A visitor to my blog, Apocryphalist said he is confused, sad and angry all at once because:-
The religion of Islam is now orphaned.
I am pitched in a mixture of perplexity, forlorn and spleen at the current state of things regarding my religion in this country of mine at this present moment. Just like the child, I feel as though it has been orphaned big time: no one would want to take care of it when it needed one, defend it at its time of need, speak for it when it needed a voice. When rude voices speak against it, against its “stupid fatwas”, the intellects, the writers and bloggers with the gab, the personalities that matter, all join in the foray of mutually condemning them too. It is as though to be associated with Islam is no longer a cool state of things. Fire a sling shot at it, and the Muslims scurry to disown their own religion faster than it takes time to say “I have faith”. In the now state of things Islam has, invariably, become an orphan religion.
The religion is left defenceless under an immortal zugzwang.
Fatwas are condemned.
….but when it comes to fatwas, all of which have been done after a series of strict methodological research and studies, I would expect that those who have differing views to arrive at them through some similar if not more rigorous analysis. Note I said differing views. Not condemnations.
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I am honoured to find a comment from this person calling himself apocryphalist. He writes eloquently and brilliantly. As this moniker suggests, he defends something whose authenticity is not shared by others. He will defend something even though it is not popular with others. Presently, he thinks, the event/issue that is not popular, is defending our religion. He therefore steps in. I find this( truly and honestly) commendable.
Who are the others? These others, of course include those who offer differing views which to his estimation have not been done through rigorous thought process and therefore can only be classified as condemnations.
How do we answer this kind of pre-judgment? We are then caught in what the writer himself aptly calls zugzwang. This term (German) used commonly to analyse a chess game, describes a situation where one player is put at a disadvantage because he has to make a move – the player would like to pass and make no move. The fact that the player must make a move means that his position will be significantly weaker than the hypothetical one in which it is his opponent's turn to move
Which, when translated now, means, if we say our views which differ from what the ulamaks say( because they have done their rulings through rigorous analysis) we are in position of zugzwang. We are condemned as those who are in concert of orphaning Islam. We cant answer because , every move would make our position worse, and so we would be better off if we could pass and not move.
To put our trust in modern ulamaks, (how rigorous can they get?) is a great leap of faith. In the examples I gave in the previous post- On To Other Things, the revision by the later fatwa council on the earlier council constitutes what? That the analysis by the earlier council wasn’t rigorous enough? What happens, if between the first and the later fatwa council, people have been put to death, or declared apostates? Are those things agreeable because the earlier fatwa was correct as it was arrived at, after strict methodological research and studies?.
But just suppose, some orphaned and disowned outsiders were to question the authenticity of the earlier fatwa, even though by doing so, brings with it, no material benefit nor any immediate economic advantage- would it be possible then, permitted to do so, could have resulted in the judgement being different? Lives could have been spared, and faith kept intact?.