The Sharing Group Discussion on the West & Dajjal
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Brother William Voller posted this, on The Sharing Group, on the 02nd January 2015: The West as the forerunner to Dajjal? When I first became Muslim, the “West” was constantly criticised as decadent and the like and Islam was put forward as the solution. I am really not so convinced anymore there should be any negative default setting toward the West at all. So where does this negativity come from? Is there any religious basis to think that there is something inherently dajjalic about the West?”
Brother Jon Beatty: This is purely political from what I have seen because once you ask what is wrong, it usually shifts to drone strikes or miniskirts.
Brother Hajj Ahmad: Yes. The current dysfunctional, depraved social milieu is created by the West. And of course the East loves it because the lower nafs tends and trends toward the shaythanic. The Dajjal is the epitome of manifestation of shaythan in the physical realm.
Sister Amani Gamaledin: Of course not. That would be absolutely ridiculous — it is mainly political, fear-fuelled, culture-based rhetoric made to sound Islamic.
Brother Khalid Yaqub: No, there is nothing inherently dajjalic about the West. There is, however, a giant hole in the modern mindset, which is affecting almost everyone.
Brother Jon Beatty: Brother Khalid, it is mainly because women here do not cover up to the Islamic standard that it somehow means we are a sinful land, and we of course promote pornography because of this, do drugs and all other forms of debauchery.
Sister Amani Gamaledin: I think a lot of these issues with the “West” stem from imperialism and colonialism, and the stains it left on the MENA psyche.
Brother Jon Beatty: More than likely, you can find it in their political and economic literature as well. I remember an economic book I read from the Shi’ah perspective rambled on about colonialism for at least 40 pages.
Sister Amani Gamaledin: One could understand the roots of these associations and fears but still, it remains that this has nothing to do with religion, as it were.
Brother Abdullah Shalchi: The Arab Muslims have a worse track record of slavery from Africa and the Indian subcontinent than the Europeans do, though it should not be a competition.
Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez: It is of course wrong to demonise or overly romanticise a large sweep of the human family. But are there not going to be some aspects of the “West” derived from Christianity, or the Enlightenment, or modern trends like the Sexual Revolution run counter to Islam? And are there not some historical events such as the Crusades, and Western colonisation of Muslim lands, which are going to be an ongoing site for antipathy?
Brother William Voller: Brother Hajj Ahmad, why do you think the a West has a depraved and dysfunctional society?
Brother Khalid Yaqub, could you explain what the “giant hole” is?
Brother Harry Elfrink: Actually, Hajj Ahmed is not off the mark with that comment. A few western nations, namely the U.S., the U.K. and France, have been responsible for destabilising Muslim nations, promoting and strengthening venomous currents, such as Zionism, propping up sectarian actors, such as the Saudi monarchy, and preventing any kind of real Islamic union. Of course, there is also blame on the Muslims themselves for allowing themselves go into such a state.
Brother William Voller: Brother Abdul-Halim Vazquez, I think, as Sister Amani Gamaledin said, colonialism will be the ongoing antipathy. However, the others you mention, although I can understand why you would mention them, are maybe not quite the problem we might think they are. The Crusades as we understand them have come through 19th century reinvention and we are nothing like the reality; the popular myth that it was a homogeneous orchestrated attack on Islam is just folly. Other ones like the sexual revolution might be more of a reaction to overly prudish trends in the West that are starting to align with more Islamic ones? Some elements have clearly not, but propaganda from Christendom has always criticised the Muslims for their acceptance of carnal pleasure. Anyway, although yes I take your point that some things will be a problem, I do think perhaps we wrongly identify actually what those are sometimes.
Brother Hajj Ahmad: Brother William, because I live here. I am not talking about the people per se. They are just poor, ignorant sheep herded wherever the sheepdog wishes to take them. And I do not intend arrogance in that statement. It is simply true. Most human beings do not understand the psychological dynamics that create the dystopian fiction of materialistic consumption fuelled by corporate and banking greed that has taken its cue quite intelligently from modern day insightful psychology of human behaviour, and the societies that emerge from this clever manipulation born of ignorance and the inability to see beyond a movie star, fast-food, iPhone world are clearly, in their collective ignorance and lack of initiative to change, emblematic of the shaythanic, dajjalic metaphor.
Brother William Voller: Brother Harry Elfrink, yes foreign policy is going to be a real problem. That said is that a Western thing or just the nature of more powerful governments? For example, the Mongols were not Western. The 18th, 19th, and 20th century saw empires and the arms race in Europe which we are still feeing from now in MENA. However was the British Empires desire to civilise the World really any different from the Ottomans?
Sister Amani Gamaledin: Thanks, Brother Hajj Ahmad. Actually, you misunderstood what I said. I said that this rhetoric is often based on these things, not that global dysfunction is based upon these things. Reread what I wrote within context.
