Salam Alaikum to all.
This is my first post, and is actually the reason I joined sunniforum.
I am a 24 year old male from an Arabian Gulf country, facing troubling and confusing issues I believe may be common to many young new-gen Muslims.
The issues may not be 'politically correct' to talk about, but are crucial to address none-the-less.
2 persons whom I was fairly close with have turned to atheists, and I can almost say that no one around me has as much/more faith than I do. I see a decay in the Muslim environment I will try my best to explain.
My statements are not meant to be offensive. I apologize if any are uncomfortable with the subjects I am attempting to detail below. All my statements come with the pure intention of creating constructive debate, and ultimately, to receive answers I really need.
1. Friday Khutba:
I tend to go to the Friday prayer with my father to our local mosque. Our local mosque Imam preaches in a very serious tone about 'why we are bad people' and incorporates the phrase 'Bless and give blessings to our king', 'Allah may you keep our country independent'... and other political jargon in the Friday dua'a.
I see that as unacceptable, and gives me a sense that we are all sell-outs. To be more clear about my concern, I strongly believe that it is wrong that the government are using our mosques to reinforce the idea of loyalty and patriotism to the ruler. The fact that the Imam and the mosque are going ahead with this makes me doubt the integrity of the mosque, and subconciously, Islam as a whole.
The idea that Muslims are saying 'Amen' to the prayer/dua'a that our country should be independent also gives me doubts. Shouldnt Muslims believe and support the fact of Muslim unity?
2. Gov't Leardership
Most Muslim countries' leadership, as with all countries around the world, face a degree of greed, tyranny and hypocricy at some level or another.
Again this can be very confusing to the Muslim youth. The leadership would initiate, support, or encourage any acts of:
- Presenting the country as a more 'open-minded, free, liberal' country to 'win' foreign investment and the approval of the west,
- 'Americanize' the country to create the cosmopolitan global appeal, and
- Eliminate, hide, or decrease the effect of the Sharia law (and other Islamic principles) as it is seen as 'politically incorrect and unnecessarily harsh' to implement.
The above are usually accomplished by:
- degrading the locality of the country and increase cosmopolitan-based behavioral norms,
- seperating Islam from work-practices, politics and professional behavior, and
- dirty necessities: drugs, alcohol, and prostituition.
Again, the words 'sell-out' and confusion come into play here. Hypocricy is intense. Muslim countries are being run as one would manage a company, through resources and benefit. Where and how does religion drive our Muslim countries? More importantly, why is it brushed away to gain approval of the west?
3. Moral Breakdown
There is an evident breakdown in ethical and moral behaviour, whether it is Islamic-based, or not.
This is due to a combination of things that have together evolved the Muslim mentality into something ... lost.
Reasons/Drivers to this societal change include:
- Weak immoral leadership,
- Gradual influence of the extrovert individualistic mentality of the west, and
- The above explained initiatives and their effects/consequences.
The evolved Muslim society are now beginning to be attributed with the following characteristics: (either as a direct effect of the reasons above or not)
- Infatuation with money/materialism/reputation/name/class...etc.,
- Wasta (Arabic term that means: bypassing regulations, getting 'off the hook', or high-level favors as a result from personal contacts),
- Obsession with appearance and sexual appeal,
- No respect/concealment/shyness to other gender,
- Preferential treatment of royals (in the sense of bypassing Islamic/legal regulations)
- Strong bias/resistance to any friendly relationship or marriage to foreign people (including foreign Muslims).
- and more...
The fact that the Muslims have such attributes in today's world is disturbing to the say the least. Moreso, it provides additional peer pressure to comply with all the behavioral norms of the 'new generation globalized community', and as a result label Muslim practitioners as out-siders or un-cosmopolitan. The traits above can almost be seen as anti Islamic and present true contradictions to the Islamic doctrine (and I believe to most other religions.)
As a direct effect of a combination of all the above stated points, Muslims of this 'new generation' are forced to become intentionally secluded as they lose faith in society, their leadership, and dangerously, their religion. In simpler terms, Muslims lose faith in their brothers and sisters and begin challenging the 'practicality' of Islam as a way of life. Countereffects (or the Ripple effects) manifested by this issue are/will be tremendous.
Now.. (and thanks for reading up to here so far)
How can I, or any active Muslim, attempt to address such issues constructively and remain strong in faith? How can any one Muslim attempt to put the word 'Integrity' back in the Arab/Muslim nations, or change the direction of the Muslim societal evolution? And..
How can this all happen before the change agent would end up conforming to the behavioural norms of this new cosmopolitan race of so-called Muslims?
Most times, I feel Muslims dont even recognize the state they are in, nevermind attempting to solve it.