'Modernize or Languish' could be a charitable understatement. A more realistic assessment would be 'Modernize or perish'. Muslims stand today at a crossroad where the way forward lies in modernizing their outlook, changing their hackneyed ways to progress, and modifying their way to teach the children. It also requires sending across the enlivening message of Islam, beam the benign image of their faith, impart to their women the freedom Islam has guaranteed and free them from the shackles the so-called Islamic and principally Arab societies have imposed on them.
The series of tragedies that have befallen the ummah during the humiliating capitulation of Afghanistan and Iraq in recent months, seem to clearly stem from their being a people who refuse to move forward, a people who have technically fallen behind the others and the ones who refuse to heed the call of the times. Even in the ambience of India we appear to have paid heavily for the backwardness of the community. And ironically, so dead set has been the community against the change, that every call to modernize has always been confused with 'Westernization' and consequently rejected. Modernizers like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan or Rachid Ghanouchi always lived under the fear of being called heretic. Those bolder than them like Ataturk had to almost turn 180 degrees exasperated as he got with the ulema. He was forced to adopt extreme and unfortunate postures against them and earn the ill-will of the larger ummah spread over distant lands.
Science and technology keep their relentless pace. The nations and communities that get outpaced, fall behind, lending the baton of power and progress to others. Once the rivals get empowered, their main concern shifts to denying the weapons of empowerment and science and technology to those who have fallen behind. So Arabs and Muslims are denied the cryogenic engines, nuclear fuels, reactors, remote sensing satellites etal. But at the same time, the same West is too willing to sell them air conditioners, colas, pagers, TV transponders, credit cards, McDonald burgers, Raybans, Guccis, Reeboks, Christian Diors, Sheaffers, Hollywood films and all other luxuries the sick West is ready to spit out and can be used to rake in some moolah. These do make the Arabs appear rich, but add nothing to their arsenal that could take them forward.
This must encapsulate the tragic saga of the ummah lost in the wilderness of ignorance and illiteracy. The way forward lies in modernizing the attitude to knowledge, altering its world vision, and imparting to itself a new course whereby we could reject the tools of cultural degeneration and choose the ones of empowerment. The goal should lie even beyond this. It should envision empowerment of all, the black nations of Africa, the underdogs of South Asia, the Dalits of India, the subaltern classes of the Latin and North America. It should develop technologies that dilute monopolies, undermine concentration of power, evolve methods of sustainable development, knock out coteries at the United Nations and ensure equi-distribution of the Planet Earth's riches among nations of the world.
This could be an over ambitious goal for the ummah looking at its current pathetic plight where it confuses the richness with progress, imitation as invention, borrowing of technology as scientific development and winning a few converts for its faith in the West as genuine dawah. The reality is that slavery of the ummah to the West was never more critically grave than today.
The immediate precondition for a drastic change will be the removal of fuzziness of the objective. Unless the ummah says 'yes' to Modernization and 'no' to Westernization, the way forward may not be distinct from the beaten track.
1) Do not prohibit your fellows from marching towards the Fire - if they appear determined to do so - so long as you have warned them of the direction in which they are headed.
2) Concentrate the savings in effort instead on preventing your fellows - who appear determined on marching towards the Fire - from dragging their neighbors with them.
Assalamu Alaikum (wa Lihub Billah).
I agree to modernisation and disagree to westernisation.But i guess we can't do anything until our leaders support us.Also we are hollow without the islamic soul.We are being brainwashed and programmed by these western figures.The shaytan is controlling us.We have to strenghthen our faith then victory is ours.We have to learn how to use media for our purpose .To spread the truth and free those lead astray.But remember Islam has respect for all religions .It is a peaceful religion.
muslims are turning to modernize muslims which means not good muslims but just showing off muslims.In other words hypocricy.Which means saying something but doing something else.We need to prepaRE ourselfes for the hereafter.
The primary purpose of our temporary stay on earth is to attain favour with our Lord, and ultimately life in the Hereafter. Seeking sustenance (or excellence) in our duniyah should not divert us from the ultmate goal.
