Casablanca - It is not easy for the believer to grasp the concept of “wholeness” in Islam. The Islamic creed remains at the centre of every Muslim’s heart , regardless of their piety, not because Muslims choose to make of it a priority but mainly because it is designed to permeates all aspects of life. In some instances, Islam stands frank and dauntless. In other occasions it slides towards the heart of the believer like a rampant celestial light yet subtle and ethereal.
Casablanca – It is not easy for the believer to grasp the concept of “wholeness” in Islam. The Islamic creed remains at the centre of every Muslim’s heart , regardless of their piety, not because Muslims choose to make of it a priority but mainly because it is designed to permeates all aspects of life. In some instances, Islam stands frank and dauntless. In other occasions it slides towards the heart of the believer like a rampant celestial light yet subtle and ethereal.
It is unfortunate that the adherence to the Islamic faith has become for many a mechanistic and soulless process. The slow metamorphosis towards this religious callousness among Muslims did not happen overnight. Besides, it is of no use to blame history, society, the economic order, for religion can be a binding factor for large communities, yet its foundations are purely individual, since religiosity pertains more to the believer’s choices.
Yet, we must admit that the mainstream perception about Islam nowadays is either overpowered by negative narratives promoted by westerners or radical secularists or totally distorted by the hard line Islamists who consider Islam as a mere balance sheet with two columns of deeds and misdeeds disregarding the fact that Islam is a journey , that everyone embarks on its own venture , and that the ways to “God” are so numerous.
In her book “Love in Muslim Countries” Fatima Mernissi deplores the decline of “love” in modern Muslim societies despite a miscellaneous historic legacy of love sagas rich in manifestations and in words. In her survey of Muslim lovers’ itinerary, Fatima Mernissi does not miss the conjecture with the Sufis, “The greatest lovers” of all times. Mernissi wonders why Muslims are not taught the art of love through the spectacles of those Sufis who lived in the margins of society buzz, who even risked their life for God’s sake.
In the information age and with the overdose of pragmatism and utilitarianism pumped into our veins, these refined feelings and uplifting journeys seem highly utopian and even look irrelevant to us. In addition, the journey back to the essence of divine love is not a sine qua none to the affiliation to Islam. It is only a path among a ramification of lanes that leads the believer to the safe shores of faith.
Once upon the time, there was a young man who was totally desperate and immersed in worldly concerns. While he was sitting on a bench engrossed in his thoughts, he was approached by an old man whose jilbab, hat and white beard mirrored piety and wisdom. The old man cast a quick glance at his neighbor and said “Are you fine my son?” The young man replied automatically’ it’s Ok, just some problems to solve”. The old man turned to him with a smirk on his face and said” Then why don’t you turn to your beloved, pointing his finger at the blue firmament”.
Abashed, the young man asked “beloved, Allah? How can Allah be a “beloved? To my knowledge, the beloved is someone you can talk to, someone you look at in the eyes and someone you can tenderly touch”.
You may wait restlessly for the old man’s answer, yet there are many answers to that legitimate question. There are many possibilities, and copious versions to the journey towards the creator. Between the passionate Sufis who sought the unification with the beloved through meditation and Zikr to those who secluded themselves in remote taverns in fear of temptation and distraction and those who relished the feeling of death in their life mumbling “ My death is to remain alive. My life is to die”, the divine love seekers have many examples, not to follow literally but to guide them in their pursuit of wholeness.
If Sufism revolves around the love of “God” then we are all Sufis at some point or another. Women and Men’s genius lies within their ability to adjust. In the effort of adjustment comes novelty and with novelty comes innovation. The will and effort to refine one’s beliefs is by no mean mandatory, yet the adventure is highly gratifying for those who dare.
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