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October 4, 2004

by Hamayun Khan

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praises to Allah, the Lord of the Alameen and may Allah give peace and blessings upon our Holy Prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions untill the Day of Judgement.

And I (Allah) created not the jinn and manking except that they should worship me (Alone) (Adh-Dhariyat:56)

It is quite sad when a Muslim looks around and sees the distress and the hardship that his brothers and sisters are going through right now. The Muslim sees visions of children being killed in Iraq, the women being raped in Kashmir and houses being demolished in Palestine. The Muslim, knowing as his duty, thinks of the reasons why we are in such a condition- a condition so embarrassing and cruel. In response to the humiliating circumstances that have plagued the Ummah, extreme and obviously incorrect measures are being practiced by many Muslims thoughout the Ummah. It seems that we have reduced this Deen of ours to a small toy to use to satisfy our desires when the need arises. We know Islaam is the correct religion (I at least hope we believe that) and it is also a way of life to be practiced A-Z, not A-M nor N-Z, but A-Z. In this article, I will list and explain some of the different types of ideologies that have arisen in modern times and will also give a brief critique. No doubt, volumes and volumes can be written in refutation to any ideology that opposes the true path of Islaam, but this it not the place for that, nor am I qualified to do such a thing. Also, I do not wish to offend anyone by writing this article, I just believe enough is enough and it is time we stop using this Deen of ours as mere jest and actually start believing and practicing it the way it should be. Lastly, before I begin, I must remind everyone that if any of us sees a brother or sister of ours falling into or practicing one of the deviant ideologies, we should first assume that this brother or sister is very sincere. Maybe they just dont have the correct knowledge of the Deen and someone needs to enlighten them.

TYPE A: "The reformist, modernist, humanist, women's right" ideology

This type of ideology stems from the thought that the Muslim world is in dire need of a' reform', that the Islaamic world is 'regressing' instead of 'progressing' like the West, it is believed that the Quran and Sunnah hinder progression. So the Musliims in this ideology start promoting secular education as much as possible, they propogate idea of 'women’s rights', they try to “enlighten” the Ummah by trying to promote the reinterpertations of the Quraan and Sunnah. People in this group believe the Quraan and Sunnah are outdated and need to be reinterpreted in order to suit the modern context. So Muslims in this category have reduced Islaam to a man-made sociopolitical entity. They are very soft and open with all types of interpretations that people have made of Islaam (including those that most scholars would consider straight kufr).
Critique: This idelogy is so "out there" I dont even think that there is need of a critique, however, I will still give one. The problem with these type of Muslims is that they have been brainwashed by Western ideology because most of the people in this type of category have raised up in a Western type atmosphere (regardless of where they physically reside). In a way they have raised Western thought over the guidance delineated by the Quraan and Sunnah. The problem here is that they have never truly practiced Islaam to begin with so how will they have any faith in their hearts? They have never made a a concious effort to gain Islamic knowledge so it' s only natural that they will be influenced more by secular-Western ideology than they will be by Islaamic thought. The biggest contradiction comes when they say the Quran and Sunnah needs to be reinterpreted so progression can take place in the "backwards" Muslim world. They see the regression of the Muslim world as a sign that the Quraan and Sunnah must be reinterpreted. They would have a point only if the Muslims around the world were ACTUALLY FOLLOWING THE QURAN AND SUNNAH!. I mean give me break! Most Muslims around the world do not even have knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah, let alone are practicing it, so how can anyone make the claim that pure Islaam hinders progression? And we know the Message of our Messenger (peace be upon him) is there for all of mankind untill the Day of Judgement; "Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only, but I have been sent to all mankind (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 1 No. 331) so we should have confidence in the divinely revealed principles. If mankind could just continue to make up their own religion , there would have be no reason to have it be revealed in the first place. I mean don't you think the same Lord who created the heavens and the earth in truth would be 'smart' and 'wise' enough to reveal general principles and rules that can be adhered to all times and places? Maybe they should read the Ayah: Should not He Who has created know? (Mulk: 14)

TYPE B: The "Jihad before Iman" ideology

Then we have those Jihad before Iman guys. All you seem them doing is preaching war, always criticizing the West, making publics calls for Jihad, making takfir on people, etc. You never see them making calls for Tawheed and never encourage people to accept the basics of Islam. Most of their talks are centered around creating an Islaamic state and are abusing the concept of Jihad to suit their own whims, desires or political aspirations.
Critique: We know the first message the Prophets and the Messengers called everyone to was the message of Tawheed. And likewise we must begin our callings too with that or our deeds will be fruitless. The problem with this ideology is that they skip the basics steps of Islaam and try to "rush" to create an Islaamic state. No doubt, the creation of an Islaamic state is an important goal in Islaam, but it has to be done in the proper manner and order. People in this group oftend tend to use acts of extremism to acheive their ends and we know the harm they cause to the religion. We also know that a basic rule in Sharia is that ends don't justify the means. Maybe these brothers would do well in taking the lessons of the methodoly of the Prophet (saw) and the Sahabas (ra). The first several years of Islaam were concentrated on just rectifying the corrupt beliefs, purifying one's soul, and practicing the basic pillars of Islaam. The developement of the Islaamic state did not even begin untill several years after the claim to Prophethood and even when it did, the proper etiquttes and rules of engagement were followed. Another problem with these guys is that there lack of confidence in Islaam. What I mean by this is that Islaam is an inherently just religion. If we start following the religion from ground up, justice will automatically start coming out of it. We will not need to concoct our own innovated ways to make Islaam just. Many a times young brothers may be caught in this ideology and many a times their ideology comes from foreign elements, like the marxist-lennist ideology. A great recommended reading that explains the methodology of the messengers is called: "The Methodology of the Prophets in Calling to Allah" by al-'Allaamah Rabee' Ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee.

