Covenant with God

Nikhat Sattar in Dawn:

In 2019, 62 worshippers performing Friday prayers were killed by a bomb blast in Nan­g­arhar. Back in 2002, a fire broke out at a girl’s school in Makkah. Fifteen young girls died and 50 injured, allegedly because they were beaten back to go inside: they had not cove­red their heads. In 1987, more than 400 unarm­ed pilgrims, mostly Iranians, were killed in Makkah during a protest. The list goes on. One fact stands out: most of the outpouring of anger, sympathy and concern came from non-Muslim organisations, people and countries. Muslims were, by and large, silent. Even as the world seems to have come closer, with a more formalised structure of human rights, it has regressed into increasing hatred and acts of violence against the ‘other’, whoever it might be. It took the Christians six centuries of religiously supported wars and torture against Muslims and Jews to decide that they could safely replace religion with science. They colonised, ridiculed Muslims, spread false rumours, destroyed traditions of Muslim scholarship and weakened Muslim societies through carefully orchestrated pro­p­a­ganda. Islamophobia has increased since 9/11 with Muslims being held in Guantanamo Bay prison and tortured. Very few Muslim governments stood up to help them.

Muslims did more than their share of bringing themselves down, spiritually, intellectually, economically and scientifically. From being pioneers of science, logic and rational thought, their contribution to world science literature is now meagre. Forty-six Muslim countries contribute 1.17pc to science literature as compared to 1.66pc by India and 1.48pc by Spain. Where their schools were centres of learning for all, regardless of religious or ethnic background, they are now sectarian, often teaching tunnel-vision versions of their faith. By and large, Muslims have turned away from progress; destroyed their own institutions, and refused to self-analyse.

The Sharia was a path towards divine guidance, lighting up minds, providing opportunities for knowledge seekers from all over the world, opening hearts to mercy, compassion, kindness, graciousness and all that is beautiful in God’s world. The Sharia, along with human thought, was the core of ethics. Instead, it is now often trivialised, used mostly for matters regarding women and sex segregation and enforcing marital subservience of wives. Islamic classical tradition assumed a condition of isma or inviolability of human life, based on the Quran and the Prophet’s (PBUH) sayings.

More here. (Note: Thanks to Javed Jabbar)