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I don’t know how to make this sound less misogynistic (I’m sorry), but do women actualise their purpose in life by worshipping Allah through servitude to their husbands? I mean, based on this tradition, can’t we say that women were created to serve their husbands and to be “obedient” to them. In another tradition attributed to Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), the advantages or freedoms that men have in the jurisprudential sense could be attributed to the way Hawwa was created from the leftover dust of Adam: Is this why women are not allowed to hold certain positions of prominence in the dunyawi sense, where they cannot be judges and are primarily supposed to be adornments for their husbands (based on what I have read in other threads)? According to the Sunni jurist al-Qurṭubī, all women are not supposed to go out of their homes unnecessarily, based on Qur’an 33:33. According to former member Ibn al-Hussain: The member also elucidated that such seemingly misogynistic views of women have been the view of both Shia and Sunni scholars for centuries, and that it is inevitably irreconcilable with modernity. Further, in one report of Risalat al Huquq, Imam Zayn al Abidin (عليه السلام) says that “you must treat her [your wife] with compassion, since she is your prisoner (asir) whom you feed and clothe” (another version of this report does not contain this line). Another tradition (from Facebook) demarcates the preference of men over women: I feel like I should quote this verse now because I can see how this thread will bother a lot of my brothers and sisters: Perhaps I should also add that both women and men are creations of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), they both manifest His beautiful attributes, and that they complement one another. @Mohammad313Ali @Northwest @shia farm girlthoughts, brothers and sister?
http://alhaydari.com/ar/2019/12/68591/ Translation by me :) THOUGHTS ON MODERNITY AND POST-MODERNISM BY KAMAL AL-HAYDARI Lecture 1 One of the most important facts that we must turn to, That Modernity movement that started in the West one and a half to two centuries ago with regard to the rights of women and theories that were born from this movement, which are lots and in many directions. If we want to understand them well, we must understand the intellectual, social and economic reality that generated This movement that led to the flourish of West. Look at Islamic states. see these forty or fifty years in the system of these states. You find many ideas raised that does not exist at all before, but it is now the intellectual and cultural reality that led to it. How much was the scientific researches, thought, culture and official institutions concerned with the issue of governance in Islam? But now hundreds of studies, writings and lessons are all looking for governance in Islam Why? Because social streaks became this way. However, you do not find a counterpart in the past. Why? Because the social, political, intellectual and cultural realities have led to it and even might you don’t find such things in other regions. From here we conclude this fact, which is that ideas, philosophies and philosophical theories are not above time and place and this is what post-modernism has stated, they said that we cannot put a philosophical theory above time and place. So, on this basis, if this fact becomes clear when we come to the western theories and feminist’s movement, etc. how we must read them now? We must read it in its cultural, social and intellectual realities that produced these theories. The question I want to enter with it, how should we deal with the thought presented to us taking into account where these ideas originate from? Should we close the door on it and never study it or as some people accept it as if they are absolute facts or there is another direction behind these? In the introduction I must refer to the historical epochs that Western thought went through, if we use the language of contemporary European historians, history will be divided into three basic stages: • Greco-Roman world This is the first stage that spanned from the fifth century B.C. Socrates era to the fifth century A.D. and lasted for ten centuries. • Middle Ages lasted from the fall of Roman in the West in 476 in the fifth century to the fall of the Byzantine empire by the Ottoman Turks 1453, also approximately ten other centuries • Modern era Post-Middle Ages era about 4-5 centuries and continues to this day. These are what we have with in the history of West. Of course, there are multiple branches and diversities. But What do Muslims have? The Golden Islamic era are within the time of Middle Ages, However the West were in the era of darkness. Muslim used to live in the age of modernity, but rather the Islamic modernity and It was the center of the world, but since the naming of the Middle Ages is infamous with the West and surrounded by negativity in the Arab and European consciousness because the Middle Ages were the centuries of darkness, we feel great pain and anger because the best