Thursday, February 7, 2013

De-monopolizing righteousness


A friend in faith from South Africa shared an article about a small but significant event that took place in the land of Arabia recently - 2600 brave young people mostly in their 20s signed a statement on their stand with regard to their perspective of religion.

The article quoted a portion of their bold and frank statement as follows:
"No one can claim monopoly of truth or righteousness in the name of Islamic law (Shariah)," 
"We are young citizens who seek to create that follows the example of the prophet, peace be upon him, under pluralism of thought...[and] we reject this patriarchal guardianship which forbids us from practicing our God-given right to think and explore for ourselves, as we can listen and judge."

Hah..hah... I like! Kudos to these young Arab men [and women I presume].

In many parts of the world there tend to be monopoly groups of Islamic righteousness - people who think their interpretation and views of Islam as the most correct. That they are the holier ones, bound for heaven and their religiosity is the ultimate benchmark of Islam. These people who think they know more and know better tend to be judgmental especially about other people's degree of Muslim-ness. They even dare label other Muslims as kafir. But coming from people who ridicule primary school teachers, we are not surprised.  Perhaps they're so smart, they went straight to high school. But in truth, as we learned from the wiser shuyukh, those who know more, judge less. Those who know less, judge more. 

It is unfortunate when leaders of these monopolies of righteousness go unchecked and unchallenged. They may get so carried away in their self-proclaimed authority that some even want to authorize/liberalize the usage of "Allah" in other holy books, for reasons only God knows. But perhaps for the wrong reason because after a while, they suddenly remembered the meaning of Surah Al-Ikhlas and retracted their statement. [I thought that's very funny.]

It's not too bad for someone who is deemed to be not righteous outwardly to make silly statement about religion. But when someone, who looks pious outwardly and who carries the title of a guru, makes statement about aqidah, people take notice especially if its legitimacy is doubtful. And that's just unfortunate for the religion. Religion is never corrupt but it's people who corrupt it every now and then. 

Anyway, I second the statement made by the 2600 young Arabs as mentioned above:
"No one can claim monopoly of truth and righteousness in the name of Islamic law (shariah)."

Pray that Allah guides and gives victory to all sincere seekers.  
Allahumma salli ala Sayyidina Muhammad.

p/s Thank you Sister N for your email.

No comments:

Post a Comment