The Tsunami of Secularism in the Muslim World & the Damage
- at 28 November 2019
Dr. Firoz Mahboob Kamal
Secularism: the vile ideology
Secularism stands inimical to the whole project of Islam. Although claim to be Muslim, the secularists in the Muslim World are the real distractors from the Divine vision, mission, and roadmap. In the golden days of Islam, the Muslims could stand united to promote Islamic vision only because of the strong pan-Islamic brotherhood. But the deep de-Islamisation through secularisation badly eroded such ideological glue. As a result, the body of the Muslim Ummah got deeply fractured and became unable to stand on the feet. Because of the corrosive impact, the secularised Muslim Ummah developed extreme incompatibility against the basic tenants of Islam. In the name of the language, tribe, sect, and geographical identity, they returned back to the days of the old jahiliyyah. So the Osmania Caliphate dismantled. The Arabs divided into 22 pieces. The united Pakistan project of the South Asian Muslims also collapsed. Such a state of crippling divisions of the Ummah gave a golden opportunity to the enemies to have a full reign on Muslims' land, lives, resources, and dignity. The secularists, because of their deep detachment from Islam, prefer to ignore Islam's golden past and celebrate their tribal, racial, linguistic or geographical identity. Like the known external enemies, they too perceive the emergence of Islam as a threat to their own political, ideological and cultural survival. During the colonial rule of the European imperialists, they got ideological cum cultural nurture in their secular educational institutions; as a result of such secular upbringing, millions of these ideological converts worked as foot soldiers both at home and abroad to protect the colonial rule. The colonial-era has ended, but the imperialists didn't stop their ideological, political, cultural and business enterprises in the former colonies. They have forged a coalition with the native secularists to protect their interests in the Muslim World. With the recent wave of Islamic resurgence in the Muslim World, they feel threatened, and it has given them new impetus to develop a common ground to foil it. Such a coalition with the imperialists has given the ruling secularists a unique opportunity to sustain their own rule and protect their vested privileges.
To spread the ideological disease, the secularised education system works as the main vehicle. Devil doesn't need to approach individuals to whisper into the ears; the secularised education system is doing the job. Through education, they alienate people from Islam's core vision, mission, and objective. The students are taught to use profession, politics, culture, media and intellectual endeavours only for worldly success. The subjects like Qur' anic education, moral development and Islamisation of state are kept out of the public domain. As per the plan, the issue of attaining success in the endless life in the hereafter is kept out of focus. Even the Qur' anic concept of the worldly life as an exam period for the promotion or the demotion in the hereafter is kept out of the curriculum. Even the faith of Islam has been heavily corrupted. As a result, the religion of Islam -as practiced by the secularist Muslims is altogether different from Islam of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Whereas unlike other religions, Islam is known for its clarity. The Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) didn't leave any ambiguity or obscurity vis-à-vis how Islam should be practiced in private or public life, in politics or warfare, in judiciary or administration, culture or education. He showed the clear roadmap –as revealed in the Holy Qur'an and all the rightly guided Caliphs followed it. And it is obligatory on every Muslim to follow it. How one can deny the historical fact that immediately after the migration from Mokka to Medina, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) founded an Islamic state. He was himself the head of the state. And every Muslim, Jew, Christian and the kuffar living in that state recognized that. He also raised a state Army and took part in many war campaigns. He sent ambassadors to the foreign states. He also delivered justice as per sharia law. How can one follow the Prophet (peace be upon him) without following such prophetic practices? Because of the deviation, the Qur' anic Islam and such prophetic teachings don't exist anymore in any of the Muslim countries. The Muslims are living without Qur' anic Islam and the Prophet's teachings. The secularists call such Islamic practice of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the early Muslims as the political Islam. As if politics is forbidden in Islam! As if, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) worked as the head of the Islamic State and led the Muslim Army without engaging in politics!
