Monday, 21 January 2013

Rashid Ridha on Fractions

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmtullah

I guess almost everyone knows about this figure especially those Ikhwan Muslims and "Salafi" movement who always form the halaqa with a naqib for da'awa discussions or lessons circulating. I used to see these kids talking in the musalla and some of them also like the Tabligh movement kiddies trying to win my attention. I do realize this but I do not want to join them due to certain factors where I was mingling with "non-religious" students.  It perhaps would taint their "holy" and "sacred" image as I just sat on the floor and eating some breads with homeless mentally-ill people.

I am not a person who takes pride on particular movement because my Leader is the One High above. I do not obey any religious authority nor any leadership among "non-prophet" man-kind nor other beings. The last prophet was Muhammad s.a.w so he is my earthly leader and my celestial, real and universal Leader is the God the Highest the Creator the Most Merciful the Most Beneficent. I have my own mind and perception and I could think myself with the assistant of revelation, namely the glorious Quran and the traditions of Muhammad s.a.w. I have my own distinct identity and I would never be bound to any principles by whoever sheikh, naqib or amir sahab and others. I am siding by the bani Hashem and a lover of lady Fatima al-Zahra and lady Zainab, the daughters of Muhammad s.a.w. 

In his exegesis, Muhammad Rashid mentions that there are few factors which caused the Muslims being torn into parts. It is easy to blame non-Muslims specifically Nasrani and Yahudi on this matter but wouldn't it be so narrow and childish to blame others for our own errors isn't it? Who told us that people who proclaim their selves as Muslims or born in Muslim families are indefinitely holy, angelic, faithful deep in heart and constantly holding the covenants??? Is it clearly mentioned by the God in the glorious Quran? The observation by this figure shows that, non-religious affairs are actually the divisive reasons when they were dragged into the "religion". When this happens, there would be fanaticism or ta'assub. Each group would be thinking that they are the only uppermost, righteous, valid, blessed by the God and the sole representative of the God in the Earth although they never receive any revelation through the archangel Gabriel a.s nor directly from the God the Highest. It would thus bringing give rise to quarrels and later leading to civil wars among Muslims.

The list says that divisive reasons for fractions among Muslims are...

1. Worldly politics and usurpation.
2. Defending the nation and tribes.
3. Disagreement between schools in relation to the basis and branches of the path.
4. Talking about the religion matters by simply using the opinions.
5. Incitement of enemies in past Muslim caliphates.

Schools or Movements as Official Identity

The Splitting of Muslims by Dynasties

A. Greater Syria

During the Abbasid dynasty was rivaling with the Umayyad dynasty, the bani Hashim clan who forms the Abbasid dynasty in Iraq had made the Imami Shi'a, Ahl Bayt school with Mu'tazilite doctrines as their official school of Islam. It had thus separated Muslims into two divisions where those majority Muslims under the Umayyad were of orthodox Sunnah schools while those in the Abbasid were of Shi'a school.

B. Iran

In 15th century, the Safavid dynasty of Iran had made the Twelver Imami Shi'a school as their official school of Islam. I am not siding with anyone. But the Safavid dynasty was established by a sufi order teacher known as Safiyuddin Ardabili where he assumed the leadership of the Zahadi sufi order in Gilan province of Northern Iran.

The school leader of shaikh was the spiritual master and the father in law of Safiyuddin, known as Zahed of Gilan. He was the founder of the Zahadi order. His real name is Tajuddin bin Rushd bin Rushan Amir. The order later took form in a new name because of the charismatic and leadership talent of Safiyuddin. The order gained its influence in the city of Ardabil and many people there were Safiyuddin's followers.

The establishment of this particular Persian dynasty has its root from a sufi circle. Many people only talk about what had already happened. As for me, I think that we need to always check on what were the roots and origins of certain matters that caused certain things or a phenomena to happen.

When Safavi dynasty declared their adherence to Shi'a school, they were splitting their selves with Afghanistan which was also part of Persian empire. Many those in Afghanistan and Tajikistan were of Orthodox Sunnah school particularly of Hanafi jurisprudence although some tribes are following the Shi'a schools for e.g the Sevener Imami Shi'a and Twelver Imami Shi'a.  

C. Egypt

Before the Sevener Isma'ili Shi'a Muslims established their dynasty known as the Fatimid, Egypt was opened into the prophethood of Muhammad s.a.w and the light of the God the Highest by the Rashidun caliphate through the general, Amr bin al-'As r.a who also narrated the hadith about fractions of path during the period of Uthman r.a.

