It is no doubt Chittick’s effort to remove the veil that modernism has clothed traditionalism with and thus give light to Sufism and Islamic mechanism. He argues that where modernistic approaches seem to venture towards a capitalist society, leaving the individual’s soul a little hollow and thirsty, the traditional approach seems to provoke a deeper sense of learning and awareness that would only enhance the person’s ability to cope with newer situations better. The matter is not one of convenience, where one settles for the course of way, religion, or practice most convenient to him, but one of adherence to principles that are acquired through intellectual thinking and a deep sense of spirituality.
This is not a matter for local bodies or governments to handle, or countries to settle amongst themselves, but is more directed towards the person in his capacity as an individual. The argument is very plausible, since it can be put to immediate effect. It prompts the person to dismiss being misled by today’s media, and misconceptions that arise as a result. It indulges one to engage in talks and research that would make him understand the actual teachings of Islam better with more insight. In a way this better equips the modern Muslim to do Da’wa (invite people to Islam) under increasing scrutiny by Western ideologies of the modern world.
In this way Chittick has gone farther than merely relaying Oriental principles. He has brought forth the real essence of his work and without simply regurgitating what he has learnt, he has applied that essence to the problems plaguing the Muslims of the modern world. This is not only a daunting task, but is nearly impossible to fulfill across the board as Muslims themselves have several sects within their own community with distinct ideologies that maintain a constant divide. To come up with a concept that can be extensively applied to each individual, Chittick seems to have done away with that divide, invoking a harmonious principle of self-awareness that is beautifully simple yet incredibly precise at the same time.
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