Oct 03, 2023
Oct 03, 2023
by BS Murthy
Puppets of Faith: Theory of Communal Strife
A critical appraisal of Islamic faith, Indian polity ‘n more
The WE-THEY obsession of the Islamic ethos debilitates the Musalmans with troubled minds. While the ayats of Quran spell out who THEY are - the Jews, the Christians and the idolaters (read Hindus, in later centuries) – the Islamic theology defines who THEY are, the Sunnis, the Shias and the Sufis et al. And the political divide too is clear as to who THEY are - the Iranians and the Iraqis, the Pakistanis and the Bangladeshis, Saudis and Yemenis all Musalmans though.
Well, for those perceived as WE, Islam is all green but it turns blood-red when it comes to those who are seen as THEY. This is the moral code of Islam, which in Arabic means peace, and also surrender. While Muhammad taught his medieval flocks to surrender to Allah to serve his cause, insensibly the umma got stuck in the obsolete Islamic era of servitude, not only to ‘the God’ but also to His messenger. Well Allah’s covenant for the ‘hereafter’ might be eternal for the Musalmans but sadly for them, or so it seems, the way of life ‘here’ is forever altering for them to comprehend it. What with Muhammad having convinced them, once and for all, that the succor of ‘the hereafter’ is the solace of the Musalmans, they tend to disregard life ‘here’, which makes them oblivious to the realities of the ever-changing world.
This as was seen is owing to the Decommissioned Adult, the Parent-contaminated Adult and the Child-contaminated Adult, prevalent, by and large, amongst the Musalmans, in some degree or the other. While the Muhammadan Decommissioned Adult is incapable of analyzing the current realities, his Parent-contaminated Adult harps on the past glories of the Musalmans, and the Child- contaminated Adult lives in delusions of a rosy future for Islam. Moreso, when it comes to the Jews, their estranged religious cousins, it is as if the Musalmans have got stuck in the time zone when their life and limb, not to speak of their faith, depended on the whims and fancies of Muhammad.
However, before Muhammad came up with the Quran, the progeny of Isaac, having been driven out from their Promised Land, lived in peace and prosperity amidst the posterity of Ishmael by the oases of Arabia. But as the Straight Path of Islam came to be laid by Muhammad, the Jews got a bumpy ride on it even though the Quran endorsed their Moses as a Prophet of yore. The enduring hatred of the Jews that Muhammad had inculcated in the followers of his cult would forever stymie the psyche of the Arabs towards their cousins in Israel, and understandably the umma at large, so it seems.
It was thus, the boasts of Gamal Abdel Nasser that he would push the Israelis into the Red Sea sounded like music to the ears the Musalmans the world over for Allah’s faithful then, and Nasser seemed like the Pharaoh of Islam, about to enslave the hateful Jews all again. But the unmitigated Arab disaster that was the Six-Day War left the shell-shocked umma clueless about the Islamic calamity, and though the Yom Kippur war that followed, which had initially raised the tempo of the Musalmans, yet left them sullen in the end, well, owing to the brilliance of the Jewish military prowess.
But the Muhammadan Decommissioned Adult of the hadith vintage wouldn’t realize that the world had changed beyond recognition since the time of Muhammad and his Caliphs, who conquered much of their neighboring lands and forced their peoples into the Islamic fold. If only the Musalmans could deviate a little from their believing course of the ‘Angles of War’ that Muhammad had charted for them, they would realize that those were the days of mortal combat, when the Islamic creed of huris for the shahid and a fair share of the ‘spoils of war’ for the survivors that gave the cutting edge to the Muslim swords.
Well in those battles of yore, the jihadis vied with each other to die for the joys of the ‘Hereafter’ that Muhammad had promised them, which earned laurels for the Muslim coat of arms, but sadly for the coats of Muslim mail, the modern warfare is as much about machines as men behind them that THEY have come to master on both counts. So, in battle after battle, and war after war, in the modern era, whenever the Musalmans itched for a fight, the patriotic sense of THEY, alien to the Muslim ethos, had been proving to be much more potent than the religious zeal of the faithful to die for Islam.
Besides, in the modern warfare, of what avail is the famed Arabian horse, the swiftest breed on earth that served the Musalman marauders so admirably in their plunders of yore in the Islamic folklore? In contrast, the heaps of shoes that Nasser’s soldiers rid themselves of so as to run faster to safety in the Sinai desert give an unerring account of the martial decay of the once dreaded Muhammadan Armageddon. What with the battles of the day being fought on the borderlands that dampen their spirits for the ‘spoils of war’, the material incentive ‘here’ for them, it is as if the fauzis of Islam have lost interest in making it to the ‘Hereafter’ that Muhammad said was laid for the martyrs amongst them.
Thus as the Decommissioned Adult of the Muhammadan wouldn’t be able to grasp even the apparent military might of the non-Islamic world of the day, so the Musalmans are ever prone to wait in perpetuity for a Saladin to appear on the Islamic horizon that has only been turning gloomier by the day. However, the umma mistook the bravado of Saddam Hussein, in leading up to the fiasco of the ‘Mother of All Battles’, for the bravery of Saladin at the Horns of Hattin; ‘dekhiye, O Saddam hai, Saddam – ‘Look he’s Saddam but Saddam’ - many a Musalman in India proudly proclaimed thus with a boding sense of an impending doom to the U.S. the Great Satan to the umma. Thus, as the anticlimax of a swift Saddam surrender became a shocking reality to the Musalmans the world over, the umma was crestfallen once again, and began to sulk all the more. It seems as though the psyche of the Musalmans is that of the front-benchers at the cinemas, who visualize the unreal on the reel as the real in life to relieve themselves of the drudgery of the reality, though momentarily.
