Friday Focus- Islam in the Contemporary world

September 07

Asma & Farooq Bakloo

Islam world’s second largest Religion, is growing rapidly and is now spread to more than hundred countries on the planet. It is figured that there are 1.3 and 1.5 Billion Muslims in the world (Heywood 2011).

The religion is based on the instructions of the Holy Quran and the teachings of the last prophet of islam, Muhammad. The Holy Quran was revealed on the last and final Messenger of Islam Prophet Mohamed (PBUM) during 23 years in Mecca and Medina, these places are located in the Suadi Arabia.

Allah has sent number of the Messengers towards different nations to spread the message of love and compassion among humankind. However, the Messengers before the last Prophet of Islam was sent to specific areas and for a particular kind of people, so their message was meant for those people only. The people of the Book have corrupted and diluted the original message of Allah with the passage of time, these all events have been decoded by the Holy Quran, that how these people manipulated the original word of Allah. Therefore, it was the Islam which recalled them the fundamental message and called them towards the monotheism.

It was Islam which came with the Universal message for all humankind and showed the norms how to live a better life. This religion bought a gigantic revolution in the Arabian society under the leadership and model character of the Prophet (PBUH) of Islam. The Prophet (PBUH) under the banner of Islam joined the community, which had cracked and was involved in the mutual wars.

In that period of ignorance, there was the treatment towards was solely for sexual pleasure. Islam was the first religion that uplifted the women and assigned them rights at an individual as well as a social level. The teachings of Islam closed all the doors that are against the modesty and honor of women and laid the foundation of the most egalitarian society based on the principles of Equality, Justice, Liberty, and fraternity.

It was the religion which provides the rights to these women, like the right to property, right to vote, right to consent and the emphasis in Islam is on the gender justice. The religion laid the norms for the complete way of life of the Human being, so the people called Islam as a perfect way of life. It guides the human in every aspect of life and invites humanity towards monotheism “Tawheed” of Allah. Monotheism is the central and essential ingredient of the Islam and without monotheism; a human being cannot be treated as a Muslim.

Anti Islamic Forces and Their Institutions:

Today at the global arena, many pessimistic notions are associated with Islam. For instance, this religion has been associated with violence, degradation of rights of women, terrorism, against the western ideas, unhygienic conditions.

Here the question is who is responsible for dissemination of pessimistic notions about the Islam? The answer is quite clear that it is the western media and Islamophobic politicians of the world who have indoctrinated a negative image of the Islam amongst their people. The press picks the issues from the ignorant Muslim communities and highlights them on the International level.

As we know, the public discourse of the world that is reshaped by the leading media and the political slogans of the world power states. These leading powers set the rules for the world and through the principles of hegemony and their institutions, which are designed, by these people for their national interests.

The main feature of today’s public discourse is it follows the media through blind imitation, which locks their rationality, and they behave as media wants them to and these public perceptions are adversely affected by the ‘popular culture” of the west.

Unfortunately, in the north block of the world, (developing countries) the western style has been conventionally portrayed as the developed or advanced notion, which means that they offer a model that will over time be accepted by all the societies. These western notions are propagated by various names for instance by the name of modernization, Social engineering, women empowerment, Gender equality and if anybody or the nation tries to resist these ideas to preserve the Islamic values he suddently turns into a fundamentalist or intimidation to the so-called progressive ideas.

It because of this resistance wrong notions are propagated against the Islam, and various concerns are misquoted at the International level to prove that Islam is the religion against the modern ideas. The Samuel Huntington in his research work “Clash of Civilization” highlighted the notion that Islam is against the western ideas and on the findings of this thesis the west especially the USA are designing the policies regarding the Muslim Nations.

The current Middle East crisis are the result of these slow poison policies of west and worst period of colonization and the conflict between Palestine and Israel is the seed sown by these countries in the Balfour declaration in 1917, then it the partition plan creation of Arab and Jewish states was proposed by UN in 1947.

At the global level, there is a unique alliance, which is in the race to highlight the misconception about the Islam. These countries have created some tools to dilute Islam thought through multiple means, they are attacking the culture and livelihood of the Muslims around the world. The culture and livelihood are under attack by the “slow poison” of popular culture and neo-liberal policies as we know that in many Muslim countries the natives are connected with the traditional businesses like in India.

For instance, in the milieu of Indian Muslims, they are lagging behind in every sphere of life. However, by the flood of privatization the education system is going to privatize and the upshot of this the education will become more expensive which will be difficult for Muslims and other subaltern groups of India to come in the field of education.

The ‘Slow Venom” of the west

Islam is the complete way of life. It talks about the religious teachings, Social, Economic and political teachings and codes of the Islamic rulers. However, most of the Muslims are only focusing on the first and do not know about the social, economic, and political teachings of the Islam, even if some do, they study it through the prism of sects.

Social Engineering Models and Quran:-

Muslims ignorant about the Islam are notioned by the popular culture. Otherwise, the Holy Quran has outlined the models of social engineering, economic and politcal struggle. For instance, the Holy Quran while gives notions about the social engineering in the Chapter 49 Sura Hujurat (The Rooms).

The chapter talks about the importance of “investigation” as Allah mentions in the chapter as

“O, you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigates, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful (49:6).

It emphases on making settlement among the people as:

“And, if two factions among the believers should fight, then make settlement between the two. But if one of them oppresses the other, then fight against the one that oppresses until it returns to the ordinance of Allah. And if it returns, then make settlement between them in justice and act justly. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly (49:9).
The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy (49:10).

The chapter further forbids the Humans the Derision mocking and backbiting behaviour as:

“O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them, nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers (49:11).

“O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is the sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful (49:12).

The chapter further talks about the brotherhood as:

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted (49:13).

The other Chapters of the Sacred Quran, which are focusing on the amelioration of the society, are-

( Al-Nisa: The women chapter 4).
(Al- Noor: The light chapter 24).
(Al –Ahzab: The combined forces chapter 33).

Therefore, due to the ignorance, the Muslim societies are distant from the social models that have been mentioned by Allah for the betterment of the humanity.

The ignorant Muslim societies mostly come under the popular “poison culture” of the west. Moreover, it is these Muslim societies, which become the thought for those people who are spreading the pessimistic notions about the Islam.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the authors are their own. The Kashmiriyat does not necessarily agree with their opinions.

(The authors are the Research Scholars at Kumaun University Nainital, S.S.J Campus Almora and can be reached