Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Islam, ideal and reality

To Ali who posted on BBC WHYS his view of Islam which triggered different responses.

There is an anecdote about a man not living in a Muslim country who embraced Islam. When he visited some Muslim countries, he thanked God for having embracing it before visiting them. His conclusion was that he knew Islam in a non-Muslim country but he couldn’t see Islam in those supposedly Muslim countries.

Islam ,like major religions aims at making the human soul chaste so it can live in bliss in this world and life after this world – called the al akhira.

The point you raised are fundamental to all human beings. All religions aspire to make people honest, fair/just. The core of society is the family whereby individual have a sense of belonging and feel secure.

All these notions are grandiose. But religion or any other principle is what you make of it. To my knowledge, all the great religions have common principles by which the individual is both free and committed.

While religion is fundamentally spiritual, there are facts that make people revert to instinct for survival. When there is greed on one side and poverty on the other, one sees just the immediacy of the action. Spiritual principles are set aside.

Christianity and Islam preached peace but ironically, in their history there were the bloodiest incidents, just because religion was the pillar of power for the rulers and each tried to have superiority over the other in the name of the religion.

For Islam there was misinterpretation or ignorance of its principles even by some Muslims to justify their greed and material pursuits. As for “Women are not exploited as sexual objects”. That is what Islam preaches. But in many Muslim societies it was a common practice to have four wives ( mainly to have legitimate children)and as many concubines as possible (for sexual pleasure)

How the ills in Muslim societies can be fought depends on how Muslims can put their religion in practice without falling into extremes or seeing it as the best just to attack other religions. The same applies to Christians and Jews.

The facts that there are different tendencies among Muslims through the like of Sunnis and the Shiites which can lead to deadly and horrendous fights among them shows that individual practice of Islam alone isn’t the key to peace with oneself. There are external influences that can shake one’s upheld beliefs in what is halal “permitted” or haram “prohibited”.


Ken said...

Great post Abdelilah. Still waiting for mine to post on the WHYS blog. I especially like the point you made about exploitation of women through the practice of polygamy and having concubines.

Excellent blog! I'll be sure to stop back.

Bunc said...

HI abdelilah _ I agree with most of what you have said here. It is a shame that many muslims are blind at the moment to the damage being done to their religion by extremist islamists.

Abdelilah Boukili said...

Hi Bill,
thanks for your comment. As you know moderation is the best policy. Extreme measures just begets feud. We may be different but we aren't alone. It's imperative to live and let live.

taamarbuuta said...

Wow, great blog, I just discovered it (and I thought I knew all of the Morocco-based blogs by now!)

Anyhow, my two cents on this topic - I've heard lots of Muslims from the US, particularly converts/reverts, say that they're glad to have been raised there or to have discovered Islam there. Having lived in Morocco (as a non-Muslim) for a few years, I can understand this. While many Moroccans are certainly devoted to Islam and true to it as well, you know as well as I do how many cultural practices are mixed with religion here. In addition, a lot of young Moroccans are prone to blindly doing what they're told rather than learning why they're supposed to do it (a great example - I teach here, and have asked students many times about toothbrushing during Ramadan - many don't do it, but have no idea why and can't explain).

Anyhow, I personally don't believe in one path to God, nor do I believe that only one idea of Islam is correct, so I suppose all I just said is somewhat of a moot point, yet I understand where Ali is coming from.

Abdelilah Boukili said...

Hi taamarbuuta ,
Thanks for your interest in my post. At least we have something to agree upon concerning religion.