It has been awhile since I wrote and it has been because I have been wondering how to express myself and also for my anger and emotions to subside over this issue. Also, many of the blogs I read have been writing about events unfolding in Pakistan and they have been doing a much better job of expressing their anger and sadness.
I feel like I am coming to terms with my spirituality in a way that suits me more. I no longer try to justify the limitations I have perceived in religion or try to explain away the inequalities between the genders that seem to crop up that different scholars justify with their modern logic.
I guess I don’t believe that an old system can dictate a modern way of life. I am tired of people continuously defending Islam as a way of life when their interpretations don’t fit in some societies. I do believe in a secular state now because I don’t believe the ‘Islamic’ laws that govern us or the method of life preached by scholars are Divine. I believe people worked them out and some ideas may work very well whilst others don’t. As long as we are allowed to debate them openly and question them and work on improving them as we go along we will be fine. But in Pakistan, we hold on staunchly to outdated notions in the name of Islam. We are afraid of venturing forward in the field of arts because of supposedly Islamic limitations and perceptions. We believe in an ideal Muslim society and community when in reality, God has put on Earth so many different people with different desires, different societal structures, different ideas, different races, different climates, that I don’t think He ever intended us to follow the same laws. Maybe the challenge is to deal with all these differences in a globalised world and that is His test.
It is human nature to justify one’s own way of being of living as above all else. We hold on to our values dearly and like to propagate them. It is the same in the West as it is in the East. So I guess Muslims aren’t so much to blame for thinking that they have been granted the pathway to the perfect society. Many Christians believe that they only have access to heaven and everyone else goes straight to hell. What we could use among Muslims is more tolerance, which is hard to practise when one thinks one is carrying out the way of God. Nothing can be questioned then, nothing can be debated, no other points of view exist in front of God’s word. I guess we just have to learn that we are not God and we only do the best we can. The scholars were/are only human and speak from their own spatial and time limits. We have to work out ways for ourselves in the modern world and let others do the same in a secular society where people are free to choose.