During my under grad days I was a great devourer and devotee of Marx however his stance on religion prevented me from blossoming into a full blown Marxist. Since, graduating I have travelled the world, read widely and been exposed to many cultures. And now I am back in the class room...
Now upon deeper examination of the Muslim world, based primarily on my experiences, the pristine religion of Islam has not only become an opiate it has also transformed into a tool of oppression and mechanism to arrest development of the masses.
I am horrified that people like Dr. Zakir Naik and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf are considered role models for young Muslims and are inspiring droves of Western Muslims into becoming ‘scholars’. The latter wannabe scholars forget the wisdom of our Prophet that ‘Poverty leads to kuffar / unbelief’, consequently today Muslims rank at the bottom of most global socio-economic indicators. Thus poverty is neither holy or sexy...
Religion is supposed to unite but the Sunni-Shia divide continues to fester. Muslim on Muslim violence is at unprecedented levels and global conspiracies are the only intellectual response to the challenge of the west.
Islam promised much but Muslims have delivered little in the last hundred or so years.
The aforementioned was swirling in my mind as I caught a taxi to visit a placement student today. I rarely talk to cabbies / taxi drivers however, we struck up a conversation and religion entered the communication. The cabby was a non-practising British Pakistani Muslim however; his observations shook me to the core.
He felt that we should all live in peace and harmony and rather than referring to a religious identity we should merely state our location such as Manchester. He went on to discuss his trials and tribulations with his personal faith and that he did not consider Quran to be the absolute truth.
After years of study he still felt perplexed and confused with certain theological issues such the ‘permissible beating of wives’. Usually at this point I would interject and give a sermon. However I sat mesmerised by his brutal yet refreshing honesty and stated that he should keep questioning and explore Sufism which emphasised a personal and direct relationship with God. For him orthopraxy / right conduct was superior to orthodoxy / right thought which I totally endorse as well. He ended by saying that he wanted to enjoy his life but within limits.
WOW! MAMA MIA!!!!
THERE IS HOPE FOR US MUSLIMS! IT IS THIS KIND OF QUESTIONING FAITH THAT IS NEEDED !!!