Why are we being polarized? - FARUK BEŞER

Why are we being polarized?

We have said earlier that the answer to this question was "ignorance". As a so-called poet said:

Again you, oh the long-rooted ignorance,

Wherever there is evil, you are there.

In addition to that, what is Islam and how it can be learnt, what are its sources of information, in what way and how these sources must be accessed to, and knowing what kind of knowledge signifies what kind of meaning… These are the preliminary outlines of knowledge.

As a result, we should consider the sect or tradition as the absolute truth which is regarded as an independent religion and which is consulted for knowledge. This view, of course, leads to the conclusion that every sect and tradition is wrong and misleading.

We should touch on the falsehoods of the "obedience" term as a single topic here. It is clear that Islam orders people to live in a community, when God told them to "hold on to each other as a community". However, it is required to distinguish obedience from sanctification. The Prophet and his companions must be our criteria here. Must they not? At any rate, the prophet is an "innocent and protected" person. No one else can be described with this notion, unless we are talking about the imamate notion in the Shia.

The companions of the Prophet followed him up to the end. He had the last word, though. However, they always expressed their own opinions. He always listened to them and in many times, perhaps just for the sake of paying a tribute to them, even if what he said was also true and correct, he chose others" opinions. The people whom he trained also acted like that.

However, even if we know that our sect and tradition"s imam is not innocent, we may sanctify him. And, even if we don"t call him so, we can deify him. A human being can also sanctify his own ego while he does not realize it. To give the attributes of God to others means deification even if you don"t name it so.

However, there is also a balance or widely regarded term, " mediocrity", which is being mediocre and stable. Otherwise, in order not to sanctify anyone, we may render the knowledge and scholars even the related values as a commonplace thing. Not knowing one"s limit causes imbalance. One can equalize the ignorant with the scholar, play the scholar, and magnify his own ego while praising the other.

People who don"t know the values of Islam or the order of its knowledge sources hold onto the fanaticism in sects and traditions and make them the only objective or goal, and consider them as an independent religion instead of thinking of them as a path leading to the truth, that is a sect (mathab), a source being nourished, that is a tradition (mashrab). At this point, all others are labeled as heretics, others and enemies. However when God says "let the one die with an evidence, and lives with an evidence", he takes every individual as an addressee.

I don"t doubt that everyone agrees with me on the existence of such fanaticism. Despite this, such fanaticism always happens and develops and makes its damage. In that case, to remove this, the process should go from up to down and not the vice versa. In other words, instead of saying leave the sectarian or traditionalist fanaticism, leaders of such sects and traditions must know about this truth and suggest it to their adherents.

When complaining about, how the issue always comes down to sects and traditions, we have to know that the problem does not arise from the jurisprudential differences such as Hanafism, Shaafism, Hanbalism and Malikism. These sects know how to view each other properly due to their special trainings; thus, there are no conflicts among them. The problem actually arises from the aspects of traditions I will explain below.

In that case, since we established that the destructive disagreement is primarily ignorance, the second is the fanaticism of the traditions which accompanies it. The remedy of this is to acknowledge the knowledge sources of Islam and its order with its proper method and achieve information from it. The second remedy is that these trained people must remove the idea of fanaticism from up to down in social strata. If they fail, the outcome of this fanaticism is viciousness, hate and hostility just like today.

There is also the factor of self-conceitedness in knowledgeable people who do not adhere to any traditions. Their arrogance and narcissism, which they hold, may cause this destructive disagreement too. There is nothing like knowledge that leads the man to arrogance, because the most powerful weapon in the world is knowledge. Therefore, the holy Quran refers to genuine scholars as those who are doing their prayers as "our Lord, we praise you and glorify you. What can we know other than what you have taught us?" They show modesty as such because "knowledge comes from God". To be proud with what comes from him is not the reasoning of a knowledgeable person.

Twitter: @farukbeser

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