Skip to content

A Rambling Diatribe of Inauguration Ruminations

January 22, 2009

kr’s note: as the title suggests, this isn’t a structured or perhaps even grammatically correct post that you may be normally accustomed to reading from yours truly… but rather, it’s a stream-of-consciousness amalgamation of thoughts that I needed to jot down before I lost them.

Na`am nahnu nastati`u”

Whenever I listen to Obama’s speeches (or to be precise, the 27 year old dude who writes them at Starbucks… how’s that for symbollism) and the power contained therein, and it always brings to mind the famous Prophetic hadith: Inna min’al-bayaani la-sihrah (Indeed in eloquent speech there is magic)… it sounds great on paper, but I’m not sold until I see something positive happen (OK, so Bush flying away in the helicopter was pretty positive). Yesterday was a uniquely historic day, but it was not the day of fath-e-Makkah repeated either, as some Muslims were making it out to be (it was much warmer on the day of fath-e-Makkah).  I’m not expecting drastic changes in areas like foreign policy (the zionist lobby is too powerful, so anyone expecting things to “change” in the Middle East is at best naive), but I do expect changes in economy, healthcare (esp as a doctor with malpractice), environment, etc. may happen in the next several year.  As I mentioned in a previous post, politics is the epitome of all that is secular, and it surprises me that Muslims always have to view politics with the religiously rose-colored glasses to analyze everything… that to me is the peak of irony, because politics never claimed itself to anything but secular, and yet we conflate our religious goals and values into it, and cry foul when politics and religion don’t rhyme (kinda like that poem yesterday), which they were never really meant to do anyway. I was amazed at how many Muslims were all rah rah rah about the inauguration (wow, 2 million people yesterday, was that the American hajj with black wool topcoats being the new ihram?), acting like either Obama (aka Hussain Bhai) was the Mahdi or the Dajjal, depending on who you spoke to… instead of just appreciating the history quietly (and also the boo-birds ripping mercilessly into Bush), and not allowing ourselves to be suckered into buying the hype like we did with the infamous 2000 Muslim block vote for Bush (for which we should continue to make tawbah for, I believe, myself included), which ironically was on the platform that he would solve the same Palestine crisis that served as the perfect cresecendo ending to his failed symphony of a presidency (as Don King said: “Only in America!”). I voted for Obama too, don’t get me wrong, but I mainly did so because the alternative was far worse (I didn’t like “that one”). Maybe I’m a cynic, but our Hadith prophecies tell us that things will get worse as time goes on–it has to, or else the real Mahdi will never come–so to believe that ‘yes we can’ make all these wonderful changes happen, I think, in some way, is incompatible with believing in these same prophecies about the end of time. At the end of the day, our formula remains the same: our lives are to focus on making sure we maintain our elligibility for salvation (everything else, especially all types of activism is simply garnish at best) and wait… because in the end, when it’s all said and done, despite the efforts against us, we win. At this point in time, that’s the only thing that comforts me.

Advertisements
7 Comments
  1. Peorian permalink

    “At the end of the day, our formula remains the same: our lives are to focus on making sure we maintain our elligibility for salvation (everything else, especially all types of activism is simply garnish at best) and wait… because in the end, when it’s all said and done, despite the efforts against us, we win. At this point in time, that’s the only thing that comforts me.”

    Nice masha-Allah.

  2. I’ve said it before – can’t put your faith all in one man.

  3. On point, man!

  4. asad123 permalink

    I think after the mesmerizing election cycle, the inauguration was a bit of a let down, so I agree with some of your sentiments. A couple places where I disagree are first with your contention that, “to believe that ‘yes we can’ make all these wonderful changes happen, I think, in some way, is incompatible with believing in these same prophecies about the end of time.” Believing in al-Mahdi, and the prophecies of the end times does not preclude the possibility of political reform in one country in one period of time. Perhaps we disagree about what “Yes we can” symbolizes. I think it means, Yes we can improve education, increase access to health care, and more prudently allocate government funds. I don’t think it means, Yes we can begin a glorious golden age for all of humanity.

    Secondly I disagree with the idea that activism is “garnish at best.” After all, if the features that set us apart as an Ummah is that we enjoin good and forbid evil, then how can we see activism as anything but a moral imperative? What would happen to the story of Musa (A), had he not opposed Firaun? What good would Hadrat Abu Bakr (R) been had he not stood up to the apostates? Or the grandsons of the Prophet (S) had they not stood up to Yazid? Or to take a more contemporary example, do we truly believe that a brother like Rami Nashishibi would have been better off doing a couple more nafl than founding an organization as transformative as IMAN?

  5. Faiez permalink

    http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-01-24-voa21.cfm

    it surprises me that Muslims always have to view politics with the religiously rose-colored glasses to analyze everything… that to me is the peak of irony, because politics never claimed itself to anything but secular, and yet we conflate our religious goals and values into it, and cry foul when politics and religion don’t rhyme (kinda like that poem yesterday), which they were never really meant to do anyway.

    Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but I’m not sure there is anything that Muslims can look at without the lens of Religion (i.e. Islam). To not do that would essentially be secularism. Though politics is secular, but we look at this secularism in relation to where it stands with Allah. that is why, participation in such a system causes such debate. Regardless of this debate, i don’t think its right to criticise looking at life and the world with the lens of Islam.

  6. Lonely Hijabi permalink

    Hey kr,

    tehehehe. I hope your residency is going well you big stud. Its only a matter of time before you become an esteemed Money Doctor(M.D.). Lets hang out on Valentine’s Day! teheheh

  7. student permalink

    Asalamu alaikum,

    On behalf of the Colorado Muslims, I thank you for the amazing talk you gave during the West Zone Conference. I really like how you analyze the world through Islam (like the relationship between homosexuality and the economy), which is difficult since religion in this country is seen as something totally subjective.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: