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Carving a nation out of cultural pollution

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 1st July 2018 18:25
Introduction

“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” 49:13

It is true that Prophet Muhammad SAWS established a society which was based upon piety and knowledge and not on racism or ethnicity. However, we also can observe that the overwhelming majority of Sahaba RA were Arabs. We also can see that there were some distinct qualities in Arabs because of which Allah chose them to be the first leaders of Ummah.

No nation or no person can help the ummah unless he knows his identity. It is true that our identity is Islam but unfortunately it is a sad reality that people don’t cling to an ideology in it’s pure form for very long. The coming generations are always weaker in their commitment to an ideology compared to their elders. On the other hand, people cling religiously and viciously to their culture and language is the most dominant force which shapes and influences it.

Majority of the people are not thinkers but imitators. They imitate their leaders. People are loyal to an ideology as long as their leaders are loyal to that ideology. Islam is an ideology and we can clearly observe that in the lifetime of Anbiya AS whenever their followers would drift away from the right path, their leaders i.e. Anbiya AS would rectify them. However, after the demise of a nabi, his followers would slowly but steadily deviate from the right path. The first generation is always or mostly successful in adhering the teachings of it’s prophet but later generations lose the context and fall in error. People always need strong leaders to remain motivated towards an ideology but people keep on following customs and traditions even if they lack able and efficient leadership. We can clearly see that Hindus despite of being ruled by Muslims for a thousand years didn’t leave their culture and religion. On the contrary, they influenced the Muslims and the way they practiced Islam. This is because traditions are habits and old habits die hard.

In another example we can see that after the demise of Prophet Muhammad SAWS, we can clearly observe that during the period of Khulafa e Rashideen or closely after their period, the pre-Islamic rivalry between Banu Hasihm and Banu Ummayyah was ignited. Therefore, it would not be unsafe to conclude that culture finally wins over deen and if you want to motivate a people towards a common goal (even if it is the revival of deen) then it would be easy to organize people of the same culture instead of organizing a force of various cultures.

Iraq, Syria, Egypt, North Africa, Labenon, Jordan, Libya, Morroco, Algeria, all of them adopted the Arabic language and were accepted into the definition of Arabness. So, changing the language they spoke also changed their culture and even their race.
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 1st July 2018 18:33
However, Persians because of their pride in their nation, blood, culture and historic grandeur and achievements etc, didn't adopt Arabic language. The Muslim rulers of India adopted Persian as their official language and later on invented the lashkari zuban "Urdu". This is why there had been a great influence of Iranian culture and philosophy on Indian Muslims, especially in the times of Akbar. I wonder what would have been the case if the rulers of India would have adopted Arabic language as the official and educational language banning all the regional languages for Muslims at least.

Currently, in India the Hindu rulers are enforcing Hindi and sanskarit on the whole nation and even Indian Muslims use hindi words in Urdu which is influencing their culture. Similarly, Pakistanis and Indians both are using English and sometimes Punjabi words in urdu. If language wasn't a major factor which could affect culture then why would the British bother removing Arabic and Persian and instead introducing English as the official and educational language of their education system in India? And why would Kamal Mustafa "The Jew" would bother to change the script of Turkish language from Arabic to Roman? And why would the Russians bother destroying Chechen and Bosnian libraries?

As an example, let’s take two words which are very often used in our society. "Broad mindedness" and "Narrow mindedness". Broad minded is a positive word which means a person of vast vision. A person who is tolerant and accepting of others' views. On the other hand, narrow minded is a negative word which means a person with close mentality, intolerant, unaccepting, unreasonable etc. However, in our society any person who favours Shariah, segregation of sexes, adherence to the fundamentals of deen is labelled as narrow minded. Furthermore, this word leads to other words like radical, extremist, fundamentalist, primitive, outdated and finally terrorist.

Similarly, anyone who respects and adopts secular values like liberalism, individualism, promotes and adopts free mixing of sexes and is anti-traditionalist and westernized is called broad minded. This word further leads to progressive, modern, intelligent, practical, wise, moderate and smart. Now think carefully that what has happened. Being Islamic which was a positive attitude has been linked with a negative word which brings negative feelings for Islam in those who don't think so deeply. On the other hand, being secularized which is a negative attitude has been linked with a positive word which brings positive feelings for wrong ideologies and satanic ways of living.