of us is classified in the name medieval, this leads me to re-search the history of Islam in a way In line with the respect of our history, so then what are the periods that Islam went through? • Production Age The emergence of Islam in the seventh century AD ending with the death of Ibn-Rushd in the twelfth century. These five six centuries that produced all of our ideas and thoughts in various directions from Sunnis, Shiites, Mu'tazila and Ash'ari that govern our reality regardless of scientific, natural researches and the discoveries in astronomy, physics, chemistry were all connected to those centuries, the stage of production was the era of transculturation as well? Because in these centuries the other thought began translated through the House of Wisdom established by Al-Maamoun for the expalme the Greek, Indian, and Persian philosophy in other words philosophy in all its dimensions also from the various human sciences and medicine that came from that period. • The era of decadence The age of rumination and repetition to the past works It represents our Middle Ages, which were the ages of darkness starting from the six seven century AH (13th century AD) to the thirteenth century AH (19th century AD) remains for six to seven centuries however still remains some intellectual flashes like Ibn-Khaldoun in the eighth century AH(the end of 13th century AD), but these were exceptions from the rule. Muslim in That era was outside history does not know what's going on in the world in contrast West From the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and after they entered into fights with Catholic church and extremist ideas and with the shocking industrial, digital revolutions until they brought Western thought to this day. The West is moving forward and the Muslims are in a deep sleep, until they turned in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and found that these are ahead by light years and not by ordinary years. Look at us, where are we? So, Muslims started the movement in the nineteenth century. But do you know the difference? They started in the fifteenth century and Muslims started in the nineteenth century How many? How do you want to fill the gap? Muslims may not believe because of the miserable situation that we have reached that we were once masters of this civilized world and that our philosophers and our scholars were seven centuries ago representing the supreme authority of the great thinkers of the European continent of dozens and when I say thinkers then I mean Al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, Ibn Bajah and Ibn Rushd mainly who renew the philosophical thought and this is what led the other to need us. Then how we should deal with the thought presented to us with that huge gap? The answer is philosophy, that you live the questions of your time and the truth of philosophy in two things: to live the questions of your time and raise the problems of your time. You are the son of your time, I mean, what are the questions of your time and answering those questions? In various dimensions, there is never a red line in the question. Any question in your era must be raised and you must find the answer to it. The Muslims died the day when philosophy died. I mean, when they died, they stop asking about the problems of their times. They only contented themselves to read the questions of the times of their ancestors. The secret of philosophy is translation and opening up to others. Whoever does not translate does not allow a new blood flow in his veins, dries a little and dies, and this is what happened in Islamic history. Translation and openness are what excites and provokes you, A world of new questions and new excitements requires a new mind of philosophers to solve. In the past ten years, all my concern in my scientific work pose a new question, no but provocations that provoked the Arab mind and never answer? Because I want you to live the problem and say what is the solution? Otherwise if I gave you the question and the solution to it Do you think or not? Your mind becomes what? Thinking mind or resigned mind? Until now Muslims are sitting here and consuming West ideas, intellectual, industrial and natural production even in the way they cut their hair they also imitate them. Look at our culture and people in all of our societies. go to Europe, but are they drowning or not? Thousands drowning, are they stop going to Europe or not? Why? Because they want to live a decent life, not least. His sense of a decent life. Now he may be mistaken, but their feeling is that a decent life is in there? why is this sensation? How do we deal with the other, so what is the way? My dear, there are several ways these are: The first position: To go to the West and be obedient follower of the Western thought, and this is what you now find in many of the writings. did they mention about Islam or not? Never they have nothing to do with it. The second position: reverence for heritage only, and this is the Salaf trend now, Of course, when I say Salafi, your mind does not only go to Wahhabism and Ibn Taymiyyah or Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab, no. Everyone who sees that the first century of Islam is the best of the centuries. The third position: (a lot more severe) revering the West and insulting the Islamic thought, being ridiculous of the whole heritage, past, thoughts, culture, customs, gains and what we have saved for centuries, we put them in the trash. The fourth position: reverence the heritage and delete everything that comes from the West as their thought being dangerous and may cause devastation of the society, Really, I don’t know how this came from. These are the main 4 positions however I will share my position later in this book.
