Anda di halaman 1dari 105

l,rlE;i,-'frF.l!

I-r

27\J iulfl

l4---,+-
West
West
Yersus
Versus
Islam
Islam
~argaret~arcus
Margaret Marcus
(Maryam Jameelah)
(Maryam Jameelah)

FIRST EDITION
2000

PublishersInc.
Al-Attique Publishers
AI-Attique Inc.
65 Treverton
65 Dr.,Toronto,
TrevertonDr., Toronto,Ontario
OntarioM1K
MIK 3S5 Canada
3S5Canada
(416)615-1222
Tel.: (416)
Tel. 615-1222 Fax: (416)615-0375
Fax: (416) 615-0375
E-mail: quran@istar.ca-- Website:
E-mail : quran@istar.ca Website : www.al-attique.com
www.al-attique.com
E-mail;
E-mail : al-attique@al-attique.ca
al-attique@al-attique.ca
Copyright @
Copyright © 2000
2000 by
by Al
AI Attique Publishers Inc.
Attique Publishers Inc.

rights reserved.
All rightt
All No part of
reserved. No of this book
book
may be reproduced or in any form
or transmitted in or by any
fonn or
means without written penrrission
means without permission
from the Publisher.
from publisher.

Al
AI Arique Publishers Inc.
Attique Publishers Inc.
Treverton Dr.,
65 Treverton
65 Dr., Toronto, Ontario MIK
Toronto, Ontario 3S5 Canada
MIK 3S5 Canada
(416)615-1222
Tel: (416)
Tel: 615-1222Fax:Fax: (416) 615-0375
(416) 615-0375
E-mail:: quran@istar.ca
F-mail quran@istar.ca

l-894264.20-7
ISBN 1-894264-20-7
ISBN

Canada
Printedin Canada
Printed

Distributed
Distnbutedinin Saudi
SaudiArahia bY
Arabiaby
Dar
Dar AI-Hadyan Publishers
Al-HadyanPublishers Distributors
& Distributors
P.O.
P.O.Box 15031,
Box15031, Al-RiYadh
AI-Riyadh I1444
11444
Tel:96G1-463685
Tel: 966-1-463685

Distributed
Disributedinin USA bY
USAby
Islamic Education
IslamicEducation Media
& Media
&
730
730East
EastlOth
lOthStreet,
Street, C'F.,Brooklyn,NY
C.F.,Brooklyn, 11230
NIY11230
Tel: (718)421-5428
Tel:(718) 421-5428
Publisher'sNote
Publisher's Note
With
With the grace
grace ofof Allah
Allah Al Mighty,
Mighty, we are are able to
publish
publish the
the West versus
versus Islam, which
which discusses
discusses in depth
the incompatibility
incompatibility between Western civilization
civilization and
and
Islamic
Islamic Values.
We felt
We felt the
the need
needof publishingthis
of publishing work because
this work because of
of the
the fact
fact that
that
some Muglims brothers
some Muslims brothersandand sisters
sistersliving
living in
in Europe
Europe and and North
North
America think that
Americathink that Islam
Islam can
can be practicedeven
be practiced even after
after adopting
adoptingthethe
Westerncivilization.
Western civilization.It is
is aa big
big misconception
misconceptionas as both
both the
the Islamic
Islamic
tenetsand
tenets and Western
Westerncivilization
civilization view
view the
the life
life altogether
altogetherdifferently.
differently.
Sister Margaret Marcus
Sister Margaret (Maryam Jamila)
Marcus (Maryam Jamila) has
has very
very diligently
diligently
elaboratedthe
elaborated the differences
differencesin in these
thesecivilizations
civilizations in
in aa logical
losical and
and
way.
organizedway.
organized
Since she
Since she closely
closely observed
observed the pros and
the pros and cons
cons of Western
Western
civilizationas
civilization well as
as well asthe
the Islamic
Islamicvalues
valuesand
andteachings,
teachings,she
shecame
cameupup
with thought
with provokinganalyses.
thoughtprovoking analyses. Shehas
She hastaken
takenaa serious
seriousexception
exceptionof
the writingsof those
the writings thoseMuslim
Muslim scholars
scholarswho
who believed
believedthat
thatIslam
Islam would
would
lose its
lose its importance
importanceif were not
if it were not made
madecompatible
compatibletoto the
the twentieth
twentieth
centuryWestern
century Westerncivilization.
civilization.
The book
book deserves
deserves to be kept in all households of of
families living
Muslim families living in Europe and North America.
Europe and America.
Although, the
the West
West versus
versus Islam
Islam is recommended
recommended to thethe
readers
readers ofof all ages,
ages, teenagers
teenagers should be especially
should be especially
encouraged
encouraged to read
read it so
so that the young
that the young generation
generation should
should
know that
that why they
they should keep the
should keep the Islamic
Islamic culture
culture alive
in their homes
homes and
and families.
families.
May
May Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala accept
Allah Subhanahu accept our efforts and bestow
bestow His
mercy on all of
mercy of us.
us.
Mohammad R.
Mohammad R. Attique
Attique
The Publisher,
Publisher,
March 2000 A.D.
A.D.
Table of
Table of Contents
Contents
Interested in
Became Interested
How I Became 1I
Islam?
Islam?
Sourcesof Western
Philosophical Sources
Philosophical Western 7
Materialism
Materialism
A Critique
Critique of Islam
Islam in Modern
Modem 21
2l
History
The Enemy
Enemy From With
With In 26
26

Refutation
Refutationof the
the Philosophy
Philosophyof 33
3t
Ziya
Ziya Gokalp
Gokalp
Refutation
Refutationof the
the Philosophy
Philosophyof 42
42
Taha
Taha Hussein
Hussein
A Discussion
Discussion of From We
From Here We 53
5i
Start
^9tart
Western
Western Civilization v/s Islamic
Civilizationvis Islamic 59
59
Civilization
Civilization
Muhammad
MuhammadIqbal,
Iqbal,the
the Poet
Poetof 72
72
Islam
Islam
Islam
Islamand
andthe
the Modernists
Modernists 83
83

Can
CanIslam
Islambe
be Reconciled with the
Reconciledwith the 91
9l
Spirit
Spiritof the
the 20th
20thCentury?
CenturyP
Introduction
lntroduclion

How I became
How interested
becameinterested
Islam?
in Islam?
I trace
tracethethe beginning
beginningof my interest
interestin Islam when as
Islam when as
aa child of ten, while attending
ten, while attending aa reform Jewish
Jewish Sunday
Sunday
School I became
School fascinatedin the
became fascinated historica.lrelationship
the historical relationship
betweenthe
between theJews and Arabs.
Jews and Arabs. From my myJewish
Jewish textbooks,
textbooks,I
leamed that
learned that Abraham
Abraham was was the father of Arabs
the father Arabs as well as
as well as
Jews.
Jews.In these same books,
these same read how the
books, I read the centuries later
centurieslater
when in medieval
when medieval Europe,
Europe, Christian persecution made
Christian persecution made
their lives intolerable, the
lives intolerable, the Jews
Jews were
were welcomed
welcomed in Muslim
Spain,
Sparn,and
and that was this
that it was this same
sameArabic-Islamic
Arabic-Islamic civilization
civilization
which stimulated
which Hebrew culture
stimulatedHebrew to reach
culture to reach its
its highest peak
highestpeak
of achievement.
achievement.At that tiat time,
time, completely
completelyunaware
unawareof the the
tlue nature
true Zionism, I naIvely
nature of Zionism, narvelythought
thought that
that Jews were
Jews were
returning to
returning to Palestine
Pa.lestineto strengthen their
to strengthen their close
close ties
ties of
kinship in religion
kinship religion aIld
and culture with Semitic
culture with Semitic cousins.
couslns.
Together, I believed,
Together, believed, the
the Jews and the
Jews aIld the Arabs would co-
Arabs would co-
operate
operateandand achieve
achieveaIlother
another Golden
Golden Age Age of culture
culhrre in the
the
Middle East.
Middle East.

Despite my fascination
Despite lascina[ion with the the study
snrdy of Jewish
Jewish
history,I was
history, wasextremely
extremelyunhappy
unhappyat at the
the Sunday
SundaySchool.
School.At
t-his time,
tllis identified myself
time, I identified s[rongly with
rnysell' strongly wrth the
the Jewish
Jewish
people and
people their horrible
and their horrible faith
fa-rthunder
under the Nazis and
the Nazis was
and I was
shocked and
shocked parned tllat
and pained none of my fellow
that none fellow class mates
classmates
took their
took religon seriously.
their religion seriously.For instance,during
For instance, religious
during religious
services
servicesat at the
the synagogue,
syragogue,tlle
the children would read
children would read comic
comic
strips
strips hidden
hidden in their prayer books
their prayer and make
books and make funfun of the
the
rinrals.The children
rituals. childrenwere
were soso noisy and disorderly
noisyaIld that the
disorderlythat the
teachersfound
teachers fouud it almost
aimostimpossible
rmpossibleto to conduct
conductthe the classes.
classes.
Mealwhile, I delved
MeaIlwhile, delvedinto
into tlle
the stories
storiesof Jesus
Jesusin the New
the New
Teshment aIld
Testament was puzzled
and was puzzleriwhy
why so great aa prophet
so great prophet who
who

West Versus
West lslam
Versus Islam
led such
led beautiful and
such beautiful and noble
noble life had
had been rejected by his
been rejected his
own people.
own people. Perhaps
Perhaps my classmates'
classmates' complete
complete lack of
lack of
respect for their teachers
respect was justified.
teachers was justified. I found them
them
narrow-minded and
narrow-minded and bigot emphasizing
emphasizing their hatred
hatred and
and
fear Christians for more than
fear of Christrans than their love
love forJudaism.
for judaism.

At home
At home the
the atmosphere
atmosphere for religious
religious observance
observance
was scarcely
was congenial. On the
scarcelymore congenial. jewish High Holy
the Jewrsh Holy
Days instead
Days synagogue, I felt it
attending synagogue,
instead of attending
blasphemous
blasphemous that my sister sister and were taken
and I were taken out of
of
school
school to go
go out on.
on.picnics
picnics and parties.When I told my
and parties.
parents miserableI was
parentshow miserable wasatat the
the reform Jewish
jewish Sunday
Sunday
School, they joined an
School, they an agnostic
agnostichumanistic
humanistic organization
organization
known as
known asthe
the Ethical
Ethical Culture
Culture Movement.
Movement.

Felix
Felix Adler foundedfounded the Ethical Cultural
the Ethical Cultural
Movement
Movement in the the late
late 19th While studying
century. While
l9th century. str,rdyrngfor
the
the rabbinate,
rabbinate, Felix
Felix Adler becamebecame convinced that
convinced that
devotion
devotion to ethical values as
ethical values as relative
relative and man-made
and man-made
regarding
regarding any sup€rnaturalismor theology
any supernaturalism theology as irrelevant,
as irrelevant,
constituted
constihrtedthe
the only religion
religion fit for the
the modern world. I
modern world.
attended
attendedthe
the Ethical
Ethical Culture
Culhrre School
School for five years.Here I
five years.
grew
grew into complete
complete accord
accord with
with the ideas of the
the ideas the
movement
movement and and looked
looked upon
upon allall traditional
traditional organized
orsanized
religions
religionswith
with scorn.
scorn.

Through out my adolescence,


adolescence,I remainedremained under
under
the
the influence
influence of humanistic philosophy until after
humanistic philosophy aJter
graduation
graduationfrom secondary
secondaryschool,
school,when
when I chose shrdy
choseto study
at 'Iudaism Islam." My
at the
the university
universityaa course
course entitled
entitled 'Judaism in Islam."
professor
professor waswas aa Rabbi
Rabbi who who tried
tried to to convince
convince hishis
students - all
students Jews - that
all jews that Islam
Islam waswas derived
derived from
judaism.
Judaism.Our textbook
textbook took
took each
eachverse
versefrom the the Qur'an,
Qur'an,
painstakingly
painstakinglytracing to its
tracingit to its allegedly jewish sources.
allegedlyJewish His
sources.His
lectures
lech.rreswere
were liberally
iiberally illustrated
illustratedwith films and
with films and coloured
coloured
slides
slides in praise of Zionism
in praise Zionism and arrd tile
the State
State of
o1' Israel.
Israel.

2 West Versus
West lslam
Versus Islam
Although hishis real
real aim was to
aim was prove to
to prove to his
his students
students the
the
superiority of Judaism
superiority Judaism over
over Islam, he convinced
Islam, he convinced me of
just the
the opposite. plunged deeper
opposite. As I plunged deeper into thethe study
study of
the
the Old Testament
Testament and
and the
the Our'an,
Quian, the
the contrast
contrastbetween
between
the
the two
two scriptures
scriptures became
became increasingly evident. In aa
increasingly evident.
sense, the Old Testament
sense,the Testament could
could almost
almost be
be considered
consideredaa
history of the
history the Jewish
Jewish as
as God's
God's special
special chosen
chosen people.
people.
Although
Although the Qur'an was
the Our'an was revealed
revealed in Arabic to an an Arab
prophet, its
prophet, its message
messageisis aa universal
universal one
one directed
directed to the
the
entire human
entire human race.
race.

When professorexplained
When my professor explainedthat
that the
the divine
divine right
right
of the
the Jews
Jews to Palestine
Palestine has always
has alwaysbeen
been aa central
central theme
theme
of Judaism,
Judaism, I was was instantly
instantly repelled
repelled by suchsuch aa narrow-
narrow-
minded conception
conception of God. God. Does
Does not the the Our'an
Qur'an says
says
that "to
that to God
C'od belongs
belongsthethe East
East and
and West;
West; where
where ever
ever Ye
tum
turn there
there is
is His face?"
face?"Did not the the Prophet
Prophet Muhammad
say
say that
that the
the whole
whole earth
earth is
is aa mosque?
mosquePZionism preaches preaches
that Palestine, the
that only in Palestine, the Jews
Jews feel
feel at
at home
home and
and
elsewhere
elsewherehe he is
is living
living in exile.
exile. The claim
claim of my professor
professor
that Palestine could
that only in Palestine could the
the Jews
Jews make
make their
contribution
contribution to to human
human civilization
civilizationseemed
seemedbaseless
baselesswhen
when
pondered over
I pondered over the
the fact
fact tllat
that Moses
Moses received
receivedrevelation
revelation
in Egypt,
Eg1pt, the
the most
nrost important parts the Talmud
parts of the Talnud were
were
written what is
written in what is now Iraq,
Iraq, and
and some
some of the the most
most
beautiful
beautiful Hebrew
Hebrew poetrypoery was was composed
composed in Muslim
Spain.
Spain.

rigrd exclusiveness
The rigid exclusivenessof Judaism
Judaism I felt
felt had
had aa
great deal
great deal of connection
corurectionwith
with the persecutionsthe
the persecutions the Jews
Jews
have
have suffered
suflered through
through out their history.
history. Perhaps,
Perhaps, this
this
would never
would never have
have happened
happened if thethe Jews
Jews had
had competed
competed
vigorously
vigorouslywith thethe other
other faiths converts.Zionism is
faiths for converts. is aa
combination of the
combination the racist
racist tribalistic
tribalistic aspects
aspectsof Judaism
Judaism
with modem secular
secular nationalism.
nationalism. Zionism was was further
further
discredited
discreditedin my my eyes when I discovered
eyes when discoveredthat
that Israeli
Israeli

West Versus
Versus Islam
lslam 3
leaders
leaders such asas David
David Ben-Gurion
Ben-Gurion are not not observantJews
and that perhaps nowhere
nowhere in the world world is orthodox
orthodox
Judaism
Judaism regarded with with such contempt
contempt as as in Israel! The
The
Zionists have
have made dle the worst aspects
aspects of
of Western
Western
materialistic
materialistic philosophy
philosophy their
their very own. Only
Only a complete
complete
rejection
rejection of
of all moral
moral and spiritual
spiritual values
values could
could account
account
for
for such a systematic uprooting of
systematic uprooting of an entire people
people from
from
their homeland
their homeland and utter disregard of of any sense
sense of
of
justice. When
When I found
found that nearly all important
important Jewish
Ieaders supported
leaders supported Zionism
Zionism and felt not not the slightest
twinge ofof conscience forfor the terrible
terrible wrong
wrong inflicted
inflicted on
the Arabs, I could
could no longer consider
consider myself
myself a Jew at
heart.

At
At the same
same time, my professor
professor convinced
convinced me that
values had a divine
ethical values divine origin
origin and were at the absolute
eternal truth. could not
futh. I could not understand
understand how how people
people like my
parents could
could cherish moral
moral and spiritual
spiritual values
values and then
consider dleir
dreir theological irrelevant. If
theological foundations irrelevant. If
morals
mora.ls were purely
purely man-made,
man-made, theydrey could
could be changed at
will according
accordirrg to whim, convenience
convenience or circumstances.
circumstances.
Belief
Belief in the hereafter I came to feel l'eel as
as essential
essential not
merely, because
because it was comlortrng. If
was comforting. If edlical
ethical and spiritual
spiritual
values
values are ofof divine origin,
origin, we are directly
directJy responsible to
God for developing
developing our highest
highest potentialities.
poterrtialities. Each one
of
of us
us will be called
called upon
upon to render an an account of our life
ol'our lif'e
on earth and be rewarded or punished punished accordingly.
Therefore,
Therefore, one who has has a firm
firm faidl
faidr in the hereafter is is
willing
wrlling to sacrifice transitory
transitory pleasures
pleasures and endure
hardships to attain lasting good.

As I studied
studied the beliefs
belieli ofof all the major
maior faitlls,
lait.hs, I
came
cam€ to the conclusion
conclusion that
tlrat origllIaily
origrrrally all the
tltc great
grcat
religions were one, but as
religions were as time
tirne passed
passed they
tJtey became
be<'arnc
corrupted. Idol
Idol worship, the
the idea of reincarnation, and
o1'reittcartratiotr, an<l
caste
caste system
system began
begar to permeate
penneate Hinduism,
Hintluisrn, passivity
passivity

4 West Versus
West Versus Islam
lslam
became characteristic
became characteristic of of Buddhism, ancestor worship
Buddhism, arcestor worship of of
Confucianism, the
Confucianism, the doctrine
doctrine of of original
original sin, the Trinity'
sin, the Trinity,
the divinity
the divinity ofof Jesus
Jesus resulting
resulting in in anthropomorphic
anthropomorphic
conceptions of God
conceptions of God and theand the atonement
atonement by the death
by the death onon
the cross,
the cross, ofof Christianity
Christianity and
and the
the exclusive
exclusive chosen
chosen people
people
idea of Judaism.
idea of Judaism. All All these
these ideas,
ideas, which
which so repelled me
so repelled me
were not
were not to
to be
be found
found in in Islam.
Islam. Increasingly, began to
Increasingly, II began to
feel that
feel that Islam
Islam waswas the
the orrginal
original religron
religion that alone had
that alone had
retained is
retained its purity. Other religtons
purity. Other religions were
were onlyonly partially
partially
true. Only Islam
true. Only Islam contained
contained the the whole
whole truth. Above
truth. Above all,
Islam provided
Islam provided is its adherence
adherence with with the complete and
the complete and
comprehensive
comprehensive way of
of life
life in
in which
which the relation
relaiion of
of the
individual to
individual to society and the material
material to spiritual were
to the spiritual were
balanced into
balanced into a perfect
perfect harmonY.
harmony.

Although I wanted
Although wanted to become become a Muslim, Muslim, my my
family
family managed to argue me out
out of
of it. I
I was
was warned
warned that
Islam would
Islarn would complicate
complicate rny my life since t-he the laith not part
faith is not part
of
of the American
Americau scene.
sceue. I was was told
told that Islam would
Islam would
alienate me
alienate rne from
f-rorn my
rny family
larnily and isolate me liom tJle
rne from tlre
community.
community. At At that
tlat time,
titne, my trty faitJl was not sufliciently
tait-h was sufficient-ly
strong
strong to witJlstand
withs|and tJlese
tJresepressures.
pressures.I becamebecame so that I
so ill tJlat
had
had to discontinue
discorrtinuc college.
collegc. For
lbr a
a long time,
tirne' I remained
rernained at
at
home
home under
under private medical
rnedical care,care, steadily growing worst.
In
Lr desperation,
desperation, my parents
paretrts hadhad me confined
confitred to aa hospital
where I stayed
stay'ed for
for more
rlorc tJJaJl
tltal twonryo years.
years. While
While in in tile
dre
hospital, II vowed
hospital, vowed that
that ifif'II recovered,
recovered, II would become aa
would become
Muslim.
Muslim.

After
After II was was finally
linally allowed
allowed to to go go home and
horne aJld
discharged
discharged fromfiom tJle
tire hospital,
hospital, II investigated
inveshgated all tJre
all the
opportunities
opportunit.iesforfor meeting
meeilng Muslims
Muslims in in tile
the New York City
New York Ciry
aJld
zurd make fiienriships. ItIt was
rnake friendships. was my Iny pleasure
pleasurc to to make the
trtake tJle
acquaintaJlCe of somc
acquaintalce ol'sotnc o[ theof tJle linest pcople
people
l-rrrest that
dtat ;uty
;my ottc
one
could
t'oulciever
ever hope
hol>eto to meet.
tneet. II also
alsobegan
bcgattto to write lbr
articlcsfor
writc articles
Muslim
Muslirn mag-azines
trlag:rzittesand antl to ('arry on
t() carry oli an c\tcllsivc
all extensive

West
West Versus
Versus Islam
lslam 5
correspondence with
correspondence with Muslim
Muslirn leaders
leaders allover
all over the
the world.
world.

As Ramadan
As Ramadan approached,
approached, my my desire
desire to to embrace
embrace
Islam grew
Islam grew so
so strong
strong that
that II began
began toto practice the five
practice the five daily
daily
prayers, and
prayers, and amam now
now undertaking
undertaking the the fast
fast for
for the
the first
first
time. II am
time. am doing
doing this
this with
with aa firm
firm belief
belief that
thar nothing
nothing but
but
good can
good can result
result inin living
living according
according to to my
my deepest
deepest
convictions.
convictions.

6 West Versus
West Versus lslam
Islam
Chapter I1
Chopler

The Philosophical Sources of


Philosophical Sources of
Western Materialism
Western Materialism

Despite the obvious


Despite obvious divergences details of
divergences in details of
doctrine and political rivalry,
religious doctrine
religious rivalry, medieval,
medieval,
Europe and the Muslim World
Christian Europe
Christian shared a basic
World shared basic
heritage
heritage in common.
colrunon. The dominant concern of
concern of
Christians
Chnstians and
and Muslims alike
alike was
was their salvation
salvation in the
beyond the
life beyond grave penod.
the grave Christians and
period. Both Christians and
Muslims were
Muslims were convinced
convinced that values God had
ethical values
that the ethical had
revealed in the
revealed scriptures through the prophets
the scriptures prophets werewere
absolute and
absolute and eternal.
eternal. Few
Few doubted
doubted that rebellion against
that rebellion against
God's commands
God's commands would result consequences terrible
result in consequences terrible
beyond description.
beyond description. Submissions
Submissions to the
the will of
of God with
love and joy during
love and during this
this earthly
earthly life were universally
life were universally
believed
believedto assure
assurethe
the individual
individual eternal
etemal bliss the world
bliss in the
to
to come.
come.

The common religiousreligious values,


values, which medieval
which medieval
Christian
Christian Europe
Europe shared with the
shared with the Muslim world, were
world, were
reinforced
reinforced by free
free cultural
cultural exchange, which transcended
exchange,which transcended
all
all doctrinal
doctrinal controversies.
controversies.Bitter warfareover
Bitter warfare Spain did
over Spain
not prevent
prevent thousands
thousands of of Christian
Christian scholars from
scholars from
attending
attending thethe great
great Muslim universities of
Muslim universities of Cordoba
Cordoba
Seville,
Seville, Grenada
Grenada and and North Africa. Pope
North Africa. Pope Sylvester
SylvesterIIII
(930-1003)who
(930-1003) who was
was responsible
responsiblefor the introduction
for the introduction of of
Arabic
Arabic numerals,
numerals,the the use
use of
of zero
zero as well as
aswell as the decimal
the decimal
system
systeminto
into Europe,
Europe,received
receivedhishis education
educationat at Qarawiyin.
Qarawiyin.
Both
Both Muslims
Muslims andand Christian philosophers strived
Chnstian philosophers to
strived to
strengthen
strengthenthe doctrineof
thedoctrine of their
their respective
respectivecreeds with the
creedswith the
logrc of
logic of Aristotle.
Aristotle. ItIt isis no coincidence that
no coincidence that the
the
vehemence
vehemence with
with which
which Saint
Saint Thomas
Thomas Acquinas
Acquinas

West
West Versus
VersusIslam
lslam 7
denouncedIslam
denounced Islam in
in his
his writings
rwitingsmade
made him
him no
no less
lessan
an
avid average
avid averagestudent
shrdentofof Ibn
Ibn Sina,
Sina, AI
Al Ghazali
Ghazali and
and Ibn
Ibn
Rushd.
Rushd.

From the
From the inception
inception ofof the
the Renaissance
Renaissanceonwards,
onwards.
the intellectual
the intellechralatmosphere
atmosphereof of Europe
Europe andand the
the Muslim
Muslim
world drifted
world drifted further
further apart.
apart. With
With the
the growth
growth of
of cities
cities and
and
an ever-expanding
an ever€xpiulding commerce,
commerce,aa growing
growingmiddle classas
middle class as
the dominant
the dominant force
force inin urban
urban society
society superseded
supersededthe the
Church. With
Church. With the the support
support ofof strong
strong centralized
centralized
monarchies, armies
monarchies, were raised
armies were raised which
which rebelled
rebelled against
against
the feudal
the feudal nobility
nobility and
and ceased
ceased their
their property.
property. Kings,
Kings,
bankers and
bankers and merchants
merchants replaced
replaced thethe church
church as as the
the
patrons of
patrons of arts
arS and
and leaming.
learning.When the the entire
entire emphasis
emphasis
had shifted
had shifted to
to developing
developing the potentialitres of
the potentialities of each
each
individual here
individual here on earth
earth to
to the
the fullest possible extent
fullest possible extent
without reference
without reference to the the hereafter,
hereafter, modern
modern Western
Westem
civilizationas
civilization we know
aswe know it today wasborn.
todaywas born.

With aa passionate
With passionate zeal,
zea.l, the
the scholars
scholars of the the
Renaissanceturned
Renaissance lbr inspiration
hrrned for inspiration to the classics of
the classics
ancient Greece
ancient Greeceand Rome. As faith
and Rome. taith in the
the freedom
freedom of the the
unaided human
unaided human intellect
intellect replaced
replaced faith
taith in God, the the
scholars of the
scholars Renaissance found their justification
the Renaissance justification in
servingtheir spiritual
serving spiritual ties
ties with the
the church
church in these
these pagan
pagan
philosophies, which glorified
philosophies, which the joys of
glorified the of this
this world. The
medieval
medieval ideal
ideal of
of the
the monasticism
monasticism was was scomed
scorned andand
ridiculed.
ridiculed. Worldliness and and wealth
wealth increasingly
increasingly corrupted
corrupted
the
the church itself untrl
until the h,rxurious
luxurious surroundings
surroundings of of some
some
of
of the Popes,
Popes, Bishops
Bishops and Monks were were scarcely
scarcely
distinguishable
distinguishable from the courts of the secular
courts of secular monarchs.
monarchs.

The
The Protestant
Protestant Reformation
Reformation dealt the church suchsuch
a crippling blow that Christianity
Christianity has
has never
never recovered
recovered
lrom
from itit to
to this
this day.
day. Not
Not content
content toto rectify
rectify the
the abuses
abuses of
of
the church power,
the church power, Martin
Martin Luther
Luther broke
broke with
with itit

8 West Versus
West Versus lslam
Islam
completely and
completely and decided
decided to to create religion of
create aa religion of his
his own'
own.
This break
This break with
with the Roman church
the Roman church was not so much
was not so much
caused by
caused by is its abuses
abuses or corruption as
or corruption as is is popularly
popularly
believed. As economic
believed. As economic life
life increased
increased in
in complexity
complexity and
and
wealth, the
wealth. the business
business classclass of of Germans
Germans Srew grew more more and and
more hostile
more hostile to to the
the saintly monastic ideal
saintly monastic ideal and and the the
spiritual domination
spiriual domination by by Rome. Instead they
Rome. Instead they glonfied
glorified
prosperity and
prosperity and success
success as as tangible signs of
tangible signs God's favour,
of God's favour,
condemning poverty
.orrJ.-ttittg poverty as as punishment, solitude as
punishment, solihrde as selfish
selfish
and contemplation
and contemplation as idleness. The
as idleness. The rebellion against the
rebellion against the
authority of
authority of the the Pope,
Pope, the
the elimination
elimination of
of priesthood,
priesthood,
saint worship and monasticism
sacraments, saint
sacrarnents, monasticism by Martrn Martin
Luther have
Luther tempted many Muslim
have tempted thinkers to regard
Muslim thinkers regard
Protestantism as
Protestantism as proof
proof that Christianity evolving ever
Christianity is evolving ever
closer to Islam.
closer Islam. A A more careful examination, however,
careful examination, however,
will show
show how unjustified
unjustified such such optimism is' is. The
substitution
substinrtion of
of the
the authority
authority of
of the
the church for thethe
authority of
authority of the scriptures gave
the scriptures gave every individual the
every individual
licence
licerrce to interpret
interpret tlle the Bible exactly as
Bible exactly as he wished,
he wished,
choosing
choosing andand discarding
discarding what what he according to
he liked according
whim,
whim, convenience
convenienceand and circumstances. RejectingLatin
circumstances.Rejecting Latin asas
the universal language,
the universal langr-rage, Protestant
Protestant leaders
leaders translated
translated the
the
Bible
Bible into thethe local
local vernaculars,
vernaculars,thus subjecting it to
thus subjecting to
further corruption. The rejection
further corruption. rejection of the authority of the
the authority the
Pope
Pope andand the
*re Latin
Latin language gready strengthened
languagegreatly strengthenedthe the
causeof
cause of secular
secularnationalism.
nationalism.In L-rall
all Protestant countnes,aa
Protestantcountries,
separate
separate national
national churchchurch was was organized
organized under under the the
complete
complete control
control of
of government
government until
until everywhere
everywhere in
in
Europe
Europe the
the spiritual power of
spirinralpower the religion
of the religion was forced to
wasforced to
promote
promotethe interestof
theinterest of secular politrcs.
secularpolitics.

In
In place
placeof
of aastrong
strongunited
unitedChristendom
Christendomwere now
werenow
multrplicity of
aa multiplicity of small
sma.llweak.
weak sects,
sects,each with is
each with its own own
narrow parochial outlook.
narrow parochial outlook. Protestant
Protestant theology
tlleology regarded
regarded
salvationas
salvation asaapure
pureact
actof
of faitll
lait.hbestowed
bestowedon theindividual
or.rthe individual
by
byGod,
God,having
havingno
no connection
conlrectrotr whatsoever
whatsoever wrtheither
with lls
eitherhis

West
WestVersus
VersusIslam
lslam 9
moral standards
moral standardsor his good
or his good works.
works. Now
Now that
that ethical
ethical
values were
values were no no longer
longer dependant
dependant uponupon supernatural
supernahrral
sanction,Martin
sanction, Martin Luther's
Luther'sfollowers
followerswere
werenow
now free
freeto
to live
live
as they
as they saw
sawfitfit without
without reference
referenceto to either God or
either God or the
the
hereafter.Protestant
hereafter. Protestanttheology,
theology,which
which regarded
regardedreligious
religious
faith as
faith purely private
asaa purely private personal
personalmatter,
matter,resulted
resultedin in its
its
becomingaaspecial
becoming specialthing
thingapart
apartfrom
from everyday
everydaycommunity
community
Iife. Consequently
life. Consequentlyitit was wasnotnot long
long before
before Protestantism
Protestantrsm
became for
became for many
many what today -- for
what itit isis today for Sunday
Sunday
observanceonly,
observance only, while
while the
the remainder
remainder of of the
the week
week ISis
devotedto
devoted to seeking
seekingmaterial
materialsuccess
successandandprosperity.
prospenry.

