The veritable problems that we the Muslims are facing in
the current era are not obscure to the conscious minds. Much to our dismay, we
seem to have been defeated in the arena of religion not to talk about political
and socio-economic fronts. The alluring waves of materialism fueled by the fresh
supplies generously provided by capitalism tend to sweep away our final
stronghold – the safe haven descended from Heaven for us to resort to in order
to get genuine guidance.
The ailment of “religion-phobia” is on the rise with very
alarming prospects. Sometimes, it pops up in an open clear form and sometimes it
takes on the form of self-delusion. It is simply not the contravention of
religious directives that define the present age; it is actually the unfortunate
warfare that has been launched against religion as such. Of course, the scenario
is altogether changed, and requires a commensurate change in strategy be
determined, and implemented if we were to help religion as such to stand its
ground. In western countries, freedom has had its share also in prompting the
public demand for exotic religious practices with no scriptural support. When
freedom is in full swing, religion is nothing more than a yoga exercise which
one chooses of his own accord, and leaves it as they wish to. What about truth?
It is personal and relevant! What about accountability? God is merciful!
The stigma of slavery though apparently effaced in its
primitive form still defiles the beautiful face of the brotherhood of mankind.
Of all the morbid forms of slavery, it cannot be denied that colonialism is the
worst. It produces not one or two slaves – it is actually the industrialization
of the institution of slavery. Entire nations are transformed into something
which can be “possessed”, “used” and “recycled”. Men and metals are treated
alike - severed from their homeland and imported to build castles for the
“aliens” in their foreign lands. This was a privilege that a few nations
exercised, and thanks to its intoxicant effects on them, they still strive to
continue it in any form that the modern age would permit.
Bound in the shackles of economic dependence, the third
world countries can do nothing better than to surrender before the whims of
their supposedly benevolent “Big Brothers”. They have spread their tentacles in
each nook and corner of the world: from air bases to governmental policies of
the third world countries, everything is at their discretion. Unprecedented
accelerated arms race initiated by these “Big Brothers” on the one hand puts the
entire world at stake and on the other, places the third world countries in a
very sensitive position where they have to exchange food for weapons for their
self defense. Each penny that should go to poverty alleviation goes to cruise
missiles, and nuclear weapons. In the guise of a modern man, he undeniably has
turned out to be outrageously primitive.
Globalization has eroded beyond repair all aspirations to
live peacefully in one’s own culture and civilization. A people cannot simply
stay secluded, and turn a blind eye to the standard of life enjoyed by the
citizens of the developed countries. Each effort to block the import of foreign
ideals and lifestyle ends in a full blown fiasco. The illusive economic
prospects propel standardization of products and services to suit the taste of
the “Big Brothers” – the phenomenon that culminates again in the novel slavery
just pointed out. Five star hotels and night clubs begin to germinate where
“honorable” ladies and gentlemen in diaphanous garments are seen to roam about;
traditional festivals are replaced by the exotic events that best pamper the
base desires. At the end of the day, the conscious indigenous people are only
left to wonder about their true identity.
This is the state of the affairs that the world in general
and the Muslims in particular are facing. If we do not want – and surely we
don’t – that this state should persist, what is it that we have done to put a
check to this? The modern age has prompted many questions for us to address and
respond. Have we ever thought of these questions? Did we ever seek precision to
them? Despite our sincere efforts, why is it that we are still lagging behind in
every facet with no exception? There is a big question mark on this. And there
is no big calling on the intelligentsia of the ummah than to sit, ponder and
address the issues spurred by the so-called modern era.