khuram

Enlightened Moderation

Posted by khuram on August 19, 2006

The notion of ‘Moderate Islam’ has been emerged as a reaction to the so-called ‘Extremist Islam’. Some half educated Muslims believe that all the miseries and all the difficulties upon which the whole Muslim Ummah has been trapped, has only two reasons namely; (i) that all the Muslims throughout the world do not follow their own (i.e. that small group’s) particular interpretation of Islamic teachings and; (ii) all the other nations of the world are doing nothing but just conspiring their some ill agenda towards Muslims.

So this small group of half educated Muslims hates all those Muslims who happen to follow some different interpretation of Islam and they also hate all the other nations of the world particularly three i.e. (i) Jews, (ii) Hindus and; (iii) Christians.

We cannot have any doubt in the sincerity of this small extremist group for the betterment of Islam. They are really very sincere to Islam by their heart. An extremist Sunni, for example, would do a real great service, in his mind, for the ‘cause’ of Islam when he kills some shias and vice versa. In the same way, these extremist people, in their own feelings, are really very sincere for the cause of Islam when they hate or try to promote hatred towards other nations.

The problem is not with the sincerity of this extremist group. They are good sincere Muslims by their heart. The only problem is the boundless volume of grave ignorance, which they possess. Their ignorance is evident in the fact that they do not know any cause of the decline of Muslim societies other than above-mentioned two reasons. They do not know that Muslims are behind in science and technology just because they themselves have just marginal contribution towards the knowledge of science and technology. Instead of knowing this, what they know is that all what westerns know today, was actually told to them by the ancient Muslim scientists. In their minds, they already know all the hidden secrets of Universe so there is no need to try to find any new secret of Universe. Since they already know all the possible secrets of Universe, so the only thing needed is that all other nations also should believe in those absolute secrets. What are those secrets? These are something like that a man must have this much certain length of beard. That people belonging to a particular sect of Islam are kaffirs, in fact. In order that people regularly offer prayers, there is a need of special state police force. That a particular sect is ‘Murttad’ so it is all right to kill the members of that sect. Another universal fact, which they know is something like that, all other nations are all time busy in making more and more conspiracies against Muslims.

Despite their all ignorance, they possess certain positive qualities. They ‘know’ the ‘problems’ and they also ‘know’ the ‘solution’. The ‘problems’ have been discussed above. Solution is of course ‘Jihad’. Meaning of ‘Jihad’ is ‘fighting’. Their real positive quality is that they really fight. They fight for what they consider true and right. So they do not possess negative or destructive intentions. Their intentions are positive because they struggle for the cause of righteousness. They are wrong however because their concept of righteousness is not right.

Their negative quality is that they hate others on quite wrong basis. Their positive quality is that what they consider right, they do struggle for its achievement, and in a way, which they consider right.

Their conscience can be doubted but their intentions cannot be. They think it necessary that in order that people regularly offer their prayers, there should be a special police force. When they really form their government somewhere, they then really establish one such special police force. Their criminal laws include such punishments as for not offering the prayers, and for not keeping beard of a certain length. By doing this sort of things, they just follow their own ignorant minds. They claim to follow the Shariah of Islam. But they never bother to see that according to the essence of Quranic punishments, human authorities are authorized to punish the people only in those matters, which relate to “Haqooq-ul-Ibad”. Thus Quranic Punishments include the punishment for murder, for theft and for other matters relating to ‘Haqooq-ul-Ibad’. But Quranic Punishments do not include punishment for not offering the prayers, punishment for not keeping beard of any certain length and so on. Human authorities have not been authorized by Quran to give punishment in any matter, which relates to ‘Haqooq-Allah’. Because according to the essence of Quranic teachings, punishment in the matters of ‘Haqooq-Allah’ shall be given to the wrong doers in their after life, and by God Almighty himself.

So extremists are actually those people who want to take authority of God also in their own hands. And they do it not due to their any negative intention. They do it just because of their ignorance. Their role for the nation is that of a ‘fool well-wisher’.

Now come to see who are these so-called ‘moderate’ Muslims. These are ‘silent majority’ Muslims. They just like their routine lives and do not want any disturbance in their daily routines. They are quite peaceful. They do not care much about what is going on internationally because most of the international affairs have little to do with their daily routines. At the same time, they do get themselves well informed on various international matters. They often talk about cruelties and double standards of westerns but they know that they can do nothing against those westerns. Having this characteristic, they can be considered to be much passive than those ‘extremists’ because ‘extremists’, after all do take some practical steps. ‘Moderate’ Muslims know that they, as a nation, are just following the dictations of west but they do not feel much ashamed of this fact. They just prefer their daily routines and do not undertake to perform their any role towards the correction of the situation. They put all the responsibility either on government or on ‘others’ and again get themselves busy in their routines. So in this way the ‘extremists’ do wrong efforts whereas these so-called ‘Moderate’ Muslims do nothing at all. This ‘silent majority’ has no positive program to be acted upon. The only thing, which it has, is just its ‘silence’.

What is needed?