After some gap, some Egyptians sided with the Byzantine Roman empire as they were more satisfied to be managed under their fellow Christian brethren. During the short period of our imam Ali r.a caliphate, Amr bin al-'As formed a rebel group in Egypt. He managed to overthrow the present governor of Egypt, Muhammad, the son of Abu Bakr r.a who was chosen by Uthman r.a and he was also appointed by imam Ali r.a through the consent of Egyptian themselves.

Then Egypt was included into the Abbasid empire with the capital in Baghdad. Later only the Fatimid caliphs came from Tunisia and forming the Shi'a Muslim caliphate in Egypt with its first caliph, Abdullah bin al-Hussain bin Ahmad bin Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Isma'il bin Ja'afar. The caliphate constitution was based on the kitab Daa-im al-Islam as compiled by al-Qadhi Nu'man bin Muhammad bin Mansur bin Hayyun. I've got a copy of this kitab as well and it is a kitab with hadiths narration for several chapters like the salat services, fasting, the zakat and etc. There are Arabic, Hindi as well as English version of this kitab. The Arabic version could be founded in Qum, Iran. The Yemeni Muslims of Isma'ili Shi'a lineage or by heritage are not structurally organized like those in Gujarat of India where I could see they have their own uniform and it is funny for me, ahahahha.

The area of this caliphate extends to Hejaz and there are actually many Isma'ili Shi'a Muslims especially in the areas of historical Najran which is now a province in Saudi Arabia and northern Yemen which also was our ancestral land. What I could conclude is that, the establishment of this Shi'a caliphate was based on a "sufi" lineage and their movements. They were the descents or family members of Ali bin Abi Talib who were persecuted by the Abbasid dynasty when the rulers feel intimidated due their rising influence among people. Some of them have to hide and issuing rulings for their families and people from hidden area or using other identities. Many of the high ranking members also possess knowledge of the orthodox sunnah practiced in the tabi'in era and the salaf al-saleh teachers for e.g of the famous four imams' jurisprudence views besides they could practice them in various angle of life as to be in accordance with others.

The Fatimid caliphate was overthrown by Salahuddin al-Ayyubi who formed the Ayyubid dynasty. Later, the Ayyubid dynasty was overthrown by the Mamluks.

Rivaling in Religious Official Post

The Shafi'ie and the Hanafi jurists were also rivaling during the Abbasid period. They even invented fake hadiths to counter one another. Why is this happening??? Because of the government's post? Because of expanding influence through their schools of theology or jurisprudence? Of the influence is greater, then their life would be much easier as nobody would be the obstacles for them to reach "comfort" in this temporal life through the pretext of "religion"?

During the Mamluk period of Egypt, the rulers had appointed four chief jurists for each school of jurisprudence according to orthodox sunnah school as to satisfy everyone.

Rivaling among Movements

There are many movements even within orthodox sunnah muslim groups. For e.g, the Ikhwan al-Muslim and its off-shoot which is the "Neo-Salafi" movement of Egypt, the Wahhabi movement of Saudi Arabia, the Deobandi, the Ahl Hadith and Barelwi movements of Indian sub-continent, Taleban of Afghanistan, the Houthi movement which is a Zaydi Shi'a Muslim movement of Yemen and other tariqa movements or traditional sufi brotherhood circles whether in Eastern and Western world whether in the designation of Sunnah or Shi'a label.

As what I noticed, the Tabligh members for e.g do not mingle with the Ikhwan or Muslim Brotherhood members. For local members in our country, their political ideology and aspiration is different though some claim in front of me that they are not bounded by political ideology. One more thing that I noticed, they are so fond with some-kind of ranking in their movements. As for me, let me say... I can just laugh and laugh and laugh... hahaha. Nobody gives a sh.t to whatever post in those movements. I get to know Allah Ta'ala, not through these movements but through the Mercy of Allah Ta'ala. I struggled with myself, stopped the practices of a Muslim, performed non-Islamic meditations without food and drinks for days "alone", almost committing suicide and suddenly stumbled at prayer books, exegesis of Quran and other things in my room. Allah Ta'ala was the One who leads me to Him through incidents and what ever happened to me.

The terms used by members of these movements for certain da'awa affairs, in discussions or meetings are different. The Tabligh member would come out with weird terms which were never employed even in Classical Malay such as karkuzari, amir sahab, takazah, hidayat, bayan, ghash, chai pelo, Allah ka farmaya and other Hindustani-Pakistani Urdu words though they speak mostly in languages like Malay or English. While the Ikhwan members would come out with new Arabic sounding terms such as naqib, halaqah, ikhwan, ana, ente, ikhwati, mu'allim, rijal muslimin, ustadziat al-'alam, shura and so on when talking with others or discussing things among themselves. Members of the movements would be of different background, talents, inclinations and stuffs. Some of them perhaps were of religious background where we could detect it as they are more reserved as compared to others of secular educational background but inclining toward religion due to several factors which only they themselves could explain.

