Throughout the ages, Muslim scholars have in general displayed an infinite propensity for discussing subjects which are way beyond their mental and wisdom levels, things like the nature of Allah and His Prophet, the Adam and Eve saga, descriptions of heaven and hell, the number and nature of ‘houris’ as well as the vivid story of the ascendance(Meraj) of the Prophet, all of which, beyond the context of the Quran, have virtually no relevance in terms of imparting guidance on how to lead a fruitful life on Earth, which should be our primary focus. The end result is that the clear injunctions of the Quran are obfuscated by voices, which the louder they are, the more they tend to get heard and drown out the competing saner ones.
One principle clearly defined in the Quran is the need for maintaining unity in the ranks of the believers and nowhere is it more blatantly violated than when the radical-minded amongst us tend to arrogate to themselves the authority for labelling those who are not in conformity with their world-view as lying beyond the pale of Islam. They try to foist their personal opinion as to who is a believer or a martyr to an unsuspecting audience as the gospel truth, and to be frank, these opinions tend to border on the ludicrous in most cases.
To my mind, three things, namely who is a Believer, who is a Martyr and who is a Jannati(destined for paradise) are the sole preserve of Allah and I don’t believe these all-important functions have ever been delegated to anyone on earth. Those who insist on usurping this right can thus be considered as guilty of committing three of the most cardinal of sins: shirk( associating themselves with God), arrogance and divisiveness. When Allah has promised to reveal the truth as to where we differed amongst ourselves on the Day of Judgement, who are we to doubt Him and why can’t we be patient? After all, patience is a quality much prized in the scriptures.
We all must hence ponder over the broader question of whether the doctrine of ‘takfir’ ie denouncing an entire community as infidels(kafirs) and ‘Wajibul Qatl’ (liable to be killed) is in line with the Quran and whether it has been helpful in general to the Muslim community or whether it is in truth an essentially vicious,manipulative tool meant to instil fear and wreak havoc on a mass scale for furthering a political agenda.