With the
With the rebirth
rebirth ofof European
European culture,
culture, medieval
medieval
scholarseagerly
scholars eagerlyinvestigated
investigatedthethe scientific
scientificknowledge
knowledge in
the libraries
the libraries and
and the
the universities
universitiesof of Muslim Spain.
Spain. Not
only had the
only had the Muslims preservedthe
Muslims preserved the writings
writingsof of the plato
the Plato
and Aristotle
and Aristotle and
and salvaged
salvagedthethe mathematical
mathematicaland medical
and medical
knowledgeof the
knowledge the Hellenistic
Hellenistic world,
world, but they
they built upon it
means of experimental
by means experimental research
research in thethe laboratory.
laboratory.
Gerard of Ceremona
Gerard (lll4-1187) devoted
Ceremona0114-1187) devotedhis his entire
entire life
life
translating 92
translating 92 complete
complete scientific
scientific works
works from Arabic
including Ibn Sina's
including Sina's vast
vast Canon
Canon which
which for centuries
cenrunes
remained
remained the supreme authority
the supreme authority of is
its field
field in all
all the
the
medical schoolsof Europe.
medical schools Europe.

Francis
Francis Bacon
Bacon epitomized
epitomized thethe scientific of
scientific spirit of
the
the modern ageage in the New Atlantic. An English
Atlantic. An English ship
lands
lands upon a utopian island
island in the remote
remote Pacific
Pacific whose
whose
chief pride is a great
great institution
institution devoted
devoted to scientific
scientific
research.
research. The
The ruler conducts
conducts the travellers
travellers to this place
place
saying,
saying, "The end of our foundation is the knowledge
of our knowledge of of
causes
causes and
and the
the secret
secret motions
motions ofof things
things and
and the
the enlarging
enlarging
of
of the
the bounce
bounce ofof the
the human
human empire
empire toto the
tlle affecfing
affecting of
of all
all
tllings possible."
things possible."

Descartes
Descartes carried on the
carried on the development
development of
of the
the

10 West Voisus
West Versus lslam
Islam
experimental method
experimental method where
where Francis Bacon had
Francis Bacon had begun,
begun,
completely overthrowing the authority
completely overthrowing the authority of
of Aristotle
Aristotle and
and
the medieval scholastic
the medieval scholastic philosophy'
philosophy. What
What they
they craved
craved
was aa method
was method for
for discovering
discovering new truth instead
new truth ofmerely
instead of merely
proving what
proving was alreadY
what was already known.
known.

There is
There is no
no inherent incompatibility between
inherent ncompatibility between
scientific research
scientific research andand religion. Does not
religion. Does not both the Bible
both the Bible
and the
and the Qur'an
Qur'an regard
regard manman as the noblest
as the creature of
noblest creature of
God subjecting
subjecting all other creahlres elements of
creatures and elements of nature
nature
for his benefit?
for The discovery
benefit? The discovery of Muslim geographers
of Muslim geographers
that the earth
that was round instead
earth was instead of centuries before
of flat cennrries before
Columbus and the suspicions
Columbus suspicions of of many Muslim
astronomers hundreds
astronomers hundreds of of years
years before Copernicus that
before Copernicus that
the earth revolved around
the earth revolved a-round the
the sun,
sun, never
never constitute the
constitute the
slightest threat
slightest threat to the
the survival
survival of
of Islamic
Islamic way
way of
of life'
life.
Because the
Because the Qur'an
Qur'an teaches
teaches that the nature
that the is a triend
nature is friend ofof
man, Muslim scientists
man, scientistssought
sought to live harmony with it
live in harmony
and
and thus
thus felt
felt completely
completelyat at home
home in the universe.
the universe.

The tragedy
tragedy of Western
Western sciencescience lay lay not in its is
specific
specific discoveries,
discoveries, which
which were
were of such
such tremendous
tremendous
benefit
beneht to the human
to the human race,race, but ratherrather the dogmatic,
the dogmatic,
narrow materialisticoutlook of the
narrow materialistic the scientists themselves.
scientiststhemselves.
After Copernicus,
Copernicus,the the Western
Western astronomers
astronomerssaw man as
sawman as
only a puny speck on
only a puny speck on a tiny a tiny planet
planet revolving
revolving around
around aa
tenth rate star, drifting
tenth rate star, drifting aimlessly
aimlessly in
in an
an endless
endless cosmic
cosmic
ocean.
ocean.Since
Since God,
God, the
the angles
anglesand and devils not to
were not
devilswere to be
be
seen
seenthrough
through theirtheir telescopes,
telescopes,they they concluded
concluded that man
that man
was
wasabsolutely
absolutelyalone aloneinin aa cold,
cold,complex
complex cosmic machine,
cosmicmachine,
his
his creation
creation perhaps
perhaps onlyonly an accident or
an accident mistake'
or aa mistake.
Feeling like a stranger in the
Feeling like a stranger in the universe universe without
without tanglble
tangible
proof of any
proof of any God God who
who cherished
cherished his
his welfare,
welfare, Westem
Western
man
man thus
thusabandoned
abandonedas asfutile
futile the
thesearch
searchfor for the ultimate
the ultimate
meaning
meaningand purposeof
and purpose of life
life and
andbegan
beganto to regard nature
regardnature
as
as he
he does today -- as
does today as an an enemy
enemy to to bebe conquered,
conquered,

West
WestVersus
VersusIslam
lslam 11
11
possessedand
possessed and then
then manipulated
manipulated by
by mechanical
mecha:rical means
means to
to
advance his
advance his material
material well
well being.
being.

To Western
To Western scientists
scientists like
like Descartes
Descartes nature
nature was
was
nothing more
nothing more than
than aa machine,
machine, whichwhich had
had nono spiritual
spirirual
significance. All
significance. AJI living
living beings, including man,
beings, including man, were
were aa
mere matter
mere matter of
of atomic
atomic chemical
chemical reactions.
react.ions."Give
"Give me
me the
the
elements," boasted 'and
elements," Descartes, "and II will
boasted Descartes, will construct
construct the
the
universe!"
universe!"

Intoxicated by
Intoxicated by the
the theory
theory advanced
advanced by by Newton
Newton
that the
that the entire universe was
entire universe was regulated
regulated by by immutable
immutable
mathematical laws,
mathematical the protagonists of
laws, the of the
tlre so-called
so-called age
age
of enlightenment
of enlightenment taught taught that all
all beliefs contrary
contrary to human
experience and observation must be discarded. discarded. Miracles,
Miracles.
prophecy, revelation as
prophecy, as well as as religious rites and
ceremonies were
ceremonies were ridiculed as as superstition.
superstition. Voltaire's
Voltaire's
conception of of God was was neither
neidrer that of the Bible nor the
of'the the
Qur'an.
Qur'al. He He taught that God created the universe urriverse exactly
as a watchmaker
as watchrnaker assembles
assemb.lesa watch, afterwards having havrng no
further concern witll widr it.
it. Hume
Hume rejected
rejected all religious
religious
beliefs on tile
beliefs dre ground tllat that tlley
drey could not be proved
scientiflc experiments or human
either by scientific ltumarl reasons.
reasons. He He
attacked even the l)eist Deist God
God of'Voltaire
of Voltaire declaring
declaring that we
have seen watches
have seen watches made but not worlds. If If the ulrrverse
universe
did
did have an author,
autllor, he may have been an incomperent incompetent
workman
workman or or he may may have long long since died died after
completing
completing his work, work, oror he maymay have been a male male oror
female
female godgod or or a great number
number of of gods. He He maymay have
been entirely good or or entire evil or or both
both or neither --
or neither
probably
probably thetile last.
last. Hume's
Hume's argLlment
argument against
against the existence
existence
of the hereafter
of the hereafter rall ran as follow: "We
as fbllow: 'We have
have rrono reason
reason for
for
concluding frorn
concluding from a lile life where
where rewards
rewards and punishrnents
punishments
do
do not coincide with
not coincide witll humarr
human cleserls
deserts that
that there
tlJere will
will be
be any
any
other in
other in which
which theytlley do."
do."

12 West Versus
West Versus lslam
Islam
Morality was regarded
Morality regarded as as a science iike iike
mathematics just
mathematics as independent
just as independent from from theology
theology as as any
other branch
other branch ofof human
human knowledge.
knowledge. Philosophers
Philosophers such as as
Dideroit and Rousseau all agreed that
Dideroit that utility
utility and
and
criteria for
happiness were the sole criteria for morality.
morality. They
They waged
determined fight
a determined ethical ideals, which
fight against all those ethical which
have nono immediate
immediate social values. Man Man should
should instead see see
as much
as much pleasure and happiness as as he can in in this life
life
without depriving
without depriving his fellows of of their
their righdul
rightful share.
Whatever relations gave
Whatever gave pleasure to all concern concern could
could
not
not but
but be beneficial.
beneficial. Therefore,
Therefore, they saw no good
good in the
traditional demands
traditional demands for for chastity between the sexes. Only
sexes. Only
those pleasures, whichwhich inflicted
inflicted direct
direct and immediate
immediate
harm upor.r
harm upon society, could
could be rejected. The The philosophers
philosophers
of
of the so-called age age of of enlightenment
enlightenment were the
protagonists of of religious liberty
liberty much
rnuch more
more because
because of of
their
their indifference
indifference to religion
religion than their
their faith in principle
principle
of
of toleration
tolerat.ion itself.
itsell.

Having destroyed
(lest-royedwhat they tJreyconsidered
consrdered the foolish
errors of ol' the
thc past,
past, the apostles
apostles of of the "enlightenment"
"erilightenmeut'
believed tilat reason
believed t}at reason zurd and science
science spread
spread by universal
universal
mass
rnass education
educat-ion would
would usher in the virtual heaven heavetr onott
earth.
eardr. Now
Now thatthat man possessed
possessedthe magic magic key of of science,
science,
it was
was witll
wit-h in his
his power
power to shape
shape his own destiny. Liberty,
Liberg,
social
social and
a:rd economic
econornic equality
equality and universal
universal peace
peace would
reign
reign over the the entire
entire world. They were were confident
conlident tllat
that
ever increasing SCientific
scientific knowledge wouldwould forever
lbrever banish
all disease
disease and ar.rd suffering leading to an arl indefinite
indelinite
prolongatron of
prolongation of human life. The The technological and
revolution of
scientific revolution of the following
followtrg century
cetrtury served
served to
confirm
confirm thisthis new faitll
tht.h in tllc perfectibility of
tlc perfectibility of human life
on
or-rtllis
t-hiseartll
earth witllOut t]re aid
u'rtlout tlle ard of any supernatural
of'any supenratural power.

Darwin's
Darwin's concept
collccl)t of
ol' tlle
the evolution
evolutiott of man from
ol'tnzur from
lower loons ol lili:
lbnns of lilc introduced aa wholly
wlrolly new
new scale
scale of
of

West
West Versus
VersusIslam
lslam 13
13
values.Philosophers
values. Philosophersnow uow conceived
conceivedof of human
human society
societyin
in
aa constant
constant state
stateof flux and
of flux and change
change inevitably
inevitably leading
leading to
to
higher and
higher more complex
and more complex stages
stagesofof development.
development.The The
principles of
principles of biological
biological evolution
evolution applied
applied toto human
human
societyidentified
society identified the "modern," "up
the "modern," "up toto date," "advanced"
date,""advanced"
and "progressive" with
and "progressive" with what
what waswas most
most desirable.
desirable.
Historians came
Historians came toto look upon
upon man
man as product as
as aa product as well
well
as part of
as aa part of nature,
nahrre, evolving
evolving toto his present state
his present state from
from
lowly origins
lowly with all
origins with of his
all of his achievements
achievementshaving
having been
been
painfully acquired
painfully acquired in the the struggle
struggle against
against hostile
hostile
environment. Darwin
environment. Darwin convinced
convinced Western philosophers
Western philosophers
that man
that wasan
man was an animal specieslike any
animal species any other
other - aa higher
higher
mammal to
mammal to be
be sure
sure- but only an an animal.
animal.

William James
William questioned the
even questioned
James even value. of
the value
retaining the
retaining the intangible
intangble concept of consciousness
consciousnessor mind
at all
at all regarding
regardinghuman
human thought
thought as
as merely
merely the
the end,
end, result
result
chemicalreactions
of chemical reactionsupon thethe nervous
nervoussystem produced
systemproduced
external stimuli.
by external stimuli. Psychologists
Psychologiss like Pavlov
Pavlov sought
sought to
delve into the
delve the motives
motives of human
human behaviour
behaviour by studying
studyeng
dogs,monkeys
dogs, monkeysand and apes.
apes.

Freud's discovery
Freud's discovery of the the compulsive
compulsive drives
drives of the
the
unconsciousmind originating
unconscious originating in early
early childhood as as the
the
source of all
source all irrational
irrational behaviour provided modem
behaviour provided
philosophers
philosophers with yet an an additional
additional weapon
weapon against
against
religion.
religion. Freud
Freud maintained
maintained thatthat the small child projected
the small projected
the
the image his parents
image of his gave him life, protected
parents who gave protected him
from harm
harm and discipline, punishment
subjectedhim to discipline,
and subjected punishment
and
and reward
reward onto his religion faith in adult life. Students
Students
of
of anthropology
anthropology enthusiastically
enthusiastically welcome
welcome the the concept
concept
that the religon
that the religion isis purely manmade
manmade and and the
the ethics
ethics are
are
relative and not absolute.
relative and absolute. Most anthropologists
anthropologists would
agree
agree with Ralph
Ralph Unton
Linton thatthat the
the uncompromising
uncompromising
monotheism
monotheism of of Islam originated the rigidly patriarchal
originated in the patriarchal
family
family life of
of the
the Semitic tribes. He writes
Semitic tribes. ol
writes in The Tree ol'

1
144 Versus lslam
West Versus Islam
Culture:

The concept
The concept ofof all powerful deity who can can only
be placated
placated by complete submission and
complete submission
devotion no matter
devotion matter how unjust unjust his
his acts
acts may
appear, was
appear, the direct output of
was the Semitic family
of Semitic
life. Another product of of the exaggerated
exaggerated super-
super-
ego to which it gave
ego rise was
gave rise was the elaborate
elaborate system
system
of taboos
of taboos relating
relating to every
every aspect
aspect ofof behaviour
behaviour
are epitomized
which are epitomized in the Law of
the law of Moses. Such
Moses. Such
codes of
codes taboos provided
of taboos those who kept them
provided those
with a sense of security
senseof comparable to that
securitycomparable that of
of the
the
good child who is is able
able to remember
remember everything
everything
that his
that his father
father told him to do and and carefully
carefully
abstains from doing it.
abstains it. Allah is the portrait of
is the of the
the
typical
tlpical Semitic
Semitic father
father with his pau'iarchal
his patriarchal
authoritarian qualities abstracted
authoritarian qualities abstracted and and
exaggerated...
exaggerated...

Freud,
Freud, not content
content to deny
deny the divine ongin
the divine origin of
religion,
religion, rejected
rejected the
the idea
idea that
that faith
faith was justified on any
wasjustified any
grounds
groundswhatsoever:
whatsoever:

seemsnot to be
It seems be true
true that
that there
there is power in
is aa power
the
the universe
universewhich watchesover
which watches over the well being
the well being of
every
every individual
individual with parental care
with parental care bringing
bringing all all
with
with in his
his fold fold to
to aa happy
happy ending.
ending. On the the
contrary,
contrary, the destiniesof men
the destinies are incompatible
men are incompatible
with
with anyany universal principle of justice.
universal principle justice.
Earthquake,
Earthquake,floods floods and fires do
and fires distinguish
do not distinguish
between
between thethe good good and man and
devout man
and devout and thethe
sinner
sinner andand unbeliever.
unbeliever. EvenEven if if we we leave
leave
inanimate
inalimate nature
nature out out of
of account and consider
account and consider
that destiniesof
that destinies of individual
individual men
men inin so
so far
far as
asthey
they
depend
depend on on their
their relations
relationswith
wrth others
others of of their
their
own kind, itit isis by
own kind, by no
no means
meansthethe rule thatvirtue
rule that virnreis is

West
West Versus
VersusIslam
lslam 15
15
rewarded and
rewarded and wickedness punished. It often
wickedness punished. often
happensthat
happens that the violent, crafty
the violent, crafty and
and unprincipled
unprincipled
seizethe
seize the desirable goods of this
desirablegoods this world while
while the
the
pious go
pious go empty
empty away.
away. Dark, unfeeling
unfeeling and
and
unloving powers determine
unloving powers determine human
human destiny,
destiny, the
the
concept of divine
concept justice which
divine justice which according
according to to
religion governs the
religion governs world, seem
the world, seem to to have
have nono
existence... No attempt
existence... attempt to minimise
minimise the the
supremacyof science
supremacy sciencecancan altar
altar the
the fact
fact that
that it
lal<esinto account
takes dependence on the
account or dependence the real
real
external world while
externa.lworld while religion
religion is
is only aa childish
childish
illusion which derives
illusion which derives its
is strength
strength from thethe fact
fact
that it happened
that happened to fallfall in with
with our instinctual
instinch.ral
desires.
desires.

Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell develops
develops this
this through going
through going
materialisticand
materialistic and atheistic philosophy even
atheisticphilosophy even further
further when
when
he writes:
he writes:

That
That man is is the product
product ofof causes
causes which had no
provision
provision of of the end they were achieving; that his
origin,
origin, his growth,
grovrth, his hopes and fears,fears, his loves
loves
and beliefs,
beliefs, are
are but the outcome of of accidental
accidental
collocations
collocat-ions of of atoms; that no amount amount of of
heroism,
heroism, no intensity of of thought
thought and feeling can
preserve an individual
individual life beyond
beyond the grave,
grave, that
all the
t}le labour
labour ofof the ages,
ages, all the
t}le devotions,
devotjons, all
the inspiration
inspiration of of human
human genius are destined
destjned for
for
extinction
extinction in irr the vast
vast death ofof the solar system
system
and that is the whole whole tempotempo of of man's
achievement
achievement must inevitably be buried beneath beneath
the debris of of a universe in ruinsruins ofof all these
these
things are so nearly certain
certain that no no philosophy
philosophy
which rejects
which rejects them
them can hope hope to stand. Only Only
within tlre
within the scaffold of these truths, only
scaJlbld of only on
011 the
firm foundation of
lirm of unyielding despair can man's man's

16 West Versus
Versus Islam
lslam
habitation
habitationbe
be safely
saf'elybuilt.
built.

After denying
denying any positive value
any positive value to religious
religious faith,
faith,
Freud
Freud had
had to admit that
that science is an
science is an unsatisfactory
unsatisfactory
substihrte.
substitute.

Science, from its emphasis on the real


Science, apart from
world,
world, hashas essentially negative
negative characteristics
such asas that it limits
limits itself
iself so tangible material
material
truth and reject illusions. Some of
truth of our
our fellow
fellow
men,
men, who are dissatisfied with this state
state of
of affairs
allairs
and desire something
something more
more for
for their
their momentary
momentary
peace of of mind,
mind, may look
look for it where they can
find it, but we cannot help them.

Schopenhauer
Schopenhauer carried this purely purely materialistic
materia.listic
philosophy to its
philosophy its logical conclusions. For
For him
him the essence
essence
of
of life is
is aimless,
aimless, restless
restless activity, and utterly irrational
irrational
force.

Since
Since the basis
basis of of all
all desire
desire isis need,
need, deficiency
deliciency
nahrre of
thus pain, the nature of brute and man alike is
originally
origrnally and of of its very essence
essence subject to pain.
If
If on the
the other hand, it is is deprived of of objects
objecs ofof
desire
desire through too easy easy satisfaction,
satisfac[ion, such
suc]r void
and ennui fills
fills the heart that existence
existence becomes
becomes
an unbearable burden.burden. Thus
Thus life swings
swings like a
pendulum
pendulum from from pain to ennui, from from ennui
ennui to
parn. Life is a sea
pain. sea full of
of rocks anda:rd whirlpools
whirlpools
which
which man avoids with greatestgreatest care
care and
ard solitude
although he knows that even if if he succeeded in
through, \\-1th
getting through, wrth all his efforts
effors and skills,
skiils, he
comes thus but but the nearer
nea-rer at every task to the
greatest, the total inevitable ship°\\-Teck
greatest, ship-wreck death.
Every
Every human being and ard his
his course
course ofof life is
is but
another short dream drearn of tllethe endless
endless spirit ofof

W e s t Versus
West V e r s u sIslam
lslam 17
17
nature,
nature, the persistentwill to live
the persistent live is
is only another
another
fleeting
fleeting from which nature
lrom which nature carelessly
carelesslysketches
sketchesin
its
its infinite pages,allow
infinite pages, allow to remain
remain for aa time so
so
short
short it vanishes
vanishes into nothing
nothing andand then
then
obliterates make room for others.
obliteratesto make others.

Thus we we have
have traced
traced Western materialistic
materialistic
philosophy from its
philosophy its origins
ongrnsduring thethe Renaissance,
Renaissance, when
when
men thought
thought only to enjoyenjoy the pleasure of exercising
the pleasure exercising
their intellectual
intellectualcuriosity
curiosity to investigate
investigatethe
the world around
around
them
them to the
the utter despair of Schopenhauer
utter despair Schopenhauerwho can can find
in this
this life nothing
nothing but meaningless
meaninglessfutility.
futility. We
We have
have
watched
watched man,
man, the vicegerentof God on earth
the vicegerent earth with anan
immortal soul,
soul, aa moral and and aa spiritual
spirinral being
being directly
directJy
responsible
responsibleto hishis Creator
Creator for hishis deeds,
deeds, debased
debasedto an an
animal
animal accountable nothing but his
accountableto nothing physicaland
his physical and social
social
requirements.
requirements.

It is
is not
rrot all
all surprising
surprising why
why suchsuch ideologies
ideologiesas as
Fascism,
Fascism, Nazism,
Nazism, Communism,
Communism, Pragmatism
Pragmatism and and
Zionism
Zionism should
should flourish
flourish so
so luxuriantly
luxuriantlyin this soil. The
this soil.
directors
directors of Nazi
Nazi concentration
concentration camps
camps which
which organized
organized
murder on the the scientific
scientific assembly
assemblylineline basis giga-ntic
basis of gigantic
factories,
factories, the
the Soviet
Soviet secret police, the
secret police, creators of the
the creators the
completely
completely regimented
regimented lifelife of the the communes
communes in ln
communist
communist China
China and
and those
thoseZionist
Zionist leaders
leadersresponsible
responsible
for the
the ruthless expulsion of an
ruthlessexpulsion an entire people from their
entire people their
homeland would all
homeland would all agree
agree with Nietzsche
Nietzsche that
that God
Cod is is
dead.
dead.

Because of the
Because dre extraordinary
extraordinary virility of its its
economic
economic and politrcal power,
and political power, Western
Western civilization was
civilizatron was
able
able to extend
extend its
its domination
domination over
over the
the world.
world. When
When tl1e
the
nations
nations of Asia
Asia and
and Africa were finally
AJrica were finally able
able to win their
struggle political freedom
strugglefor political fl-eedornfrom imperialist
imperialist bondage,
bondage,
their
their indigenous
indigenousculture
culture had
hacl long
lor.rgsince
sir-rcebeen
been crushed.
crushed.

18
18 West Versus
West lslam
Versus Islam
Their
Their leaders,
leaders, almost without exception,
exception, educated
educated in
European
European and American
American schools, were simultaneously
simultaneously
taught to despise
despise their
their native heritage and imbued
imbued with
widr
'Western
the philosophies
philosophies of
of Western materialism.
materialism.

Thus
Thus the leaders of of Asia and Africa
Africa are at one with
wit-h
those ofof Europe
Europe and America
America in regarding
regarding progress
progress
through
through the development
development of of large scale
scale heavy
healy industry,
industry,
the raising of of the material standard of of living, and
expansion of of economic
economic and political
politrcal power
power as as the
supreme goals
goals of
of human
human society.
society. We
We must
must not
not confuse
Islamic
Islamic methods
methods of of combating
combating social and economiceconomic
injustice with
with those ofof the West.
West. Islam regards
regards a certain
minimum
minimum of of physical well being essential
essential if
if the soul is to
be freed from
from exclusive concern
concern with bodily
bodily needs to the
fulfilment
fulfilment of
of its spiritual
spiritr-ral life. In
In Islam, man's material
welfare is only
only a means, in contrast to the West, West, which
which
regards
regards it as
as an end in itself.
ieelf.

No
No wonder
wonder Western
Western forms of of the totalitarian
dictatorships
dictatorships areare so attractive
attractive to the leaders
leaders of
of Asia and
Africa!
Africal Impatient
Impatient to adopt
adopt the social,
socia.l, economic
economic and
political
politrcal system
system of
of the West,
West, they cannot
cannot help but
but be
deeply impressed by the rapidly rapidly growing prestige of of
communist
communist China. The The price, which China had to pay pay
for political
politica.l and economic expansion
expansion in millions of of
ruined
ruined individual
individual lives, does not concern
concern them
them in the
least
least because
because they considered
considered that justrfies
t-hat the end fully justifies
the
the means.
means.

One
One might
might think
think that the erosion
erosion ofof the world's
cultural
culnrral variety would
would lead to greater harmony
harmony and unity
among
;unong people. However,
However, we have have seen
seen that from
from its
inception
inception the basic theme of of Western
Western civilization
civilization has
has
been its revolt against
agarnst all spiritual and
ald religious values.
values. In
view of
of this
this outlook, prevailing
prevailing in the
the world today,
today, one

West
West Versus lslam
Versus Islam 19
19
can
call easily
easily understand
uuderstaixl why why there
drcrc is morc hatred,
is more hatred, strife
stril'e
and
and violent
violent upheavals
upheavalsthan than ever
ever before history. Gone
before in history. Gone
is
is any
any sense rnoral responsibility
sense of moral international
responsibility in international
relations.In the
relations. the sessions
sessionsof the
the United Nations, delegates
[Inited Nations, delegates
do not hesitate
hesitateto lie, to distort
to lie, distort and
and twist factswithout the
twist facts the
slightest
slightest scruple whenever it suits
scruple whenever suits their purposes, for
their purposes,
anything promotes the
that promotes
anything that the national interest, even
national interest, at the
even at the
expense of other
expense countries, can
other countries, never be
can never wrong.
be wrong.
Delegates
Delegatesat at the
the United Nations vote according
Nations do not vote accordingto
the merit of the
the the issues
issuesinvolved, purely for the
involved,but purely the sake
sakeof
expediency.
expediency.

The leaders
leadersof the the Muslim
Muslim countries
countriesare less
are no less
guilty than
guilty thar anyar.ryothers they too have
others for they have been
been deluded
deluded by
the philosophies of the
the philosophies the Western materialism.
materialism. SomeSome of
them
them speak glibly about
speakglibly about thethe necessity reconcilingIslam
necessityof reconciling Islam
with the spirit of the
the spirit the modem age. age. In order to do this this they
they
say
say that
that aa distinction
distinctionmustrnust be made between
be made betweenthe the social
social
content of the
content the Our'an
Qur'a:r and :urd its
its spiritual teaching. The
spirihral teaching.
former,
former, reflecting
reflecting the
the conditions
conditions of seventhseventh century
century
Arabia
Arabia must
rnustbe rejectedas
be rejected irrelevantto
as irrelevant to the problemsof
the problems
today
today and
and only the latter regarded
the latter regarded as the eternal
as the eternal truth.
truth.
They are
are indifferent
indifferent toto the fact that
the fact that Islam
Islam isis the
the complete
complete
harmonious way
harmonious way of life
life infinitely
infinitely superior
superior to to anything
anlthing thethe
West
West hashas ever
ever been
been to produce. Rejection
to produce. Rejectionof any part
any part
destroys
destroysthe whole.
the whole.

The J 6" 1960


aImary 6"'
January 1960issue
issueof the New Yark
the New York Times
Times
reported
reported that
that the
the Ministry of Education
Education of Turkey had had
ordered
orderedthe
the destruction all unauthorized
destructionof all unauthorizedschools
schoolsset to
setto
be
be conducting
conductingsecret
secretclasses
classesin the article
Qur'an. The article
the Our'aIl.
went on to
went to explain that secret
explain that secret instruction
instruclion in the
the Our'an
Qur'an
had
had been
been forbidden
forbidden in Turkey for several years, as
several years, as
subversive. leadersof Turkey,
subversive.The leaders like the
Turkey, like the leaders
leadersof
other
other Muslim
Muslirn countries, must choose
countries,must choosewhatwhat they want --
they want
Western materialistic
Western philosophy or the
materialisticphilosophy the Our'aIl. They
Qur'an. They
CaImot haveboth.
car)nothave both.

20 West Versus
West Versus Islam
lslam
Chapter 22
Chopler

Islam in
Critique of Islam
A Critique
Modern Historvl
Modern History!

The theme
The theme ofof this book is the authors analysis of
author's analysis of
reaction of
the reaction intellectuals in the Arab world,
of Muslim intellectuals
Pakistan and India to the challenges
Turkey, Pal<.rstan of 20n
challenges of 20"
century civilization.
century civilization.

Wilfred Cantwell
Wilfred Cantwell Smith clearly regards the
clearly regards the
creation of
creation of Pakistan
Pakistan asas a mistake. chides the
mistake. He chides the
Pakistanis for idealizing
Pakistanis the past.
idealizing the says, "It is
past. He says, is
impossible, indeed
impossible, indeed meaningless, reproduce in
meaningless, to try to reproduce
one
one age,
age, the
the government
govemment of another.
another. Pakistan cannot
Pakistan cannot
relive
relive aa segment
segment of the
the history Arabia."
history of Arabia."

The author paints aa bright


author paints bright future the Muslims
future for the Muslims
who remained
who remained in India:
India:

In thethe 1930s,
1930s, Hussain Ahmed Ahmed Madani,
pronouncing
pronouncing India India to be the nation of its its
Muslims, provoked from from Muhammad
Muhammad Iqbal Iqbal aa
scornful
scornful retort in in poetry that aa Muslim
Muslim can have
cal have
no other
other nation than Islam. Recent events events have
have
at
at least
least begun
begun to to dislodge
dislodge this
this conviction.
conviction. The
The
Indian
Indian Muslims
Muslims have have seen
seen law
law and
and order prevail.
order prevail.
They
They havehave seenseetr how how police
police have have stopped
stopped
fanatical
fanatical Hindu
Hindu riots riots against
against them
them and
and how
how thethe
government
government has has prevented
prevented the
the conversion
conversion of
of aa
-fhey
mosque
mosque into
into aa Hindu
Hrndu temple.
temple. They find
find
themselves
themselves freefree to to practice
practrce and preach their
and preach their
religion.
relinon. Not
Not much
rnuch reflection
reflection isis needed
Ireecledto
to realize
realize

West
West Versus
VersusIslam
lslam 21
that the
that the welfare
welfareof
of the
the Muslims
Muslims in in India
India depends
depends
on aa secular
on secularstate.
state.Whatever
Whatever traditional
traditional theology
theology
may say,
may say,secularism
seeularismworks.
works. As As aa result,
result,relatively
relatively
few Indian
few Indian Muslims
Muslims still clins to
still ding to the
the Islamic
Islamic state
state
idea.
idea.

