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08/09/2010

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Manfriday

True to form ramadhan can be a very spiritually cleansing process, I feel. Fasting has been prescribed not only for Islam but other religions too, however in islam my thoughts are that it encompasses a more complete exercise. A person may not achieve one without another, e.g. meaning how can one achieve spiritual detox if you fast but oggle at the opposite sex. Thus it is a very astitute logial approach.

In Singapore, I'm not too sure but it seem some people fast out of culture more than out of religious principal. Hopefully, this will evolve in time through education.

My question is this? It is easier to educate less wilder individuals such as university students, office workers or learned muslims in general. A more tougher challenge is how does one motivate or educate muslims who are rougher, less fomally educated but who are nevertheless intelligent? How can this gap be bridged?

Happy Ramadhan Fareez!
http://theromanticdragon.blogspot.com

Fareez

Thanks for the well wishes. I think in any society, there always those who follow certain rituals of religion without further reflection of the meaning, and significance behind certain practices, rules and beliefs. In fact I do count myself amongst these group. There probably is no black or white categories, but people fall amongst a spectrum of spiritual enlightenment. It probably may not be helpful that in proselytization, we tend to focus on perfecting rituals and identifying rules to follow instead of reflecting on principles and meanings. But in coping with the needs and wants of the evolving populations, religious organisations are also evolving to meed this demands, so hopefully the mode of outreach may also change..=)

The problem of motivating and educating muslims who are less formally educated, probably needs to be understood within a wider context than just possible lack of motivation alone. How does society place them in positions which undermine their economic and social mobility. What social stigmas are being placed by helping professionals who come from totally different cultural backgrounds, although regarded to be under the same racial group? Can we safely say that these problems are intrinsic in the family systems of these individuals, or are they reflective of an even bigger structural problem?

It is a shared responsibility in that those from the more "fortunate" members of society should take steps and efforts to understand the needs and challenges faced by the more vulnerable populations (not just Muslims). Even more crucial is for those who come from the vulnerable populations and break cycles of ascribed dysfunction and poverty to be involved in the creative processes of supporting the vulnerable. These are outliers who are better positioned to make a difference in supporting vulnerable populations, by merit of their immersion into the cultural experiences such populations.

Your questions certainly poses more questions than answers, but it is in uncertainty that we are closer to finding the truth.

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