Saturday, March 5

City Circle: The Middle Way

Last night's City Circle was regarding how Islam condemns extremism and condones what is described as "the middle way". It's an interesting one, not least because what people see as being "middle" is pretty much subjective. There are the blatantly obvious things - like celibacy, or living your life as a monk - which are unlawful in Islam. On the other scale drinking, casual relationships and the like are pretty agreed on as being overly-liberal.

I'm proud to say that I don't do any of these things (haar), and so I like to think I'm balanced and on this middle way. But I see people who are more extreme than I am, and also those who are more liberal. The gyp, however, is that those more extreme than me will see me as liberal and those more liberal, extreme. And so it will go on with everyone. And then there's another dimension of how strict one should be in following this middle way. I'd be the first to admit that my practise of the religion is hardly consistent.

So is everyone wrong? Possibly. It's more likely that everyone is right though. I've mentioned before that I don't think Islam is quite as rigid as to make us all behave as clones of each other. The religion will only be valid if we're comfortable with it (and please don't see that as me saying you can do as you will - no there are universally agreed principles in place here, and it's not quite "each to their own" either), and so if someone is more strict, or more spiritual, or more practical than another, that doesn't make them more Islamically correct[1].

Anyway, I'm rambling again, and I think I've made my point. On a related note, I also want to mention how some see The City Circle as a meet market (honestly, some people). Having said that, it is nice to see a bunch of professional and like minded, yet vastly different guys and gals putting in effort to increase their understanding. And yes, there were one or two people there I'd have liked to have met. Ahem.

[1] IANAS etc.