Random Thoughts and Notes No. 1301-1325

1301.    Some people say Muslims impose Shariah in their countries and that secularists do not; well, if secularists believe in a public space (and they do) they will believe in imposing laws on all, those who like it and those who do not. Thus disagreements are ultimately scuttled, but not always peacefully. If there is long-term trust in the democratic institutions and minimal disagreements then yes this is a somewhat peaceful road, but otherwise there will be conflict; in fact most countries of the world sprung up because the conflicts were too deep and the viewpoints too disparate to be resolved peacefully, or through voting while staying in one polity – the only solution was a war of independence/secession along with its associated consequences.

1302.    Saying that private beliefs or religion should remain private is an oxymoron of sorts; if “keeping beliefs private” was really meant then even what is mostly considered good like kindness to others or helping others should have had no public manifestation and people would simply keep all thoughts to themselves. This is the height of paradox – and of course this is not what is meant in the secularist’s language by “private beliefs”, rather they deem that it must be kept private only when it interferes negatively with the goals and aims of the secular polity, not when it confirms or reinforces them.

1303.    People ask that why do the laws of Islam seek to protect Islam and keep it supreme? One partial answer is that laws work like this in all cases, to protect the structure with most importance first and foremost. In secularism, the laws seek to protect and perpetuate the superiority of whatever happens to be the mores and beliefs of the nation-state. So it is not at all strange that the laws (the Sharia) of a place seek to perpetuate, strengthen, and defend the most important thoughts, mores, and principles. Among Muslims, it will be and should be Islam itself.

1304.    It seems the thesis of the Twelver is like that of other religions before Islam, that they were terribly persecuted for generations and centuries, thus their books/critical sayings are lost for good basically, until the Mahdi, Avatar, Buddha, etc., comes along in the far-off eschatological future.

1305.    People talk about secularism and how by contrast, Islam is violent in its core: Well, there is nothing in secularism saying that one cannot adopt violent ideologies, or that such ideologies are in themselves rational or irrational. For example, forms of racism, socialism, or capitalism, are extremely violent and would result in true destruction if situations turn out in certain ways. Secularism cannot actually prevent anyone from adopting these as nationwide or international norms, but merely says it will implement whatever peaceful, violent, progressive or regressive systems formally legislated or procedurally dictated.

About this also one has to keep in mind that racism, socialism, capitalism, all these strands under discussion are a-religious ideologies, one can hope that they don’t bring about large-scale violence but again, it is a hope that this will not happen. Thus, the proponents may use secularism to make inroads into people’s minds and the electorate but the result may not necessarily be pluralistic or peaceful, since the end goal may be more important to them than pluralism or peace. For example, the end goal of a just economic society may be so very important to zealous proponents so as to make war in the short term or muzzling of dissenting views acceptable as practical options.

1306.    One point connected with the Prophet (ﷺ): We hear a lot about ‘blaspheming’ yet do we know that Salawaat is the one thing accepted from everyone without Niyyah (intention), even from the disbelievers (it would lessen their non-Kufri punishment in the Akhirah) and for the Muslims it is accepted and rewarded much more so; even if people came to take your deeds because you wronged them, yet the Salawaat are a Waqf for you, so consider these realities and consider whom Allah has chosen over the rest of the world. Then you will understand better the matter of punishment for blasphemy in the light of the greatness of Salawaat on the Prophet (ﷺ).

1307.    (As mentioned) The talk of the animals is referred to as Mantiq or Nutq even though it is not human speech; as an example, Sulayman (Alayhi as-Salaam) could understand what they meant even from their normal sounds.

1308.    The Muslim is to have Tawaadhu (humility) but without Dhill (debasement), and ‘Izzah (honor) to be ‘Azeez (honorable) but without Kibr (arrogance). This is the balance one must attain.

1309.    (As mentioned) All Prophets (Alayhim as-Salaam) of the past who came with a Shariah, they did so to uphold the 5 principles, those of Deen, Nafs, ‘Ardh, Maal and ‘Aql.

1310.    A comment related to the field of geopolitics: The broad criteria of Jihad (repelling what one believes to be “Oppression” or “Thulm” and to put the Superstructure one believes in as the highest) are goals even of the societies of Secularists, Christians, Hindus, etc. The Muslims should not be blamed for trying to accomplish something that is common procedure for others. For example, as a crude analogy, if the secularists feel that “human rights” are being trampled upon in a place, they try to influence the situation as much as possible economically, culturally, politically and if these pressures do not work, the option of military force can be used. Thus it is seen as “obvious” that all options would remain on the table, if the concept in question is important enough and if the means are available.

This is even more observable in cases of (true or imagined) past racial and nation based territorial losses; a nation or people can be made to feel they were horribly wronged in the past, and that all the present looting, pillaging, destruction, and killing they are undertaking in that land is not the committing of new atrocities, but a mere rectification of past wrongs.

1311.    The Muslims need to know that today is a day of extremely quick change, with all its good and bad consequences. If we cannot perceive this, the world may leave us by and we may become irrelevant (somewhat harsh to put it in this way, but there are important things we need to learn from this reality, where refutations can be relevant and where they may not be, what is crucial to look into and what is not, which places and people are better to target for the betterment and spread of Islam and Muslims, etc.)

1312.    The type of Hilf (oath) where Kaffarah (expiation) is applicable is if someone says: ”By Allah such and such”; this is to distinguish it from the situational oath where ‘Itq (freeing of slaves, etc.) can take place if a condition is fulfilled and is so declared in the oath.