In order to promote their selfish worldly agenda, the secularists brought a huge shift in Muslims' conceptual paradigm. It is indeed a 180-degree shift against Islam. However, such a secular world-view is not modern either, rather as old as the origin of humans on earth. Humans always had the temptation of being focused only on immediate worldly successes and ignoring the distant hereafter. The Holy Qur'an is also very explicit on such human tendencies. Today's Muslims have fallen into the same trap. The pre-Islamic Arab kuffar also had the same conceptual disease. They believed in Allah. They even named their son Abdallah -meaning a slave of Allah. They believed that Ka'ba is the house of Allah SWT and was built by His Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). But they did not believe in the hereafter. Hence they did not have any fear of accountability of the bad deeds. So the concept of hereafter with its hells and heavens had no place in their life. Their only agenda of survival was to enhance their worldly gains.
The crimes of the secularists
The most catastrophic defeat of the Muslims did not take place in any battle-field. They lost their war on the conceptual premise. The defeats on the geopolitical frontiers came later on. The Muslims lost the war of ideas only because of the secularisation of their thought. The early Muslims used Qur'an as the most powerful ideological weapon. But the secularists ignored its importance. So they were ideologically defeated before the war started. Secularism is defined as a "system of social organization and education where religion is not allowed to play a part in civil affairs."–(Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's Dictionary). Therefore, the prime political objective of the secularists is to restrict religions playing any role in the system of social organizations, politics, education, and warfare. In fact, here starts the conflict between the secularists and the believers. Islam is known for its all-inclusive global vision and objective. It is the greatest blessing of Allah SWT for the whole of mankind. Humans can get peace on earth and access paradise in the hereafter only through the path shown by Islam. Allah SWT has labelled it as siratul mustaqeem in the Holy Qur'an. And the Qur' anic path must be followed not only in five-time prayers, fasting, haj, and charity, but also in education, politics, judiciary, trade, administration, economics, and warfare. These are indeed the playing fields where the destiny of a people -both here and in the hereafter gets decided. But if Islam is kept out of the playing fields –as it's the plan of the secularists, how can it deliver such blessings to mankind? In order to take the blessings of Allah SWT to every man and woman, all the social, religious, political, judicial, cultural and educational institutions must work together –as was the case during the golden days of Islam.
Awfully, the secularists work in the opposite direction. They keep the statecraft and its institutions free from the Islamists' control. This is their worst crime against humanity –worse than any worst war crimes in history. Nuclear bombs instantly burn people to death but do not take people to burn eternally in hell. But the vile secularists take people to hellfire by putting an obstruction on the heaven-bound Divine roadmap.
Moreover, they use the secular education system to immunize students' minds against any Islamic influence. Thus they raise a barrier against the Islamisation of individuals, states, and societies. In the geopolitical arena, it raises divisive walls in the name of different language, ethnicity, geography and culture. Thus, the secularist forces could easily dismantle the unity of the Muslim Ummah and could restrict the spread of Islamic influence from one country to another. In addition, they execute other strategies, too. They keep the Qur' anic lessons out of the classrooms, throw out the laws of Allah SWT off the courtrooms and restrict the practice of Islam only within the mosques. Because of such works against Islam and the Muslims, they could easily qualify as the trustworthy friend of the known anti-Islamic forces all over the world. Hence, many of them are taken as partners to occupy Muslim lands. So the Americans, the British, the Russians and the Indians were never alone in their occupational wars in Muslim lands like Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and many others.
The moral, cultural, behavioural and political revolutions always start in people's minds. The ideas generated in mind indeed work as the real engine of any revolution. Hence, the pre-Islamic Arabs did not remain the same after the acceptance of Islam. Prior to Islam, engaging in various crimes was not morally disapproved; rather many moral perversions worked in the name of religion. But after the acceptance of Islam, the people understood the agenda of life differently. Investment of time, talent, energy, and money for the promotion of the good and the eradication of the wrong was considered an investment for profit trillions of times higher in the hereafter. Only such an investment can buy a place in a paradise for infinity. So they engaged in doing good deeds with all of their physical, financial and intellectual abilities. Because of such a strong passion for doing the highest investment, more than 70 percent of the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) preferred to sacrifice their lives.
Bu today's Muslims live with other paradigms in their hearts. As a result, they take a different path in their strategies of survival, politics, and ibadah. Although they recite the same Qur'an and read the same narratives of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the missing element is the proper and deeper understanding of these two greatest sources of knowledge. Such a lack of understanding indeed caused the most paralyzing damage to the Ummah. And it owes to the secularisation of education. Because of that, the focus of all thoughts and activities shifts from the hereafter to the worldly life. Therefore, gratifying the personal whims gets the preference over satisfying Allah (SWT).
