MIDDLE EAST

On systematic ignorance during Islamic awakening

Saudi author Mohammed al-Mahmoud said in a tweet that Saudi Islamic scholar Safar al-Hawali said in a lecture that when poisonous gas was used against the Afghans, it cleared like a cloud and the winds then directed it towards the infidels’ path, adding that the wind was the God’s soldier.

Safar al-Hawali was a master of Sahwa (Islamic awakening) as he significantly contributed to establishing it and lecturing about its ideas. I am certain that many people who heard him talk about Afghanistan believed him.

This example and other stories which create faith in myths and legends are what distinguished the Sahwa rhetoric the most during that phase. You can only imagine the extent of ignorance which is actually one of the most important factors that hindered human development in the past three decades.

This ignorance controlled youths back then. Sahwaists, whether they belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood or the Sururi Movement, knew that this was the best way to control people who cannot read and who are not well-educated.

They made them more ignorant, unreasonable and illogical and fought all modern cultural phenomena and philosophy that encourage modern reasonable thinking.

Sahwaists, whether they belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood or the Sururi Movement, knew that this was the best way to control people who are not well-educated

Mohammed Al Shaikh

Fall of Sahwa

Therefore, the fall of the so-called Sahwa, its ideology and preachers was inevitable as they destroy reason, oppose development, bet on ignorance and myths and cherish ignorance. They adopted this approach at schools as they controlled their curricula, at media outlets as they terrorized their employees and at mosques and preaching workshops.

They were never ashamed of opposing science, philosophy and logic and slamming those who act upon them. A Salafist once said: He who adopts logic is a non-believer. Those who echo these statements do not know that all the technological products they use today are actually the result of reasonable and logical thought.

I am certain that Sahwa collapsed for logical reasons of which the most important is the rationality that relies on discussions which spread thanks to the telecommunications revolution. Criticism is no longer supervised as thanks to technology, it’s widely shared across the world.

Since man is logical by nature, awareness increased in an almost revolutionary manner - that is when compared with the time when ignorant Sahwa leaders dominated the scene.

If societies have really learnt anything, then going back to this ignorant phase of believing myths will be almost impossible if not totally impossible. This is why I am reassured that the phase of institutionalized and systematic ignorance has become history in our country.

This article is also available in Arabic.

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Mohammed Al Shaikh is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah newspaper. He tweets @alshaikhmhmd.

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Last Update: Thursday, 1 February 2018 KSA 12:30 - GMT 09:30
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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