Muslim, why do you hate your father?
This article is in no way intended to contradict or even supersede the contents of two previous writings on this site: “And I, stateless Cimmerian …” (http://www.theislamiccommunity.com/article/the_fourteenth_tribe1) and “To belong or not to belong: That is my question” (http://www.theislamiccommunity.com/article/nation_building).
It is rather a supplementary gloss on the pair of them.
One of the main plagues besetting the Islamic ummah in the lands they have migrated to (and not only those lands) is the youth’s scornful or resentful rejection of their heritage; which heritage is of course a decree of Allah, a building block He has gifted us by, having at its heart a father.
Allah has followed mention of obligatory tawhīd and obligatory avoidance of shirk with active goodness to one’s parents:
Sūrah al-Baqarah: 83;
Sūrah an-Nisā’: 36;
Sūrah al-An`ām: 151;
Sūrah al-Isrā’: 23.
If, as a secular saying goes, “three indicia make up a proof”, what about four mutually corroborating Signs from the Lord of the worlds?
The fortunate people who have been studying at our Sulwān School know about the valiant governor / general Ziyād b. Abīh, and his offer of most coveted leadership skills on the non-negotiable condition of being attached to his father as identified by him.
An example of enlightened and guided Islamic leadership is represented by the early Moroccan ruler al-Mawlā Ismā`īl b. ash-Sharīf.
In his lovely work devoted to the life, character and achievements of that sapient leader, Al-Manza` al-Latīf fī Mafākhir al-Mawlā Ismā`īl b. ash-Sharīf, “the historian of the ‘Alawī Dawlah”, Mawlāy ‘Abdur-Rahmān b. Zaydān, set aside a specific chapter to al-Mawlā Ismā`īl’s deep concern for authenticating the lineage of his subjects in Meknes and the noble feats of their clans or tribesmen. In that connection, he established a civic office exclusively consecrated to that task, with duly kept public records.
The subjects prided in their fathers and their ruler, the father of fathers, prided in their pride.
There is no such thing that we are part of a generic nation of “Westerners”. No such people or tribe exists, let alone in Ontario or Perth.
We must accept our ancestry which places us as descendants, quite likely, of ‘Īsū, and thus the immediate offspring of Ishāq, peace upon him.
It is thus by no means a despicable ancestry, and the fact that the dominant component in it is hostile to Muslims and encroaches upon the body politic of Islam does not justify us escaping from our roots or disavowing our source-identity: It simply calls us to fructify the best seeds in that genetic matrix.
Because of his inalterable genealogical matrix, the Rūmī person is exceptionally brilliant. He can use that brilliance exploitatively and imperialistically; but he can also do so in a beneficent way, mercifully for the sake of the All-Merciful.
He is a methodical and deep thinker: He can probe the depths of sophisticated godless humanism, just as he is an invaluably enriching contributor to the revival of Islamic thought, especially when he is nurtured by the established Muslim communities grappling with a decayed Islam.
Too many times we come across Muslim Rūm who angrily and contemptibly deny their origin and metaphorically kill their father in a paroxystic enactment of the Oedipal complex.
We are not fatherless people who need to be adopted by “established” Muslims or by ideological tribes taking advantage of the feeling of alienation and estrangement the Muslim Rūm bring upon themselves.
Adoption as currently practiced is of two types:
• I merge you into my family, you call me “dad” (something Allah has explicitly forbidden us to do in the noble Sūrah al-Ahzāb), and I shape up your identity to reflect mine;
• I adopt a Bosnian or Tibetan orphan from a distance, and I pay for the child’s upbringing while still firmly planted in his or her original cultural milieu, in which case I do not have a father; I have a sponsor and a patron, which is different. I am close to a mawlā in one respect, but not in its fuller and more beneficial sense.
Let us therefore gleefully accept our biological map, our biological ancestry and identity. Let us be proud of it. Let us learn, be inspired by and cultivate its many positives, while learning to jettison the negatives as we turn ourselves into a platoon of the universal ummah of the best of creation, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, and in so doing we rub elbows with the many other social aggregates which as intersecting lines converge therein.
If members of our stock commit aggressive or intolerant evils against fellow Muslims, does it mean we have to negate our anthropological essence or torture ourselves about it; or define ourselves purely as followers of a jurisprudential method, a doctrinal school or a spiritual path?
Do the Muslims from India perchance hate themselves because of the diseased beliefs and practices of Hindus?
