Can Islam meet the needs of a modern complex world?

  • Should it be expected to ?

    Ideological Islam has lost it's force because of development of other ideas and philosophies.(Kasravi)

  • yes it can...actually it has been highly misunderstood as some backward religion which doesnt discuss the modern problems....if u care to look into the two sources you would find the solution of most of the problems here...issue is we dont like to seriously look into the sources for the answers,now the reasons could be whatever,and then we quickly jump to conclusions that its limited to a specific period nd time....

    other major reason is it has been portrayed in Media as some sort of Naodibbila Book of horrible stories and commands which if we read,would only terrify us!! as media has strongest of all influences these days on ppl,so it has helped alot in creating this terror in everyone's mind!

    another reason is some bad apples in religion have sketched it wrong and make ppl confuse about lotsa things but then such bad apples are in every religion and race so islam is no exception!!!

  • Islam is the only religion on the face of the Earth which has defined rules for updating the religion with the passage of time (اجماع).

  • Shimatoree

    I have my own understanding of religion (Islam).

    I believe that God created a human (Adam) and sent him to earth along with a manual. That manual aka religion was a code of conduct/etheics for that human being. We understand that it was hard for people in pre-historic time to get track of stuff so God had to send 1.24 million prophets with the updated manuals.

    When it comes to the time of Prophet Muhammad, human intellect level was sufficient enough to understand and follow a whole system so there comes Qur’an the final, updated version of all previous manuals. This book has the ability of re-adopting itself with new requirements of the time.

    Now this code of conducts/ethics works only if we apply it to ourselves. It fails when we force it on others. You see, it’s just a manual and my body and soul will work fine if I take care of me. I’m responsible for my good/bad doings not others.

    Isn’t interesting that the topic of Qura’n is ‘Insaan’!

  • another way of looking is to actually question the "complexity" and "modernity" theories because there is no such thing it is just same old human with same biological needs and instincts...

  • yes it can...actually it has been highly misunderstood as some backward religion which doesnt discuss the modern problems

    Let's see...

    a) Does the Islamic system treat all citizens as equal regardless of their race and religion as in developed world?

    b) Will it allow its citizens to change their religion as they please as is the case in developed countries?

  • yahya

    let's see...

    a) does any other system treat people as equal? plz site an example- they all got various definitions for humans living in their territory, like born citizen, naturalized citizen, permanent resident, etc and various different laws apply accordingly-

    b) does any other system allow it's people to become 'apostate' ?? again there can different definitions but end result is same...

    you don't have to drag your qadiyyani thingi here..

  • Modernity for all those who claim to be modern carries specific connotations of the Enlightenment mission, defined as emancipation from self-imposed infancy i.e. from religion. This mission resulted in the development of secularism and the banishing of the Church, its teachings and its dogma to the private sphere. The adoption of secularism then gave rise to new ideals for society, namely human rights, equality and freedom. Soon this historical process was termed ‘modernism’. For secularists, the adoption of secular liberal values is termed modern and anything not compatible with such values is backward and no different to the medieval Church.

    The crux of the argument then is on whether Islam is modern rather than if it concurs with ‘modernity’. For something to be modern it needs to be applicable for all times and places rather then just agree with secular liberal values. Essentially Islam is not part of ‘modernity’ in this sense as its own values; basis and viewpoint differ from the secular basis. The questions we need to ask is can Islam actually work in the modern age. This means is Islamic legislation (Shari’ah) suitable to solve the problems of every age and remain consistent with its own unique basis, without deviating from that basis. With this the validity of Islam as modern can be measured equitably.

    In summary, the issue which needs to be accepted is that the Islamic texts came to address men and women as human beings, not just as an individual living in the Arabian Desert in the seventh century. It neither addressed humanity with relation to a particular time nor place but rather it addressed humanity whether we were living a century ago, today, or in a 100 years time. The simple issue remains that a human living today is the same human who lived 1400 years ago and will continue to be the same human in another 1400 years time.

    And indeed when the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) said,

    “The son of Adam has no better right than that he would have a house wherein he may live and a piece of cloth whereby he may hide his nakedness and a piece of bread and some water” (Tirmidhi)

  • thanks revivalist, that is quite impressive sum-up!

  • Shimatoree, back in Siberia, are we? Hope this time it was out of free will, your own particular choice. We are glad to join you here.

    You've had some excellent responses to the topic of this thread already. However, Kasravi's sentence is not worth the paper it was written on.

    Let me give you Iqbal instead: "The ethical ideal of Islam is to disentangle man from fear, and thus give him a sense of his personality, to make him conscious of himself as a source of power. This idea of man as an individuality of infinite power determines, according to the teachings of Islma, the worth of all human action. That which intensifies the sense of individuality in man is good, that which enfeebles it is bad. Virtue is power, force, strength; evil is weakness. Give man a keen sense of respect for his own personality, let him move fearless and free in the immensity of God's earth, and he will respect the personalities of others and become perfectly virtuous."

    In other words, friends, become true Muslims, give up west worship, learn self-respect and definitely Islam will prove the only answer to the problems of the day.

  • @Salam: From your answers I get that you mean NO to the two questions. So my comment is that at this point western societies seem fairer and hence superior as people do tend to prefer fairer systems. This settles it once and for all that Islamists don’t have any sane system to offer.

    PS: I was expecting a convoluted answer like that although I was hoping against hope that something reasonable may come out.

    PPS: When in response to two simple questions that only require a short almost yes/no answer, an endless speech appears then the message is clear; 'no we don't have a viable system for modern times but we will continue to try to fool everyone that we do'.

    At least you can't blame Islamists for not trying.

  • I actually think Iqbal's statement as quoted by MG is pretty apt.

    there is one thing though. Even Iqbal speaks of the empowerment of the individual. This can only happen in an environment where theological thugs cannot rob the individual of their personal right to interpret and apply their faith.

    I consider Islam to be perfectly adaptable to the modern world. However our islamist fundos and mullah are NOT so adaptable... that is why most of their sermons revolve around a RETURN to the islam of yesteryear rather than progress into the Islam of today and tomorrow.

    I have no doubt that if it is left up to humanity to implement Islamic values without the coercion of a clerical class, Islam the faith will be the source of all solutions to our problems. If however mullah salvation peddlers keep trying to claim exclusive rights to interpretation and imposition, their "islam" will continue to function as the hurdle to peace and progress that it is now.

  • HKB, well put. Let us become true Muslims first, Muslims of the 21st century and then we'll see the wealth of Islam pour its gold over us and the rest of the world.

  • Assalam-o-Alaikum-Warahmat-ULLAH ALL,

    @shimatoree: Modern ? Complex ? How ?

    Yes, Islam can.

    Islam can meet 'any challenge', be it of this present era or of any era of the future.

    ALLAH ALMIGHTY sent Islam for ALL! time, be it past (starting from era of Muhammad (SAW), present or the future.

  • Depends on "which" Islam.

    1. Islam of Saudi/Maududi/Syed Qutb/Jamaat e Islami/Taliban -- NO

    2. Islam of Iqbal(philosophically)/Ghamadi(practically) etc. -- Can try

    3. Islam of Sufis -- Oh Yes.

    Problem with (1) is that this version of Islam was for the simple tribal life of 1400 years ago. It can work, if we rearrange our societies into simple tribes and start living like that.

    Problem with (2) is that it is somewhat apologetic of (1) when it comes to practice, although philosophically it sounds great.

    (3) cannot go wrong because it doesn't rely on "printed copies" of Quran. it cannot go wrong because there is no "right" way like the so many "right ways" found in "printed books".