Posts Tagged ‘Say what?’

After some much needed rest and relaxation, I find myself overwhelmed by interactions with individuals who are either grossly immature or are in dire need of Sharma’s personal development and self-help seminars. I simply cannot bring myself to believe that rational and intelligent adult(I am in no way implying that kids are not rational considering I know many children and teenagers who could give these ‘old bags’ some much needed advice on how to at least act mature) homo sapiens could indeed conduct themselves in so many demeaning ways.

I remember when I was a little kid that being nasty was a very ‘ugly’ thing to do (I quote my Mother). We’ve all had our bouts of nastiness to the unfortunate kid in the playground but some of us never truly grow out of it and this is really disconcerting. For instance, I’ve already had somebody try to discredit the Muslimality website by trying to pass some chain mail or the other saying that Muslimality supports Banks (FNB, in this case) because he(or she) happened upon an advert on the Muslimality Contact Form/About Us Page. I’m hoping that said reader still reads our articles so that the following explanation might help: Muslimality is hosted on wordpress.com and so, we have no direct link to the adverts being displayed when GoogleAds detects your IP address, establishes that it belongs to a South African and thereafter displays the appropriate ad for the person viewing the page.I hope this clarifies any misunderstanding on your part but please feel free to visit our site again.

You see, I hate having to do that. It makes me feel like some nursery or primary school teacher having to call the rotten apple to the front of the class and make a lesson out of him for the rest of the kids. Which brings me to my next point: Bad Mouthing. Whilst this trait is not extremely common amongst the foundation phase, it is very much evident during high school where teenagers have truly made an art out of sensationalism, slandering and large scale smear campaigns to deal with competition, outcasts or the poor little souls whom they have decided to take revenge on.

It would be most untrue of me to say that these are traits most people outgrow by the time they have reached adolescence or that these are traits practised upon only by women. This type of behaviour has become a big part of adulthood and is definitely not gender-based. It is also not restricted to exclude religion. Of late, I have come across many a smear campaign targeted at those institutions or individuals who are assumed to be ‘backward’,oppressive, misogynistic ‘chilla wallas’ etc. Facebook, Twitter and many other social networks have made it possible for people all over the world to air their views to a large audience, who is only more than ready to read and believe. This is starting to sound just like high school…only worse!

I have often heard individuals who are parents to toddlers confess that when their kid decides to throw a tantrum, the most effective quick-fix is to join in the tantrum. I can only begin to imagine the horror of seeing a parent kicking and screaming next to their equally kicking and screaming 3 year old on a supermarket floor. Nursery school and foundation phase teachers often resort to ‘a few raps across knuckles with a ruler’ to return a class of rowdy kids to peace and quiet. Of course, with adults this is not possible and so one has to seek alternative methods of showing disapproval to keep the peace.

The best way to deal with matters such as these is to contact the person and have a good chat about what the issues at hand are. This does not work very well, especially in circumstances where the result infinitely outweighs the means to getting to the result. There are other options which are subject to certain conditions and are more effective.

One such instance resulted in approaching the problem with the age-old system of hierarchy. This means if a person is being considerably troublesome via any medium, you seek to solve the problem via the puppet-masters(the person/s who has considerable leeway in said troublemaker’s life e.g. employers,father,mother,grandfather,teacher etc.) but this method only results in a light rap across the knuckles and in no time, the troublemaker is on the loose yet again.

The option which I particularly favour is to face the troublemaker with the truth. The truth holds far greater value than any opinion of any person. By examining the truth of your existence, the purpose of your existence, any vile comments, lies or slander committed against you and intended to reach you will never affect you more than what any other form of useless speech is supposed to affect you. It is a truth deep within yourself, a truth meant to strengthen your core and a truth designed to keep you steadfast. It is the truth of your religion, the truth of Islam and if you are steadfast in holding on to the truth of Islam, no amount of child’s play, mockery or gossip (aimed purely at testing your resolve) will change the truth of who you are, what you are and everything you stand for as a Muslim.

Islam does not require change, It changes us…

The Say What? column featured on Muslimality is meant to inspire, teach, engage debate or simply make you laugh. This column revolves around a variety of issues relating to Muslims in South Africa and Muslims around the world.

Muslimality is pleased to announce that we will now be taking article submissions from anyone who has a passion for writing about true Islam. If you or anybody you know would like to submit an article for publication, kindly email muslimality@gmail.com or submit your piece via our Contact Form

Muslimality reserves the right to edit your submission. Should you not receive a response from us within 7 days of submission, please consider the submission rejected.


Salafism and modernism are quickly gaining momentum in and around the Islamic world. Whilst many may agree that the views held by either group would be in direct contrast with each other, I beg to differ. A new brand of Salafism has emerged, showing us that the generic off-shoot combining salafi core principles with a modern ‘Islamic’ mix may well be a force to be reckoned with.