CantrvellSmith
Wilfred Cantwell Smith cannot
cannotaccept
acceptthe
the fact
fact that
that
Islam is
Islam is more
more thanthan aa system
system of of belief
belief and
and ritual,
ritud, aa
complete way
complete way ofof life which in both theory
theory and
and practice
practice isis
absolutely irreconcilable
absolutely irreconcilable with with Hindu culture. judge
culnrre. To judge
Pakistanas
Pakistan mistakejust because
as aa mistake becausethere has been
there has been some
some
comrption in the
corruption governmentand
the government and controversy
controversyasas to what
what
form aa modern
modem IslamicIslamic state
state should
should take,
take, completely
completely
missesthe
misses point. In order for Islamic
the point. Islamic civilization
civilization to find
find
expressionin that
full expression that part of the world, there
the world, there had
had to bebe aa
Pakistan. Even
Pakistan. Even if if the Pakistani Muslims
the Pakistani Muslims have
have failed
failed to
make the
make the most potentialities,the
most of their potentialities, the opportunity for
them to do so
them so still
still exists which is
exiss which lackingin India.
is lacking India.

author however,
The author however, reserves
reserves his
his harshest
harshest
crit.icism for the
criticism the Arabs.
Arabs. He brands
brands them
them as
as unrealistic
unrealistic
reactionaries and
reactionaries and isolationists
isolationists who areare unjustified
unjustified in
feeling that
feeling that the
the West is
is out to crush
crush Islam.
Islam. He chides
chides the
the
Ulama of Al-Azhar for hesitating
hesitating to compromise
compromise the the
doctrines of Islam
doctrines Islam in order to make make them more
compatible
compatible with Western
Western ideas.
ideas. That the
the Arabs
Arabs have
have
failed to produce
failed produce a Thomas Paine Paine or a Voltaire,
Voltaire, he
he
regards
regards asas one
one of their m4jor
mqjor shortcomings.
shortcomings.

The only Muslim people people for whom the the Author
seemsto have
seems have any
any real s1'rnpathyare
real sympathy are the
the Turks. As is well
known,
known, under Kemal Ataturk, the the Khalifate,
Khalifate, the
the Shariah,
Shariah,
the
the Arabic :rlphabet
alphabet ald and the
the Muslirn
Muslim calendar
calendar were
were
abolished.
abolished. As ifif all this radical
all this radical surgery
surgery were
were not enough,
enough,
religious
religious organizations
organizations were
were banrred,
banned, Muslim universities
universities
forcibly
forcibly closed
closed ald
and rnajor
major mosques
mosques like
like Saint
Saint Sophia
Sophia

22 West Versus
Versus lslam
Islam
were converted
were converted into
into museums.
museums.

says, "during
"Already," he says,
"AJ.ready," "during the 1920s,
1920s, sweeprng
sweeping
changes in the ceremonies
changes ceremonies of of Islam including its prayer
mosque services
ritual and mosque were being officially
services were
discussed." This included,
discussed." among other things,
included, among things, the
elimination ofof Arabic, and the prayer
prayer prostration as well
prostration as
as
as the introduction into the mosques
mosques of
of pews
pews and a choir
singing Western style
singing style hyrnns accompaniment of
hymns to the accompaniment of an
organ.
organ.

authority, it may
religious authority,
"By what religious may well be asked,
asked,
they proceed
did they proceed to do this? modernist Turks
this? The modernist
proceed on the
proceed the authority
authority of the revolution." Yet,
the revolution." Yet, Kemal
Kemal
Ataturk was
AtatLlrk was an apostate who could not boast
an apostate enough of
boast enough of
his atheism.
his atheism. But the the author, ignoring this
author, ignoring fact continues
this fact continues
to argue, "Certainlythe
argue,"Certainly the Turks have renounced Islam,
havenot renounced Islam,
but reviewed
reviewedit.it. They feel
feel that
that if
if Islam is to be
Islam is acceptable
be acceptable
to the educatedmodern
the educated modern man, will have
man, it will haveto be expressed
be expressed
in an entirely different
an entirely different way."
way."

The result
result has
has not
not only
only been
been the
the repudiation
repudiationby by
Turkish intellectuals
intellechralsof the
the Shariah also aa feeling
Shariahbut also feeling of
isolation
isolationand
and lack
lack of identification with the
identificationwith the rest Islamic
restof Islamic
world.
world.

On
On few subjects
subjects areare modernist
modernist TurksTurks so so
emphatic as
emphatic as asserting
asserting that pan-Islamism
pan-Islamism is is dead.
dead.
And
And onon no question
question are
are their emotions
emotions so so quick
as
as in disclaiming
disclaiming any
any religious involvement
involvement with
modern
modern Arabs
Arabs who who are,
are, toto many
many of of them,
repellent
repellent and
and contemptible,
contemptible, to to say
say the
the least.
least. It
It is
is
hardly
hardly anan exaggeration
exaggeration to to say
say that
that some
some Turks
Turks
consider
consider Arab
Arab Muslims
Muslims muchmuch asas an
an American
American
Protestant
Protestant might
might look down upon
look down upon an an Ethiopian
Ethiopian
Copt;
Copt; politically
politically irrelevant
irrelevant andand religiously
religiously

West
West Versus
VersusIslam
lslam 23
23
benighted.Any
benighted. A.ny suggestions
suggestionsthat
t-hatthe
dre new laculty
new faculty
of theology at Ankara
theology at would be
Ankara would be another
alotJrer Azhar
Azlrar
are either
are laughable or shocking.
either laughable shocking. Rather
Rather they
they
intend it to
intend to compare with the
comparewith the Union
Llnion Theological
Theological
Seminaryat
Seminary at Harvard.
Harvard.

author declares
The author declaresthat
that if aa Martin Luther were were
appear, he
to appear, would get
he would get aa ready
ready hearing
hearing among
among thethe
educated classes
educated classesin Turkey. assumption here,
Turkey. The assumption here, he
he
says,is
says, question of becoming
is not aa question becoming Christian,
Christian, but rather
rather
being modern
of being modern instead
instead of medieval.
rnedieval. The spirit of
Western civilization
modern Western is so
civilization is hostile to religion
so hostile religion that
that
even Christianity
even has fared
Christianity has miserably.Today in most
fared miserably. most of
Europe and
Europe and America,
America, Christianity,
Christiarity, especially
especially thethe
Protestant faith
Protestant faith is
is remote
remote from
liorn thethe daily
daily life of its its
adherentswho
adherents who only occasionally
occasior)allygo go to
to church pay it lip
church to pay
service.Yet this
service. t.hisseems
seenlsto be the
to be the only future
fuhrre that Wilfred
that Wilfred
CannvellSmith
Cantwell Smith can
czursuggest
sugl{estas
asdesirable
desirableforlbr Islam.
Islam.

A
A case
case can
can be madernade that
drat divisions
divisions between
between
different
difl'erent civilizations
civilizations are
are no longer valid and that
modern
modenr civilization,
civilizat.ion, though it first made its its
appearance
appearancc in the West, West, isis spreading through
through
out
out the world
world and superseding all other other cultural
cultural
patterns.
patterns. Modern
Modern secularism
secularism isrs therefore no
longer distinctively
distinctively Western
Westem but has has become a
universal trend, which
which all the civilizations
civilizations are in
process
process of
of assimilating.
assimilating. As a result the mundane
welfare
welfare of
of the Muslim
Muslim people will increasingly
increasingly
depend on social social progress
progress independent of of
religious consideration.
religious consideration. Secularism
Secularism must be
religiously tolerated.
religrously tolerated. If
If the Muslims
Muslims resist
resist this
Caesar-God dichotorny,
Caesar-Cod dichotomy, they areare doomed.
doomed.

In other words, Muslims nrust


In must destroy
destroy their laith
faith ifif
they are
drey are to presen'c
preserve it! According
According to this
tlus same
sarne sinister
sinister

24
2 4 West Versus lslam
Versus Islam
reasoning, the
reasoning, the sophisticated
sophisticated Turkish intellectuals who
Turkish intellectuals who
frankly repudiate
fra.nkly repudiate the the teachings
teachings of of the Qur'an, the
the Qur'an, the
authority of
authority of the
the Sunnah,
Sunnah, and abandoned the
and abandoned Shariah, not
the Shariah, not
only in
only in practice
practice butbut also
also asas an
an ideal towards which
ideal towards which toto
strive, can
strive, can righdully
rightfully claim
claim to to possess
possess the truest Islam!
the kuest Islam!
Wilfred Cantwell
Wilfred Cantwell Smith likeslikes to have himself
to have regarded by
himself regarded by
Muslims as as a sympathetic
sympathetic shrdent
student of Islam. He
of Islam. claims his
He claims
observations to be objective,
observations careful reading
but a careful
objective, but reading of of this
book by any
book sincere, thinking Muslim, will clearly
any sincere, clearly reveal
reveal
abysmal depths
the abysmal depths ofof his hostility' Unfortunately, his
hostility. Unfortunately,
represents the views
thinking represents views of of the majority of of
orientalists both in my counry
orientalists abroad. Their
country and abroad. Their basic
basic
enmity towards
towards Islam differs from that
Islam differs that of the old
of the
fashioned Christian
fashionedChristian missionary
missionary only in that
that it is
is expressed
expressed
more subtle
in a much more way.
subtleway.

Notes:
Notes:

I.
|. Islam
Islatn alJd
and Modem History, Wilfred Cantwell
Modern HistoIy, Smith'
Cannvell Smith,
Princeton
PrincetonUniversity
UniversityPress,
Press,Princeton, New Jersey,
Pnnceton,New 1957'
Jersey,1957,
Mentor
MentorBook,
Book,New
NewYork,
York,September
September 1959.
1959.

West
West Versus
VersusIslam
lslam 25
Chapter
Chopter 33

Enemyfrom Within
The Enemy
The

Islam is
Islam is far more seriously
far more seriouslymenaced
menaced from from within
within
than from
than from without.
without. Deadliest
Deadliest of of its
its enemies
enemies are are the
the
growingnumber
growing number of of renegades
renegadesfrom
from the
the faith.
faith. Those
Those who
who
positions of leadership
hold positions leadership in the government of
the government
Muslim countries
countries have
have the power to inflict
the power inJlict the
the worst
worst
damage.Were they
damage. they only toto declare
declaretheir
their apostasy
apostasyopenly,
openly,
they would receive
they would receive thethe condemnation
condemnation they they deserve.
deserve.
Instead,they
Instead, tley take advantageof the
take advantage the loyalty
loyaltyof their people
their people
who hesitate
who hesitateto criticize any
to criticize any of their
their activities
activitiesso
so long
long as
as
they remain
they remain nominal
nominal Muslims.
Muslims.

Perhapsno idea
Perhaps idea has
has done
done Islam
Islam more
more harm
harm than
than
the modern
the modern concept
concept of nationalism,
nationalism,which
which states
statesthat
that the
the
men should
men should be
be artificially
artificially divided
divided according
accordingto race
race and
and
language and
language and oweowe their supreme
supreme allegiance
allegiance to aa
geographicalentity.
geographical entity. This is
is absolutely
absolutelyirreconcilable
irreconcilablewith
Islam which
Islam which teaches drat the
teachesthat the only genuine
genuinebonds
bonds of unity
unity
between people are
betweenpeople are common spiritual
spiritual values.
values.

first articulate
The first Crusader for the
articulate Crusader the Western
concept
concept of of nationalism
nationalism in the the Muslim world was was the
the
sociologist Ziya Gokalp (1876-1924).
Turkish sociologist 0876-1924). In his his
writings,
writings, hehe argues
argues that
that there
there isis no incompatibility
incompatibility
between
between Islam and Western civilization.
Islam arrd civilization. He reiects
rejects the
idea
idea that
that Islam
Islam isis a civilization,
civilization, and
and that
that modern Western
civilization
civilization is connected with Christianity.
is connected Christianity. In other words,
words,
civilizatjon
civilization andand religion
religion are
are two separate
separate things.
things.
Therefore, he claims that
he claims that the
the adoption
adoption of of Westem
Western
civilization
civilization by Muslims will not interface
interface with their taith.
faith.

26 West Versus
Wost Versus lslam
Islam
Now thethe missiou
mission o[
of t-he
the Turks
Turks is nothing to
is notJring
uncover
uncover the pre-Islamic
pre-Islamic Turkish
Turkish past
past which has
has
people and to graft
remained with the people
remained graft Western
civilization in its entirety
civilization it In order to
entirety on to it.
equal the
equal European powers,
the European powers, militarily and
and in the
sciences and
sciences industry, our only road to salvation
and industry, salvation
civilization completely!
is to adopt Western civilization completely!

rejects the
Ziya Gokalp rejects idea of
the idea supremacy of
of the supremacy of
the Ummat
the conflicts with the
because it conflics
Llmmatbecause the Westem
Western concept
concept
of nationality.
of nationality.

Among the pre-Islamic Turks, patriotism


the pre-Islamic patriotIsm
reached its
reached its highest levels. In the
highest levels. the fuhrre,
future, as
as in the
the
past, patriotism should
past, patriotism should be be the most important
the most
areaof morality for the
area becausethe
the Turks because the nation
nation
and
and its
is soil
soil is
is ultimately
ultimatelythe only self
the only existingunit.
sell existing unit.
Loyalty
Loyrlty to thethe nation
nation must
must take precedenceover
take precedence over
loyalty
loyalty to the the family
family or to religion.
religion. Turkism
should give
should give highest
highest priority to NationNation andand
Fatherland.
Fatherland.

How cancan any


any Muslim reconcile this to the
reconcilethis versein
dre verse
the -Hold fast you to the the cable
cable
the Qur'an
Quran which
which says,
says,"Hold fast all.of
a{of you
of Allah
Allah andand dodo not separate,'''
separate,"'dr"Of to
to the Prophet's
the Prophet's
farewell 'Know dratevery is tlle
the brother
brother
farewellmessage,
message,"Know tllat everyMuslim is
of every
every other
other Muslim and and that
that youyou are are allall one
one
brotherhood."
brotherhood." The ProphetProphet expressed
expressed the attitude of
the attitude
Islam
Islam towards
towards the
the whole
whole subject clear, unambiguous
subjectin clear, unambiguous
language
languagewhen
when hehe said, "He is
said,"He us who
is not of us who calls
callsmen to
men to
patriotism;
patriotism; hehe is
is not one
one of us
us who
who fights patriotism;
fights for patriotism;
and
andhehe is
is not
not one
oneofof us
uswho
who dies
diesfor patriotism."
for patriotism."

Kemal
Kemal Ataturk
Ataturk derived
derived the
tlre inspiration for his
inspiration for his anti-
alti-
Islamic
Islarnic reforms
reforms directly
directly from
from the philosophy of
tlre philosophy ol Ziya
Ziya
Gokalp.
Cokalp.

West Versus Islam


West Versus lslam 27
27
In the
the September
September1957 1957 issue the Islamic
issueof the Islamic Review
Reuiew
Jean Paul Roux, 'A
Jean Paul Roux, author
author of the
the article,
article,"A study
shrdyof Islam
Islam in
Turkey,' says
Turkey," says that Ataturk
Ataturk did not wantwant to break away away
Islarn but merely
from Islam merely relieve
relieve Turkey of the tle control
control of
the
the Muslim religion
religion over
over the political and
the political and social
social life of
the
the country.
country. In transforming
transforming Turkey into aa modem modern
Western nation,
nation, his
his reforms were not directed
reforms were directed against
agarnst
Islam as
Islam as such.
such. Only in so so far
far asas it hindered
hindered the the
achievement
achievementof desired
desiredgoal.
goal.

pursue this
Apologistsfor Ataturk pursue
Apologists sort of devious
this sort devious
reasoning.But we
reasoning. we shall presentlysee
shall presently seethat
that whenever
wheneverIslam
Islam
is
is attacked political sphere,
attacked in political personal piety
sphere, personal piety is
is also
also
profoundly affected.
affected.Kemal Ataturk's
Ataturk's measures were not
me:rsureswere
designed
designedto separate
separatereligion
religion from the
the state
stateso
so much as as to
the destruction of Islam
the destruction Islam by thethe state.
state. Kemal
Kemal Ataturk
Atahrrk
decrees:
decrees:

l.
1. Closed many
Closed many major mosques
mosques like Saint
Saint
Sophia
Sophiaconverting
convertingthemthem into
rnto museums.
museums.
2.
2. Closed
Closed downdown religious
religious schools
schools and
and
universities
universities replacing
replacing them
them with purely
with purely
secular
secularinstitutions.
institutions.
3. Bannned
Bannned all religious organizations
all religious organizationsand
and
imprisoned
imprisoned the the leaders.
leaders.
4.
4. Prohibited pilgrimage to
Prohibited pilgrimage to Makkah.
Makkah. Only
in recent years has
recent years has the pilgrimage been
the pilgrimage been
once
once more
more allowed.
allowed.
{
5. Made
Made the wearing of the
the wearing the Western hathat
with brim obligatory.
with obligatory.This was waspurposely
purposely
designedto make
designed make it difficult for Muslims
Muslims
pray in the
to pray prescribed manner,
the prescribed manner, asas in
prostration the
prostration foreheadcould
the forehead could not touch
touch
the ground.
the ground.
6.
6. Substituted
Substitr-rted thethe Latin
Latrn alphabet
alphabet for

28 West Versus lslam


Versus Islam
Arabic script.
Arabic script. This was designed
1'his was designed to to
produce aa cultural
produce gap between
cultural gap betweenTurkey
Turkey
and
and the
the neighbouring
neighbouringMuslim
Muslun countries.
countries.
The Latin
The l,atrn alphabet
alphabetwaswasalso
a-lsodesigned
designedto to
produce aa new
produce generation ignorant
new generation ignorant ofof
the Islamic
the Islamic classics
classicsin Arabic
Arabic script,
script, thus
thus
severingtheir link with the
severing past.
the past.

It
It is
is often
often argued
argued that
that nationalism
nationalism is
is of
of value
value in
preservingthe
preserving the unique
unique identity
identity of different people, thus
different people, thus
adding richness
adding richnessto to the
the cultural
cultural variety
varietyof the
the world,
world, but in
str.rdyingthe
studying the development
development of nationalism
nationalism in Muslim
countries,I have
countries, havefound quite the
found quite the opposite
oppositeto
to be
be the
the case.
case.
Although the
Although the struggle
struggle against
against Western political
Western political
domination is
domination is universal,
universal, there
there seem
seem to be be no
corresponding resistance
corresponding resistanceto an an indiscriminate
indiscriminate imitation
imitation
Western modes
of Western modes of life life based
based on materialistic
materialistic
philosophies.
philosophies.

would imagine
One would imagine that
drat the
the Tunisian
Tunisian and and
Moroccan Muslim nationalists
Moroccan nationalistswho
who strived
strived so
so violently
violently to
achieve freedom from French
achievefreedom French rule, would take
rule, would take advantage
advantage
this opportunity
of this opportunity to assert
assert the
the cultural
cultural and
and religious
religious
ident.ity of their
identity people. Instead,
their people. Instead, what
what do we we find?
find?
Scorning the
Scorning the Sharia,
Sharia, they
they zealously
zealously copy French laws,
copy French laws,
French
French customs,
customs, and
and French
French system education.
systemof education.

In the 1957 issue


the July 5, 1957 issue of the New York Times
of the Times
appeared
appeared an an article
article explaining
explaining that
that the
the main idea
idea behind
the
the creation
creation of the
the University
University of
of Morocco waswas to absorb
absorb
all existing
existing Islamic
Islamic instinrdons higher leaming
institutions of higher learning and
and
Westernize
Westernize them.
them. The major reform involvedinvolved was
was the
the
establishment of a program
establishment program of of Western secular
secular studies
studies at
the Qarawiln
Qarawiyin University
University Mosque
Mosque in Fez,Fez, which
which for
centuries
centuries has
has been
been a centre
centre of
of Muslim education.
education. The
recognition
recognition of of thethe curriculum at Qarawiyrn
Qarawiyin will

West Versus
Versus lslam
Islam 29
subordinate Muslim law,
subordinate law, and instead stress the training
instead stress training of
of
lawyers for actual
lawyers practice under the modern Moroccan
actual practice Moroccan
code base
code French law.
base on French law. In future, the Ulema will be
In future,
take standard
required to take secular legal
standard Western secular legal training
training
before they
before they could qualify for office.
office.

influence of
The influence of Islam in the modern world has has
weakened to such
weakened such an alarming
alarming extent that the
extent that the President
President
Bourguiba, in a nation-wide
of Tunisia, Habib Bourguiba,
of nation-wide speech,
speech,
delivered over the
delivered February 18,
the radio on February 1960 dared
18, 1960 dared to
attack the
publicly attack the fast Ramadan, blaming
fast of Ramadan, blaming it for
hindering Tunisia's
hindering Tunisia's economic
economic development. "Fastingmay
development. "Fasting may
be intended
be intended to clarify
clarify the spirit by enfeebling
enfeebling the
the body,
body,
what I need
but what need are
are strong bodies to revolutionize
strong bodies revolutionize this
this
country
country and
and raise
raise us
us to the
the Western standard
standard of living!"
of living!"
President
President Bourguiba
Bourguiba arguedargued that
that the struggle for
the struggle
economic
economic development
development excuses workers from the
excuses workers the
Ramadan fast. He then
Ramadanfast. then bitterly
bitterly denounced
denounced the Rector of
the Rector
Zaitouna
Zaitouna University
University for refusing consider the
refusing to consider the
economIC growth of Tunisia more important than
economic growth than
Ramadan.
Ramadan.

The Ramadan
Ramadanis is responsible the backwardness
responsiblefor the backwardness
of Tunisia or any any other
other Muslim country
country is is sheer
sheer
nonsense.
nonsense,As As far
far the
the ridiculous
ridiculous charge
charge that Ramadan is
that Ramadan is
injurious
injurious to
to health,
healtl, the
the following verseis
following verse is sufficient: "And
sufficient "And
whosoever
whosoeverof you you isis present (in sound
present(in health),let
sound health), let him
fast
fast the
the month,
month, and whosoeverof you
and whosoever you is sick or on aa
is sick
journey, let
journey, let him fast
fast the
the same
same number other days.
number of other days.
Allah desires
desiresfor you ease.He desireth
you ease. hardship for
desireth not hardship
you, but only that
you, that ye
ye complete
complete the period and
the period and magnify
magrufy
Allah
Allah for
for having guidedyou.'~
havingguided you.''

The
The May
May 1959
1959 issue
issue of the Islamic
of the Islamic Literature
Literature
published
published an
an article
article entitled "Islam and
entitled "Islam nationalism"by
and nationalism" by
John
John G.
G. Hazam,
Hazam, Professor
Professorofof Political Scienceat
Political Science at City
City

30 Versus Islam
West Versus
West lslam
College ir.rNew
College in New York
York City
City in which the
in which the author
author argues
argues
that:
that:

If
If Muslims
Muslims areare to build
build on
on stout
stout foundations
foundations
strong
strong andand progressIve
progressive states
states capable
capable of of
successfully
successfully defending
defending themselves
themselves against
against
external
external aggression
aggression and securing the proper
and securing proper
respect of
of Europe
Europe and
and America,
America, then they must
relinquish
relinquish their antiquated
antiquated notion
notion of
of religious
universality, which hardly fitsfis the needs
needs of of aa
dynamic modern
dynamic modern society.
society. Orthodox
Orthodox Muslims
Muslims
should
should confine themselves
themselves to private piety, and
in their mundane
mundale affairs
affairs should conscientiously
conscientiously
process of
resolve to expedite the process of emancipating
emancipating
themselves from
from the restraining
restraining hand of of the
Middle
Middle Ages so that they might might be on a more more
advantageous
advantageous position
position to grapple intelligently
intelligently
with the urgent demands of of modern
modern living.

However,
However, there is is ample
arnple reason to believe that a
'reformed'
'reformed' Islam is is still capable of of making
making
valuable contributions,
contributions, if if carefully
carefully selected
selected and
diverted into proper
diverted into proper channels, in reinforcing
reinforcing of
of
the cause
cause ofof freedom
freedom and democracy. But But the
interests of
interests of the state
state must never be subordinated
or sacrificed
or those of
sacrificed to those of mosoues.
mosques.

Islam carl "reformed," for


can never be "reformed," is perfect in
for it is
iself. Among the last verses
itself. Among verses revealed in Qur'an
Qur'an during
during
Prophet's Farewell Message
the Prophet's dear enough.
Message make this clear
'This
'This day are
are those
those who
who disbelieve
disbelieve in despair of of ever
harming your
harming your religion so lear
fear them not! Fear me! This This
day have II perl'ected
perfected your
your religion
religion and chosen forfor you aJ-
al-
Islam!'"
Islarn!"'

Ziya
Zwa Gohlp,
Cokalp, Kemal
Kernal Ataturk
Atahrrk and Habib
Habib

West Versus
Versus lslam
Islam 3311
Bourguiba all shareshare in common the convictionconvlcllon that
that
civilization does
Islamic civilization essentially differ from any
does not essentially any
culture which flourishes,
other human culhrre flourishes, then stagnates
stagnates and
finally collapses into ruin. Without
fInally collapses exception they
Without exception they
Sunnah were merely meant for
believe that Qur'an and Sunnah for
seventh century
seventh century Arabia and therefore applicable for only
therefore applicable
a limited time andand place.
place. When
When they discovered that the
they discovered
of Islam
spirit of never be reconciled
Islam could never reconciled with that ofof the
modem West, they
modern they concluded
concluded that that it must be
relinquished as
relinquished "out of
as "out of date."
date."

But, is nationalism, which artificially


is not nationalism, artifIcially limits
men's horizons to narrow geographical
men's geographical frontiers, more
date" in this
truly "out of date" age when
this age when modem means means of of
communication
communication and have annihilated time
and transportation have
and distancePIf
and distance? If modem
modern technology has made
technology has made thisthis one
one
world economically,
economically,isis it not equally imperative that
equally imperative that the
the
world becomes
becomesunited
united spiritually?
spiritudlyP

Those who who call


call themselves
themselvesMuslims and maintain
Muslims and maintain
that
that Islam
Islam isis aa mere
mere culture
culture among
arnongmany
many others mere
others - aa mere
outcome
outcome of human
human thoughts
thoughtsandand endeavours, and not an
endeavours,and an
absolute
absolute Law
[,aw decreed
decreedby God AI-Mighty
Al-Mighty to be followed
be followed
by the
the human
human race rac€ at
at all
all times
times and places,have
and places, have truly lost
lost
their faith nthe within."
faith and
and have
havebecome
become "the enemy
enemy from within."

Notes:
Notes:

1.
l. Al-Qur'an
Al-Qur'an3:103
3:103
2.
2. Al-Qur'an
AI-Qur'an2:185
2:185
3. Al-Quran5:3
Al-Quran 5:3

32 West Versus
West Vo.sus Islam
l3lam
Chapter
Chopter 4
I

Our Refutation
Refutation of the Philosophy
the Philosophy
of Ziya
Ziya Gokalpl
Gokalp'

How
How can can thethe Turks
Turks harmonize their cultural
heritage
heritagewith that that of modem Western
Western civilization?
civilzationP The
discussion
discussionof of this question is
this question is the
the theme
theme of the writings of
ttre writings
Ziya Gokalp. Thirty Thirty six years after his death,
six years death, Ziya
Gokalp remains
remains thethe most influential thinker Turkey
Turkey hashas
produced since
produced since the beginning of this
the beginning this century.
century. Born
Bom in
1876
1876 and
and educated
educated atat Istanbul,
Istanbul, he
he eventually
eventually became
became
Professorof Sociology
Professor Sociologyat at the
the university,
university, writing
writing most
most ofof
his
his essays
essaysbetween
between 1911
1911 and
and 1918
l9l8 and
and from 19221922 until
his
his death
death in 1924.1924. Kemal
Kemal Ataturk,
Ataturk, lacking
lacking aa brilliant
intellect,
intellect. borrowed
borrowed the the ideas
ideas for hishis drastic
drastic reforms
reforms
directly
directly from the philosophy of Ziya
the philosophy Ziya Gokalp.
Gokalp.

In contrast
contrastto Kemal
Kemal Ataturk who mademade no secret
secret
of his
his atheism,
atheism,Ziya
Ziya Gokalp
Gokalp always
alwaysregarded
regardedhimself asas aa
good Muslim.
good Muslim. He was was compelled
compelled to resort
resort to an
an
astonishing range of
astonishing range gymnasticsin the
of mental gymnastics the attempt to
harmonize
harmonize his
his faith
faith with his philosophy.
his philosophy.

We
We shall
shall create genuine civilization
create aa genuine civilization - aa
Turkish civilization, which will follow the
Turkish the growth
of aa new
new life.
life. To
To classify
classifythe
the Turks, who are are
fairer and
and more handsome
handsome than
than the
the Aryans,
Aryans, with
the
the Mongolian
Mongolian race has no scientific
race has scientfic foundation.
foundation.
The Turkish
Turkrsh race
race has
has not degenerated
degeneratedlike other
races
racesby alcohol
alcohol andand debauchery.
debauchery.Turkish
Turkrsh blood
has remained rejuvenated
has remained rejuvenated andand hardened
hardened like
steel
steel with
with the
the glories
glories of the
the battlefield.
battlefield. Turkish
intelligence
intelligence isis not worn
worn out;
out; its
its sentiments
sentimentsare
are

West Versus
Versus Islem
lslam 33
not effeminate;
eft'eminate;its is not weakened.
its will is weakened. The
conquest
conquest of the
the future
future is promised to Turkish
is promised
resolution.
resolution.

Indoctrination with this


Indoctrination this sort
sort of nonsense,
nonsense,
reminiscent of Nazi
reminiscent Nazi Germany,
Germany, made wounded Turkish
made wounded
soldiers, during the
soldiers, during the Korean
Korean war,
wil, refused
refused blood
transfusions
transfusionsfrom other nationalities.
nationalities.I wish
wish I could
could ask
ask
Ziya Gokalp
Ziya Gokalp how he would reconcile
how he reconcile such myths of racial
such myths racial
superioritywith the
superiority the teachings
teachingsof Qur'an.
Qur'an.

Western civilization
Western civilization isis aa continuation
continuation of ancient
ancient
Mediterranean
Mediterranean civilization.
civilizatron.The founders
founders of the
the
Mediterranean civilization
Mediterranean civilization were people
were Turkish people
such
such as as the
the Sumerians,
Sumerians, Scythians,
Scythians, the
the
Phoenicians
Phoenicians and and thethe Hyksos.
Hyksos. There was was aa
Turanian age age in history
history before
before the
the ancient
ancient ages,
ages,
the earliest
for the earliestinhabitants
inhabitantsof Western
Western Asia were
Asia were
fbrefathers. Much later,
our forefathers. later, the
the Muslim Turks
improved this
improved dris civilization
civilization andand transmitted
transmitted it to
to
the Europeans.By destroying
the Europeans. destroyingboth,both, the
the Western
Western
and Eastenr Roman
and Eastern Roman Empires,
Empires, the the Turks
revolutionalized
revolutionalizedthe history of Europe.
the history Europe. Thus we we
are part of Western
are part Western civilization
civilization and have aa share
and have share
it.
in it.

