A Lot of terms that we come to take for granted and use in our daily conversations and communications, without questioning their real meaning and true impact on our evolutionary knowledge, seem to me contradictory and even oppose the original sense meant for their use.
Let’s for example examine the term “Traditional”. As it derives from tradition, meaning “an accumulation of experiences over a long period of time (normally computed in centuries) as to become a radical notion defining and influencing a given culture”.
In that sense, the use of the term traditional to determine a culture like ‘Medicine’ should note the healing practices used in a period stretching from the fifth century till the seventeenth, those practices which have solidly founded the healing traditions, as documented by Arab, Indian, Persian, Andalousian, Mediterranean and North African scholars and scientists; in all areas of physical and psychic pathologies.. And by the way in their turn were based on previously set ‘Traditional’ practices and notions ascending all the way up to the ancient Egyptian, Babylonian and Assyrian civilisations.
The traditional remedies in that sense were all based on the accumulated experiences of Alchemists, Chemists, Physicians, and Herbalists belonging to that long period of time and who knew the wisdom of using the grants of nature freely offered by the almighty creator, by God, to heal our ills and aches.. No wonder that every population can easily find the plants and minerals, in their own environment, to use as remedies for their particular pathologies.. Useless to seek Brazilian remedies for Egyptian diseases.
In the absence of logic, that ‘Traditional Medicine’ is now being labelled “Alternative Medicine”, and is subject to the fiercest war on its certified practitioners and scholars by the wealthy and strong lobbies of the Medical organisations and Pharmaceutical Industries.
The reason for such an uneven war is obvious: Profit and Power. Simply because the powerful international alliance of medical/pharmaceutical lobbies have developed in the past 150 years the most complex weave of interdependent relations, to dominate the MARKET of pain and human suffering, by the use of drugs produced in laboratories and have nothing to do with the Traditional Natural Healing and Treating methods or remedies.. Even in early diagnosis phases.
Those who by definition should be labelled as ‘Alternative’ are referring the themselves as ‘Traditional’. That is precisely what I mean by the contradiction in the use and conception of terms.
Same applies for every branch of human culture or practice.. In religion, in philosophy, in economy, in war, in agriculture, in sex, in commerce, in politics, and even in social customs. So my counsel to you is that before using terms like Traditional or Alternative, seek the origins of the context in question and then speak out the right term.
Because now, as you may have noticed, some are using the term “SALAFI” to define the Traditional Islam and in my opinion that is wrong, because the known Islamic ‘Traditional’ Practice is the “SUNNA” of the Prophet (ppboh) and his “Four Wise Followers”, and which by the way represents the MODERATE CENTRAL TRADITIONS in Islamic Culture and its religious practices; while the term Salafi was originally introduced by a politically oriented and superficial media meddlers to define the most Orthodox interpretation of the doctrine, in a way that could easily be synonymic to Integralist or Fundamentalist; thus in turn would automatically lead to the term “TERRORIST”, to be used at will by whomever wants to intimidate, threat or bargain.
Only the Alternative Ideologies like Ash’ari, Ismaili, Yazidi, Alawy, Ethna Ahary, and many other similar extremes; became those who have led to that cultural confusion we all are suffering from its repercussions, and which our enemies are exploiting to destroy for good our once solid unity.. A unity that is left only to be practiced as a cult ritual for prayers and in pilgrimage, never as a way of life.
No wonder that the first word descending upon Mohammad (ppboh) in that cavern during a Ramadan some 15 centuries ago was IQRA’! A term that embraces a vast multitude of words explaining the most adequate and best use of the highest gift God have granted to the Human species: The Brain. Terms like read, recite, think, meditate, observe, discuss, debate, analyse, experience, repeat, deduct, measure, exchange, decide, pronounce…etc. All such terms are the essence of the Scientific Methodology.
Muslim scholars from the dawn of Islam until the 13th century, knew that well, practiced it and mastered it. That’s why our nation glittered and led the way for human civilisation’s progress, growth and development. Not even the Mongol blow succeeded to defy our scholars and scientists mission after the destruction of Baghdad and its library, because the bright rays of the Arab and Muslim Scientists’ heritage in Andalusia shone all over the known world and in a way led to the discoveries of the New World.
But ever since we accepted to abdicate the throne of our brains and delegated its functions to ‘Imams’ and ‘Uly El Amr’ without questioning their abilities, motivations, knowledge, sense of justice, integrity and honesty; our destiny became signed and we sank back all the way to where we are now. We once were “Producers/Exporters” of knowledge, science and technology to the entire humanity.. Now we merely are consuming those of others.
Faith is an idea you believe in your mind, express with your words and practice with your deeds.. And you will be judged in the end alone in front of God based on that single and simple notion.. No Imam or Walei El Amr will be next to you then to explain or defend your actions.. And you cannot argue saying “..I just followed what they told me”, or “I did as they do”..
We’ll be judged according to the choices we took based on our own understandings, comprehensions and interpretations, not in view of what we were told or even ordered to do and not to do. And that’s precisely the meaning of “Maturing” and becoming “Adults”..
The moment we make a choice is the moment we become responsible.. And, right or wrong that choice may result, no one will come and volunteer to clean our mess or collect our credit.. That’s the sense of becoming adults, and that’s why we’ll stand individually to be judged.
So let’s really handle our lives using the teachings of IQRA’! Not to rely only on the interpretations of X or Y! Maybe then we could have a second chance.
Pass On The Word.