Islamic Renaissance now


By Hamid Golpira

The Islamic world is at the crossroads — either we have an Islamic Renaissance now or we will experience many years of backwardness.

The Islamic world has been in decline for over five centuries.

Once we experienced a golden age, and there is good reason to mourn its loss.

But the Moor’s last sigh shouldn’t last 500 years.

Something must be done to rectify the problem now.

It seems that we need a bit of etherealization, which is an expression used by historian Arnold Toynbee to describe what takes place when a civilization is flourishing.

So how do we etherealize the Islamic world?

Well, first we have to understand what we got right in the golden age.

To start an Islamic Renaissance, we have to return to our roots, but this does not mean returning to the past as Taleban-type elements would like to do.

We have to balance modernity and tradition.

And this is what we got right at the advent of Islam and during the golden age.

We understood and adapted to the times we lived in while maintaining our religious ideals.

We had spirituality and also academic scholarship and science.

Muslims never had a great Dark Ages where science was superstitiously rejected like the Europeans experienced.

However, we are in the middle of a 500-year decline that is like a dark age.

We Muslims have to understand that we live in the Information Age.

Yet, we must learn how to balance Information Age modernity and Islamic tradition.

We should not become materialists with little or no spirituality, like the Westerners, but we should also not try to become spiritual people disconnected from the times we live in.

Everything is in the balance and we must learn to strike that balance.

The new Islamic Renaissance must be an Information Age Islamic Renaissance because this is the era we live in.

The beauty of Islam is that it is adaptable to every era.

When the Europeans were in the middle of their Dark Ages, the Islamic world reached the heights of art, culture, science, philosophy, literature, architecture, and many other fields.

Many historians say the Islamic civilization actually inspired the European Renaissance.

So what went wrong in the Islamic world?

The answer is obvious.

We forgot who we are. We lost our identity.

We lost sight of that beauty of Islam which is adaptable to every era.

Most of the Islamic world was colonized by the Europeans, and our identity crisis became exacerbated.

After the colonial era ended, we became the victims of neocolonialism.

Even the minds of most Muslims have become colonized in the ongoing cultural war.

South African revolutionary Steve Biko once said: “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

The Muslims broke up into different groups.

One group is influenced by the Westerners and tries to be secular materialists like them. They are sometimes called moderate Muslims but most of them are not very Muslim at all in reality.

Another group rejects the West and has adopted a form of Islamic traditionalism that is sometimes called fundamentalism but which is really not fundamentalism because they are out of touch with the modern world, whereas the fundamental teachings of Islam require Muslims to be in tune with the times we live in.

A third group rejects both of these approaches and opts for a form of Islamic mysticism disengaged from the world, which is not really Islamic mysticism because true Islamic mystics are engaged with the world and seek to help people, especially the oppressed masses and those who are spiritually lost.

All of these groups are going in the wrong direction, but each of them also has a piece of the answer.

We Muslims must synthesize these three approaches to regain our identity and start the new Islamic Renaissance.

We must utilize Information Age technology, but avoid getting lost in materialism.

We must hold fast to the Islamic tradition and the Islamic law, the sharia, but avoid stiff interpretations of the law, arrogant self-righteousness, and intolerance.

And we must understand mysticism and live the mystical life, but avoid selfish individualism and narcissistic fantasy.

If we can do this, we can reconnect with the beauty of Islam which is adaptable to every era, balance modernity and tradition, regain our Islamic identity, and start the new Islamic Renaissance.

Kemalist Ideology- Turkish National Secular Movement

Kemalist Ideology (“Atatürkçü Düşünce”), also known as Kemalism (“Kemalizm” or “Atatürkçülük”) and Six Arrows, is based on Mustafa Kemal Atatürk‘s six principles (Altı Ok) during the Turkish national movement. The principles were not defined as an ideology during the life of Atatürk, but formulated later on. It constitutes ground rules for state nationalism in Turkey.

