I once heard Imam Siraj Wahaj describe his own actions during a speech held at Regents Park Mosque, London. He was qualifying himself as being the least knowledgeable speaker on the panel. While explaining his position he made a profound statement, the depth of which I have not forgot - (very loosely paraphrased):
"I am the least qualified amongst these speakers of eloquence but that has never been my fear nor my concern. What concerns me is that I have sure knowledge on what I speak of and when I know something to be undeniably true then that becomes my true position and I hold firm to that position, unmovable in the face of views to the contrary. That is the reason why I am up here and able to hold your attention and connect with you, I'm passionate about this".
I think that statement resonated with me because at that point I could see a man who neither feared his peers nor was afraid to trust his own judgment and was passionate about what he believed in. He also struck me as a man not afraid to adopt the contrarian view. I intend to adopt the same position in an attempt to speak my mind and add to the discussion on a financial issue which has remained in the dark for far too long despite the sincere efforts of more intelligent souls to bring the issue out of the darkness and into the light.
I've heard it said that the majority are not always right and I think at times there is some truth to this statement, many are the messengers who brought intelligence which contradicted the common thought of the time but were eventually proved right.
A lot of problems which crept thereafter into the scripture of the Judaic and Christian religions came by wilful changing of the original text. Changes also appeared due to certain authorities either enslaving the custodians of the scripture and stripping them of their recorded text or by manipulation of personnel into positions of authority who then steered the religion onto an alternate path away from the original. Islam and the Quran has never been unfortunate to have suffered the exact fate of Judaism and Christianity (THE QUR'AN AND MODERN SCIENCE), our text has remained intact but the physical expression of the text has not been immune from neglect and it is this very point which I wish to address.
People always make comparable observations as to what makes the best in art, music, food or cinema etc. but when it comes to a complete religion, I'll take Islam every time. Is Islam not perfect? It truly is a perfect religion but it obviously does not exist in a vacuum. It materializes through the actions of imperfect men and we try to do our best in spite of our flaws. It is important to recognize that we are not flawless but in our attempt to be, or be seen as righteous we should not become blind to our own failures, or worst still, blame them on somebody else, that would be undeniably wrong. Now when somebody tells me that practicing Islam in a non Islamic country makes perfect sense, I know that something does not add up. By this reasoning our beloved and best example of the embodiment of this religion, Prophet Muhammad pbuh, would have stuck it out in Mecca and not left to start an Islamic State in Medina. He would have, had to compromise on the main political and economical aspects of his message and instead focus more on the spiritual and ceremonial elements but at least he could have stayed in Mecca. But there were a couple of issues which flew in the face of the Meccan authorities which they could not tolerate. One problem which they detested was the Islamic call that 'there is no God but Allah', for them this presented a huge issue, for if there were no God but Allah, who were all these other deities which they prayed to, what were they supposed to do with them all and who would ever need to visit Mecca if all these various gods were gone? If they agreed to this religion they knew they would have to submit to the laws of this deen. They imagined the huge impact that these changes would have on their own lives, their towns importance and potential earning power.
The other major problem they had was that Mohammed pbuh was as honest as they came. He not only dealt and traded with people in a honest manor but he would openly warn of the Meccans dishonesty in trade with the visiting pilgrims. He showed Islam's stance on honest money, honest trade and charitable works. Suffice to say Mohammed pbuh refused to compromise.
Islam without law is imperfect. Comparably the Western Civilization would not be where it is today void of law. Within Islam there are laws which protect general society, laws which are punishable. There are also laws which appeal to the individuals idea of self regulation, which tests the believers testimony of submitting his or her will to the will of Allah swt. When people talk of easily practicing their religion in a non Islamic country a distinction should be made. It is true that in some cases they may have more freedom of speech, movement and political expression than in some so called Islamic countries but to be content with that position is a huge mistake because it is based on compromises which our beloved Prophet would not make. They should be honest and admit to the compromise that they need to adopt in order to make as it were, a square peg fit into a round hole. The law of self regulation is practiced only, by Muslims in these foreign lands and becomes separated from the Islamic State laws which cannot be imported into the new land. And so the believer is faced with a compromise, to adopt the existing law of the land which he finds himself in and then claim it to be so identically close to Islam that its does not matter that he abandons the idea of Islamic law, or to live under the foreign law but at the very least, try to establish the revival of the Islamic State in a suitably accommodating part of the earth. Both are compromises one better than the other.
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