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Published in the 1-15 May 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Muslim world and the contemporary IJMA on rules of governance

Syed Shahabuddin’s exhortation to Muslims not to fight new ideas coming from the West should be taken with a pinch of salt. It is not merely the ideas, but the motivation behind the propagation of seemingly new ideas that should be consciously studied, before we rush to embrace whatever is dumped on us. Muslims should especially beware of Jewish strategies on global level where they keep pushing their ideas and controlling the whole process of actualization of Ideas into practical programmes. Once they take the lead, they know how to manipulate and introduce their own agenda.

Henry Ford, in his book on Jews of 1919 writes about how the idea of secularism is used to make space for Jewish agenda. It starts with schools. Ford writes: ‘First you secularize the public schools — ‘secularize’ is the precise word the Jews use for the process. You prepare the mind of the public school child by enforcing the rule that no mention should ever be made to indicate that culture of patriotism is in any way connected with deeper principles of the Anglo-Saxon religion. Keep it out, every sight and sound of it. Keep out also every word that will aid any child to identify the Jewish race. Then when you have thus prepared the soil, you can go into universities and colleges and enter upon the double program of pouring contempt on all the Anglo-Saxon landmarks, at the same time filling the void with Jewish revolutionary ideas.

The basic magic is to replace ‘new, modern and civilized’ ideas to replace ‘old, archaic, impractical’ dogmas. Trade new lamps for the old discarded ones. The Western onslaught on Islam over democracy is nothing but an attempt to force its hegemony as brand-name trader of ideas to the deprecation of Islam and all its traditions of intellectual pursuits. 
Once its brand is accepted, the copyright-holder has full right to change the shape, colours, price and even content of the product. Muslim world should fight these clever imposition of rehashed products, while at the same time, rise up to delve into their own traditions and ingenuity to bring out competitive products that can maintain the lead that Islam had held in world history for centuries.
Syed Shahabuddin writes: ‘But’ contemporary controversies relating to political concepts are sought to be settled by reference to Holy Quran, the Traditions of the Holy Prophet, the acts of the enlightened Caliphs, the rulings of the ‘medieval’ schools of jurisprudence associated with Imams Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafai, Hambal of the Sunnis as well as Imam Jaafar of Shias. 
One could legitimately ask, why not? Just because all that Islam stands for has now become medieval? Should it be summarily rejected as without merit, without relevance, without logic; just to please the so-called ‘modernists’, the psuedo-reformists, and the avant gardists? Why this territory be vacated for the colonists to move in. 

The case for IJMA has been approved by the Holy Prophet, in his famous dialog with his companion, Abu Mujbal. 
However, the process has to first gone through before one goes for Ijma and Qiyas. One cannot jump to the last stage without losing all ties with its foundational existence. This a polite way of suggesting, get out of Islam and start using the new ‘Tide’ that cleans better.

Syed Shahabuddin projects the idea that the ‘Islamic debate hinges on whether his ‘Freedom’ is total and absolute or whether he enjoys the ‘Freedom’ to opt out of Quranic paradigm.
This would be news to overwhelming majority of Muslims. There is no issue to start the debate. You are free to cop-out of Quranic paradigm and you are out of Islamic fold. As simple as it could be. 

This supposed debate is like trying to create space of some so-called liberals who would like to be in the Islamic collectivity, without adhering to Islamic tenets. Orthodox or modern, all have to understand that some fundamentals in every society are sacrosanct and as far as the 1425-year-old Islam is concerned, it has no need to junk its fundamentals to accommodate some dubious opportunists, who want to join the Islamic collectivity on their own terms for reasons of their own. They have full rights and choice to stay out. 

The listing of divisions in Muslim world, either on political or religious account, do not result in the withering of the Umma into oblivion and all such divisions were accommodated as acceptable diversity, by the same process of IJMA, that Syed has been proffering as the ‘newest’ solution to the ‘problem of Islam’.

As beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, while some see Muslim world in serious disarray, others more optimistic cannot ignore the new reorganization within the global Muslim consciousness, thanks to instant communications and the confrontational threat dreaded by the insecure West, preempting the supposed clash of civilization, to hide its inherent weaknesses and the injustices of its hegemonical aspirations. Islam is winning more and more adherents in the West, who with their own tools of analysis, are finding some very convincing home truths that had been hidden from their masses through the fog of deliberate falsehood and propaganda. 
The two strains of Islam, that Syed Shahabuddin discerns distinctly developing in Muslim minority and Muslim majority ‘states’ has not new development to Islam, the survivor. Islam’s fundamentals are based on some eternal truths that can easily cope with peripheral polarities. The core survives. 
Ghulam Muhammed

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