The Sorry State of Our Religiosity

The program came to an end. No sooner did Mr. Javed Ahmad Ghamidi descend from the altar of the stage, a man went after him in pursuit. He had a religious journal in his hand; bringing it closer to Mr Ghamidi, he expectantly exclaimed: “Look, what Mawlana Taqi Usmani has written: It is permissible to write Qur’anic text with urine!” Mr Ghamidi had a cursory look at the person. Without bothering to take the journal from his hands for getting a confirmation of what he had said, he proceeded ahead, giving his clear verdict on the issue: “The Mawlana cannot possibly say anything like that.”

I am personally a witness to the above-quoted incident which took place in the recording room of Geo Television. It happened during a period when a strong campaign had been launched against Mawlana Taqi Usmani by his detractors. And it wasn’t a movement based on mere speculative allegations: His critics were supporting their allegations with ‘proofs’ from his writings. However, Mr Ghamidi brushed aside the very possibility of entertaining the idea of carrying any ill-feeling against a respected fellow scholar. His response served me with an effective lesson on how a scholar acting as a representative of the prophet, may Allah’s mercy be on him, should stand tall, far above the petty immoral rivalries, which one sadly witnesses amongst the present-day ‘competing adversaries.’ The behaviour of Mr Ghamidi reminded me that in Surah Nur (twenty-fourth chapter of Qur’an), while commenting on the circumstances surrounding the false allegations raised against Ayesha, the wife of the prophet, the Almighty had emphasized upon Muslims not to entertain negative thoughts about fellow believers.

I had a similar experience some while earlier too when there were allegations brought before Mr Ghamidi against another prominent scholar. Don’t ask what those allegations were, because there could be few charges more horrible than the ones made against that scholar. Had Mr Ghamidi desired, he could have launched a campaign to malign him on the basis of those charges. However, he did what was befitting for a scholar representing Islam: He didn’t allow the allegations against his contemporary scholar to go beyond him, even though the beneficiary of his magnanimous act was a person who had, as if, sworn it as one of the goals of his life to malign Mr. Ghamidi as an evil worthy of being eliminated.

People ask me if Mr Ghamidi had authored the script of a film; if he responded to the challenge of Qur’an by authoring a Qur’an-like text; if he received funding from the government; if he was against Jihad; if he believed the Bible to be the source of Islamic teachings instead of Qur’an; and many other similar questions. When I ask them as to who was the person they picked these pieces of information from, they mention the names of a religious journal, a religious personality, or a religious scholar. Such is the state of our present-day religiosity!

People say that our biggest problem is the US, or the disputes of Kashmir and Palestine, or the scourge of proliferating obscenity. Instead, I strongly believe that our biggest problem is our morally bankrupt religiosity which is all the time eager to wage a jihad on others to implement Islam but it is never able to see the worst kind of moral evils in their own ranks. It is able to see even in pitch darkness the conspiracies hatched against Islam by the Jews and Christians, but it is never able to see the deceptions of Satan playing havoc with their own souls even in the light of the Qur’an and the model of the prophet. It has guns in its hands, and religious slogans on its tongues, but their hearts are devoid of God’s fear and their characters are uninfluenced by the grace of the prophet’s personality.

Quite often I think that if Muslims are facing God’s wrath, there was nothing else causing it to happen save the manifestation of the Almighty’s justice. If people of such character are representing the leadership of Islam and the common man is content with following them in large numbers, the Almighty, it seems, is content with the destruction and ignominy of Muslims. God has no blood relations with any nation. He deals with all peoples on merit. If the torch-bearers of Islam and the representatives of the prophet, Allah’s mercy be on him, are people of such low character, then be sure that the decline of Muslims is not coming to an end as yet. As long as the character of Muslims in general and their leadership in particular would not change, neither their present nor their future would change.   

Author: Rehan Yusufi
Translated by: Khalid Zaheer


4 thoughts on “The Sorry State of Our Religiosity

  1. Shabaz Zia

    Excellent jesture by Ghamidi sahab. People usually make comments about religious scholars without even having read their materials. Farahi sahab has put it very clearly “yeh loug mujhay naheen jantay”.

  2. Faiz-ul Wahab

    I am always a fan of Javed Ghamidi, he is a good soul, he gave me (and many around me) the hope that our religion – a beautiful and moderate religion – is going to last till Qiyamat. We being Muslims need to adopt a mechanism where we can at least stop calling other Muslims as non-believers or Kafirs. And thats only possible by restraining ourselves.

    God bless all.

  3. Syed Roman Ahsan

    Ghamdi Sahab behaved in the right way. However, my question is will this stop that insolent person from trying to tarnish the image of scholars like Justice (Retd.) Taqi Usmani? Secondly, I think the situation is not so grim when we talk about representatives of Islam which all depends on the individual exposure. For a person who wants to turn to Islam, there are still lots of good role-models and avenues. And that is ONLY IF there is real interest. Man breathes on oxygen in the environment to live. Likewise, Muslims who want to improve themselves, need a cleansed and pure environment which is actually missing in our society. And the situation is worsening day by day. There is dearth of healthy activities also in these times. So we cannot really blame the Muslims who are forwarding the message of the Prophet (saw), yet are themselves devoid of the persona which Qur’an and Sunnah intends us to. Though I agree, that such people are no doubt corrupting the image of Islam. But my humble plea is that we need to create an environment where there is serious control/check/censhorsip of media because it is really spoiling/misdirecting our youth. And such measures can only be taken by those at the top. Even our elders have not been striving for the right path. We have to balance out latest western education (for material success) with our own heritage Qur’an and Sunnah (for eternal success). I basically see two forms of extremes as far as our country is concerned (generally applicable to the whole Muslim world). One are the liberals who conform to the western ideologies, and have little connection with their religion (Islam) having different levels of faith. On the one hand, this segment also occupies a more powerful place in the society due to being better equipped with the latest education trends that can guarantee material success which is no doubt necessary. However, people belonging to this class have little to offer in terms of religious values to their families or people around them. The second case of extreme class is the one more classified as ‘extremists’ or ‘fundamentalists’ who shun everything the western world puts forth, and think of themselves as leaders of Islam. The members of this class mostly have little modern education so that makes them quite narrow-minded. People from lower classes subscribe to their philosophy more since they are uncivlized themselves. Now how can the members of this class present Islam to the Western world in a sophisticated and intellectual manner?

    The dilemma is that the very literate and very successful Muslims are not inclined towards Islamic teachings. They consider Islam as something which is old-fashioned or orthodox lacking practicality. We need more and more dynamic people from this segment to ‘re-embrace’ Islam so that we can show to the world that we are not uncivilized, and who can show the right path to their peers as well. True leaders will emerge from the literate class since they will have power, the right exposure and resources to motivate other literate people, but the main thing is striving for the right path themselves!

  4. Maryam

    Assalam u alaikum sir Khalid Zaheer,

    Believe me sir, I cant say anything regarding the whole issue. It seems so disturbing to me. You might not believe but I had a huge debate about Islam with a person on youtube. I can call them the worst days of my entire life. His aim was to humiliate me and my beliefs in any way possible. But I couldn’t give up. With the help of my friends I made that guy to come up without swearing at me. As it was his biggest problem. I still dont know whether he was a Muslim or not but he had so much knowledge about Islam, unfortunatly it was all useless.

    May Allah bless you Jazak Allah for everything. Fi aman Allah.

Comments are closed.