More Introspection

Posted: July 7, 2008 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

A friend sent in this article by S. Parvez Manzoor that is a needed dose of common sense on the issue of the lack of our lack of introspection.

Our age possesses no will for self-criticism and reform. We show no courage to look at ourselves as we really are. In place of cherishing the living, we venerate corpses. Fleeing our present, we turn to the past not for reflection and review but for comfort and solace. Our dialogue with history is nothing but a deceptive game of self – indulgence .  Self – aggrandizement not self-appraisal is our pastime. Our faith may not be an opiate, but we certainly are the most past-intoxicated people in the world.


Even our moral sensitivity, the most precious gift of our faith and our window to the rest of mankind, has been made an instrument of isolation and retreat. In order to defend an ‘Islam’ that we do not practise, we indict everyone else for cherishing what they believe in. Our pretence convinces us that in the Bathhouse of Nations, we alone possess the towel of morality.

We are holier than everyone else. Our past is spotless; our scholars have solved all the riddles of the world; our soldiers have won all the battles, and our ancestors have done everything that needs to be done. Without addressing any questions to ourselves, we are ever ready to supply answers to everybody else. We have lost power, dignity, respect and righteousness, but our pride clings to us even after the fall.

Nothing spells the doom of our civilization as the moral cancer of sanctimony and mendacity. Self-delusion may be a sedative but it is a lethal drug all the same. The defeat of our armies, the collapse of our institutions, the perfidy of our rulers, the bigotry of our divines are not half as fatal for our survival as is our love for self-deception. Unless we start practising what we preach, our endangered species would soon become extinct.


In this issue, these insights have been extended to the realm of culture. The neo- Salafi politics of purity, it is further demonstrated by our authors, is scornful of all human achievements. It is as destructive of the artistic heritage of the past, as it is inimical to the cultural life of the present. In seeking a moment of authenticity in a mythical past, it rejects all history and tradition.  By so doing, it acts as an agent of sedition and disharmony We on our part seek to demonstrate that our civilization is heir to a rich artistic tradition in which spirituality triumphs over puritanical emptiness and in which beauty is regarded as a means to approaching God, at par with prayer! Similarly, our faith demands an ethical revolution in the soul and prescribes righteousness as the measure of man. This we believe is the ultimate antidote against all the poisonous ideologies of self-worship.

Read it all

  1. Mary Ann a .k.a. Sister Seeking says:

    This couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

    Trying to piece my eman, and ebaddah back together I’ve began reading work from Muhammad Asad. I’m currently reading “Islam at the Crossroads”. I think every Muslim of every ethnicity should read this book.

    Even though it was written in the early 19th century, I swore it sounds like it was written yesterday.

    Reading his work has been a breath of fresh air-

    Mary Ann

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s