This remarkable
remarkabledistortion
distortion of history
history supports
supportsthe
the
claims advanced
wild claims some Turkish historians
adva:rcedby some historiansthat
that the
the
greatpeople
great people of antiquity were either
antiquirywere either Turks themselves
themselvesor
were civilized
were civilized by the
the Turks. The Phoenicians
Phoenicians and
and the
the
Hyksos were both Semitic
Hyksos were people; the
Semitic people; the Scythians were
Sclthians were
akin
akin to the Persianswhile
the Persians while the
the Sumerians defy ethnic
Sumerians defy ethnic
classification.
classification.Ziya
Ziya Gokalp forgot to even
Cokalp forgot even mention
mention the
the
Egyptians. Would he
Eglptians. Would he consider them Turks too?
consider them tooP

Western Roman
The Western wasdestroyed
Roman Empire was destrovedwhen
when

34 West Versus
West Versus Islam
lslam
the
dre territories were overrun
territories were overrun byby tribes
tribes of Germanic
Germanic origin.
origrn.
The role played by the
role played the Huns, despite
despite their
destructiveness,
destructiveness,waswas insignificant.
insignficant. The kinship
kinship between
between
dre Huns and
the and the people of present
the people present day
day Turkey isis
dubious,
dubious, to saysay the
the least,
least, and
and were
were I aa Turk, I would
scarcely
scarcely take pride in claiming
take pride claiming to be be one their
one of their
descendants!
descendants!

The Eastern
Eastern Roman
Roman Empire was was destroyed
destroyed not by
the
tIe Turks but by the the Crusaders completely
Crusaders who completely
devastated 1204, The capture
devastatedit in 1204. caphrreof Constantinople
Constantinoplein
1453 was the
1453was result rather
the result rather than
than the
the cause
causeof the
the downfall
downfall
of Byzantium.
Byzantium.

Islam first
When Islam first began
began to
to expand
expand its power and
its power and
influence
influence over the world,
over the world, the were an
the Turks were an unorganized
unorganized
conglomeration illiterate nomads.
conglomeration of illiterate nomads. For centuriescenhrries
fighting as
fighting as mercenary
mercenarysoldiers
soldierswas
was their sole
sole contribution
contribution
to
to Islamic
Islamic civilization.
civilization. Not until the I l"<h century
the 11 cenhrry did the
the
under the
Turks under the Seljuks
Seljuks andand their successors
successors the
the
Ottomans,
Ottomans, emerged
emerged as powerful force.
as aa powerful force. By thisthis time,
time,
most of the
most the classics
classicson science
scienceand philosophy had
and philosophy had long
long
since
since been
been translated
translated from Arabic Arabic into Latin.Latin. In the
the
transmission
tralsmission of Muslim learning medievalEurope,
Ieamingto medieval Europe, the
the
Turks took little,
little, if any part.
any part.

When
When a nation
nat-ion advances
adva.ncesto higher
higher stages
stages of
of its
evolution,
evolution, it finds it necessary
necessary to change its its
civilization
civilization too. When
When the Turks
Turks were nomadic
nomadic
tribesmen
tribesmen in Central Asia, they belonged to the
civilization
civilizatron of
of the Far East.
East. When
When they tiey past to
the stage
stage of
of the Sultanistic State,
State, they entered
into the area ofof Byzantine civilization.
civilization. And
And today
in their transition
transition to the nation
nation state
state they are
ale
determined
determined to accept Western
Weslern civilization.
civilization.

West Versus
West Versus Islam
lslam 35
People belonging
People belongingto variousreligions
to various religions may
may belong
belong
to the
the same
same civilization.
civilization. The japanese
Japaneseandand the
the
jews
Jews share
share the
the identical
identical civilization
civilization with Europe
Europe
despite
despite their diflerence
dill'erence in religion.
religion. In other
words, civilization
words, civilization andand religion
religion are
are two
two separate
separate
things. Thus it is
things. just as
is.just as erroneous
erroneous to speak.
speak of
Islamic civilization
Islamic civilization as as it is is called
called Western
Westem
civilization Christian.
civilization Christian. Religion
Religion is is confined
confined to
beliefs
beliefs and
and rituals wrth which
rituals with which the arts and
the arts and
sciences haveno connection.
scienceshave connection.

presents the
Here, Ziya Gokalp presents the reader
reader with the the
bundle of contradictions.
bundle coub-adictions.He tries
tries so
so hard
hard to prove
prove that
that
'l'urks
the Turks are
the are already part of Western civilization
already part civilization and
and
then
then hehe compares
comparesthemthem with japanese, admitting
withJapanese, that it is
admitting that is
just as alier.rto the
a-salien the former asas it is
is to the
the latter.
latter. Because
Because
the japanese
the .fapanesewerewere able
able to adopt
adopt Western
Western civilization
civilization
losing their national
without losing national or religious
religiousidentity,
identity, he
he asks,
asks,
"Why
\Mhy cantcant wewe accept
accept it to and
and still
still be
be Turks and and
Muslims?"
MuslimsP"

Although japan
Japan has
has managed
managed to maintain
maintain her
national
natjonal sovereignty,
sovereignty, there
there is question that
is no question that her
indigenous
indigenous culture
culhrre has
has been
been seriously
seriously undermined.
undermined.
Although
AJthough thethe missionaries were never
missionaries were never successful
successful in
converting the japanese
converting the Japanesetoto Christianity,
Clrristianity,the
the influence
influence of
Shinto
Shinto and
and Buddhism
Buddhism has waned considerably
has waned considerably leaving
leaving
the majority of Japanese
the majority youtl-r without any
Japanese youth any strong
strong
religious
religiousbeliefs.
beliefs.

Not only it is is true


true that
that wherever
wherever Western
Western
civilization penetrates,it destroys
civilization penetrates, destroysall
all forms
forms of
of indigenous
indigenous
culture
culture at va-riarcewith it.
at variance it. But even
even more important,
important, the
the
West,
West, due
due toto its
its history,
history, is
is basically
basicallymore hostile
hostile to Islam
Islam
than
than any religion. When
any other religion. When thethe Chinese
Chinese communists
communists
destroyed
destroyed the the monasteries
monasteries of Tibet, there there was
was aa great
great

36 west Versus
West Versus Islam
lslam
outcry ol'
outcry of horror
horror in
in the Western press,
the Western but when
press, but when thethe
President ofTunisia,
President of Tunisia, Habib Bourguiba attacked
Habib Bourguiba the fast
attacked the fast
of Ramadal,
of Ramadan, the
the same
same periodicals him as
eulogized him
periodicals eulogized as the
the
epitome of
epitorne o[ progress
progress and
and enlightenment.
enlightenment.

Western civilization
Western has been
civilization has avowedly secular
been avowedly secular
only since
only since the
the French
French revolution. Until that
revolution. Until time, its
that time, its
culture was
culture was dominated
dominated by by the church. The
the church. works of
The works of the
the
greatest Western
greatest Western artists
artists were
were thoroughly religious in
thoroughly religious in both
both
subject matter
subject matter and
and conception.
conception. Although
Although I
I agree
agree with
with
Ziya
Ziya Gokalp
Gokalp in
in his
his assertion
assertion that
that there
there is
is no
no inherent
inherent
between modern scientific
conflict between discoveries and Islam,
scientific discoveries
purposes to which this
the purposes knowledge has
this knowledge has been applied
applied
have been
have been directed materialistic philosophies'
directed mainly by materialistic philosophies.

When we
When we shrdy history of
study the history Christianity, we
of Christianity, we
see that following
see that Crusades, a new
the Crusades,
following the new
movement arose
movement arose in Europe, aimed at
which aimed
Europe, which
imitating
imitating Islam
Islam and
and finally culminated in the
finally culminated the
Reformation. The Protestants
Reformation. Protestants rejected the
rejected the
papacy, the
papacy, the churchchurch hierarchy,
hierarchy, and
and the
the
priesthood,
priesthood,which
which were
were contrary
contra-ryto the principles
the principles
of Islam.
Islam.

The modern
modern state Europe first
state in Europe arose in
first arose in
Protestant countries.
Protestant countries. Sociologists
Sociologists of
of religion
religion
believe
believethat
that the
the decline
decline of the Latin
of the countries
latin countries
was
wasdue
due to
to their
their Catholicism;
Catholicism;the backwardness
the backwardness
of
of the
the Russians
Russianswaswas aa consequence
consequenceof of their
their
Orthodox,
Orthodox, while
while the progress of
the progress Anglo-
the Anglo-
of the
Saxon nationswas
Saxonnations wasaa result of the
result of fact that
the fact they
that they
had
had freed
freed themselves
themselves fromfrom the Catholic
the Catholic
traditions
traditions and
and approached
approached the principles of
the principles ot
Islam.
Islam.Are
Are we
we not,
not, then, justifiedin
then,justified in considering
considering
Protestantism
Protestautism an an Islamicized
Islamicized form form of
of
Christianity?
ChristranityP

West
WestVersus
versusIslam
lslam 37
The Crusades,
The Crusades,far far from
from promoting
promoting feelings
feelings ofof
mutual friendship
mutual friendship betweenbetween Christians
Christians and
and Muslims
Muslims as as
Ziya Gokalp
Ziya Gokalpwouldwould have haveususto
to believe,
believe,created
createdsuchsuchbitter
bitter
enmity that
enmity thatitit still
still lingers
lingerson
on today.
today.Martin
Martin Luther
Luther had
had asas
fanatical hatred
fanatical haaed of of Islam
Islam as as any
any of of his
his Catholic
Catholic
adversaries.In
adversaries. In comparing
comparing the the superficial
superficial resemblances
resemblances
betweenIslam
between Islam and and Protestantism,
Protestantism,Ziya
Ziya Gokalp
GokaJpindulged
indulged
in mere
in merewishful
wishfulthinking.
thinking. He He harps
harpsonon the
thesubject
subjectonly
only to
to
prove that
prove thatnationalism
nationalismis is compatible
compatiblewith
with Islam.
Islam. But
But how
how
can he
can he forget
forgetthe the horrible
horrible bloody
bloody wars
warsthat
thatresulted
resultedwhen
when
the unity
the unity of
of Christendom
Christendomwas wasshattered
shatteredinto
into innumerable
innumerable
rival hostile
rival hostile sects?
sects? DoesDoes hehe want
want the
the same
same thing
thing toto
happen to
happen to Islam?
Islam? Evidently
Evidently he
he does,
does, for
for this
this is
is clearly
clearly
revealedin his
revealed his attitude
attitudetowards
towardsArabic.
Arabic.

The
The land where the call to prayer resounds in
Turkish;
Turkish; where those who pray understand
understand the
meaning of
meaning of their
their religion;
religion; the land where the
Our'an
Qur'ar-r is
is recited in Turkish;
Turkish; where every man
knows full well the command
command of God - 0'
of God O' son of
of
Turkey, that land is thy fatherland!
Turkey, fatherland!

No sensible person
No person would
would ever think think that a
translation
translation can take the
tlle place of of tie
the Qur'an
Our'an in
in Arabic.
Arabic.
Not only has the preservation
Not only preservation of of the Qur'an
Our'an exactly as
as itit
was
was originally
originally revealed saved
saved itit from
from the corruption
corruption the
the
Bible suffered,
Bible but the prestige of
suffered, but of the Arabic
Arabic language
has served as
as a strong
strong bond
bond of
of unity
unity among
among Muslims
Muslims all
over the world.
over world.

Ziya Gokalp
Ziya Gokalp would
would smash this
this unity
unity and
and transform
transform
the
the universal
universal brotherhood of Islam
brotherhood of Islam into
into a Turkish
Turkish sect:
sect:

While Western Europeans


While Western Europeans read
read themselves
themselves
from medievalism,
from medievalism. the
the Christians of Orthodox
Christians of Orthodox

38 West Versus
Wost Versus lslam
Islam
church inin Russia
church Russia were
were still
still enslaved
enslaved by by it'it. Peter
Peter
the Great
the Great encountered
encountered many difficulties inin his
many difficulties his
struggle to
sruggle to free
free the
the Russians
Russians from from Byzantine
Byzantine
'Western
civilization and
civilization and introduced
introduced them them to to Western
civilization. In
civilization. In order
order to to learn
learn what
what sortsort ofof
methods
methods should
should be
be followed
followed in
in Westernizing
Westernizing aa
country, itit su{fices
country, suffices toto study
study thethe history
history of
of Peter's
Peter's
reforms. Until
reforms. Until then
then thethe Russians
Russians were were believed
believed
incapable of
incapable of any progress'
progress, but after the
but after the
revolution, they
revolution, they began
began to to progress
progress vary
vary rapidly.
rapidly.
This historical
This historical fact
fact is is enough
enough to to prove
prove that that
'Western
Western civilization
civilization is the only avenue to
the only to
advancement.
advancement.

We have to
We to accept the civilization of the West
civilization of West or
or
be enslaved by the powers
be powers ofof the \Mest.
West. Between
Between
choose. We
must choose'
these two alternatives, we must We must
must
master the civilization
civilization of
of the West order to
West in order
defend our freedom
lreedom and independence!
independence!

Does Ziya GokalpGokalp want Turkey Turkey to follow


follow the lead
of
of the
the Soviet Union?UnionP He denounces denounces Marxism yet he
accepts
acceptsthe soil soil on which it flourishes.
flourishes. The
The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
is rapidly surpassing
is rapidly surpassing all other countries including
including my own
in technology,
in technology, in
in military
military might, and
and world
world influence.
influence.
Suppose
Suppose my my country,
couufy, the the United States,
States, thought the the
adoption
adoption of of Soviet
Soviet methods
methods essential
essential toto its national
its national
survival.
survival. Suppose
Suppose the tlre American
American government,
governrnent, in in order
order to to
avoid
avoid being
being enslaved
enslaved by by Soviet
Soviet power
power decided
decided to to
abandon
abandon its its Constitution
Constitution and and the
the Bill
Bill ofof Rights
Rights and and
replaced
replaced them
tJrem with
wrth a
a totalitarian
totalitarian police
police state?
stateP Even
Even if
if asaa
as
result
result ofof this,
this, mymy country
country managed
managed to preserve its
lo preserve lts
political
political sovereignty
sovereignty would would thisthis not
not be
be meaningless
meaningless after after
having
having lost
lost its
its vary
vary raison
raisolr d'etre?
d'€treP The
The same analogy isis
same analogy
even
even truer
tmer when
when applied
applied to to Islam
Islam versus nationalism and
versus nationalism and
secularism.
secularism.

Wcst Versus
West VersusIslam
lslam 39
There isisnothing
There nothingoriginal
originalabout
aboutZia Zia Gokalp's
Gokalp'sideas.ideas.
He haS
He hx tried
tried to
to do
do to
to Islam just what
Islamjust what SirSir Sayid
SayidAhmadAhmad
Khan in
Khan in India
India and
andAli
Ali Abd
Abd al-Raziq
al-Raziqin in Egypt,
Egypt,triedtried to
to do,
do,
namelyaccept
namely acceptthe Western outlook
the Western outlook on on life
life as
asnormative,
normative.
and attempt
and attempt toto show
showhow
how Islam
Islam fits
fits in
in with
with it.
it. In
In order
order toto
do this,
do this, Zia
Za Gokalp,
Gokalp, like
like Taha
Taha Hussein,
Hussein, has hasresorted
resortedto to
an unscrupulous
an unscrupulous distortion
distortion of of historical
historical facts;
facts: like
like his
his
predecessorand
predecessor and successors,
successors,defending
defending aa set set ofof values
values
utterly alien
utterly alien and
and contradictory
contradictoryto it. Allover
to it. All over the the Muslim
Muslim
world, such
world, protagonistsof
such protagonists of Westernization
Westernization have have sprung
sprung
up like
up like weeds,
weeds, yetyet nowhere
nowhere have have theythey been
been able able to to
dominate the
dominate the scene
scenesoso completely
completelyas asin
in Turkey.
Turkey. What is is
the reason
the reasonbehind
behind this?
thisP

answerwas
The answer wasaa aptly
aptly expressed
expressedbyby Muhammad
Muhammad
Enan, Professor
Abdullah Enan, Professorat
at Cairo
Cairo University
flniversity when
when he
he
said:
said:

Inspite of its
Inspite gravity and
its gravity and decisive
decisive effects
effects upon
upon
history, the
history, great conquests
the great conquests of ol' the
the Ottoman
Turks did not bear bear tlIe
the same
sarne spiritual
spiritual
significancedisplayed
significance displayedby tlIe
tJreArab Khalifates.
Khalifates.To
To
the
the Turks, the the conquest
conquest of
of Constantinople
Constantinople waswas
only a a political
political and
and territorial
territorial gain,
gain, which
which
crowned
crowned their continuous
continuous efforts
efforts to wipe out the
the
last
last vestiges
vestiges of of the
the Byzantine
Byzantine Empire, and and
opened
opened thetlIe way
way for their victorious
victorious march int<r
into
the Balkans.
Balkans.

The
The Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
Empire was
was no more than a great
secular power upheld solely
secular solely by material
material force
force
and military rnight,
might, without any civilizing
civilizing ideals.
ideals.
Its Muslim colour was was only
only outward
outward iurc and
ephemeral.
ephemeral. TheThe transformation
transformation ofof Constanti-
Constanti-
nople
nople into
into aa Muslim
Muslim city
city and
and the
the stronghold
stronghold of of

40 West Versus
West Versus lslam
Islam
the Khalifate
the Khalifate never
never Save
gave to world the
the world
to the the same
same
spiritual ideals
spiritual ideals and
and brilliant civilization such
brilliant civilization such as
as
displayed in
displayed in Damascus,
Damascus, Baghdad, Cordoba and
Baghdad, Cordoba and
Cairo.
Cairo.

After destroying
After destroying the legacy of
the legacy of Byzantine
Byzantine
civilization,
civilization, the
the Ottoman
Ottoman Turks
Turks were
were unable
unable to to
create aa new
create civilization on
new civilization on their own as
their own as diddid
Moors in
Moors in Spain.
Spain. From
From the moral point
the moral of view,
point of view,
their coming
their coming under
under the banner of
the banner Islam was
of Islam was
neither powerful
neither powerful nor
nor deep-rooted. Rather itit was
deep-rooted. Rather was
superficial event,
superficial displayed only formal
event, which displayed
appearances
appeanrnces without ever
ever penetrating into the
penetrating
real depths.
real dePths.

the reason
Due to the above, Zia Gokalp's
reason outlined above, Gokalp's
ideas found such
ideas acceptance and
ready acceptance
such ready the Turkish
and the Turkish
people were
people were easily severedfrom their Islamic
easily severed Islamic heritage'
heritage.

Notes:
Notes:

1.
l. Turkish
Turkish Nationalism and
and Western Civilization,
Civ:Jtzatron, Ziya
Gokalp,
Gokalp, translated
translated from
from the
the Turkish language by Niyazi
Turkish language
Berkes,
Berkes,Columbia
Columbia University
UruversityPress,
Press,New 1959.
New York, 1959.

West
WestVersus
VersusIslam
lslam 41
Chapter
Chopfer 55

A Refutation
A Refutationofof the
thePhilosophy
Philosophy
of Taha
of ThhaHussein!
Husseinl
For nearly
For nearly 40 years,Taha
40 years, Taha Hussein
Hussein hashasbeen
been thethe
idol of
idol of the
the Egyptian
Eglptranintelligentsia.
intelligentsia.Born
Born about
about 1890
1890in in aa
small village
small village on on thethe upper
upper Nile,
Nile, as as an
an infant,
infant. he he
contractedophthalmia,
contracted ophthalmia, the the dread
dread eyeeye disease, which isis
disease,which
the scourge
the scourge of of the
the Egyptian
Egyptian fellaheen.
fellaheen. Despite
Despite his his
blindness,Taha
blindness, Taha Hussein
Hussein memorized
memorized the the entire
entire Qur'an,
eur'an,
which at
which at the
the age
ageof of 13
l3 won
won him
him scholarship
scholarshipto to AI-Azhar
Al-Azhar
University.While
University. While studying
studyrngin Cairo,
Cairo, he
he began
beganto to seek
seekthe
the
company of
company of Europeanized
Europeanized students
students and
and hishis desire
desire to to
emulate them
emulate them mademade him abandon
abandon AI-Azhar
Al-Azhar in disgust.
disgust.
One of the
One the first
first awarded
awardedaa Ph.D.
Ph.D. at
at the
the newly
newly established
established
Cairo University,
Cairo University, he he went
went to to Paris
Paris toto study
sn_rdyat at the
the
Sorbonnewhere
Sorbonne where he he earned
earnedanother
anotherPh.D.
Ph.D. and also met
and also met
his wife
his wife Suzanne
SuzanneBresseau
Bresseauwhomwhom he he married
married in 1918.
1918.
Upon his his return
return to Egypt,
Egypt, he
he became
became aa Professor
Professor of
Arabic literature
literature at at Cairo
Cairo University
University and
and later
later the
the Dean.
Dean.
During thisthis time he he began
began to write
write his
his controversial
controversial
books
books in severe
severecriticism
criticism of
of orthodox beliefs.
beliefs.

One ofof these,


these, entitled
entitled The Future of of Culture
Culture in
Egpthas
Egypt has exercised
exercised such
such tremendous
tremendous influence
influence over
over the
the
minds of of younger
younger generation
generation that it has
has become
become a classic
classic
in its field.
field. Taha Hussein
Hussein begins
begins his book by asking:
asking:

Is Egypt
Egypt ofof the East
East or
or the Westp
West? We
We may
paraphrase the question
paraphrase the as follows:
question as follows: Would
Would itit be
be
easier
easier for
for the
the Egyptran
Egyptian mind
mind toto understand
understand aa
Chinese
Chinese andand aa Hindu
Hindu oror toto understa-nd
understand anan
English
English man
man or or French
French man?
man? This
This is
is the
the
question
question you
you must
must answer
answer before we besin
before we begin toto

42 West Versus
West Versus lslam
Islam
think of
think of the
the foundations
foundations on
on which
which we shall have
we shall have
to base our
to base our culture.
culture.

He then
He then goes
goes onon to
to say
say that
that since
since the beginning of
the beginning of
history, there
history, there has
has existed
existed two
two distinct
distinct and
and bitterly
bitterly
antagonistic civilizations -- the
antagonistic civilizations the one
one inin Europe
Europe andand the
the
other in
other in the
the Far
Far East.

This statement
This statement is a great over simplification of
over simplification of
'Western
history. Modern
history, Modem Western civilization
civilization began isits present
present
day trends
day trends lessless than hundred years ago. The
than five hundred The
industrial dynamism
industrial dynamism of of the West
West is no no direct
direct
continuation of
continuation of the development
development of of ancient Greek or
ancient Greek O£
Roman
Roman society but rather
but rather a unique
unique product
product of the
of
Renaissance. If
Renaissance. one cannot
If one cannot speak of of a single civiliz-ation
civilization
·which has existed
"which has existed for
for time
time immemorial"
immemorial" in Europe,
Europe, still
less does
less does this
this apply
apply to the Far East. The Far East has
East. The
never
never been culturally homogeneous.
homogeneous. HinduHindu India and
Confucian
Confucian China
Chrna differed
differed as
as much
much from
from each other
other asas
they did from
did from medieval Europe.
Europe.

Taha Hussein then citescites the


the close
close ties
ties between
between
'The
ancient Egypt
Eglpt and Greece. He FIe says:
says: 'The Greeks during
during
their
their Golden themselves the pupils
Golden Age used to consider themselves
of
of the Egyptians in civilization,
civilization, particularly arts
particularly in the fine arts
and
and government."
government."

However,
However, the Greeks
Greeks may have have been stimulated
st.imulated
by
by the
the contributions
contributions ofof ancient
ancient Egypt
Egypt inin these
these fields, the
fields, the
contrast
contra-stbetween
between the
the heretic
heretic statues
statues of
of Rameses
Rameses and the
and the
sculpture
sculpture of of Pheidias;
Pheidias; the
the Pharaonic
Pharaonic monarchy
monarchy and and
Athenian
Athenian democracy,
democracy, isis too
too great
great to
to be
be able
able to
to assert that
assert that
the
the latter
latter was
was derived
derived from
from thefJreformer.
former.

Because
Because of
of ancient
ancient Egypt's
Eglpt's sustained
suslained relations with
relations with
Greece
Greece and
and her
her lack
lack of
of communication
communicatron with
with the
the Far East'
Far East,

West
West Versus
VersusIslam
lslam 43
Taha Hussein
Taha Hussein argues -l'hat Egypt
argues"That Egypt has has always
alwaysbeen
been anan
integral part
integral part of of Europe
Europe asas far
liu as as its
ie intellectual
intellechtal and
and
culturallife
cultural wasconcerned
life was concenredin in all
all its
is forms
forms and
and branches.
branches.
The only
The period in
only period which Egypt
in which Egypt was wasculturally
culh_rrallypart
part of
of
Europe was
Europe was during
during the
the Hellenistic
Hellenistic age age inaugurated
inauguratedby by
Alexander the
Alexander the Great.
Great. But
But there
there isis even
even less
less historic
historic
continuity between
continuity betweenPharaonic
Pharaonic Egypt
Egypt and and Islamic
Islamic Egypt
Egypt
then between
then betweenthe theAthens
Athensof of Pericles
Periclesand and Byzantium.
Bfzantium.

Taha Hussein
Talla Hussein cites
cites the
the fierce
fierce rebellion
rebellion ofof the
the
Egyptrans against
Egyptians against the
the seventh
seventh century
century Arab
Arab invasion
invasion
clainring that
claiming t.lut Egypt
Egypt was
was the
the first
first country
country under
under Islamic
Islamic
rule to
rule to assert
asscrtits
its national personality.
nationalpersonality.

The battles
The battles against
against the
the Arabian
Arabian invaders
invaders were
were
wagcd not
waged not by by native
native Egyptians
Egyptians but exclusively
exclusively by by
Byzantine mercenary
Byzantine mercenary troops
troops who
who despite
despite their
their superior
superior
nurnbers and
numbers and equipment,
equipment, were were quickly
quickly routed
routed by
General Amar.
General Arnar. The native
native Egyptian
Eglptian cops,
cops, persecuted
persecutedfor
their faith
fhith by
by the Blzantine monarchs,
the Byzantine monarchs, welcomed
welcomed dle the
tolerant rule
tolerant rule of the Muslims. Although
the Muslims. A.lthoughEgypt
Egypt emerged
emergedas as
an independent
an independent entity
entity under the
the dynasty
dynasty of Ibn Tulun
Tulun
(868-884), ilie
(868-884), the rulers
rulers as
as well
well asas ilieir
their subject
subject regarded
regarded
themselves
themselves as as Muslims
Muslims rather
rather than
than asas Egyptians.
Egyptians.
Nationalism
Nationalism asas we
we knew
knew it today,
today, simply exist.
simply did not exist.

Taha Hussein
Hussein insists
insists that
that the adoption
adoption of
of Islam
Islam
and
and Arabic language
language did not make
make Egypt
Egypt any
any more
'Eastern"
"Eastern" than
than Europe when when its people embraced
embraced
Christianity.
Christianity.

How
How is itit possible
possible for f,air
fair minded persons
persons to see
see
no harm coming to the European European mind
mind from
reading
reading the Gospel
Gospel andand atat the same
same time to to
regard
regard thethe Qur'an as purely
Our'an as purely Eastern
Eastern even
even tlough
though
is proclaimed
itit is proclaimed tiat
that the
the Qur'an
Our'an was
was sent
sent only
only to
to

44 West Versus
West Versus lslam
Islam
confinn and
confirm complete what
and complete what is
is in the Gospel?
in the Gospel?
They must
They explain what
must explain what distinguishes
distinguishes
stem from
Islam, for both stem
Christianity from Islam,
Christianity from the
same source.
sarnesource.

Hussein speaks
Taha Hussein speaks as Christianity were
as ifif Christianity were
identical with Islam.
identical Islam. He
He seems forget that the Gospel,
seems to forget Gospel,
Christians regard
the Christians regard as scriptures, is not the same
as their scriptures, same
Gospel to which the Qur'an refers.
Gospel The original message
refers. The message
God revealed
revealed to JesusJesus hashas been lost. All
been lost. All that the
Christians possess
Christians possess are
are four of of the apocryphal biographies
the apocryphal biographies
of Jesus,
of Jesus, which werewere not canonized centuries after
canonized until cenh-rries after
his so-called
his death. Although Jesus,
so-called death. Jesus, like Muhammad,
Muhammad,
spoke
spoke a Semitic language, the
Semitic language, the Christian scriphrreswere
Christian scriptures were
written down in Greek instead.
written Jesus did not know a
instead. Jesus
word ofof Greek.
Greek. The doctrines
doctrines of of the trinity, the divinitv
the trinity, divinity
of Christ,
Christ, original
origrnalsin,
sin, and
and the vicariousatonement
the vicarious atonementby his his
death
death on the
the cross,
cross,originated
originatedwith Paul Paul -- notJesus. Paul
notJesus' Paul
was
was aa thoroughly
thoroughly Hellenized
Hellenized Greek Greek speaking Roman
speaking Roman
citizen
citizen who could
could not help help but be influenced by his
be influenced his
environment.
environment. And it was was Paul,
Paul, rather than Jesus
rather than who
Jesus who
determined
determined the the subsequent history of Christianity.
subsequenthistory Christianity. Yet
Talla
Taha Hussein
Hussein cancan still
still insist
insistthat:
that:

The essence
essence of Islam is is the
the same
same essence
essence of
Christianity.
Christianity. TheThe connection
connection of of Islam with
Greek
Greek philosophy
philosophy is is identical to that of of
Christianity.
Christia-nity. Whence
Whence then comes comes the difference
effect of these
in the effect these two faiths
faiths on the creation of
the mind
mind that mankind
mankrnd inherited
inhented fromfrom Greece?
GreeceP
Why
Why is is Europe's connection
connection with Greek Greek culture
culture
during
during the
the Renaissance
Renaissance oneone of of the
the props
props ofof the
the
European
Europeal mind
mind whereas
whereas herher connection
connection with
wrth the
the
same
same Greek
Greek philosophy
philosophy to
to Islam
Islam is
is not
not so
so
regarded?
regarded? Can Can we we seriously
seriously maintain
maintain the the
existence
existence ofof important
important difference
difference between
between thethe

West
West Versus
VersusIslam
lslam 45
people living
people living on
on the
the northern
northern and
and southern
southern
shoresof
shores of the
the Mediterranean?
MediterraneanP
-We
have seen
We have seenhowhow the
the influence
influence ofof Greeks
Greeks and
and
Rome permeatedthe
Rome permeated the Christian
Christian faith from its
laith from is inception.
inception.
was not true
This was true of
of Islam;
Islam; the
the Qur'an
Qur'an isis in
in Arabic
Arabic not
not
Greek, and
Greek, and unlike
unlike the
the Christian
Christran scriptures,
scriphrres, hashas been
been
preserved in its
preserved purity. No Muslim
is purity. Mushm equivalent
equivalent of of Paul
Paul
ever appeared to
ever appeared to corrupt
cormpt the doctrine of
the doctrine of Islam.
Islam.
philosophers like
Aristotelian philosophers
Aristotelian like Ibn Rushd
Rushd had had aa far
far
greater impact
greater impact on medieval
medieval Europe
Europe than
than thethe Islamic
Islamic
world. Hellenism
world. Hellenism waswas rejected
rejectedin favour
favour of more purely
more purely
Islamic theology.
Islamic theology.