(bismillah) (salam) I hope you are all in the best of health and Imaan (faith). So, I have recently seen people being very concerned about the allegation some non-Muslims make against the Holy Prophet (pbuh) , in regards to the age of his wife Aisha at the time of their marriage. Many a Muslims are shocked when they hear of the narrations regarding her age (there are, of course, differing accounts but I am talking about the accounts which age her fairly her young, at around 6 when the marriage took place and 9 at the time of consummation). Many non-Muslims try to raise this as an issue to malign the Prophet (pbuh) as immoral and a man who is controlled by carnal desires - I am not even going to mention the names they call him because of how lowly they are. This is why I decided to give a few points which helped me out on this matter, mainly the age of Lady Fatima (peace be upon her), when she was married. Although I, myself, am not really sure and do not have a concrete view on what really was Aisha's age at the time of the marriage because I have seen conflicting theories and I can't seem to decide which one is right, at least, not at the moment. I did, however, come up with something that makes me very comfortable, even if she was 9 at the time of consummation, as those who like to malign the Prophet (pbuh) would like and I would like to share this with you. Before I delve into the point which occurred to me, I want to give an example. I remember a member of Shiachat creating a thread recently, explaining how his/her (I don't want to give too many clues about the identity of that person because the member may not like it) father had this addiction for pornography and how he overcame it. One of the major reasons this person gave for his/her father leaving this nasty habit was that he could not accept his daughter doing "something silly with stupid men" and, so, the women in those magazines/videos were also the daughters of someone and if he disliked his daughters doing such acts, he should also take into account that these women were also the daughters of someone. Now, the only reason I brought up this whole thing was to show one thing: in these cases of immorality, no matter how vile and immoral the person is, he/she would still be very uncomfortable with his own daughters performing the acts of indecency that he was so used to. The point, in a nutshell, is that a person may do all sorts of morally corrupt actions but when it comes to their own children, they don't like the idea of their own children doing those acts, no matter how much of it they, themselves, do it. Coming to the Prophet (pbuh) , the thing I want to point out is that, according to the Shi'i narrations, the age of Lady Fatima (peace be upon her) at the time of marriage was 9 (according to the Sunni narrations, she was a bit more older, at around 11, but would still be considered a child by the standards of those who try to malign the Prophet (pbuh) and, so, the age we take does not matter - she was a "child" at that time). It is said that she had her first-born when she was 10 and, so, it is reasonable to assume that the marriage was consummated when she was still 9, or at most, 10. Now, if the Prophet (pbuh) was an indecent man who married Aisha at such a young age because of whatever reasons the opponents give, trying to make it look like immoral, I want to ask, keeping in mind the example I gave above, even if he was so immoral, why would he let his daughter also marry at approximately the same age as his marriage was consummated with Aisha? Even the most vile person would not allow his daughter to undergo oppression, which is what they say the Prophet (pbuh) marriage to Aisha was, to Aisha. The Prophet (pbuh) 's decision to let his own daughter marry at this "young" age clearly shows that he did not find it immoral for a woman to marry at this age and, therefore, he cannot be criticised regarding his marriage to Aisha. The concept of morality he had did not make it immoral to marry a 9 year old and, so, we cannot use our standards on him! I wonder why those modernists who even support homosexuality simply on the premise of multiculturalism, tolerance and accepting the differences within cultures are so eager to attack the Prophet (pbuh) when the same reasons apply to his case? Some do try and purport that the concept of morality in his time was different but his actions, being those of a Prophet, should be moral for all ages and times. This