Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Tragedy of Modern Muslim Activists

It seems that nowadays everyone wants to speak about Islam...but no one wants to practice Islam.

As I search the latest articles, blogs, books, news reports, etc. relating to Islam, I realize that the majority of commentators on Islam in the media-who want to define what Islamic theology, law, and practice is - do not even practice the basics of the faith! Not to mention, they have never actually studied it!

I was appalled to see that a woman with no training or education in the Islamic sciences who publicly violates unanimously agreed upon aspects of Islamic law and who is not ashamed of her adulterous illicit relationship, debating what Islamic law says regarding gender relations on the Doha debates broadcast internationally. It is watching a person with no medical training and who in fact has cancer and is a proud smoker debate on Internal Medicine!

That is just once example. The media is now full of people who may have never done one prostration to God arguing about the very soul of Islam. And the tragedy is they are given an audience! It is amazing how we would never accept doctors teaching law, or lawyers teaching medicine, and so on, yet we have no problem with doctors, lawyers, activists, and just about everyone else (except for actual scholars) teaching about Islam- when they neither study nor practice it.

It is thus no shock that it is these same speakers who are advocating and promoting beliefs and practices (or lack thereof) which completely contradict over 1400 years of Islamic Scholarship!

The scholars are often not the ones that are respected and learned from...rather people seek knowledge from speakers who lack practice and knowledge.

Our situation is best described by the teachings of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him):

“Allah will not deprive you of knowledge after he has given it to you, but it will be taken away through the death of the learned men (Ulema’a) with their knowledge. There will remain ignorant people who, when consulted, will give verdicts according to their opinions whereby they will mislead others and themselves go astray.”

Islam is the most valuable thing we lets beware from where we acquire it!


  1. I am disappointed that you would suggest using someone's personal life and how he/she practices Islam in an external fashion to color his/her ability to talk meaningfully about the religion. Your analogy to physicians is a misleading one as wisdom (as opposed to knowledge) is not 'licensed' or measured in an empirical sense; one cannot assume that a murder or adulterer is devoid of Islamic wisdom anymore than a sheikh is inherently blessed with it. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

    Ali (ra) once said "Examine what is being said, not he who is speaking." If you disagree with someone's arguments, by all means point out what you feel is illogical or incorrect, but don't resort to petty and immature character attacks to discredit someone's sincerely held beliefs.

  2. Good Point Yousef. The Bigger point I have issue with is not as much as their outward practice as much as their knowledge and qualifications...the speakers I refereed to here not only had serious issues in relation to their outward practice of the faith...but they completely lacked the academic qualifications to comment on the subject.

  3. Another issue is when such unqualified people are taken for role models.