I’ve thought about this fairly thoroughly, and discussed it with the most important person in my life, which was the first time I actually verbally articulated my convoluted thoughts on this complex matter.
as a preamble, Islam, in itself, is both constant, yet ever changing. I’ll explain; it is constant in that the quran does not change, neither does the written documents/teachings, whichever school of thought you subscribe to, or resources you view as legitimate. it is ever changing because different times, different people, different environment, different circumstances.
this religion was never meant to be, and is not, static or rigid. it is dynamic, fluid and flexible to each individual. that does not mean you can bend it or change it as you see fit, don’t get me wrong, it means that it is personally tailored to each individual, depending on what makes sense to them and how they understand it, the history of islam, and what the individual’s relationship with god as a whole is on a personal level.
an allegorical example would be viewing islam as a living, breathing, biological organism. it is born with certain genetics, the proverbial “DNA” coding for certain genes, but that’s not the only factor that is significant. the environment in which it resides in are crucial, so are the various factors effecting the life of this organism, such as predators, natural resources that could be used, niches that can be occupied by said organism specifically and what geographical location it has to share with other living entities versus having territory to its own self, exclusively.
that being said, for this organism to thrive, it must adapt to it’s environment, make best of use of the resources available, defend itself against predators, continue to grow and create offspring with the best gene pool as to maintain genetic viability and health. it must adapt, to it’s environment, no matter what happens, if it wants to survive and thrive, more even. the only constant, in any field, is change. change is unavoidable, so one must adapt along with the times. that doesn’t mean the original version is altered, but how one sees it in context of both history and how it was interpreted, and in context of modern, present day times and how it can pragmatically be seen.
we are not the people that were at islam’s infancy, when it was a neonate. we did not face those conditions, and did not have to exist, adapt and live in that environment. therefore, we cannot be that; we must view this religion on a personal level, what makes sense to me personally, after reflection, analysis, reading, contemplation, listening to different people with different views on the same topics. you may not agree with anyone, but you agree with bits and pieces from this person, and fragments from this person, and that plants a seed in your mind, on how you understand it, to begin to, and how you will eventually view your own personal relationship with your lord. from there, you will craft your own beliefs, or more accurately, reinterpret via an educated and analyzed path, what makes sense to you, a idiom that is unique to yourself. this specialized idiom will be tailored to your unique personhood, depending on the environment you live in, your influences, research, and what makes most sense to you.
it’s like reading a poem, or view a masterpiece of art, for lack of a better example. the poem, once written by the author, stays the same, throughout time. a masterpiece of art, is painted, and it is put on display, never changing. however, the eyes that look upon this work of art and read said poem, interpret these entities as something else entirely, from the next person reading the same poem and view the same painting. it all depends on the person. the works do not ever change, but the people do, the times do, the circumstances do, the information provided, being filtered through many minds, going through time, does, change at it’s observable state, but not at it’s core. like water, going through it’s three phases, solid, liquid, and gas…ultimately, it is water, but it has these different states, according to it’s surrounding environment. it may change on the outside, but fundamentally, at it’s core, it remains the same.
ultimately, the message I’m trying to convey is that, islam is not hard and fast, it is not a one size fits all, it is not rigid. it is dynamic, flexible and tailored to each individual, without it actually being changed or altered from what it truly is. the manifestation is personalized to each unique individual, but the, the essence always remains the same.
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