Muslim loyalty and belonging some reflections on the psychosocial background © Abdal-Hakim Murad, January 2003

Our silence in the face of evil differs from that of secular people. For traditional theists, the sense of loss which evil conveys, of the fearful presence of a void, comes with a personal face: that of the devil. But the devil, being, in the Qur’an’s language, weak at plotting, carries in himself the seeds of his own downfall. he very fact that we can name him is consoling, since understanding is itself a consolation. he cruellest aspect of secularity is that its refusal to name the devil elevates him to something more than a mere personalised absence. he solace of religion, no less consoling for being painful, is that it insists that when we find no words to communicate our sense that evil has come and triumphed, our silence is one of bewilderment, not despair! of hope, not of finality. he world is at present in the grip of fear. "e fear an unknown absence that hides behind the mundanity of our e#perience! perhaps ubi$uitous and confident, perhaps broken and at an end. %ymbols of human communication such as the internet and the airlines have suddenly ac$uired a double meaning as the scene for a radical failure of communication. &bove all, the fear is that of the unprecedented, as the world enters an age drastically unlike its predecessors, an age in which the religions are fragmenting into countless islands of opinion at a time when their members ' and the world ' are most insistently in need of their serene and consistent guidance. &t a time such as the present, a furqan, a discernment, between true and false religion breaks surface. (espite the endless, often superbly fruitful, differences between the great world religions, the pressure of secularity has threatened each religion with a comparable confiscation of timeless certainties, and their replacement by the single certainty of change. )any now feel that they are not living in a culture, but in a kind of process, as abiding canons of beauty are replaced with styles and idioms the only e#pectation we can have of which is that they will briefly gratify our own sense of stylishness, then to be replaced by something no less brilliantly shallow. *ostmodernity, anticipated here by "arhol, is occasionalistic, a series of ruptured images, hostile to

of course. he risk of anachronism or irrelevance is seen as worth running in order to preserve ancient verities for later generations that might. &gainst this background. return to them. there are movements. in some hoped'for time of penitence. %econdly. which seeks to preserve the le#icon of faith from any redefinition which might subvert the tradition’s essence. Firstly.alilean mechanics. or part of it. is that the series of mutations in values. and in tacit acknowledgement of the associated problemati6ing of metaphysics and morality. he third possibility is to redefine the language of religion to allow it to support identity politics.ather. philosophical. he &merican philosopher . the marginality of )uhammad %hahrur and Farid -sack shows that for the present a thoroughgoing theological liberalism remains a friendless elite option. +n +slam. this dimension has in all the world religions .obinson and (on 3upitt. +n the 3hristian conte#t this is an established move. always had the marking of collective and individual identity as one of its functions. /01 "hat has happened over the past century.eligion has. +n such conditions. and has become secure enough to be popularised by such writers as 4ohn .ichard . or of socialist politics. but the very vocabularies with which they e#press their claims.orty offers this account of the secularisation process: -urope did not decide to accept the idiom of . often embedded in local ethnic particularities. -urope gradually lost the habit of using certain words and gradually ac$uired the habit of using certain others. we can see three large possibilities amidst the diversity of the world faiths. . in reaction against the threat of late modernity and postmodernity to identity. whether this be psychological. often grounded in popular perceptions of scientific paradigm shifts. or of .omantic poetry. hat sort of shift was no more an act of will than it was a result of argument. despite the de facto popularity of attenuated and sentimental forms of )uslimness. . which adopt the secular world’s reductionist vocabulary for the understanding of religion. has placed the traditional vocabularies of religion under unprecedented stress. 5owever. the 2time'capsule’ option. usually called 2liberal’. in a steadily accelerating fashion. and try to show how faith.nothing but the claim that we have inherited the past and that language is truly meaningful. or sociological. the timeless certainties of religious faith must work hard to preserve not only their consistent sense of self. might be recoverable even if we use these terms.

