There is something strange happening in the Western world. Across hardly a half-century, religious observance in the West has not merely slackened, but vanished. The sudden decline of organized religion throughout Western civilization has been so precipitous, so staggering, that it in fact lacks any sort of parallel throughout history, almost as though overnight an entire civilization turned over in their beds and decided to stop believing in God.
[Today we have] large buses displaying the banal slogan of a vapid, hollow, and nihilistic class: There’s probably no God, so stop worrying and enjoy your life.
Sh. Murad boldly suggests that the classical Islamic tradition should be presented in full, in all its complex diversity, and that the taking of ilm and scholarship should be encouraged.
Travelling Home does not concern itself only with social decay and civilizational decline, but with more individual and communal vices as well. Unjust anger, tit-for-tat vengeance, and sectarianism are not spared from analysis. While these inequities are by no means unique to Muslims, they have nonetheless been frustratingly prevalent among the diasporic community. Under the guise of a return to an austere traditionalism of yesteryear, false values diametrically opposed to our faith have been imported.
Across the ummah, we see this result culminating in sharp and bruising online debates, each response more cutting and personal than the last, “race temples” scowling down at any not sufficiently affiliated to the lands Back Home who dare cross their doors, and beady-eyed gatekeepers of the manhaj perpetually on the lookout for any type of deviation from their preferred school.
The fault here lies not in any one sect, whether Salafi or Sufi, Deobandi or Barelvi, but in an entire program of modernity that has infiltrated our deen.
What Sh. Murad calls for is instead a return to real Prophetic values: mercy, courage, compassion, modesty, humility, honesty, and strength. While elements of the trends in Muslim communities that have been imported to the West may be culturally specific, Islam itself is not— and neither is the fitrah. The values imparted by the Quran and Sunnah cut deep into the hearts of every living human being, no matter how clouded by the fog of atheistic materialism.
- Diasporic Wanderlust: Sh. Abdal Hakim Murad’s “Travelling Home” – Traversing Tradition
Amazon link to the book here. This is not a sponsored post.
- More on (Post-)Modernism: Postmodernism
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