is, perhaps, the most ludicrous arguement one could make in this regard. There are two very basic flaws in such an arguement: 1. He is the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) , the Messenger of God who teaches us what God deems right and wrong and, so, morality should be predicated upon his commands and actions. We should appraise the morality of our actions using him as the model and not the other way round, evaluating his actions on our conceptions of morality. Such a thing is extremely outrageous and ridiculous because according to social dynamics, the what is perceived as moral or immoral with society is always changing and, so, we cannot judge his actions on a scale that is not even constant. He is the yardstick and, so, we can't judge the yardstick based on the specimen because that is totally opposite logic! 2. Like I have said above, conceptions of morality are always changing within societies and, so, we can't expect someone's actions to fulfill the requirements of all these differing concepts. Sometimes, we may find the conception of what is moral regarding a certain issue being contradictory to what is conceived as moral in another society. How can we expect - or, indeed, ask - a person to be moral using both definitions when, obviously, they are antithetical? Insha'Allah, I have been helpful, clear and objective in my reasoning and have not hurt anyone! :D May Allah (SWT) bless us all, our families and loved ones, guide us all to The Straight Path with His Perfect Guidance, increase our knowledge and Imaan and may He, The Forgiver of Sins and the Oft-Forgiving, forgive all our sins for, verily, there is neither any refuge nor any respite for the sinners, except in Allah (SWT) .
dear brothers and sisters Salam Alaykum. this is a long essay on the topic of Hijab I tried to cover new challenges in this article, your note are greatly appreciated. through your complementary note added to this essay we could support the aim of Islam. Hijab And Modern Challenges, Freedom of Choice And Gender Equality “And tell the believing women to reduce some of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which necessarily appears and to draw their head covers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their sons...”(Quran 24:31) At first glance, this Qur’anic verse seems like an unfair statement aimed to restrict women’s freedom. This verse in a sense contradicts what society and media as well expect women that her worth lies in her appearance and she should keep herself pretty to look desirable to men. In fact, they look down to such thoughts regarding modesty and decency. Nowadays, however, we see this spreading idea, that a women is free to dress up as she likes, is being triggered even among Muslim societies. For instance you might face many teenagers in Muslim communities who are not pleased to be labelled indecent dressers by parents, elders, and teachers but they are. Here is where freedom, religion, modesty, and modernity challenge one other. Covering skin flaws with a heavy make-up, wearing short clothes which cling to your body, expose your beauty, and attracting others to your physical appearance are what modern society expects you to apply. In contrary to what modernity says, none of us would argue this fact that all Abrahamic religions demands woman to dress decently, cover up her privet parts and try her best to look modest as much as she can. “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments.” (1 Timothy 2:9) “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.”(1 Peter 3:3) Taking a new look at human, religion says that men and women are valuable because of their righteous deeds they do, the moral values they have, and the way they behave to others; Not the way they dress and go out to society. Actually the way religion thinks of human is perceived by the modern world to be imposing oppression on women. All feminist activists see roots of diminishing women’s right and violence against her in religious teachings. To them, religion restricts human freedom of choice and looks down to woman as a second citizen. Such objection is that evident that if you start delivering speech with respect to the issue of Hijab saying that religion requires men and women to observe modesty and decency in their social life you will be facing this challenge that “our body our choice”. “No one has right to tell us what to wear what not to wear”. Adherents of modernity maintaining the idea of gender equality say, human being has right to choose his lifestyle and dressing as he likes regardless what impression his clothes would have on others. No one, with no excuse could diminish others’ freedom. This essay is aimed to study the topic of “Hijab” considering the concept of gender equality, liberty, and freedom of choice as a modern issues. Gender equality What is initially meant by this controversial topic was to indicate that men and women should receive equal treatments in social and political situations such as participating in politic, having access to education, and whatsoever. But nowadays we see what aimed to benefit women turn