Being who they are in their nucleus, their aforesaid genealogical matrix connecting them to Ishāq, peace upon him, Muslim Rūm are naturally attracted to the pursuit of knowledge, and to seek and master the details of Islamic sciences, even to the point of excessive pedantry or sophistry.
It is in their blood.
Allah defined Ishāq in His Book as a very knowledgeable boy (ghulām ‘alīm): «Do not be afraid. We bring you the good news of a boy of great knowledge» (Sūrah al-Hijr: 53).
Ismā`īl has been defined, not through an opposite, but through a complementary feature, as a clement or forbearing boy (ghulām halīm):
«And We gave him the good news of a clement boy» (Sūrah as-Sāffāt: 101).
Hilm, as known by all those who have learnt the rudiments of Arabic, is to clemently restrain oneself from exacting punishment against someone while in a position to do so.
They are two Attributes of Allah, and He is both al-‘Alīm and al-Halīm.
We Muslim Rūm have to absorb more clemency into our beings, whereas ‘ilm or knowledge is congenital in us. As the hadīth combining mention of the two features puts it: “Knowledge (‘ilm) is only actualized by learning, just as clemency (hilm) is only actualized by forcing oneself to be clement.”
The sharp-witted Rūm, across the centuries, from classical Rome to Great Britain and beyond, founded well-organized and pretty functional empires, which were ordinarily ruthless in accordance with the germinal seed of the entire stock: Delenda Carthago Est.
When the descendants of the clement boy (the ghulām halīm) went abroad, as part of expanding Islamic armies, they brought merciful rule and justice, though in a position to exact ferocious castigation or revenge, and they mingled with the locals affectionately.
At the same time, the established Muslims must draw from the ample reservoir of Rūm’s intellectual genius so as to refresh their own seed, and no one is more apt to do so than the Rūm who have come into Islam (and similar such new blood).
In an age of increasing planetary polarization between the two blocs of īmān and kufr, that is a must which can no longer be delayed.
It is insane in our age to believe that any particular Muslim people might succeed on its own, just as it is insane to believe Muslims without an identity might succeed where their predecessors have failed.
Naturally, there are plenty of self-destructive fools among established Muslims who, out of arrogant racism or tribalism, presumptuously dismiss the Muslim Rūm of recent coinage and their vast potential to elevate the ummah. We simply need to turn away from them, as Allah instructed His beloved, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, to do with each and every ignoramus («wa-a`rid ‘ani’l-jāhilīn»).
We only address the elite.
As we cautioned before, the genetic infatuation with knowledge and the dissecting of it, which is native to Muslim Rūm, is also the most dangerous entry point of deviancies leading them astray while passionately searching for the fountainheads of knowledge: They resonate with knowledge, and that is, therefore, precisely the terrain enemies of the Dīn would target them in. The cure is in the sickness and vice versa.
In the Hereafter we shall be called by our names and the names of our fathers.
Whoever renounces his father’s paternity is in a state of belligerence with Allah, and in this world he will meet with resultant defeat and disappointment.
The tragedy of expatriate Muslims from the Subcontinent
We naturally cannot do here more than fleeting justice to some arch-human contexts.
For instance, Black Muslims in South Africa (whose Islam is largely of recent coinage) suffer from a generational abyss, the fact, in other words, that their own children look down on them, with minimal or non-existent respect, because their fathers are associated with capitulation to degrading white supremacists and a status of uneducated adults cut off from the higher income groups and success stories.
That is a deep problem which requires them to work out solutions on how to successfully address and tackle it.
The case of the finest Muslim youth from the communities of expatriate subcontinent Muslims is quite unique.
It is quite unique because the Indian being has a deeply rooted component which is inherited from Hinduism: The caste, and the delusion of superior purity. We are pak; the rest is na-pak; pure-impure.
Contrary to the ruminations on the theme by the genial madman Nietzsche, and while agreeing with him that the Aristotelian concept of “equality among equals” is much closer to the Islamic ‘adl or “even counterpoise” than democratic blurring of hierarchical ranks, Nietzsche’s Indo-European apology of the caste system ought to be dismissed as sheer anti-Christian dialectics. It is a dialectical arena which solely concerns the settling of accounts between fading Christendom and post-Christianity (which Nietzsche obviously belonged to). We, as people of īmān, are detached from it: We transcend it without being the synthesis between the two opposite poles.
