Walking Rule Books!

In the Independent today we have Yasmin Alibhai-Brown lamenting at how apparently she is not being allowed to have multiple personalities! She says “Like all other humans, I am a creature of multiple and changeable parts. However, British Muslims are not permitted such complexities. We must be only Muslim (definition highly specified), walking rule books in uniform, freakishly religious, and preferably demanding and noisy.”

I spent last Saturday at a course about Aqidah (tenets of faith) taught by Shaykh Akram Nadwi where I was being freakishly religious! I was constantly remembering Allah and His Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, and learning what being a Muslim entails. Then on Sunday I spent most of the day helping to organise a rally titled “Londoners for Peace” with the likes of Kate Hudson, Bruce Kent, Tony Benn, Ken Livingston, George Galloway amongst others. Was I now being freakishly ‘irreligious’? For those who practice their religion they would attest that in both cases the rememberance of God is present as working for your spiritiual needs and working for your worldly needs are in harmony in Islam. Do you recall the prayer in the Qur’an where we ask God to give us the best in this world and the Hereafter?

Of course, it’s Yasmin that is being ‘demanding’ and ‘noisy’ with a straw man of an argument, that it is only the secular that can play different roles and have different identities. Practicing Muslims are involved with anti-racism, anti war, safeguarding our liberties from draconian laws, charity work, politics and elections, culture and arts and the list goes on. So why is Yasmin busting our eardrums? The clue lies in the quote “…walking rule books…”. Yasmin is a key trustee of the outdated British Muslims for Secular Democracy and she will conjure up illusions that Islam is this or that as long as she can get the square peg to fit the round hole.

Why Muslim, and not Asians or Africans for secular democracy? Why would you want to distort Islam and paint it as something it is not? “Muslims must be free to choose how they practise their religion or even just to be “cultural” Muslims”. It never ceases to amaze me how some people wish they were not Muslims and rather than being just that, they would ‘turn’ on the religion and its tenets.

History 101 Yasmin – when Aysha, may Allah be pleased with her, was asked about the character of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, the reply was “He was the walking Qur’an”. Yes walking rule books indeed!

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