More on pulpits, less down to hear those (preachers) above. It is a dreadful model being launched upon the earth. Rarely in history one finds more advisors, less advised. More pursued, less pursuers. It is a tragic, yet comical reversal here. We often suffer what is philosophically called the “problem of choice” in choosing our so-called preacher. We are possessed by their raiments, not by their initiation and discipline. If we apply other way opposite from our contemporary to select a nice preacher, we will have to cross plains, mountains to reap one, since wise are rare, not in crowds as we fancy. And choosers will be more than chosen, then. Pursuers more than pursued. Raiment is not a knowledge, but a knowledge is a beautiful raiment. Preacher is at larger loss in possessing sartorial seductions than literary, pedagogical and above all scholarly. He will be deemed flawed someday. Time strips the cloth to let world know who lives inside it. As ‘Kahlil Gibran’ poeticizes in ‘ The Prophet’. Your cloths conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful”. Cloth performs a corporal duty, but among us it performs intellectual. I wonder if it is really a garment that determines the preacher engaged to the romantics like these.
Doubt: We stage preachers & hear them in order to take leave of the doubt we contain. As doubt can’t let us perceive Islamic edifice clearly. Our hopes are but crushed. We are taught doubt. We will to leave it, they give it. Doubt is not ruled out by them, but pushed rather deep. The thread is always tangled. The clash is on. We can’t act, positive act is possible only in absence of doubt. As Fyodor Dostoevsky writes “ To begin to act, you know, you must first have your mind completely at ease and no trace of doubt left in it”.
Climate of thought: Climate is operative. One can understand nothing so long as there is no climate. Modern preachers ( especially across our district territory) fail to create it. Before delivering any intellection to fore they must invoke the climate of it, which they often fail to. When it rains while there is still sunny, the rain doesn’t breed effect for there is no climate of it. Imperatives thrown into forgetfulness.
Parochialism: They (preachers) limit Islamic thought to see & understand Islam only. We put on specs not to look at it, but to look through it. It is where essentiality of the thing lies. Religion is never an end in itself, Islam is no exception. It never stresses “ Read only me” , “ but read through me”. Religion is a prism through which you have to see both, sacrosanctity as well as diabolism—God as well as devil. They forget telling essentials. It is what they pride on.
Digression: Hearing half of the story is as good as eating the half-baked bread. It is what we practice throughout by their digressional stance. Better hear nothing than half. One day they chose one topic, the other day its story is dead and is nowhere to be found. This hearing-in-halves and becoming jack of all trades, master in none makes us cripples in arguments, in discourses and within. Put less on, but crystallized. Complete. We need that impatiently. Choicely.
Egalitarianism and exclusivity: Islam preaches egalitarianism & propagates ubiquitously the message of uniformity of being and lays great emphasis on equality. This core philosophy of Islam undergoes the exquisite threat when one looks & heeds on how the contemporary preachers take their stand? They construct the culture of exclusivity in which one being doesn’t find its universal relevance with the other. Their Weltanschauung, as Germans call it, spreads out hierarchy and completely weeds out the core premises of Islam on which its grand philosophy rests!
These are some, but not all cruxes and ills on their part. The catching ills, ready to invade us too. I am not capable of mortal criticisms, but of (perhaps) constructive opinions to fling up the cloak of night from ourselves. We have to meet the night, shrink to night, unless they provide more food to their minds than to their bodies. Unless they cease reducing to what ‘ Bertrand Russell’ calls as “practical men”. Unless they prefer garment of knowledge over garment of body. Wide turban can’t matter. Wide intellect, wide mind matters. That is it.
I, from their rendition, can guess that their silence can serve a huger purpose than their talk. Silence can make the order. Sermon can break it. Their silence is worth their talk. What shall they choose, former or latter? They have to decide themselves.