We today are going through a crisis and our efforts to reform and bring change and revival are being wasted between Imitation and Neglect. In our approach of understanding Islam, on one hand, we have Imitation manifested in the form of Literalism, Extremism, and Reductionism, and on the other, we have Neglect which is manifested in the ideas of Pragmatism, Modernism, Progressive Approach among a few.
For some Islam is not relevant anymore today and so there have even been calls for a fundamental re-interpretation of the Islamic texts.
We also observe that Contemporary Muslim behavior and practice is based on a reductionist reading of the texts and a simplistic understanding of reality.
As a result, we are unable to produce solutions guided by the light of Wahy’ (Revelation) and based on the correct understanding of reality.
However, let us remember the Address of Allah (swt) for us, He addressed as being the Best Ummah, Just and Balanced in its approach and a nation that is witness of truth over all of mankind. Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:
كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ ٱلْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱللَّه
“You are the best community ever raised for humanity—you encourage good, forbid evil, and believe in Allah”
وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَـٰكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِّتَكُونُوا شُهَدَآءَ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ ٱلرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا ۗ
“And so We have made you ˹believers˺ a just nation so that you may be witnesses over humanity and that the Messenger may be a witness over you”
Therefore, the ideal that we need to achieve is to be a Ummatan Wasata, particularly in our Understanding, Methodology, and Approach so that the efforts are not wasted between two extremes.
But How can we attain the position of being Ummatan Wasata? And What Crisis are we referring to? How are our efforts being wasted between Imitation and Neglect? How can we reform our understanding of Islam and achieve Revival i.e Tajdeed?
We join Sheikh Shuayb Wani to discuss these issues.