Why all Muslims should know the Islamic worldview (II)

The issue of embracing and living the Islamic worldview that deifies Almighty Allah alone, and forsaking the faulty ones that deify either man, nature or science, should be promoted to the Muslims and facilitated from a young age. They should be taught that everything they do, experience and come into contact with is based on a worldview and philosophy of life. As Muslims, all their physical, moral, spiritual and intellectual activities and processes ought to be simultaneously consistent, interwoven and permeated with the soul of the Islamic monotheistic (tawhid or Allah’s Oneness) message and worldview. The external environments which man creates for himself are no more than reflections of his inner spiritual and intellectual states. As the saying goes: “As within, so without”.

This verity should meticulously translate itself into a number of aspects of the primary, secondary and university curricula. The subject matter should be dealt with either independently or together with other topics and themes in an integrated manner. It should also be done gradually, so as to continuously suit the capacities of the students and the levels of their readiness.

The objective of education in the Muslim world should not be about producing excellent professionals only, but also good, enlightened and responsible men and women. They are not to be one-dimensional, selfish and greedy specialists and experts, but visionary, holistic, rightly-guided and accountable servants of a higher spiritual and moral order, using their professional lives as a means for achieving such noble purpose.

Once the students are equipped with the Islamic worldview, it will be easy to talk to them and ask them to commit themselves to the Islamic causes and the causes of the Ummah (community), for they will recognise consistency and correlation between the two poles. They will also be on guard when dealing with the foreign traditions and civilisational outputs that contain incompatible-with-Islam substances. They will need no, or very little, persuasion that for the Muslim milieus, such traditions and outputs will need to be aptly purified and Islamised.

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Without the knowledge of the Islamic worldview, the Muslim individuals will still be Muslims and will certainly try to excel. However, little will they know that involuntarily and unconsciously, to varying degrees, they may work against the interests of Islam and Muslims. They can do so, for example, by engaging themselves in the fields of science, technology, art, epistemology, education, entertainment, etc., either as students, scholars, professionals, or ordinary citizens, and at the same time by encouraging and promoting the worldviews that inspire and shore up the mentioned fields, but which are partly or completely unacceptable to Islam.

Some of the problematic worldviews that the Muslims, due to their ignorance of the Islamic worldview, may unconsciously subscribe to and promote in a myriad of cultural and civilisational fields are: humanism (emphasising the value and agency of human beings, affirming that without religion people are capable of leading ethical lives of personal fulfillment, and preferring rationalism and empiricism over the revelation); naturalism (believing that only natural or physical, rather than spiritual or metaphysical, laws and forces operate in the world); rationalism (upholding that reason is the main source and test of all knowledge, not the revelation); secularism (believing that religion should be separated from the affairs of the state and public education); modernism (conflict with tradition and the traditional forms of art, architecture, literature, social organisation, daily life, and religious beliefs, values and practices); post-modernism (rejecting objective truths and moral standards, and believing that “reality” is ultimately a human social construction); pluralism (believing that the different world religions represent equally legitimate perspectives on the ultimate reality; they signify different, yet valid, paths to the same goal); materialism (advocating that everything in the universe is matter, without any true spiritual or intellectual existence, and that material success and progress are the highest values in life); liberalism (advocating within the framework of secularism the concepts of freedom – including freedom of, and from, religion – and equality).

Most of those worldviews evolved into intricate ideologies and systems of thought and life, often “upgrading” themselves and borrowing from each other in order to keep pace with the rapid progress and fluctuations of human societies. Modern civilization, which is dominated by Western ideologies and value systems, is firmly anchored in those worldviews. It derives its orientation and identity from some more than others.

There is certainly nothing wrong that the Muslims learn about other worldviews, especially for the sake of exposure, comparative studies, Islamisation, diagnosis of the Muslim woes and their potential fixing. That, too, should be integrated into the Muslim curricula. The weaknesses of those worldviews should be scientifically exposed and analysed, in which case the position of the Islamic worldview could inexorably be enhanced and rendered more appealing. Indeed, the truth is ever more perceptible and appreciated when juxtaposed with its antitheses.

 

The consequences of neglecting the Islamic worldview

Without the Islamic worldview in their hearts, minds and behavioural patterns, the Muslims are surely doomed. No Muslim can be adequately upright and good without it, and no institution, nor life system, in a Muslim micro or macro environment can prosper on Islamic terms without it. Every Muslim, and everything that is preceded by the adjective “Islamic”, ought to embody the worldview of the Islamic revealed message, and to translate it into the sphere of thought and practical life.

Having a bona fide Islamic thought and practice without the Islamic worldview is as unfeasible and anomalous as having the Islamic worldview without its ramifications extending to all aspects of everyday life. Undeniably, there is a causal relationship between the Islamic worldview and performance, the former being the cause and the latter the effect. There can be no separation of any kind and degree between the two orbs. Dissonant relationships are unacceptable either.

Resorting to any anomalous and uncharacteristic practices insofar as the relationship between the Islamic worldview and Islamic performance is concerned, inevitably leads to the creation of the proportionately anomalous and aberrant outcomes. Chief among them are intellectual as well as spiritual impairment, myopia and blindness. The absence of the Islamic worldview means de-spiritualization and alienation.

Only this can explain, for example, why numerous Muslims worship Almighty Allah in mosques, but idolise and exalt something else in the provinces of work, business, politics, art, architecture, education, entertainment and culture. It also explains why many Muslim children are taught about Islam in religious institutions, and perhaps at home, but are exposed and invited to something else totally opposite elsewhere.

As it explains why a great many Muslims build mosques, religious schools and other devout establishments, but at the same time build as many, if not more, “temples” of materialism, consumerism, secularism, modernism and post-modernism in the forms of commercial, entertainment, media, sports, political and cultural institutions and bodies.

It is apparent that for a long time, the Muslims are being fed with poorly explained and misunderstood religious rituals, services and ceremonies, religious literal symbolism and deadening formalism, while concurrently feasting on foreign philosophies and values.

The situation is so prevalent and dire that even the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah and their holy Mosques are not spared. On the contrary, in the name of progress and modernization, they seem to be affected most. Not many people realise, not least those in power, that the holy lands are increasingly being contaminated with impure ideas and values, and with the “temples” that typify and house them.

No wonder we managed to produce generations after generations of confused, disoriented, misguided, mediocre and lethargic Muslims. Just to be able to perform – mechanically though – the five fundamental acts or pillars of Islam, is perceived as a success. Anything else, such as regularly reading the Holy Qur’an – without really understanding and acting upon its content -, being appropriately dressed as prescribed by the Shari’ah, etc., is regarded as a great bonus.

Hence, a scholar inferred about a Muslim country that all of its citizens were Muslims on paper, but in reality, many of them were hard-core materialists.

The people are simply torn between conflicting ideological gravitational forces. This state of affairs may also explain why the cases of apostasy, especially the clandestine and intellectual types, are on the increase in the Muslim world. This kind of apostasy is more menacing  than openly declared apostasy, for the former works continuously on a wide scale, while at the same time, it cannot be easily resisted in the same manner as the latter, which always makes much fuss, attracts attention, and stirs up public opinion (Yusuf al-Qaradawi).

And we all wonder, in particular our governments and their responsible agencies, why especially our youth are confused, troubled and indifferent. It is like we do not know the causes which, in fact, lie open before us.

Without its inclusive worldview, Islam as a way of life appears as though one-dimensional, excessively ritualistic, formulaic, hollow and unappealing a proposition. As such, effectively promoting and teaching it both to the Muslims and non-Muslims prove such a daunting, often impossible and futile, task.

Source: IslamiCity—Spahic Omer 

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