The loss of meaning : Islaamic epistemology in our age

The deen is simple because to integrate it is difficult, and exceedingly so in our times.

A lot of people in their enthusiasm look to replicate the trajectories of scholars of yesteryears not realizing that their scholarship arose as a result of the need in that time and the developmental phase Muslims were in as a collective. We’re in an entirely different epoch with unique and unprecedented challenges which can’t be overcome through knowledge alone.

The epistemological ground itself is rumbling and crumbling, and there are intense psychosocial conditions that require Muslims to synthesize context and perspectives for. That’s the only way to not only find true stability and a sense of self that isn’t rigid, but also to make the practice of the deen possible when you’re up against the momentum of a civilization going belly up. The debris from the deconstruction of postmodernism whips up a storm that Muslims can’t hide from. The very coordinates they require to navigate life will change abruptly and they won’t have the resources or foreknowledge to know how to not only survive existential uncertainty but to retain faith when knowledge loses meaning. It takes a lot of discipline to withstand that level of force and it will never come about by trying to bypass this deluge.

I see many people assume antagonistic or resistant positions to this deluge, trying to protect a heritage. Bro, this entire ship is sinking and there comes a time that it’ll get too late to get off it. Unless we deal with the facts of this age in a non-reactionary and open minded way, self-righteousness will be the death of us. And an ugly death at that because when reality as you know it is erased, so will be whatever anchors you relied on for faith and you’ll lose faith itself, existentially. It’s not a hypothetical scenario. This is happening.

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, you are in a time when one who leaves a tenth of what he has been commanded is ruined. Then, there will be a time when one who practices a tenth of what he has been commanded is saved.”

The STAGES Matrix Roadmap

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.

To hell in a handbasket

People online who have any proficiency in any area are smitten with the world mirroring back to them their own reflection. They’re obsessed with their own ideas, opinions, or looks and have very little, if any, room for understanding the world and people around them. They’ll only respect you if you’re more recognized than they are. Not based on any substance or god forbid a genuine connection, but what their peers think of you.

It’s becoming obnoxious.

Don’t pimp me out

Arab and Persian women are the white women of Muslims.

Hear me out.

Growing up, I was shouldered with the perception of Muslims shaped by Arab/Persian women who came from abusive backgrounds and the only way to have a voice and a platform that people actually heeded was to follow the script of Islaam endorses honour killings and normalizes double standards in regards to boys and girls growing up. I’d be lambasted from media, books, movies, what have you where the only available narrative of Islaam and Muslim women were that of Arab women who instead of calling out their culture, just threw the entire religion under the bus wholesale.

It became so ingrained in me that I distinctly remember that whenever I’d walk with my dad I wouldn’t walk behind him because I was afraid that’d be inferred to be some religious injunction to be a second class citizen. Nor would I walk beside him because I was afraid that people would think I’m a child bride. I was 12!!!!

I didn’t know why I had this overlay put on my experience when it was such a foreign concept to me. And I didn’t understand why I was assumed guilty until proven innocent. But I was. It wasn’t until I grew older that I started understanding the subtext of these women’s testimonials but also the propaganda that was pushing these narratives. It sure wasn’t out of empathy with the victims.

And now, it’s become a get rich quick scheme. The latest being the Saudi teen who was taken in by Canada because she was an atheist fearing for her life. Never have I come across an Arab or Persian woman who is a victim of her culture calling out her culture. Never. It’s a cognitive dissonance because if she can somehow find an external motive for the toxicity in the men in her life then she doesn’t have to discard them. She can just say they’re like that because Islaam made them. Finding such shortcuts has devastating repercussions because instead of containing the toxic, you’re letting it seep out and affect those who have nothing to do with it.

African and African-descent Muslims are usually on the receiving end of the culture struggles of Muslims on the Asian continent as a whole. It’s not healing if you’re not being honest. It’s not healing if you’re using your trauma as a come-up. It’s not healing if you’re not considering the consequences of creating narratives that don’t trigger you. It’s not healing if you’re burying the triggers like landmines for others to step on.

I’ve never before put it together consciously like this but I’m just realizing how hurt and resentful I am. How hurt I am that there are women who’ve known pain but seem so oblivious to what they’re doing to reinforce it in others. Women who hold TED talks entitled What We Don’t Know About Europe’s Muslim Kids and then go on to say

The thing is that most people don’t understand is that there are so many of us growing up in Europe who are not free to be ourselves. Who are not allowed to be who we are. We are not free to marry, or to be in a relationship with people that we choose. We can’t even pick our own career. This is the norm in the Muslim heartlands of Europe. Even in the free societies in the world, we’re not free. Our lives, our dreams, our future doesn’t belong to us, it belong to our parents and their community

Are disingenuous crooks that take the bait that white neo imperialists put out for them under the guise of saving them. Feminist missionaries. The epitome of toxic femininity is embodied in these women and I’m sick of it.

Leave me tf be.

Time as a medium instead of a commodity: a concept

Africa is the magnetic center of this planet, much like the heart and the moon. Even time is different – it’s polychronic. They don’t have the delineations we have here – it’s like weekdays, weekends, holidays, work and home is all in a quantum field of fluidity. That also means there are weaker boundaries (overfamiliarity, codependency). In ways, the Western colonizers were the narcissistic prince charming that swept us off the ground with love bombing and making us see our potential for the first time ever…

You mean we can use the resources and not be in need of the community?

Sa-weeet!

Oh no baby what is you doooin…

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