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GuestFellow
01-29-2012, 06:38 PM
Salaam,

Does elitism exist in Islam? We are aware that it exists in politics and education. Definition of elitism:

1. The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources.

2. a. The sense of entitlement enjoyed by such a group or class.
b. Control, rule, or domination by such a group or class
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/elitist

As for elitism in Islam, some people have argued that Prophet's and scholars are considered to be elites. They get more respect and favourable treatment from the public and God (keep in mind, I'm not saying this). Is this elitism?

If so, do you think elitism is bad for society? What does Islam say about elitism?

I decided to raise this issue after speaking to a friend about elitism. He was upset that he graduated from a university but will not be considered intelligent since he did not make to the top universities like Oxford and Cambridge, even though I think he is very intelligent and has good critical thinking skills. He got upset and realised his frustration on religion. Anyway, that is where I got my idea to raise this topic.

To me, elitism sounds very similar to pride or can lead to it.
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GuestFellow
01-30-2012, 05:49 PM
:bump:
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Maryan0
02-01-2012, 08:23 AM
Originally Posted by Tragic Typos
Salaam,

Does elitism exist in Islam? We are aware that it exists in politics and education. Definition of elitism:



http://www.thefreedictionary.com/elitist

As for elitism in Islam, some people have argued that Prophet's and scholars are considered to be elites. They get more respect and favourable treatment from the public and God (keep in mind, I'm not saying this). Is this elitism?

If so, do you think elitism is bad for society? What does Islam say about elitism?
Aren't they entitled to higher positions and respect? I wouldn't consider the position of the Prophet peace be upon him or the scholars elitist. Some people do have higher positions than others in life on the basis of merit. If it's based on other factors such as race then it's definitely problematic.
Salam
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aamirsaab
02-01-2012, 10:26 AM
There's a difference betweem elitism and respect. The sahaba and Prophet (pbuh) fall into the latter imo.
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GuestFellow
02-01-2012, 06:11 PM
:sl:

Originally Posted by Maryan0
Aren't they entitled to higher positions and respect? I wouldn't consider the position of the Prophet peace be upon him or the scholars elitist. Some people do have higher positions than others in life on the basis of merit. If it's based on other factors such as race then it's definitely problematic.
Salam
Originally Posted by aamirsaab
There's a difference betweem elitism and respect. The sahaba and Prophet (pbuh) fall into the latter imo.
Elitism can lead to respect?

Maryan0 said that people gain respect on the basis of their merit, which enables them to gain higher positions than others. Some people may argue that everyone deserves to be treated with respect equally, not on the basis of merit. I would like to add, those in higher position of power still rely on others. So the idea that the elite or those in higher position of power should be treated differently is false because everyone needs each other. For example, we all need farmers in order to grow food. Without farmers, we will all be starving. Farmers are not considered to be in a high position of power, like compared to the Prime Minister.

Do you see where I'm going with this?
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CosmicPathos
02-01-2012, 10:54 PM
I can argue that even merits are heavily influenced by genes, so what difference does it make if you differentiate based on race or merits? Certainly a child born to poor parents would msot probably be an illiterate. So do you think its justified to discriminate against him while you tout against racism?
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Maryan0
02-02-2012, 01:28 AM
Originally Posted by CosmicPathos
I can argue that even merits are heavily influenced by genes, so what difference does it make if you differentiate based on race or merits? Certainly a child born to poor parents would msot probably be an illiterate. So do you think its justified to discriminate against him while you tout against racism?
You do know the Prophet peace be upon him was illiterate and poor right?
Salam
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Maryan0
02-02-2012, 08:16 AM
Originally Posted by Tragic Typos
:sl:





Elitism can lead to respect?

Maryan0 said that people gain respect on the basis of their merit, which enables them to gain higher positions than others. Some people may argue that everyone deserves to be treated with respect equally, not on the basis of merit. I would like to add, those in higher position of power still rely on others. So the idea that the elite or those in higher position of power should be treated differently is false because everyone needs each other. For example, we all need farmers in order to grow food. Without farmers, we will all be starving. Farmers are not considered to be in a high position of power, like compared to the Prime Minister.

Do you see where I'm going with this?
I agree with what you're saying but the point I disagreed with was the line about scholars and the Prophet. The Prophet was the best of all creation and certain scholars are deserving of a great deal of respect. Allah knows where we will end up in the next life but there are different levels to both hell and heaven.
I don't know where power came into the equation. I think it's safe to say that there a great deal of people in power who are corrupt and undeserving of respect. Merit has nothing to do with power.
Salam
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GuestFellow
02-02-2012, 06:07 PM
Salaam,

Originally Posted by Maryan0
I agree with what you're saying but the point I disagreed with was the line about scholars and the Prophet. The Prophet was the best of all creation and certain scholars are deserving of a great deal of respect.
Well is this not elitism? These people deserve to be treated differently because they are considered the best?
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Perseveranze
02-02-2012, 07:36 PM
Asalaamu Alaikum,

I do not believe there is any Elitism in Islam. I mean, the person in Africa, who struggles everyday and keeps his prayers and lives a rightoues life, will most likely be in a higher place in Jannah, than the person living in a comfortable life, but also keeping his prayers and living a rightious life. Maybe if the person living a comfortable life, who then memorized Quran and did alot more, would then be on a level head with the poor person in Africa.

In regards to the Prophets(pbut). If a Prophe was chosen and they were lazy and did nothing, then I don't think they'd be given a high rank in Jannah. Ofcourse, Allah(swt) wouldn't choose someone who was lazy, and we all know that all the Prophets chosen were the best of mankind. And all Prophets will go to the highest rank in Jannah.