Hussein maintains
Taha Hussein main[ains that
that the
the common
cornmon roots
roots
Muslims share
Muslims share with
with Christian
Christian make
make Islam
Islam for more
more
spiritually compatible
spiritually compatible with
with the
the West than
than with
with oriental
oriental
countries like India or China.
countries China. Thus for Taha Hussein
Hussein
Westernization is
Westernization is not aa problem for the
the Islamic
Islamic world or
Egypt, but an
for Egypt, an inevitable
inevitable consequence
consequenceof its its innate
innate
characteristics.
characteristics.

Despite the
Despite the incessant
incessant rivalry
rivalry between
benveen European
European
Christianity and
Christianity and Islam,
Islam, which
which reached
reached its
its climax
climax during
the Crusades,
the Crusades,it is is true
true that
that Muslims
Muslims did have
have more in
corrunon
common with Christians
Christians thanthan with thethe Hindus or
Buddhiss
Buddhists ofof the
the Far
Far East.
East. Here Taha Hussein
Hussein isis right.
right.
However,
However, he he tails
fails to take
take into account
account that
that since
since thethe
French
French revolution,
revolution, thethe supremacy
supremacy of of secularism
secularism hashas
made
made Western
Western cinlzatjon deadly poison
civilization deadly poison to everyevery
religion.
religion.

Europe today resembles


Europe today resembles thethe Abbasid Near EastEast
in the
the richness
richness ofof its civilization which
its civilization which like
like any
any
human
human creation,
creation, has it~ good
has its good and
and bad aspects.
aspects.
Our
Our religious
religious life will not suffersuffer from our

46 West Versus
Versus lslam
Islam
adoptions ol'Westem
adoptions of Western civilization
civilization any more
more than
it suffered when
when we took took over
over the Persian and
Byzantine civilization.
Byzantine civilization.

Here Taha
Here Taha Hussein
Hussein contradicts
contradicts himself.
himself. He
He has
until now,
until now, exerted all his eflorts
efforts to prove
prove that Egypt
Egypt is
part of
part of Europe,
Europe, resisting all oriental
oriental influences,
influences, and then
he admits
admits that the acceptance
acceptance of of Persian and Byzantine
Byzantine
culture did Islam no harm.
culhrre

The
The adoption
adoption ofof any way of of life, whether
whether from
from the
East oror from
from the WestWest cannot
cannot fail to undermine
undermine the
moral
rnoral strength of of Islam ifif it is contrary
contrary to the teachings
teachings of
of
the Qur'an.
Quran. Persian and Byzantine Byzantine culture
culh-ue waswas no
exception.
exception. Women
Women enjoyed a high and honourable honourable status
stahrs
until
until the Muslim
Muslim rulers considered
considered it fashionable to
imitate the courts of
imitate of Persian and Byzantine
Byzantine kings. OnlyOnly
t.hen did the harem system
tllen system with its its limitless
limitless concubines,
concubines,
eunuchs and slaves
eunuchs slavesbecome tlle the curse
curse ofof Muslim
Muslim society.
sociery.
Homosexualiry and sodomy,
Homosexuality sodorny, in which fue the Greeks
shamelessly
shamelessly indulged spread, spread, like a cancer. cancer. SuchSuch
perversions were rare among the Arabs during during the
lifetime of
lifetime of tlle
the Prophet. Government
Governmeut during during the first four
four
Khalifs was
Khalil's was remarkably
remarkably democratic
democratic untiluntil Muawiya,
Muawrya. in
imrta[ior-r of
imitation of Persia
Persia and Byzantium,
Byzantium, transformed
transformed fue the
Khalifate mtointo a despotic hereditary monarchy. This was
despotic hereditary was
fue
the moral decadence
decadence fuatthat rotted Islamic societysociew from
with in.

Although
AJthough Taha
Taha Hussein admits that there is is much
much
materialism in Western civilization,
civilizatron, he insists
insists fuat
that it still
strll
contains
contains considerable
considerable spiritual content. He supports
spirin-ralcontent. suppors hishis
argument cit-rng tllOse
argument by citing those airplane test "whc)
test pilots "who
voluntarily
volunlarily expose
expose themselves
themselvesto horrible
horrrble injury
ir4ury and
and even
everr
deatl]
deat-hmin order to extend
extend man's
man's mastery
Inasteryover nature."
ltature."

West
W e s t Versus
V e r s u sIslam
lslam 47
While
While there
there is
is nothing
nothing in the
the Qur'an
Qur'an opposmg
opposing
scientific
scientific research, (quite the
research, (quite the contrary),
contrary), its
is teachings
teachings
regard
regard the the mastery
mastery ofof man
man over
over themselves
themselves more
important thanthan mastery
mastery over
over the physical forces
the physical forces of
nature. words, to conquer
nature, In other words, conquer one's
one'sown
own lust, pride,
lust, pride,
greed and
greed and selfishness
selfishnessis
is aa far greater achievement
far greater achievementthan than
sending
sendingaa rocket
rocket on the
the moon.
moon. Yet the
the assumption
assumptionof of the
the
West isis just the
the opposite.
opposite.

If
If God had preserved us
had preserved us from Ottoman
conquest and rule,
conquest and we should
rule, we should have
have remained
remained in
unbroken
unbroken touch
touch with Europe
Europe and
and shared
shared in her
Renaissance.
Renaissance.As aa matter
matter of fact,
fact, the
the Europeans
Europeans
borrowed
borrowed the
the methods
methods that
that prevailed
prevailed in the
the
Islamic world during
Islamic ages.They did just
during middle ages.
what we
what we are
are doing now.
now. It is
is only aa matter
matter of
time.
time.

These
These days has become
daysit has become fashionable
fashionablefor Muslims
Muslims
to argue
argue asas does
does Taha Hussein,
Hussein, that that because
because Europe
Europe
derived her spirit of
derived of scientific
scientific inquiries
inquiries from thethe Arabs,
Arabs,
in the process of Westernization,
the process Westemization, MuslimsMuslims are are only
reclaiming
reclaimingtheir rightful
righdul heritage.
heritage.By thisthis sort
sort of sophistry,
sophistry,
Muslims
Muslims justify the the abandonment
abandonment of their faith. laith. They
forget
forget that
that it is
is not science
sciencein itself
itself which
which determines
determines thethe
quality of aa civilization
quality civilization but rather
rather thethe uses
usesto which it is is
put and
and the
the consequences
consequencesthatthat result.
result.

The transmission
transmissionof Muslim learning
learning to Medieval
Medieval
Europe
Europe did not make people part
make her people part of Islamic
Islamic
civilization.
civilization. The medieval
medieval Europeans
Europeans never
never sought
sought to
adopt
adopt Arabian
Arabian dress,
dress, Arabian
Arabian customs,
customs, and
and mode of
place of their own.
living in place own. Although medieval
medieval Europe
eagerly welcomed the
eagerlywelcomed achievementsof Muslim science
the achievements scrence
and philosophy, it was
and philosophy, was never
never willing to sacrifice
sacrifice its
its own
cultural
cultural independence
independenceas as the
the Muslim countries
countriesare
are doing
doing

48 West lslam
W6st Versus Islam
now.

We
We Egyptians
Egptians measure
measure the progress of our
the progress
nation
nation solely
solely in tenns
terms of the the amounts
amounts of our
borrowing
borrowing from the the W est. We
West. We have have learned
learned
from Europe
Europe how to to be
be civilized.
civilized. Europeans
Europeans
have
have taught
taught us
us to sit at
at the
the table,
table, eateat with the
the
knife and
and fork, sleep
sleep in beds instead of on the
beds instead the
floor and wear Western clothes.
and to wear clothes.We We seek
seek no
guidance in our government from the
guidance the Kalifate.
Kalifate.
Instead we
Instead we have
have set
set up national
national secular
secular courts
courts
and enacted laws
and enacted laws in confonnity
conformity to Western Western
rather
rather than
than Islamic
Islamic codes.
codes. The dominant
dominant andand
undeniable fact of our times
undeniable fact times is is that
that day
day by day
day
we
we are
are drawing
drawing closer
closer to Europe
Europe and and becoming
becoming
an
an integral
integral part of
of her literally and figuratively.
figuratively.

Taha Hussein
Hussein asserts
assertsthe Westemization would be
the Westernization be
much more difficult
dilficult if the
the Egyptian
Egyptian mind were
were basically
basically
different
different from the European. In the
the European. the same
same breadth,
breadth, he
he
chides
chides his
his countrymen
countrymen for lagging
laggrngso
so far behind Japan
far behind Japan in
this respect. If
this respect. If Egypt
Egypt were
were truly aa cultural
culnrral extension
extension of
Europe,
Europe, Taha Hussein
Hussein would
would have
have no need
need for any
any
argument.
arSument.

In all
all seriousness, we wish
seriousness,do we wish to embrace
embrace the
the
religion
religion and philosophy of the
and philosophy the Chinese
Chinesejust when
when
they
they are
are rapidly
rapidly westernizing themselvesPThose
westernizingthemselves? Those
Egyptians
Egyptrans who rVho derived
derived Western
Westem civilization
civilization
would bebe the
the last want to live
last to want live like
like Chinese
Chineseor
Hindus.
Hindus.

Why should
Why should Taha
Taha Hussein
Hussein assume
assumethat
that his
his fellow
fellow
countrymen
countrlmen must
must choose
choosebetween thesetwo
betweenthese two alternatives?
alternativesP
Why
Why should
should Egyptians
Eglptians want
want to be
be like either
either Chinese
Chineseor
English
English men?
men? Why
Why should
should they
they not be
be proud to live
live as
as

West Vcr3us Islem


Welt Versus lslam 49
MuslimsP
Muslims?

God
God has
has bestowed on us us a boon
boon to compensate
for
for our
our calamities. The The Western
Western world world hashas
struggled
sfuggled for
for centuries to attain its ils present level
of
of progress and now
now we have the opportunity
oppornrnity to
with in a generation. No
reach it with No power
power on on earth
is capable of of preventing
preventing us Egyptians from from
enjoying life exactly the way they do. In
enjoying In order
order to
become
become equal partners in civilization
civilization with
with the
Europeans, we must
Europeans, must literally
literally and forthrightly
forthright.ly do
everything
everything they do. Whoever
Whoever advises
advises any otherother
course of
of action, is either
either a deceiver or or is himself
himself
deceived.
deceived.

You
You must
must nownow raise
reise the question
question asas to whether
whether
Western
Westem civilization
civilization is superior
superior to Islam asas Taha
Taha Hussein
Hussein
so obviously
obviously believes. Certainly, the Western
believes. Certainly, Western world,
world, by
means ofof its technological
technological efficiency, hashas promoted
promoted the
general physical
physieal well being and material
material prosperity
prosperity ofof its
its
people beyond the the level
level ofof any preceding civilization.
civilization.
Yet, no civilization can be judged on the the basis
basis of
of its
is
technology
technology alone. WhatWhat of of the arts?
artsP Which
Which architecture
is superior
superior in grace
grace and symmetry
sl,rnmetry the mosque of of Ibn
Ibn
Tulun
Tulun or the UnitedLlnited Nations Building?
BuildingP Western
Western art
reached its peak duringduring the Middle
Middle Ages and early
Renaissance.
Renaissance.It hashas been steadily
steadily declining ever since.
since.

The
The decadence
decadence of of modem
modern art is is the direct
consequence of
consequence of the
the loss
loss of religious
religious convictions.
convictions. Both
Both the
the
painting and the "socialist realism" of
"non-objective" painting of the
communist
communist countries
countries are a perfectperfect expression ofof the
rejection of
rejection of all spiritual
spiritual values.
values. The
The source of of emotional
emotional
depth and warmth, of of beauty
beauty and design
design is
is God. Modem
Modem
painting, sculpture and architecture is conspicuously
conspicuously
lacking in all these
these attributes.
attributes. The
The absence
absence of of God isis

50 West Versus
West Islam
Versus Islam
equally reflected in such sordid
sordid place of of Tennessee
'A
Williams
Williams asas "A Street Car Named
Named Desire" and "Cat on a
Hot
Hot Tin
Tin Roof." There
There is no God
God in modem
modern jazz, which
which
caters
caters to the crudest most
most primitive
primitive instincts in man. And
And
once a human
human being is reduced to the level of of the beast,
beast,
he begins to act like
like one.

In
In the collective farm settlements in Israel, Israel. for
for
example,
exarnple, free love is tllethe accepted thing. Children
Children are
taken from
from their mothers
mothers when a week old old and brought
brought
up in nurseries. Consequently
Consequently the formalities
formalities ofof marriage
are dispensed with the family
family life eliminated.
eliminated. In Sweden,
sex
sex instruction
instruction is begun in the first year of of elementary
elementary
school with
with the aim ofof preventing
preventing ofof any taint ofof sin from
from
being associated
associated with
with the subject in the children's mind. mind.
Adolescents
Adolescents areare taught that there is nothing
nothing wrong
vwong with
with
sexual
sexua.l relations out
out side ofof marriage so long as as the boy
and girl
grl love each otherother and are prepared
prepared to take
responsibility
responsibility for children.
children. Contraceptives are easily
available
available to teenagers.
teenagers. However,
However, this does not prevent
prevent at
least a quarter
quarter of
of the babies born
born from
lrom being conceived
out
out of
of wedlock. Swedes
Swedes defend
defend tlleir
their moral
moral standards by bv
just as
insisting that they are just as high as
as elsewhere:
elsewhere:

Is Western secularism
secularism superior to Islam?
Islarn? Which
Which
is
is the higher motive to do good without without tllOught
thought of of
tangible
tangrble gain for the love of of God
God or to do right simply
simply for
the sake
sake of of socio
socio convention?
convenhonP Which
Which is is the
thc more
advance idea -- tlle
advance the triumph
triumph of of nationalism
nationalism or the the
universal
universai brotherhood
brotherhood of of Islam?
Islam? Which
Which is is the
the broader
view -- a purely
purely this -- worldly
worldly emphasis
ernphasis or the
dre affirmation
affinnat.ion
of
of the hereafter?
he reafterl

Nationalism,
Natronalism, secularism,
secularism, the
the decay ol' arL~,
decay of arls, the
decline
decline in moral standards,
standards, the
t.he race
race of
of materialistic
materialisttc
ideologies
ideologies such
such as
as fascism,
fascisn-r,Nazism
N:rzisrn and Communism
Conrrnunrsm

West
W e s t Versus
V e r s u s Islam
lslam 51
61
combined with the
combined with the mad
mad rush
rush to invent
invent ever
ever more deadly
deadly
weapons of mass
weapons mass murder,
murder, are
are all
all signs
signs of approaching
approaching
downfall of the
downfall the West.
West. In adopting
adopting its
its civilization,
civilization,
Muslims will not share
Muslims shareits progressbut only in its
is progress is doom.
doom.
Is
Is this what Taha
this what Taha Hussein
Husseinwants?
wants?

Notes:
Notes:

l.
1. The Future
The Future of Cultwe in Egypt,
of Culture EgW4 Taha
Taha Hussein,
Hussein,
translated from
translated from the
the Arabic
Anbic language
language by
by Sidney
Sidney Fisher,
Fisher,
American Council
American Council of Learned
karned Societies,
Societies,Washington,
Washington,D.C.
D.C.
1954.
1954.

52
52 West
W6st Versus
Vorsus Islam
l3lam
Chapter 66
Chopter

A Discussion
A Discussion of
From Here
From Here we
we Startl
Start l
From the day day of of its publication,
publication, Khalid
Muhammad l(halid's
Muhammad Khalid's book,
book, From Here We Start
From Here Startcreated
created
sensation. After
a sensation. seized by the Council of
Mter being seized of Ulema
at Al-Azhar and and banned
banned as heretical, a group of
as heretical, of
government spokesmen
government spokesmen stepped defend the book.
stepped into defend
Consequently, when the ban was
Consequently, was lifted, From Here We
Start immediately
Srarr immediately became
became a bestseller. was not long
It was
bestseller. It
before over
before copies were
over a half million copies sold. In view
were sold. view of the
the
fact that
fact three quarters
that three quarters of the Egyptian population
the Egtrptian population is is
illiterate, this
illiterate, this was indeed a phenomenal
was indeed phenomenal commercial
commercial
success.
success.Because
Because I believe
believe that
that every
every one should be
one should be
granted
granted thethe freedom
freedom to express
expresshishis thoughts,
thoughs, I oppose all
oppose all
kinds
kinds of censorship, particularly the
censorship, particularly the banning books.
banning of books.
Yet I completely
completely agree with the
agreewith the Ulema of Al-Azhar that
Al'Azhar that
Khalid Muhammad
Muhammad Khalid's must be
Iftalid's book must be considered
consideredas as
heretical.
heretical.

The first
first chapter
chapter entitled "Religion-Not Priest-
entit.led "Religion-Not Priest-
hood"
hood" contrasts
contraststhe
the former
former with
with the
the latter.
latter. Religion, says
Religron.says
Khalid Muhammad
Muhammad Khalid, is humane
Khalid, is humane and altruistic
and altruistic
whereas priesthood is
whereas priesthood is egotistic;
egotistrc;religion democratrc
religion ISis democratic
while
while priesthood
priesthood is
is totalitarian;
totalitarian; religion
religion is
is progressive
progressive
while priesthoodisis reactionary.
whilepriesthood reactionary.

According
According to to Khalid
Khalid Muhammad
Muhammad Khalid, the
Khalid' the
poverty of
poverty of modern
modern Egypt
Eglpt isis due to the
due to the priesthood which
priesthoodwhich
monopolizes
monopolizesallall the
the wealth
wealth ofof the
the country
country regarding the
regardingthe
common
coffunon people
people as
as slaves
slaves who
who should
should be
be grateful
grateful to
to grab
grab
what few
what few crumbs
crumbs areare thrown
throwtr out at them.
out at What isis most
them' What most
alarming
alarmingofof all,
all, he goeson
he goes on to say,isis that
to say, that these prrests
thesepriests

West
West Versus
VersusIslam
lslam 53
speak in
speak in the
t-he name
name of
of Islam
Islarn claiming
claiming that
that alms
alms giving
giving
const-rtutesan
constitutes an adequate
adequate economic
economic system.
system.

'This
'This Islamic priesthood isis not
Islamic priesthood not contend
contend to to starve
starve
the body. It
the body. It also
also starves
starvesthethe mind.
mind. It It has
has persecuted
persecuted everyevery
creative soul,
creative soul, rejected
rejected every
every useful
useful newnew ideaidea andand denied
denied
every scientific
every scientific truth.
truth. Let
Let us us not
not forget
forget what
what happened
happened to to
Christianity. The
Christianity. The defeat
del'eat ofof the
the Western
Westem priesthood
priesthood as as aa
power, due
worldly power,
worldly due to to the
the martyrs
martlrs who who fellfell in
in battle
battle for
for
the sake
the sake of of freedom
freedom and and progress,
progress, should should be be an an
instructive lesson
instructive lesson for for itsits living
living sister,
sister, the Egyptian
Eglptian
priesthood-" Just what is
priesthood." is this
this Islamic
Islamic priesthood
priesthood which
Khalid Muhammad
Khalid Muhammad Khalid Khalid so so loudly
loudly condemn?
condemnp The The
answer to this puzzling question he never bothers to
t-his puzzling
inform his readers.
inform readers. He is is content
content to leaveleave them guessing.
guessrng.
However, I assume
However, assume that he is is referring
ref-erring to the Ulema Ulema and
.Shaikhs of
Shaikhs of Al-Azhar
Al-Azhar and perhaps to aa lesser lesser extent to the
Muftrs, Qadiz and
Muftis, and Imams attachedattached to other mosques.mosques. By
objective definition
no objective delinition could any any of of these
these religious
religious
functionarics be called
functionaries priests. Their
called priests. Their position confers confers on
them no special
special sanctity;
sanctity; they are are not bound
bound by any holly
vows of
vows of ordination,
ordinalion, neither are are they entitled to act act asas
interrnediaries between
intermediaries befweerr men rnel and:urd God. They They are are notlling
nothiug
more tha:r scholars
more tllan scholars whosewhose prestige
prestige is based based on their tlleir
learning and theretllere piety.
piety. Few lllemaUlema have have amassed
amassed any any
great wealth,
wealtll, much less less could drey tlley be held responsible
responsible
for
for Eglpt's
Egypt's poverq/.
poverty. NoneNone has has dre
tlle power
power to deny Egypt
the blessings
blessings ofof scientilic
scientific progress
progress rnuchmuch lessless to persccute
persecute
scientists.
scientists.

Now
Now that it is clear that the
tlle Islamic priesthood
exists
exists only
only in Khalid
Khalid Muharnrnad
Muhammad Khalid's imagrnation,
imagination,
the rea<ler
reader rnay
may begin to won<ler
wonder what
what are the sources ol'
of
his inspiration. I.'or
For his suprerne
supreme authorities, he takes
takes the
tlle
writings -fhomas
writings of
of such arch unbelievers
unbelievers asas Thomas Paine,
Paine,
Vokaire tlle Errelish
Voltaire and above all the English historian
historian H.
H. G.
G. Wells
Wells

54 West Versus
West Versus lslam
Islam
who in
who in his OUdliJe
Outline ofof History
History lost no
no opporhrnity
opportunity to
slander the Holly
Holly Prophet. What connections
Prophet. \Mhat connections have these
Western writers with
Western with IslamP
Islam? Absolutely
Absolutely none. ButBut this
not seem to trouble
does not trouble Khalid
Khalid Muhammad
Muhammad l(halid
Khalid at
He apparendy
all. He apparently is under
under the delusion
delusion that Islam
Islam is
like Christianity.
exactly like Christianity. He
He even goes
goes so far as
as to say
say that
the mosques ofof Egypt
Egypt should pattern themselves after the
should pattern
Protestant churches of
Protestant of Europe
Europe and America!
America!

In
In advising his readers what measures should should be
taken to ridrid Egypt of
of the Islamic
Islamic priesthood,
priesthood, the author
author
reveals
reveals a few moremore pearls ofof his wisdom.
wisdom. First of of all AI-
Al-
Azhar
Azhar should
should be Westernized
Westernized until
until it is no different
different from
from
the modern
modern Protestant
Protestant divinity
divinity schools. Mosque
Mosque
preachers should
should be trained
trained like Protestant ministers.
Only
Only then wouldwould they
th.y support
support the forces of of
"progress". In
"advancement" and "progress". In the second phase,phase, the
government
government should restrict Friday!'riday prayer services
services to the
larger
larger mosque where only carefully selected selected preachers
preachers
would be chosen.chosen. In other words, Egypt's Egypt's mosque
preachers
preachers should be mere mouthpieces
mouthpieces of of propaganda
propaganda
for the policies of of the secular state.
state. Khalid
Khalid Muhammad
Muhammad
Khalid
Khalid is is not content
coutent to restrict these
these reforms to the
mosques.
mosques. "Have "Have I forgotten
forgotten thethe Coptic Church?" he
asked.
asked. "Oh no! I urgeurge everyone
everyone of of these
these suggestions
suggestionsto be
applied to the the Coptic
Coptrc Church as as well!"
well!" One begins
begrns to
wonder just who u'ho Khalid Muhammad
Muhammad Khalid Khatid tlunks
thinks he is.
is.

The
The remainder
remanrler of ol From
From HereHere TVc We Start is rs a
passionate
passionate plea for tile separatiorr of religion
the separation religrorr and
ald state.
state.
The autllor
author argues
argues that
that because
because Muhammad
Muhammad led aa life of of
austerity and self~denial,
austeriqr and sel[denial, he
he never
never intended
intended government
be part of Islam.
to be Islam. Yet from the the day
dal Muhammad
Muhammad
migrated
rnigrated from
lrorn Makkah
MakJiah to Madina, Islam Isla-rn was
was aa state
slate as
as
well
w,ell as
as aa religion.
religion. Muhammad
Muhammad was was ruler as as well as as
Prophet.
l'rophe t. Madina waswas the
the capita.!
capital of tile sovercilill
ol'the sovercign state
state by
bv

West
W e s t Versus lslam
V e r s u sIslam 55
everydefinition
every definition of that
that term.
term. The Prophet
Prophet raised
raisedarmies,
armies,
declared war,
declared war, concluded peace,signed
concluded peace, signed treaties,
treaties,received
received
and sent
and sent ambassadors,
ambassadors, levied
levied taxes
taxesand
and dispensed justice,
dispensedjustice,
as did all
as all the
the Khalifs
Khalifs who
who succeeded
succeededhim.him. But Khalid
l(halid
Muhammad Khalid
Muhammad Khalid argues
a.rguesthatthat the Prophet did not
the Prophet
really want
really want to
to rule
rule at
at all.
all. Only expediency
expediencyforced
forced him to to
so. According
do so. According to prophet-hood is
to him, prophet-hood is restricted
restricted
exclusively to
exclusively to guidance
guidance and preaching. Yet the
and preaching. the Holy
Prophet himself
Prophet himself said: "Islam and
said: "Islam government are
and government are twin
twin
brothers. None
brothers. None of the the two can be
two can perfect without
be perfect without thethe
other. Islam
other. Islam isis like aa great
greatstructure
structureand governmentis
and government is its
its
guardian.A building
guardian. building without aa foundation
foundation crashes
crashesdown
down
and without aa guardian
and guardianis is pilfered and
and robbed
robbed out!"
out!"

Kha]id Muhammad
Khalid Muhammad Khalid thinksthinks that
that Islamic
Islamic
government under
government the Khalifs
under the IGalifs was
was aa despotic
despotic andand
oppressiveas
oppressive as that the medieval
that of the medieval Christian
Christian church.
church. The
Khalifates of Abu Bakar
Khalifates Bakar and
and Umar
fJmar were
were so
so unique,
unique, he
he
says,amidst
says, amidst the
the hundreds
hundreds of bloody despotisms
despotismsthat
that they
they
can safely
can safelybe
be regarded
regardedas asunnatural
unnahrralexceptions.
exceptions.

Although thethe majority


majority of Muslims
Muslims have
have always
always
considered Abu Bah
considered Bakr and
and Umar
Llmar as
as the
the best
best Khalifs,
Khalifs.
Islam has
Islam has not lacked good rulers.
lacked other good rulers. Has
Has Khalid
forgotten the
Muhammad Khalid forgotten valiance of Ali, the
the valiance the
piety of Umar-II or the the chivalry
chivalry of the
the Saladin,
Saladin, all
all
devoted servants
devoted servantsof Islam?
IslamP

Religious government, he
Religrousgovernment, he says
says stifles
stifles all freedom
freedom
and creativity
and creativiy as
as threats
threats to its power. This might have
its power. have
been true
been ignorant popes,
true of ignorant popes, priests
priests and
and monks
monks of
medieval
medieval Europe,
Europe, but it certainly
certainly does
does not apply
apply to Islam.
Islam.
The Khalifs were patrons
Khalifs were patrons of leaming,
learning, chief among
among them
them
was
was Khalif Ai-Mamun
Al-Mamun who established
established his
his famous
famous House
House
Wisdom where
of Wisdom where thousands
thousands of Greek manuscripts
manuscripts on
science and philosophy
scienceand philosophy were
were translated
translated into Arabic.
Arabic. That

56 Versus Islam
West Versus lslam
the Muslims
the Muslims led led the
the world
world for centuries in
for cenhrries every field
in every field of
of
culture is
culhrre is well
well known
known toto students of history.
students of Far from
history. Far from
opposing these
opposing these achievements Khalifs generously
achievements the Khalifs generously
endowed schools
endowed schools and hospitals
hospitals and pahonized
patronized the arts
arts
sciences.
and sciences.

In other instinct
In instinct of religious govemment
of religious government, insists
insists
Khalid Muhammad Khalid, is its
Khatid its beasdy cruelty. "It cuts
beastly cruelty. cuts
throats and sheds
throats scruple on charges
sheds blood without scmple charges of of
ungodliness and
ungodliness and heresy.- religious government,
heresy." Thus religious government,
whether Christjan
whether represents the worst
Christian or Muslim represents worst
possible tyranny.
possible tyranny.

Muhammad Khalid seems


Again, Khalid Muhammad
Again, seemsto have
have
confused the
truly confused the history
history of Islam that of medieval
Islam with that medieval
Christianity. In vain
Christranity. vain he
he can
can search the history
search the history books
books of
of
Islam
Islam for such
such horrors
horrors as
as tlle
the Spanish inquisition or the
Spanishinquisition the
numerous
numerous organized
organized witch
witch hunts heretjcs that
hunts for heretics that
terrorized
terrorized medieval
medievalEurope.
Europe.

The contrast
contrast between
between the the bigotry dominating
bigory dominating
medieval
medieval Europe
Europe and and religious
religiousfreedom prevailingin the
freedom prevailing the
Muslim world is is amply
amply illustrated
illustratedin the caseof Abul Ala
the case
AI
Al Ma'arri,
Ma'arri, one
one of thethe most
most famous poets of Syria.
famous poets Syria.
Altllough
AJthough Abul Ala AI-Ma'arri
Al-Ma'arri in his publicity
writing, publicity
his writing,
ridiculed
ridiculed every
everydoctrine
doctrine of Islam
Islam and
and openly proclaimed
openly proclaimed
himself of an unbeliever,
himself an unbeliever, his
his poetry
poetry was
was widely
widely acclaimed
acclaimed
during
during his
his life
life time
time for
for its
its artistic
artistjcmerits. Never molested
merits. Never molested
in anyway,
in any way,Abul Ala AI Al Ma'arri
Ma'arn died peacefullyat
died peacefully great
at aa great
old age.
age.

It
It isis not
not surprising
surprisingwhy
why the
the enemies
enemiesof Islam both
of Islam both
in
irr my
my country
country and and abroad applauded From
abroad applauded Here We
From Here We
Swt as enthusiastically
Start as enthusiastically as
as they
they did
did Ali
Ali Abdal
Abdal Raziq's
Raziq's
Islam
Islam and
and the the Principles
Princtples ofGovernment
of C,oventmenr25 yearsearlier.
25 years earlier'
They
They eulogized
eulogizedKhalidl$alid Muhammad Khalid as
Muhammad Khalid as aa highly
highly

West
Wost Versus
V6r3usIslam
l3lam 57
gifted writer
gifted writer and
and as as aa embodiment
embodiment of progress and
of progress and
enlightenment. His
enlightenment. His book
book waswas reviewed
reviewed inin American
American
magazinesas
magazines if itit were
asif wereaa triumph
triumph of
of scholarship.
scholarship.Actually,
Actually,
itit isis aa mere rehashof
mere rehash of the
the argument
argumentset
setforth
forth by
by Ali
Ali Abdal
Abdal
Raziq in
Raziq in aa much
much less less convincing
convincing manner.
maruler. NoNo Muslim
Muslim
with even
with evenan elementaryknowledge
an elementary knowledgeofof his
his religion
religion could
could
takesuch
take suchnon-sense
non-senseseriously.
seriously.

Khalid Muhammad
Khalid Muhammad KhalidKhalid isis himself
himself aa graduate
graduate
of Al-Azhar.
of Al-Azhar. If
If he
he undertook
undertook toto write
write this
this book with
with
sincerityand
sincerity good intentions
and good intentions simply becausehe
simply because he was
was too
too
ignorant to
ignorant to know
know any any better,
better, this certainly is
this certainly rs an
an
unfavourablereflection
unfavourable reflection on presenteducational
on present educat.iona-l standards
standards
in aa Muslim world.
world.

Notes:
Notes:

l.
1. From Here
From Here WeWe Start,
Start, Khalid
Khalid Muhammad
Muhammad Khalid,
Kha1id,
translated from
from Arabic
Arabic language by Ismail Al-Faruqi, Near
Ismail Al-Faruqi, Near
Eastem
Eastem Translation
Translation Program
Prograrn Number
Number 3, American
Amencan
Council
Council of
of Leamed
Leamed Societies,
Societies, Washington,
Washington, D.C.
D.C. 1953.
1953.

