Tell me, why you have to go and make things so complicated?

I dunno exactly how the conversation started but it was the beginning days at the campus when someone exclaimed- “Ooohhh, you have Quran in your cellphone?” Totally befuddled, I nodded in affirmative- “Yeah…”

“Then you must not put it in your pocket!” I was mildly surprised. “Oh-? Why ever?”

“Desecration!” The person went on to say. “And you should not touch it without wudhu (ablution) as well!”

That just annoyed me even more. When I just raised my eyebrows skeptically, she went on to say. “It’s the Quran!” I guess I was supposed to immediately act like I was revolted at the very idea of putting my cell in my pocket.

“So? It’s in the phone’s memory. The device itself is not the Book.” I politely tried to reason out.

“Desecration still.” She persisted and looked scandalised. I fought the urge to roll my eyes at that. As much as I find myself in such situations, I equally detest carrying out heated arguments on Fiqh and usually ebb them by maintaining a silent stand after a few sentences- but this was too much.

“Well- then by this yardstick, you can’t touch me.” I said, drawing a conclusion.

Now it was her turn to look quizzical. “I’m not sure I follow.”

“I’ve memorised the Quran. It’s in my memory. You can’t shake hands with me without ablution, neither can you walk on a floor above me… if you really follow what you say.”

That quietened her up for a while.

And then I came across another similar one on Facebook a long time back. It was pretty amusing actually. Quite a heated debate going on between a teacher and his student. Apparently, the student had uploaded some quranic verses on her status and the teacher had a problem with that. “Desecration!” He was on that rant as well. “You can’t put quranic verses on so polluted a forum! A design of the Jews. People post songs, videos and vulgar pictures here! And no Kafir should ever read them for their souls are impure…”

Frankly, no one was in the mood to tell this impassioned man exactly how stupid his argument sounded. Even after quoting excerpts from history that the Prophet used to preach wherever it took him and sent letters with Quranic texts to non-Muslim rulers as well- as an invite, the guy just wouldn’t have any of it. In the end, the student pointed out that there were no pictures and videos on her profile so it’s okay- just to pacify her school teacher, but the guy was adamant. “It’s still a part of dirty cyberspace. The quran should be kept aloof from all this.”

Annoyed beyond beleif, I wrote, “You must sound-proof your home then, mister. For if the Adhaan or any other verse of the Quran dare penetrate your walls after all that music and videos from your TV and stereo, that would be serious desecration. It’s still a part of corrupt society. Also, tune out all Islamic channels from your box.”

End of conversation. There was no comeback.

I kid you not. Our misguided “love” for the Holy Book has made it so untouchable that it’s not a part of our routine any more. We’ve severed all connections with it. Made it complicated and even more intimidating. Funny how our common sense flies ou the window in these cases. It’s not something to be wrapped in gold and silk to rest upon the highest shelf (unreachable to all), to be taken out and recited when somebody ties the knot or dies.

What we don’t get is that it’s a book for the living, not the dead, a book for inspiration, not traditions- a constant companion, a best friend and an all-time advisor!

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21 thoughts on “Tell me, why you have to go and make things so complicated?

  1. merayrahnuma says:

    I myself have this problem of desecration, never uttered but I feel that too often that religious “items” are desecrated. Loved yr article and hope it will clarify me a lot, Thanks for the write up.

  2. @Madiha: Glad you could relate. 😀

    @Anum: ROFL. there’s no telling what they’ll come up with next!

    @merayrahnuma: i understand your delimma. treating the Book in its physical form with respect is obligatory, and even its reciatation has its due rights- but unnecessary precautions like the ones discussed above are counter-productive, and makes the whole process of accessing the Quran very cumbersome. It’s this attitude that there’s a great drift between the new Muslim generation and the Quran. Guess we should work towards making it more accessible instead of debating upon whether you need to be in a state of ablution before touching open a quran app.

  3. khurrum says:

    Well written piece based sound and logical arguments. A book of guidance has been converted in to an oft untouchable script. A significant number of scholars profess that wazu is not a pre condition at all. Let’s seek guidance from the book instead of targeting each other because of it.

    • @ChineseMuslimah: Jazak Allah! Yeah, i’ve been visiting your blog lately. wanted to drop a comment too yesterday. but tghe net connection got severed for some reason.
      Glad you liked the post! 🙂

      @Khurrum: Thank you Khurrum. Agreed.
      Though I’d rather leave fiqh to scholars more well-versed in the subject, what’s irksome here is the fact that we go overboard being finicky about issues where the point stands totally invalid.

  4. Alaa Shakir says:

    The problem that yew described over here is actually very common these days too , Our youth is constantly offending religious people and they do mock on such ppl who are trying to get more near to our religion and your this blog have really inspired me and IA i,ll be forwarding this to a friend of mine .

  5. Carla says:

    i truly admire the work you are doing. i follow your articles and love what you have to say. you’ve already made a difference.

  6. Love it!! I can’t stand the convoluted logic of some people. I send out an SMS every Friday with a hadith, Quranic verse or some quote of a scholar and someone on my list called me up and said please don’t send Quran in your message. I said why? And he told me because then the message should not be deleted as it would mean deleting the verses of the Quran which is a sign of the Day of Judgement! I had no response to that one except informed him I have taken him off my list. :s

    • Yeap, I once got in the middle of similar incidents. A person who wouldn’t let anyone erase quranic verses off the chalk-board saying the chalk dust that formed them will fall to nothingness. Be-adbi and stuff. And another won’t dispose his used ballpoints because he once wrote quranic verses with them. The desecration tune again! Funny, to what lengths people can go to…if they put half as much effort on the real deals, they’ll be better off…

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