Tuesday, March 22, 2005

many clouds, one sky

More and more I read either that Islam is unchanging and inflexable or that Islam can adapt itself to any situation and as Sheikh Muzaffer Ashki al Jerrahi says, "Islam is like clear water poured into different vessels. It takes the color and shape of each vessel." Which one is it? Does the answer need to be simple? Lately I wonder if both are true.
There is an Indian Islam, a Persian Islam, an Arab Islam, a Chinese Islam a Turkish Islam etc. etc. and yet Islam is beyond these cultures, geographical locations and concepts. Prayer is directed at Mecca and all are pointing towards this point no matter where we are. In Chicago I might pray in the student center at my college in a small dark room, in Pakistan I might pray at Faisal Masjid, in the summer I might pray outside, in the winter I might pray with a light blanket on my shoulders, I might wear a shuar kamiz, a t-shirt, jeans, a suit, a sweater, a jacket or pajamas. I am still praying-I am still standing naked before Allah.
Exclusiveness is alien to Islam and no one can own it to the exclusion of others.
Our prophets and messengers were sent to all nations and to all people.
Islam is THE religion not A religion. It is submission to the source of all being.
There is many and there is one. There is an openness and expansiveness in Islam that cannot be contained and it is a straight path.

The sky is full of clouds of different shape and color. Some floating high and billowy while others are low and nearly translucent. No one can own the sky. The sky is open to all equally and given their location and time, clouds do not all look alike.
I am still struggling with these issues and don't claim to have any answers or to have said anything unique. I am young and always learning.
To me Islam is openness, expansiveness, a bottomless ocean with countless landscape to explore.

2 comment(s):

  • Great writing there. Agree with your feelings 100%.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/23/2005 03:00:00 AM  

  • Salaams

    This was a theme of another recent blog I read - diversity not division. Then people can discuss and disagree, without things degenerating into bitter dispute.



    By Blogger Julaybib, at 3/23/2005 10:23:00 AM  

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