Saturday, September 23, 2006

And so it begins..

The acheivements made by scientists and researchers have me in awe of where our world has gone in such a short period of time. 1400 years ago men stood outside their homes to determine the birth of the new moon. Today the same act can be approximated with less than zero percent error several months (if not years) in advance. If the location and distance of objects as far as Pluto can be determined (which can no longer be referred to as a planet due to more recent discovery), then gathering information about the earth's satellite seem like child's play.

Yet, it seems no matter how far modern technology will take us some old fashion folk still insist that relying on traditional methods is the correct path of order. Despite advanced tools and gadgets that can take probes to mars, travel deep into the depths of the ocean, give a woman a bionic arm, lead conjoint twins to be separated and live healthy lives; there are still some men (with rather long beards) who are firm in believing that all such tools are mere workings of shaitan. Or that's what they are showing when they can't bring themselves to accept the achievements of today's world.

What I ask is HOW is it possible that a religion of such deep roots, a strong message, which was brought into the public by such an extremely wise man, have bred such extremely disorganized, stubborn and foolish men of the Islam I follow today? I almost feel disgraced to be led by instituations that call themselves the "Circles" and "Societys" of Islam when they cannot determine a simple date of the month's beginning and most importantly, do it with UNITY.

Why must we wait until 10 hours before the next day to determine whether it is a new month or not? You never doubt that July will have 31 days or that November will have 30, do you? Even if it is a lunar calendar and the dates change annually that is no reason for dispute. Do you ever see the Jewish population in a baffled state the night before to determine when Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur will be? Why are calendars published years in advance if the topic will be debated until the final moment? And if it must be debated until the final moment, then can the entire population have one agreed decision?

What is this nonsense of "the arabs are wrong to start today, we refuse to follow them because we are stubborn and cannot come to a common consensus so we insist on doing it tomorrow. Not because we're actually right but because of course we can never be wrong". If this selfish bullheadedness were only affecting the men with long beards then I could personally care less. But the sad truth is that their decisions do have repercussions effecting the entire Muslim community.

What angers me is that these small disputes and disorganized events that occur year after year collectively contribute in creating a horrible image of Islam portrayed to the rest of the world. If we cannot value each other's opinions then how can we expect anyone else to? Why must every Muslim constantly battle one another over the start of Ramadan? Why does one masjid have to go against the decisions and declarations of another? Do they not realize that their political policies will leave our religion in a far worst state of ignorance than it already is in? All it does is make us seem like fools for following old men with long beards and bad accents who can't even get their people to unify together in celebrating this truly significant month.

What I pray for is that the Muslim youth of today (would stop going to Buda bar and Abyss) gather some sense of responsibility and value the knowledge that God has bestowed upon us. That they handle matters so that my daughter doesn't have to sit online 25 years from now and rant that she is sick of never knowing when Eid is or when Ramzaan start. So that we finally unify, not just in picking one damn day to celebrate together, but in accepting our differences, being receptive of each other's opinions and thoughts and truly working towards a common goal for the benefit of our religion. THEN maybe I will be proud of calling myself a part of this society. I'm tremendously proud of being a Muslim but the shameful acts of the "scholars" I'm told to follow make that a difficult pride to express.