Postmodernism and Islaam

I wonder how postmodernism has changed Muslims way of relating to Allaah and the deen.

The Qur’aan was expressed in a medium that is based on the balanced and healthy perception of fitrah in a time that centered the fitrah. Any internal fragmentation of the whole, whether through trauma or narcissism, distorts the very medium through which we interact with the Qur’aan through. This isn’t an individual pathology, but a social one where we’re socialized into discarding the wisdom of the organic self (fitrah) as primitive and reducing the self to adapt to a reductivist worldview. What was previously integrated and symmetrical becomes displaced and interferes with the central space where we receive and digest information: the heart. We gain a boatload of information that is decontextualized and boundless. It adds noise that distorts the sound of truth.

هُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ مِنْهُ ءَايَٰتٌ مُّحْكَمَٰتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ ٱلْكِتَٰبِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَٰبِهَٰتٌ فَأَمَّا ٱلَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَٰبَهَ مِنْهُ ٱبْتِغَآءَ ٱلْفِتْنَةِ وَٱبْتِغَآءَ تَأْوِيلِهِۦ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُۥٓ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ وَٱلرَّٰسِخُونَ فِى ٱلْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ ءَامَنَّا بِهِۦ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّآ أُو۟لُوا۟ ٱلْأَلْبَٰبِ

{It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah. But those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.” And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.}

[Aali-Imraan:7]

When our will is split, so is our focus. We become ungrounded in truth, and illusion invades. I’m reminded of Søren Kierkegaard’s book title Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing. That’s the fitrah. It’s to be tuned into the reality of WHAT IS and not a second-order of illusion projected on the world to escape what is through representation, interpretation, expectation or anticipation. It’s the perception of reality as it is in this present moment.

To the degree that our focus is split, we become increasingly automated and unconscious in worship. It becomes a mechanical process signified by a linearity that leads back to the self instead of connecting the self to Allaah. Worship then becomes an instrument of blocking out awareness and numbing the discord that exists within.

The fitrah remains buried in the unattended rubble, and a false self takes on a managerial role of simulating worship where the person does what they THINK worship is and should be like. Their heart is nowhere in the equation, and neither is intention which is mindfulness. Instead worship becomes absorbed by the current day epistemological crisis of meaning brought about by postmodernism and late stage capitalism where reality has to be visually represented to be real. Only what can be ascertained and assured is pursued. Only what can be tokenized and consumed is deemed real. Only what can be measured and has some sort of exchange value has value. The end goal of worship then is mediated by this hyperreality that dictates how we interact with and navigate our subjective experience of life itself. We then find ourselves fighting to scrutinize ourselves for fear of losing the image of a productive worship that gives us a consistent identity (I’m the one who seeks knowledge/teaches the Qur’aan/prays tahajjud/wears niqab). Worship is aestheticized.

I’m reminded of the verse in suraah an-nisaa [119]

وَلَأُضِلَّنَّهُمْ وَلَأُمَنِّيَنَّهُمْ وَلَءَامُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُبَتِّكُنَّ ءَاذَانَ ٱلْأَنْعَٰمِ وَلَءَامُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُغَيِّرُنَّ خَلْقَ ٱللَّهِ وَمَن يَتَّخِذِ ٱلشَّيْطَٰنَ وَلِيًّا مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ فَقَدْ خَسِرَ خُسْرَانًا مُّبِينًا

{Verily, I will mislead them, and surely, I will arouse in them false desires; and certainly, I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allah.” And whoever takes Shaitan (Satan) as a Wali (protector or helper) instead of Allah, has surely suffered a manifest loss.}

This is a crisis in epistemology that inverts the experience of truth and leads to the manufacture of what imitates meaning. False desires, desires that aren’t connected to organic need but that one is sold on hypnotically. Capitalism, hyperconsumerism. And it all stems from losing touch with reality, with not being able to discern one’s experiences to see whether they’re congruent. That split-off creates fractals of fragmentation on the macrocosmic level. Corruption.

