Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله

Imamology

  • entries
    38
  • comments
    387
  • views
    13,685

Identity Politics


Qa'im

1,142 views

4jS6aSy.jpg

Activists today talk much of identity politics. Identity politics, also called identitarian politics, refers to political positions based on the interests and perspectives of social groups with which people identify.

You may have heard people "identify as a gay person", or "identify as a black nationalist", or "identify as a vegetarian", or identify themselves with a certain race, nationality, creed, economic class, or ideology. They are then expected to behave and dress according to the mores of that identity. Discovering oneself is indeed a necessary process in the journey of life. It is common for Westerners to travel around Europe, flirt with Indian mysticism, or teach in east Asia in an effort to "find" themselves.

So what is our true Islamic identity? One may say Shia, but to be a Shia of `Ali (a) means much more than to belong to a certain minority community. The Shia are an elite nucleus of believers. One may say Muslim, but even prophets Ibrahim (a) and Isma`il (a) had to pray for Allah to make them into Muslims - submitters to the will of Allah.

The answer to this question may be in the famous saying, “Whoso knows his self, assuredly knows his Lord.”

There are differences of opinion on the true meaning of this quote, but the commentary of this saying that this servant finds most consistent with the tradition is that of Shaykh al-Awhad Ahmad al-Ahsai. He says that the statement expresses conditionality (ta`leeq) to gnosis. The prophets, messengers, and deputies had a self-awareness, believing that their selves were a part of a grander creation, whose origin is Allah. He cites 41:53, 18:51, and a du`a’ of the 12th Imam that put the nafs alongside the rest of creation as temporal signs of an eternal God.

Ahsai brings forward a similar hadith attributed to the Prophet Dawud, in which he says “Whoso knows the ignorance of his self, assuredly knows the strength of his Lord. And, whoso knows the incapacity of his self, assuredly knows the power of his Lord.” This is an expression of the weak, limitedness of man, which thus highlights the strength and capacity of Allah.

This means that one must acknowledge the fact that he was created, and therefore, he is a finite and limited being in need of a Creator and Sustainer. One must realize the limits of his own power and his intelligence to understand He who is All-Powerful and All-Knowing. That is the beginning of the process of ma`rifa - cognizance of the Divine - where one surrenders himself in faith and in action to Absolute Perfection.

So the true identity that a person must recognize is that they are a created servant who is in total need of God. We say "ashhadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa rasuluh" in the tashahhud, which acknowledges the servitude of Muhammad (s) to his Lord. This servitude is the key to true greatness, because one who is a slave to God cannot be a slave to worldliness. All people surrender, whether to their own desires or to an outside force, but if one's reliance is completely on Allah, he will be free from obeying others. One who fears only Allah does not fear anything else, which elevates his status in the creation. It is out of Prophet Muhammad's sincere service to Allah that made him the best of creation.

Returning to postmodern identity politics: identifying yourself with what you eat or who you have sex with is very shallow. Food and sex are functions of the lower self. Identifying with a race is identifying with an accidental characteristic of yourself rather than your essential nature. As much as these "groups" may be relevant in today's world, we should not be fixated on `asabiyya (tribalism, group mentality), which was the underlining feature of jahiliyya. Identity politics can blind us from ethics, which is rooted more in verbs and adverbs than in nouns and pronouns. It can cause irreparable division and segregation. And finally, it can cause us to lose focus of our purpose and goal: ma`rifa.

"And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me." (51:56)

3 Comments


Recommended Comments

  • Veteran Member

Excellent post. May I ask you to elaborate on this?

Quote

Identity politics can blind us from ethics, which is rooted more in verbs and adverbs than in nouns and pronouns.

 

Link to comment
  • Forum Administrators
6 hours ago, 000 said:

Excellent post. May I ask you to elaborate on this?

For example, some people are very fixed on the whiteness or maleness of a perpetrator of a crime, rather than the crime itself. Headlines should not be focused on "black people did this" or "Muslims did that" or "the patriarchy caused this".

