Being stuck in a rut is one of many expressions used by Muslims these days. Besides a generally negative outlook it ingrains an unproductive attitude that makes becoming unstuck increasingly difficult. Many put it down to the current political climate, and while the lens of securitisation has certainly generated unease around religious expression, to pile our woes at the feet of politicians might be offering them a bit too much.
In reality, there is a simple reason and remarkably one many fail to pinpoint (itself a symptom of the problem) and that is figuring out where exactly God fits into the equation. These days, nearly every discussion on Muslims or Islam has God missing from it. That’s not to say that our discussions do not insinuate something about God, but our inferences treat the divine as a presumed variable rather than the primary motive. Even where we articulate something being for God, actual engagement with such sentiment fails to extend beyond routine expressions. How often do we ask: “Well if this is for God, how do I know it’s what He wants, and in the way that He wants it?”
A closer inspection suggests that our association with God seems to be cosmetic, and when we get around to addressing that association it tends to be superficially in a communal setting. Collective religiosity is fine but it has to be complemented with an intimate and personal association,