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10 signs of extremism


Written By: Ajmal-Masroor
04/10/2013 16:39
Contemporary Debate

1. Extremists lack knowledge of the most basic aspects of the faith. When ignorance prevails the community is weakened. Such people burden and limit the community to only “halal and haram” debate. They ritualize Islam and only focus on the outer appearances. Other ignorant people often lead them. The grand alliance of the ignorant people is the real cause of the Muslim community's backwardness.

2. Extremism flourishes during intellectual stagnation and is one of the greatest curses consuming our community. Some of our great minds are too busy giving tabeez (talisman) and leading milad (unnecessary veneration of the Prophet through rituals) instead of being the Imam Malik, Ibn Taymiyah, Al-Ghazali or Ibn Rushd of our time. We are unable to compete in the modern world using the power of our pens or words. 

3. Proliferation of superstitious practices is so rife in the community that some people have reached the extreme end. They say they respect the Quran but do not follow its teachings and they claim to venerate the scholar but never listen to their words. They prefer to pray to the dead, reduce God’s revelation to mere words of rituals and seek other human beings as their saviour.

4. Extremists actively promote puritanical theology where everything is bid'a in their eyes and everyone is wrong. They are the bid'a brigade hyper active in our society calling everyone all sorts of name. They desire to become holier than holy. They make everything prohibited and prefer the hardline approach to Islam. 

5. Extremists emphasise on frivolous issues such as the length of beard, and trousers, colour of hijab and clothing styles. They fight over nawafil (voluntary worship) while faraid (obligatory worship) is neglected. They argue over blood of a mosquito while the blood of many humans is spilled. They care about their prayer beads more than they care about justice in the world. 

6. Extremists are looking for shortcuts to paradise by getting involved in fanatical activities. They think by attacking the non-Muslims, indiscriminate killing, causing friction and strife they will bypass the obligations of being good to their fellow human beings. They desire paradise but due to their actions they will not even smell paradise. 

7. Extremists are unable to prioritise and are constantly mixing the sunnah (optional prophetic traditions) with wajib (obligatory), culture with religion and social responsibility with personal piety. They prefer to hold the entire community hostage to their selfish wishes. They feel they are doing a great action of religiosity. They like to open more frontiers instead of signing up to peace though sacrifice for the greater good of the society. 

8. Extremists project and shoulder anger from the Muslim world such as anger over Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. The Lack of freedom and democratic reform in the Muslim world turns them even angrier. But anger does not achieve anything, being involved in policy and attitude change does. But the extremists do not like to be peaceful and calm as such a state would defuse their misguided perceptions and make their philosophy redundant. 

9. Some extremists prefer to assimilate and lose their faith in the process. They feel shy about their Muslim identity and hide behind a secular facade. Some extremists prefer to isolate and remain in their ghettos in the name of preserving and protecting their faith. They would rather not interact with the non-Muslims. These extremists are at two extreme ends. 

10. Extremists fear integration. They feel to integrate is to destroy their segregationist and isolationist mantra. They have an allergic reaction when they hear the word integration. Their way is destructive and cause of much pain and misery for all people of the world. In their world, they would rather impose Islam on people but in reality the true essence of Islam is seldom found in their life. 

God has defined the Muslims as a people who are balanced and moderate. Anything else is against the divine way and contradicts the divine purpose. We have to bring back our youth and masses of men and women back to the path of moderation – the true path to God. 


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About Ajmal-Masroor

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  • Name: Ajmal Masroor
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    Ajmal Masroor is an Author, Broadcaster, Relationship Counsellor , Politician and Imam based in London, UK. His facebook profile can be followed https://www.facebook.com/AjmalMasroor

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