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Muslim loyalty and belonging--Sh. Abdal Hakim Murad

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    Muslim loyalty and belonging--Sh. Abdal Hakim Murad

    Muslim loyalty and belonging
    some reflections on the psychosocial background

    Abdal-Hakim Murad, January 2003

    Our silence in the face of evil differs from that of secular people.
    For traditional theists, the sense of loss which evil conveys, of the
    fearful presence of a void, comes with a personal face: that of the
    devil. But the devil, being, in the Qur'an's language, weak at
    plotting, carries in himself the seeds of his own downfall. The very
    fact that we can name him is consoling, since understanding is itself
    a consolation. The cruellest aspect of secularity is that its refusal
    to name the devil elevates him to something more than a mere
    personalised absence. The solace of religion, no less consoling for
    being painful, is that it insists that when we find no words to
    communicate our sense that evil has come and triumphed, our silence is
    one of bewilderment, not despair; of hope, not of finality.

    The world is at present in the grip of fear. We fear an unknown
    absence that hides behind the mundanity of our experience; perhaps
    ubiquitous and confident, perhaps broken and at an end. Symbols of
    human communication such as the internet and the airlines have
    suddenly acquired a double meaning as the scene for a radical failure
    of communication. Above all, the fear is that of the unprecedented, as
    the world enters an age drastically unlike its predecessors, an age in
    which the religions are fragmenting into countless islands of opinion
    at a time when their members - and the world - are most insistently in
    need of their serene and consistent guidance.

    At a time such as the present, a furqan, a discernment, between true
    and false religion breaks surface. Despite the endless, often superbly
    fruitful, differences between the great world religions, the pressure
    of secularity has threatened each religion with a comparable
    confiscation of timeless certainties, and their replacement by the
    single certainty of change. Many now feel that they are not living in
    a culture, but in a kind of process, as abiding canons of beauty are
    replaced with styles and idioms the only expectation we can have of
    which is that they will briefly gratify our own sense of stylishness,
    then to be replaced by something no less brilliantly shallow.
    Postmodernity, anticipated here by Warhol, is occasionalistic, a
    series of ruptured images, hostile to nothing but the claim that we
    have inherited the past and that language is truly meaningful.

    In such conditions, the timeless certainties of religious faith must
    work hard to preserve not only their consistent sense of self, but the
    very vocabularies with which they express their claims. The American
    philosopher Richard Rorty offers this account of the secularisation
    process:

    Europe did not decide to accept the idiom of Romantic poetry, or
    of socialist politics, or of Galilean mechanics. That sort of shift
    was no more an act of will than it was a result of argument. Rather,
    Europe gradually lost the habit of using certain words and gradually
    acquired the habit of using certain others. [1]

    What has happened over the past century, in a steadily accelerating
    fashion, is that the series of mutations in values, often grounded in
    popular perceptions of scientific paradigm shifts, has placed the
    traditional vocabularies of religion under unprecedented stress.
    Against this background, we can see three large possibilities amidst
    the diversity of the world faiths. Firstly, the `time-capsule' option,
    often embedded in local ethnic particularities, which seeks to
    preserve the lexicon of faith from any redefinition which might
    subvert the tradition's essence. The risk of anachronism or
    irrelevance is seen as worth running in order to preserve ancient
    verities for later generations that might, in some hoped-for time of
    penitence, return to them. Secondly, there are movements, usually
    called `liberal', which adopt the secular world's reductionist
    vocabulary for the understanding of religion, whether this be
    psychological, philosophical, or sociological, and try to show how
    faith, or part of it, might be recoverable even if we use these terms.
    In the Christian context this is an established move, and has become
    secure enough to be popularised by such writers as John Robinson and
    Don Cupitt. In Islam, the marginality of Muhammad Shahrur and Farid
    Esack shows that for the present a thoroughgoing theological
    liberalism remains a friendless elite option, despite the de facto
    popularity of attenuated and sentimental forms of Muslimness...

    see http://www.masud.co.uk for full article.

    #2
    His talks are good, well the one's I've heard are any way.

    Comment


      #3
      This whole article lost me. I didn't understand a word. Can someone pls. explain what it was about?

      Comment


        #4
        Perhaps you'd like to check the whole article , it states clearly that this is not the whole article. I didnt read it, but that bit is quite clear for anyone who looked at the post.

        Comment


          #5
          Ana--it might make more sense if you read the whole article first. But in short this article exposes the spiritual bankruptcy of the Wahabis and other modern "Islamic" movements such as HT etc.

          Comment

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