Memetics: A Discussion with Umm Layth and Aaminah
November 1, 2007 § Leave a comment
This blog post was originally a comment on The Other Blair Criticizes Hijab and Niqab, but I decided to make it blog post because it hit on some very real and very serious topics that should not be missed by readers on this blog. I encourage those with something beneficial for both themselves and others to comment on this item. It began with a discussion on a recent article where Ms. Blair (Tony Blair’s wife) criticizes Muslims and the donning of hijab and niqab. Umm Layth and Aaminah of Writeous Sister Speaks both made insightful comments which pointed out a common problem on opposite gender poles. The following is my response:
as-salaamu ‘alaikum Umm Layth and Aaminah, thank you for commenting. I notice that you both hit on a particular point, the same point but from different sides of “the coin”. Umm Layth, referring to muhajibat (covering women), wrote:
“At the same time I feel that women need to understand the reasons why they veil themselves better so that they can have an even more powerful voice.”
And similarly Aaminah, though referring to men carrying the Holy Prophet’s traditions/ sunnat (alayhi as-salatu wa salam), wrote,
“I mean, they need to recognize the reasons they do it, and not just do it when it suits them, or thinking they are “protecting” us women by doing it and then leaving off when they think the controversy has passed.”
Both seem to be addressing what is called “memetics“. Memetics is a principle concerning the transference of intelligence. Specifically, human intelligence. The underlying thought concerning this principle is imitation, however a godless existence of morality and humanism. Where religion is reduced to a mere antiquity. And where the concept of re-thinking and re-evaluation, such as I have described in the “About” page, are mere prehistoric machinations of “backward” men. Memetics is the replication of ideas.
This scientific approach is deeply engrossed in Western education. We are breathing it daily and we don’t even know it and religion is not immune to it. The belief is that, ‘successful patterns of thought and behavior are supposed to be autonomously transmitted not only to the next generation, but also to rapidly transfuse and inspire minds and behaviors of the current generation.’ (S. Arif) In other words there is nothing useful coming from the ancient, things like the Sunnat of the Holy Prophet (alayhi as-salatu wa salam). And remember, religion is not impervious to this, in fact we can see right now where the memory of the Prophet, his tradition/sunnah and his Companions and their traditions/sunnat are slowly being strategically destroyed.
This is very real, Sheykh Abdul-Kerim is saying,
“Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is saying to us, “Oh believers, whatever that Prophet brought to you, take it and whatever he forbade you from, stop it.” It is a direct order from Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) to believers. Not to unbelievers. What that means is that you must follow the footsteps, you must run after the Sunnats of Rasulullah (salatu wa sallim). You must take whatever he brought and apply it to your lives. You must stop whatever he forbade you from. What will happen if you don’t stop? You are turning your religion into Christianity. Some got used to it. They say, “Jesus” but none of them are following Jesus. They are not following the orders of Jesus (alayhi salam). It is religion according to their ego.”
So you must ask yourself, am I following the traditions/sunnat of Rasulullah (alayhi salatu wa sallim)? Don’t think that you can acquire this knowledge by reading Reliance of the Traveller, its not going to happen. The only way is through association with the sheykh, thats it. No other way. Just as your parents teach you their traditions/sunnat, the traditions/sunnat of the your family by sitting with them listening to them and watching the same is true with the way of the Holy Prophets. So this new generation, the generation of Muslims being born in this country should think on it. Now that your family is established here, you don’t have to worry so much about being sent back to Pakistan, India, Turkey, Africa or the Middle East. You can practice your religion and as long as the Constitution of this Country remains intact you are protected, you have your rights, there is no reason to be afraid and besides who are you more afraid of the Islamophobes or your Rabb, Allah azza wa jal!