Obviously this ‘moderate’ Islam is not the need of the day. Slogan of ‘Moderate Islam’ has been created just to show before westerns that all the Muslims are not extremists and therefore ‘terrorists’. Intention was just to show that majority Muslims are quite peaceful. ‘Extremists’ hate others and want to promote hate for others just due to their ignorance. ‘Moderate Muslims’ on the other hand are ‘peaceful’ not because they have found any corrective solution in their peace. They are ‘peaceful’ just because they do not want to disturb their routine lives and they also find themselves quite helpless before the mighty power of the west. So this ‘peace’ is actually a sign of their crowdedness. Rather than these ‘moderate’ Muslims, there is actually a need of ‘progressive’ Muslims. These should be the people who should not hate others on just baseless things. There is no need to hate any Jew just because he/she is a Jew. Similarly there is no need to hate any Hindu or Christian just because he/she is Hindu or Christian. But there is definite need to hate cruel whether they are Hindus, Jews, Christians or even Muslims. There is definite need to hate those who hate others just because of religious or sectarian differences. There is no need to adopt any absolute ‘peace’. There is definite need to try to become masters of our own destiny, rather than just following the dictations of the west. There is need to feel ashamed of our mistakes and weaknesses. There is need to investigate and find out the real causes of our present day’s backwardness as compared to Westerns. We, as a nation, have been quite addict to the finding of easy solutions to all the problems. Present competitive world is more complex and we must accept that our present policy of finding easy solutions shall not be useful. There is a need of a class of ‘progressive’ Muslims who should devote their lives in the analysis of national crises with the view to find out workable solution to the problem. There is definite need of social reforms and there is need to well educate the entire society. We should be peaceful but not because of our any weakness. We should be peaceful and at the same time we should not compromise our national dignity and honor. We should be peaceful in the sense that we should not force others to follow our dictations. We should not be peaceful in this sense that we have no other option but to follow the dictations.

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5 Responses to “Enlightened Moderation”

  1. ayesha said

    Interesting piece. I was nodding away through the majority of it, till I reached the discussion on Moderate Muslims – and began to think – now, hold on that does not describe them entirely. But then you branched off with the Progressive Muslims. I agree with the majority of your analysis, though I don’t think the “done at the behest of the West” theory is all that credible.

  2. khuram said

    @ Ayesha

    Thanks for your comments.. The idea of ‘Moderate Islam’, in my assessment, is quite indigenous and is not the dictation by the West. But at the same time this idea reconciles to the wishes of the West. So Gen. Musharraf, on this issue, is not following the dictations of west. He is just trying to improve the image of Pakistan in such way as to make it acceptable to the West.

  3. amer said

    @ khurram

    First of all, I believe the term “Enlightened Moderation” by Musharraf has much more to it than the Muslims just being moderate in their actions and beliefs towards the non-Muslims. Its not a man-to-man war, its a war of cultures and religious beliefs, which the west is trying to win and thanks to Mr. Musharraf, we are ready to loose.

    khurram: “He is just trying to improve the image of Pakistan in such way as to make it acceptable to the West.”

    But why do we have to make ourselves acceptable to the west and even if we have to, why does it have to be at the cost of our religious beliefs and our cultural values. Are we becoming more acceptable and moderate by having obscene channels to be openly shown on the cables in our homes? OR by having Bryan Adams perfrom in Karachi? OR by having a women rally (race) in shorts?
    I am totally in favour of modernization when it comes to advancement in the fields of Science and Technology OR learning English being a global communication language, but getting modern or moderate at the cost of changing our beliefs, I certainly have an issue there.
    I am not sure if you have noticed, but the kids and especially the females of our society now know more about Hindu Gods and beliefs than they do of their own religion, thanks to the influx of cable channels.

  4. khuram said

    Amer,

    I think the issue is not just to make ourselves acceptable for the West. Matter is actually to clarify our position. Muslims, as a society are getting bad name in the world. Suicide attacks on civilian population, ignorant style mob strikes in Muslim cities that result in loss of lives of our own innocent people etc. etc. contribute to the bad image of Muslim societies as a whole. Some Muslims really do not find anything bad in these and like things. But majority Muslims do not like or support these things. President Musharraf calls these majority people as “silent majority” … whose point of view should not remain silent.

    By adopting certain Western type values, President Musharraf is perhaps trying to show that “silent majority” is no more silent now or that now this majority would actively resist the extremist elements of society.

    In this article, I have actually criticized both of these segments of our society which are (i) Extremists and (ii) So called “Silent Majority” or “Enlightened Moderate” Muslims. After criticizing the idea of “Moderate Islam”, I have actually identified the need of “Progressive Islam”, in this article.

    When you say that you are supporter of advancement in science and technology, you are also speaking for the cause of “Progressive Islam”.

    But in addition, if our society shall cease to produce its own art and literature, then eventually other cultures having lively art and literature shall dominate our culture. We are in need to get enhancements in our art. But we are refusing to have Music Education in our Universities. For us, those sub-standard or even mean stage singers and dancers are ok, but introduction of better quality singing and dancing through proper education is not acceptable for us. We should not kill our culture or the natural tendencies of certain individuals. Culture has many dimensions. Music, arts and games are very important components of any culture. Superiority/ inferiority of any culture can also be judged through the quality or standards of music, art and games of that culture. Many western women are very good athletes in diverse nature of games. Whereas we want that our women may not be able to run, even for just few kilometers. Progress does not mean just progress in science and technology. There should be progress in culture also. We should ask ourselves if our women are inferior to western women or not? If not, then they should be able to perform in international games and should prove their competency in diverse fields of life. In fact they are able. It is our own attitudes which tend to project as if we are having an inferior culture. We have become afraid of Indian Media. In my assessment, the only way to counter Indian Media is that we should improve and project our own art, literature and games.

  5. i was not avle to read all your article but one thimg for sure is that all the menace muslims are following is only because we have forgotten the paths of our elders who knew islam better than we do.

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