58 West Versus
West Versus lslam
Islam
Chapter
Chopter 7

Western Civilization versus


Western Civilization versus
Civilizationl
Islamic Civilization'
Islamic
Frankly I must say that your editorial
say that editorial was
was far
superior to any
superior any of articles published.
of the other articles published. In
addition, I would like to add
addit.ion, that I felt too much
add that
was placed
emphasis was
emphasis placed upon the the oblivious and well known
oblivious and
contributions learning to medieval
Islamic learning
contributions of Islamic medieval Europe.
Europe.
Although we cannot afford
we cannot afford to igrrore
ignore these
these achievements,
achievements,
since that many
nevertheless could not help but since
I nevertheless many of the
the
authors used
contributing authors
contributing the past
used the past to escape
escape from the
the
realityof the
reality present.
the present.

The achievements
achievementsof MuslimsMuslims aa thousand years
thousand years
ago,
ago, however great, failed
however great, provide any
failed to provide gr-rarantee
any guarantee that
that
Islam will
Islam will flourish
flourish in the future. To survive,
the future. survive,Muslims
Muslims
must
must strive
strive with all
all their energy possible aa
make possible
energy to make
meaningful applicatiolrof
meaningfulapplication <lf Islamic principles to every
Islamic principles vital
everyvital
phaseof human
phase humansociety.
society.

Although
Nthough I completely
completely agree Muhammad
agree with Muhammad
Asad
Asad when
when he wrote in his
he wrote book, /slam
his book, Islan at tlle tJrc Gross
Cross
Roads
Roadsthattltat the
the imitation waysof
Western ways
imitation of Western ol' lile basedon
lilc based on
their
their materialistic, pragmat.ic,
materialistic,pragmatic, and
and secular philosophies
secularphilosophies
can
can only
only lead
lead to the abandonment
to the abandonmelrtof Islam, yet
ol'Islam, yet I must
rnust
take
take issue witl him when
issuewith he assert~
when he asserlsthat
that all which is
all which is of
any
any use
use toto Muslims
Muslims from thethe West is is conlined
conlined to the
to the
physical
physicalscience.
science.

One
One ofof the prime concern
the prime concenrof ol'all countries
Muslun countries
all Muslim
is
ISthe
the fight
fight against
agarnstextreme poverty. Nothing
extreme poverty. Nothirtg could be
could be
more
more in
in accord
accordwitll
with tlle spirit of
the spirit of Islam.
Islarn.The Prophet
The Prophet
himself
himselfsaid, "He ISis not
said,"He not one ol'us
one of who eat~
us who eaLshis flll and
his fill lets
and lets

West
Wost Versus
VersusIslam
lslam 59
his neighbour
his neighbour go go hungary."
hungary."For For this reason, Zakat
this reason, Zakat isis
simply progressivetax
simplyaa progressive taxcollected
collectedbyby the governmentand
the government and
used to
used to save
savethose
those in in the
the community
community unableunable toto support
support
themselvesfrom
themselves from destitution.
destitution. Besides
Besides Zakat,
Zakat, Islam
Islam has has
other methods
other mefhods of of fighting poverty. Such
fighting poverty. Such as as waqf
waqf
foundations, inheritance
foundations, inheritance laws laws and
and the prohibition of
the prohibition of
interest.Yet
interest. Yet these
theseare ignored by
are ignored by the
the majority
mqiority of
of Muslim
Muslim
governmentswhile
governments while the
the remainder
remainder failed
failed toto make
make effective
eflective
use of
use of them.
them. InIn the
the M.uslim
M.uslimworld,
world, most
most charity
charity isis given
given
and to individuals
by and individuals who who are
are entirely
entirely unorganized.
unorganized. In
the West,
the Wes! because philanthropy is
becausephilanthropy is organized,
organized,it does
does far far
good. In the
more good. the Muslim world,
world, the person who
the person who gives
gives
charity directly to to an
an individual may
may havehave had
had even
even better
better
intentions than
intentions than the person in the
the person the West who who gives
givesto to the
the
organization, but the
organization, the organization
organization is is more effective.
effective.
There is is nothing prevent well-to-do
nothing to prevent well-todo Muslims
Muslims from
expressingtheir piety
expressing piety by creating
creatingtheir own own organizations
organizations
the model of the
on the the Federation
FederationofJewish
of JewrshPhilanthropies.
Philanthropies.
Why cannot
Why cannot thethe tremendous
tremendous advances
advancesmade made in Europe
Europe
and America in the
and field of social
the field social work be be used
used to
strengthenthe
strengthen the Zakat and and waqf foundations
foundations in to aa really really
effectivemeans
effective meansalleviating
alleviatingextreme poverty.
extreme poverty.

democratic government
A democratic government such
such as practiced in my
as practiced
country isis far more compatible
compatible with thethe spirit of
of Islarn
Islam
than
than a hereditary
hereditary monarchy dictatorship.
monarchy or a military dictatorship.
The spirit of of orthodox Khalifate
Khalifate was
was remarkably
remarkably
democratic.
democratic. Abu Bakr, Uthman, tlmar Umar and
and Ali
Ali kept in
close contact with the people,
close contact people, being
being accessible
accessible to them
them at
all times.
times. They were
were freely
freely elected
elected deriving
deriving therr
their power
from the support of the people
of the people they
they govemed
governed andand from
their observance
observance and enforcement
enforcement of of Muslim law.
law. The
grave
grave weakness
weakness ofof the orthodox Khalifate
Khalifate and the reason
reason
for its brief
brief duration waswas the lack of of any
any systematrc
systematic
method of of choosing
choosing a successor,
successor. AJthough
Although the spirit of of
democracy
democracy was was there,
there, the organization
organization was
was missing.
missing.

60 West Versus
West Versus lslam
Islam
Muslim rulers
Muslim rulers today
today can greadybenefit
cangreatly benefit by
by the
the study
srudyand
and
adoption of
adoption of all
all those
those aspects
aspectsof
of Western
Westem democracy
democracy
compatiblewith
compatible with Islam.
Islam.

However, in so
However, so doing, there is
doing, there is one
one important
important
difference to
difference to keep
keep inin mind.
mind. In aa truly
truly Muslim
Muslim state,
state,the
the
supreme authority
supreme authority is is the
the Shariah,
Shariah, andand no law law can
can bebe
consideredvalid
considered valid if it conflicts
conflictswith
with the
the Our'an.
Qur'an. Western
Westem
democracyis
democracy is based
basedon on tlle
the secular principle that
secularprinciple that law
law is
is an
an
expression public will and
expressionof public and consequently
consequentlythe the legislative
legislative
power of the
power the elected parliament is
elected parliament is legally
legally absolute.
absolute. In
other words, according
other words, accordingto to Islam,
Islam, the
t}re source
sourceof the the law
law is
is
divine revelation
divine revelationwhile
while western
westemdemocracy
democracyregards
regardslaw law asas
purely manmade
aa purely product. Both Muslim parties
manmade product. parties in
Indonesia, the
Indonesia, the Masjumi
Masjumi and and the
the Nahdatul-Ulema
Nahdanrl-Ulema have have
grappled with
grappled with this problem as
this problem as most
most Muslim leaders leaders in
the other countries
the countriesbefore
before the
the solution
solution is is found.
found.

No truly
truly Islamic government can
Islamic government can be
be established
established
until aa complete
complete revision
revision of the
the Shariah
Shariahtakes place.The
takesplace.
great orthodox
four great orthodox schools
schools of Muslim law, law, founded
founded
between eighth
between eighth andarrd ninth centuries
centuries AD, were well
AD, were well
adapted to the
adapted the society prevailing tllen.
society prevailing then. Unfortunately,
Unlbrtunately,
successorswho
their successors who closed
closed tlle
the door to !itihad
ijtilnd and
utd
practicedtaqiid,
practiced taqlid, made
made the
the Shariah
Shariahaa fossil.
fossil.

Although the
the founders
founders of orthodox school
school of lawlaw
merit great
great respect,
respect, they
they can
can not be
be regarded
regarded as
as irfallible.
infallible.
Like all
all human beings they
human beings they were subjectto error.
were subject error.

For example
example under Hanafi law,law, a divorce
divorce is
is valid
valid ifif
pronounced
pronounced under the the influence
influence of of intoxicating
intoxicating
beverages
beverages or drugs.
drugs. The Qur'an
Our'an and Sunnah prohibits
and Sunnah prohibits all
intoxicar.rts.
intoxicants. Also according
according to Ha.nafi
Hanafi law,
law, the
the testimony
testimony
in court of
of any
any non-Muslirn
non-Muslim against
against a Muslim cannot
cannot bebe
accepted
accepted because
because of of the
the hatred the former would feel
hatred the feel

Wegt
West Vcrsus
Versus lslam
Islam 61
towards the latter
towards differences in religion.
latter due to the differences religion.

factor cannot be lightly dismissed,


this factor
Although this dismissed, in
cases were
cases relevant, the
were it is relevant. the non-Muslim would then then
certainly not expect
certainly receive justice
expect to receive justice in a Muslim
Muslim court.
court.
The Quran
The commands justice
Qur'an commands justice and kindness (16:90)
and kindness (16:90)
said, "God is not merciful
while the Prophet said, him who
merciful to him
It is
men." It
is not merciful to men." clear that the Prophet meant
is clear
all men, both Muslims and
aIImen, and non-Muslims.
non-Muslims.

There is
There is nothing in either the Qulan Qur'an or or the
Sunnah
Sunnah which limits the the schools of orthodox law
schools of law to four.
If
If groups
groups of scholars made
of Muslims scholars made a fresh fresh
interpretation of
interpretation of the
the Quran
Qur'an and
and Sunnah relation to
Sunnah in relation
present day
present day needs,
needs,creating
creatingaa new school of Muslim law
new school law
and
and subjecting
subjectingit to constant
constantrevision
revision in keeping pace with
keeping pace
changing
changingconditions,
conditions, thethe Shariah regain its
Shariah would regain its health
health
and
and vitality.
vitality. In order to make
make sure
sure that
that the
the new
new laws were
lawswere
in true
true accord
accord with the the Qur'an
Qur'an and
and the Sunnahand
the Sunnah and not aa
mere
mere concession
concessionto prevailing
prevailingsecular ideas,the
secularideas, the ulema
ulema of
such
such universities
universitiesas as Al-Azhar,
Al-Azhar, Zaitouna and Qarawiyian
Zaitouna and Qarawiyran
should
should undertake
undertakethis this task.
task.

The phenomenal
phenomenal pace pace of technological progress
technological progress
combined with the absence
combined with the absence of spiritual
spintual values
values makes
makes an
an
ominous
ominous future the human
fuhrre for the race. Soviet
human race. Sovietscientists are
scientistsare
now
now seeking
seeking means
means to frrd out how
to fmd how toto make
make sleep
sleep
unnecessary
unnecessaryso so that
that industrial production for the
industrial production the state
state
can
can be
be enonnously
enormously increased.
increased.They are fyrng to unlock
are trying
the mysteriesof genetics
the mysteries geneticstoto make possible for human
make it possible human
heredity to be controlled
heredity to be controlled and
and changed
changed at
at will.
will. Such
Such
scientists
scientists and technicians as
and technicians as these feel absolutely
tlrese feel absolutely nono
moral
moral responsibility
responsibility for
for the
the disastrous
disastrous consequences
consequences
inevitably
inentably resulting
resultingfrom
from their
their activities.
activities.

The
The lopsided
lopsided development
developmentof Western civilization
of Western civilization

62 West Versus
West Versus Islam
lslam
has put human
has human society
societyatat the
dre complete
complete mercy
mercy ofol human
human
inventions.
inventions. In other words, instead
ot.her words, instead of manman being
being thethe
master of science,
master science, he he has
has become
become its slave. It is
its slave. is no no
wonder that
wonder that so
so completely
completely surrounded
surrounded by by the
dre artificial
artificial
technology has
world technology has created,
created, andand having
having denied
denied all all
contact with
contact with the
the natural
nahrral environment,
environmen! people people have
have lost
lost
their sense
their senseof dependence
dependenceupon upon God.God. All the prophets
the prophets
and great religious
and great religious leaders grew to their high
leaders grew high stature
stahtre in
the
the solitude
solitude of the desert.It is
dre desert. is difficult for me
me toto believe
believe
how Muses, Jesus
how Muses, Jesus or Muhammad
Muhammad could could have
have been
been
receptive
receptive to God's
God's revelation
revelation in the the rushed
rushed atmosphere
atrnosphere
of aa busy
busy business
businessoffice
office or asas factory
factory workers
workers on an an
assemblyline!
assembly line!

result is
The result is that
that modem man man feels
feels much
much more
submissive
submissive to science
science than
than hehe does
does towards
towards God.
God. Sir
Syed Ahmad Khan,
Syed Kha.n,the great Indian
the great Indian reformer,
reformer, devoted
devoted
all
all his energiesin the
his energies attempt to
the attempt to explain
explain the
the doctrines
doctrinesof
the
the Qur'an
Qur'an in terms
terms of 19'" century scientific
19" century scientificthought.
thought. All
in the
the former that
that did not agree with the
agreewith the latter
latter had
had to bebe
explained
explained away.
away.Thus Sir Syed SyedAhmad Khan denied denied not
only thethe miracles,
miracles, the
the existence
existenceof angels
angelsand gius and
and gins and
the virgiu birth of Jesus,
the virgin Jesus,but also also the
the bodily resurrection,
resurrection,
the Day of Judgement
the Judgement and and Heaven
Heaven andand Hell. His God
was
was that
that of the
the deists,
deists,soso cold,
cold, so
so distant,
distant,so
so rigidly
rigrdly bound
tround
the mechanical
to the mechanicallawslawsof nature that he
nature that he claimed
claintcd it would
would
be
be impossible
impossiblefor God to intervene
intervenein human
hurnan atl'airs
allairs and
zurd
answer prayers.Although
answerprayers. AJthoughSir Syed SyedAllinad
Alrrnad Khan
Khzurwanted
wanted
be considered
to be considered asas observant
observantMuslim.
Muslim, hishis God waswas 19"'
19"
century scienceand
centuryscience and not that
that of Qur'an.
Qur'a-u,

Muslim scientists
scientistswlrile
while studying the technolory
studyingthe technology ofof
the West,
t}le West, must
must be
be detennined
detennined to use use it lbr
lor different
different
purposes
purposes to ennoble
ennoble rnen's
men's souls and errrich
soulsand enrich human
human lives
lives
instead of
instead of debasing
debasing drern
them to the
the level
level of
of brutes
brutes or worse
worse
still, to robos.
still, to robots.

West Vcrsus lsltm


Versus Islem 63
63
cannot help but feel
I cannot feel that specialMay -- June
that your special June
issue would have
issue been a far greater
have been greater value if it had
value if had only
discussed in more detail,
discussed detail, such
such specific measures to
specific measures
ensure Islam's
ensure Islam's future
future vitally,
vitally, instead
instead of
of escaping
escaping from thethe
problems the present
of the
problems of over glorifying
present by over the past.
glorifying the past.

Notes:
Notes:

1.
l. 1bis article constitutes
This article the author's
constihrtesthe autho/s comments
commentson thethe
subjectof Islamic
subject versusWestern
Islamicversus WesternCivilization, publishedin the
Civilization,published the
IslatnicLiterature,
Islamic (May-June)1956.
Litetature,(May-June) I 956.

64 West Ver3us Islam


Wast Versus lslam
Chapter
Chopter 8

Analysisand
An Analysis and discussion
discussionof
Social
SocialJustice
Justicein Islam
Islam'1
The extremes
exfemes of wealth wea]th and poverty, the
and poverty, the
widespread
widespreaddisease,
disease,thethe high percentageof illiteracy,
high percentage illiteracy, the
the
corrupt and
and irresponsible governmentsand
irresponsiblegovernments many other
and many
social
socialevils
evilsthat
that afflict
afllict the
the Muslim countries
countriesareare frequently
frequently
blamed on Islam.
blamed Islam. What Dr. Carl Carl Herman Voss, Voss.
chairman of the
chairman the American
American Christian
Christian Palestine
Palestine
Committee
Committee wrote
wrote me me in aa recent letter, is
recent letter, is typical.
typical. He
said,
said, "A real
real distinction
distinction must
must be
be made
made between
betweenmedieval
medieval
Islam's
Islam's inspiration
inspiration to to Arabic
Arabic culture
culhrre in making
making suchsuch aa
significant
signihcantcontribution
contribution to Western
Westem civilisation
civilisationduring
during the
the
Middle AgesAges andand the the reactionary Islam of today,
reactionary Islam today,
especially as
especially as represented
represented by the fanatical Muslim
the fanatical
brotherhood,
brotherhood, which
which cannot
cannot make progressbut only
make for progress
for retrogression."
retrogression."

Syed
Syed Qutb, young Egyptian
Qutb, aa young Egypttan Muslim formerly
formerly
one of the
one the most
most prominent leadersIeaders of thethe Muslim
brotherhood and and now condemned
condemned to prison for
to prison
struggling
strugglingin the causeof Islam
the cause Islam devotes
devoteshishis entire
entire book to
exposing
exposingthethe fallacy
fallacyof this
this thinking.
thinking. He is is convinced
convincedthat
that
the
the social
socialevils
evils exists becauseof Islam
existsnot because Islam but are
are instead
instead
the result of abandonment
the result abandonmentof its principles.He writes:
its principles. writes:

When we we see
see that
that our social
socialconditions
conditions have
have no
possiblerelationship
possible relationshipwith justice, we
with justice, we immediately
immediately
hrrn our eyes
turn eyes towards
towards the
the United States
Statesor the
the
Soviet
Soviet Union expecting
expecting to
to import ready
ready made
made
solutions
solutions to problems. We pay
to our problems. pay no heed
heed to
our rich
rich storage
storageof native
nativespiritual
sprntualresources.
resources.Our
faith
faith cannot
cannot continue
continue to exist
exist in isolation
isolation from

West Versus
Versus Islam
lsl6m 65
society
societynor can
can our society
societyclaim
claim to bebe Muslim if
it expels
expels the
the economic, political, socio
economic, political, socio and
and
religious laws
religious laws of Islam
Islam from its its codes and
codes and
customs
customs until nothing remains but empty
nothing remains empty
ceremonials.
ceremonials.

Syed Qutb points


Syed points out thatthat while
while the
the teachings
teachingsof
Christianity
Christianity are are confined
confined to individual
individual spiritual
spiritual salvation
salvation
and while communism looks at human needs needs from aa
purely economic
purely economic angle,angle, Islam
Islam maintains
maintains that
that the
the soul
soul
cannot
cannot be be separated
separatedfrom the the body andand that
that spiritual
spiritual
needs
needs cannot
cannot bebe separated
separatedfrom material
material needs.
needs. This
unity is
is the
the most
most striking
striking characteristic
characteristicof Islam;
Islam; aa unity
unity
which regards
which regardsallall creation
creation as possessingaa common origin
as possessing origin
and purpose; aa unity which
and aa common purpose; which considers
considersman an an
integral part of
integralpart this universe
ofthis universedependent
dependent upon and and related
related
to all forms of life,
all other forms life, and
and aa unity
unity which proclaims the
which proclaims the
interdependence,
interdependence,the the solidarity
solidarity and
and the
the oneness
onenessof entire
entire
human
human race. race. It is is this
this all
all embracing
embracing comprehensive
comprehensive
philosophy which
philosophy which marks
marks thethe superiority
superiority of Islam
Islam over
over all
all
religions. Since
other religions. Since Islam
Islam recognizes
recognizes no division
division
between
between theology
theology andand social practices,faith
social practices, taith and
and worldly
worldly
affairs,
alIairs, it cannot,
cannot, insists
insists Syed
Syed Qutb, be be compared
compared with with
European
European Christianity.
Christianity.

The author placeshis


author places greatestemphasis
his greatest emphasisupon the the
Muslim conception
conceptionof economic justice, perhaps
economicjustice, perhapsbecause
because
he
he is
is so
so keenly
keenly aware
awareof the
the lack
lack of it in his
his own
own country.
country.
Islam,
Islam, hehe says,
says,is
is unalterably
unalterablyopposed
opposed to thethe extremes
extremesof
wealth
wealth and poverty. It condemns
and poverty. condemns the the demoralizing
demoralizing
influence
influence of luxury andand excessive
excessiveindulgence.
indulgence.But Islam
Islam
also
also disapproves asceticismbecause
disapprovesof asceticism because life
life should
should bebe
made
made cheerful
cheerful and pleasant. According
and pleasant. According to Islam,
Islam, says
says
Syed
Syed Qutb,Qutb, thethe standard
standard of living
living should
should be be
commensurate
corrunensuratewithwith the generalwealth
the general wealth of the
the nation.
nation. For
example:
examole:

66 West Versus
West Versus Islam
lslam
When the
When the average
average American worker can can aflord
afford
an automobile
an automobile and and a television
television set, is not
set. it is
that the
luxury that the White
White House
House be thethe home of of the
the
President. But when
President. when there
there are
are millions of of
Egyptians who can
Eglptians can scarcely rags to cover
scarcely find rags cover
bodies, it is
their bodies, is an
an impossible
impossible luxury that
that the
the
Ka'abah be
Ifu'abah be covered
covered wrth ceremonial robe
with a ceremonial
embroidered with gold.
embroidered gold. And
And it makes
makes no
difference
difference as
as if
if it is
is the
the sacred
sacredKa'abah,
Ka'abah,for it is is
the
the public who must provide the
must provide the money
money spent
spent in
this way.
way.

Sayyid
SayyrdQutb discusses greatdetail
discussesin great detail the
the social
social and
and
religious significance of Zakat
religious significance Zakat.

Zakat purifies
puifies the
the soul
soul from thethe selfish
selfish love
love of
material possessionsas
materia.lpossessions as well
well as
as saving
savingall
all those
those in
the
the community
community unable
unable to earn decent
earn aa decent
livelihood
livelihood from destitution.
destitution.

Allah has
has given
given men
men aa nobility throughthrough their
their
minds andand emotions
emotiorrs and
and aa longing
longing for what is is
higher
higher than
than mere physical means.
mere physical means. But whenwhen aa
man
man hashas to spend
spend all
all his wakrnghours
his waking hours obtaining
obtaining
the
the mere necessitiesof life,
mere necessities life, he is reduced
he is reduced below
below
the
the level
level of animals.
animals.Even
Even animals generallyfrod
animalsgenerally hnd
their food
food and
and drink.
drink. Some
Some animals
animals have pride,
have pride,
energy
energy andand cheerfulness,
cheerfulness,some
some birds
birds can
can sing,
sing,
but man,
man, the
the noblest
noblest creation
creationof Allah is is robbed
robbed
of the
the necessities
necessitiesof life,
hfe, he
he is
is also
alsorobbed
robbed for his
his
dignity.
digniry. For thenthen he
he can neither satisfY
can neither his
satrsfu his
spiritual yearningsnor his
spirinralyearnings his intellectual
intellechralcapacities.
capaciries.

Sayfrd Qutb insists,


Sayyid insists, however, th:.. Zakat
however, thdl is no
hkat is no
cure-all poverty.At best
cure-allfor poverty. bestit can
can only
only suit
suit its
its symptoms.
symptoms.

West
West Versus
Versus Islam
lslam 67
67
Zakat
hkat isis most
most effective,
effective,he
he says,
says,ifif used
used for
for emergency
emergency
relief
relief to
to aid
aid the
the sick,
sick, the
the old,
old, the
the widows,
widows, orphans
orphans and
and
refugees.The
refugees. The thought
thought immediately
immediately comes
comes toto my
my mind
that
that the
the Muslim
Muslim countries
countriesshould use all
should use all their
their resources
resources
of Zakat
of hkat to to aid
aid the
the desperate
desperateplight
plight of the
the Palestine
Palestineand
and
Algerian
Algerianrefugees.
refugees.

The
The only way extreme
only way extreme poverty
poverty can can be
be eliminated,
eliminated,
he says,
he for the
says,isis for government to
the government to provide
provide steady
steadywork
with adequate
with adequatewages
wagesfor every everyable-bodied
able-bodiedindividual
individual and
and
that
that medical
medical care
careandand education
educationbe be made
made available
availableto all.
all.
In this
In this way,
way, thethe nation's
nation's natural
natural andand human
human resources
resources
could be
could be harnessed
harnessed most most effectively.
effectively. A systemsystem of
progressivetaxation
progressive taxationwhere
where each each would pay pay according
according to
his ability
his would result
ability would result in aa more even even distribution
distribution of
wealth. The seizure
wealth. seizure of aa family's
family's necessities
necessitiesto pay pay for
taxes would
taxes would be prohibrted. Inheritance
be prohibited. Inheritance legislation
legislation
requiring aa man
requiring man to grveall
to give all his
his children
children and and near
near relatives
relatives
aa share
share of his property, would
his property, would alsoalso discourage
discourage the the
concentration of wealth
concentration wealth into the the hands
hands of the the few. Such
few. Such
an inheritance
an inheritancelaw law that
that abides
abides by the Qur'an would go far
the Qur'an
towardsthe
towards the breaking
breakingup of huge huge feudal
feudal landed estate, for
landed estate,
longer could
no longer could vast
vast areas
areas of land land pass
pass in their entrrety
entirety
from one generation to the
one generation the next.
next. In addition
addition to the the
progressivetaxation
progressive taxation andarrd inheritance
inheritance legislation
legislationwould be
established by the
established the lawlaw of mutual-responsibility
mutual-responsibility which
would make
would make every
everycommunity responsible responsible for the the welfare
welfare
its members.
of its members. One of the the purposes
purposes of of this
this law
law would be
the strengthening
the strengtlrening of of the the family ties ties weakened
weakened by
urbanization and
urbanization and industrialization.
urdustrialization.InterestInterest on capital
capital in
the form of
the of loan,
loan, savings
savings in banks banks or stocks would be
or stocks
forbidden because
forbidden because it is is to the advantage
advantage of of rich who cancan
increase their wealth
increase wealth without working at the expense expense of of
the poor.
the poor. Monopolies
Monopolies on the the necessities
necessities of of life would
would be
banned.
banned. Last Last but not least, least, all varieties
varieties of of gambling
gambling
including lottery
including lottery and
and thethe sale
sale ofof alcoholic
alcoholic beverages
beverages a:rd
and

68 West Versus
West Versus lslam
Islam
other intoxicating
other intoxicating drugs would be
drugs would outlawed at
be outlawed at once.
once.

Islamic social justice


Islamic social justice in accordance with
in accordance with the
the
Qur'an and
Qur'an and the
the Sunnah
Sunnah cannot
cannot be founded on
be founded On legrslation
legislation
alone. Its
alone. Its growth
growth and
and development, insists Sap'rd
development, insists Sayyid Qutb,
Qutb,
depends upon
depends upon a a true
true understanding
understanding of Islam
of Islam byby the
the
younger generation.
younger generation. Renaissance
Renaissance of Islam, he
of Islam, says, will
he says, will
fail without
fail without popular
popular support.
support. For this reason'
For this the author
reason, the author
vigorously advocates
vigorously advocates free
free compulsory Mter aa
education. After
compulsory education.
careful examination
careful examination of pragmatic philosophy of
of the pragmatrc of John
Dewey, Sayyid
Dewey, Sayyid Qutb
Qutb gives
gives logical reasons why his ideas
logical reasons ideas
have no place
have place in any
any Muslim school'
school.

focal point around which Muslim education


The focal education
has always revolved
has always Qur'an. This must be as
revolved is the Qur'an. true in
as true
the fuhrre
the future as
as it was the past.
was in the past. However, instead of
However, instead of being
being
satisfied have children
satisfied to have merely commit the
children merely the Qur'an to
memory, mechanically
memory, mechanically repeating parrot-fashion, the
repeating it parrot-fashion, the
teacher
teacher must
must not be
be content
content until each
each pupil understands
understands
its
its meaning
mealing to the
the limit of his
his or her capacity. Moreover'
capacity.Moreover,
tlle
t.heQur'an must not be
Qur'an must be taught
taughtin isolation the other
isolation from the other
subjectsbut in relation
subjects relatjon to each
eachof them
them so that the
so that entire
the entire
curriculum
curriculum forms
forms anan integrated
integratedwhole.
whole.

We must must change


change our methods of
our methods of teaching
teaching
history
history in in our
our schools
schoolsand colleges.We must
and colleges. must
first teach our
first teach our children
children the
the history of their
history of own
their own
country,
country, thenthen the of Islam
history of
the history Islam through out
through out
the
the Muslim
Muslim world.
world. Only after thorough
Only after snrdy
thorough study of of
the history
the history of
of Islam,
Islam, should
should our
our children
children be
be
introduced
introduced to to European
European and and American history
American history
written
written byby Western
Westem authors.
authors.They will then
They will not
then not
be
be influenced
influenced by by the
the delusion that all
delusion that history
all history
revolves
revolvesaround
aroundwestern
westerncivilization.
civilization.

Our
Our schools
schoolsmust
must also
alsocarefully
carefullyselect in their
selectin their

West
West Versus
VersusIslam
lslam 69
foreignlanguage
foreign languagecourses
coursesonly
onlythat
thatEuropean
Europeanand and
American literature
American literahrrecompatible
compatiblewith with Islam.
Islam. ByBy
this II do
this do not
notmean
meanwritings,
writings,which
which merely
merelyextol
extol
goodnessor
goodness or condemn
condemnwickedness,
wickedness,for for literature
literahrre
isisno preacherto
no preacher to exhort
exhortoror direct.
direct.Rather
RatherII mean
mean
such books
such books that
that have
have aa view
view ofof life,
life, which
which isis
spiritual and
spiritual and moral
moral rather
rather than
than materialistic.
materialistic.

The reason
The reasonfor for this
thiscareful
carefulselection
selectionof books in
of books rn
schoolsisis to
schools to safeguard
safeguardthe theimpressionable
impressionableperiodperiod
of adolescence.
of adolescence. Meanwhile
Meanwhile the the adolescent
adolescent
should be
should be encouraged
encouragedby by his
his teachers
teacherstoto have
havehis
his
private reading
private reading include
include all types of
all types of literature
literature
without restraint
without restraint or or exception.
exception. This wide wide range
range
of outside
of outside reading greatly benefits
reading greatly benefis the
the students
shrdents
because it gives
because gives them
them aa basis basis for
for critical
critical
appreciation.They will then
appreciation. then have
have the
the requisite
requisite
lurowledgeto
knowledge to reject
reject all
all that
that does
does not agree
agreewith
with
Islam.
Islam.

Finally, the
Finally, the author
author says
says that
that the
the study
shrdy of all
all the
the
great schools
great schools of Muslim law law must
must occupy
occupy aa paramount
paramount
place
place in the
the curriculum of the tlle higher
higher instinrtions
institutions of
learning
learning and
and that
that Western legal
legal systems
systems must not be be
studied
studied until the
the very
very end.
end.

