Thursday, December 22, 2022

The Condescending Spiritual Snobbery of Muslims and Christians

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 22 December 2022 "You have a limited time left to repent and make amends. Make good use of it or keep doing what you have been doing in which case you wrong yourself and it is not Allah who wrongs you. Allah may have sent me, Unknown, Faiz and Chamlija to correct you and make you see reason. Do not be like the people described above. " (A Muslim zealot admonishing Mr Ghulam Mohiyuddin) This is what I call brazen and shameless condescension of a believer towards a sceptic, agnostic or an outright atheist. This is downright spiritual snobbishness which I've found only among Christians, esp. the missionaries, and Muslims who try to proselyte others. Preachers from Tablighi Jama’at also talk and frighten you in this disgustingly pontificating manner. This is outright exasperating and can be called the religious equivalent of that English racist Sir Rudyard Kipling's pejorative phrase, ' A white man's burden.' Only those who're pugnaciously resistant and belligerently repugnant to the very idea of liberal thinking and who think that their way is the truest way, can threaten others like this. The concept of Hidayat (prudence) bestowing upon those whom Allah considers as chosen ones is integral to Semitic faiths. Let a person remain a doubter or even a rejecter. Is your Allah as fussy and finicky as you and your cohorts? A Shia girlfriend of mine in Iran would speak the same language and try to dissuade me from my atheism until she realized her blunder by leaving Islam and all faiths. Once when she became a complete non-believer and absolutely godless like me, I asked her what made her behave in a religiously haughty manner when she was a practising Muslim. Her reply stayed with me, “My stupid Islamic religious upbringing and useless Quranic exhortations” (though all in Persian, I've translated that into English). Those who're Muslims or Christians take upon themselves to show you the path. It's contingent upon them. This gets my goat. Towards the fag-end of his life, the great Persian mystic Anwari started doubting a great many tenets of Islam and the veracity of quite a few Quranic verses. Someone told him that he'd be burnt in hellfire for daring to doubt and question the relevance of many verses. The taciturn Anwari calmly said, " If a rejecter's fate is hellfire and eternal damnation, I'm all the more eager to invite Allah's wrath, so that I can bring him down to the level of lesser mortals and prove convincingly that he's no better than us. And if Allah is all love, he'll laugh my transgressions off." ---- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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