Bonfire of the vanities

Year after year, it never changes: the public bickering of scholars and sheikhs, and the clamour of their friends and supporters, or the tumult of their opponents. The terrible ego of the venerated academic once more on display for all to see. The bitter conceit of his adversary made apparent to all who walks by unawares. Two decades have passed, but still these men of presumed knowledge squabble and brawl, attacking one another relentlessly, their altercations spilling out into the public realm ceaselessly. Iman never seems to reach our hearts, affecting change in our lives. Years spent buried in books achieved nothing, except stirring inner pride.

It is no surprise that the commoner turns away from the so-called students of knowledge, repulsed. That they leave the intellectuals to their arguments and turn instead to the simple life, serving and supporting their families. That they disengage with the fabled religious realm, and choose instead to live isolated lives cut off from the pontifications of the wise ones. That they become invisible Muslims, praying, fasting and giving charity in secret, unknown beyond their communities. I know that I intend to follow suit. Away from all of this.

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