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Islam and the Western Culture  

 

THE BEGINNING

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala designed and created this universe and all that is within, without any model. He also did not need any assistance in creating it. Among His creation is also Ashraful Makhluqat (the best of the creation), that is the human being. The first one to be created was Adam, followed by Hawa. He later had them brought to the earth and that heralded the advent of mankind on the earth. However, He did not leave human beings alone to wander like vagabonds, people having no purpose in life. He sent Prophets at different times and in different places to guide mankind on the right path, the path that would lead them to their salvation. Ultimately He sent the Khaataman Nabiyyeen (the Seal of the Prophets), Hazrat Mohammed Mustafa (Sallalahu ‘alaihe Wassalam) as a model for all mankind.  He made Islam a perfect way of life and then ordained that mankind must submit to Him in Islam, in accordance with the ways that were manifest in Prophet (Sallalahu alaihe wassalam)’s Mubarak Sunnah. Islam, in essence, is the same message and guidance which Allah revealed to all Prophets, from Adam to Issa (‘AlaihimusSalaam). But the message which was revealed to Nabi Muhammad (Sallalahu alaihe wassalam) is the Islam that is in its comprehensive, complete and final form. In the beginning Nabi Muhammad (Sallalahu ‘alaihe Wassalam) and a handful of Sahaba who had accepted Islam faced great difficulties in spreading Allah’s divinely sublime message. We find it really very difficult today to imagine, and much less to endure or even to attempt to endure, the hardships that were borne by Rasulullah (Sallalahu ‘alaihe Wassalam) and his illustrious companions in the path of Allah. The Golden History of Islam is full of stories of their sufferings.

ALLAH’S NUSRAT (DIVINE HELP)

Ultimately, after a prolonged period of sufferings and hardships, Allah opened up the ways for them. From the oasis cities of Makkah and Madinah in the Arabian desert, the message of Islam went forth with an electrifying speed. Within half a century of Nabi Muhammad (Salllallahu ‘alai Wasallam)’s passing away, Islam had spread to three continents.

Maulana Ehtesham-ul-Hassan Kandhalvi, in his book MUSLIM DEGENERATION AND ITS ONLY REMEDY says, “About fourteen centuries ago, when the world was sunk in the darkness of ignorance, sin and impiety, a light of true knowledge and guidance rose from the horizon of the rugged hills of Batha (the hills around Makkah). Its rays spread to the East, West, North and South; they reached every corner of the earth and within the short period of 23 years, the way was paved through that light for the mankind to move to such heights of glory as had never been attained before. By following the right path and the guidance emanating from that light, the Muslims moved from success to success and attained the highest pinnacle of glory in history. For centuries, they (Muslims) ruled on this earth with such grandeur and strength that no contemporary power had the courage to challenge them and, if someone dared to do so, he did that at the risk of being annihilated. This is the historical truth, which cannot be erased.”

Wherever Muslims went they brought with them the Islamic way of life. People were amazed to see their manners, their discipline, their tolerance and their way of conducting business that even without any formal Da’awah (propagation) vast number of Ghair-Muslims started coming into the folds of Islam.

What was the reason that people found Islam so attractive? The answer is simple. Islam is the code of conduct designed by Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala Himself. These codes were spelled out in the Qur’an, the Divine Book and personified by the greatest person that ever lived on this earth, the Prophet (Sallalahu alaihe Wassalam) himself.

When people in countries other than Arabia accepted Islam, in the beginning they practiced it mixing with their own customs and traditions. But soon the Qur’anic laws perfectly blended with the Sunnah of the Prophet (Sallalahu alaihe Wassalam) prevailed and most of the un-Islamic local rituals and practices became things of the past. Wherever Islam was practiced in its pristine form, Allah’s Nusrat (Divine Help) started descending in those lands.

ADVENT OF THE WESTERN CULTURE

Enter the Western way of life, and everything goes topsy-turvy. The glitz and the glamour that is the hallmark of this hollow culture took the world by storms. Soon the Muslims too, and especially the youth, were swept off their feet by it.

As time passed the Western influence began to penetrate more and more deeply into the fiber of Islamic society. Today we have firmly accepted the Western culture to dominate our lives. Rasulullah (Sallalahu alaihe Wassalam) never hated Kuffars but detested their ways. Today we hate Kuffars but are deeply in love their ways. We have let the West choose for us our lifestyle, the literature that we read, the way we dress-up, the canned food that we eat with all its haram ingredients, the way we perform our wedding ceremonies and the way we celebrate our kids’ and sometimes our own birthdays (the blowing out the candles that decorate the birthday cakes, playing of music, singing of the traditional birthday song) and so on and so forth.

One of the worst things that the Western Culture has ‘presented’ us is the constant urge to be entertained. As a result today we have become enslaved to the electronic media that thrives on entertainment. Watching TV, browsing the filth in the Internet (especially in the Youtube), socializing via Facebook and other social networks have become the accepted norms today.

This Western ways that we have unconsciously allowed to dominate and dictate our lifestyle has grossly affected our education system too. The secular education has taken up a large chunk of our children’s time, leaving minimal time for the religious instructions. And the amount of money that we spend in the form of tuition fees and other expenses for the secular education is colossal in comparison to the amount that we are ready to spend for the religious education. Not only that, we have we gladly embraced the infamous co-education system in our schools, where we voluntarily let male teachers teach a mixed class of adolescent boys and girls, material that at times not only has a certain degree of sexual explicitness,  but is against the Shariah.

If we may once again take the liberty of quoting Maulana Ehtesham-ul-Hassan Kandhalvi, he goes on to say in his book MUSLIM DEGENERATION AND ITS ONLY REMEDY, “The Muslim youth of the new generation, which has been affected and influenced by the so-called modern trends or the Western way of life, take pleasure in laughing at the very ideals of Islam and openly criticize the sacred code of “Shariat” as being out of date and impracticable. One wonders at such behaviour and finds that a people, who once gave strength, happiness, honour and peace to the entire mankind, have now become completely demoralized, apathetic, shallow and helpless. Those who had once taught the world the golden lessons of etiquette and culture are today found wanting in these very adornments.”

IMITATING A NATION

In a Hadith recorded by Imam Abu Dawud (Rahmatullahi ‘alaihi) and others, the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu ‘alaihe Wassalam) said: ‘Whoever imitates a nation is amongst them’. (Sunan Abu Dawud).

Today we have firmly entrenched ourselves in the Western ideologies. In fact, some of us actually take pride in following the Kuffar culture. How do we then expect Allah’s mercy to touch our lives?

We conclude with the prayer that May Allah Ta’ala save from His chastisement the Muslims who have become the perpetrator of the sin of imitating the West…ameen.

…and Allah knows the best.

By: M. B. Ahmed

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