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The right to choose and its consequences






By SHARIFF AHMAD ALYAMANI





"You have the right to choose what to take or follow, but not the consequences of your choice."

In a world of confusions, we live according to what we believe is good for us. It is our instinct and inner evaluation that prevail always in our decision. If we love this world than the Hereafter, our decision is gauged by the material world.

With the advent of various doctrines, Islam is so divided nowadays. And so are Muslims all over the world. Disunity among Muslims is the most obvious among other peoples. 

There can never be true unity unless we follow the truth. But the truth is so elusive to the extent that it seems to be known as the contrary, and humanity has been debating what is the truth ever since the world began.

In our Islamic world, Tawhid (Unity) is the foremost commandment -- one God, one Ummah, one Qiblah, one Qur'an, one Prophet etc. That is the Islamic concept of unity. But what most of us are doing is far beyond that teaching. 

Belief in God Himself is interpreted in several manners and therefore belief in Him is done in different ways. Many Muslims, even Ulama themselves, vary on interpreting the teachings and traditions of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.). That is why, for instance, we see Muslims standing in Salaat in different postures.

Even in politics, one is given a choice whom to vote. For example, one candidate says ‘vote for me, I am better than my opponent.’ The other candidate says the same, but maybe in other word. Each says he is right. And our people has the choice who to vote. Unfortunately, in the end, only the moneyed and strong win.

Similarly, a group leader may say his group is the right group than the other. Another one, too, may say the same. Each says the best for our people is to join in his organization. Well, both Islam and democracy agree that there should be no compulsion and imposition. In other words, we are free to choose. 

Since it is natural, let us not force the issue of unity as a prerequisite for a group to move on. Everybody has choices. If he chooses to follow one group or the other, then let it be. That is his right though the consequences may be good or bad. (RSP)




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