Sunday, April 29, 2018

Post 72--Established Islamic Social Order

The following short item on Muslim social style comes to us from Tariq Ramadan, a recognized contemporary Muslim scholar, but one also under the suspicion of some. Well, I will let you figure that one out.  In the meantime I believe this short article is educational for both Christians and Muslims and gives a more positive face to Islam. 

                                                  Established Order

The time has come to reconcile ourselves with the depth and breadth of the Islamic civilizational tradition and its wealth of meaning that establishes rules in the light of the objectives of dignity, freedom, justice and peace. 

The Muslim peoples of today urgently need to reassert themselves. Crucial to the process are spirituality and mysticism: not those of a certain form of Sufism that, not wishing to “take part in politics,” ends up playing the game of powers (and colonisers), but of the quest for self that an authentic Sufism never separated from human, social and political (by way of wise and just government) considerations. It is not enough to affirm that freedom must come before the “Sharia”; what is lacking is a thoroughgoing reflection on freedom in the modern age, and the superior objectives (maqasid) of the Path (ash-Sharia) that supersede its reduction to a body of regulations presented as God’s intangible laws. 

What ash-Shatibi provided us with, in his synthesis of the “objectives of the Sharia" - which is actually a “philosophy of law" - must be thought for the notion of freedom: we need a “philosophy of liberty” that cannot be constricting, reactive or dogmatic but must be broad, holistic and liberating, valid for women and men alike.

There is a sore need of young scholars (ulama) of both sexes, of intellectuals who will show a modicum of courage. While respectful of the message and the immutable rules of practice, they must imperatively seek reconciliation with the intellectual audacity of those who have given the age-old Islamic tradition its strength. Against the institutions that have often shaped them, that are under state control and intellectually enfeebled (such as al-Azhar or Umm al-Qura today), the young Muslim generations must free themselves, make their presence felt and give new meaning to the dynamics of a civil society that is no longer a passive onlooker, or simply complain, and display their indignation, or explore new ways of acting, new and alternative visions. Yet they must remain faithful to themselves, while resisting the established order.

Compiled From:
"Beyond Islamism" - Tariq Ramadan

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