Mumbai: The popular notion is that Muslims who hold on to their identities are the ones who get isolated. However, Islamic scholars across the globe are trying to deal with this issue.
That a true Muslim needs to follow ideals set down by the Prophet is unquestionable, according to the scholars. “Islam is very clear about the identity of Muslims. We have been stopped at airports because of our identity, but that doesn’t mean I will shave off my beard. Let the world realise that there are truly good Muslims, even if they wear long beards, or carry the Muslim identity on them,” said Ather Khan.
Muslim scholars feel that the western and non-Islamic world needs to understand the true meaning of Islam. A few jihadis seem to have sent a wrong message and Islamophobic people are adding to the worry by propagating wrong perceptions, they said.
“Islam is a way of life and includes everything — eating, dressing, lifestyle — everything described by our prophet Mohammed,” said Mamdouh Mohamed from Egypt. He added, “The same ideology is applicable to Sikhs — they wear their turbans — and similarly all communities in the world hold on to their culture in different ways.”
The scholars said that people need to see that Islam has given a special status to women, which does not exist even in other societies. “The exposure women get in Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Malaysia is far more when compared to other countries,” said Assim Al Hakeem from Saudi Arabia.
Islamic scholars said that the Islamic ideology is also extended to other sectors like economy and business. Islamic banking has saved their economies and also supported other forms of investment, like mutual funds. “When we say economies, we are talking about an amount which is close to three billion dollars. Anything that is within Islamic ideals, we are ready to adopt,” said Anwar Ibrahim, former deputy prime minister of Malaysia.
Ibrahim added, “In fact now we need to make sure that we use such business opportunities in a way that it helps the climate, involves and let mutual funding function according to the Islamic banking thought. I won’t be surprised if the Chinese government adopts this format soon. And they’ll make sure to not call it ‘Islamic.'”