Be patient. Truth is not like the petals of a rose, which we pluck with ease. Muslims are just like other people, of whom some are good, some are wicked and some everything in between, and it has always been thus. The present is no different from the past. Be bound only by the truth, and seek it out wherever it is. Be prepared to strive hard, and swim against the tide, and face alienation from your peers. The essence of this path is struggle.
Author: Timothy Bowes (Page 2 of 65)
A compulsion regularly comes over me which insists: “Write!” But in my heart, after all has been said and done, there is disquiet, regret, remorse: my writing betrays arrogance. After the fact, I wonder to myself: would silence not be better for you? Would it not be better not to release these words? Are you not only portraying your ignorance? Would it not be better to recognise your station and withdraw, to unpublish and retire? Each day, these are the thoughts that follow every essay. Am I merely just poisoning my own soul? And yet before I have had time to respond, there comes yet another compulsive urge to write down all that is on my mind. Once more I spill my soul onto the page, momentarily thinking it urgent, as if my words had any impact on the world. And then once more the regret and remorse: what an arrogant, conceited fool.
Forcing people to convert people to your faith doesn’t create more believers.
Have pity on the sincere volunteers who give up their time and expend all of their energy supporting organisations afflicted by either corruption or incompetence at the top. They are the exploited foot soldiers of the cause, blissfully ignorant of the rot on high. They are an organisation’s greatest asset: always the believer, full of passion, sharing the good news, naively obedient and faithful. Irregardless of malfeasance amongst their leaders, without a doubt these armies of volunteers will be rewarded abundantly for their good deeds by the Lord of all the worlds.
Our enemies will drive us to silence, preventing us from taking ourselves to account. For who dares speak of our own crimes, when right wing racists are already gleefully jumping up and down about them? Who dares comment on our own excesses, when governments stand ready for a clamp down? Who dares speak the truth to tradition, when our foes attack it without diminution. Instead we retreat, cowed.
Many a scholar tarries unknown, far away from the public gaze, devoting their energies to a wiser faith. Seek them out if you dare.
We are the great unjust. We build careers on lies, on false qualifications. We promote our friends and overlook our enemies. We select not the best person for the job, but elevate into positions of power members of our clique, faction, sect or family. It is strange that we believe that success is our due, when clearly our Lord is above these games. For a while we may be granted reprieve, but ultimately it will all come crashing down around us. Because we are the great unjust.
Those trusting French justice to run its course in the case of a famous preacher accused of wrongdoing are deluded. In the news this week we have the case of a 29 year-old man cleared of raping an 11 year-old girl in a park, because the court could not prove that the girl did not consent. Being judged innocent by the French judicial system means absolutely nothing. Of the mere ten percent of rape victims that ever file a complaint in France, ninety percent of complaints are dismissed.
As a Muslim, I rail against the whitewashing of Muslim history. As an Englishman I rail against the whitewashing of British history too. Some are willing to acknowledge the wrongs perpetuated in the name of empires, friend or foe, but most prefer to overlook realities, and instead invest in varnished histories.
It occurs to me with increasing frequency, that all the words that have been flowing from my fingers of late are merely a substitute for all the transgressions that passed before them. It took me an age, but eventually I fell down in repentance, resolving to make everything right and not return to those wicked ways. I closed the door, though it pained me. But all of a sudden this: opinions, essays, thousands of words. Have I merely been hoodwinked into exchanging one set of sins for another?