To
To Sayyrd
Sayyid Qutub.
Qutub',. ideas
ideas on education
education I must add add
one more point which i tbel exaggerated that
tee) cannot be exaggerated
is,
is, the importance
importance of of i;:spiring
1; :spiring teaching
teaching in all fields
fields of
of
knowledge.
knowledge. It It is not enough
enough that the students
students be taught
taught to
memorize
memorize what is alreadyalready lurown.
known. Regimented
Regimented education
education
can
can only
only result
result in
in the
the stagrration
stagnation and and the
tlle decadent
decadent society
society
which
which hashas been
been disastrous
disastrous to to the
the Muslim
Muslim world
world forfor so
so
many
many cenhrries.
centuries. Higher
Higher education
education must must above
above all all
encourage
encourage students
students to think -- to
to think to think
think independently,
independently,
critically and creatively
critically and creatively withwith inin the
the framework
framework of of Islam.
Islam. IfIf

70 West Versus
West Versus lslam
Islam
such creative
such thinking -- and
creative thinking and II mean truly original
mean truly original
thinking and
thinkrng and not
not an
an imitation
imitation of
of Westem
Western philosophy
philosophy --
ever
ever arises
arises in
in Islamic
Islamic universities,
universities, it
it will
will lead
lead to
to another
another
Renaissance.
Renaissance.

The Muslim
The Muslim world advertises its
world advertises defeat as
its defeat as soon
soon
as it seeks to strengthen
as it seeks to strengthen its
its society
society by
by borrowtng
borrowing
Western laws
Western Western ways
and Westem
laws and ways of life. Such
of life. Such
experiments can
experiments can only suffocate the
only suffocate the very
very
civilization we ale
civilization attempting to promote.
are attempting promote.
Instead, vigorous
Instead, application of
vigorous application .(jtihad should
of ljtihad
make the Shariah flexible enough to keep pace pace
conditions. This does
changing conditions.
with changing does not mean mean
ourselves from
isolate ourselves
that we should isolate from modern
modem
trends
trends of
of science,
science, for these
these discoveries
discoveries or the
the
common possession
corrunon possession of of all the people
people of of the
Islam does
world. Islam does not oppose scientific progress
oppose scientific progress
but we we must not permit the consequences of
the consequences
technology
technology to alter alter the fundamentals of the
the fundamentals the
Islamic way
Islamic way of life.
life'

Whether Western
Western technology strengthens or
technology strengthens
weakens
weakens Islam,
Islam, depend
depend upon the use
upon the which these
use to which these
mechanical
mechanicaldevices
devicesare pul Programs
are put. presentedon radio
Programspresented radio
and
and television
television must
must elevate
elevate the moral and
the moral artistrc
and artistic
standards of the
standardsof the people
people instead
insteadof
of being
being monopolized
monopolized by
by
entertainment
entertainmentof of trivial
trivial value
valueand
and commercial asis
trash as
commercial trash is
the
the case
casein
in my
my own
own country.
country.

Through
Through out out his
his book,
book, Sayyid
SayyrdQutb revealshis
Qutb reveals his
keen
keen awareness
awarenessof of the
the difficulties
difficulties Muslims face in
Muslims face in the the
maintaining
maintaining thethe identity
identrty of
of their societyunder
their society under the terrific
the terrific
impact
impact of
of Western
Westem materialism.
materialism. He
He writes:
writes: TVestem
'Western
civilization
civilization has
has become
become aa danger danger toto the continued
the continued
existence
existenceof of man.
man. ItIt breeds
breedsin in human
human nature ceaseless
natureaa ceaseless
anxiety,
anxiety,aa perpetual
perpetua-lrivalry,
rivalry, aa continuous
continuous strife, and aa
strife, and

West
WestVersus
VersusIslam
lslam 71
71
weakeningof
weakening of human
humanties
tiesto
tothe
thebreaking
breakingpoint."
point."

Social Justice in
Social Justice in Islam
Islam raised
raised aa storm
storm of of
controversy among
controversy among orientalists
orientalists inin America.
America. In In the
the
December1954
December 1954issue
issueof of Middle F'stem Affairs,
Middle Eastem Wilfred
AJfain,Wilfred
Cantrpell Smith,
Cantwell Smith, director
director of of the
the Islamic
Islamic Institute
Instihrte of
of
McGill University
McGill University wrote,
wrote, "Sayyid
"sayyid Qutb
Qutb simply
simply has
has no
no
conception of
conception of what
what modem
modem social
social problems
problems areare all
all
about.. 10hn
about." John S. Badeau, professor
S. Badeau, professor atat the
the American
American
University in
University in Cairo
Cairo wrote
wrote in in the October 1959
the October 1959 issue
issueof
of
Foreign Affairs,
Foreign Alfais, "Sayyid
"Sayyid Qutub's
Quhrb's defence
defence of
of the
the
traditional system
traditional systemof of Islam
Islam merely
merely reiterates
reiteratestheoretical
theoretical
validity of
validity of the
the very
very ideas
ideas which
which must
must be
be eliminated
eliminated if
national development
national developmentisis to to take place."In other words,
take place." words,
both agree
both agreethat
that Islam "outof date."
Islam isis "out date."

Today Islam
Today Islam is is rarely
rarely attacked
attacked on religious
religious
grounds. It is
grounds. is instead
insteadregarded
regardedas as aa relic
relic of medievalism.
medievalism.
merely drift with
To merely with thethe tide
tide and
and submit
submit to Western
secularismis,
secularism is, of course,
course, the
the easy
easy way
way out,
out, and
and this
this is
is
preciselywhat
precisely what the governmentsof
the governments of the
the Muslim counbdes
countries
are doing.
are doing. Never
Never was
was the prospect for t_he
the prospect the fulfilment of
of
social justice
social Islam as
justice in Islam as outline Sayyid Qutb's
outline in Sayyrd Qutb's book,
remote than
more remote than it is
is n<-rw.
now.

SayyrdQutb has
Sayyid has been
been condemned
condemned because
because he has
has
had the
had the courage
courage to swim against
against the trde
tide and remained
remained
true to Islam.
Islam. For this
this he has
has not received
received the credit he
deserves.
deserves.

Notes:
Notes:
l1. Social Justice in Islam,
Social Justice Islam, Syyid Qutb, translated
Syyid Qutb, translated from
from the
the
Arabrc
Arabic language
language by John B.
by John B. Hardie,
Hardie, American
American Council
Council of
of
learned
Learned Societies,
Societies, Near
Near Eastem Translation program
Eastem Translation Program No, l,
No.1,
Washington,
Washington, D.C.
D.C. 1953.
1953.

72 West
West Versus
Versus lslam
Islam
Chapter 99
Chopter

Muhammad Iqbal
Muhammad Iqbal
The Poet
The of Islam
Poet of Islam
In the
In the midst
midst ofof the disintegration of
the disintegration Islamic society
of Islamic society
hastened by
hastened by Westem domination; in the midst of
Western domination; in the midst of chaos
chaos
and cultural
and cultural sterility,
sterility, the poet-philosopher Muhammad
the poet-philosopher Muhammad
Iqbal remains
Iqbal remains unique
unique in in the history of
the history Muslim literahrre'
of Muslim literature.
In Urdu
In Urdu poetry,
poetry, only
only Ghalib
Ghalib can begin to
can begin compare with
to compare with
him. Although Persia
him. nurtured its giants,
Persia nurhrred giants, Jalaluddin
Jalaluddin
Rumi, Saadi,
Rumi, Saadi, Jami
Jami and Hafrz Hafiz (all Sufi mystics),
mystics), she she has
has
not produced
not produced one major poet in the lastIast 500 years'
years.
Turkish poetry
Turkish poetry hashas been remarkable far its lack of
been remarkable of
originality.
originality. In the past,
past, it was
was a pale
pale imitation of
of the
the
Persian. Now it takes
Persian. takes its models from the
its models the West,
consequently resulting
consequently resulting in nothing nothing of lasting lasting value'
value.
Although
Nthough tlle the Arabs have always
Arabs have alwayscherished poetry above
cherishedpoetry above
all
all the
the other arts,
ars, it comes
comes as as aa shock
shock and surprrse to
and surprise
discover how
discover how much
much is
is pagan;
pagan; Abul Ala Al-Ma'arri
Al-Ma'arri wasso
was so
brazen
brazenin his his unbelief
unbelief thatthat hehe could almostbe
could almost considered
be considered
an
an apostate.
apostate. Classical
Classical poets
poets like like Imarul Qais were
Qars were
thoroughly
thoroughlynon-religious.
non-religious.Well known known is is the arroganceof
the arrogance
Al-Mutannabi,
Al-Mutannabi, whose poetry is
whosepoetry is exclusively devotedto
exclusivelydevoted to the
the
glorification on
glorification on his his worldly
worldly ambitions.
ambitions. Modern
Modem Arabic
Arabic
poets
poets such
such as as Mmed
Ahmed Shawqi,Shawqi, HafizHafiz Ibrahim, Khalil
Ibrahim, Khalil
Matran
Matran andand Maruf
Maruf Al-Rasafi
Al-Rasafihave have confined themselves
confined themselves
largely
Iargelyto
to secular
secularthemes.
themes.

The
The descendent
descendentof of an
an aristocratic
aristocraticBrahmin Hindu
Brahmin Hindu
family who have embraced
family who have embraced Islam
Islam three
three cenhlries
centuries back,
back,
Muhammad
Muhammad Iqbal
lqbal was
was born
born in
in Punjab
Punjab in
in 1873
1873 and
and
thoroughly
thoroughly educated
educated in in both Muslim and
both Muslim Western
and Western
culture.
culture. After
After he
he graduated
graduated from from the Covernment
the Government
College l,ahorein
ColleseatatLahore in 1899,
1899,he remainedaalecturer
heremained there
lecturerthere

West
WestVersus
versusIslam
lslam 73
73
for six
for years.From
sixyears. From 1905
1905toto 1908
1908hehe studied
shrdiedphilosophy
philosophy
atat Cambridge
Cambridgeand and Munich
M.unichalso qualifyingfor
alsoqualifying for law.
law.After
After
he returned
he rehrrnedto to Lahore,
Lahore,he he earned
earnedhishis modest
modestliving
livingas
asaa
lawyerdevoting
lawyer devotinghishisspare
sparetime
timeto poetry.
to poetry.
'The
secret of
'The secret of the
the self'
self' and
and "the
"the mysteries
mysteries of of
selflessnessn
selflessness" are his
are his notable
notableworks.
works. Although
Although both
both these
these
philosophicalpoems
philosophical poemswere werecomposed
composedmoremore than
than 40
40 years
years
ago, their
ago, their message
messageisis as as appropriate
appropriateforfor today
today as
as itit was
was
then. In
then. In his "Secretof
his "Secret of the
the Self
Self he
he argues
arguesthat
that only
only by
by thethe
self affirmation,
self afhrmation, self self development
developmentand and self expressionof
self expression of
superior individuals
superior individuals can can Muslims
Muslims once
once more
more become
become
strongand
strong and free.
free.AllAll life
life is
is individual,
individual, but
but God
God isis the
the most
most
unique individual.
unique individual. The greater aa man's
The greater man's distance
distance from
from
God, the
God, the less
lessisis individuality.
individuality. He who who comes
comes nearest
nearestto to
God possesses
God possesses the most
the most complete personality.He is
complete personality. is not
not
absorbed into God,
absorbed C,od, but rather,
rather, absorbs
absorbsthe arributes of
the attributes
God into his his life.
life.

source of individuality
The source individuality is
is the
the formation
formation of
ideals and
ideals and translating
translating them
them into vigorous
vigorous action.
actjon. Here
Iqbal condemns passive religions
condemns passive religions like Buddhism andand
Hinduism asas decadent.
decadent.

"Negationof
"Negation of desire
desire is
is death
death to the living
Even
Even as
as absence
absence of
of hate
hate extinguishes
extinguishes the flame"
flame"

According to Iqbal, all human achievementachievement is the


result of
of the struggle
struggle for self-preservation.'
self-preservation.' What
What is death,
death,
he asks,
asks, but
but to become
become oblivious
oblivious to SelP
Self'?
nO
"0 man of of understanding!
understanding!
Open
Open thine
thine eyes,
eyes, ea.rs
ears and
and lips...
lips .
War
War isis good
good ifif its
its object
object is
is God...
God .
Strength
Strength isis the
the twin
twin of
of truth..."
truth..."

Iqbal
Iqbal considers
considers devorion
devotion to
to the
the Holly
Holly Prophet
Prophet

74 West Vorsus
West Versus lslam
Islam
Muhammad and
Muhammad and the
the urge
urge to follow his
to follow example essential
his example essential
to the
to the progress of the
progress of the individual personality towards
individual personality towards
perfection:
perfection:

'In
"In the
the Muslims
Muslims heart heart isis the home of
the home ofMuhammad'
Muhammad.
All our
All our glory
glory is
is from
from the
the name
name of
of Muhammad."
Muhammad...
His dwelling
His dwelling place
place is sanctuary to
is aa sanchrary to the Kaabah itself.,'
the Kaabah itself...
The song
The song of
of love
love for
for him
him fills
fills my silent reed
my silent reed
A hundred notes
A hundred notes throb
throb in in mY
my bosom
bosom
How shall
How shall II tell
tell what
what devotion
devotion he he inspires?
inspires?
AA block
block ofof dry
dry wood
wood weptwept at at parting from him
parting from him
The
The Muslim's being is where
where he manifests
manifests his glory
Many Sinar springs from the dust on his path
Sinai springs
My image
My was created
image was created in his his mirror
mirror
dawn rises
My dawn rises from the sun sun of of his breast'
breast"

The self can


can be
be educated obedience to the
educated only by obedience
law of Qur'an and Sunnah:
law Quran and Sunnah:

"Liberty is
"Liberty is the
the fruit of compulsion
comPulsion
By obedience
obedienceto to the man of no
the man worth is
no worth is made worth"'
made worth...
Who
Who so so would
would master
masterthe the sun
sun and stars,
and stars,
Let
trt him makema-kehimself
himselfaa prisoner
prisonerof Law... l,aw..'
The star
star moves
moves towards
towards its
its goal
goal
With head
headbowedbowedin in surrender
surrenderto law...
to aa law...
Dropsof
Drops of water
waterbecome
becomeaa sea seaby thelaw
by the lawof union,
of union,
And
And grains
grarnsof of sand
sandbecome
becomeaa Sahara.
Sahara.
Since
Sincelawlawmakes
makesevefYiliing
everythingstrong within...
strongwithin...
oO thou that art emancipated
thou that art emancipated from
from the
the old custom,
old custom,
Why dost
Why dost thou
thou neglect
neglect this
this source
source of
of strengthP
strength?
Do
Do not
not complain
complainof of the
thehardness
hardnessof of the l,aw,
the Law,
Do
Do not
not transgress
transgress the
thestatues
statuesof Muhammad!"
of Muhammad!"

By means of
By means of devotion
devotion to the Holy
to the Prophet,
Holy Prophet,
submission to the law of tlle Qur'an
submissionto tlle law of t-heQur'an in
in its
its prisune
pristine purity
purity
and
andwholehearted practiceof
wholeheartedpractice of tlle
thefive pillarsof
fivepillars the
Islam,the
of Islam,

West
WestVersus
VersusIslam
lslam 75
individual personality
individual personalityreaches
reachesits
is culmination
culmination when
when itit
assumesthe
assumes tlrerole
roleof
of the
thevicegerent
vicegerentof
of God
Godon
on earth:
earth:
'Tis
sweetto
'Tis sweet to be
beGod's
God'svicegerent
vicegerentin in the
theworld
world
And exercise
And exercisesway
swayover
overthetheelements...
elements...
He executes
He executesthethecommand
commandof of Allah
Allah in in the
theworld...
world...
His geniusabounds
Ftrisgenius aboundswithwith life
life and
anddesires
desiresto to manifest
manifestitself
itself
He will bring
He will bringanother
anotherworld
world intointo existence...
existence...
He putsthe
He puts theidols
idolsout
out ofof the
thesanctuary.
sanctuary.
Heart sprinp give
Heart springs giveforth
forth music
musicat at his
his touch,
touch,
He wakesand
He wakes andsleeps
sleepsfor
for God
God alone...
alone...
He bestows
He bestowslife
life by
by his
his miraculous
miraculousaction,action,
He renovates
He renovatesold old ways
waysof of life.
life.
Splendidvision
Splendid visionrise
risefrom
from the the print of his his foot. ..
foot...
rich substance
His rich substancemakes preciousall
makesprecious all that
thatexists."
exists.'

However, the
However, the individual
individual has
has no no meaning
meaning III in
isolation from society.
isolation society. It isis only as as aa member
member of
community based
community basedfirmly on the principles of Islam
the principles Islam that
that
the individual can
the individual can achieve
achievefulfilment of his potentialities.
his potentialities.
And it is is only through
through anan association
association of superior
supenor
individuals that
individuals that society
society is preserved.The characteristics
is preserved. characteristics
of
of true
true Islamic society are
Islamic society are described
described in Iqbal's
Iqbal's second
second
notable
notable work, "The
'The Mysteries
Mysteries ofof Selflessness."
Selflessness."
'The
'The basis
basis ofof Islamic
Islamic society
society is is prophet-hood;
prophet-hood;
Shrunk is is the scope of is
scope of its crude
crude life,
Its narrow thoughts
thoughts confine,
confine,
Beneath
Beneath the rim of of its constructing
constructing roof roof
Fear for its life the meagre
meagre stock in trade trade
Of
Of its constituent
constituent elements
elements its heart trembling before the
whistle
whistle of the win,
of the win,
Its
Its spirit
spirit shies
shies away
away from
from arduous
arduous toil; toil;
Till
Till God
God discovers man pure
discovers aa man pure of of heart...
heart...
The
The naked
naked understanding
understanding he he adorns
adorns
With
With wealth
wealth abundance
abundance fillsfills its
its indisence
indigence

76 West Vorsus
Wost Versus lslam
Islam
Fans with
Fans with his
his skirs
skirts itit embers,
embers,
Purifies its gold
Purifies its gold of every particle
of every particle of
of dross
dross
Drawing each
Drawing each on,
on, hehe circumscribes the feet
circumscribes the feet of all with
of all with in
in
the circle
the of one
circle of one law,
law,
Re-schools them
Re-schools them in in God's
God's wondrous
wondrous unity
unity
And teaches
And teaches them
them thethe habit
habit and
and the
the use
use
Of self-surrender
Of self-surrender to the the Will
Will Divine"
Divine"

Solidarity of the Muslim community is dependent


Solidarity of dependent
vigorous propagation
upon a common belief and vigorous of the
propagation of
of God:
unity of

"There Godl No other god,


'There is one God! god, but God!
Godl
is the
This is the point on which the concentrically h-rrns'
the world concentrically turns.
This is the conclusion of
This is of the world
world affairs"
affairs"

requires a visible
The community requires symbol on
visible symbol
which
which to focus
focus its
its unity:
unity:

'The sacred Kaabah


'The sacredKaabahat at once
once our secret
secretis
is
And
A.ndguardian
guardianof our secret,
secret,our heart's
heart'sfire
fire
And instrument
instrumentwhere
where upon
upon our passion plays.
passionplays.
Weare
We are breath
breathnurtured
nurtured with
with in its
its breast;
breast;
The body
body we,
we, and
and it the
the precious
precioussoul...
soul...
circumambulationof its
In circumambulation its shrine
shrine
Our
Our pure
pure community
community draws
drawscommon
common breath,
breath,
Thou
Thou livest
livestby
by aa sanctuary's
sanctuary's bond
bond
And shalt
shaltendure,
endure,soso long
long as
asthou
thou shalt go about
shaltgo about
The
The shrine
shrinethereof..."
thereof...'

Islamic societyis
Islamicsociety is sustained
sustained by
by its
itssubmission
submissionto the
to the
law
law of
of the
the Qur'an,
Qur'an, the
the urge
urge to
to follow
follow the
the example
example of
of the
the
Prophet
Prophetandandthe presewationof
the preservation of his
his tradition:
traditron:

'lt behoves us
"It behovesusallallthat
thatwe
webeware
bewareof of Persia's
Persia'sfantasies
fantasies
Though Persia's thought
Though Persia'sthought have
have the
the heavens
heavens surpassed.
surpassed.

West
West Versus
VersusIslam
lslam 77
77
They equally
They equally transgress
t&nsgress the
the boundaries
boundaries setset by
by the
the
Prophet'sfaith.
Prophet's faith.
To fortify
., To fortrfy the
the art,
art,
Conform thyself
Conform thyselfwith
with Arab waysto
Arab ways to be
be aa Muslim
Muslim true."
true.'

past Iqbal
the past
Tried in the Iqbal considers
considers essential
essentialif the
the
fuhrre is
future is to
to be
be faced with confidence:
facedwith confidence:

"The record
"The record of
of the past illumines
the past illumines thethe conscience
conscienceof
of aa
people
people
pastachievements
Memory of past achievementsmake make it self
selfaware
aware
that memory
But if that memory fades
fadesand
and isis forgot
forgot
againis
The folk again is last
lastin nothingness
nothingness
Fix in firm bond to-day
today with yesterday
wrth yesterday
If
If thou desireth
desireth everlasting
everlastinglife"
life"

honouring of motherhood
The honouring motherhood is
is the
the cornerstone
cornerstone
of Islamic
Islamic society:
society:
'Motherhood
"Motherhood is is aa mercy
mercy being
beinglinked
linked by
by dose
closeaffinity
alfinity to
Prophet-hood
Prophet-hood
whosesake
He for whose sakeGod said, 'kt
said."Let there
there be
be life!"
life!"
Declared the paradise
Declared the paradise lies lies at
at the
the feet
feet of mothers
mothers
the honouring
In the honouring of the the womb alonealone the
the life communal
communal
is secured...
is secured...
take the
Now take the slender
slenderfigured
figured bosomless,
bosomless,close-corseted,
close-eorseted,
a fitnah in her glance
glance
Her
Her thoughts
thoughts resplendent
resplendent with the the Western hght...
light...
In worldly no woman
woman she!she!
Her sacredcharms
Her sacred charms areare all unloosed
unloosed andand spilled
spilled
Bold<yed her freedom
Bold-eyed freedom is is provocative
provocative
And wholly ignorant
And ignorant of of modesty
modesty
Her
Her learning
learning inadequate
inadequate to bearbear the charge
charge ofof
motherhood
And
And on the dusk and and evening
evening ofher
of her days
days not one star star
shines
shines

78 West Ver3ui
West Versus lslrm
Islam
Better itit were
Better were this
this rose
rose had never grovrrr
had never grown with
Witll in
in our
our
garden
garden
Better were
were her brand washed washed from ilie skirt of
from the of the
ilie
community...
cornmunity...
The perfect pattern
The pattern Fatima
Fatima theilie chaste
chaste
While chanted the
While her lips chanted ilie Holy
Holy Book she ground the
Book she ilie
homely mill...
homely mill...
ever conscious
Be ever conscious of iliy model Fatima
of thy Fatima
iliat thy
So that iliy branch
branch may bear a new Hussain,Hussain,
Our garden
Our garden blossom with wiili the Golden Age"
ilie Golden Age"

Islamic community is based


The Islamic
The based on corunon
common
beliefs, transcending
beliefs, transcending geographical boundaries, language
geographical boundaries, language
and race.
and race. All
All his remained a passionate
his life, Iqbal remained passionate foe
foe of
of
modern nationalism
nationalism andand here denounces it in the
here denounces ilie
strongest possible terms:
shongestpossible terms:

'In man's
"In man'sallegiance
allegianceand and constructive
constructivework
The country
countryis is ilie
the darling
darlilrgof ilieir
their hearts ...
hearts...
Humanity
Humanity is is but
but alleged
alleged
Man became
becameaa stranger
strartgerto his man
I'ellowman
his fellow
Vanished
Vanishedis is humankind
humankind
There but abide
abide iliethe disunited
disunitednations
nations
Politics
Politicsdeilironed
dethroned religion
religion
When
Wherr this
this tree
tree first
first struck with in aa western
struck root wiili garden
westemgarden
The tale
taleof Christianity
Christianitywas wasallall rolled up.
rolled up.
Jesus
Jesusfollowers
followersspuming
spuming ilie the church
church
Debased
Debasedilie coinageof
the coinage of ilie gospelslaw
the gospels law
When
Wherr ailieism
atheismfirstfirst rent
rent religions garment,
religionsgarment,
There
There arrived
arrivedSatan's
Satan'smessenger,
messenger,ilie Florentine
the Florentine
(Machiavelli)
(Machiavelli)
He
He wrote
wroteaa scroll
scrollforfor princess
princess
His
His evil
evil genius
geniusdecamped
decarnpedto to darkness
darkness
And
And his
his sword
sword like
like pen
pen struck
sruck truili
truth asunder
asunder
Carving
Carvingimages
imageslike Azar was
like Azar washis
his trade
trade
His
His novel
novelfaitll proclairnedthe
faithproclaimed thestate
stateonly worshipful
onlyworshipful

West
West Versus
Veisus Islam
lslam 79
The
The touchstone
touchstonehe
heintroduced
introducedtoto test
testthe
the truth
truth was
wasgain
gain
Dark
Dark night
nighthe
hewrapped
wrappedabout
aboutpeoples
peopleseyeseyes
Deception
Deceptioncalled
calledin
in his
his vocabulary
vocabularyexpediency!"
expediency!"

The
The freedom
freedom of
of the
the Muslim
Muslim community
community from
from the
the
bonds
bonds of geographyIqbal
of geography Iqbal interprets
interpretsas
asaa true
true meaning
meaningof
the Hijra:
the Hijra:

"Emigrationisisthe
"Emigration the law
lawthat
that rules
rulesthe
the Muslims' life
Muslims'life
And
And isis the
tle cause
causeof of his
his stability
stability
Its meaning
Its meaningisis to to leap
leapfrom
from shallowness
shallowness
To quite the
To quite the dew
dew the
the occasion
occasion to to subdue
subdue
Be boundless;
Be boundless;questquestno no limit
limit in the
the world,
world,
He who has
He who hasburst
burstfrom all all dimensions
dimensionsbounds
bounds
Rangesthrough
Ranges through allall directions like thethe sky.
sky.
The Islamic
The Islamic community
community is is eternal
eternalas asGod promised
promised
would last
It would lastuntil the
the end
end of time.
time.
Becauseour nature
Because nat\rreisis of Ibrahim
And our relation to God the the same
same as great
as the great
patriarch's,
patriarch's,
Out of the
the fires
fires depth
depth anew
anewwe we blossom
blossom
Every Nimrod blaze
Every blazeconvert
convert to roses
roses
When the
When the burning
buming brands
brands of times great revolution
times great revolution ring
mead
our mead
spring returns!"
Then spring rehrrns!"

Perhapsno other poet in modem times


Perhaps times has
has been
been
subject to so
subject so much misunderstanding
misunderstanding as as Muhammad
Iqbal. Critic after
Iqbal. after critic has
has charged
charged that Iqbal derived
derived his
ideas directly
ideas directly from the European philosophers,
the European philosophers,
particularly
particularly Friedrich
Friedrich Niezsche.
Nietzsche. In fact one prominent
In fact
orientalist Mward
Edward G. Browne in his History History of
of Penian
Persian
Literaturc
Literature in Modem Times (Page
in Modcm (Page 431), went so far as
as to
to
assert that "Iqbal's
assert "Iqbal's doctrines are in the main an oriented
doctrines are
adoption of Nietzsche's philosophy."
of Nietzsche's philosophy."

80 W63t
West V6rsus
Versus lslam
Islam
It is fact that
It that Iqbal
Iqbal was deeply
deeply steeped in in modern
modern
European philosophies
European philosophies and and his emotions
emotions tremendously
tremendously
moved by
moved by the brilliant pen of
brilliant pen Nietzsche. ItIt is no
of Nietzsche. no less
less true
true
that the shrdy
that study ofof these European
European philosophers
philosophers greatly
stimulated the growth
stimulated growth and development
development of of his ownown ideas.
But itit is a gross distortion
But distortion to depict
depict Iqbal
Iqbal as as a mere
mere
imitator. That
imitator. That he used his knowledge knowledge of of Westem
Western
philosophy creatively
philosophy creatively taking
taking the best from
from itit while
while at the
same time
same time rejecting
rejecting all
all that
that conflicted
conflicted with
with Islam
Islam cannot
cannot
be over-emphasised.

For instance, some critics


For cnocs have identified
identified Iqbal's
of superior
ideal society of individuals (God's vicegerents on
superior indinduals
as Nietzsche's aristocracy of
earth) as of supermen.
supermen. In In this
chapter entitled
entitled "Muslim
"Muslim Democracy"
Democracy" which
which he wrote
wrote in
the New
New Era In in 1916, Iqbal
Iqbal sweeps
sweeps away
away this
misconception.

"Nietzsche abhors the democratic


democratic rule by the
herd of
herd of hopeless plebeians and a:rd bases
bases all higher
higher
culture on the cultivation
culture cultivatron of of an aristocracy of of
supermen. But But is is the
t}le plebeian
plebeian so so absolutely
absolutely
hopelessPThe
hopeless? The democracy of of Islam did not grow
out of
of the extension
extension of economic opportunity;
opporn-rnity; it
is
is a spiritual principle based
based on the the assumption
assumption
that in every human
human being is is aa centre of
of potential
potential
power for good, the possibilities of
power of which can be
developed by cultivating aa certain type tlpe ofof
character.
characler. From the t-llepoorest,
poorest, simplest,
simplest, common
corilnon
people Islam
Islarn has
has shaped
shaped individuals
individuals leading
leading the
the
noblest kind of life.
life. Is
Is not then
then thethe democracy of
Islam aa tangible refutation of of Nietzsche ideas?"
ideasP"

The
The degree
degree of
of misinformation
misinformation about
about Muhammad
Muhammad
Iqbal can
can be
be ascertained
ascertainedfrom ].5. Badeau's
frornJ.S. (Professorof
Badeau's (Professor of
the
the American
A.rnerican University
Llniversih- of
of Cairo)
Cairo) claim
clarm in his
his recent
recent

West
West Versus
VersusIslam
lslam 81
book, The
book, The Lands
l^ands Between,
Between, thatthat Muhammad
Muhammad Iqbal Iqbal
preachedthat
preached the Our'an
thatthe Qur'an waswasgiven
givenas
asaa guide
guide only
only of the
the
period when
period when modern
modern science
sciencewas was unknown.
unknown. With
With thethe
creation of
creation of modern
modern Western
Western science,
science. the
the task
task of
intellectualdiscovery
intellectual discoverymustmust bebe done
done by
by scientific
scientificmethods
methods
without
without reference
reference to to the authority of the
the authority the Our'an.
Quran.
According
According to to Professor
Professor Badeau,
Badeau, Iqbal
Iqbal taught
taught that
that the
the
Our'an
Qur'an has
hasalready
alreadyfulfilled
fulfilled its
its functions
functions by leading
leading men
men
to
to the
the threshold
thresholdof of the
the modern
modern Western
Western world so so science
sclence
take up
could take
could up its
its task
taskfrom there.
there. Iqbal expresses
expresseshishis true
true
attitude towards
attitude towards modern
modern Western science science in clear
clear
unambigr-rous
unambiguous langr-rage:
language:

"Do not seek


"Do seekthe glow of love
the glow love from the the knowledge
knowledgeof
today
today
Do not seek
seekthe
the nature
nature of truth from this this infidels
infidels cup
l,ong have
Long haveI been
been running
running to to and
and fro
l,earning the
Learning the secrets
secretsof the New Knowledge
the New Knowledge
Its gardenershave
Its gardeners haveput me me to to aa trial
trial
havemade
And have made meme intimate
intimate with their roses...
roses...
Sincethis
Since gardenceased
this garden enthral me
ceasedto enthral
I have
havenested
nestedon the paradisaltree
the paradisal tree
knowledgeis
Modern knowledge is the greatestblind
the greatest
worshipping,idol selling,
Idol worshipping, making,
selling,idol making,
Shackledin the
Shackled prisonof phenomena
the prison phenomena
is ever
It is everengaged
engagedin injoyless search
joyless search
It has overleapedthe
has overleaped the limits ofof the
the sensible
sensible
It has
has fallen
fallen down
down in crossing
crossingthe the bridge of life
bridge of
has laid the
It has the knife to its
its own throat..."
throat..."

could be
Nothing could farther from the
be farther the truth than
than to
characterize Muhammad lqba.l
characterize Iqbal asas a Westemzer
Westernizer as as
Professor John
Professor John S. Badeau has
S. Badeau has done.
done. Iqbal's
Iqbal's deep
deep
knowledge of
knowledge of Western materialistic
materialistic philosophy only
served to alert
served alert him to the
the rnagnitude
magnitude of of its evils.
evils. His
poetry
poetry leaves
leaves one
one widrout the slightest
without the slightest doubt asas to his
his

82 West
West Versus
Versus lslam
Islam
attitude
attitude towards
towardsthe
the adoption Westem civilization.
adoption of Western civilization.

