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Present Day Muslims

18

‘’All things in the heavens and on the earth give glory to God, the sovereign Lord, the Holy One, the One Who possesses all power and knowledge’’.

(The Holy Qur’an)

The general condition of life for Muslims in the second half of the twentieth century can only be understood if we consider the totality of all the factors shaping their current situation. One of the most important points is the present geo-political distribution of Muslims. The majority are living in so-called Muslim states, many of which are Arabic speaking (nearly one-sixth of all Muslims are Arabs) joined together by a powerless political coalition called the Arab League (established in 1945). In 1971 over forty governments with Islam as their declared state religion joined together in an Organization of the Islamic Conference and by 1992 there were forty-six members of the OIC.

The reality is that Muslim states are continuously embroiled in the senseless controversy and even political or military confrontation with each other. There is very little real harmony between them or a common higher objective. Muslims with in these states are also divided in the broader sense along ethnic, racial, sectarian, and linguistic lines. Sectarianism within the Sunni majority, as well as between Sunnis and shi’is is often exploited. The unifying attributes of Islam—– Humanity, reasonableness, piety, submission to Allah, knowledge of the Qur’an and way of the Holy Prophet of Allah ——– are not the primary objectives of Muslims rulers or their state policies. Present day Muslims are divided by artificial geo-political lines and ruled by puppet kings, sultans, and presidents who are allied to or nominated by Western diktat, upon whose advice, technology, and economic control they are dependent.

Within these states much official propaganda and discussion about the glory of past Islam is indulged in. Thus, we see and hear of Islamic conferences, Islamic parties, Islam banks, and even enforced Islamic codes. As the Islamic sentiment of the masses grows their governments label most of their acts as ‘’Islamic’’, without any true spiritual conviction or transformation.

For the first time in the twentieth century, however, the shock of the Islamic revolution in Iran brought the decaying conditions of Muslims sharply into focus and triggered attempts to arrest this decay and possibly renew and revive the Din of Islam. The rise of Islam in Iran, and its challenge to the techno-imperial power of America, resulted in a decade of war against Iran, fought of course by proxy of the brutal Iraqi government with aid and encouragement from Arabs Muslim states under the supervision of the West. The events in Iran brought about widespread interest and debates throughout the Muslim world.   (Continue Part II)

The superficial divisions among Muslims are perpetuated by the lack of proper basic education. This lack is comprehensive for it includes the Qur’anic and prophetic teachings, in particular the higher spiritual values of the Din. The historical neglect of the education of Muslim women has ensured that the mother is left ignorant and thus bound to raise children in an un-Islamic manner.  The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘’ The true school is the mother’’.

A tradition which, like many others, is often repeated and little acted upon. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) also called upon Muslims to seek knowledge ‘’even if it was a china’’ (I-e, far away), but as we have seen, The Qur’anic and spiritual knowledge of Islam, have become the preserve of a few specialists while the majority of Muslims remain content with outer Islamic cultural or ethnic trappings.

A contribution factor to the lack of Muslim mass education is the dominance of a class of professional ‘Ulama and Mullas ——-the so—- called ‘’clergy.’’ As they established themselves as the guardians of the Din, People complacently delegated their religious duties to this class of experts instead of fulfilling the prophetic injunction for everyone—-man and women alike — to strive to gain full spiritual knowledge. And so we now have dismal but common scenario of Muslims paying someone else to recite the Qur’an once in a while, usually on the occasion of bereavement, instead of learning and acting upon the Qur’an itself.

Islam teaches that it is the community that has to perform all functions of the life-transaction for themselves and by themselves and not to rely on the specialist professionals. In fact, it is blame worthy act to be paid for teaching religion, reading the Quran, or even being an undertake. The community is beholden to serve itself and thereby increase human interaction and interdependence.

The slow erosion of Islamic values and way of life during the twentieth century, coupled with Western material, monetary, technological, educational and political dominance over Muslim lands, has caused most Muslims to imitate Western culture wholesale as  an act of ‘’progress’’. Blind westernization has naturally resulted in frustration, disappointment, anger, and nostalgia and sometimes a desperate desire to revive the Din at any cost. The average educated Muslim continues to be confused about the possibility of modernization without de-spiritualizing westernization.

A natural outcome of this confusion is seen in frequent upheavals, usually accompanied by ineffective anti-Western slogans and various other forms of emotional and sometimes violent defiance, ranging from small demonstrations to hostage-taking and major revolutions. Many Muslims feel nostalgic for the past, disappointed in the present, angry with unjust rulers, and despairing as a result of poverty, exploitation, and other inhuman and un-Islamic conditions. Large numbers of Muslims also live in non-Muslim states throughout the world. For example, the population of Muslims in India, which is secular, is greater than that in Muslim Pakistan.

Most Muslim living in the West is economic emigrants from Asia or Africa, with the exception of a small but increasing number of converts. Although these immigrants have brought with them some of their national, ethnic ways and customs peculiar to their individual cultural backgrounds, their descendants are gradually rediscovering original Islam and its high values and moral standards, as their inherited cultural baggage is gradually peeled off.

Younger Muslim generations in the West are no longer hypnotized by the myth of an alternative system for honorable and fulfilling human interaction other than the sublime path of Islam. In a shrinking world where it is becoming increasingly clear that the emperor has no clothes, their awakening is gradually being shared throughout the Muslim world. The myth and collapse of Communism can only be followed by the discovery of the falsehood of apparently civilized Capitalism. The idol of Capitalism is being dethroned.

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