I also found the gap between rich and poor members or educated and uneducated members as I could see in Tabligh centers. My experience with those kids in my hostel during the "postgraduate" period was not the only one. I have family members who are the members of this movement as well as I also joined and checking the movement flows in disguise as an "ignorant", poor and non-religiously educated guy. Those poor-looking, crippled or penniless ones would be sitting outside of the circles or just staying at the walls far from the crowd. Some were neglected while other rich, nice-looking would be entertained with so much joy of "brotherhood".

All of these are in my account and I asked the God the Highest in prayers while in solitary. Why is these happening even in the so-called "religious" movements? I started to stop from entertaining people when they try to promote me their movements as I had few times encountered these few unpleasant criteria or traits for example they love to make promises, or talking in "promising" tone when they were happy but later changing their way 360 degree after other thing coming to them be they auspicious or calamities.

As for me as what I feel here pertaining to the issue, I do not have to "show-off" or being so "intense" in front of the crowd as I was a religious studies student. I studied theology and jurisprudence as well as the Arabic linguistic studies and it is for myself. I could spread the 'Mercy" without having to even open up my mouth since I have my prayers and supplications. I only stopped due several factors which had killed my "spirit" and now I am trying to return to the earlier nature. I have the experience being dipped into secular studies and I could say that through my inner-feeling, it is not as "gempak" as what has been rumored by politicians who hates "religious studies" students due to certain things which go against their "worldly" political aspiration. It is rather tormenting as I could not be my "self". Religious studies students are not as boring as those "science" stream students. We only afraid of the God and not afraid of being penniless or being looked down by aweks (girls) or people around, hahaha.

In our South East Asian region, we had the gap between young people and elders. We call them as the kaum Tua and kaum Muda. Those young people were religious studies students or those who are educated in the Middle East, while the elders were those who maintained the practices according to traditional manners as according to the earlier preachers of Islam did in order to penetrate local population. 

All of the members in the movements think that their movements are the most righteous, the most established with complete literature, the uppermost, the greatest in the manner of their da'awa, the most correct in their acts of worship and even to certain extend, deciding for themselves a place in paradise while others would be thrown without any mercy into the hell-fire because they are not joining their movements, not reciting the kitabs written by their sheikhs, not using the methods codified by their specific leaders, or for not wearing the uniform like them for example the kurta and so on. I noticed all of these when following their movements but secluding myself from them.

I read all of their literature as well as making references to various sources including religious teachers. I found those young people are not reading enough. Maybe because they are just kids. But when I was a little boy, I read and listened to all sort of things which also include things from other faiths as propagated by the original sources. Some in the Tabligh movement seems like do not really read but they listen to some kind of lecture known as the bayan which for me means the explanation at various occasion. Those of Ikhwan movements would form discussion circles and bring with them the notes. They would talk about various issues and discussing them with the verses from Quran just like the Latter Days preaching kids talking in groups with a Bible in their hand. Things that they heard are recycled and not from their first hand research. Say when talking about Yahudi and Nasrani, they only circulate the researches of famous figures for e.g Ahmad Deedat or Zakir Naik. I read Ahmad Deedat books but I disagree in terms that people are using his methods to counter others while others are not provoking us when we try to introduce our faith to people. I also went to churches myself and talked with priests and Christian centers after their ceremonial mass but I never attack them. I just ask them the details of their faith and asking for materials to read. I also had the experience being approached by Christian preachers. Some of them could not recognize me as Muslim, and I never tell people about my faith if they do not ask me. 

As for me, I am just employing simple methods. This method is not taught by anyone but simply my own method. I am not  "follower" kind of person but I never consider myself as  "leader" nor fit for it. It could be divided into periods of prophet Muhammad s.a.w receiving revelations. The periods are the Meccan and the Medina periods. The first period was the period when prophet Muhammad s.a.w was not so unfortunate where he has nobody to support him but only those closer to him where he prays a lot in his heart. The second period was the period when prophet Muhammad s.a.w explain matters when there are necessities. The key point of these two periods was shown by our imam Hassan r.a and imam Hussain r.a during the incident where they had shown an old man on how to "nicely" perform the ablution. It consists of prayers, wisdom, manner and practicality. No need to show off or boast with words... Sorry, I have to retype again for beloved brothers and sisters convenience. Thank you for stepping by this humble site...

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!                                

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