The Journey To Knight: An Analysis

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American Muslims are stereotypically assumed to be a monolithic group by many Americans, and are expected to act and behave in the same way despite big differences in their ethnic backgrounds. This assumption is justified by their perception that there is only one kind of Islam and what fundamental Muslims believe in is universal Islam because they consider the Quran as a rule book to live by without any questions or arguments. In reality, however, this is not always true, as there are divergent views of Islam which often make it difficult for people who have faith in Islam but have some unanswered questions to accept the idea of universal Islam outright. The confusion faced by such Muslims is explicitly portrayed in the book, The Journey to …show more content…
Muslims are spread all over the world and it is impossible for billions of people to have the same interpretations. He talks about various Islamic interpretations and practices that juxtapose the idea of universal Islam. For example, Knight talks about people praying to local saints and performing other acts of worship in some places in spite of the fact that Islam strictly prohibits the worship of graves and humans, including worship of Muhammad (Knight 45). He talks about the use of drugs in Pakistan even though it is considered haram to intoxicate. He also mentions the existence of paintings of the Prophet in certain places like Iran and Turkey despite the fact that any form of visual representation of the Prophet is strictly prohibited in Islam (Knight 136). Knight also comes across a person in Ethiopia who says that all five prayers can be done in one prayer (Knight 161). Even though this idea is against one of the Five Pillars of Islam which requires a Muslim to pray five times a day it is still practiced by some people. This shows that all Muslims do not necessarily follow the same interpretations and there are variations at an individual or group level. It proves wrong the viewpoint of orthodox Muslims that there are not any grey areas for Muslims; if God says something, it 's the law and there can be no disputing …show more content…
Personal interpretation and subsequent implementation of that in daily life often leads to a roller coaster of emotions. There are many people like Knight who embraced Islam with the hope of finding answers to questions they have about religion and life. However, the constant scrutiny of followers of orthodox Islam make them feel a need to prove themselves in order to win acceptance in Islam (Knight 211). People who have trouble accepting what is claimed to be monolithic Islam, but who are also not prepared to compromise on their faith often face certain situations that lead to inner conflict. Knight himself, while in Mecca, reconciles traditional Islam like Bulleh Shah’ views with his Five Percenter learnings (Knight 48). He also feels distressed at times that his decision of converting to Islam has adversely affected his mother (Knight 255). It is very hard for converts like Knight to submit to the idea of monolithic Islam because sometimes they run into situations that raise new set of questions for them. For example, Knight is taken aback when he learns at a point that Pakistan 's Islam that didn 't conform to a Saudi interpretation of Islam was shielded from him during his first visit. He is surprised to know that people did drugs in Pakistan and that every Thursday night, at

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