April 12, 2020

The corona virus and the unity of Muslim community in Sri Lanka

 - by our religious  correspondent in London-

         The religion of Islam emphatically accentuates the importance of unity among faithful Muslim community. Yet, since the formative period of Islam, the Muslim community has been disunited on many issues and the Sri Lankan Muslim community is not an exception to this general rule. It is pathetic to note that the Sri Lankan Muslim community is disunited on many religious issues at this crucial time.  Deplorably, to see some Muslim groups often do not see eye to eye on some juristic matters. 

            While Sri Lanka is facing some tremendous challenges to encounter this deadly virus, we notice some Islamic groups are fighting one another for some petty issues. Issues such as burning the dead bodies of corona victims has become a talking point among the Muslim community. Some radical clerics called themselves as experts in religion without knowing how to relate Islamic texts and traditions into the modern contexts of 21st century. With all respect and appreciation to these clerics for their dedication and devotion to the Muslim community, we must tell them to have some level of knowledge in modern sociology and sciences before they speak for Islam in this modern age.   Otherwise, mere literal adherence would not be always fitting.  to speak for Islam and for the Muslim community in this modern age,

           Two million Sri Lankan Muslims are a living testimony to the beautiful message of Islam and yet, we are divided on many fronts. Even educated Muslims are divided on many groups. Even moderate Islamic groups are divided into many fronts for some personal and egoistic reasons. As result of this disunity, the Sri Lankan Muslim community has been unable to present the teaching of Islam to wider Sri Lankan communities. This disunity gives a bad impression and perception about this beautiful religion of Islam. The innocent non-Muslims may not have the opportunity to read the holy book of Islam or Islamic materials to know about Islam rather they see Muslims as representatives of Islam. The Sri Lankan Muslim community had earned the goodwill of wider Sri Lankan communities in the past for their trust, honesty and trustworthiness and yet, today, all these good qualities are eroded. 

            Now, the Sri Lankan Muslim community disputes with one another for some petty  ideological differences in religion. The Sri Lankan government has been exploiting this disunity among Muslim community to supress the fundamental rights of Muslim community. The government knows well that the Muslim community is divided in many political and religious fronts. So, it exploits this disunity for its suppression on Muslim community. At this critical time in Sri Lankan history, the Muslim community must be cooperating and supporting the Sri Lankan government in its efforts to wipe out this virus. In this modern digital age, all our unwanted debates, talks and disputes are lively telecasted. In this way, we are sending conflicting message about Islam to confuse non-Muslims more. 
         The Muslim groups must know their limits and limitations when they talk about Islam in any non-Muslim polity. Yet, some of these radical groups do not pay any attention to this geographical difference. The Muslim minorities in non-Muslim counties cannot live as the Muslim majorities live in any Islamic countries. We have our limits and limitations in application of Islamic teaching and Islamic law. So, when Islamic groups talk about Islam, they must consider all these geographical differences in application of Islamic law. Some radical and literal groups do not have any clue about this difference in application of Islamic teaching.  Our Arabic colleges must teach modern subjects to include all these social changes in humanity. otherwise, the Sri Lankan Muslim community will encounter so many intellectual and ideological crisis due to traditional and literal approach to Islamic text. 

          It is regrettable to see some so-called educated groups among Sri Lankan community are disputing while our community is facing numerous social problems. The beautiful message of Islam becomes a victim of this unwanted dispute among Muslim religious groups. These groups stand between Islamic message and its reach to the non-Muslim communities in Sri Lanka. They are doing this unwittingly without realising the consequence. It is my humble request to all Islamic groups that they must sit down on the table and come to terms to bring about a sense of unity among Sri Lankan Muslim community. There is no doubt all these Islamic groups are doing so many good social works for the Muslim community. Moreover, they are helping Sri Lanka in many ways specially in the time of natural disasters and calamities. 

         All these groups are working on their own without any cooperation or coordination between themselves. As a result of this mismanagement, the human resources, and the money of Muslim community are wasted. Sometimes, the priorities of the Muslim community are not rightly identified. The ideological conflict between these Islamic groups is a curse for the Muslim community in Sri Lanka and yet, they do not bother about it. Each group assume that they are better than other groups. Each group assume that they are wiser than other groups. Each group believe that they are more educated than other groups. 

         This internal dispute among Islamic groups has damaged the perception of Islam among non-Muslim community. We are not a living testimony for Islam in this country rather we become a barrier between Islamic message and its reaching out between wider non-Muslims in Sri Lanka.  Unfortunate, we are unable to demonstrate our unity and brotherhood at least in this life or death situation. The post corona situation will be a difficult one for the Muslim community in many areas. The Sri Lankan Muslim community will have to face so many political, economic and social challenges in the post corona period. So, I earnestly all moderate Islamic groups to leave their personal ego and come to terms with to create a new working culture among Muslim community in Sri Lanka. May Allah guide us all into a right path. 

2 கருத்துரைகள்:

Burning a janaza is not a petty issue. Burial is our tradition and our culture. Unfortunately now we have lost it. The so called Muslim Community leaders divided our society further without solving the issue diplomatically, like they destroyed our unity among Muslims in every social events like start fasting, Eid celebrations etc.

When our government denied the WHO guidelines of burial, did any so called leaders go to WHO office here and lodge a complaint against those responsible?? Did they call for a conference with ambassadors of all Islamic countries, and discuss the issue ?? Did they at least make a petition at supreme court and obtain an suspension order?? Shame. This is the sorriest state of our Muslim community today.

While agreeing to the above content published by the Religious correspondent of www.jaffnamuslim.com in London, "The Muslim Voice" wishes to state that the Muslims in Sri Lanka should face "REALITY" as stated below, and try to correct accordingly our "WAY OF LIFE" in the "post corona era" Insha Allah.
It is time-up that the Muslims should stand before a "MIRROR" and ask the question why God AllMighty Allah has subjected us to this plight?The question is WHY? The Sri Lanka Muslim Community and its POLITICIANS should stand before a “MIRROR” and ask the question WHY? Let us face REALITY and the TRUTH (YATHAARTHAM).
1. We Muslims are known for NOT leading the Muslim (Islamic Way of Life) bestowed by our belief and FAITH, including some of our leading so-called ULEMA of the ACJU and others.
2. We are (especially) the POLITICIANS) are NOT UNITED.
4. Our dealings are NOT CLEAN with other Communities.
5. We have BETRAYED the political leaders of the country who are so much loved by the MAJORITY SINHALA PEOPLE.
6. We are ARROGANT and EXTRAVAGANT in our day to day life.
8. WE are OPPRTUNISTIC, especially in POLITICS. Our Muslim Politicians have back-stabbed the most loved Sinhala leaders like the former President after STOOGING to him and his siblings and politically destroyed them which the Buddhist, especially the Monks despite.
9. We will “buy” anyone by our ill earned money power to get our things done, even against our community and its members.
10. We practice the CULTURE of SMUGGLING and dealing in DRUGS as normal business though it is banned in ISLAM, and we think going to Mecca (making UMMRAH) purifies us from those SINS.
Noor Nizam - Convener "The Muslim Voice"

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