Steadfastly clinging to the metaphors of ancestors today, as our ancestors once clang to idols

Print More

Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content by logging-in here.

Are we clinging today to metaphors and allegories of our ancestors as they clung to their idols? What are some of the metaphors from scriptures that no longer serve us, no longer bring us closer to God, yet we insist on clinging to them?

  • Yaqin

    “Would it be, as the pagans of the age of Abraham did, that we do so only because we found our ancestors doing so?”

    Isn’t that a huge part of Islam, following the example of Muhammad and the “rightly guided caliphs”?

    So you are no Salafist?

  • safia

    even if one was to believe that believers must follow prophet Muhammed and the ‘rightly guided’, the first principle to follow would that they adapted rulings to their particular historical and cultural circumstances, so we should do the same.

  • Yaqin

    “the first principle to follow would that they adapted rulings to their particular historical and cultural circumstances,” Aren’t you saying the exact opposite of Omid? Not that i mind that. But I accually agree with him this time. Is it not the historical and cultural adaptations he is talking about? Isn’t that why there are child brides and FGM? Lack of women’s rights do to an ancient cultural patriarchy? “Men are the maintainers and protectors” holds women in a perpetual state of childhood. The tribalism of Islam is one of it’s scariest elements. The ummah vs the kufar is one of the most detrimental narratives in the modern world.

  • David

    In tone the writing of this article reminds me of no one other than Sayyid Qutb in his post-America years. It’s quite fascinating, actually.

  • David

    Hi Yaqin,

    I liked your first point. One of the many, many problems with this blog post is that it’s fundamentally authoritarian. it still stresses following the “Prophetic tradition,” but by urging reinterpretation of that tradition and claiming ownership over good sounding concepts like love, light, justice, etc., it reserves authority to decide what the Prophetic tradition means to, well, people who agree with Professor Safi.

    No matter how nice a position sounds, if the reasoning used to arrive at it is oppressive, then the implementation will almost invariably be oppressive. Just look at Communism. Or, perhaps more appropriately, modern Islamism.

  • 786
    Salaams to everypony. This was an interesting piece, and nothing like Sayyid Qutb in content. As for style, since this was written in English and Qutb wrote in Arabic, the ‘tone’ cannot be compared in any meaningful fashion.
    At any rate, it would seem that no-one commenting thus far has understood the article without twisting it and then making it into a zero-sum statement of something. I’m sorry that happened, Dr. Safi.