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Sunday, September 20, 2020

John Foley and the failure of the Isis dialectic

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 Islam has never been challenged to this extent. Global Islam has become a nightmare, due to the various distorted interpretations which have crept into the creedal canons of orthodoxy of the refined Islamic moral and behavioral code of life. 

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When we look at this phenomenon, it seems it is the typical parroting of a people who are being oppressed and have every right to speak. But when places are bombed and innocent people murdered and beheaded, it becomes clear that this has become an existential condition.

 

Isis has declared an Islamic state which is reminiscent of nothing more than a prototype of the Zionist state of Israel at the root of which is exclusivity and removal from everyone not like-minded. Hence the killing of Shi’te and Christian believers who had lived in medieval Islamic caliphates for centuries in peace and security.  It is conclusively clear from a little excursion in Islamic caliphal history that Isis has failed all requirements for the actualisation of that celebrated Muhammadan civilisation that protected believers of other faiths and treated visiting people with dignity. The believer in God and the Last Day should honour his guest as in the oft-mentioned saying of the great Arabian prophet. John Foley who should have been treated as that guest became another victim of the nihilist and anarchist ambition of these so-called jihadists.

 

Terror and kidnapping are not the traits of the believers. Prophet Muhammad, God said, was sent as a mercy to the worlds, and as Muslims, we are commanded to follow the prophetic pattern both inwardly and outwardly in making these commands a reality. If we are to follow the Muhammadan path, we can only be merciful people upon all of mankind and all other creatures of God, Most High. The companions of the prophet were examplars to this fact, remembering their charitable deeds towards all, wherein God said about some of them, that they preferred others above themselves, and gave out everything in seeking God’s pleasure.

 

The Qur’an states in very clear and final words: “O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” So believers in Islam are called upon to uphold justice and not follow their own inclinations. 

 

Islam was foremost in history to have codes of conduct on the just execution of wars and battles, way before the other bodies of treaties were drawn and put into place. So the actions of Isis have no basis whatsoever in the pristine prophetic teachings of Islam. The same goes for all those groups breaking laws-upon-laws of Islam with the distorted notion that they are upholding the law and rule of God on earth.

 

The science of active self-reform and self-discipline which have been elucidated in the teachings of the scholars on the inward sciences of Islam have emphasised time and again that when the human being divorces himself from active spiritual vocation and instead don the garb of ritualism and excessive literalism in his creedal approach, then it won’t be long before that person is suffocated and in his self-righteousness, pick up arms against his brother and neighbour, wanting to convert them to his version of faith. This is precisely what we are seeing in Isis. 

 

Ultimately, Islam is a path of peace. The narrative of the new war inclined Muslim is not a part of the Islamic story. The secularisation of the world has its bearings on the religion of peace. The secular ideologies of Marx and other philosophical revolutionaries did not die with the fall of communist Russia but found their way into other hitherto unthought-of fields. The teachings of Sayyid Qutb, a powerful voice who was accused of hijacking the Muslim Brotherhood in his time, was a precursor to this current reality. He advocated the return of the caliphate by all means, and with his dialectics of revolution which was much closer to the communistic ideal than the Islamic notion of prophetic reform, found way into the new jihadi movement, influencing the likes of Ayman Al-Zawahiri of Al Qa’ida.

 

So the dialectics that guide these movement are not at all prophetic or traditional but the insecurity that people face in the face of a new reality.

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