od is not denied by the sloganeers of identity! rather 5e is enlisted as a party member. in . "ho could have thought that Buddhism. or massacre. -#amples are many and diverse. "hat would &verroes have made of the common modern practice of defining the 5a:: as the 2annual conference of the )uslims’8 "hy do social scientists increasingly interpret the phenomenon of veiling in terms of the affirmation of identity8 "hy does congregational prayer sometimes suggest a political gesture to what is behind the worshippers. the same transposition of the vocabulary of faith into the vocabulary of identity is well underway. is seemingly well'advanced. forced conversion.andhi’s province of .been allowed to e#pand beyond its natural scope and limits. appear to recommend the e#pulsion. /. +n the Qur’an.u:arat. could have provided space for a movement such as &um %hinrikyo. it seems. thousands of whose acolytes have been interrogated in connection with terrorist outrages against innocent civilians8 3entral to the cult’s appeal. to the horror of more traditional practitioners. rather than theologically.1 +n the universe of +slam. and the prospects for regional peace and conviviality have seldom seemed less hopeful. +ncreasingly. he (urkheimian ma#im that 2the idea of society is the soul of religion’ /71 is not so far from the preoccupations of activists who are more eager to establish institutes for +slamic social sciences than to build seminaries. descending on the &yodhya flashpoint. religionists seem to define themselves sociologically. /91 +n +ndia. rather than to what lies beyond the qibla wall8 he instrumentality of religion has changed. of non'5indu minorities. has now generated religious identity movements which. . apparently the most pacific of religions. <o such revivalist can entertain the suggestion that the new liberation being recommended is a group liberation in the world that marginalises the more fundamental pro:ect of an individual liberation from the world! but his vocabulary nonetheless steadily betrays him. enabled by the steady draining'away of religiously'inspired assumptions concerning the universality of notions of honour and decency. he process of the 2saffronising’ of +ndia . the word iman =usually translated as 2faith’> appears twenty . he result has often been a magnification of traditional polarities between the self and the other. in important segments of the world faiths. a vegetarian creed such as 5induism. has been a redefinition of Buddhism as a movement for the preservation of -ast &sian identity.

is more urgent! an odd logic to premodern believers. &nd it is a shared feature of all identity politicking in world religions today that whereas religious revivals in the great ages of faith invariably generated artistic and literary florescence. or an &merican. Beauty must wait! because da‘wa. or said. *erhaps we could even invoke this as the nearest appro#imation we will find to an ob:ective yardstick against which to :udge the spiritual authenticity = asala ruhiyya> of religious revivals. as *lato taught. it would necessarily re$uire a respectful engagement with the art. richly deployed in both )uslim and 3hristian metaphysics. it seems. spirituality. and this is part of our caliphal participation and responsibility in creation. he moderns.od by listing all the things that . &s &bd al'. define religion by listing all the things that it cannot be.od could not be! this is the strategy known as negative theology. or an &lgerian. the revivalists seem to produce only impoverishment. "hatever is done. ineluctably produces beauty. he young radical activist does not really want to be a *akistani. is a list of . +t is from these rays that e#alted souls have received their impress of beauty and their $uality of perfection. a poem. 5e or she desperately desires not to be someone. does not seem to be about the affirmation of a culturally embedded self. is great art. by such a soul.od. the ratio usually seems to be reversed. %uch a person re$uires what one might call a negative identity. who assumed that every summons to the . he illuminated soul shines. then. <either does the instrumentality of identity advocate a return to the indigenous and the particular. +n the sermons of the identity merchants. or the serenity of a saint. /?1 +f we apply this measure. how much authenticity may we really attribute to the soi-disant +slamic revivalism of today8 2%ay: who has forbidden the adornment of &llah which 5e hath brought forth for 5is bondmen8’ =@:97> "ho indeed8 he modern )uslim instrumentality of identity.times as fre$uently as the word islam. or made.ahman 4ami puts it: -very beauty and perfection manifested in the theatre of the diverse grades of beings is a ray of 5is perfect beauty reflected therein. and intellectuality of the religion’s cultural provinces. and cannot confine the light within its own self. a building. and that nothing transforms a society or an individual soul more deeply than a great work of art. he medievals knew . "ere it to do so. 5ence +slam. being more interested in religion than in .eal must be beautiful. the )ission. ruth. or written. we are loudly told.

it often betrays its twentieth'century tributaries: he type and forms of cultural valuations employed by the new fundamentalist movements cannot be e#plained by an analysis of the tradition of +slamic religion and history! it has to be seen as an effect of inter'cultural e#change. /A1 Bong ago. or %ara:evin. his gulab jamon. his entire sense of living as the product of a great civilisation that produced the a: )ahal and the ghazals of . then. /@1 Other. Often. Because the list of prohibitions is so desperately e#tended. a way of legitimising self'hatred! a religio'legal :ustification of an inferiority comple#. embedded identity. it appears as a "estern social phenomenon. what does he have left8 &gain. his is a $uesting for identity that denies real. is about not being and doing things. &s such. too. one is no longer allowably %ylheti. but derived in fact from the -uropean 2scientific’ thought of the 0C th century. it is perversely responsive to a global discourse that may despise those countries or their diaspora ethnicities. more psychological tributaries might also be cited. his qawwalis.halib. then. and the origins and direction of some of them are by now well'known: a new emphasis on virtuous activity. and tending sometimes towards a revolutionary nihilism.prohibitions. &gain. which is fundamentally based on a "estern understanding of +slam as the culture of the Other. he shift to a culturally disembedded radicalism is often malignantly driven by a desire to wreak revenge on one’s traditionalist parents or one’s community for frustrations suffered at their hands. in short. remains8 Once the son of *akistani migrants has stripped himself of his shalvar. his pir. rather than as traditional tawba. -verywhere we turn there is something we must not believe. and embraces most if not all the beloved practices of the village or the urban district. and certainly must not do. :ustified in terms of certain traditional sayings. the ever'insightful 5ourani was no less frank in noticing the "estern etiology of 2movement +slam’: )uch has been written in recent years about modern movements in +slam. "hat is left is one’s identity. +t is. the negative theology option will define his identity as what'is'left' . "hat. he list of ideas entailing shirk or bid‘a grows ever'longer! and no'one any longer takes pleasure and :oy even in the diminishing list of things which are still allowed. +slam.

