28 April 2014

Interesting Topics to Explore

Lately, I've been musing about some interesting topics about Islam which are worth exploring. And for this part, I will jot down some of them here, just so I could outline them for the meantime:

1. Fitrah - the innate nature of creation and humanity. Where did humanity came from (physically and spiritually), its origins, blueprint of nature, or essence? What are our basic natural inclinations? What are the forces that drive our character, behavior and motivation? Psychology within Islamic perspective. What is the significance of worship (Ibadah) to this Fitrah? How do we balance the belief in destiny and submission to the power of God with that of our will, abilities and control? Are we fully accountable with the outcome of our lives and with the consequences of our decisions?

2. Tolerance and differences of opinion. Differentiation of definition between Shari'ah (God's Law) and Fiqh (man-made legal opinion). How do Muslims handle differences? How to balance independent critical thinking with the guidance of God? How to deal with extremist blind (Taqlid) following of schools of thought or extreme veneration of 'scholars'' opinion? Making Ijtihad (independent judgment / decision) on matters not stated on the primary sources. Dealing with overzealous reaction / intolerance of differences and eventually of divisions among Muslims.  Negative passing of judgments. Conflicting groups. Harshness of conduct and loss of manners. Re-cultivating compassion and respect with sisters / brothers in faith in light of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Unity and dis-unity.
Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way. Lo! thy Lord is Best Aware of him who strayeth from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright. (16:65)
3. Bid'ah (innovation) in religion - both good and bad aspects and its effects. Stagnation or flowering of Islamic civilization on worldly science and arts along with Islamic religious knowledge. The immense task and responsibility of translation / interpretation of the Qur'an and Sunnah from the original Arabic to another language and the impact of individual perception to literal and figurative meanings.

4. Balancing between worldly affairs with working towards Hereafter. Developing a positive mindset and perception between both worlds.

That's it. There are many ones worth exploring, but God willing, other notes will follow later on.