The Homo Islamicus from the Subcontinent never exported the Dīn by jihād to novel lands, unlike his Arab or Turkish counterpart (and by and large, exceptions like the majestic Aurangzeb apart, he never had an inborn taste and inclination for law, its theory and practice, and the passionate search for justice. He is quite different from his brethren in faith who descended from either Ismā`īl or Ishāq).
That was his essential being while Islam, with Moghul rule, was at the height of its power in his subcontinent.
When he migrated to the land of the Rūm in search of material comfort and aggrandizement, he migrated along with his caste-shaped psyche.
He thus conceptualized a delusional cosmos:
He would simply benefit from the material prowess (technical, commercial, infrastructural) of the Rūm (who were impure disbelievers) while internally guarding his purity: monotheistic belief, Islam’s higher moral ground, food hallowed by the strictest interpretation of dietary laws, and the sanctity of their womenfolk who were untouchable to other than their fellow “caste members”.
You might ask: ‘How can you possibly achieve that while settled in the land of the impure?’.
Of course you would be right in your critical observation, but there was nothing rational or carefully thought out in pursuing the said delusion: it was driven by guts, by the unconscious, as if in a trance-like state most of them have yet to wake up from.
The underlying schizoid attitude has ravaged their children and grandchildren, who have fully grown up among the impure, sharing most of their lives with them from nursery school onwards.
Many of their finest products, those with ardent commitment to Islam, have developed deep-seated resentment and detestation vis-à-vis their fathers.
We of course understand the cosmological reason and empathize with them.
It is however perilous to adopt that course.
One spin-off of such detestation is that it manifests in either of two interrelated forms:
• The assessment of anything “cultural” in Islam as being ipsofacto evil, because of the multiple evil they have experienced in their family clans as a result of a self-obsessed, secessionist, haughtily estranging cultural approach to the Dīn. The scramble then begins for some surrogate ideological father who heads a United Nations clan of adepts (seekers of knowledge, lovers of Sufism, activists etc) and who preaches a totally trans-national and trans-cultural affiliation to a planetary ummah. These finest products of expatriate subcontinent communities of Muslims are instinctively attracted to the new Muslims from the Rūm: They have inherited no cultural trappings from their family environment, so they are perceived to be the ideal followers of a lily-white Dīn where only the concept of a universal Prophetic nation matters. Selfishly, these fine Muslims from an expatriate subcontinent milieu do not react positively to the suggestion that the Muslim Rūm, too, should form their organic tribes and peoples, which is of course a right Allah has bestowed on them and guided them to. A thoughtful Chinese Muslim coined the fitting term “vanilla convert” to describe the new Muslim without national identity and pleased to be without one as he has rebelled against his own Rūmī lineage. For the fine products of expatriate subcontinent communities, this vanilla convert is a safe haven, a shelter from the overdose of exclusionist culturalism, a refuge from a schizophrenic heritage he has come to abhor hurling him back to the undifferentiated world of spirits, the world of «[a]-lastu bi-Rabbikum». In this transient dunyā, however, Allah has made us into peoples and tribes by His merciful will; only after the Day of Requital will we gather as one homogeneous Prophetic nation merging with the other pre-Muhammadan Prophetic nations;
• Affiliation to crudely violent militants, as if by bombing or hacking to death some randomly selected unbelievers they might succeed in wiping out the whole impure people their forefathers migrated to and under whose secular jurisdiction they accepted to amass some chattels of the dunyā. In reality, it is not even the na-pak people they would love to uproot from the world. They would love to bomb their own fathers, grandfathers and agnates out of existence, but since they cannot do so they transfer their angst against the secular masters of their own households.
This is not good.
Our brothers from the subcontinent must reach a balance between the two wicked extremes:
• The hypocrisy of “the cultural religion of the pure” which Islam has been transmogrified into;
• The visceral antipathy towards their own fathers (who have willed that hypocrisy and strenuously defended it) and the negation of anything related to their roots.
They have to manly confront their societies, outwardly praising, certifying and implementing the noble aspects possessed by the genetic and anthropological patrimony Allah singled them out by, while openly underlining, criticizing, denouncing, rectifying and eradicating the sprawling weed of that conceited hypocrisy.
Consciously change things from within your national communities, and draw help in that respect from the new Muslims as your declared allies; which they cannot be unless they, too, have their own discernible identities.
The Muslim does not flee from the battlefield. He remains steadfast and fights on.
Success is by Allah.