out to exploit her. One of the reasons, feminist movements through which started encouraging women to dismiss what they used to regard based on their traditional costume was the newborn issue of sex equality. They maintain that to make distinction between men and women results in women oppression and would cause them to be confined to house works and child upbringing. Thus, women should admit that they have the same right as well as men in every aspect of social life and the time women used to be housekeepers, dress in their traditional clothes, and not to go out to the society to take part in social situations has passed. Meanwhile, media played an influential role in this ground. Portrayal women in mass media in one hand was inspiring the spirit of women being equal to men, doing the same jobs as men in factories and in the other hand was lightening the spirit of modesty and decency among women. In addition to this, one cannot help but notice that what some so-called religious scholars did also led women to welcome such freedoms that modernity claim he has brought for them. The advent of modernity, waning religion considerably in the world, and spreading such movements across the globe consequently caused increasing gender equality tendencies among the youth and now, as a fruit of it one could easily see that morality in the modern communities is on the decline. Many of youth following the sex equality empowerment throughout the world tend to dress unisex clothes, shoes, jewelry, and hairstyle and keep themselves fashionable at every expense. No matter what impression it conveys, the way that they dress. But Islam unlike the ongoing thoughts toward woman holds a different view upon this issue. Islam in one hand maintains that man and woman are equal in status, worth, and value before God. And both of them are capable of reaching highest levels of spiritual growth. This notion is that obvious through Quranic verses that God presents a devoted woman in the Quran as a role model for all believers both male and female.  And in the other hand Islam affirms that men and women were created different physically and emotionally and equipped with special tools to fulfill complementary roles and functions in society. Thus, there should be inherent distinctive characters leading them to different conducts and expectations. However woman, whose way of creation differs from men should be treated and expected in her social life not the same as man. What is our concern pertaining to this issue, men and women differences, is to discover accuracy of the old thought that women should cover their body in front of non-relative men and not to expose their beauty except for their husbands. No one would argue that physical attractiveness plays a significant role in arousing sexual tendencies in society. And men and women are involved in this issue, nevertheless gender stereotypes suggest that male place more importance on the physical appearance and attractiveness than what females do. And very interestingly studies say that female are more likely to emphasize their beauty and apparent attractiveness rather than men. These two different yet complementary traits that men and women carry are the key roles in constructing family life that through which the cycle of human life continues on the earth. For these physical characters along with moral attitudes could bring a couple together under the contract of marriage in order to create a family and take care of children in all aspects, financially and spirituality. Actually this blessing difference in addition to other different attitudes result in warmth, honesty and faithfulness of wife and husband toward one another. Given what is mentioned regarding the physical attractiveness the nature of men that rates it more than everything and the role of physical appearance in happy relationship, one is justified to say that freedom of choice should not lead to sexually distracting dress or the society will regress to promiscuity which effects the family, the principle base of society. Freedom of choice Now, it is time to deal with this question that we will be asked even if we admit all arguments above that why women should go through this unfair limitations concerning such simple matter of dressing? When do we want to respect freedom of choice for women and stop depriving them of their liberty? Who would guarantee that it will not reinitiate confinement of women to her home and diminish her rights? As a matter of fact freedom of choice has become a good excuse for all those who are not disposed to submit to the concept of Hijab, regardless they are politicians who see their interest in it, pseudo- enlightenment movements who could through which increase their popularity in society or ignorant women who have found it good excuse and justification to remove their Hijab. But to be honest, it should be said that wearing hijab or modest clothing actually meant to respect laws of freedom of choice. All of us believe that freedom of choice should not lead to harming others in society. One is free to do whatever he wishes as long as he is not annoying