Sunday, February 15, 2009

Crisis in the Muslim World


To understand our current crisis accurately, we need to return to the revelation of the Qur’an and its basic concepts of tawhid, istikhlaf, individual and communal responsibility, ‘umran, and pursuit of knowledge. This supreme and civilized message to humanity transformed the early Arab Muslims into a great people, the bearers of a great religion, and the creators of great civilizations and history. They sought guidance from the Qur’an and developed their means through reason and knowledge of Allah’s natural laws (sunan). For the first time in history they developed the foundations of scientific and experimental methods – the same foundations that gave contemporary materialistic civilization its power of science and technology.

However, Islamic civilization was not materialistic, for it was cantered on istikhlaf, responsibility, and action to create a balanced way of life: spiritually, morally, and materially. Islam and the early generations of Muslims represented a distinguished and dynamic power in the Ummah’s history. This powerful Islamic guidance remains responsible for preserving the Ummah and most of the goodness in Muslims’ lives and consciousness. Unfortunately, the Ummah has retained remnants of old traditions, philosophies, and racial and tribal practices that continue to impact the lives of its people. Over time, this caused the Ummah’s degeneration and influenced new Muslims, as they did before Islam, thus weakening the religious enlightenment. Over the centuries, separation and confrontation within the Ummah’s intellectual leadership developed – a truly disastrous result. In other words, Muslim scholars and the political and intellectual ruling elites confronted each other.

This development weakened both sides and caused serious harm to their social roles and to the Ummah. Thinkers and scholars were isolated from the everyday lives of ordinary people, and their dynamics and concerns became increasingly theoretical. This situation prevented the growth of the social sciences and gradually drove scholars (ulama) to pure imitation and memorization. Students of ancient and alien philosophies did not truly benefit from the early scientific, experimental, and action-oriented Islamic principles and methods, but continued to follow the theoretical path. This added further harm and confusion to the Ummah’s intellectual life. In their isolation, the ulama developed a distorted view of Islam’s universal vision, one that was no longer ummatic and positive. They were no longer concerned with the Ummah’s life, and its public institutions were no longer part of their agenda. This led to the marked deterioration of the Ummah and its public institutions. The ulama concentrated on Islam’s ritual (private) aspects (e.g., salah, siyam, and Qur’anic recitation), which they called ‘ibadat, although the Qur’anic terminology refers to them as dhikr. They called the jihad of life to pursue a halal lifestyle, the jihad to seek knowledge, the jihad to spread da’wah, and the jihad to defend the Ummah. They focused on mu’amalat, mere dealings and contracts almost devoid of spiritual value.

This distortion of Islam’s universal vision was largely responsible for distorting Islamic life and institutions and giving Muslims a negative attitude toward life and civilization. The Muslim masses and societies were no longer the strong muwahidin and mustakhlafin, but weak and submissive. In short, the average Muslim was transformed into a person that concentrated on survival and thus showed little interest in pursuing an important civilizational role in history. The isolation of intellectuals and scholars fragmented the sources of Islamic knowledge. The knowledge was either religious or therefore based on the Qur’an and Sunnah and supported with linguistic tools in a historical context. Or it was human knowledge, and therefore related to foreign cultures and civilizations, and alien to the Islamic worldview, values, and Muslim psychology and culture.

The opposition and confrontation between Islamic scholars and the corrupt political, tribal, and aristocratic elites weakened the rulers’ position in two ways. First, it continually raised doubts about the legitimacy of their rule. Second, they were deprived and alienated from the intellectual base that could provide the intellectual support and ability to deal with Ummah’s changing circumstances. As a result, due to the weakened state of the Ummah and the rulers, both the ulama and the rulers turned to the “lesser evil” of oppression and violence to control the people in order to avoid political and social chaos. The rulers and the political elites imprisoned or executed their opponents, while the ulama threatened spiritual and eternal punishment to suppress intellectual dissatisfaction and revolt against their arbitrary authority and interpretations of religious text. The crushing of intellectual expression and the oppression of corrupt rulers polluted the national culture and created a negative and superstitious mentality that finally influenced the development of the Muslims’ “slave mentality.” It is, therefore, not surprising that Muslims appear to be fearful, negative, and lacking in initiative and creativity. The end result was a distorted universal Muslim vision, deficient knowledge, a corrupt public life, a superstitious mentality, and a damaging slave mentality. After losing their scientific and creative mentality, Muslim scientists turned to memorizing scientific procedures or imitating and importing scientific and technological tools and systems. In so doing, they hoped to achieve the ability to carry out research and development that would help the Ummah to catch up with the developed nations.

