I am back but so what? This question keeps ringing in my ears such that even when I studiously read my cases, it keeps reverberating in my ears. I decided I have to simply write it down (whatever may unfold), so that the echo will dissipate.
Not only does “so what?” seem to bother me but also “back to where?. Where I came back from the last week was full of contradictory and varied experiences. I had the opportunity to meet up with some foreigners in a foreign land. We had the chance to discuss issues and compare notes. We discussed “Islam. My feelings were mixed. While the foreign Muslims from the foreign land appear to be more open to discussions, more amenable to differences of viewpoint and genuinely respectful of alternative opinions, the locals (generally) seem to be warped in a worm hole.
I cannot help but feel that we (Muslims) in Malaysia have yet to reach the level of respect for other peoples views' on Islam. In fact, I think we have yet to reach even the level of being able and willing to discuss Islam in a thinking way. We have become too much of a parrot, repeating things that we do not know about nor understand. So sad. We live in a society where, frighteningly we have surrendered our souls to so-called “experts” in our midst. Scary! It is absolutely scary when you surrender your mind and soul to another mortal, IRRESPECTIVE that he graduated from some UNIVERSITY.
Information and knowledge are two different things. A person with information may not have any knowledge. He repeats and regurgitates the “facts” that he has collected without even verifying the facts in the first place. At the best, he cites that 20 scholars hold that view as if numbers make a wrong, right. But what about his view? He replies “ I am not an expert”. What? If he cannot think or refuse to think, then how in the world does he evaluate what the scholar had said? I cannot understand this. So sad.
A knowledgeable person is one who carefully evaluates information. He is not mesmerized by information for information sake. A knowledgeable person does not acquire information to show off but to learn. But this is the age of charlatans. And it is easy today for charlatans to be glorified because we have accepted that once you are a university graduate or better with a PhD, you must be knowledgeable. So sad.
No wonder, no wonder my mind tells me that Muslims are “bullied” by politicians and religious scholars with vested interest. We have been trained NOT TO ASK AND THINK. So sad.
The world is moving forward and we are regressing further deeper into our self created coconut shell. We have mastered the art and culture of being trivial. So sad.
If I am right in my thoughts (stand to be corrected, of course), I think we (Muslims) have forfeited the right to complain that the others are way ahead in life. Others are wiling to use common sense and rationality that Allah has graciously given human beings. They are able to see reality (“God’s signs?) whereas we….we what? So what I am back. I am just back to square one.
Note: Apologize for the mood of this article. I am just sad, too sad that humans have surrendered their soul and mind to other humans. May Allah forgive us all and continue to guide us.