Certainly, we need to use Islam to address the needs of a troubled world, where the pursuit of duniyah has become the primary purpose of life, and where the concept of life in the Hereafter is giving little or no consideration.
THE WORLD NEEDS ISLAM TO FULFIL ITS ULIMATE PURPOSE. THE UMMAH HAS A RESPONSILILTY TO TEACH AND SHOW THE PATH ISLAM TO WORLD.
Changes are needed, of course, but looking to men like him as guiding lights is the wrong way to go about it.
History proves that when, in centuries gone by, Islam embraced modernization and when many of it's scholers were on the cutting edge of science and technology, Christians and Jews were able to prosper alongside their submitted brothers who accepted the final revelation. So, our vision for the future is hidden within the victories of the past. A flourishing ummah is indeed in the interest of all of Allah's creation, whether submitted or not.
Notwithstanding the above, it is true that we can only do our best individually and collectively, and that we must ultimately submit ourselves to whatever is written in the will of Allah. This may be that the ummah does not rise once again. What we CAN do however is to make every effort to positivley contribute and to analyse carefully our attitudes towards positive change - not western change as accurately pointed out by the author. I will sign off by again inviting brother A.W. Sadatullah Khan to further reveal his thoughts regarding how we can go about modernizing our attitudes towards knowledge.
The only people who spared their time, effort and money for fellow muslims were Osama Bin Laden and others like him. The Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) said that good muslim is one who wishes for his fellow muslim brother what he wishes for himself. How are we to change anything if we don't give our fellow muslims a second thought?
All the people who I talk to quote one hadith to me. That is the Prophet said: save yourselves and your families from the hell fire. They are trying to achieve this by spending all God given hours making money. We have to change ourselves first by setting aside time each week for the community. The prophet and his companions were selfless while today we muslims have become selfish. Modernisation is not only about learning technology, we have to change our inner selves first and become real muslims who follow Islam in the letter and spirit.
Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Pakistan all fit the above criteria, with either their war records or their human rights records. Or both. Actually, when you think of it, Pakistan has nukes and Iran has reactors, and possibly nukes, so they *are* modern to a certain definition. The technological advancements only seem to be for the military, though. Is that what this article is really about? More military technology? The author mentions wanting cryogenic engines, nuclear fuels, and reactors. Does the author even care for the 'regular people'? I wonder...
I really not understand about Muslim attitude nowdays.... we all agree and believed Al-Quran is complete source for our life to be succesfull khalifaht in this world and Akhirah. then... why we r looking on wrong place to fix our problem?
Islam is simple religion. Our core value is IMAN (faith/piety), ILMU(knowledge) and Amal(action). Example :If u r learned Science/technology (knowledge) and trying to create something new (action) but without (IMAN)piety, u can misuse the knowledge and creating something wrong such as porn website! and cannot prevent any immorality strikes. Nowdays...We are talking too much on ILMU and AMAL but abandone the IMAN! Equilibrium on this three elements are really important.How to do this? Lets take the Quran and Sunnah as our main reference, not books of science.
I'm agree with Khursheed - we are always looking in the wrong places for fixing the problem. FIX OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH ALLAH AND ALLAH WILL FIX OUR PROBLEM................... Insyallah.
Ha ha hah h ah ha! How ironic. Imagine a Muslim
Ummah that does not need to spend trillions of
dollars pointlessly exploring space, building
weapons of mass destruction, driving around in
huge tractor sized SUVs, travelling and touring around the globe incessantly, watching semi-nude
women and men in movies day in day out, wearing the latest fashionable clothes, drinking 100s of kinds of alcoholic drink, eating junky unhealthy food like pigs, running up huuuuuge medical bills, inhaling pharmeceutical drugs by the pound every day, gambling their savings on the stock market, should I go on? Anyway, obviously such an Ummah would be backward by sheer laws of economics. Where will they come up with state taxes to build roads and schools. There would be no tobacco taxes, gas taxes, gambling taxes, I mean how will the government run? Lets face it, a philandering fornicating gambling boozing war mongering being makes the backbone of "Modern" society. There is no use of stingy conservative homely eco-friendly people. The third world is full of them, and you can see the result. Such a lot would leave little incentive for "research and development" the latest big screen, the tiniest hand-held, there'd be no market for it. Let us face the facts, Muslims would make terrible modernizers. No point of modernizing a people whose core values are traditional.