But we must do more than this – we need to correct our mental, cultural, and psychological distortions; adjust our world vision in order to regain our ummatic outlook; rectify our epistemological view in order to reunite religious and human knowledge; cleanse our culture from all distortions and superstitions in order to restore our Islamic scientific mentality and methodology; and reform our parental and educational methods.

We need to return to the Prophet’s methods of child development and education. The Prophet used love, care, respect, patience, wise guidance, effective communication, and supervision when dealing with children. For example, when he spoke to children (such as Ibn ‘Abbas), he did not address them in the same way that the Qur’an addresses its enemies, nor did he threaten or frighten them. Instead, he created an atmosphere of love and mutual support between the children and God, and taught them courage. For example, he told Ibn ‘Abbas:

“Now, boy, care about God, for God cares about you. Remember God in your good times, for God remembers you in your hard times of need. If everyone wants to harm you with something that God has not decided would happen to you, they cannot harm you. Likewise, if they want to benefit you with something that God has not decided for you, they cannot benefit you. The pens have been dried, and the records have been closed.”

The Prophet used such words to teach Ibn ‘Abbas courage, because courage is the real basis of a strong character and all virtues. On another occasion, the Prophet addressed the mind and reason while replying to a man who asked him if he could leave his camel untethered and trust in God to protect it while he prayed. The Prophet told him to tether the camel and then trust in God.

The Prophet was very careful and thoughtful in dealing with his grandson, al-Hussain, who once climbed on his back while he was leading the prayers in the mosque. The Prophet made an unusually long sujud, which caused his companions to wonder if it was a revelation. He told them that he did not want to rise (from sujud) hastily, for that would not allow his grandson enough time to enjoy his ride. The lesson here was not that he loved his grandson, but that he was the grandfather of a small child who knew nothing about salah, sujud, or iman. All he could understand was that his grandfather was on the ground, so he climbed on his back to play. The Prophet had two choices: put him down in a hurry without saying a word to him because he was praying, or give him some time to play and enjoy himself and then put him down carefully and continue the prayer. His constant thoughtful and careful nature, which precluded his hitting a child, enabled him to succeed as a father and a grandfather.

26 comments:

In The Nite Garden said...

Waduh waduh... gambar ittew ;p

tak berdaya nak off pc nih ;p

daSetan_7 said...

Hang tertinggal satu laie ayat iaiut: "dah hanyut ke mana komen aku nie." Ahakzz!! :P

In The Nite Garden said...

Amvoi ang, kemain laei melezer aku ;p

entry ni tak baca lg.. mata aku capture gambar tu dulu msa on pc ni td ;p

daSetan_7 said...

Chomel kan? *matilah*

In The Nite Garden said...

mmg terserlah kechomotan mu ittew bila pakai camtu ;p

eh eh! aku mamai laei masa type komen nih.. maybe ada typo error kot huahuahua

In The Nite Garden said...

*pitam n pengsan dpn screen nih*

daSetan_7 said...

Aper yang chomot nyer. Chomel lah *terbang*

In The Nite Garden said...

eeeerrr eeerrrr eeerrrr choooo... chooo... choooo.... chooo... choooo.... chomel!!!

daSetan_7 said...

Hooreyyy!!!! Finally pengakuan. So aku nie tak perasanlah kan. Wawawawawawa :P

Tetiba teringat ader orang habaq kat aku kelmarin, dengan pink t-shirt plus Marc Jacob perfume memang terserlah kechomelan ku. Ahakzz!! :P

In The Nite Garden said...

Tu la.. Org tu ada cerita kat aku. Katanya :

"I couldn't take my eyes off you... I thought you're memerizing..."

Meminjam kata2 benjamin buttons ;p

In The Nite Garden said...