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Latest Blog Entries

    • By Muntazir e Mahdi in Bayaan e Muntazir
         0
      کتنی بار تو انسانیت کو مارے گا بتا؟
      کب تک تو کائینات کو رلائے گا بتا؟

      کعبة سے تو کرارؑ کو کرپایا نہ ختم
      کب تک تو دیواروں سے مٹائے گا بتا؟

      نامِ حق سے باطل تیرا کام ہے منافق
      کب تک تو حق کو جھٹلائے گا بتا؟

      تیری سیاہ روح، نہ کوئلہ، ہے جہنم کا ایندھن
      کب تک تو جلتے در سے منہ موڑے کا بتا؟

      آتا ہے بقية اللّٰهؑ اور دَورِ عدل و انصاف
      کب تک تو اپنے انجام سے بھاگے گا بتا؟

      تو  نے بہایا نہ صرف آب تو نے بہایا ہے لہو
      کب تک تو منتظر کو اس سے لکھوائے گا بتا؟
    • By Muntazir e Mahdi in Bayaan e Muntazir
         0
      حوائج

      آؤ ذرا لہر و ہوا دیکھنے چلیں
      ساحل سے ذرا کچھ لینے چلیں
      جیب میں اشیاء نہ کہیں ملیں
      بس آس کا علم ساتھ لے کے چلیں
      آؤ اس راہ پر قدم تو رکھیں
      باب الحوئج سے ذرا ملنے چلیں
      ہاتھوں سے تڑپتی آنکھوں کو ملیں
      کچھ اشک ذرا کوثر تک چھوڑنے چلیں
      دل کھول کر اس کریم کو مخاتب کریں
      واسطہِ عظیم پھر دیتے چلیں
      بےبازو سے ہاتھ جوڑ کے کہیں
      اس چھپے کو سامنے رکھ کے چلیں
      سانسِ سکون لے کر اب آگے بڑھیں
      آؤ منتظر اب سفر طے کر کے چلیں
    • By peace4alltheworld in Book blog
         0
      Hello.First book I would to anyone who is looking to fight with his Nafs is to read book Self Building by Ayatullah Ibrahim Amini.It is published in urdu as well.
      A few words about my experience.I found this book tough to get through.I stopped in the middle two times before finally finishing it.Well worth the time spent.
      The author develops his arguments by going through material and immaterial aspects of our existence.
      After this short introduction the book is divided into three parts namely self refinement, self perfection and finally means of perfection.
      I would prefer you go through it slowly highlighting parts and rereading them at times. Here is link to english edition.
      https://www.al-islam.org/self-building-ibrahim-amini/translators-foreword
    • By ShiaLuma in My Feelings and Emotions About Myself
         9
      Salaam everyone.
      I am very nervous about who's going to win. Trump is slightly edging out Hillary Clinton. I fear for the Muslims living in the US. I fear that something bad might happen. I really hope they are ready for when Trump starts his plan of banning Muslims, they need to find a safe place to reside. Luckily, I am in Canada which is a very safe home where I was born. I am fine with Justin Trudeau as prime minister succeeding Stephen Harper (who was going to make things worse for Muslims). Justin Trudeau is not that racist towards Muslims like Trump is, he is actually nice when compared to the racist garbage that Trump spews out. Canada is a good home for Muslims.  I am really worried as I am writing this. I really do not want Trump to win.
    • By ShiaLuma in My Feelings and Emotions About Myself
         11
      It's been a while since I last posted a blog but I would like to share my thoughts on Joe Biden's first day as president.
      Words cannot describe how great it is to see Donald Trump leave. Donald Trump was one of the worst presidents in American history. He caused nothing but trouble to America. He is the one who resulted in Qassim Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (both men who were responsible for removing terrorism) getting killed which happened early last year. His policies on the Covid-19 disaster were horrible. Joe Biden addressed the Covid-19 matters very nicely on Day 1 and getting rid of the issues Trump caused since he became president. He is going to make America recover from the issues that Trump caused in the last 4 years.
      Edit: I've changed my stance on Biden. He is not that much better than Trump after all. He has caused more trouble than Trump has in the Middle East, in Syria with his strikes. He only has better Covid-19 policies and he is only stopping Trump's racist policies and his border wall for Mexicans.
    • By Muntazir e Mahdi in Bayaan e Muntazir
         0
      I made a post about this on the forum, and decided that it isn't a bad idea to make a blog post about this as well.
      So, I really liked the cover art of the Shi'a Muslim community on Reddit (https://reddit.com/r/shia/). Here it is:

      I ended up making this artwork through editing it:

      It's supposed to look like the Kiswah of the Ka'abah. I decided to make the Arabic on the Kiswah appear as these chain like structures as it went well with the minimalistic theme and also because it seems like the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).w and his Progeny (عليه السلام).w.s are a Holy Chain of Allah, in addition to being the physical manifestation of His commands etc.
      I initially had to vectorise the artwork from the subreddit, which was a bit of a hassle. After that, I just attempted to copy part of the Kiswah and add a minimalistic design touch to it. It looked like it would make a good wallpaper, so I decided to make a wallpaper out of it.
      The vector file I worked with can be found through this link: https://mega.nz/file/B5p2QYwT#eV6rTHHKyCzXGAiA0387me4jeA_cUE-lWDeDX9XTeL4
      The file linked above isn't something you can use as a wallpaper, you'll need to rasterise it first, by converting it to a .PNG file for example. While doing so you will be asked what resolution you want your photo to be. Pick a suitable one. So for a 1080p display, I recommend that while rasterising it you set the width to 1080 pixels. The photo you can see above is suitable for 4K, but it does compromise on the quality a bit so I could fit it into the post. If anyone would like help in making this their wallpaper or in using the vector file (.SVG file linked above) then message me or comment here! I will be more than happy to help!
       
      JazakAllah

    • By Last Chance in Poems for the Ahlul Bayt
         1
      A ferocious warrior, a soft spoken sage, No other man could be both in any era or age, A servant so humble, an emperor so great, Never has a man possessed both traits so innate,
      The father of orphans, the prince of a nation,
      Two faces in this world which have no relation,
      And yet, my Master, you were all of these things,
      Everything and more, your virtues gushing like springs,
      A man has only one heart, so how were you, you?
      How are you everything, how can you be true?
      I sat at the gate of my heart just as you sat at yours,
      And He showed me how all this in your heart flows.

      For if a man sits as watchful as you of his heart,
      And no iota of doubt can take it apart,
      Then that man is not certain, but certainty itself,
      And if he defeats the whole of disbelief alone,
      Then that man is not faithful, but the very faith itself,
      And if you lifted the gate which forty men couldn't,
      Then you are not strong but rather strength itself,
      And if you demonstrate the impossible,
      Then surely you are the hand of God Himself,
      And I have no words to describe your words,
      Suffice to say you are the word of God itself.

      An eternity could pass yet your mystery will always be,
      You are the blinding light that allows us to see,
      The deafening truth that allows us to hear,
      The saint whom we call in any worry or fear,
      No words can describe you and no mind can perceive,
      Your justice no judge or wise man can achieve,
      And your lineage...where can I even begin?
      Divinity and godliness and cures are found therein,
      And why not, when their mother is their mother,
      The radiant soul, and there will never be another,
      And your light is the light of God's most adored,
      The messenger you guarded with your life and your sword,

      You are Ali- elevated in every way,
      Second to none but one, no matter what they say,
      The spark that ignites every beat of my heart,
      The beauty of both worlds- God's own work of art,
      The victor in battle and of the hearts of the pure,
      Your allegiance is the promise of a future secure,
      Your name is my cure in affliction and pain,
      And I will call out to you again and again,
      Let them mock and deny and say what they please,
      I'll smile as you rescue me from hardship to ease.

      Tonight and always, my heart overflows,
      Your love is infinite and within me it grows,
      The more I know you, the less I can contain,
      Abu Thar was in love- he wasn't insane,
      A badge of honour and a mark of pride,
      He couldn't conceal it even if he tried,
      You are the wealth which can't be taken away,
      And so we will praise you all night and all day,
      Judgement will come and still we won't finish,
      Your virtue and glory will never diminish.

      So I ask one last time, how are you, you?
      A sage and a lion, how can both be true?
      How can these virtues fit in one heart?
      And I have only one answer- you are God's work of art.
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Blog Statistics

    86
    Total Blogs
    468
    Total Entries
×
×
  • Create New...