modernize or perish??!! no i don't think so, more then one billion declared muslims!!! great Islam will only disappear if Allah gets angry! surely he can do everything, so we must try to be better people and fight paranoia and force our governments to respect the teachings of the prophet (pbuh), NO familly dinasty rulers!!!!
action using empty words and little clarification of the
terms he uses. If there was a time when unified clear
and concise calls for action to bring about change in
our Ummah were needed, this is the time. However, our
way is to base our thoughts and actions on the Quran
and the Sunnah. These texts are where the answer to
our plight are found. Words like "modernization" or
"westernization" are meaningless in this context.
say around 1500 AD. 1st there were the slaves, then the guns, then bigger guns, Colonization came next, indentured labor after that, then the wars started, Napolean, WWI, WWII, Atom Bomb, Carpet Bomb, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Needed Oil for all this, Enter the Third World Dictator.
We hear about China, Russia, Japan, nations non-Western that have managed to "Modernize" so why cannot we? Well, all three of these great nations have very sad human rights and war records that could put any Western nation to shame. Perhaps we Muslims will need to go thru the same butchery to achieve the same result. Then what will be the difference between us and them? Perhaps it is better to be "backward" but peaceful, then "forward" and butcherish.
I hate these petty little 'bon mots'. If the West wouldn't allow anyone else to conquer space, how come Japan, Russia, China and Korea have all been there? Did they all get special dispensation from 'the West'? Of course not. Instead of talking about it, they did it.
I end this comment with asking fogivness of Allah the All Merciful and Knowing. And Salli wa Sallam for our Propet Mohammend (pbuh)
By the way, are sneakers really evil?
Praise God - it would seem that piety among Westerners is becoming fashionable again. May those who pursue piety - for themselves and those they cherish - be rewarded.
As for Asif Khan's comment, all the so-called have immitated the perverse qualities and behaviours of western nation. The only thing we have yet to imitate is their technological and financial success. We have pedophiles, politicians, movie stars, drug addicts, homosexuals, rapists, muslim alchohlics, sheikh pimps, maula drug dealers and gangbangers. The social evil has already been transferred. Transfer the benefits as well. I mean a pimp without a rolls royce just doesn't seem right. Especially a sheikh pimp.
Forgive my volatile remarks but we must stop criticising those of us with good ideas simply because it is a bit controversial or contrary to idealogy. That is comparable to the catholic church. might as well form a Muslim Church.
Forgive me, if not, I will seek Allah's forgiveness.
May peace and blessing of the Highest be upon Rassool and His lovers.
I am totally for modernization. In fact, I am a modern muslim. Modern is just a word. The real travesty is the enmity a simple world raises in the minds of muslims who call themselves educated. Modern is not something belonging solely to western people. They attained through corruption and war. Our goal is to attain through peace.
However, I see no peace in a so-called muslim ummah that blows into hostility over mere words. We must teach our children in a way that makes teaching more fun than TV and video games. No child would rather the Sira when he has super mario waiting for him. No child cares about deen with starfox to keep him busy. We, in our stupid rhetoric and arguments have made deen boring for children. When a child asks a simple question, we pump them full of senseless hadith and leave as though we gave him true knowledge. Teach useful lessons like math and grammar and skipping. Anything but deen. Make them memorize Quran. Tell them the translation. let them learn as children.
So Mr. Khan thinks the way to 'Modernisation' is to develop nuclear weapons and other tools of war, but he thinks that it's the West that's sick?
For the other posters here, I see no reason why modernisation can't take place within or without the umbrella of Islam. But let's be realistic. It won't happen without world class *scientific* education, increased literacy, empowerment for all, and an open mind. How long will it take for the Ummah to achieve these things? That is the real question.
However, if modernization means implementing laws that will make it much more difficult to establish the deen of Allah and make the life of mutaqi that much difficult (like hijjab in turkey was banned by law), then such mordernization was rejected by Muslims before and they will reject it again.
Whatever a Muslim does, is to please Allah and to establishes His deen on earth.
