Islam & modernism

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by kseeker, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,515
    Likes Received:
    2,111
    Location:
    Bharatvarsh
    Islam & modernism - Newspaper - DAWN.COM

    By Anwar Abbas

    The writer is a freelance contributor with an interest in religion.
    THERE are many examples of questionable traditions and interpretations of Quranic verses offered by obliging divines. In such conditions it is the duty of individuals with conscience and sensitivity to truth, to try and distinguish between wheat and chaff.

    It is a right which Islam has given to all — the right of personal interpretation. The need for thinking in depth (fikr) as well as in breadth (dhikr) has been stressed in the Quran.

    There have been many forces and agencies in history — social, political, economic, philosophical and religious — which have attempted to cripple human intelligence in order to exploit men either for vested interests of the self or of persons in power.

    Take, for instance, the despicable drama in Nigeria where some 200 schoolgirls were taken captive in April by the extremist militant group Boko Haram, reportedly to be sold as slaves. Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, declared that he had abducted the girls and will continue to do so. “By Allah I will sell them in the marketplace,” he boasted.

    Islam does not reject science and rationalism.
    What is one to make of such religious interpretations by extremists when the Quran unequivocally declares “Read in the name of your Lord, Who created man from a clot of congealed blood. Read! And Your Lord is the Most Generous Who taught by the pen, taught man what he did not know”. (Surah Alaq). In the same spirit is the hadith of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) that urges believers “to go to China [then a remote destination] to gain knowledge” if necessary.

    Boko Haram is of the opinion that Western education is evil. It is mystifying how acquiring knowledge and education in any language or about any culture can be ‘evil’. One reason for the contradiction is that religious leaders have attached less importance to the essentials such as faith in God and the eternal moral code and given more importance to accidental features and later accretions, in which they radically differed.

    Narrow-mindedness of the clergy was also faced by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, who is considered the first Muslim voice of reform in India. He appeared on the scene at a time when Muslim society was sunk in obscurantism and inertia and showed no desire to emerge out of its medieval grooves. The unwholesome influence of the clergy had made Muslims of the time view education as hostile to religion.

    Syed Ahmed Khan wrote: “I reflected on the decadence of the Muslim community and came to the conclusion that modern education alone is the remedy of the ills they suffer from. I decided on a strategy to disabuse their minds of strong communal belief that the study of European literature and science is anti-religion and promotes disbelief.”

    The objectives of Sir Syed were educational and social reform and he did not wish to dabble in matters of religion. In fact, conscious of clerical hostility, he offered not to have any role in religious curriculum in his college and invited leading clerics to do the needful.

    But the maulvis of Deoband shot down the proposal and reportedly said they would not associate themselves with an educational institution that had Shia students on its rolls. In his biography of Sir Syed, Altaf Husain Hali wrote that 60 maulvis and alims signed a fatwa accusing Sir Syed of disbelief and apostasy.

    But even as voices of clerical hostility rose from Kanpur and Lucknow, Agra and Allahabad, Rampur and Bareilly and Maulvi Ali Baksh travelled to Makkah and Madina to seek a fatwa for beheading the great educationist and social reformer, he continued in his mission of setting up a college. “For,” wrote he, “my heart is overflowing with the idea of welfare of my people in which there is no room for any anger or rancour.” History proved that Sir Syed, founder of Aligarh Muslim University, was right and the clergy utterly wrong.

    Has Islam come in the way of modernisation? I venture to suggest that there is no inherent conflict between Islam and modernism. Neither science nor rationalism has ever been rejected by Islam. As a matter of fact, as modernism seeks social and economic justice it is working in the direction that Islam has always favoured.

    There is nothing in Islam or in Muslim history to suggest that it is averse to change. In fact, the ease and confidence with which Muslims adapted themselves to new conditions which they found in the countries that came under their sway shows that they do possess adaptability.

    Present-day Muslim scholars should present Islam in a way that stresses the universality of its values, the tolerance of its outlook and the compassion of its thoughts, so that the faith is not associated with a hostile approach and taking irretrievable positions.
     
  2.  
  3. mattster

    mattster Respected Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,048
    Likes Received:
    518
    Location:
    California
    I think you are seeing a catacyclismic explosion within Islam......its inherent contradictions of being a peaceful religion coupled with its believers engaged in the most defiling acts of savagery in the name of religion.

    This is a contradiction that no religion can withstand......look at all the Muslim countries and communities around Asia and you see very little that is positive.
    Sooner or later people of reason will slowly and quietly abandon the faith in large numbers. They won't make any grand declarations bringing attention towards themselves by saying they are going to leave the faith in public.....but they will slowly move away.

    This is exactly what the Islamic conservative clerics fear the most. That is why apostasy in Islam is such a heinous crime........if you're confident in your faith - then there is no reason to put a gun on someone's head and force them to stay in the faith, or force them to fast during Ramadan, or attend daily prayers, or women to cover their bodies with the ridiculous hijab.
    But these things are very common in many Islamic communities because they are afraid that it they open the gates to let some water out, it will soon become a massive flood. That's a sure sign of a bankrupt ideology that is running on its last legs.

    Some people say that Islam needs a reformation much like Christianity had a few hundred years ago.....but Islam as it is practiced today is beyond reforming.
    It is destroying the lives of millions of people and entire societies by tearing them apart.

    Ultimately.....what use is of religion if it is does take you to a better place both spiritually and mentally. I can't see why people of reason would want to accept such a doctrine. This is where I think Islam fails the Litmus test as a great religion - simply put all Islamic states are hopelessly backward societies.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  4. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,515
    Likes Received:
    2,111
    Location:
    Bharatvarsh
    Well said :thumb: couldn't agree more!
     