driven half out of his mind by his sense of alienation and despair. he Ottomans. Only a tiny. humanity bathed in sakina. sometimes desperate situation of the )uslims. almost infinitesimal fraction of the scholars of historic +slam were even believers.over! a religion of the gaps. &nd this . he Sunna is a model of sacred humanity. +t came about through their serenity. /D1 hese are the gifts of reliance on &llah’s promise amidst apparent misfortune. and the forces that rule the human soul are also in every case the appropriate ones for that person. he monotheistic . %o the young 6ealot. 25e is the one who sent down the sakina upon the believers’ hearts. means the suspicion that 5e will let the believers down. that is. does not let the believers down! 2"eaken not! nor grieve.od’s presence. a small island of monotheists in a pagan sea. that they might grow in faith. as a list of denials. Eou are the uppermost. he Sunna.> his is in %ura al'Fath.od. a failure of religion8 +s the young 6ealot so overwhelmed by his alienation. and rage at the difficult. +s this. reads the Sunna with the wrong dictionary. he triumph at )ecca came about not through anger. the )oguls. hat void he understands as the Sunna. are by intentions. if you have iman’ =9:09C>: the verse revealed in the aftermath of the shock of Fhud. the %el:uks. which. hat is to say. the commentators e#plain. his humiliation. 5is view of the history of his community is one of khidhlan ' that . then. of wrenchings from disturbing memories. &ccording to tradition. and help him to come to terms with his history and the trials of his life8 &ctions. an#iety. and sense of rootlessness.od has effectively abandoned it. as figured negatively. the F6bek khanates. a kind of void. which unveils to the believing community the nature of the test that they have :ust passed through. their sakina. the )alay states. of course. means stillness =sukun>. and which endured for several long years. people tend to have the rulers they deserve. which. however. as a :ustification for the abandonment of techni$ues of spirituality that obstruct rather than reassure the ego. and also mercy =rahma>. fear.D:. contentment =tuma’nina>. he alternative is to be of those who are described as az-zannina bi’ lahi zanna’s-saw’: 2 hose who think ill thoughts of &llah’.’ =. +bn 4u6ayy tells us. that the Sunna which is what'is'left'over cannot restore his spirit8 %urely the scriptures insist that a turn to the Sunna must heal him. the peaceable 2habitation’ of . the 5ausa princedoms! all of these were lands of pure shirk and innovation! deserts with no oases of faith.

there are indeed people who worship him. he piacular thus accumulates into an apocalypse. which almost .ood’. at a time when most people are weak and struggle even to honour the basic demands of religion.eligion itself becomes. and creating a utopia for the pure somewhere on this earth.od. as at the fringes of other religions. that seeks to channel one’s fear of the uncontrollable and apparently blind forces which punish and threaten one’s tribe. "hat it feels like to worship such a . worshipping his . cannot imagine that faith might re$uire the wisdom to recognise the capacities of individual human beings in different ages. monumental. betrays an ab:ect and disastrous lack of common sense. %tates which impose severe moral codes in public will find that they cannot deal with the proliferation of private vice. & . desperate failure! and the conse$uences of this conviction. Bong ago. for their religious faith. and angry enough. even 5erod serves the oppressed community better than does Bar Gochva. only a growing sense of being trapped inside a logic that leads only to fear and despair. the activist feels.od that has allowed the final religion to go astray so calamitously cannot. 23ommanding the . ultimately. in +slam. *erhaps. But today.od is hard to imagine. it is an attempt at cathartic.od will relent towards us! and we can anticipate the %econd 3oming by defying time itself. /C1 he 6ealot.conviction has to make him one of az-zannina bi’ lah zanna’s-saw ' those who think ill thoughts of &llah. and for their ability to feel sakina. <o peace can come of such worship. +n the end. . a rite of atonement and mourning. of the betrayal of the believers. oynbee’s 2barbarian saviour'archaist’. ritualised breast'beating. /0I1 2Forcing religion down people’s throats’ will induce many of them to vomit it up again! such is the resilience or perversity of human nature. 5is policy seems usually to have been one of khidhlan. oynbee wrote of 2Healotism’: a psychological state ' as unmistakeably pathological as it is unmistakeably e#aggerated ' which is one of the two possible alternative reactions of the passive party in a collision between two civili6ations. +nvoking a ferocious definition of amr bi’l-ma‘ruf. in (urkheim’s language. oynbee saw that such pro:ects invariably end in misery. be trusted. if we are pure enough. are no less disastrous. entirely 2piacular’. . & cathartic component of religion has here become co'e#tensive with faith itself. unrelieved by anything more than the faintest glimmer of hope. heir contention is that +slamic civilisation has been an atrocious.