However, we must not forget -



The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "The people most severely tested are the Prophets, then the righteous, then the next best and the next best. A man will be tested in accordance with the degree of his religious commitment; the stronger his religious commitment, the stronger his test." [Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi (7:78)]


Just imagine this;

Noah(pbuh) - Having to do Dawah for 900 years, and then saving his people from a flood.

Abraham(pbuh) - Having to sacrifice his son (as a test), subhanallah.

Moses(pbuh) - Having to go through alot of persecution

Muhammad(pbuh) - Having to go through so much, with such little hope of success. Many Academics re-iliterate, that from a Objective/Secularist point of view, the moment Muhammad(pbuh) started to give dawah, was the moment he set upon himself the greatest challenge anyone in the history of mankind has set. Despite all the difficulties and struggles, with the will of Allah, he was victorious. It resulted in him being the most influencial single figure in the whole of history, a man who's more closely imitated and followed than anyone else.

These people, despite being Prophets, are not going to get the highest rank in Jannah just because of their title, it's because of the test and how they overcame it, which proves their worth.

Though mind you, the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) said that even he doesn't know whether Allah will give him access to Jannah or not. It is upon the will and mercy of Allah that anyone gets into Jannah.
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CosmicPathos
02-02-2012, 09:03 PM
Originally Posted by Maryan0
You do know the Prophet peace be upon him was illiterate and poor right?
Salam
of course I believe that, I wish Muslims start getting their facts right. These ppl, when you take marriage proposal to some girl's house, the first thing they ask is your qualification.

These idiots would have even rejected the Prophet pbuh just because he was illiterate ummi and a sheep herder. Now I am not saying we are anywhere closer to Prophet, but I am talking about standards. These people judge you, not based on emaan, but worldly degrees and qualifications.

If I was a neurosurgeon and drove Aston Martins and Maseratis, I bet you I would have a long list of parents in Muslim community dying to get their daughter married to me.
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SFatima
02-05-2012, 03:37 PM
Originally Posted by Tragic Typos
Salaam,



Well is this not elitism? These people deserve to be treated differently because they are considered the best?
No it isnt elitism. If you recall, the Prophet EARNED people's respect for a good 40 yrs of his life, before he was declared as the Messenger of ALLah swt. He acted out every bit of his life in the most honorable way, hence he (saww) was well known as the Saadiq and ameen ( the truthful and the trust worthy). In short he himself did not know for those forty yrs of his life that He was the Prophet, and YET he was an amazing humble man subhanAllah.

All the prophets of ALlah have rarely been known to be born into prophethood at a young age, but they all commanded respect 'Before' the title was given to them since they acted as very honorable people. When they reached a certain age, and were given the responsibility, they were tested hard enough before the responsibility and after it as well, despite the fact that Allah swt could create them well trained and learned, All prophets were trained by Aazmayesh (trials)before they were revealed as Prophets.

So, for one, since Prophets werent born into elite families who 'demanded' respect, they pretty much earned it all themselves so the notion of elitism is dispelled right there. Secondly, it is inherent for people to show immense respect for Prophethood, I think it is something innate unless ofcorse you're born into dark kuffar and burn with jealousy if more respect is being shown to somebody who doesn't even have half the riches, titles or social status that you as a kafir do.

In elitism of today, the elites themselves carve out VIP protocols for themselves so that masses below deem them as respectful, which they wouldn't at all otherwise, if the elites didn't imply such protocols.

The khalifas of Islam, Hazrat Umar ra and ABu bakr Sideeq ra, never organized or employed any respectful codes of conduct for themselves, that werent a part of general respect protocols among the whole muslim brotherhood. Therefore, they walked, sat and ate side by side with everybody else, and people still regarded them with great respect, maybe because they upheld the torch of Islam above them. Same with the Prophets, they wore simple attires, and lived the simplest of lives, and people probably could choose not to be respectful to them, but Allah swt has His ways, He filled everybody's hearts around the Prophets with great respect, awe and inspiration.

Lastly, it is Allah's will whosoever He chooses to give respect and whosoever He chooses to give disrespect, it is His will, as has been said in the Quran. And it is our duty to continue to ask for respect as it is one of the great honors and blessings from Allah swt.
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Salahudeen
02-05-2012, 05:15 PM
Originally Posted by CosmicPathos
of course I believe that, I wish Muslims start getting their facts right. These ppl, when you take marriage proposal to some girl's house, the first thing they ask is your qualification.

These idiots would have even rejected the Prophet pbuh just because he was illiterate ummi and a sheep herder. Now I am not saying we are anywhere closer to Prophet, but I am talking about standards. These people judge you, not based on emaan, but worldly degrees and qualifications.

If I was a neurosurgeon and drove Aston Martins and Maseratis, I bet you I would have a long list of parents in Muslim community dying to get their daughter married to me.
I think today's parents would have also rejected him because the house he provided was 4 metres by 4.5 metres. :hmm:

does elitism mean people are considered better than others? If so certain people are better based upon their deeds. I don't think elitism is a problem except when it results in unfair treatment and the sahaba realized this, that's why the prophet (saw) would live a life like the average man, and when abu bakr/umar became the caliph they lived ordinary life's, they didn't live like kings while their people lived poor.

Umar would go so far as to not eat any food that wasn't available to his people and would starve himself when there wasn't any food available to his people, he would say "how can I know what my people are going through if I am not living like them". I think as long as people are treated equally there's no problem with considering certain people better because of their piety.

The Muslim leaders of the first few generations of Muslims, you would not even be able to tell they were the leaders because they would mingle amongst their people like the common folk, dress like them, eat like them, sit on the floor with them.

But today its very different.
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