Faizan Bashir

An odyssey of how the sectarian divide within Islam led me away from it

An odyssey of how the sectarian divide within Islam led me away from it
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Some 8 years ago I was inspired by one of neighbours to become a practicing Muslim. Over the years I transformed from being a staunch practicing Muslim into one who followed almost every sect of it with complete sincerity and dedication but then finally today I am an agnostic or confused between agnosticism and atheism.

I have an odyssey to narrate the aforementioned.
It happened on a day when I was walking on the streets and one of my neighbours calls me and starts to define Islam and its practices to me, not to mention that he was very inspiring. I take to this path shown by him amiably and begun following it sternly. Little did I know at that time that in the coming years I would travel through the various sects of Islam, from Sunni to Shia, Al-shafa’i to Al-hanafi, from moderate to extremism, almost all of them. Initially I dig deeper and deeper into Al-shafa’i sect of Islam in which there are an ample difference to Al-hanafi sect both as big as concepts on paganism, and as small as rafa-ul-yadaen. I would be ironclad in defence of Al-shafa’i sect following it staunchly. After Al-shafa’i sect, gradually I take to the path of Al-hanafi sect, and on and on to moderates which a lot of scholars have labelled as so-called Sufism.

Slowly, I take the path of Islamic extremism; I start to listen more from those scholars who often long for Islamic caliphate to be a reality again. Now I have a sole motive to support the so-called ‘terrorist’ groups whether they include hizbul mujahideen or L.e.t or jaish-e-Muhammad. Until I run into one of the renowned scholars, Sheikh Imran Hossain, I followed what he is connoisseur of: The Study of Gog and Magog in which he devoted 15 years of study, the anti-Christ or the false messiah, the glamorous village, riba based economy or so called banking system, Islamic concept on inflation rates, paper currency and the gold dinars and silver dirham. I follow each and every subject for which he is known for. On and on I came across more of hid videos and other famous scholars of today’s world in which they talk of the concepts of democracy or anthropogenic laws, nationalism or secularism and the sole motive of Zionist to establish the single world government. I begin to come to the realisation that the only sect to be true is those who are trying to establish the Islamic caliphate.

Slowly, I search for the groups who are striving to implement the Islamic caliphate. This is the time when dawlah al Islamia of Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi declares the caliphate, so he goes deeper into my heart and I start to become his fan boy.

It was 8 years later of my journey that I begin to doubt every single belief I had as bluff, I start to question like if anthropogenic laws are strictly forbidden in Islam, and the person having love to his own nation is considered to be mushrik in Islam then we are all mushrikeen, and if there are very few people, almost 3% of Muslims, longing for Islamic caliphate to be re-established, why don’t others strive for it too. Ultimately I realise and feel what Muslims were doing and ever widening sectarian divide amongst themselves were for every particular sect the other is out of the fold of Islam.

After studying some history I came to know about Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and their respective founders after them Muhammad came with Islam, I came to make my own assumptions that it might be due to the reason that Arab rulers were on the verge of wars or people were downtrodden and Muhammad wanted to bring them towards humanity and to do so he claimed to be the prophet of some God.

Consequently, I reached a stage were sometimes my beliefs are agnostic and the other times they are atheistic and have no belief in known Gods or Goddesses. I believe religion to be blind faith, it works as an emotional crutch, it’s a sort of emotional back up for most of the people, for some it is the motivation to remain away from heinous crimes, nothing more.
I don’t want to convey the message that theists must or ought to leave their beliefs but to let them know that taking radical positions regarding their sects can be deleterious to their life. Follow your sects in a simple way, go, live and let live…

Today I am a social worker, an occasional poet, a student of knowledge who believes in humanity, not so strictly follows AHIMSA, supports homosexuals and transgender and doesn’t look down upon them.

Author is pursuing graduation and hails from Downtown Srinagar.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not necessarily reflect the position or editorial policy of Oracle Opinions.

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