+n the hands of the 6ealot. paranoia. he sunna. as a structure of life. + mentioned at the beginning of this lecture that there are three religious paths commonly taken today: the time'capsule. are by intentions. as pure form. then we violate that holy place. only the pure of heart. and that of identity politics dressed up as scripturalism. hearts bla6ing with fury. cannot be itself if the inward reality of sakina is absent. the liberal. he sunna. desperate men. however. . +f we march in. is in practice widely followed among )uslims: these are the millions of individuals who may cherish the memory of a pious . )uch of what + have said has been dismal! but religion is surely about facing reality. it may become the most persuasive of all arguments against religion. oo many of us today live amid delusions.eligion. <ow the doors have been kicked open. )y e#perience of the world of faith which we all inherit is. but among religionists everywhere. stands $uarrelling around the te#t. were allowed to cross the threshhold into that space.od’s practice towards 5is people has been merciful. no doubt because we find the reality of our times too disturbing to contemplate.od and an afterlife. he Baw is merciful when interpreted and applied by those who believe that . and in the ultimate restitution for in:ustice. we should have souls great enough to look reality in the face without flinching. hungry. will not allow itself to be used in this way. despite all that + have said about the sickness of identity mania. he liberal option. invites us to 2get real’ ' to use a very )uslim &mericanism. fantasies about the past or the future! these abound in religious conferences! not :ust among )uslims. a positive one. Because we believe in . and those with decades of humbling scholarship behind them. then. +n earlier times. brandished as a weapon of revenge against the sources of one’s humiliation. &ctions. %cripture is a holy place! and we need to calm ourselves before entering it. and a crowd of furious. further fostering disenchantment and e#porting streams of refugees. and the interpretation of scripture is the proof of this. 3onspiracy theories. J J J + would like to move on now. %tates which behave in such a way as to be e#cluded from global trade will languish in poverty.mas$uerades as virtue in a political conte#t where religion has identified itself with a piacular rite of repression. despite the shallow purchase of its theology. viewing the world with suspiciousness about the divine intention.

must reclaim the initiative. is the most commonly pursued. or some vague sense of belonging to an inherited religious culture. he mainstream.oman religion failed to provide a sense of spiritual upliftment. simply because normal people do not want it. here has never been an e#ception to this in human history. given that it constructs its images of )uslim action from media images which inevitably focus on the frantic and the dangerous. he 6ealots are everywhere a very small percentage of the total of believers. Belief in the transcendent is. 3hristianity succeeded because pagan . or perhaps a moment of religious insight earlier in their lives. wherever it degenerates into a primal scream of panic about one’s situation in the world. %ecularisation theories are now everywhere in confusion! and religion prospers mightily in most countries of the world. <ever will e#tremism triumph for long. For most religiously'active )uslims. it seems. he masses are either too traditional or too religiously weak to want to follow them. then. a great civilisation behind it. with a variety of variations. then. +slam succeeded because the -astern churches were spiritually debilitated by centuries of bitter polemic. after all. is for mainstream +slam to reassert its possession of tafsir. will certainly be replaced by any other religion that offers sakina. Often. they will be actively involved in %ufism. <ew religious movements in the "est succeed by offering techni$ues of meditation and alternative therapies which seem absent from established religions as they are presently formulated. +slam. hard'wired into our species. +t remains in a strong position to do this.aunt. the conservative option. but who seldom attend the mos$ue. &lready we find a growing sense around the )uslim world that 6ealotry damages only +slam. 2 hat which does not kill me makes me stronger’. and e#pel the 6ealots from the sacred place. as <iets6che observes. & further reason why e#tremism has an uncertain future is that human beings are naturally religious. &ny religion that fails to supply this will soon be replaced by something else. +t has. his is a reality of which the "est is largely unaware. entailing adherence to one of the four %unni madhhabs and to either the &sh2ari or the )aturidi theology. and serves its rivals. and what most human beings crave is not a megaphone for their frustrations. /001 "hat is needed. but a voice for :ustice which also serves as a source of peace and serenity in a stressful world. +t should not find it difficult to do this. &lmost all senior ulema in %unni countries adhere to some form of conservatism. too. .