In my opinion, right now the duty of muslim needs attention in following areas:
1. to get deep education on quran, hadith and fiqh sciences (which is abandoned completely in recent generations). This mean establishing universites.
2. defend their land and their law (shariah) by acquiring the needed technology, not by borrowing, but by building it them selves. This means establishing science centers and defense institutions.
3. establish economy by inter trading amongsts other muslim nations and keep their businesses inhouse. This means establishing commerce.
4. Cultivate our lands to bring out the best fruits from Allah. This means establishing research centers.
5. Establish bait-ulmaal to help the needy. This means establishing welfare and emergency centers.
The only problem is the point 1, 2, and 3 can not be achieved under imperialist and colonized society. It requires freedom. Freedom of actions, freedom of our lands and Freedom of minds. Most of us are busy watching cable others are busy building missiles for lockheed martin, so where do we find time.
Most importantly, none of us feels the need of getting out of "what we are doing" and make some sacrifice to work for establishing our own society and our own system that will ruled by our own law. This includes myself.
Unless we learn this one word sacrifice, we are
The problem of our UMMAH is our insincerity to our belief in ALLAH. We say we are believers but almost every aspect of our collective lives are evidence of only skin deep belief. The evidence is ou there for all to see.
To modernize we need ALLAH, meaning we must re-assess our way of life and build the most important teachings of ALLAH and his prophet in every aspect of our lives. For example we can organize our scientific base all we want but if IKHLAS is not its foundation (and currently I think there is a tilt towards worldly knowledge among Muslims rather than a parallel process of being an informed Muslim as well as a good professional), our achievements will only go so far. As Sayyedinaa Umar once told those with him, "We must take utmost care with our Iman, for this is the basis for success of believers over their challengers"; when we do not take care of our Iman, we will never reach to the hieghts that Islam would give us. I believe we need to go back to basis and start from there.
If we do this then, INSHA ALLAH, ALLAH will be with us in the sense that HE says "ALLAH does not change the condition of a people unless they cahnge it for themselves".
Much of what we raise therefore are important, but they will crumble without the proper foundation i.e. a true belief in ALLAH evidenced in our lives (without the evident contradiction we see today).
These are thoughts, if I have said anything unworthy may ALLAH forgive me and protect the reader from it, otherwise ALHAMDULIL_LAH RABIL AALAMIIN.
I think brother Usman Sheikh needs to choose his words more carefully next time. WHy do you think we muslims in the west understand Islam better than the rest of the world ? If you ask me we are more spoiled and arrogant to Islam than others. We tend to question things for the sake of questioning and not practicing. We tend to find Halal ways of doing Haram things. We need to become better muslims and obey Allah's commandments, and in that lies the modernization that muslims need to be sucessful in this life and the hereafter.
Sure there is danger in knowledge and technology. These are enabling, powerful and if power corrupts then more power corrupts more. But to assume the Muslim population should be held in ignorance because there will be a "social cost" due to the few that will fail this test is too doom the Muslim population to slavery and death just because you don't trust your neighbor.
Humans are learning animals and you cannot prevent them from learning something. The question is what will it be? Those who are not taught the good by intent will learn of bad by discontent.
But there is a much more important consideration. When the Jews lost their status as the chosen people it was stated that that status would be given to those who would "produce the fruits thereof". Part of those fruits are people that can be trusted with power and have the knowledge to use it. The ignorant, the enslaved and the dead don't meet that criterion.
This is a highly relevant subject. Just one suggestion; it would have been just as effective if there was no mention were made of any particular Muslim race. We're all victims as well as responsible in the system.
More importantly, this discussion will be better appreciated and the problem managed if we had better measures of our Ummah's position as a starting point. I guess one good measure would be comparing literacy of Muslim countries. Another is the % of Muslim scientists. I'm suggesting another, which is the level of our Ummah's control of Intellectual Property, both as a measure of wealth as well as a critical ingredient for generating future wealth and control of the economy.
There should not be too many, maybe a couple more to complete the list of key measures.
"Can't improve what you can't measure", and it must be the relevant measures!
Kind regards, was'Salam
Hj Zin, Malacca