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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 1st July 2018 18:52
On some rare occasions a strange thought came to my mind that why can't we offer our salah in our own language instead of Arabic. If Allah is the creator of all languages and He understands all languages then what's the big deal with Arabic. Later on, I realized that translations can't do justice with the original work of even the humans; what to talk about the kalam of Allah. How can one do justice and capture the whole meaning if one attempts to translate the sacred scripture and prayer? Secondly Arabic is the most eloquent language of all and how can it be correctly and accurately translated in any other language which is less eloquent? Thirdly if one attempts to pray in one's local language then our deen will also get the same treatment as Judaism and Christianity got from Jews and Chrisitans overtime i.e. distortion. Our translations don't have any sanad which leads back to Rasulullah SAWS but the Arabic text has that sanad. Hence, I concluded that Classical Arabic is one of the major forces which maintain the originality of our deen.

If the observations above are correct then it would not be far-fetched to say that if Arabic is one of the major forces which maintain the originality of our deen then it can also become a major force which can bind us into one culturally united Ummah.

Problem

1. Different cultures, languages, ethnicities and religions in the subcontinent. A mixture of many different nations with no unifying factor.

2. Too much plurality – an obstacle in unifying the people.

3. Identity Crisis – Confusion – Chaos

Solution on State Level

1. Language shapes thoughts

Classical Arabic language should be nationalized and only this single language should be taught in schools. Other languages including regional and international languages may be taught at college level as electives.

2. Literacy rate should be made 99% to 100% through extensive investment and attention on education.

3. Libraries should be made common to get rid of internet and other sources of faulty information. A committee of ulema should decide which books be allowed in the library and any un-Islamic book should be banned.

4. After tenth grade education should be research oriented and our ulema and professors must write on deeni and worldly matters extensively so that we don’t have to use internet and foreign literature for our worldly needs. This way, we can be protected from alien un Islamic ideas and the venom of global evil secular culture.

5. State punishments against any un-Islamic traditions like dowry in marriages, mahendi/mayun, mourning for more than 3 days like Sattah/Chaleeswan, marriage of women with Quran, preventing women from getting inheritance after the death of their parents or other relatives etc.

6. The availability of intranet instead of internet in the libraries only and for a limited amount of hours per weekend so that people of the same country could communicate with each other which will help unify the nation.

Result

1. Muslims of the subcontinent, especially of Pakistan will be willing to adopt Arabic as a single national language because everyone (even non-practicing Muslims) have a special connection with Islam and Prophet Muhammad SAWS. And since our deen is totally in Arabic language so no one will object.

2. Muslims will get rid of the influence of Hindu and Western culture.

3. Muslims (who are currently facing identity crisis) will associate themselves with Classical Arabic culture aka. Islamic culture and this will give them a solid reason for believing that they are one nation.

4. Because people will know Classical Arabic, Quran and Hadith literature and Islamic history will be available to them. This will make it more difficult for fake shaykhs and fake mullahs to manipulate the facts and divide the people in sects for their own ulterior motives.

5. People will hopefully come to know the difference between senseful taqleed and senseless taqleed and will also come to realize that disagreement with teachers and seniors is not lack of adab because they will be acquainted with the life and character of Sahaba RA. This will hopefully lift the veil of A’jami akhlaq on Islam.

6. With this method, not only Muslims of the subcontinent will become a single true and strong nation but Muslim nations of the whole world will become a strong ummah too.
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 1st July 2018 18:54
Solution on Community Level

1. We must learn Classical Arabic language and teach it to our children.

2. We must teach it to the children of our neighbours.

3. We must create community groups and neighbourhood groups and through mutual consultation under the guidance of experienced ulema must decide the number and types of books to invest on. Then we must divide the books to be bought among each other. Then we must borrow and share books with each other on regular basis. This will be a reasonable alternative to internet and ebooks.

4. On weekly basis we must have discussion sessions on various beneficial topics.

5. We must build Islamic Communities and help each other in gaining beneficial knowledge for strengthening our eman.
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 1st July 2018 18:56
Solution on Individual Level

If we are unable to create such a community then…

1. Learn classical Arabic ourselves and teach it to our family.

2. Ask Ulema to give us a list of most important books so that we could download them from the internet. Like Muntakhib Nisab of Mufti Taqi Usmani Sahab.

3. Download bayans of the ulema we trust.

4. Reduce the usage of internet and rely on downloaded offline sources. Once in a while visit Islamic forums like muftisays.com but gradually condition ourselves to leave the internet all together one day.

5. Ultimately, we will have to restrict our reading to Quran, Seerah/Ahadith about Fitan, Virtues etc and Sahaba’s RA life if we want to resist the global culture.

6. Try to educate our family as much as possible about the dangers of this time and Islam being it’s only solution.
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