Sincerity protects your search for truth

Answer :

Wa alaykumussalaam. I’m sorry for all that you’ve been plagued by, but you’re gaining clarity, you’re going over timelines, you’re reflecting, you’re analyzing, you’re trying. You’re hoping. All that is from the tawfeeq of Allaah. What you’ve been plagued by is unfortunately from the pollution of our times where people speak from where they haven’t embodied. They signal what they haven’t processed. They use the deen for their nefarious mind games. But it’s a call that we’re so outside of our core that we outsource the search for and discernment of truth to others who claim one thing with their words but another with their energy.

As long as your intentions are rooted in your mind and not your heart, you’ll be fighting other people’s battles, like constantly swatting away swarms of flies. The rabbit hole of falsehood is endless, so it’s much easier and more healing to start over and ask yourself who is Allaah? If He’s the truth, then whatever you do in search of the truth will lead you to Him. If He’s the truth – a rhetorical question bc He indeed is al-Haqq, beyond dualistic conceptualization – then being honest with Him about your state and establishing a rapport where you look squarely at what is in your heart – currently the truth is that you don’t have motivation for worship – will shift you away from conflict to reconciliation. When you take responsibility for where your truth lies, you can recognize what you lack and need. You need love. You need guidance. You need divine support. These aren’t easy things. We don’t procure them on our own through intellectual efforts. We RECEIVE them when we admit that we’ve fallen short and can’t function without them. Bc that’s the truth. You’re struggling bc you’re bypassing the fundamental truth about the state of you today. Perhaps you’re afraid that it’ll be permanent if you say it or accept it. Perhaps you’re afraid you’ll be punished.

But remember this : as long as you’re sincere and true, Allaah will guide you. Allaah will protect you. Allaah says about Yusuf:

وَلَقَدْ هَمَّتْ بِهِۦ وَهَمَّ بِهَا لَوْلَآ أَن رَّءَا بُرْهَٰنَ رَبِّهِۦ كَذَٰلِكَ لِنَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ ٱلسُّوٓءَ
وَٱلْفَحْشَآءَ إِنَّهُۥ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا ٱلْمُخْلَصِينَ
And she certainly determined [to seduce] him, and he would have inclined to her had he not seen the proof of his Lord. And thus [it was] that We should avert from him evil and immorality. Indeed, he was of Our chosen servants.

[Yusuf:24]

The word chosen is mukhlaseen from the root akhlasa, ikhlaas. Meaning, bc of his dedicated sincerity, Allaah protected him.

And this is something echoed by iblees, as told by Allaah in surah Saad :

قَالَ فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ
إِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ ٱلْمُخْلَصِينَ

[Iblees] said, “By your might, I will surely mislead them all
Except, among them, Your chosen servants.”

But if you can’t bring yourself to speak the truth within yourself, you’re blocking out His tawfeeq. You’re suspending yourself in a battle you’ll never win or leave. So the first order of things is to be honest about what Allaah already knows is within you. The rest will come. Trust me it will. But take that step and your heart will tell you the rest.

I’ll pray for you.

Suicide as an expression of distrust

There’s nothing more powerful or wired harder than survival instinct. The only thing stronger than that is whatever causes a distrust in people and life which, if unmitigated, leads to suicide. Withdrawal, isolation, disconnection, depression are signs of suppressed life bc life is perceived more painful than non-existence. Using force to change that state only adds fuels to the fire bc it reinforces what causes distrust.

The only thing that has been more powerful than suicidal ideations for me was finding a trust in Allaah. A true trust. Not being goaded into things bc of guilt-tripping or threats or fear. But trust that came from Him showing Himself in my life and opening up awareness and knowledge that I could trust and return to no matter what happened. A bond stronger than anything I could do to threaten it.

That’s the only thing that has kept me alive in the past 8 years. No convincing, no positivity, no just shifting focus to other stuff to forget my thoughts ever helped. For whatever reason, my mind is an open field. There are no compartmentalizations. I lucid dream. Even in dream state, I remain aware. So I’ve never been able to trick myself into a different state.