others. So there must be kind of restrictions within freedom otherwise it would not sound reasonable. And now the question is that why none of us object such limitations to our freedom? Rather we have accepted it? And found it compatible with human rights? The answer is so simple. We are living in a community and this is the commonly accepted way by which we could communicate and respects people. Nobody has right to harm others physically and emotionally out of his freedom. But now this question arises that why every one of us easily accept to go through limitations in order to respect other’s health, properties, rights and so on in society but when it comes to the concept of Hijab all would complain? Campaigns will be launched to support human rights as if a massacre occurs. Why nobody seeks to break down this issue a little further to see if what religion says comes true or not? All religion says is to treat human as a human, value him out of his morality, spiritualty, and the status he has before god , not because of his wealth or physical attractiveness. Indeed religion affirms the role of modesty in peace of mind and inner peace. Hijab is not a hindrance to our freedom rather is to respect our freedom. How the one who is shouting out in streets and public areas would be treated as a transgressing of the law, why he cannot say “my mouth, my choice”? The same goes with the Hijab. Let’s describe a modern western street. Women are free to come out dressing transparent clothes, miniskirts, exposing their breasts and cleavage and nothing wrong with them even if they wear skimpy clothes. And men are allowed to wear baggy trousers pulling it down in a way that their underwear exposed and put on a clingy T-shirts the way that shows their muscles. Well, nobody can go against his inherent nature. As a male and female we grow up with natural tendency upon the opposite sex and marriage aimed to direct lustful desires to avoid promiscuity in society. We can’t walk in street closing our eyes, nor can we object any of such indecent instances in society because we will be told “our body, our choice”! Now, how even a believer, the one who has no will to betray his wife could go home not imagining of all those unwillingly pictures he has faced during the day? Is it an appropriate answer to say close your eyes? Suppress your nature? Isn’t it the same as to say “close your ears”! Try not to be disturbed by shouting? Conclusion Religion, a group of laws pertaining to human life physically and spiritually which is revealed by his creator, tries to present an appropriate model for life that through which human could find his role in creation. As long as human is thinking of diversity for his animal instincts he is a modern animal nothing more. What religion holds is that one should not dedicate all his life to fulfill his animal urges nor should he dismiss it. Talking of chastity and modesty, religion suggests that house and family life should be the only option that men and women are allowed to enjoy their sexual life.  - Quran 49:13: Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous of you.  - Quran 16:97: Whoever does good whether male or female and he is a believer, We will most certainly make him live a happy life And We will most certainly give them their reward for the best of what they did.  - Quran 66:11: And Allah sets forth an example to those who believe, the wife of Firon when she said, My Lord! build for me a house with you in paradise and save me from Firon and his doing, and deliver me from the unjust people.  - Quran 49:13: Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous of you.
Tauheed and Capital Introduction Human beings are born with some distinctive traits which are absent in all other species. These distinctive traits not only form the basis of many philosophical debates, but are also of significance in this discussion. Our subject regards the topic of Tauheed (or, literally, the oneness of God). Then, practical relations of the concept of Tauheed to the notion of ‘capital’ are drawn. The concept of capital starts with a humanly trait of gaining more. Very broadly and crudely speaking, this quest for more may be present in the form of a human’s worldly or spiritual gains. In contemporary social terms, this trait of human can be defined as the practical demonstration in the form of the ‘free market economy’. In this economy, the rule of the thumb is to maximise own profits through the procedure of buying least expensively and selling most expensively possible. It forms the basis of the rationale of value and prestige to common man i.e. a man in this world is appreciated a great deal by his fellows as long as he can follow this pattern successfully. The logic present in the current world is the maximization of profits without a set limit for any end. In Marx’s terms, “capital does not abide a limit” (Marx, 1973) Alongside this limitless quest of human to reach the infinity of most profitable outcomes while using everything around him including his own self as a ‘tool’ to attain that objective prevails in the current age, Muslims are seen