As Muslims, most of us have at least once, if not multiple times in our lifetimes described ourselves as “moderate” Muslims in order to differentiate and save ourselves from the embarrassment and guilt of sharing the same faith as deviant militant groups, crusading about in the name of religion.
Ever since the dawn of 9/11, Muslims across the East and West inhabiting Non-Muslim or overly secular nations have been in a constant stance of guilt and shame, facing a sudden inferiority complex with professing the faith proudly. And in order to enable ourselves to profess our faith publicly without any sense of guilt, we have made amends of our faith with no regard for the fundamentals, in order to fit in and earn the praise of the westerners through various means of bribery, gaslighting, military and institutional forces have attempted at subduing our traditional societies in the name of “freedom”, “democracy”, “liberty” and most importantly in the name of protecting and defending their national interests in the region.
With their utter disregard for innocent civilian life in their neo-colonial ventures to proselytise their political doctrines through surreptitious means, it is a question to ponder upon. Why do we seek to appeal to their societal norms at the expense of our beliefs? What made submit to their virtue signalling? How is this affecting our Imaan and Taqwa? Is it possible to overcome the gaslighting by the media?
Terminologies and how they influence the way we think
Terms such as radical, extremist, fundamentalist, Islamist, and political Islamist have been thrown around lately as platitudinous buzzwords that have lost any concise definition. On one hand, “radical” Muslims are moulded out by Judeo Christian and antitheist intellectuals as an abhorrent, conservative and backwards force that is out of trend with the current moral and societal norms (which is oxymoronic by definition). On the other hand, we have Muslims that disappoint to have even a basic understanding of Islamic fundamentals and doctrines being portrayed as moderate Muslims and playing the role of depicting the average Muslim and Islamic belief to the non-Muslim masses.
One then undoubtedly does not need any explanation as to why such a thing would be disastrous to enlightening people about the true teachings of Islam. Degeneracy and kufr are normalised in homes of cultural and generally irreligious Muslims either in the name of “Sufi mysticism” which is purported to be the orientalist’s wet dream—an exotic, peace-loving, pacifistic, accepting (of everything) and generally “progressive” belief that endorses coexistence devoid of principles.
Islam is sermonised after being shapeshifted into a Frankenstein of irreconcilably unorthodox beliefs that are designed to diminish the role of the true Islamic essence in lieu, replacing it with hedonistic spiritualism accompanied by a warped interpretation of core Islamic scriptures. The normal Muslim is gaslighted into making concessions of fundamentals by politicians that assume an illegitimate moral high ground with no objective justifications.
Revitalising the use of Islamic labels
It is well known that Islam is a religion that sets a paradigm for both the individual as well as (and ESPECIALLY) the collective, providing guidelines for individual conduct, raising a healthy family, behaviour and ethics with neighbours and people of different origins, politics as well as military principles. Needless to say, such guidelines make Islam a faith that is naturally accustomed to providing political, communal as well as military structures that are in tune with its own ethics.
Muslims as a political entity have encountered various political and military adversaries in the past, each having different political, religious and cultural attitudes—at times in accordance with Islamic ethics and in other instances, a natural threat to Islam.
A few examples are the Khawarij, Mutazilites, Jahmites, Rawafidh and Murji’ites. These labels were assigned to various groups in order to differentiate from and between various groups that had beliefs opposed to fundamental Islamic creedal concepts and moral conduct. Contrary to words used by Western government-funded academics and slobbering stooges of modernist moral and philosophical neocolonialism, these terminologies helped in preserving and differentiating the Ahlul Sunnah Wal Jama’ah for centuries from conmen and scoundrels that wished to taint or distort the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah.
Hence, it is evident that in this day and age, we as Muslims have to stop using labels that divide people on the basis of modernist Judeo-Christian (As well as atheistic) political and moral views.
Usage of Islamic words to label groups of Muslims in the contemporary world
We are used to labelling religious Muslims, Shariah advocates, irreligious Muslims as well as uncivilised and thuggish militants that form the facade of defenders of Islam (All the while killing more innocent Muslims than the colonisers they claim to stand against) classifying them as extremists, Political Islamists, moderates and terrorists. Although the usage of some of these terminologies are justified to certain extents, in most cases, the expressions used carry negative connotations. These obstructive themes play a key role in deterring Muslims from coming closer to understanding and realising the true message of their own faith.
Traditionally, overtly violent and excommunicative groups such as ISIS were labelled as Khawarij (which means to “get out of” the folds of Islam in Arabic). The word Khawarij is misleadingly defined as a sect (by the beloved Kharijites themselves!!!) carrying distinct creedal beliefs and attitudes despite it being a general word that can be used in wide-ranging scenarios. They claim that they do not carry the characteristics of the Khawarij (as per their own subjectively constructed and baseless definition).
The Ulama of Ahlul Sunnah across all times have compounded the general characteristics of Khawarij and through a proper understanding of these characteristics, we will be able to understand why these groups are labelled so and to what extent of justification. The utilization of these Islamic terminologies is more fit since they are fundamentally designed to address the characteristics of such groups—rather than western terminologies that are used to the convenience of authoritarian and pseudodemocratic oligarchs across the world that wage a verbal, economic, political and military war against Muslims in the name of “preserving” their culture and their misbegotten and bastardised status quo which they elevate to the status of God.
We as Muslims have a huge political and social history and as a result, we have phraseologies and expressions to properly distinguish between groups from an Islam centric lens in lieu of a paradigm that is fundamentally opposed to Islam politically, morally, culturally and last but not the very least, fundamentally. The non-Islamic political terminologies used in an Islamic context are an essential tool in order to morally and socially subjugate Muslims, emasculating us Muslims by castrating the concepts of Jihad, Taqwa, Tawakkul, basic decency, family values as well as Tawheed.