Brother Hajj Ahmad: This is not a “demonisation” or “romantic notions” about Christianity, the sexual revolution or anything else. Those are all symptomatic of underlying causes.
Sorry, if I misunderstood, Sister Amani. I tend to read too fast and sometimes miss things.
Sister Amani Gamaledin: Maybe the following comments that I wrote after that might help clarify what I meant. I am certainly not discounting the reasons behind these fears and associations, but fear and these associations are not equal to global dysfunction. If anything, they are a result of it.
Brother Harry Elfrink: What most contemporary Islamic ideologues advocate is not the submission of the west to Islam, but to prevent some of the less savoury aspects of the west from spreading into the Islamic world, or even into the East and Global South for that matter, and bringing the rest of the world down with it with their excesses of liberalism, capitalism, materialism and techno-fetishism, basically anything resemble the Huxleyan dystopia.
Brother William Voller: Brother Hajj Ahmad, is it the US that you live in? Honestly, a lot of concerns I hear from the US of corporate greed just do not apply here in the UK. I am not saying it does not exist here at all, but it seems on a huge scale in the US. That said perception can be a funny thing.
Brother Hajj Ahmad: Brother William, your statement, “The 18th, 19th, and 20th century saw empires and the arms race in Europe which we are still feeing from now in MENA. However was the British Empires desire to civilise the World really any different from the Ottomans?” has two answers. To the first part, yes that is true, and to the second, no, there is no difference. These are all symptoms of an underlying warp in the ego self which has completely left its essential ground because of the way the essential ground or true nature must develop a duality-based ego in order to experience the duality-based physical realm of existence. The challenge for mankind is to understand this warp and return to the original ground so that this can be integrated with the self and hopefully aid the world in its utter confusion. The intelligent understanding of Islam and its application helps us to disidentify with the fictional self so that we have some grasp of the universal, and can then attempt to integrate this higher knowledge with our physical being. Our Quranic metaphor of shaythan includes all of the aberrant modalities which create anti-soul selves that benefit no one including ourselves.
Brother Paul Salahuddin Armstrong: To suggest the United Kingdom, Germany, or even the United States are worse than Saudi Arabia, or many other Muslim majority nations, without even discussing Daesh or the Taliban, is quite frankly absurd. If that were so, why are so many Muslims trying to flee to the West? Common sense indicates it is because the countries in which they live are in a mess. Do consider it has been nearly a century since many of these countries were part of any European empires, so we cannot keep pretending it is all the fault of colonialism as many used to do, and some still do. The victim mentality is destroying many Muslim-majority nations and the lives of Muslims around the world. It is about time we collectively snapped out of it, took responsibility and positive steps to improving the situation. Blaming the West, Israel or the Illuminati is not going to get anyone anywhere, and that is haq.
Brother Hajj Ahmad: The ego self in its creation and development associates itself with certain individual and social metaphors including religion, and part of its impetus is, “I am better than he”, so of course Christianity is better than Islam for X, Y or Z, reasons, or Muslims are better than Jews because of A,B or C reasons. The beat goes on. Cain slew Abel because he was jealous of his piety. The story continues. But the problem as I see it is that the Muslims do not have a clue as to how the self, the society or the world works. They are much the same as everyone else except for their belief in God and the Prophet (s.a.w.), and even this makes little difference: witness the Taliban, Boko Haram and ISIS. All of them believe in their version of God and the Prophetic dispensation.
They all pray, fast, perform haj and give zakat. So what is Islam? Some theory of spirituality that cannot take physical form in an appropriate way? Of course, I am being extreme, but my point is that without deep inner baswirah about the way things work and how to best right the dysfunctions we are bound for big trouble individually, socially, culturally, nationally and Islamically.
Brother Tarek Sourani: Brother Paul Salahuddin Armstrong, I think nobody just blames the west but Daesh and Taliban would not be possible without the West. Everybody has a share.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: It is a form of aswswabiyyah to suggest that the Muslim lands are inherently good and “Western” lands are inherently bad. Both of them have their positives and their negatives. People are mistaking geopolitical interests for religious ones. This conflation is creating confusion. There are several levels to look at this and consider. There are the cultural values, the social values and the methods of governance. And all these add to the national interest. Looking at the Middle East, it is Muslim nations that enable Israel, for example, due to national interest. The Islamic bloc is myth. It is western nations, due to their cultural values, which have provided havens for Muslim scholars persecuted by Muslim regimes. The situation is complex and nuanced.
Looking back at the thread, perhaps we may have missed out the most important aspect of the post. Before debating what is or is not Dajjal, we should actually begin by considering what is this “Dajjal” in the first place. It may not even be a civilisation but a phenomena, a philosophy or a system of values.