to recite in every prayer that God is ‘one’. The aim of this paper is to draw a theory that with the desires of attaining a limitless capital, a Muslim’s self-declared concept of Tauheed is challenged. We try to cover a debate of many pages in only a few words; it is inevitable that many concepts might remain ill-explained and incomprehensive conclusions may be drawn by this process of shortening, but we will try our best to capture some realities of the life here. There is no god but Allah Amongst the most commonly quoted words for any Muslim are the words of the Kalma. The literal translation of that oft-quoted phrase is ‘There is no god but Allah’ (Kalma Taiyyaba) One of the most common Surah’s of the Quran, arguably the second most common, opens up as follows: “Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One,”” (Quran Surah Ikhlas, 112:1) Another Surah not as commonly recited opens up as, “Craving for excess diverted you” (Quran Surah Takathur, 102:1) We start off by putting to question the literal meaning of the Kalma Tayyiba itself. When we say there is no god except Allah, is it merely numerical oneness meant by Tauheed? We wish to not debate on the topic that whether even numerical oneness is applicable to Allah or not. Not to mention that when we consider He is the creator of time, space, numbers and even infinity, there is none of these notions that can ‘limit’ Him. But what we want to bring to light is the notion that when we deny all other gods what is it that we really mean. Is it necessary for us to deny all other gods in order to accept Allah to be the ‘One’ and ‘Only’ praiseworthy Entity? Which perspective on this very Kalma is important to us. To use it as what it can be, i.e. the biggest weapon against so many ills including capitalism? Or just to repeat the word merely as a tongue exercise. Verily God is, as the Surah Ikhlas proceeds, indifferent (not indifferent in the sense that he does not care about us, but that he does not need our prayers for any benefit to Him). So all the implications of the concept of Tauheed must have a direct effect on primarily our betterment. It might be assumed at this point that the concept of Tauheed must be something of prime advantage to ourselves, individually and collectively, instead of God. While the positive effects of belief in Oneness of God are promised in Islam, practically speaking, we can be observed not to actively take as much advantages from it. On an average level, all of our lives revolve around the capital. When a child is born in any average Muslim family, his educational needs are met by his parents. The parents feel successful if their children go to schools, universities and colleges that are best known for generating the most capital. One of the most significant determinants of any marriage is the possession of or the ability to attain the most capital by the to-be spouse (commonly the male half). The mental and physical effort that one puts in attainment of his perceived ‘success’ in the form of this holy capital makes a person spend his entire life struggling, obsessing over, and achieving this capital. But it might make him regret in his deathbed that ‘I wish I hadn’t worked so hard’ (Steiner, 2012). This process of starting schooling as soon as the ability allows, completing the educational career without any thoughtful breathers in the middle, being on the quest for the most paying jobs or making the best out of his present business, develops a person’s character in a way that his focus lies in approaching the one and only reality of his life: the capital. It is then sensed, that the capital is in fact the most significant variable that shapes our lives. While describing ‘Capital’, Ali Shariati very aptly calls it ‘the great idol of our age’ (Shar'iati, 1979). The above mentioned idol, however, is only one of the four idols around us. What was mentioned above is only the economic capital. According to Bourdieu (1994), there are three other kinds of capitals that humans engage in accumulating. Second to the economic form of capital, which Bourdieu brings to light, is the ‘social capital’. Human beings become worried about not having enough of social relations. This ends up in us spending most of our time looking for perfect social relations which may or may not be important to our character building. Thirdly, human beings strive to accumulate ‘cultural capital’, to blend into the highest forms of culture. This might include communicating in English to emphasize familiarity with the highest form of global culture (it being the internationally recognized language). Lastly, ‘symbolic capital’ is our way of attaining prestige and honor from the society around us. It essentially means that we want to acquire We struggle to gain as much of capital in the form of respect and glory as we possibly can so much so that we lose touch of our actual worth. All of these mentioned capitals divert a man from his main objective in life. They are powerful enough to prevent deep thinking from occurring. So with the presence of such powerful forces that drives almost everything in our lives, it