od. in which even tattooing is a forbidden practice. connected with the phenomenon of radical religion as a form of self'hatred of which + spoke earlier. 5e told me that consistently. and hence have no notion of the human body as made. as a topical e#ample. 3oupled with the policy of targeting the enemy’s civilians virtually at random. %uch a mentality is possible only for those who do not fully believe in a personal . his was recently made plain to me by the director of the %wedish +slamic &cademy. 2the melodramatic suicide of the Healots who faced hopeless military odds’. where made available to "esterners. rooted in a Buddhist %outh &sian culture. in oynbee’s words. impressed by the literature and practice of traditional spiritual +slam. people lean forward to learn more. whose religious rituals. Once the sakina has been found again.which e#tremism cannot claim. can afford to bypass that reality. coupled with a final message read before a camera. such an activity is historically without precedent. /091 .od’s image. he religious motivation behind many amil terrorists. it is clearly the symptom of a deep'rooted sickness. however. rather than cynically. For %unni +slam. whose code of revenge =tha’r> authorised the taking of any life from a rival tribe to compensate for the loss of one of one’s own. or among "esternised )uslims.od rather than the hatred of our political and social situation. One thinks of the kamika6e pilots of %hinto 4apan. whenever he mentions that he is a %ufi. during his $uarter'century as a )uslim in %tockholm. once religion becomes a matter of the love of . can seem hard to resist. too. One thinks. which. we may speculate. the $uestion of suicide bombing. a rich tradition of spirituality.Is &merica . provoked such horror and alienation in 0C. he piacular believer is so alienated from his self that he can contemplate its physical destruction. +s this merely the e#pression of pre:udice8 *erhaps. thus replicating. rather than superficially. +t recalls the collectivist ethos =2 asabiyya> of the pre'+slamic &rabs. we can begin to e#tract our communities from the hole which we have dug for ourselves. they lean back. too. But )uslims should also consider the possibility that educated "estern people may be sincerely. also springs to mind. Bet us take. alarmed. 5istorians might well wonder how this form of warfare could take root in any of the &brahamic religions.>. /071 +t is also. of the self'immolation of Buddhist monks during the Kietnam war. still vibrant in many countries. +t has. horrified by e#pressions of +slamic identity politics! and may be sincerely. <o'one who wishes to practice da‘wa in the "est. "hen he mentions +slam. a system decisively abrogated by the Qur’an’s 2no soul shall bear the burden of another’ =A:0A. in some sense in .

his desperation is unworthy of the umma of +slam. fair. &fter the war.eligious patience. and simply because they live on the other side of a frontier. -ntirely traditional scholars speak out against it in the strongest terms. "hy e#actly do the hadith suggest that )uslims must not 2destroy anyone with fire’8 /0. never runs out. friends. should remember that they are inflicting wounds on other lives as well that can never properly be healed. hose who take the lives of women and children. which flows from sakina.’ =9C:0I> he phrasing is superb. inflicting shock'waves on children and a wider world of relatives. he had pulled from the rubble of a building the body of a small girl who looked e#actly like his own daughter. hat trauma lives on. .’ &nd in the Qur’an: 2the patient shall be given their full reward without reckoning. it will be as if he had killed all mankind. 3rime is never against an individual! it never has a single victim. 2 rue patience’. inflicting a deeper sense of loss and alienation! and it is entirely foreign to our heritage. then. But we need also to re'engage with the principle of rahma. Orphans. 2"hosoever kills a human being for other than murder or corruption in the earth. we damage the lives of others whom we will probably never even meet. 3lausewit6ian conflict. my grandfather worked as a firefighter in the Bondon Blit6. and turn back to the authentic religious teaching that it is better to pray patiently than to descend into a tit'for'tat moral relativism that recalls the worst practices of the "ahiliyya.1 "hy are believers commanded so strongly to avoid taking the lives of civilians8 One reason is because if we do this. and his marriage ended painfully. One night. 2is never e#hausted. indiscriminately.’ =?:97> )any suffer when one is killed. he targeting of civilians. however. is an act of repentance. tawba. (uring the %econd "orld "ar. fifty years later. in the lives of all his descendants. as a bid‘a in the most necessary sense of the term. is part of the barbarism of modern "estern. Eears afterwards the reason for it became clear. of mercy. Our communities need to turn away from the utilitarian ethic that :ustifies even the worst and most inhuman barbarities as e#pedient means. widows. he trauma of that moment never left him until he died. his behaviour grew erratic. neighbours! all these are the victims of the single crime. moreover. whose relatives recognise that such was their status. after an air'raid. proportionate reckoning! and then the phrase bi-ghayri hisab ' it is to be . "ar in the valid shari‘a sense targets only combatants. #uwaffa suggests that they will be given a full. because it knows that it will one day be crowned with glory. relations. the )uslim proverb runs. subtly. "hat is re$uired.

