RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Monday, January 5, 2009

Modernizing Islam

Modernizing Islam

Author: Brjimc

Recently, we had a few trolls sign up for the forum with the intent to defame, declare takfir on us for sympathizing with kufar and disrupt the forum. Alhamdulillah, Allah has protected us from their sin. In the process, one of the accusation levied against us was that we were "modernist". Somehow, being called a "modernist" was a bad thing. We were modernist as opposed to what? The opposite to "modern" is "primitive". So "primitive" is better than "modern"? By this logic we should be living in a cave as opposed to a house. What is "modern"? It is relating to, or having the characteristics of the present or most recent period of development. So, are we to believe that "primitive", which is having the characteristics of the past, is better than modern? Look at the world we live in. Instead of using a stick we use a toothbrush. Instead of riding a camel, we use a car. Instead of hunting and gathering with stone tipped arrows and grass weaved baskets we go to the supermarket. The hallmark of the Islamic religion is its pliability to the times. Islamic Law, according to the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) allows for this pliability in everything except one thing, the religious components of our lifestyle. This fact is evident if one studies the seerah of the Prophet (pbuh) over the course of his life and the lives of the sahabbah during the first 100 years of the Islamic Empire, which is the rough timeframe in which our scholars extrapilate much of the rulings of Shariah. Many more rulings of shariah are directed at the changing times and often do not even have a basis in Quran or Sunnah because the situations in modern times have changed and have not been experienced by the Prophet (pbuh) or the sahabbah. For example, in modern times, we face issues of the harvesting of human stem cells from new born babies to correct diseases that may exist later in the childs life. Is this acceptable in Islam? Well, the Prophet (pbuh) and the Sahabbah did not experience science on this scale and such things were unheard of in their time. Thus, our scholars work out a morally acceptable shariah on the topic. They can draw off of what we do know of Quran and Sunnah that is totally unrelated to the topic in conjunction with consultation of modern scientists who are expert in the field and apply it to make a ruling. Islam is not a primitive religion, nor is it meant to be. Islam is for all time. People who call us modernists because we stand for progress in society according to Islamic values are missing the purpose of Islam. Islam is not a religion. It is an entire way of life that includes religious doctrine. It regulates much more than religion. Religion is perhaps 10% of Islam. The remaining 90% is Economy, Science, Governance, Military, Diplomacy and many many other things. These "primitive" Muslims make the 10% seem like 90%. It is these types that wish to rule a country without knowing how to build roads, schools, colleges, using diplomacy to avoid warfare, establishing justice systems for all people (muslim and not), bringing economic prosperity and many other essential aspects of our lives. I have seen these "primitive" Muslims tout the Taliban as the model Islamic government. Yet, if you look closely, there is a VAST difference between such a rogue group and an Islamic State as the Prophet (pbuh) established and the Sahabbah built upon. So vast, it is virtually unrecognizable if it wasnt for the people observing the 10% of their religion; ie the religious aspects of Islam. Following Islam is not just in the ritual 10% or even in the spiritual aspects of those rituals. To build upon this argument, even before the advent of our complete religious system (the 10%) the Prophet (pbuh) established Islam as a system of Justice. It was this system of Justice that won the hearts of many local Arab tribes that once opposed Muslims bitterly. I propose that there is no such thing as "modern" or "modernization" of Islam. There is either "progress" or "no progress". If we fail to establish all aspects of Islamic society and government to include the religious aspects then there is no progress. These "primitive" muslims propose that we establish the 10% while neglecting the remaining. They propose that we do it by violent force if necessary. However, if they dont already have the necessities of society established (the 90%) then all they propose is religious oppression by use of violence. On the other hand, if the necessities of society are already present, then there will be no need for violent force. There will already be the means by which to affect change in society through peaceful means. Even then, the "primitives" will lack patience with the already established systems and wish to vilently overthrow it as they have tried in many Muslim populated states. Islamic rule must come from the people if it is to work. The example of this is in the lifetime of the Prophet (pbuh) and the sahabbah. Islamic rule worked because people wanted it and they accepted the established government and worked within the framework of their government to affect change through peaceful means, like voting, lobbying, diplomacy, etc. Islamic rule cannot work if brought about by violent upheaval and the populations of our regions not accepting the newly established violent dictatorship. This is the difference. A government that comes to power by violent rebellion will supress its opposition violently and its rule will always be challenged. A government that is chosen by the people will naturally last longer as it has the blessing of the majority of the population. So, are we modernists? No, we just follow Islam as the Prophet (pbuh) taught with his greater wisdom than the proponents of "primitivism" in Islam. What they preach is Islam in the stone ages, living in caves with guns made in the USA or Russia. They will never be able to produce a bar of soap, grow a society, avoid tribal warfare, educate their chidren beyond paroting verses of the quran without knowing the meaning, etc. You can give a man tawheed and rituals, but if he cannot live peacefully, without fear of oppression, feed his family, educate his sons and daughters, wash himself properly, go to work, build something, etc. then Islam means little to him. Perhaps only 10%.

Article Source:

About the Author:
Co-administrator of the Islam Factor Forum

No comments:

Post a Comment