Here is an observation about people who wear their religion on their sleeves. Most people who know the Muslims religion, the imams, the scholars, and the good students of Islam, might study the same subject and come with different opinion about it, and as we are told, both will get rewarded first for getting right and second all gets the deeds for trying. However, in some cases you would quote a scholar to another and upon learning that their opinions are different, many will tell you to reevaluate the person who gave you that opinion. I have heard it so many times "Not everyone with a beard and a beads is a scholar". They will also ad, "Know them by their fruit"
Sounds good, and I agree. However, I wish many of those scholars will extend the courtesy to people who might not wear their religion on their sleeves, for example people not wearing a Hijab! Why do not such scholars listen to people who do not wear hijab and judge them by their fruit? The reason this came to my attention was that I learned about a British Muslim lady who is rich (and good looking) who started an interfaith group for dialog! Surprise surprise, she gets attacks on her from the right wing of the right wing in my faith.
There are others however, who want you to meet a threshold. If you are a man, you must wear a beard; if you happen to be a woman must have hijab. Once you have these conditions met, then they can say "Ok, now this guy look like us" "Now we can know them by their fruit" But have you not worn a hijab, then you would have been flat out dismissed! How convenient!
The truth is, most religious scholars are people of reason and a sense of fairness. However, there are those who stick to the peels of the religion and not the essence of the lesson. Such individuals might be good people, but they ignore the spirit of the law. I am reminded of the proverb my mom often quotes of people who get distracted from the reality "Like that who wears the hijab on top of a bikini"
This is not just limited to one religion or another, no religion is immune from this inconsistency. But I see this about the shortfall of the follower of a particular religion, not the religion itself.
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