Why goal-setting makes me lost

Goals & achievements are minefields for me. I have to be extremely sensitive and careful about what ‘orders’ I give myself, which means not giving myself orders at all. It took me a long while to accept that the generic advices and guidelines doled out by self-help gurus suppress me and in particularly the vitality in me.

I didn’t understand why but I started by respecting my emotions and not seeing myself as an inherently lazy creature who needs strong arming and moving away from whatever contributed to depression and despair. Turns out, I had to throw
everything out of the window. I was like a mother whose child was allergic TO EVERYTHING and was breaking out in hives and suffering from a disease no doctor could ascertain so she had to experiment, be vigilant, research, and never stop trying. I had to not only reparent myself
but reeducate and resocialize. I had to tear everything down and start from scratch using my mental ailments as guidance to know where to search and what to look for.

But even so, this conditioning was genetical. I was up against millenia of hardwiring. Everything I was doing was counterintuitive and flew in the face of survival. Each day I’d have at least a moment of thinking WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOOOIN?? But, it brought results, unexpected af and it gave me relief insofar as I didn’t want to off myself. My psyche was finally responding even though I didn’t know why. It wasn’t important to know why, only that it worked. I was doing that for 7 years straight. 7 gruelling, scary, existentially debilitating years. But paradoxically the most fulfilling ones too!

It wasn’t until my grandma passed, may Allaah have mercy on her, in Sept
that I started going back to see the work I had laid in those 7 years and why they worked. It was the most triggering and depressing period bc the trauma was still there. I had just worked on responding differently but I wasn’t prepared for the deluge that was released. I was in
a liminal abyss. Reality didn’t have dimensions or ground other than the present moment which felt too many sizes too big and too small at the same time. It was especially tempting to go back on everything I had done and just do things conventionally. The dying programming was trying to gaslight me into thinking the uncertainty was because I was clueless and lazy and that I should just do what I had chosen not to for all these years. But my heart wasn’t with it. I had developed a militant discernment where nothing bypasses me in what tries to impress itself upon me.

I was battling with shame for my inactivity (when it was me waiting to see what emerged). I became acquainted with the nature of the present moment. The ontological nature of it. And now it came to me that what I had been doing was increasing my psychic stamina and tolerance
of the present moment. That matters more to me than to use goals as blinkers in order to filter things out. There’s some ancient psychic technology that requires that I’m capable of staying grounded no matter and because it’s so sensitive, I have to tie down my mind from interfering compulsively and digressing when I really need it to be a receptacle for these incoming signals. These signals reconnect me to the present moment that is deep in me and it makes accessible the joy and passion I had lost sense and sight for. To be fuelled by that instead of lack. To be driven by deep inspiration instead of strategies to fight upstream.

The types of energetic blocks

There are two types of energetic blocks that create hinder in one’s life:

a) resistance to awareness for fear that it’ll dissolve control which is the ego’s only claim to power

b) sabotaging the flow of kinetic energy with an overly analytical mind that doubts what it can’t see.

The dissolution of a) comes from surrendering to Allaah, the Divine who is omnipotent so that you can feel safe knowing that the universe won’t crumble if you stop holding up the status quo

b) comes from the courage to shift your value system from extrinsic motivation which is rooted in imagery and codependence on the feeling that people generate from the images you put out. That’s why you’re outcome fixated. Your mind has convinced you that if an outcome ‘flops’ you’ll find yourself cut off and in an energetic purgatory. That emptiness is the dissociation from your own body which you’re constantly running away from and seeking out others who are more grounded and thus capable of movement which is basically generation.

Faith is what you need to overcome that abyss of doubt. Sow seeds of faith inside yourself. I don’t mean “believe in yourself” I mean, trust your heart and that it’s far, far more intelligent than your mind bc it can perceive things before they become patterns and tangibles.

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