamic—we’ll always be modern.
AHMAD_73 06 May 2012
i can see the problem is not in different names, i can see it just like the difference in personal names of district names or any names. the differnces are a sunnah of Allah in this universe, Allah allowed that withen the Islam itself, we are not programmed Robots. the problems are in inflating these differences to get out of the main Islamic frame and major principles. for example we may differ in some issues but we should never hate each other nor Contend nor fight each other.
in the famous story after the Ahzab battle, the prophet ordered the companions to pray ALasar in Bani-Quraizah location. the Maghreb time is coming up, we may lose the pray, some of the companions decided to pray Alasr in the way, on time. while others, decided not to pray it tell after reaching the prescribed place by the prophet which led them after Maghreb (lower degree) now,
1- if you were their which groub would you join?
i believe the answer will be, doesn't mater which group i would join. but the important thing that i'll accept the other group opinion (Igtehad)
2- what was the prophet reaction to the situation?
as i know, he didn't comment, as he accepted both groups opinions
i believe that is the real spirit that should spread out between moslems, accepting the other' opinions with further discussions and advisings
one of the greatist favors Allah favored the Moslems that he, almighty, spread love and mercy between them
003.103 Y: And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah'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 Allah make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided.
008.061 Y: But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things).
008.062 Y: Should they intend to deceive thee,- verily Allah sufficeth thee: He it is That hath strengthened thee with His aid and with (the company of) the Believers;
008.063 Y: And (moreover) He (Allah) hath put affection between their hearts: not if thou hadst spent all that is in the earth, couldst thou have produced that affection, but Allah hath done it: for He is Exalted in might, Wise.