1. Lest we forget: We are First and Foremost Muslims

1. Lest we forget: We are First and Foremost Muslims

  1. The conflict between belief in, and submission to, the command of the Almighty Allah, on the one hand, and apostasy and obedience to norms and values other than those permitted by the Almighty Allah, on the other hand, has raged from the very inception of the creation of our father, Adam (A.S).
  2. The enemies of Islam have employed, and continue to employ, diverse tactics and strategies to subjugate Islam and Muslims. They employ the instruments of “hard warfare” – comprising tanks, missiles, drones, chemical weapons, bombs and the like – that we are acutely familiar with. The various media platforms are replete with news of the constant persecution of our brothers and sisters throughout the world. Unspeakable acts of massacre, torture, maiming , incarceration and usurpation against our brothers and sisters have become commonplace; an unrelenting campaign of oppression intended to coerce Muslims into submitting to a “new” lifestyle in which the practice of Islam, if not completely abolished, is relegated to nothing more than the mechanical observance of what to many has become no more than a set of rituals.
  3. Our enemies also use a more insidious method to subjugate us. Unlike the strategy of “hard warfare”, the destruction caused by this method does not become apparent immediately. It is a long- term strategy  carefully and deliberately calculated and measured to ultimately produce soul-destroying consequences. This is the strategy of secularism. The objectives of the secular system of education and the auxiliary media campaigns are to lure us into a paradigm that is designed to cause us to question all that is pure and sacred .We are taught not to submit to Allah, but to develop our own theories instead. We are enjoined by such ideology to critically question Divine Revelation and to be guided by the understanding it imbues in us in determining whether or not to obey Allah.
  4. WE have become the centre of the universe. WE have become the key component of the enquiry. What WE think to be good is good. What WE think to be bad is bad. WE have deified our minds.
  5. A key weapon in the secularist agenda is to elevate the status of the mind, and to relegate belief in the Divine. Man- made theories and analytical tools are taught to be accepted without question We are all encouraged to subject express texts of Quran and Hadith to unfettered and unrestrained re-interpretation, to express our secularist opinions on all aspects of belief and jurisprudence and to subordinate the revealed scriptures to our understanding of life, its purpose and what it means to be moral and righteous.
  6. This is indeed a great test for professionals in the ummah and the ummah at large. Almost two decades of immersion in a secular education system invariably carries with it the very real risk and danger of the development of intellectual and moral arrogance on the part of professionals. Worse still, without realising it, the mindset and perspectives of many professionals reflect the desired outcome of the secularist project. At the same time, the deference of the broader society to the views of professional adds to the professional’s sense of “greater understanding and knowledge”. An aalim’s years of study, on the other hand, is completely trivialised, unless of course the views he expresses accord with the views of professional bodies and individuals.
  7. The initial prohibition, and thereafter the severe curtailment, of the Muslim community’s ability to fulfil its obligation to establish congregational salah in masaajid since March 2020 by virtue of the lockdown regulations promulgated under the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 acutely highlighted the aforesaid malaise. Quran and sunnah were made subject to forecasts and theories. Even worse, those who remained committed to the establishment of congregational salah in the manner required by the noble practice of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) (“the sunnah”) were branded by certain secularist professionals as being “backward”, even “reckless”.
  8. It has indeed been distressing to witness the degradation of religious views and values that did not coincide with the ever changing views and forecasts of professionals in our midst.
  9. The alarmist narrative that continues to grip our society is fuelled, at least in part, by certain professionals. We have, as a direct result of deference to the secularist minded professionals, been complicit in destroying almost every semblance of community life in the ummah. The laudable, indeed obligatory, Islamic etiquettes of visiting the ill, attending funerals and maintaining family ties are not even contemplated, leave alone encouraged. In fact, these acts are eschewed as being socially irresponsible.
  10. Secularism is a direct challenge to belief. Embracing it, even unwittingly, is sure to result in the crisis of disbelief. We cannot afford to even risk falling victim to the trappings of disbelief. We will be the eternal losers. If only we understand!
  11. May we become mindful of the fact that our professional skills and expertise are blessings conferred upon us by the Almighty Allah. The demonstration of gratitude for such bounty demands our whole-hearted and uncompromising submission to Allah and his Rasool (pbuh). Anything less would be a demonstration of gross arrogance and ingratitude.
  12. Our paradigm must be the paradigm of Islam, to which we subject all other theories and beliefs. Right now, we are doing the very opposite.

May the Almighty Allah imbue us with the proper understanding!