infinitely. and to harbour ill thoughts about . +t is time that the great ma:ority stopped being a silent ma:ority. lack of tawakkul. &nd that transcending can only take place where religion is once again centred on the love and fear of . and to defy fundamental religious teachings about the sanctity of life. "orse. and whose hearts and minds are overseas. despite the headlines. o uphold the honour of +slam. "e need institutions and faces that can believably do this.od’s providence ' all these sins must lead.od. not on attempts to heal a wounded pride. 2Beware of a tribulation which will certainly not afflict only the wrongdoers amongst you. and to defy the voices that would turn it into little more than a resentful sect. <either are they at ease with the reinvention of religion as a ritual of distress. the e#tremists remain numerically and intellectually on the e#tremes. it is the way of the zannina bi’ lahi zanna’s-saw’. one of the supreme Qur’anic virtues. is another possible yardstick against which to measure the authenticity of our +slam. however. &nd those who cannot restrain themselves will be smacked down. is a fard ‘ayn ' an individual obligation. +slam is. a success story. as a great world religion. to divine punishment. and do not wish their places of worship to be directed by the representatives of other governments or 6ealot political movements. & few of our mos$ues and +slamic centres are in the grip of a small minority of worshippers who care nothing for peaceful coe#istence with their fellow citi6ens. and raised its voice courageously. his is not. hose who regard them as a shortcut to a world in which their self'image will be healed are likely to be disappointed. 5ere. lack of optimism. +mpatience is impiety. all these are vices which must be transcended. &s + have already indicated. + am very optimistic that this will take place. :ealousy. *atience. )ost )uslims prefer the spiritual to the frantic! patience to the primal . he sunna must be reclaimed as a via positiva. his ma:ority must now speak out. then. =D:7?> o act impatiently on grounds of 2asabiyya. + believe. wish to be accepted as full and respected partners in the pro:ect of building a :ust and prosperous society. they will bring misfortunes upon their communities. in the traditional )uslim understanding. which led to the success of the peaceful entry into )ecca.’ the Qur’an warns us. hat disappointment is now palpable in the world of +slamic identity'politics. a heroic option! it is a fundamental religious duty. %ullenness. )ost )uslims here. is rewarded also in the ne#t life.without any reckoning at all.

"e must now make it clear to our institutions of learning.’ as a historian of the period notes. the )uslims were a peaceful presence who contributed much to the deeply flawed but stable global enterprise that was the British -mpire. hose *athans who fought and died at )onte 3assino. &gain. however. were not conscripts. /0A1 Once the bitterness of the )utiny had subsided. )ost scholars do not teach that globalisation obliges us to make hijra to a neighbouring planet. it is time to speak out in favour of normalcy. the 5ausas of the <igeria . not e#cepting the followers of +slam. Of course we have our own distinctive assurances on moral matters. to present <a6ism as a potential ally for +slam. had <ational %ocialism triumphed. its scientists would have aimed at the elimination or reduction to servile status of all the non'white races of the world. . J J J his optimism must. and that the voice of ma:oritarian +slam be allowed its natural place. One cannot deplore too strongly the attempt by a few )uslims. and to those who would help us from abroad. we breathe the air that they have poisoned. there were few who chose the option of hijra to &fghanistan . they were volunteers. &nd the poison e#ists here.egiment who fought with the 3hindits in Burma! the Bengali Bascars who died in the Battle of the &tlantic. and a deep scepticism about the ability of a consumer society to increase human fulfilment and to protect the integrity of creation. be tempered with an awareness of the immediate tactical situation. in a jihad. +n British +ndia. a political conte#t far less egalitarian than the one we inhabit here. <onetheless. o fight for the &llies was un$uestionably a jihad. Fighting against a common totalitarian enemy they were engaged. 2held that a country remained daru’l-$slam as long as a single provision of the Baw was kept in force. because of the aggression of a small minority of 6ealots. he message is a positive one: +slam is not intrinsically committed to violent reaction against the global consensus. 2%ome scholars. he ulema overwhelmingly stayed in place. But )uslims are not committed to :umping ship. such as &taullah Gopanski. that the principle of shura demands that the e#tremes be e#cluded. in the broad understanding of the term. and were not prominent during the )utiny. as elsewhere. /0@1 3learly.scream. /0?1 few if any of us respect the )iddle -astern mass'murderers who are currently inviting the world to regard +slam as the great political and moral failure of the new century. (espite the alarmism of a few intransigent voices such as (aniel *ipes and Bamin %anneh.

