I recently had a heated discussion with some of my colleagues from Islamic Relief about the religious terminology called Jammat. Jammat comes from Jummah – a holiday on Friday where people come together in congregation and worship in a congregational prayer at midday, with a sermon also delivered.
The blessing of a Jammat is in the togetherness it brings as a community. From togetherness we get inclusiveness, accommodation, tolerance, respect, partnership and progress for the sake of the Jammat, who listens on Jummah, to the common aims and goals of the religion of Islam.
What has that got to do with G? G stands for group – which has a different philosophy to Jammah. Today we have the G20, G8, G10, G13 (the deadly black demon of Friday) and so on which is a collection of countries from around the world based on economic strength.
G’s philosophy is to protect the interests of the inner circle and to prioritising their interests over other countries around the world. While J is using the commonality of
everyone as it is more inclusive and diverse.
But when the J behaves like G, using the R (religion), to push the G-J agenda, they can neither become Lady Gaga or Jar Jar Binks. They will become like ZaZa – the Cyclops who does not represent a race colour or value. Because Za Za is one eyed and is a destructive force within the community.
What we experience nowadays, are signs of the illnesses within our community – who create their “G” philosophy, based on the personal interest of the leadership, personal interpretation of their scholars, and personal beliefs in their common value.
Why should we behave like political parties? Why should we become a political party? Why should we let others suffer from the imperialistic, theological approach? Why should we alienate others?
All these don’t represent the philosophy of J –Jummah, or J- Jammat, but of G-Ghetto. Even when you are in the ghetto, you won’t be able to eat the gateaux.
Even in Islam we see divisions and classifications and groups – Sunni, Shia, Salafi or Sufi, Deobandi or Ikhwani – where different people class themselves differently and align themselves with a group rather than look at our common interests, goals and values.
If our theological understanding does not bring calmness to the community our organisational approach, may bring more harm than good. The Muslim Charities Forum has been struggling over the past 4 years to swim against the mighty waves of the deadly theological tsunami, of the new Cyclops which endangers us all. Let’s be a Jammat rather than a group.
With the spirit of Eid just gone and sacrifices of the holy family of Ibrahim (PBUH), we should adhere ourselves to the “J” philosophy and keep the “G” approach to the G13 deadly group and keep them away from us.
Dr Hany El Banna
Originally Published Here