Saturday, 4 June 2011

Prefixes

I remember in learning grammar (as it was called at the time) in school about prefixes, and a prefix is any word or partial word that is attached to the beginning of another word to make the word mean that something happened before (by adding pre- to it) or happened afeter (by adding post- to it) or to give the word a slightly different definition, among many other things.

The one prefix that gets to me the most is the one that likes to take groups of people and then subdivide them.  I don't care about whether or not you are an African Canadian, Native Canadian, English Canadian, French Canadian, Scottish Canadian, Asian Canadian or Martian Canadian (trust me, I'm pretty sure there are a couple of politicians these days that are really from Mars and are just hiding their alien tentacles).  I don't care if you're an Orthodox Jew, Conservative Jew, Conservadox Jew, Reform Jew, Jew by birth, or Jew by culture.  I don't care of you're  Presbyterian Christian, Latter-day Saint Christian, Catholic Christian, Pentecostal Christian, Lutheran Christian or Baptist Christian.  I don't care if you're Sunni Muslim, Shi'a Muslim, Ahmadiyya Muslim, Suffi Muslim, Hanafi Muslim, Salafi Muslim or any other type of Muslim.  I just don't care.  I don't have time to care.  Now, I do start to wonder and become sometimes more uncomfortable when things start to veer off the "normal" path.  I do understand why many mainstream Christians do not regard LDS and Jehovah's Witnesses as Christian, as there are some stark difference between their brand (for lack of a better word) of Christianity and mainstream Christianity.  I also understand why Orthodox Jews don't consider converted reform Jews actual Jews due to the way Judaism is passed down and the not necessarily complicated, but time-consuming, method of converting to Orthodox Judaism.  I also understand why Ahmadiyya Muslims are not necessarily considered Muslims by some groups.

But in no way do I ever believe that any of the groups not considered "part of" the mainstream groups should ever be persecuted for their beliefs.  I don't believe any church, synagogue, temple or masjid should ever be targeted in an attack.  I don't believe any religion should advocate violence or be illegal.  I don't believe that one group should be taught to attack (even kill) another.  Personally, I just don't believe in pre-fixes.

I am a Muslim.  I am not Sunni, Shi'a, Salafi, Ahamdiyya, Ismaili or anything else.  I am Muslim.  I believe in the oneness of God and that Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alayhi wa salaam) is the final prophet.  I don't follow any schools of thought, I follow Qur'an and Sunnah, and I know to some that would then make me Sunni.  But I'm really not.  And I don't want to be part of any prefix.  I have friends across the spectrum.  I may not agree with all of them, but life would be pretty darn boring if I chose to only associate with those that believe like me.  I teach my kids to give salaams, teach my kids to view everyone with an open mind.  And (insha Allah) my kids won't have to deal with the stupidity that those of us today have to deal with.  (By stupidity, I mean people automatically believe myth-conceptions instead of learning for themselves what Islam really is.)

But I have to ask - is it really worth your time and energy to hate someone because you don't agree with them?  Or would your energies be better put to use worrying about yourself and where your eman (faith) is?

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