%ome of the greatest )uslim poetical works written in %pain after the reconquista were based on the story of the monotheist prophet who accepted a senior post in a non'believing political order. +ran or %audi &rabia . of the Shari‘a are the right to life. he fundamental ob:ects. the struggle against communism effectively united )uslims and 3hristendom. say. within the framework of laws drafted by ma:oritarian non')uslim legislatures. %houting at rallies and denouncing the mainstream are for them the most satisfying acts . religion. because for them religion has become nothing but the piacular rite of protest. for the mainstream fuqaha’. a long alliance which both sides seem to have forgotten with astonishing speed and completeness. +slam. is an ideal for whose realisation we cherish a firm and ultimate hope. -nglish law. Eet they protest and rail against the established political order. )uslims in the Fnited Gingdom are not being offered a choice between . )uslims may be unhappy with the asylum laws here. therefore. supplies arguments for loyalty. But it also includes the duty to act.od’s law and man’s.)ore recently. why the tale of the prophet 4oseph was so popular in pre'modern )uslim minority conte#ts. but would one wish to claim asylum in any )uslim country that currently springs to mind8 "e may not approve of all the local rules of evidence. out of maslaha. "e may even venture to note that they appear to be better maintained here than in the hamfisted attempts at creating Shari‘a states that we see in several corners of the )uslim world. will at this point revert to their primal scream. maqasid. and that despite decades of effort by them there is no Shari‘a order in the world. he story is no less popular in the villages of atarstan. an ideal which will itself be reshaped by the powerful instruments of ijtihad. his is. but does not make the totalising claims which the radicals make for their own various imams. . is dimly theocratic. of course. lineage. and honour! and these are respected in the legal codes of the contemporary "est. than in -nglish :urisdiction.od’s law. hey intuit that they are engaged in acts of collective religious suicide. mind. hey know full well that their movements have failed. <ot because it regards the present state of affairs as ideal =a view commended by no'one> but because it recognises that it is the point from which one needs to begin working towards the ideal. he radicals in our inner cities. of )uslim %iberia. we will surely hesitate to claim that a murder investigation is better pursued in. and of 3hina . no doubt. but if we are honest. with its partial legal privileging of &nglican faith.

But the traditionally'committed )uslim who is part of society at large already possesses the network. one that has already attracted many cultivated people in the "est. and the historians will note. here are strong reasons why this must succeed. Boyalty. then. .+-. "ere they to be denied these practices. and to whom to speak. and they are well'aware of how much they will find there. moral +slam. because unlike the +slam of those who distrust the divine purposes in history. tr. Contingency. Firstly. because this version of faith happens to be true. &lternative mos$ues and institutions of learning need to be established as matrices for the proclamation of authentic. +slam’s non'hierarchical nature means that such people can simply be circumvented.. perhaps after some climacteric )asada. is to the balanced. &nd finally. he radical has to shout for a long time before anyone outside the )uslim community notices him. and most momentously. "e have the advantage of knowing how to speak. Irony and Solidarity. !"#$ %& %+. 5e can claim membership in one of the world’s great traditions of art and literature. mainstream. But the e#tremism will disappear. and no ability to speak to it. -mile (urkheim. heir cultural maladroitness will always work to the mainstream’s advantage. with a regretful curiosity. %he &lementary 'orms of the (eligious ife . &lthough the central mos$ues in most "estern capitals are controlled by %audis with no affection for the society around them. +slam is a wisdom tradition that has seldom if ever generated e#tremes that have had a permanent impact. because no'one who has a future really desires it. =<ew Eork.0C. 0C0?>. p. pass away as rapidly as it came. spiritual. %ome souls will have been damaged by it! the name of the religion will have been damaged by it. which is the Sunna. obliged to try.& 'ichard 'orty. + make no doubt. middle way. the wasat. traditional +slam is optimistic and brings sakina to the human soul. 3an we accelerate this healing process8 "e are. they would be forced back on their own spiritual resources. %econdly. he current wave of 6ealotry will. 4 %wain.of worship. (repr& e) *elhi. because everyone who has an interest in social cohesion wants it to succeed. p&. how +slam was for a few years associated with terrorism. + think. 7.