This generic mutant force has slowly crept into the world of the orthodox Muslim and is threatening the existence of the soon-to-be-extinct traditionalist follower. How, or why you ask? Well, my thinking is that this mutant force knows that the goal is ultimately what matters. It is no easy task to break down 1400 years worth of solid Islamic grounding and so the mutant force is keen on increasing its numbers rather than a total traditionalist-madhab-following mutiny.

Salafis have always maintained that their way is that of the ‘salaf’ (i.e. the pious predecessors) but I have noticed a re-branding of sorts, a change in direction if you must, of a salafi-modernist group intent on breaking down every little piece of Islam in the name of Islam and unity. The concept is catchy, I’ll give them that. It’s something like this:

Firstly, we break down the traditionalist core. The focus is no longer on smaller, meaningless issues. Whatever is in your control is a ‘small issue’. This would include: Islamic dressing, apparel, the hijab, the beard, music etc. Whatever is not in your direct control is an issue. For example: saving the people of Palestine, Islamic unity, peace and prosperity, gender equality etc.

Secondly, we unite and conquer. It does not matter whether our belief structure differs, if you give me a platform to spread my beliefs, I will align myself with you.

Thirdly, destroy all structured forms of belief. If you can read it and understand it yourself, you do not need to follow anybody. Moulanas/Muftis/Molvis/Mullahs who force you to follow a Madhab are evil. Madressahs finding their roots via a Deobandi framework are evil. Scholars from India who cannot speak English are uneducated, dumb or silly; in fact, anything remotely Indian is backward and oppressive, misogynistic and cruel.

Some would say overactive imaginations, arrogance perhaps or maybe a severe inferiority complex resulting from the chance that perhaps someone out there knows a whole lot more than you do and of course since you know how to Google, read a couple of translated works on an Islamic Science, this naturally would qualify you to become a scholar in your own right.

In this lies the danger of a true blindness. The traditionalists have fallen asleep only to wake up in a world where Muslims enjoy the integration of halaal and haraam, where everything is subject to debate and opinion and where anything goes. Naturally, all Muslims should be worried, right? The answer is no. There are very few Muslims who find this to be a problem. In any event, why would they?

The modern salafis are serving them guilt-free Islam on silver platters; and it’s working. The effect of labeling and judging has worked in reverse and those who call for the preservation of a true Islam MUST be labeled extremists or fundamentalists, crazy and oppressive. This is the modernist-salafi core. So where does modernism fit in? This aspect is a bit tricky to explain but I do hope you’ll bear with me.

A modernist thrives on a ‘non-judgmental’ and unified approach. Confrontation is a total no-no and moderation is key. Salafis have been able to implement these aspects quite effectively into their strategies. Basically, a Muslim is a Muslim is a Muslim so as far as the Salafis are concerned, there is no place for sectarianism or the following of Madhaahib in Islam. We are all Muslim and a Muslim does not judge.

Now that’s all well and good up until you come to a point where the stark reality smacks you in the face: There can be no Islam without judgment. Muslims are in a constant state of judgment. That is the purpose of our test in this world. We have to constantly re-evaluate our actions, perfect what is required of us as living and practising Muslims in the hope that we will pass the most important test we spend our whole lives preparing for. In order to pass the test, how can there not exist judgment? The Qur’aan judges, Allah Ta’ala judges, Nabi sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam passed judgment, the Shari’ah passes judgment, the Sahaabah radhiAllahu anhum passed judgment and the most noble and illustrious Scholars, Qaadhis and Jurists passed judgments.

But the notion of not being able to judge is a perfect shield for those who do not want to be judged.

The modern salafis also combine the non-judgmental approach in other areas of modern issues affecting Muslim. An apt example which comes to mind is the issue of Islamic apparel. Most modern Salafis belief that items such as a thaub are purely cultural and some even contest the validity of hijab. Other examples include religious entertainment such as the permissibility of musical instruments or the hosting of concerts/events attended by both males and females. Again, the main objective is to spread their word. These aspects tie in to modern salafi principles such as practicing moderation, keeping the ultimate goal in sight and increasing alliances.

Are we on a path to a new modern Islam? The answer is yes. The mutant salafi force emerging to break down the pillars of Islamic belief are creeping in from all angles and are picking away at the very foundations of Islam. They are emerging in their numbers and by branding the true followers of Islam as extremist fundamentalists, they serve as nothing more than a crusade against the vestiges of traditional Islamic beliefs.

May Allah guide us and protect us all

The Say What? column featured on Muslimality is meant to inspire, teach, engage debate or simply make you laugh. This column revolves around a variety of issues relating to Muslims in South Africa and Muslims around the world.

Muslimality is pleased to announce that we will now be taking article submissions from anyone who has a passion for writing about true Islam. If you or anybody you know would like to submit an article for publication, kindly email muslimality@gmail.com or submit your piece via our Contact Form

Muslimality reserves the right to edit your submission. Should you not receive a response from us within 7 days of submission, please consider the submission rejected.