I have recently attended several traditional Muslim gatherings and been deeply distraught at the poor intellectual rigour. The Quran is reduced to an ‘endurance sport’ where the quantity of worship becomes of paramount significance rather than the essence or spiritual efficacy to transform. I am shocked when people are actually impressed with numeric measures such as this person has recited this Quranic surah a gazillion times!
It is like being with a crowd of sheep who are guided by lazy shepherds that care more for their image then their roles and responsibilities. I also find the blind obedience deeply distasteful as it is bordering on idolatry. Discussion is frowned upon and the didactic approach to teaching transforms into intellectual dictatorship.
I pine for the medieval Andalucía gatherings that were populated by Jews, Muslims and Christians engaged in deep discourse and debate, or the poetic gatherings of the great 18th century Urdu poet Ghalib or the public lectures by the Sufi martyr Hallaj
In the mean time I will drown my sorrows in Rumi and a cup of chai...