Since in a secular state, the implementation of the Qur' anic law and its principles is not an objective, the understanding of the Qur'an gets heavily compromised. Who is going to study Qur'an when there is no scope for the practice? In such a secularised context, the people are forced only to study and practice the law in operation. But the question arises, how can one sustain his faith if he ignores Allah SWT's law? This way, one can only forfeit his own faith and turns a rebel against Allah SWT. In fact, such a crucial point is made explicit in the Holy Qur'an. So, it is revealed, "Those who do not run judiciary as per my revealed law are kafir, … zaleem and …fasiq." –(Sura Maida, verses 44, 45 and 47). Therefore, the Holy Qur'an keeps no ambiguity that whoever wants to live as a Muslim must live with sharia. There exists no exemption. This is why, prior to the occupation by the colonialists, the Muslims never spent a single day without the practice of sharia law. The occupation of the kuffar colonialists has ended, but the occupation of the native secularists still continues. So the crime of the colonial era still survives. As a result, the law of Allah SWT stays outside the courtroom in His own land! How can a Muslim please Allah SWT with such a rebellious act?
How to learn is education. And knowledge is the product of all educational endeavours. But what is the benefit of the knowledge if it imparts wrong objectives, wrong roadmap and wrong priority in life? Even criminals do have skills in reading, writing, and arithmetic. But for success here and in the hereafter, humans need the right vision, the right objective, the right role model and the right roadmap. More than a hundred thousand prophets were sent by the Almighty Allah SWT not only to show the right path but also to work as the role model. The Muslims have no option but to follow the prophetic model. In the early days of Islam, the Muslims didn't have any university or college but have the institutions to show the right path and showcase the right role model as per Qur' anic and prophetic teachings. The Islamic state, the mosques, the madrasas, and the families worked jointly to promote the Divine agenda. But the secular education system does the opposite. In the name of education, it hides the Divine path (siratul mustaqeem) and the right role models from public eyes. Even the prophets –the greatest teachers and reformers in the history of mankind are not mentioned in the classrooms. This is indeed the greatest disservice in the name of education.
The educational institutions are committing colossal crimes by showing the wrong directions in life and presenting the wrong people as the model figure of highness to follow. Hence with the increasing number of colleges and universities, the deviation from siratul mustaqeem is getting much wider. As a result, the failures of Muslims are also getting much deeper. This is why the secular universities –though in hundreds, couldn't add any single glory to the Muslim history. In fact, some of the Muslim countries, with a higher number of university graduates earned the highest disgrace by ranking as the most corrupt country in the world.
The secular education is helping the greedy, the corrupt and the clever predators to gain more skills to do more harm to the societies. Wars, World Wars, colonial occupational wars, ethnic cleansing, dropping nuclear bombs and other genocidal crimes in the past are indeed the works of such secular university graduates. In fact, their knowledge, skills, and efforts get exhausted only to attain the worldly aims and nothing is left over to invest for the hereafter. Allah SWT labels these people as the ultimate loser and said, "Say (O Muhammad), "Shall we tell you who the greatest losers in respect of their deeds are? It is they whose labour has been wasted in this world's life, while they think that they are doing good works. These are the people who deny the signs of their Lord and deny the fact of meeting with Him in the hereafter. Vain will be their works. Nor shall We, on the day of judgment, raise any scale to weigh their deed."-(Sura Kahaf, verses 103-105). Because of secular education, the Muslim World is full of such failed people. And awfully, the ever-increasing number of these failed people are adding more failures to the Muslim Ummah.
Failure breeds more failures
Success starts with education. And its failure breeds more failures. Hence ensuring Islamic education for children is the most fundamental responsibility of the parents as well of the states. Education decides how children will grow up in the future. If such an Islamic obligation is ignored or delegated to a non-Muslim or a secularist enemy, it brings disaster -both here and in the hereafter. Since the Muslims' mission of survival is different from that of the non-Muslims, their educational objective and need are also altogether different. Service of a non-Muslim can be acceptable in the field of medicine, engineering, agriculture or other non-ideological arenas, but not in the field of education. It is the duty of the Muslims themselves. So, the Muslims living in non-Muslim or secular Muslim countries face a catastrophic problem. In such countries, the aim of becoming a doctor, accountant, engineer or scientist can be easily met, but growing up with Islamic education, vision and ideology remain in great danger. A Muslim can never deserve any Islamic education from a non-Muslim.