might be argued that when we actually give up all other deities other than Allah, why the capital attains such a centrality in our lives? Could elevating the level of capital to such a primacy in our practical lives arguably be the modern form of ‘shirk’? Should capital be our main prayer when we are praying to ‘God’ while better life after death a secondary one? Whether it is material or Islam that we let occupy the central position in our lives explains a great deal about whether it is Allah that we are taking as our sole Diety or are we mixing our concept of Tauheed with the capital? All of this confusion is caused very fundamentally by the presence of the concept of ‘duality’ in our lives. Tauheed, as analyzed by Ali Shariati, is a concept which explains that everything moves in a ‘single direction’ and what does not move in that direction by its nature does not exist (Shar'ati, 1979). However the notion of duality is caused by looking at the world with two different views simultaneously. One is earthly while the other heavenly, one is applicable and the other is personal, one relates to action the other only relations to mere beliefs which occupy a lesser part of the practical life. What would exemplify this argument would be a Muslim teenager who spends his time in college and when he is asked what does he ‘believe in’ in terms of his god, he might succeed in saying Allah. But when asked about his main objective in life, he might change his tone to a completely earthly objective. What we see is that although practically his aims and objectives and ‘beliefs’ are different and do not center around the notion of God, his religious belief is God. This presence of duality can also be perfectly exemplified in the case of a non-practicing Christian celebrating Christmas superficially, as merely a cultural occasion that involves no practicality in his real life. This duality paves ways a great deal for manipulators to corrupt, impure and desensitize the strongest powers that any Muslim possesses, those of Tauheed. This process is done by the most used and tested method of all time: inject materialism into a religion and there shall be no ‘religious religion’. The only way to rid this duality is to bridge the gap between the ‘beliefs’ and ‘practicality’ and see it as one. This fundamentally means the internalization of beliefs so much so that they are noticeable in our externality. Conclusion So my argument is that the concept of Tauheed does not merely entail the belief in presence of Allah, the Almighty. It also entails the process of defying any other god that we might hold central to our beings. If by god we mean the entity which is most prior to us, occupies most of our time in practical as well as mental lives and matters the most to us and we place it as our first and foremost obligation while we are existing for an evidently ephemeral time on this earth, then there is no doubt capital has attained a much more elevated position than it deserves. Is saying there is no god but God only applicable if we think of the gods which were worshipped wrongly instead of Allah in the time when Quran was revealed? Consequently for a religion that thrives on its universality in terms of space and time, would the most fundamental concept be limited by time in the sense that only a renouncement of those certain gods would satiate the purpose behind worshipping Allah alone? What we experience in fact, is that this Kalma has lost its power in the contemporary Muslim community, although it is supposed to be perfectly universal. We have taken it for granted that to believe in God’s numerical oneness and not taking any other deities (only those which were present in other religions) instead of Him satiate the necessity of this Kalma to be a Muslim. There are no more idols made of sand or clay to challenge our belief in Allah anymore. It is not the worshipping of those physical idols which were present in the time before Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) initiated the revolution in Arab that are applicable to the challenges faced by Muslims of today. The contemporary idol is the capital, which shapes our behavior, is ‘made’ to exert so much power on us by the portrayal of images on media which depict a practically unattainable status of beauty, power and wealth, prestige and relations which keeps us busy in our entire lives striving to attain those statuses. It is this capital that needs to be removed from its central position given by us, the believers of the One and Only God. It needs to be removed from its primacy of being at a level which ‘diverts us’ (Quran 102:1) from our main purpose of existence. Bibliography George Ritzer, J. S. (2009). Sociological Theory. McGraw Education. Marx, C. (1973). Grundrisse (English Translation). Shar'ati, A. (1979). On the Sociology of Islam. USA: Mizan Press. Shar'iati, A. (1979). Marxism and Other Western Fallacies. Islamic Foundation Press. Steiner, S. (2012). Top five regrets of dying. www.guardian.com. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying
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