Random Thoughts and Notes No. 1376-1400

1376.    An issue of importance: It may very well be that the obsession of some to say no to intermediaries between themselves and Allah has actually prodded the “secularization” of Islamic praxis. This is so, since many would take this call of having no intermediaries way too far, and would cast off even Prophets (Alayhim as-Salaam), Revealed Books, etc., especially if their fundamental grounding is not strong, and all they know as a fundamental rule is that there should be no intermediaries between themselves and Allah.

1377.     An issue of importance: In patently secular societies, the brokers in government can simply make up targets for law abidance and law breaking, see if the numerical targets are met, and basically force the police and courts to have a percentage of the population written as criminals, regardless of other considerations. The thing is, it is not even about being an autocracy, this can happen in perfectly democratic societies as well.

1378.    People often ask about the Love of God in Islam. Here it seems prudent to talk about the non-similarity between creation and Allah; that is, if we are stuck with Tashbih in defining ‘Love’ one will get confused as usual, yet the terms should be properly defined to begin with, since the correct view about Allah, His Mercy, etc., is vastly different from what one may crudely comprehend.

1379.    Some people say that taking positions like Anti-Hijab is courageous in the face of patriarchal Islam. Well, the truth is, their viewpoints are a subset of pop culture; they are parroting what a large portion of pop culture has induced them to say, it is not brave or even very creative to begin with. So one must consider and reflect on this point.

1380.    General comment: For English examples of how alphabets can change, we have ‘IVLY’ which read as JULY, it was common knowledge in the 18th century, today it is unintelligible and undecipherable. This is important in the context of the Qur’an, since the text of the Qur’an has to be taught by teachers, not simply read casually, as with a newspaper.

1381.    General observation: It is said that a gut feeling of disgust against (for example) gay sex would not be – and turned out not to be- enough to counter the efforts to legalize gay sex and unions. However, even the concepts of consent or the primacy of individual freedoms pushed to their absolutes are gut decisions and guesses in many situations. This is why so many different codices of law exist in one polity and across polities, even within a short period of time and within the ambit of secularism itself.

1382.    The Hadith about believing people at the end of time having 50 rewards compared to the Sahaabah (RAA) is limited to their rewards for Sabr (patience). But in other matters, the Sahaabah (RAA) are way ahead in terms of their overall rank.

1383.    It needs to be seen whether anti-Islamic sentiment is a projection of these peoples trying to rid their own polities of the consciousness of guilt (in a sense they tell themselves OK, whites have been bad and have killed millions, even millions of Muslims, but hey look Muslims do that as well in their own capacity, this evens the score).

1384.    General Observation: There often seems to be a mutual exclusion between identity and democracy, identity and liberal pluralism, and it does often manifest itself in the many polities and nations, one way or the other. This is exactly why democracies can slide into xenophobic racist ethno-states, even if they have a long tradition of supposed tolerance and respect for others, since the person’s identity to the exclusion of others’ identities can always become a political selling point.

1385.    An issue to think about: If people are often persuaded into accepting monopolies over economic matters and political matters, why do they clamor so much about religious monopoly over one’s souls and abstract decisions – why the disconnect one may ask, since they seem to be facets of one reality, especially as secularism sees it.

1386.    We need to consider: There is supposedly a deep connection between individual ownership of property and democratic pluralistic secular liberalism. Could it be that discarding (previously native) more collectivist forms of land and property ownership was very crucial to bring in this new world order, even if it had to come through violence? Something to ponder about, since it would show secular pluralistic democracy is not a default position by a long shot.

1387.    One has to consider, as a general observation: Okay, it can be accepted that technology as a means for progress and individuals seeking progress is true, but who says that individual freedom or privacy must be respected accordingly? Rather, these paths can be manifested in many different ways, some leaving more freedom for citizens, some quite less, while technological progress can go one way, economic upliftment of the masses another way, civil liberties another, and so on and so forth.

1388.    It must be considered that at times, or most often, the more one knows about various fields, the more polemicist their attitude might become towards the Nusoos of Islam. That is, there may be a very conscious attempt to try to explain away proper Islamic understandings by referring to clash of genders, or economic clashes of the working class versus others, or biological clashes for survival, and so forth, all done to muddy the discussion. Of course, we do have nuance and context and these are discussed, but many times the discussion simply goes too far and towards angles irrelevant to real Islamic discourse.

1389.    We need to consider the ubiquitous modern belief that growth and technology will solve everything. This is why people peddle strange economic plans, strange gender identities, and many other outrageous suggestions. The implication being that all will be solved by technology or economic growth if there ever are economic, societal, political or cultural problems. This is wrong, the planet itself is giving us some hints that imbalances can’t be easily removed, and it also points to larger spiritual truths.