1313.    We have to know that secular societies can and do change in very unforeseen ways and all of these are Lawaazim (necessary adjuncts) between the first proponents and the end of secularism. For example, the people of the 1700’s who were drafting constitutions really did not envisage putting religious people into mental hospitals but it is becoming a prominent proposition from the Left and the Right (that this supposed ‘Truth’ of agnosticism or atheism indicates the need to protect the polity from “religious certainty” and from “religious nuts”, etc.)

1314.    Certain issues of sin are so great (like the Ghamus oath) that there is no Kaffarah for them in Islam according to many scholars. This is the practical implementation of the reality that justice according to Islam is Divine, it is not a matter of justice being meted out only in this world, but rather true justice is in the Hereafter.

1315.    (As mentioned) The issue today is not only about discovering truths or verities but even of “making” and “inventing” them, and this is quite disturbing in many ways.

1316.    There is nothing in secularism or capitalism (in and of themselves) that puts an incentive in preventing, rather than treating, chronic diseases. The incentives in such a system are designed in such a way so as to make such situations inevitable, or at the least tolerated.

1317.    One important thing to look into is how many non-explosive (in terms of news coverage) deaths take place in a given society. Sure, the big explosion makes news headlines but the common robbery or killing happening in so many places is so much more common. The person dying from overpriced health services he or she cannot afford is also much more common (irony is, these industrialized secularized places do have the solution at hand, unlike what they claim of “backward Muslim places”, yet they still find ways to dispose of people they no longer need).

1318.    (A general observation) If the institutions (political, economic, etc.) are not trusted, and the laypeople in general don’t trust one another, then what is to be expected of our Da’wah, which has intricate Naqli levels that need to be taught and trusted in the process of becoming and remaining a Muslim? Something to consider in our Da’wah efforts.

1319.    There seems to be something in individualistic secularist systems that causes individuals to distrust one another. This is perhaps why classical Islamic rulings may seem strange to many people today, since trust is an assumption made in many cases (for example, there could be a ruling of Ijbaar in marriage yet Ikraah does not necessarily follow, and the same for other interactions, there could be Ijbaar without Ikraah, but it is unbelievable to the modern mind that there could be lack of consent without coercion).

1320.    People talk about normal Islamic rulings (the “median” ones), then the very conservative harsh ones, then there is terrorism. But you see (as an analogy), the modern secularists value monetization and business above all other things, yet you have many categories: Legitimate businesses, others where the rules are ambiguous or corruption is more rife, then you have piracy sites for example (and many are ambivalent about it as a societal issue), then you have true contraband like drug dealing, so even within this context of something modernity agrees with totally (making money), matters are complicated. So then in Islam, these realities of what is Halal, Makruh, or Haram – yet done by Muslims- can be seen playing out as well.

1321.    (As mentioned) The logic of Usool al-Fiqh is: We know that Allah has legislated certain things based on His Sunnah; we want to extract the wisdom of that in order to have the basis of these rulings, so that moving forward we can deduce what Allah most likely would have revealed about a certain new situation.

1322.    One matter is that Muslims may not be following a proper Islamic interpretation or perhaps their actions are against Islam altogether. However, in secular countries, how many crimes are committed whether daily or otherwise, and how much of the population is in prison in many of these ‘non-religious utopias’? This is crucial to consider, because in these latter cases, there is no contradiction between secular theory and practice, by definition the laws are secular, so in these cases it all goes back to secularism as an ideology and a concept of governance.

The question simply put becomes, can people easily follow secularism in a society where everything is defined as secular, where even religion is “at best” shoved into a corner?; if things are so ‘great’ whey would there be a need for countless laws and the corresponding jails to house law-breakers? These are crucial questions to consider of secular-abiding societies.

1323.    We must look into how a hope for individual experience of the Divine Truth in Islam has become synonymous with a lack of trust in tradition and the learning from that tradition (i.e., the person needs personally validated proof so much that he/she will not accept things from an Imam or Mufti, etc.). Perhaps it is visible in other traditions as well, but we are concentrating now at least on Islam.

It should not be that the Muslim, in his zeal to reach Allah, discards the tradition and dismisses the link of persons between himself and the Prophet (ﷺ) as ‘mere men’.

1324.    Often the issue, our problem with the secular opponent is not who is more or less violent, corrupt, economically regressive, etc., when comparing secularism and normative Islam, but rather that the secular opponent believes that the Muslim structure of society is invalid from the get-go, and he will do whatever it takes to change it. If by political or economic pressure that is fine, and if by military pressure and action that is also fine in his view. This is a major issue that must be looked into, of up to what degree would the secularist consent to outright violence to mold society in a certain way. No matter how it is viewed, it’s not an exclusively “Islamic extremist” issue. (The reason this needs to be looked into is that the secularist often denies that this is an issue of secularism to begin with, and chalks it up to remnants of racism, (a non-Muslim) religion, or something else he does not like- yet it is secularism that is the problem in here).

1325.    We read many stories about Jewish disobedience and rebellion in front of the commands of Allah. One back story of this is that Jews existed in the world, a minority that is correct, but a sizable minority of say 15 or 20 percent of the known world – so these stories are for us Muslims to reflect and to correct our own obedience to Allah moving forward. As an analogy, we see today nominal Muslims are somewhat similar or even more (20 or 25 per cent) of the world’s population so Muslims could (hypothetically and in disobedience) simply lie down and accept what the non-Muslims dictate to them, or we could do our best to follow the ways of Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) – numbers are not a problem, we Muslims do have the numbers, even we are projected to be the first religion in terms of numbers in a few decades, but then again what is the use of this if we are constantly interacting with non-Muslims in a meek, defeatist manner?