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Islamic Society ( 22 Apr 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Faith, Fanaticism and Jihad


By Kazi Wadud Nawaz, New Age Islam

22 April 2014

A critical look into those basic elements of Faith reveals the purpose of life of a true Muslim. The life of a Muslim has a divine accountability. It is balanced and confined within well-defined moral coordinates set by the Holy Quran. Any transgression of this balance is a punishable crime in the eye of Islam.

Emotional recognition of these elements on the part of a Muslim is just the starting point towards Faith. But it is the knowledge that strengthens the foundation of his faith. The very first Verse of the holy Quran (Sura Alaq: Ayat-1-6) revealed to our holy Prophet (pbuh) was a divine instruction for acquiring knowledge. The holy Quran from beginning to end and our holy Prophet (pbuh) all through his life, have stressed on the importance of acquiring knowledge on the part of Muslims.

Allama Iqbal in his book “Reconstruction of Religious Thoughts in Islam” said that, the search for rational foundation in Islam may be regarded to have begun with the Prophet himself. His constant prayer was: “God! Grant me knowledge of the ultimate nature of things!” All these clearly manifest the role of knowledge in the domain of faith.

God’s infinite attributes are manifested in diversity of nature that includes our complex intertwined life. The sense of awe, and helplessness of human mind in the face of complexities of life and its interrelation with the nature and universe, inspires emotion and introspection — essential components of Faith of a believer.

Duties assigned to mankind as Viceroy of Allah find expression in the spiritual practices [Salat, Siam, Hajj, and Zakat] for self purification and strengthening bondage with the Supreme Being on one hand and supreme sacrifice for establishment of Universal Balance of justice in the world on the other.

Unquestionable recognition of the unseen reality is no doubt an essential criteria and starting point of faith, but understanding the spiritual unity of the ‘seen’ and ‘unseen,’ manifested in diversity of the objective world, needs a knowledge-base. Emotion and knowledge collectively constitute the foundation of faith of a believer. Since The Law of Universal Balance (Meezan) is applicable also in the ideological domain, any relative instability in components of faith where emotion overcomes knowledge, will surely lead to fanaticism ultimately damaging the very foundation of faith.

The Holy Quran without the slightest ambiguity inspires human endeavour for safeguarding rights to security of life, property and faith. Unflinching support for the good and uncompromising struggle against evils and evil forces at social national and International level as per instruction of the Holy Quran is Jihad. Allowing evil forces to continue with their misdeeds without protest and resistance in worldly life, is tantamount to fleeing back from the field of Jihad and is an act of hypocrisy. Salivating for ‘Hours’ and amenities of the Paradise leaving the world in the hands of evil forces and enemies of humanity is not at all rational in the eyes of Islam.

The Qur'anic Concept of ‘Jihad’ in essence refers to human endeavours for self purification and transformation of the world to ensure divine justice, peace and security for the humanity. Concept of ‘Jihad’ is a powerful ideological tool in the hands of Muslims for changing the objective world to ensure Balance of Justice for all humanity. Jihad constitutes the Revolutionary Essence of the Holy Quran. It’s a rational response on the part of Islam towards prevention of transgression of balance of justice.

The prevailing socio-economic and political systems of the world based on materialistic values meet principally physical needs but gives little importance to moral and spiritual needs of mankind. Values based on material interest may create a temporary illusion of peace, unity and stability in the world, but are sure to devalue spiritual status of humanity and destined to end in rivalry and lust for worldly wealth, rift, disunity, violence and bloodshed amongst nations in the long run.

 The holy Quran has clearly set the rules and essential code of conduct for all humanity so that they can organize their lives in accordance with universal law balance of justice. There is no scope of Fanaticism in Islam. Fanaticism stems from lack of knowledge and is the end product of conspiracy on the part of enemies of Islam to hurt the religious sentiment and out-weigh the balance of emotional aspects of faith.

However as a Muslim we should realise that, whatever is happening in this world is happening within the domain of sovereignty of Allah and is a part of His divine strategy to fulfil His Divine Purpose. But we must do our duty as His representative on earth, forge unity and consciously avoid emotion.

Kazi Wadud Nawaz is an NGO Development Consultant, based in Khulna, Bangladesh