Monday, October 09, 2006

The devotee

Recently, there was an editorial in TOI about the Islamic world & a very short historical analysis by Murad Ali Baig on why certain aspects of Islam are the way they are today. Particularly, there was a note on how there was one consolidated Medina version of the Qu'ran compiled in 665 A.D. & how the various other versions of the holy book were burnt.

Now, it is very possible that such a representation of history is totally inaccurate. It is possible that Mr. Baig had done no research of any sort at all & there were never versions of the Holy book which were burnt. It is possible, also, that his research is indeed accurate.

I asked an Islamic friend of mine to read the article & tell me if he agreed to Baig's points of view. At the time, my motive was to understand Baig's representations, analysis, interpretations & conclusion & I did not really mean to question the authenticity of his historical research.

My friend told me that he did not agree that the book burning incident ever happened. When I asked him why, he said, almost choking himself with passion, that it is by Allah's dictate that the Qu'ran cannot be changed in any way imaginable, & so there could not have been any versions of it.

While I sat still half-apologetic, & not a little annoyed at his faith-based reply, that I ever brought this topic up; it was, in a way, the stark encounter with raw faith which was an absolute first.

Even if I were to discount this as a thought process borne out of a minority complex, I perceive that there is a general rise in staunch religiosity in the world in general, & that makes me very very uncomfortable.


Anonymous said...

I am afraid that the dream of achieving objectivity on religious issues is still far fetched.The Hindu religion could have boasted to have it to some extent.but the Bajrang Dal and others like them have changed it all for the worse.I am not initiating an argument this is just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I agree. My own perception is rather similar; it is not about which religion, it is a general trend.

Thanks for dropping by.


Usha said...

Rigidity in religious matters leads to intolerance. When science is changing the world around us shattering age old beliefs, religion should allow the flexibility to modify certain practices so that we can meaningfully adhere to the tenets of a religion. Principles can be forever but practices should be open to question and change.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Usha. Will put more thoughts on the topic across in another post. There are multiple layers that constitute behaviour. Religion & rationality are just two of them.

In fact, though you would write/visit only apolitical posts (by your own admission), why don't you take a shot at this slightly polemic topic?