History

The history of the concept of Kemalism can be traced back to Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire. The political experience of the Ottoman Empire, through Tanzimat, and the First Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire were synthesized into Kemalism.

 

Republican People's Party logo, and six principles as arrows

 

Republican People’s Party logo, and six principles as arrows

The Republican People’s Party was established by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on October 29th, 1923, about a week before the declaration of the Republic of Turkey on the September 9th. The party uses the ideology to symbolize itself. Continue reading “Kemalist Ideology- Turkish National Secular Movement”

Al-Wahn, A Deadly Disease

Al-Wahn, A Deadly Disease


On the authority of Thawbaan , the Prophet said:

“The People will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their food.” Someone asked, “Will that be because of our small numbers at that time?” He replied, “No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be froth and scum like that carried down by a torrent (of water), and Allah will take the fear of you from the breasts (hearts) of your enemy and cast al-wahn into your hearts.” Someone asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what is al-wahn?” He replied, “Love of the world and dislike of death.” [An authentic hadith recorded by Abu Dawud and Ahmad]

In attempting to contemplate on the meaning of the Prophet’s words in the above hadith (and indeed on any of his noble sayings), one quickly comes to appreciate the Prophet’s statement:

“I have been given words which are concise, but comprehensive in meaning” [Bukhaari and Muslim].

The Messenger was blessed with the profound ability to utter several words which whole volumes could then be written about. In this striking hadith, the Prophet describes the situation of the Muslims with great accuracy, and also prescribes a remedy for the ailment.

“The People will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their food.” What is extraordinary in this hadith, is that the Prophet conjures up vivid images in the listener’s mind about the scenario. Here, the Ummah (the Muslim nation) is first likened to some seemingly tasty food surrounded by a group of hungry diners. But these people need to share, and thus, the food must be divided into portions corresponding to the status of each ‘guest’. Continue reading “Al-Wahn, A Deadly Disease”

The Evils of Nationalism

by Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azîz Ibn Bâz


Islaam has forbidden the calls of jaahiliyyah (the prelslaamic days of ignorance) and there are many textual evidences which forbid all of the characteristics and manners of jaahiliyyah and their actions, except those (good and decent) practices which Isl aam agreed to. And there is no doubt that the call to nationalism is from these calls of jaahiliyyah, since nationalism is a call to other than Islaam and an aiding of other than the truth. And how many ills, evils and serious wars has such calls of jaahi liyyah caused to their people, causing great harm to their souls, their wealth and their possessions. The consequences of such calls (for the Muslims) was a splitting up of their unity and a planting of enmity and hatred of each other in their hearts and a fragmentation and splitting between tribes and nations. Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) rahimahullaah said: [2]

“Everything which is outside the call of Islaam and the Qur’aan, with regards to lineage, land, nationality, schools of thoughts and ways, then it is from the calls of jaahiliyyah. lndeed, even when the Muhaa jirs (those Companions who migrated from Makkah to Madeenah) and the Ansaars (those Companions who aided and supported those who migrated) argued, such that one of the Muhaajirs said:” O Muhaajirs! (implying; rally to my aid) ” And one of the Ansaar said: “O Ansaar!” Upon hearing this, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

  “Is it with the calls of Jaahiliyyah that you call, and l am still amongst you!” And he became very angry at that.” [3]

And from the textual evidences pertaining to this issue is Allaah the Most High’s saying:

  “And stay in your homes and do not display yourselves, like the display of the times of jaahiliyyah (pre lslaamic ignorance). But establish the Prayer, give the Zakaat and obey Allaah and His Messenger. ” [Soorah alAhzaab 33:33] “When those who disbelieved placed in their hearts pride and arrogance the pride and arrogance of jaahiliyyah then Allaah sent down His tranquillity upon His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and upon the Believers …” [Soorah alFath 48 26]. Continue reading “The Evils of Nationalism”