Friday, September 19, 2008
The Solid Edifice .. and a plea
The last post was a sort of reaction to some blog entries of brothers and also my discussions or comments on discussion forums(that have left some unhappy) on this whole salafi-sufi debate.
My personal stand have been always one of collectiveness - that whatever differences, we need to come together for the greater good - if we were to create the positive change and impact that this religion (which we argue and debate about) aspires for its followers.
Fundamentally, we need to realize that the root of all things is diversity and unity is an acquired state (through efforts or reforms).
In psychology, understanding the concept of individual difference is key in understanding behavior and personality - which essentially talks about the differences in personalities and, hence, varied pattern of behavior manifested in every one of us. According to the idea of individual difference, no two person are alike due mainly to personal disposition and circumstances that facilitate a sort of conditioning in us all.
In team or group development - and especially in this - one learns about the process of forming, storming, norming and, thus, performing where at the storming stage - conflicts are expected because it assumes that essentially every one is different especially in the way one look at things. Therefore what someone bring into discussion might not find coherence with another - the question here is how do we overcome that to reach a stage of productivity and performance?
Even society is made up of different resources, profession and roles - can everyone be the doctor? If so, who will become the patient? If everyone becomes the teacher - who will then become the student?
As such diversity is natural in a society, and one needs to accept and even embrace diversity - if we were to not only live in harmony but progress ourselves as that very collective society of rahmah lil a'lameen (mercy for others).
In the corporate world of business management, plenty of academics have already acknowledged the importance of diversity in a working group, team or unit as a crucial phenomenon in achieving productivity. In fact, special emphasis are being placed to ensure diversity in a working force.
This is purely because, whilst different perspectives may clash - but, when manage properly these very ideas could create that very new progress through revolutionary ideas and also a knitted or dynamic working team in solidarity that propel us all forward. Thus, a solid edifice.
Ironically for Muslims, we have been slow to learn this (as always) and what is even sad is that the Qur'an has mentioned this that we have even let it slip from under our very own noses.
"And Allah loves those who strive in His Path in ranks, as if they were a solid edifice" (61: 4).
... ka annahum bunyanum marsus ... bunyanum marsus .. a solid edifice .. let's consider that for a moment and let's consider our state.
Yes, bigotry is potentially the issue - but knowing is only half the battle. Applying it is another. We need to begin to accept these differences and move on in search for the common platform we could come in agreement - which by the way are plenty. Ironically, the very thing we debate about are those small proportion of differences within the Islamic sphere that we forget the bigger chunk of commonalities. We have been to consume to proof that our point is right and others need to submit to our believes - our reforms and etc. How ignorant have we become.
**Kalau orang bukan Islam yang ingin menhancurkan umat Islam melihat keadaan kita - mereka akan ketawa sambil berkata: our job is done let's leave them to themselves.
After decades of decolonization, we are still colonized because the very fabric of our society are still divided, and thus, conquered.
Let's look at the fundamental role that the race of man has been set on this earth to achieve - khalifah fil ard: vicegerent/ steward on earth. How much have we accomplished that?
Instead of debating in endless arguments, let's focus on the very things that we are counted for as the ummah of the Prophet (saw) thus quantify as amongst those who will drink from the Kauthar with the Prophet (saw).
Are we to say then, when we meet him that: "we were not able to achieve much unlike the earlier people because during our age we were busy proving each other wrong"?
It's the last 10 nights and Ramadhan is slipping away from our very fingers ever so rapidly - let's embrace it and ask in these last nights for forgiveness and guidance. Not only for ourselves - but all of us - in a collective ... the final ummah ... the ummah of al Mustapha (saw).