Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The more things change ......

There is an old saying that the more things change ,the more they remain the same.I discovered that this adage held true after returning to India in September this year.Having spent the better part of the last four years in North America, I found that my views had been tempered by life there and there was a subtle but distinct change in the way I had begun to view things.My sojourn in Canada had exposed my family and myself to the joys of a multicultural Ummah in what must be one of the most diverse countries in the world.For the first time in my life, I had the opportunity to meet and interact with Muslims of different nationalities,appreciate our cultural differences and like all good Muslims partake of the delicious food that other Muslims shared with us!

So it was with a new perspective and a renewed joie de vivre that I relocated to India a few months ago.Now is the time to make a difference, I said to myself.I am going to share the positive aspects of my life abroad with my Brothers here.Hopefully,the community here would have changed what with all the advances that India has made in the international arena.A greater exposure to the world outside must have convinced them that most of us here are living in a little pond.They must be ready to connect to the Ummah at large.

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm is slowly turning to frustration.I find that little has changed and that petty differences continue to be the bane of the Ummah here.While Muslims are dying in Iraq, Palestine and Chechnya and while there are dark forces ranged against us in almost every part of the world, Indian Muslims are still fighting over things that are insignificant in the larger scheme of things. People have come to blows and discord has set in on whether or not one should wear a cap during prayer, are 20 rakahs preferable to 8 in taraweeh, is it permissible for the congregational dua to be read aloud etc etc. The situation in some mosques has become so dire that certain congregants have been thrown out because they were not wearing caps!And the most distressing aspect is that Muslims in India face enough challenges as it were, including the enmity of Hindu Fascists, discrimination in the job market, an abysmal standard of living and stark economic conditions.Instead of looking at the big picture the Ummah here is riven by dissension and in some cases actively egged on by certain members of the Ulema.

But all is not lost. There are islands of hope;people who have realised that there is a far greater danger that confronts us not only in India but in the rest of the world.Forces that are led by countries who are now paranoid that Islam poses a greater threat to them than communism and who are doing everything in their power to try to destroy us.It is these committed individuals that offer hope to the Indian Muslim community that things can and will get better.Every country has its distinct challenges but there are certain core issues that should unite all of us. After all we are one Ummah and if one part of the Ummah is hurt ,the rest will feel the pain too.Muslims in North America have taken the lead;hopefully Muslims in the sub-continent and elsewhere will rise to the challenge.


Blogger izzymo said...

Salaam alaikum,
I know how you feel. I think oppressed peoples have a tendency to bicker over minute details because those are the only things they have control over. I think we have witnessed that in many masajid but you ended your post with hope so I'm hopeful. We need to wake up and see the bigger problems at hand and when those are solved, we can go back to the placement of our feet in salaat or capless brothers in prayer.

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salaam 'Alaikum

Thanks for those insights into Muslim issues in India. I hope to see more in the future.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Islaah said...

The problem also lies within as much as outside.

Surprisingly you saw the bickering and felt understandably upset about it. What does that help?

Why would not rather not voice your concern about the more serious grave worshipping that is abundant around the country. Of course it is a pure Shirk.

Instead of focussing on highlighting the ignorance of those who throw people out just because they no do wear cap, as a responsible blogger, I would expect explaining them what Sunnah is.

7:01 AM  

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