How to stay away from extremism

    One of the finest advice and command that our Messenger , peace be upon him, gave : Haram upon you is the blood and the honour of your Muslim brother. The other hadith declares : Abusing a Muslim is fisk and killing him is  kufr.  It needs a courageous introspection to realise why our daggers are pulled  out when it comes to inner quarrels and why we cant even pursue legal battle when it comes to those who do injustice to us, who burn our houses and rape our women.

    Few years back we were praying Asar in  a congregation. After the prayers were over a youth spoke  bitterly : Ah ! This Imam has spoiled our prayers. How fast he prayed ! The youth insulted the Imam. A few other youth gathered and there was a heated dispute. The imam defended himself loudly " Look here! these jeans and  T shirt guys will teach me how to lead prayers?"  The dispute ended with an announcement : If you are not comfortable in our Masjid then don't pray here. We will not discuss which sect the boys belonged to and which group the Masjid belonged to. Many masjids of India and Pakistan have such ban on entries of certain sects.

  The same year there was  a quarrel between two sunni sects in Mumbai which lead to the killing of a youth who had a beard and  prayed five times in the Masjid. He was stabbed to death when he stepped out of the Masjid after Magrib prayers. The issue was " whether the moon was really sighted or not!!!!!" That year the rift over moon sighting was so broad that there were families where half the members continued to complete the thirtieth fast and the remaining half celebrated the Eid.

 Last month a young man refused to participate in his own father's Salatul Janazah!  The reason? My father was not a man of Taqwa!!

  What converts belief into a violent emotion that pitches brother against brother and father against son? We cannot discuss all the issues here because I fear  a battle may rage beneath my notes  and  violent comments may be missiled . So I will carefully pick up a few and keep it dilute.

  As Religious knowledge becomes easily available there is an emergence of self made muftis who thrive upon the fatawas of the  world renounced scholars and who understand exactly opposite to what was mentioned. Many young people are learning deen on their own. By buying library of Islamic books one cannot become a scholar. By merely reading Islamic books one cannot claim to have understood everything on his own . Will you accept the medical credential of a person who says he has become a doctor on his own just by reading medical books? Can you become a lawyer just by learning English language and reading a few  books of law? Then how can one assume that he is a lawyer of Deen when he has just read little !

One need to learn and seek explanations  from the scholars.  The presence of the scholars becomes essential in case one errs. If reading books were enough to make a man comprehend Deen then why did Allah sent messengers? . There were sahaba who were scholars in Arabic language and poetry, but yet they approached the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, to understand the law. And it was obligatory to do so, says the Qur'an in Surah Nisa' verse 59.. O you who believe ! obey Allah and Obey His messenger and those who are an authority amongst you, but if you differ among your selves then refer to Allah and Messenger..the next phrase of the verse is very important;; inkuntum to'minona billahi wa yaumul akheerah..If you have believed in Allah and on the last day. It is a part of the belief that one refers to the Qur'an and the sunnah to solve differences.

    But many youth rely on their own understanding or  stick to the opinion of a scholar they approve of. They are met with equal resistance from others who dont agree with them. Some "so called scholars" ignite fire. I happened to pass by a fiery speech by a moulana. He was naming the scholars of  the other sects as kuffars and hypocrites. The sermon was on mike in the masjid but the echo was felt in the streets and houses and friend circles when two people of different ideologies meet. The fire that are  kindled in  khutbas explode in the streets.

  The correct way of learning deen is not to be a fanatic. But try to do the best as much as you can. The Qur'an reminds in many places..
waquloo linnasa Husna.. "and talk with the people in a beautiful manner" ( Surah al Baqarah) Islam even teaches ethics in differing. It becomes a religious obligation to differ ethically. When ethics in speeches are discarded then hatred occupies the empty space and rules the thinking.

  Consider this hadith : If your Muslim brother sins, correct him, pray for him but do not hand him over to shaytan... Many of us give up corrections after a couple of efforts, but never or rarely pray for the guidance of the erring brother. We quickly gun for fatawas and are in a hurry to hand him over to shaytan. This is fanatism.

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