TYPE C: The "Sunnah only means growing a beard" ideology

People in this ideology have reduced the word 'Sunnah' to connotate only certain outer appearances, like; the thobe, beard and pants above the ankles. They think that as long as a person has these elements that he is following the Sunnah. They don't factor in one's relationship with Allah, the way a person peforms ibadaah, one's character and manners as part of the Sunnah. They are always criticizing people who may not have a beard but never encourage people to follow the the Sunnah as a whole. They are the first ones to open their mouths and go crazy when they see a Bida being performed but are mute when other types of injustices are present.
Critique: Everyone has to realize that the word Sunnah is a very comprehensive word. It does not only symbolize the outer appearances that the Prophet (saw) displayed but embodies his life as whole, internally and externally. When a person is following the true Sunnah, that means he has internalized the Ayas of the Quraan and are implementing them on a daily basis. Many may of heard the hadith where 'Ayesha (ra) was asked the character of the Prophet (saw) and she replied he was the 'walking Quraan'. As we all know the Ayas of the Quraan encourage a person to be a human being who strives for excellence in all aspects of life. The funny part is that the Muslims who claim that they are following the Sunnah just because they have the Sunnah appearances contradict their claim in the way they explain and give advice to others. Their methodology of giving advice clearly contradict the way our dear Prophet (peace be upon him) did. All in all, when a person is really following the Sunnah, it's automatically understood that he has internalized and is practicing the verses of the Quraan.

TO BE CONTINUED............

(PREVIEW TO PART 2: Type C: "Islaam is all about peace" ideology, Type D: "Sectarian/Cultural" Islaam, The type we really need Type E: the way of our Prophet (saw) ideology, closing statements)

of and relating to...
Justoju said

“We (Arabs) were the most despised people. But Allah gave us respect through Islam. So if we seek respect through ways other than how Allah granted us respect, then Allah will surely humiliate us!"

-- Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhu)

"Even the Devil can cite scripture for his purpose"

- Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice"

on October 4, 2004 7:34 PM
Bint Abdul Khaliq said

As Salaamu Alaikum

"TYPE A: "The reformist, modernist, humanist, women's right" ideology "

Irshad Manji of Canada would fall into this group.She proudly states that she is a lesbian and is the author of a book called ' The Trouble With Islam: A Wake-up Call for Honesty and Change'.

She also states that Through the exercise of her academic freedom, "I discovered a progressive side of my faith that I would have never even been able to conceive of had I remained stuck in that parochial microcosm called the madrassa."

She talks of 'Operation Ijtihad' "It's all about independent reasoning, independent thinking."

AstaghfiRULLAH.May ALLAH protect us from all the fitnas prevelant today. and protect us from following shaitaan.Ameen.

Was Salaam

on October 6, 2004 4:40 PM
Humayun said

salaam, toronto also has or had a gay 'masjid' (not really a masjid of course). whats up with canada and gay muslims? even if they wanna reject hadith they shud at least read the Quraan. Astagfhurlila

on October 6, 2004 11:27 PM
Nadia said

Mashallah, this article is well-written. Keep up the good work.

on October 7, 2004 5:56 PM
UmmNurah said

its not in toronto, it's near the falls. Not sure if it's still there or not. It's because they don't think it could apply to them or that it would be talking about that part that they're doing is sinful. They ignore Lut's story and see it as a story and nothing else. May Allah help these people, yet a very well written article. JazakuAllahkhairun.

on October 21, 2004 11:34 PM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

Hamayun, the next time I see you insha Allah I'm going to tell you to continue this. It really is a good article and a good subject. So continue it. Start now.

Waslaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on March 26, 2005 1:42 AM
Abu Ayesha said

TYPE C: The "Sunnah only means growing a beard" ideology

People in this ideology have reduced the word 'Sunnah' to connotate only certain outer appearances, like; the thobe, beard and pants above the ankles.

Yes quoting one of the Salafs, we need a little knowledge today and a lot of Akhlaq.

How true. Agreed that with little manners, Islam wuold spread faster and innovations would be replaced back with the Sunnah. But I do not agree with the title for your TYPE C: The "Sunnah only means growing a beard" ideology.

It could probably be called The SUNNAH Preachers.
A good incident to highlight the point: Once in the masjid of the Prophet sallhualhiwassalam, an old Egyptian man, as has become the norm today, immediately offered to shake hands with the brother adjescent to him. Our brother firmly told him this is a BIDAH.

The old Egpytian replied, but is bad AKHLAQ a SUNNAH?

Sometimes, we really need more politeness when confronting Bidahs that have deep rooted in the culture.

on February 5, 2006 4:22 AM
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