1390.    There is an inconsistency in the ‘free liberal secularist nation-state’ paradigm. Let us look at it from the language angle, there should be no impediment to large portions of the populace being exclusively Spanish, Arabic, German, Dutch, or other speakers, and to interchange their ideas between themselves only, they should be free after all to do what they want and to associate with whoever they want.

But then, this goes against the need for national intercommunication and synchronicity. In a certain way, it is the same with religion and the various religious customs, obligations, etc. So there is supposed freedom from one side, yet the call for one set of laws for all people within a nation-state from the other side.

So there is supposed ‘freedom’ to practice on the one hand, but then ‘freedom’ for others to degrade the group on the other hand, the second ‘freedom’ seems to cancel out the first and to provide huge intimidation when seen as a totality.

1391.    A general observation: One should wonder, with regards to the American prison population, how come Blacks were incarcerated at 4 times the rate of whites before the Civil Rights movements of the 1960’s and today this has shot up to 76 times the rate. These are questions for the society to consider.

1392.    One issue the Muslims need to understand: The current world order at best  thinks that we live in a ‘Bara’ah Asliyya’ mode (i.e. God exists but the world is in a pre-revelation stage, no obligations are present, so no one is guilty of any sin, no matter what they do). Of course in such a paradigm the laws of the Shariah will be ignored, thus there is conflict at some level. But to suppose that both sides (this world-order on one side, the normative Muslims on the other) live in the same world and hold on to the same realities is simply an inaccurate portrayal of reality, no doubt.

The reason being that if one section of the world fundamentally believes that God does not or cannot reveal anything to the Earth, and the other fundamentally believes that He has, it is difficult to see how these positions can be reconciled.

Thus, commenting on the above, what happens is that we cannot expect the person reading the Qur’an or going through the Hadith literature to simply assume that there is no Law there at all, this is an affront and an insult on the primary texts of Islam. But basically this is what the ‘liberal’, ‘modern’ and ‘enlightened’ person wants us to say and believe.

1393.    A general observation: We know that public opinion or consent generally can be very much manipulated through PR methods, thus it is strange to say free consent is of much relevance in many important fields in even a pluralist democracy.

1394.    An issue with regards to Twelver Shiaism: If a woman’s husband disappears, after a time she can ask for Faskh (annulment) of the marriage, since she cannot remain forever Mu’allaqah (suspended, neither here nor there). But the Ummah in a much more important matter, namely its guidance of obligatory things with certainty (as per the Twelver claim,) are still in a Mu’allaq state for more than 1200 years, this is an amazing assertion if we are to believe the Twelvers.

1395.    It is noteworthy that in a true capitalist system, importance is placed on profits especially at the very top of the ladder; the needs of the people may be met, but this is incidental to the entire superstructure of capitalism.

1396.    A general comment: There is a need in many contexts to differentiate between charity and the need for structural change. Charity can solve the issue like a painkiller, but structural change is like the required surgery further down the line. It is difficult, long, hard, and unglamorous yet it is truly required to properly solve the underlying cause of the problems.

1397.    The trouble with certain contemporary personalities is their claim that they are in fact philosophically skeptical- yet they seem to be quite sure that our Islamic and conservative religious views of society are flat out wrong. From a broad perspective this is a big paradox, and Muslim metaphysicians would classify such thinking as sophistry.

1398.    People talk about ‘liberation struggle’ or ‘struggle for freedom’. Some of it may be true and maps onto reality, yet it is also possible that a reality is being forged or a mild issue is made to go into the front and center when it may have been better for it to remain in the background. Plus, people are extremely complex in their individual and collective identities, it is possible to wring out things/conceptions that are really not so central, yet make it the centerpiece of a ‘liberation struggle’ and to even justify killing other peoples on the basis of such conceptions.

1399.    One big matter is that yes, the study of physics or chemistry or biology can tell a person about the underlying nature of lots of realities (in the naturalistic paradigm), but it cannot tell one if it is good or bad to pursue certain paths since this is not the nature of such type of information acquisition. Thus an example is that, OK if physicists make a machine that can destroy the Universe in toto, should they use it or not? Taking this hypothesis, there is no way to say yes they should or no they should not – consent also is not an issue since it would be a feedback loop into naturalistic realities as far as the physicist is concerned, he is just worried about how to make this device and the output it will give, not about consent or ethics.

1400.    It is a play or a stratagem to say that a concept like ‘individual freedom’ is not a matter of discussion in politics anymore, thus the claim becomes that all sensible people, of the left and right and in between, must agree on such supposedly obvious things (like the supremacy of individual rights over religious pronouncements), those who don’t must be outside the realm of politics, nay of humanity. This is a clever yet dangerous stratagem.