Monday, August 13, 2007

New Age of Jahiliyyah (ignorance) | The Dialog of Civilizations | Kabir Helminski

What is Jahiliyyah?
Jahiliyyah or Jahalia is a term used in islamic literature to indicate a condition of ignorance. Jahiliyyah simply can be translated as arrogant ignorance. Sometime it is used to mean the "ignorance of divine guidance" or "the state of ignorance of the guidance from God". But apart from theological implication, it has a lot to do with psychology, or more correctly, group or collective psychological condition. It is deep rooted ignorance in the mind of the people and at the same time being arrogant of that ignorance in behaviour and practice. Some even call the term equivalent to 'ignorant barbarism'.

In Islamic concept it refers to the condition Arabs found themselves in pre-Islamic Arabian society prior to the divine guidance by Prophet Muhammad, the Last Messenger and through revelation, the Qur'an. The term is used several places in the Qur'an as well.

Jahiliyyah of Today
Kabir Helminski, a sufi shaikh of Mevlevi order, a prolific author and translator. On sharing his thought on How is Dialog Possible between Islam and the West, he focuses on the concept of this Jahiliyyah or ignorance in our age. I quote from the article The Dialog of Civilizations & The Globalization of Spirit via The Threshold Society website:

... Let me try to describe the jahiliyyah of today:

1. The great jahiliyyah is the belief that violence solves problems, whether through the bullying tactics of national power or the tactics of terror that justify the killing of non-combatants. These people do not understand that unjustified violence, which is the vast majority of violence today, is a downward spiral that takes us from the light into the darkness. Indeed, shaytan (satan) is always ready to stir the evil impulses within the hearts of people, whatever they call themselves. There are people of every faith, in every nation that are too quick to order young people off to kill and die.

2. Today’s jahiliyyah puts money values over human values. It promotes a commercialized way of life and subordinates most aspects of life to the demands of the marketplace. Success is measured as success in the marketplace. Eventually, even religion is colored by the marketplace.

It is the rush to accumulate, takatthur, which disperses the human soul. This rush toward materialism is taking place in the East and the Middle East only not as successfully as it has already taken place in the West. Meanwhile in the West there is already a disillusionment setting in, where a significant percentage of people are turning away from consumerism and materialism toward voluntary simplicity and humane values. The remedy for this takaththur is irfan, or tassawuf, by which I mean the ilm (knowledge) of self-purification, that is, an operative knowledge for the education of the soul.

3. Today’s jahiliyyah is destructive of the fabric of life itself, because we have within our power the power to consume the environment that sustains us in the same way that cancer consumes its host. The powers that support this cancerous growth include those undemocratic, secretive institutions of corporate globalization, such as the IMF and the World Bank, that represent no sovereign republic and no sacred tradition, but only the powers of elite power and greed.

[>] read the full article here.

The Second Jahiliyya
also a good Sohbet by Sheykh Abdul Kerim el-Kibrisi @ Manhattan Dergah, New York City (feb, 2005) that discuss about the concept of second Jahiliyya:
The holy Prophet upon him be peace is saying “The second Jahiliyya is going to be worst than the first one.” And this is what we are facing today. The second Jahiliyya time. ... read here.

. Resources
. Jahiliyyah via wikipedia
. Jahalia
. the second jahaliyya
. Jahiliyyah at the End of the 20th Century | Dr. Bilal Philips
audio via / listen 1, 2 | save 1, 2 Pin It Now!