‘Narcissism is one of the most common [emotional preoccupations]: to be so worried about image or identity that we can’t entertain fresh ideas, or to be so insecure that we stick close to our tightly held opinions and biases. Ask people about some important contemporary issue, and what you often hear is more emotion than thought. Spiritual people in particular have a tendency to speak their beliefs without thinking them through, clinging to them with strong feelings but little thought.’

This is from Thomas Moore in his book Dark Nights of the Soul. The passage struck me because I could see many Muslims living and acting this way. I won’t speak of other religions, just the one I practice. And practice is all I will ever be able to do since perfection is unattainable. That only rests in one place, with Allah SWT. But it gave me pause because for as unemotional as it is said Muslims are; we’re a passionate group.

In our glass house stones like Hijab, women, modern-ness, other religions and cultures, inquiry, doubt, disagreement can crack a few walls simultaneously. Most on one end of the spectrum will want to emotively silence any discord by stating the other end has fallen off the Path. Wanting to hear nothing but absolute and abject submission to words or actions set in granite wastelands, your thoughts of honest inquiry are grounds for apostacy. The other end will just as emotionally and vehemently reject the walls put up around them, stating that we should be more moderate (a hateful word for some, used precisely for its effect) in our ways. But does either side think through the whole process? Rarely, especially when logic flies behind its over burdening bed fellow, emotion.

Can you see, hear something and bring to others’ attention for the sake of wondering why? Many times not an easy thing to do. Sometimes we’ll find kindred spirits- but those can be few and far in between. Most would rather your silence than risk the image being cracked, no longer perfect, shiny, and absolute. Because for some our religion is the end all, be all, of existence. To be done in strictly, confined ways that departs far from the nourishment our soul begs.

If our Prophet SAW would return right this moment, what would he say of our state of affairs?


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