Nonetheless, Anwar Sadat, Nasser’s successor, who made peace with Israel to get back their Sinai, would have been Mustafa Kemal Ataturk of Egypt, if only its Musalmans were less hostile towards their own visionary. But as the unbound hatred towards ‘the others’ rules the demented minds of the Musalmans, they made him pay with his life for their blind prejudice towards the Jews. It’s as though the jihadi Arabs wouldn’t mind Israel keeping their land so long as they have a cause to hate the Jews and hope to annihilate them in the end, let it be just before the end of the world! In what could be the greatest irony of their faith, the Arabs eye the promised land that their own God gave the Jews, not prepared even to share it with them. It’s as if Allah, aided by the followers of his Messenger seeks to evict Jews, His chosen people from the promised land into which He, in His Jehovah avatar enabled his Prophet to lead them into, but to no avail. Strange are the changing moods of the Semitic God!
Well, having failed to have their way with the Jews with their warmongering, the Palestinians could have pored over the hadith for an alternate strategy to hurt the enemy. And find they did that lies in the following episode from Muhammad’s life sketched by Martin Lings.
“About the same time news came of the danger of another projected raid from further south; but in this instance the Prophet divined that the hostility against Islam was all concentrated in one remarkably evil man, the chief of the Lihyanite branch of Hudhayl. If they could be rid of him, the danger from that quarter would become negligible; so he sent ‘Abd Allah ibn Unays, a man of Khazraj, with instructions to kill him. “O Messenger of God,” said ‘Abd Allah, “describe him to me that I may know him.” “When thou seest him,” said the Prophet, “he will remind thee of Satan. The certain sign for thee that he is indeed the man will be that when thou seest him thou wilt shudder at him.” It was as he had said; and, having killed the man, ‘Abd Allah escaped with his life.”
So to the chagrin of the Israelis, Yasser Arafat resurrected the ghost of ‘Abd Allah ibn Unays in the form of Al Fatah to infuse his jihadi in the disgruntled minds of the Palestinians. Well, the Israelis did find ways and means to counter the Islamic terror tactics in due course, for after all, hasn’t history proved that while the Musalmans turn desperate in defeat, the Jews steel themselves in adversity? Thus pushed to the wall, Arafat, by fusing the Quranic diktats and the Muslim hurt with hadith as the catalyst, developed the deadly fidayeen in the Islamic laboratory of the Palestine. Confronted with the martyr missiles being thrown at them by the Islamic desperados, the Jews responded by decimating their dwellings and deporting their families.
Maybe, the Israeli hope was that the potential martyr might give up, realizing that his loved ones in this world would have it tough even as he’s having a heck of a time in ‘the hereafter’. But right ‘here’, the Israelis had to face the barrage of protests from human rights activists, morons all, who fail to grasp the rights of legitimate offensive and the wrongs of a misguided aggression. What is worse, in support of the extremist causes, they second fiddle from a safe distance, either owing to their naivety or vested interests, and /or both, and thus end up being insensitive to the sufferings of the victims of the so-called armed struggles they espouse.
Whatever the Israeli calculation, the hadithian response on the ground was a mixed one. While it might have brought sanity into many a Palestinian home, there were enough shelters in the refugee camps for the Hamas to rope in the fidayeen in numbers. After all, isn’t martyrdom too tempting a proposition for the shahid what with the promised company of all those black-eyed virgins? Lest there should be any doubt in the minds of the prospective martyrs about the capacity of man to enjoy so many women, lo, the Quran had clarified that their own virility increaseth a hundred fold to be able to have them all! Oh, Muhammad! The uniqueness of the Muhammadan cult is that belief enables the believer to endure the hassles of the Islamic dogma ‘here’ for the rewards of the ‘Hereafter’ guaranteed for the martyrs.
Given the Israeli ascent, maybe vexed with Palestinian excesses, ‘the God’ had tilted the Divine Scales towards the Jews, His originally Chosen People, all again, at the cost of the Musalmans as He warned them thus in the Quran:
“O Ye who believe! Whoso of you becometh a renegade from his religion, (know that in his stead) Allah will bring a people whom He loveth and who love Him, humble toward believers, stern toward disbelievers, striving in the way of Allah, and fearing not the blame of any blamer. Such is the grace of Allah which he giveth unto whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.”
More by : BS Murthy
|A penetrating analysis, but one the author knows will run like water of a duck's back; as indeed, any savvy analysis by an outsider of any faith group does. Ultimately, the last argument, one that is worked out in the aspirations of Muslims in the world, is the existential thrust of the reality of Muslim identity; the same that backs the belief of Hindus or Christians in the temporal thrust of their group identity. All revelation by an outsider of what are the illuminating ‘facts of the matter’, with lessons to be learned, U-turns to be made, in fact are interpreted as ineffectual in the living thrust of the group identity, be it Muslim, Hindu or, it turns out, a denomination of Christianity. |
In the case of Christianity, aberration in doctrinal truth was seemingly forestalled once and for all by the assertion of the primacy of Peter as the rock on which the church is built, in the term used by Christ Himself. The result in existential terms speaks for itself in the division of the Christian world according as doctrine is interpreted into a myriad of self-sustaining sects, each validated by its existential thrust that becomes the prime reason in its own eyes for continuance in its belief.
The only factor that will unite Christianity, or dissuade Muslims or Hindus from their beliefs, is one that affects the existential thrust of these groups; and here we witness the influence of land and culture to ossify religious identity - in Christianity the occasion of its break-up - that makes the unity of mankind, diversified in nations and communities, seem an impossible dream. However, the paradox is that in existential terms we are all one; this would indicate that there is already a unity in mankind, which we instinctively and tentatively tend towards, that is not accomplished in argument or statement of beliefs, but as the ground to what makes us who we are.