  5. fyodor

    fyodor Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    India
    I will save this answer somewhere.
     
  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    24,273
    Likes Received:
    11,279
    Location:
    BANGalore
    You are right on the money
     
    TrueSpirit1 likes this.
  7. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Messages:
    986
    Likes Received:
    396
    Location:
    karnataka
    The problem with Islam is- it hasn't had any reforms yet in its history of (1400 years). that is an exception because all major religion underwent some sorts of reforms, all abrahmic religions mandates a 100 pc belief in God, though some Christians questioned this, Muslims failed to do so. In context of India and perhaps the world, Islam wants you to follow it blindly, it is the religion which abhors open mindedness, abhors Debate on god, hates sciences (but we are living in the era of science, aren't we?), the only things the kajis, mullas, quadris, and likes of them will bring on the name of reforms is laws which are more archaic and barbaric than Islam itself.
    polytheism is advantageous coz, it itself gives you choice of selecting your own , praying them in your own ways, thank gods I m a Hindu.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  8. fyodor

    fyodor Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    India
    A correction:
    Hinduism is not polytheistic as polytheisms ascertains a belief that there are several gods which have independent authority.
    Hinduism is panentheistic , which means that there are several gods but there is only one ultimate reality(call it Brahman if you wish), different gods are the reflection of the same ultimate reality.
     
    TrueSpirit1 likes this.
  9. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Messages:
    986
    Likes Received:
    396
    Location:
    karnataka
    actually in Hinduism there are many sects who believe that there god is the supreme deity (Ishtadevta), the Idea of a single god was the oldest idea (in earlier vedas) later it was reestablished as an add on (mostly with vasihnava- I am one of them) so I will go by my saying that we have many gods, and we choose our own fashion of prayers.
     
  10. fyodor

    fyodor Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    India
    Ishtadevata doesn't mean supreme deity. Actually ishtadevata means that this devata is primary deity of their clan or group. The idea of ishatadevata is to select an expressision of divine which most suits the gunas of the person.

    From wikipedia with references:
    Within Hinduism, an Ishta-deva or Ishta devata (Sanskrit iṣṭa-deva(tā), literally "cherished divinity" from iṣṭa "desired, liked, cherished" and devatā "godhead, divinity, tutelary deity" or deva "deity") is a term denoting a worshipper's favourite deity.[1]

    It is especially significant to both the Smarta and Bhakti schools wherein practitioners choose to worship the form of God which inspires them the most.

    So the word root itself clears the confusion

    Iṣṭa-devatā - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  11. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Messages:
    986
    Likes Received:
    396
    Location:
    karnataka
    then what did I mention ? i said we choose our own god of liking.
     
  12. Dharmateja

    Dharmateja Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    50
    Location:
    Bengaluru

    The article has so many U-turns that Kejriwal will himself fail to create a piece as good as this. Once he says, there is nothing in Islam that rejects Science and thought then again he says 60+ maulavis were were dead against a an educationist and reformer, to the extent of beheading him. If that is not a coherent resistance to modernism by Islam, then i don't know what is.
     
  13. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Messages:
    3,450
    Likes Received:
    1,407
    @mattster

    All Islamic countries are different from each other
    and any hopes for a renaissance in all Islamic countries is misplaced

    Turkey , Malaysia and Indonesia are modern countries but the reason they
    are better and different than other Muslim countries is primarily ECONOMIC and also political

    Turkey has to create and maintain a certain Image in Europe because it is in Europe and it
    wants to join EU

    Also Turkey has a long feud with Greece and Russia

    Gulf countries ie oil rich countries have NO need to change till the oil flows freely

    Iran wants to challenge Saudi led Sunni block in the OIC so it has delberately created a Hardline image

    Now Pakistan is in a different world altogether

    If they become Modern then Pakistan will simply COLLAPSE and Pakis will ask
    "Why was pakistan created " so they have to be different than India
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
    TrueSpirit1 and Ray like this.
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,543
    Location:
    Somewhere
    The issue emanates from the Quaran when it states - "The only religion approved by God is Islam (Submission)" 3:19
    Quran-Islam.org - True Islam

    Further, Islam has had to 'fight' for its existence in a hostile environment and so that attitude remains, especially since the Glorious Days of Islam that ruled a large part of the world has been reduced to it current moth eaten state. One cannot blame them for dreaming of Plymouth Ho (Drakes Drum).

    Because of a sense of having been 'done down' by circumstances, the fire to make Islam supreme is stirring in the stomach, Very natural.

    Isolationism and obscurantism is but a fallout of having been 'dumbed down' and the yearning to be supreme again by closing in to coalesce and strike back with greater force then when dissipated even in thought and purpose. The edict that mullahs are the guide, helps in coalescing and directing radical thoughts.

    No one wants to be a loser once they have tasted the supreme in the world.

    Therefore, it is natural that they do what they are doing.

    And radicalism and fundamentalism and the Born Again ethos is the sole mode to achieve the aim.

    Fear is a the motivator of radicalism and fundmentalism (of being wiped out) and is a powerful weapon. Look up in Google for the same.

    One cannot blame them if one thinks rationally.

    But stop them, one must sure do, lest the world explodes with mayhem and bloodletting.

    Modernisation can only happen when one feels safe that they have conquered the world.

    That is not feasible in the near future.

    So, one has to accept it as it comes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
    TrueSpirit1 likes this.

Share This Page