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Why follow blindly?

There’s a thought that’s been in the back of my mind for some time now. I’ve touched on this in several posts recently but still feel a need to spill these thoughts further. I’m constantly confused by how much emphasis is placed on the actions of pious predecessors, especially when the focus appears to be on mimicking their actions rather than understanding and applying the principles that gave rise to it. 

It gets even worse when I see people suddenly quoting examples from the lifestyles of the pious scholars, even though there are much more poignant and admirable examples from the life of our Prophet (pbuh) as well as his companions. And this all supports my view about the cult-ish tones that are rife in the Ummah these days. 

We all believe we’re that one sect of the seventy three that will enter Jannah, yet I keep wondering what was really meant by that Hadith that talks about the strangers, and glad tidings to those strangers, and on what basis do any of us hold a claim to be that chosen group? Isn’t that in itself arrogance, which is an attribute of the dwellers of Hell? I worry incessantly about the Hadith that reminds us that if our destiny has been pre-ordained for us to be in Hell, that we will fulfill that fate in the last moments of our lives, despite having lived a good life to that point.

Then I’m also reminded of the fact that our sincere duas and efforts can alter this destiny of ours, but since we have no guarantee that such duas are answered, the sincere humility that it begs is something we can never afford to take for granted. So it all brings me back to the start of this brain dump, which is simply, instead of trying to imitate the actions of the saintly, shouldn’t we rather be striving to understand and appreciate the principles of Islam that they subscribed to? Only through understanding are we ever able to implement it within the context of our own lives, which to me, is the foundation for sincerity of intention. 

I don’t know…sometimes it just feels like we’ve taken the beauty and simplicity of Imaan and turned it into a ritualistic cult that only the conformers to other’s interpretations of Islamic customs qualify for admission, and none shall have a right to question such interpretations except the chosen few with the appropriate man-endowed titles symbolising their scholarly endeavours that separates them from the awwaam.

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