Eh Eh! yaqeen jer aku ni.. ntah2 yg habaq kat ang psal pink t-shirt and perfume marc jacob tu org lain. bukannya kawan aku tuh ;p

btw sapa yg habaq kat ang tue? adakah org yg sama yg aku pikir? hehehe

daSetan_7 said...

Hahahahahahaha..... No comment. U know who :P

In The Nite Garden said...

*sasau* ;p

daSetan_7 said...

Hahahahaha... Pasaipa hang nak sasau? :P

In The Nite Garden said...

penangan marc jacobs hehehe

daSetan_7 said...

Huhuhuhuhuhuhu.... Okaylah pas nie aku tak mau lagi dah pakai perfume tue. Al-maklumlah kan ader orang tue allergic dengan perfume lelaki. Ahakzz!! :P

In The Nite Garden said...

Katanya:

"kalau tak mau kena kejar, jgn lah pakai perfume ittew" ;p

daSetan_7 said...

Jawabnya:

"Minah kejar, wak larilah!!"

Ahakzz!! :P

In The Nite Garden said...

Katanya lagi:

"Ada acara lari berkejaran satu shopping complex huahuahua"

"dan pemenangnya adalah...."

daSetan_7 said...

Dan jawabnya:

"Aiman tak kisah. Janji selamat." :P

Pemenangnyer?

In The Nite Garden said...

Balasnya:

"Aiman bleh lari laju ker ngan kain pelekat?"

Eh Eh! Entah hanyut ke laut mana komen2 sume ni hah??

Aku suka part ni:

“Now, boy, care about God, for God cares about you. Remember God in your good times, for God remembers you in your hard times of need. If everyone wants to harm you with something that God has not decided would happen to you, they cannot harm you. Likewise, if they want to benefit you with something that God has not decided for you, they cannot benefit you. The pens have been dried, and the records have been closed.”

daSetan_7 said...

Jawabnya lagi:

"Kalu lari Aiman angkatlah kain." Ahakzz!! :P

Itu menunjukkan bagaimana Nabi s.a.w. mengajar umatnya akan peri-pentingya mengingati Allah. Sifat yang perlu disemai sejak dari kecil. Pada waktu itu, umat Islam ingat akan Allah pada setiap waktu, susah mahupun senang. Tapi kini, Allah hanya diingati pada ketika kita susah [itu pun kalau ingatlah!!].

In The Nite Garden said...

sambungnya:

"Aku ketawa berdekah2 bila membayangkan Aiman lari angkat kain ;p bila Aiman smpai ke garisan penamat kain Aiman dah hanyut ke laut huahuahua"

"cleanse our culture from all distortions and superstitions in order to restore our Islamic scientific mentality and methodology; and reform our parental and educational methods"

Agreed but kinda hard to do coz we've been living with our culture for a long time. Yet, it's not impossible to cleanse our mind. Juz need a super duper cleanser. As u mentioned many times - right knowledge n education.

The last paragraph of this entry:

Salah satu sikap Rasulullah yg sgt aku kagumi - sifat penyayangnya ;p

daSetan_7 said...

Katanya:

"Diikat rapi seperti orang dolu-dolu." :p

Nothing is impossible. We can do it. When there is a will there is always a way.

Yeah, sifat penyayang Rasullullah memang tiada tolok bandingnya. Moga ianya jadi ikutan kita semua :P

In The Nite Garden said...

Minah Jawab:

"Aiman ni bley tahan jugak tak nak mengalah ;p ok la minah surrender dah tak mau kejar aiman lg coz aiman lari tak henti2" ;p

dan pemenang acara lumba lari antara minah dan aiman adalah.... Aiman!!!

"Aiman nak hadiah apa dr minah?"

Sifat2 Rasulullah melangkau batas usia dan jantina. daripada hari pertama berada didlm rahim ibu sehinggalah hari terakhir menghembus nafas.. Baginda makhluk Allah plg sempurna di muka bumi. dan asas sifat2nya adalah kasih dan sayang..

Moga ianya jadi ikutan kita semua.. Ameen..

daSetan_7 said...

Aiman:

"Heheheheehehehe.... Aiman tak kisah." :P