+& D.ha6ali’s emphatic 2:ihadism’! and 3ook shows =p.779. )ona &ba6a and . +n his fiqh works. Brenda 3rossman. p&30& A.f& ibid. Molla Cami’nin eserleri (Ankara. bayan shu:a2atih>. even of the mainstream 2+slamist’ variety. )ichael 3ook has shown that in comparison with the ma:ority of ulema. Orientalism...3+& . 99D'C: 2no'one was more vehement in war than him’.I9>. %afsir =Beirut.?A. combine their puritanism )ith militancy&7 0I. . such as the /asit.eorg %tauth. +bn 4u6ayy al'Galbi. Secularism’s ast Sigh) *indutva and the +mis.?7@> how several modern summaries of the $hya’ remove .> 1& Abd2lkadir #miroglu. 2he was always the first to e#change blows with the enemy’. (eds-.> )odern &rab activists.@! L G. p.-.eason. and the new global terrorism & ( e) 0ork.ha6ali’s strongly 2:ihadist’ stance. . 7III>. :. apocalyptic violence. %+3+-. %+32-. 9:. +& Arnold "oynbee. . 3& A& Hourani.. have fre$uently been embarrassed by . A Study o" #istory (!8ford. 0. 0CCI>. . . 3arrell’s influence on %ayyid Qutb is fre$uently cited in this connection. %+3.rule of law! <ew (elhi and =O#ford.nowledge and Society =Bondon etc.3& 'obert Jay /ifton. Aum Shinrikyo. -lobalization.ha6ali is no accommodationist: he displays great enthusiasm for men who take their lives in their hands. 4$haikh 5halid and the a6shbandi !rder7.’ =)ichael 3ook. in $&M& $tern et al&. . AC. 2ommanding the (ight and 'orbidding /rong in $slamic %hought =3ambridge..ha6ali’s views on amr bi’l-ma‘ruf are 2marked by a certain flirtation with radicalism M . Destroying the world to save it. &dab al'ma2isha. etc. 0CCC. 09. 33%n< 4"he Je)ish =ealots of that age. like the >ahhhabis at the present day. 2Occidental .ha6ali’s remarks on changing evil 2with the hand’.. +slamic fundamentalism: a criti$ue’.eflecting on the $hya’s 2:ihadist’ aspects.>.ha6ali suggests no more than a mainstream %hafi2i understanding of the believer’s relationship to war and peace! but the $hya’ shows that jihad is integrated into the very centre of his understanding of *rophetic emulation =see for instance $hya’ ‘0lum al-1in =3airo. Islamic hilosophy and the Classical !radition (!8ford. p. %+++&. 5ere the $uestion has been posed of the present'day appropriateness of +mam al'. )ore radical . in )artin &lbrow and -li6abeth Ging =eds.

ISIM $ewsletter %0 (July.>.writers. 0CCA>. %afsir =+stanbul. For +slam’s understanding of suicide as an 2+ndian foolishness’ see Baydawi. but not in@ariably fairA the ne)smedia cannot be e8pected to focus on the pacific or the spiritual& Berhaps )e need to be more frank in blaming our o)n Muslim communities for failing to engage in more successful and sophisticated public relations& My o)n encounters )ith tele@ision and ne)spaper Cournalists ha@e confirmed that the mass media are only too happy to take articles from Muslims.:7C>. in 3l-*ilal. he response to such implicit accusations should surely be that +mam al'.ha6ali adopted a stance within his own lifetime that he would not necessarily counsel for our own comple# and fitna'ridden age and circumstances.. . see )ustafa 4awad. %1& /amin $anneh. op. . 097C>. %2. in which the use of armed force against heavy odds is typically denounced by the ulema as an action against )uslim interests = masalih>. however..udolph *eters. 2&l')untahirun fi’l' 4ahiliyya wa’l'+slam’. there is only one Muslim film production company. "ihad in 2lassical and 4odern $slam5 3 (eader =*rinceton. 4$acred and $ecular in 9slam7. or broadcast films made by MuslimsA but that they cannot see )here to find the contributions& 9n the Dnited 5ingdom . but se@eral hundred cable and satellite ": channels& MaCor mos6ues and organisations ha@e little or no public relations e8pertise& "o accuse the >est of misrepresentation is sometimes proper.ha6ali: the &lgerian revolutionary &li Belha:: 2$uotes .ha6ali’s passage on armed bands with obvious relish’ =p. cit&. %3& "oynbee.& 0. . For pre'+slamic &rab 2pride’ suicide.?7D>. :9. makes the follo)ing incendiary claim about the $eptember %% attacks< 4"he >est FGH has sought comfort in the con@enient thought that it is only a renegade breaka)ay group of Muslim fundamentalists )ho ha@e struck out in @iolence& Most Muslims do not share that @ie)&7 . %%& ?laming the >est for this is sometimes.7 =0C9.@?'C. applaud . +t is presumably not without significance that the deaths of %aul and %amson do not figure in the )uslim scriptures. . . but all too often reflects a hermeneutic of suspicion rooted in Eealot attitudes to the !ther& 07. 0IC =to Qur’an. 2002-. 9A.

0CD7>. Sabres o" !wo %asts& an untold history o" Muslims in %astern %urope (9slamabad.0A.:: =*rinceton. %++1-& . see p. For the muted role of the ulema during the )utiny. $slamic (evival in 6ritish $ndia5 1eoband 789:-7. Barbara )etcalf. ?0. %3& Ataullah 5opanski. D7.

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