Education is also the most powerful tool of indoctrination. In the occupied Muslim lands, the Christian missionaries used it as a tool of subversion against Islamic faith for ages. They opened hundreds of missionary schools not as a part of charity rather as a ploy to increase the speed of cultural and ideological conversion. Failing to make any significant gain in religious conversion, the Christian colonialists found such ideological and cultural conversion as the most successful means to harm Islam and the Muslims. Because of such colonial strategy, all the Muslim countries are now under the occupation of these ideological and cultural converts aligned with the old masters. In fact, more damages are done and being done to Islam and the Muslims by these ideological and cultural products of the colonialists. Because of them, the unity of the Muslim countries, the practice of sharia, and reclaiming the lost glory stay almost impossible.
The children of Muslim immigrants in non-Muslim countries are the easy prey of the anti-Islamic ideological predators. Since the Muslims started to send their children to non-Muslim schools at home and abroad, their downfall as a civilizational power also took a start. The collapse of Osmania Khilafah is an example. The unifying force of the Osmania Khilafah was pan-Islamism. The Turks, the Arabs, the Kurds, the Albanians, the Kosovans, the Moors –all live in the same country for more than five hundred years. But the corrosive hatred against each other reached an explosive proportion while the Turks and the non-Turks were sent to European colleges for education. In those days, the West was the breeding ground of radical nationalism and secularism. They even fought a war of a hundred years to prove their tribal or national superiority. Therefore, while these Muslims returned back, they were already heavily infected with the toxic viruses of secularism and nationalism. As a result, they turned their faces against Islam. As two blades of the same scissors, nationalism, and secularism could cut the great Muslim empire into more than twenty-five pieces. The foreign military interventions during World War-I only expedited the process.
Another success story of the secular ideological converts in a Muslim land was the breakdown of Pakistan –the largest Muslim country in the contemporary world. This country was born out of India to meet the Muslims' ideological, educational, cultural and civilizational objectives – as was envisioned by the great philosopher like Allama Iqbal. The foundation was also based on pan-Islamism. But the country did not have enough intellectuals and political leaders to understand such a profound vision. Such a huge void was filled with people who have little understanding of Islam's civilizational need and goal. In the name of promoting education, the Bengali and non-Bengali academics and the army personnel were given scholarships to the western countries for education and training. The West got the golden opportunity to inculcate them with anti-Islamic venom. As a result, they returned back as the ideological and cultural converts. Their mind was so much embedded with the toxic virus of nationalism, secularism and western hedonism that they become highly incompatible among themselves. The army cantonments and the civil and military officers' club turned to be the protected islands of the western culture and ideologies. Drinking wine on taxpayers' money and womanizing become the pastime of many army and civil officers. Drinking wine in Pakistan Army's officers' mess was firstly stopped by Gen. Ziaul Haque in the late seventies. The ideological converts in the universities were not idle either. They turned the university campuses into fertile breeding grounds for the radical secularists and the nationalists. So, the pan-Islamic glue of unity was eroded quickly, and Pakistan become ripe for quick dismemberment from the inside. In 1971, the known enemy, like India only played a midwife's role.
The disease in the remaining Pakistan continues. The moral, political and economic crisis in Pakistan still owes to its educational failure. It has failed to mobilize people around Islam's core vision and values. Because of the eroded pan-Islamic glue, the fracture lines in Iraq, Syria, Sudan, and Turkey are also getting deeper on ethnic and linguistic fault lines. If the colleges and universities of the Muslim World continue to breed the enemies of Islam and the Muslims men and women fail to fulfil their Islamic obligation, many more failures are waiting in the line. Allah SWT never helps those who do not help themselves. How can the Muslims help themselves while they are not equipped with Islamic knowledge and not imbued with the Islamic vision and mission? The first thing like education must be done first. But awfully, such first thing has been neglected from the very beginning.
The writer works as a consultant physician, writes articles, newspaper columns & books on social, political, educational and human rights issues.
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