'Music of strange
"Music strangelands
landswith Islam's
Islam'sfire
fire blends
blends
On which
which thethe nation's
nation'shannony
harmony depends
depends
E*pty of
Empty of concord isis aa soul of
of Europe
Whose civilization
civilizationto no Makkah
Makkah bends...
bends...
Denied celestial graceaa nation
celestialgrace goes
nation goes
No further than
than electricity or stream
stream
Death to thethe heart
heart machines
machines stand
stand sovereign
sovereigrr
Engines
Enginesthatthat crush
crush all senseof human
all sense human kindness...
kindness...
Reality growsblurred
Realitygrows blurred to eyes
eyeswhose
whosevision
vision
waysabridge
Servility and parrot ways abridge
Can
Can Persia
Persiaor Arabia
Arabia suck
suck new
new life from Europe's
Europe'sculture
culhrre
Itself at
at the grave'sedge"
the grave's edge"

Of
Of the
the entire
entire contemporary
contemporary world of Islam,Islam,
Muhammad Iqbal is the
Iqbal is the one
one and
and only man
man whowho has
hasbeen
been
able
able to express poetry of enduring
expressin poetry enduring artistic
artisticvalue
valuewhat
what is
is
truly
truly means
meanstoto be
be aa Muslim.
Muslim.

Notes:
Notes:

l
1. That is,
That rn the
is,in theHereafter (Ed.)
Hereafter(Ed.)

Versus Islam
West Versus lslam 83
Chapter
Chopfer 10
l0

Islam
Islam and
and the
the Modernists
Modernists

The highly
hrghly controversial
controversial article,
article, "What
\Mhat Modem
Modern
Muslims
Muslims Think
Think - A Reinterpretation
Reinterpretation of Islam"Islam" by
Professor Asif A. Fyzee,
Professor Fyzee, Vice-Chancellor
Vice-Chancellor of Kashmir
Kashmir
University,
University, which
which recently appeared in The Islamic
recently appeared
Review,
Reuiew.deserves
deservesthethe careful
careful attention
attention of all
all Muslims
Muslims who
who
value
value the integrityof the
the integrity principles of Islam.
the principles Islam. Although his his
ideas
ideas are
are expressed
expressed with beauty
beauty andand eloquence,
eloquence, andand
although
although he cannot be
he cannot be branded
branded an an unbeliever
unbeliever soso long
long as
as
he professes belief in the
he professes t}re oneness
oneness of God and and the
the
Prophethood
Prophethood of Muhammad/
Muhammad,' nevertheless,
nevertheless,because
becausehe he
and
and those
those who
who share
share his
his thinking
thinking are
a-re not only mistaken,
mistaken,
but also
also constitute
constitutesuch
such aa serious
seriousthreat
threat to
to the
the survival
survivalofof
the
the entire
entire Islamic
Islamic way
way of life,
life, this
this article
ardcle cannot
cannot bebe
permitted to remain
permitted remain unchallenged.
unchallenged.

The author's
author's opinion what what he
he calls
calls the
the central
central
messageof Islam
message Islam is is eternally true while
eternally true while the
the ordinances
ordinancesof
the
the Shariah
Shariah areare out of date.date. Therefore
Therefore he he claims
claims that
that
religion and law
religion and law conflict
conflict which
which each
each other.
other. Because
Becausethey
they
are
are incompatible,
incompatible, religion and law
religion and law must
must be be separated
separated
once and
once and for all.
all. He says
saysthat
that Muslims
Muslims must
must distinguish
distinguish
between
between such such universal
universal moral ideals ideals asas kindness,
kindness,
honesty,
honesty,loyalty
loyalty and
and marital
marital purity which
which are
are valid
valid for all
all
time and
and places
placesandand discard
discard such prohibitions peculiar
such prohibitions peculiar to
to
Islam, such as
Islam, such as that
that of thethe eating
eating of pork, the
the drinking of
intoxicating
intoxicating beverages,
beverages, the giving and
the giving and receiving
receiving of
interest,
interest,etc., as no longer
etc.,as longer applicable
applicableto today.
today.

But are
are not the
the existing
existing evils
evils of our modem
modern
society
societyenough
enough to convince
convince any
any thinking
thinking Muslim that
that the
the

84 West Versus lslam


Versus Islam
abandonment of
abandonment of the latter will
the latter lead to
will lead the abandonment
to the abandonment
of the former?
of the former? The The prohibition
prohibition of
of the
the Qur'an are no
Qur'an are no
mere
mere whim
whim of
of some
some arbitrary
arbitrary deity.
deity. Rather,
Rather, they
they
eradicate evil
eradicate evil at its source.
at its source.

To Asif
To Asif A.
A. Fyzee,
Fyzee, one's beliefs are
one's beliefs strictly aa private
are strictly private
affair. However, it is an indisputable fact
affair. However, it is an indisputable that an
fact that an
individual's behaviour
individuals behaviour is is based
based on
on his
his beliefs.
beliefs. Can
Can the
the
author deny
author deny that
that such
such actions
actions have
have an impact on
an impact on society?
society?
He
He goes
goes on to say
say that since
since ethics
ethics are
are purely a matter of
of
conscience, attempts
individual conscience, enforce them by the
attempts to enforce
Shariah are
Shariah are unnecessary. Muslims, he says
unnecessary. Muslims, says should listen
listen
conscience rather than consult
to their conscience books. But
consult law books. But
individual conscience
the individual conscience is infallible guide'
is no infallible guide. Human
beings are
beings are not angels.
angels. Ethical behaviour without the
Ethical behaviour
sanction
sanction ofof and
and force
force ofof law
law behind soon degenerates
behind it soon degenerates
meaningless platitudes.
into meaningless platitudes.

Asif A. Fyzee
Fyzee thinks
thinks that
that Muslim law was suitable
law was suitable
only for the Bedouins of
the Bedouins seventh seventh century
century Arabia.
Arabia. He says
says
that it
that is is impossible
impossible to
to apply
apply the
the Shariah
Shariah to the
the Eskimos,
Eskimos,
the
the Australian
Australian BushmenBushmen or even the Bengalis
even the Bengalisof India. India.
American law
Yet American law has
has been
been imposed
imposed on the Eskimos of
the Eskimos
Alaska
Alaska and and English
English law law on the the Australian Bushmen'
Australian Bushmen.
French law
French law now
now rules
rules the
the Arabs
Arabs of Africa' English
of North Africa. English
law
law rules
rules thethe Muslims
Muslims of of India,
India, Dutch
Dutch law,law, the Muslims
the Muslims
of
of Indonesia
Indonesiaand and Soviet
Sovietlawlaw the
the Muslims
Muslims of of Central Asia.
CentralAsia.
Asif A.
Asif A. Fyzee
Fyzeeheralds
heraldsthisthis as greatsign
asaa great signof progresssince
of progress since
Western
Western legal legal system
system havehave been able so
been able successfully
so successfully
penetrate
penetratealien civilrzatronof
alien civilization of Asia and Africa,
Asia and Africa, why does
why does
he
he think
think thatthat Shariah
Shariahany any less
lessuniversal? Evidently, he
universal?Evidently, he
considers
considersthe domination of
the domination of Turkestan by communist
Turkestan by communist
Russiaand
Russia and China
Chrnaas as"progress."
"progress'" wonderifif he
II wonder he honestly
honestly
thinks
*unks thatthat the
the Shariah's conceptionof
Shariah'sconception justrceisis inferior
of justice inferior
to Sovietlaw.
to Soviet law.

West
WestVersus
VersusIslam
lslam 85
To
To AsafAsaf A.A. Fyzee,
Fyzee, Islamic
Islamic conception
conception of of God
God
being the
being the true
true sovereign
sovereignof of the
the world,
world, the
the law
law of
of God
God
being supreme
being supreme over over thethe whims
whims of of human
human governments
govemments
and the
and the fact
fact that
that the
the law
law of
of god
god transcends
transcendsgeographical
geographical
frontiers isis unacceptable
frontiers unacceptableto to him
him because
becauseitit conflicts
conflics with
with
the modern
the modern concept
concept of of nationalism.
nationalism. Nationalism
Nationalism is is aa
curseof
curse of the
the modern
modern world.
world. ItIt was
was responsible
responsiblefor bothboth
world wars
world wars and and now
now threatens
threatensto to bring
bring on
on aa third.
third. The
supremacy of
supremacy of God
God has has been
been exchanged
exchanged for the the
supremacyof
supremacy of the
the state.
state.This
This idea
idea has
has been
been pushed
pushed to to its
is
logicalconclusion
logical conclusion in in Fascist
FascistItaly, Nazi Germany
ltaly, in Nazi Germany and and
now more
now more ruthlessly
ruthlesslythan
than ever
everin Communist
Communist China.
China.

Asaf A. Fyzee
Asaf Fyzee agrees
agreeswith the the enemies
enemies of IslamIslam
that the
that the Qur'an
Qur'an isis directly
directly responsible
responsiblefor the the degraded
degraded
position of
position of Muslim women;
women; for the the fact
fact that
that in the the
Muslim world "women are
world "women are regarded
regarded as as the
the mere
mere
playthingsof men
playthings men andand seldom
seldom as as aa life
life companion,
comparrron,co- co-
worker or helpmate."
worker helpmate."To clinch
clinch his
his arguments
argumens he quotes
he quotes
tie Qur'anic
the verse which
Qur'anic verse which says: "Men are
says: "Men incharge of
are incharge of
women because
women becauseGodGod has made one
has made one of them
them to excel
excel the
the
other."' But as
other.'" as usual,
usual, with such
such attacks
attacks hehe distorts
distorts the
the
meaning of the
meaning tle sentence
sentence by omitting the vital phrase,
the vital phrase,
"a:rd because
"and because they
they spend
spend of of their property (for the
support women)." Even
support of women)." Even today
today in the the most advanced
advanced
progressiveWestern
progressive Western countries,
countries, the
the husband
husband remains
remains the the
head of the
head the house
house because
because on his his shoulders
shoulders falls
falls the
the
responsibility of
responsibility of the
the family.
family. Although rhe the working
women's wages
women's wages may supplement
supplement the the family income,
income, her
responsibilityin this
responsibility this respect
respect is
is still far less
less than
than tiat
that of
of her
husband.
husband.

That men excel


excel women in intellectual
intellectual and creative
creative
attainments
attainments is
is an
an indisputable
indisputable fact.
fact. AJthough
Although there
there have
have
been
been rnany
many fine women artists
artists writers and musicians,
writers and musicians,
there
tllere has
has never
never in the entire history
tlle entire history of
of the
the world
world being
being

86 West
West Versus
Versus lslam
Islam
any women writers
arry writers to equal Shakespeare, no women
equal Shakespeare,
Rembrandt and no woman Mozart or
artist on a par with Rembrandt
artist
Beethoven. Madam Curie has
Beethoven. being cited as
has often being as an
exception in the
exception the scientific field, yet it is
scientific field, doubtful ifif she
is doubful she
could have
have achieved
achieved what sheshe did without her husband.
husband.
remembered that Cod
Then too, it must be remembered
Then God never
never sent
sent a
Abraham, Muses
woman prophet like Abraham, Muses orJesus.
or Jesus.

Holly Prophet
The Holly never regarded
Prophet never regarded his wives
wives as
as
playthings to gratify
mere playthings gratify sensual as his
lusts as
sensual luss his hostile
hostile
critics suppose.
critics suppose.They werewere no meek, submissivechattels
meek, submissive chattels
but strong personalities in their own right and
strong personalities and there
there isis
every evidence
every that Muhammad respected
evidence that each one of
respected each
them as as an
an individual.
individual. The Prophet
Prophet onceonce told Aisha:
Aisha:
'God never gave
"God I(hadfiah.
never gave any
any man aa better wife than Khadijah.
She
She believed
believeciin me when all the
me when were unbelievers.
the world were unbelievers.
She
She comforted
comforted me when all
me when a.ll denied message.She
denied my message. She
supported
supported me wealth when
with her wealth
me with when everyone else
everyone else
avoided
avoided me, and God gave
me, and gave me children
children through her."
through her."
Could anyany man pay his
man pay his wife higher tribute
wife aa higher loyalty
tribute of loyalty
and
and devotion
devotion than
than this? Young as
this? Young as she was, Aisha's
she was, Aisha's alert
alert
brilliant mind made
made here
here universally acceptedas
universallyaccepted as one
one of
the
the most
most trustworthy
trustworthysources
sourcesof Hadith.
Hadith.

After the
the Prophet's
Prophet's death,
death, the stah.rsof Muslim
the status
women
women rapidly
rapidly declined when the
declined when veil, seclusion
the veil, seclusionandand
harem
harem system root. These
system took root. These customs were all
customs were all
imported
imported from Persia
Persiaand
and Byzantium and in the
Byzantium and the extreme
extreme
forms
forms they
they were practiced,they
were practiced, had nothing
they had to dt.>
nothing to dc with
"rth
the Qur'an.
the Qur'an.

Islam's condemnation of
Islam's condemnation of the
the immodest
imrnodest dress
dress and
and
mingling of
the unrestricted mingling of the sexes
sexes that is is so
so
characteristic
characteristic of
of modern
modern Western
Western society,
society, is
is intended
intended for
for
special benefit of
the special of the
the women
women not the the man, asas the
the
enemies
enemies ofof the
the Islam would have
have us
us to
to believe.
believe.

West
West Versus
Versus Islam
lslam a7
87
Despite
Despite the
the invasion
invasion of corrupt
cornrpt influences
influences from
Persia
Persiaand
and Byzantium,
Byzantium, thethe spirit of Islam produced such
Islam produced such
outstanding women as
outstanding women as Rabia
Rabia AIAl Adawiya
Adawiya of of Basra,
Basra,
Shuhdra, aa famous
Shuhdra, professorof Hadith at
famous professor at the
the University
University
of Baghdad
Baghdad and
and those
those two
two learned
learned sisters
sistersMaryam
Maryam and
and
Fatima, who
Fatima, who founded
founded Qarawiyian University. Their
Qarawilan University. Their
achievementswere
achievements perfect accord
were in perfect accord with thethe Prophet's
Prophet's
teachingswhich
teachings which considered
considered the
the search knowledge as
searchfor knowledge as
compulsory
compulsory for women
women asasfor men.
men.

There is is no need
need to substitute
substihrte the
the attitude
attitude of
women in the
women the Qur'an
Qur'an for that
that of the
the modern West. If
If
AsaJA. Fyzee
Asaf present the
Fyzeewould present the Qur'an
Qur'an in anan accurate
accurate
light, why did he
Iight, why quote the
he not quote the following
following verse:
verse: "And
"And
his signs
from his signsisis that
that He created
createdfor you you from yourselves
yourselves
mates that
mates you might find rest
that you rest and peacewith
and peace with them
them and
and
We made
made between
betweenyouyou love and compassion.'~
love and compassion.'o

Fyzeeclaims
Asaf A. Fyzee claims that
that he
he believes
believesthe
the Qur'an
Qur'an to
to
be the
be word of God;
the word God; he
he is
is deeply
deeplymoved
moved byby its
is beautiful
beautiful
larguage,yet
language, yet to
to him the descriptionsof heaven
the descriptions heavenand and hell
hell
are not reality
are reality but mere poelic imagery.
mere poetic imagery.Yet the the Qur'an
Qur'an
saysthat
says that these
these are
are no words poet. It is
words of aa poet. is aa revelation
revelation
the Lord
from the lord of the
the Worlds.

Generally speaking, Asaf A. Fyzee


Generally speaking, Fyzee accepts
accepts the
the
early Makkan
early Suras,but does
Makkan Suras, does not like thethe Medina Suras.
Suras.
The Makkan
Makkan Suras
Suras reveal
reveal the
the spiritual
spiritr-raltruths
truths while
while the
the
Surasillustrate
Medina Suras practice.One is
illustratetheir practice. is meaningless
meaningless
without the other. If
the other. If the
the author
author claims
claims to accept
accept the
the
Qur'an t-henhe
Qur'an then he must believe all of
must believe of it.
it. He cannot
cannot pick
certain versesout of context
certain verses context that
that happen please his
happen to please his
fancy
falcy and
and discard
discardthe
the rest.
rest.

According to
According Asaf A. Fyzee,
to Asaf Fyzee,rituals,
rituals, because
becauseof

88 West
West Versus lslam
Versus Islam
their emphasis
their emphasis otr on outward
outward observance rather than
observance rather than
inward reverence,
inward reverence, retard
retard spiritual development. The
spiritual development. The
beauty of
beauty of fasting Ramadan, he says
fasting during Ramadan, says can be
emphasised without insisting
emphasised insisting on on its hidebound
prescriptions. He says
prescriptions. believes in prayer but
says that he believes but not
not
obligation to pray five
in the obligation times daily which he claims
five times claims
has become
has become "a "a soul-less
soul-less ritual having meaning left in
having no meaning
modem life."
modern life."

The danger
The danger that that ritud
ritual can become an
can become an empty
lifeless formality is
lifeless is not, as implies, a
Fyzee implies,
as Asaf A. Fyzee
peculiarity ofof modem
modem times. It has
times. It has always It is in
existed. It
always existed.
recognition of
recognition of this
this danger
danger thatthat the says: "It is
the Qur'an says: is not
that ye
righteousness that
righteousness ye hrrn
tum faces the East
faces to the East and the West,
and the
righteous is
but righteous is that
that one believeth in Allah and
one believeth and t}le
the Last
Last
Day andand the
the Angels
Angels and and the Scriphrresand
the Scriptures the Prophets
and the Prophets
and
and giveth
giveth his
his wealth Him to kinsfolk and
love of Him
wealth for love and to
orphans
orphans and and the
the needy
needy andand the wayfarer and
the wayfarer those
and to those
who ask ask and
and to setset slaves free and
slaves free obserueth proper
and observeth proper
worship and
worship and payth
payth thethe poor due. those who keep
due. And those keep
their
their treaty
treaty when
when theythey make
make one one and
and the patient in
the patient
tribulation
tribulation and
and adversity
adversityandand in time stress.Such
time of stress. Such as as
they
they who
who are
are sincere.
sincere. Such
Such are the God-fearing.'''
are the God-fearing."' In
more
more concise
conciselanguage,
language,the the Prophet
Prophet said, "God does
said, "God does not
listen prayer where
listen to aa prayer where thethe heart does accompany
does not accompany
the
the body."
body."

In nono way
way can
can the
the Qur'anic verse and
Quianic verse and Hadith
quoted
quoted above
above be be used
used as pretext to
as aa pretext justifu the
to justify the
abandonment
abandonment of of ritual prayers and
rinral prayers during
fasting during
and fasting
Ramadan.
Ramadan.Because
Becausefaith
faith withers
witherswithout
without an expressionof
an expression of
that
thatfaith,
taith, beliefs
beliefsare
are meaningless
meaningless without practice.
without practice.

The
The purpose
purpose ofof Islamic
Islamic ritual prayer isis for
ritual prayer for each
each
individual
individual to
to stop
stop in
in the
the midst
midst of his daily
of his daily activities for
act-ivit.ies
for
the
the remembrance
remembra:rce of
of God.
God. Once the Muslim
Once the abar.rdoned
Muslim abandoned

West
West Versus
VersusIslam
lslam 89
his ritual
his prayer, he
ritual prayer, he naturally
nan-rrallybecomes
becomes so engrossedin
so engrossed in
the struggleto
the struggle to earn his livelihood
earn his livelihood that
that he
he will
will tell
tell you
you hehe
hasno
has no time
time to pray. In
to pray: In other
other words,
words, making
making money
money has has
become more
become more important
important for for him
him than
than the
the remembrance
remembrance
God. How can
of God. can it be
be denied
denied that
that the
the abandonment
abandonmentof
ritual prayerhas
rihral prayer hasresulted
resultedin in the
the deterioration
deteriorationof hishis faith?
farthP

Finally, Asaf A. Fyzee


Finally, Asaf Fyzee wishes
wishes to!o impress
impress his
his
readers with
readers with broadmindedness.
broadmindedness.Islam,Islam, he says,is
he says, is only
only
one religion, one
one religion, way of life
one way life among
among many
many others.
others. He
does not assert
does assertits
its superiority
superiority over
over Judaism,
Judaism, Christianity,
Christianity,
Hinduism or Buddhism.
Buddhism. But I am am tempted
tempted to ask
askhim "If
he do not regard
he regard Islam
Islam as
as better
better than
than any
any other
other faith,
faith,
than why
than why are you aa Muslim?
are you might just as
MuslirnP You might as well
well
become aa member
become member of another
another religion!"
religion!"

Yes, he
Yes, he might
might just asas well
well become
become aa member of aa
Reform Jewish
Reform Jewish Temple for all all his
his arguments
arguments for thethe
'liberalizing" "modernizing" of Islam
"liberalizing" and
and the
the "modernizing" Islam or taken
taken
directly from the
directly the statements
statementsof Reform
Reform Jewish
Jewishleaders.
leaders,In
fact, he
fact, he even quotes from the
even quotes the books
books by Reform
Reform Jewish
Jewish
rabbis to support
rabbis support his
his views.
views.True to Reform
RefiormJudaism,
Judaism, hehe
regards
regards thethe discarding
discarding ofof all
all laws,
laws, rituals,
rituds, customs
customs and
and
ceremonies foreign
ceremonies foreign to Western civilization
civrhzation asas essential
essentjal
the survival
for the survival of religion.
religion. Only by harmonizing
harmonizing Islam
Islam
with Westem
Western civilizatjon
civilization asas Reform Judaism
Judaism hashas
attempted to do, can
attempted can genuine
genuine spiritual
spiritual life be marntained,
maintained.
But he he forgets,
forgets, as
as did those
those rabbis,
rabbis, that
that modern Westem
civilization is
civilization is secular
secular to thethe core
core iud
and hostile
hostile to all
spiritual values.
spiritual values.

Does Asaf A. Fyzee


Does fuaf Fyzee rea.lly
really wish
wish his
his "liberal
"liberal Islam'
Islam"
to share
share the same
same fate
fate as
as ReformJudaism?
Reform Judaism? I happened
happened to
have
have been
been bom
born a Reform Jew. Jew. Both my parents
parents were
were
raised as Reform Jews.
raised as Jews. Both received
received only the scantiest
scantiest
of Jewish training.
of Jeunsh training. Consequently
Consequently neither
neither know of of

90 West Versus lslam


West Islam
Hebrew. Neither
Hebrew. Neither are
are lamiliar
familiar with the Torah
with the Torah or or Talmud.
Talmud.
They observe
They observe nono Jewish customs or
Jewish customs ceremonies. They
or ceremonies. They
history or
know little ofJewish history culture. ItIt is not surprising
or culhrre. surprising
that the insipid, uninspiring philosophy of of Reform
Judaism
Judarsm is powerless
powerless to hold the younger
younger generation'
generation. My
My
has just joined
sister has
sister Church. My
joined the Unitarian Church. My parents
parents
are unique arnong
are not unique among Reform Jews.Jews. All
All ofof our Reform
Jewish
Jewish friends
friends share
share the same
same spiritual
spirintal vacuum.
vacuum. None has
has
any religion
any of the name.
religion worthy of name.

II must take issue with Asaf A. Flzee


take issue Fyzee when
when he
asserts
asserts that that modem
modern orthodox Islam is
is spiritually
spiritually
bankrupt. Such
bankrupt. Such brilliant personalities
personalities as as Muhammad
Abd-al-Wahab, founder of
Abd-al-Wahab, the Wahabi movement'
of the movement,
Waliullah, whosewhose creativeness
creativeness as as the theologian ravelled
the theologian ravelled
al-Ghazzali Muhammad Ibn AIi
himself, Muhammad
al-Ghazzal; himself, Sanussi,
Ali Sanussl,
founder of the the Sanussi
Sanussimovement,
movement, his grand son
his grand son Sayyid
Sayyid
Ahmad,
Alrrnad, the the Grand
Grand Sanussi,
Sanussi,Jamal-ud-Din
Jamal-ud-Din Al-Afghani,
AI-Afghani,
Muhammad
Muhammad Abduh and and his
his devoted
devoted pupil Rashid Rrda'
Rashid Rida,
feaclerof the
leader the Salfiya
Salfiyamovement
movement and and talented editor of Al'
talentededitor Ai-
Mallar,
Manar, Hassan Hassan al-Banna founder of the
al-Banna founder the Muslim
Brotherhood,
Brotherhood, Prince Prince Said
Said Halim Pasha, last Grand
Pasha, last Grand
Vizier of Turkey and and author
author of that that splendid
splendid book
defending
defending the the Shariah, Islamlashmaq,and
Shariah, IsJamJashmaq, and Muhammad
Muhammad
Iqbal,
Iqbal, poetpoet and philosopher as
and philosopher as well
well as spirinra.lfather
as spiritual father of
Pakistan
Pakistan - all all these great leaders
these great leaders are convincing proof
are convincing
that
that thethe vitality
vitalityof Islam
Islam continues
continuesto to this
this day. These men
day.These men
had
had the the strength
strengh of of character
character and and the
the conviction
conviction to to
preach
preachand practiceIslam
and practice Islam asasthe Prophetintended.
the Holly Prophet intended.
They knew knew well
well that
that because
becausethe the spirit
spint of the modem
of the modern
West and and Islam
Islam are
are irreconcilable,
irreconcilable,to to compromise
compromise with wrth
the
the former
former means
meansdefeat
defeatfor
for the
the latter. For this
latter.For reason,itit
this reason,
isis upon
upon thethe progeny
progenyof of these
thesemenmen andand not
not those
thoseof Asaf
of Asaf
A.
A. Fyzee,
Fyzee,that
thatthe
thefuture
future of
of Islam
Islam depends.
depends.

Notes:
Notes:

West
West Versus
VersusIslam
lslam 91
91
1.l.Actually,
Actually, denial
denia-lof anyruling
of any givenin
ruIing given in the
the Qur'an (as
Qur'an (as
mentioned
mentioned by by the' author in
the author in the
the following
following paragraph)
paragraph)
amounrs to
amounts to outright
outright disbelief. (Ed)
disbelief. (Ed.)
2. 4:34
2. 4:31
3. 30:21
3. 30:21
1 . 2:177
4. 2:177

92 West Versus
West Versus lslam
Islam
Chapter I11I
5. Chopter
5.

Can Islam
Can Islam be Reconciled with the
be Reconciled the
th
the 20h
Spirit of the 20 Century?
Century?

"Islam shall perish


"Islam terms with
perish unless itit comes to terms with
Modem World."
the Modern World." Such are the words words constantly
constantly
repeated by by the Western
Western educated rulingruling class
class in
in Muslim
Muslim
countries. They
countries. They never tire of of reminding
reminding us that we c:urnot
cannot
in a bygone age.
live in age. We unrealistic to
We are taught that itit is unrealistic
turn the clock
try to turn
try clock back
back because
because no*ring
nothing can reverse
'fherefore,
trend of
the trend of history. Therefore, we have no no choice
choice except
except
conform our
to conform our faith to the demands
demands of of an ever<hanging
ever-changing
secular society. In In order
order to be strong, we are toldtold that we
must
must reject "traditional"
"traditional" interpretations
interprelations ofof the Qur'an
Qur'an and
read it "rationally" in the light of of modem
modem life. Practically
all reforms governments of
reforms advocated by the governments of Muslim
Muslim
countries havehave tl1is
dris goal
goal in mind. WeWe shall
shall now seek
seek to
examine the most importantimportant of of tl1ese
t-hese and their effect
upon thethe Islamic
Islamic community.
community.

Because
Because the idea of of an Islamic state is an
state is
anathema
anathema to aa world dominated by sheer sheer opportunism,
oppornrnism,
tl1ese
these Western
Westem educated
educated leaders
leaders tell
tell us
us that we must
that we
accept the abolition
abolitiorr of Khalifate
Kira.lifate as permanent and
as permanent
dismiss
dismiss any
any possibility of rts revival in
of its in the
the future.
future.

Politics and
Politics atrd government
government basedbased onon religion
religron are
are
branded as as medieval. Therefore,
Therefore, in in order
order to take
take their
place
place in in the
the modem
modern world,
world, Muslims
Muslims must reconcile
must reconcile
themselves
themselvesto to secular
secularrule.
ruie. Towards
Towards this
this end,
end, books have
books have
been
been written
written in
in Muslim
Muslim countries
countries blaming
blaming the
t-lle Khalifate
Khalifate
for
fbr all
all the
the evils
evils affiicting
afllicting them
them through
through out
out history. They
history. They
claimed
claimed thatthat tl1e
dre Khalifate
Khalifate isis not
not really part of
really part Islam
of Islam

West
West Versus
VersusIslam
lslam 93
because
because the
the Holy
Holy Prophet's
Prophet's mIssion
mission was
was limited
limited to
to
preaching. He
preaching. He never
never wished
wished to
to rule.
rule. Only
Only expediency
expediency
forced him
forced him to
to do
do so.
so.

Intellectual
Intellechral dishonesty
dishonesty could
could scarcely
scarcely sink
sink to lower
lower
depths
depths than this.
this. Islam cannot
cannot live
live without
without anan Islamic
community. And
community. And the Islamic
Islamic community
community cannot
cannot survive
survive
without organized
without institutions and
organized institutions and leadership.
leadership.

The
The next step
step after the abolition
abolition ofof Khalifate
Khalifate isis the
elimination of
elimination of Shariah. Since the Shariah is is considered
considered
Western educated leaders as
by many Western as outmoded
outrnoded and its is
conception of
conception justice inferior
ofjustice inferior to Western
Westem legal legal systems,
systems, it
is believed that only secular laws
is laws can promote
promote the social
well-being of
well-being of society.
society. In other words, it is is deemed
essential
essential to regard the enforcement
enforcement of of such chronic
chronic laws
laws
as prohibition of
as the prohibition of lending
lending money
money at interest, drinking
drinking
alcoholic
alcoholic beverages, gambling and sex
beverages, gambling sex outside of of
marriage asas no longer applicable to the present-day. The The
punishments laid down in the Qur'an
punishments Qur'an for the violation
violation ofof
these laws
laws are attacked
atlacked as as cruel and inhumane.
inhumane. But But does
not
not an evil remain
remain an evil regardless
regardless ofof time or or place?
And
And is the merit
merit ofof a law to be judged
judged according
according to its
leniency?
leniency? Does the criminal
criminal deserve moremore sympathy
syrnpathy than
Without a Shariah, the Islamic
society? Without Islamic way of of life
disintegratess into
disintegrate mere collection
into a mere collection of
of empg'
empty platitudes.
platitudes.

After the elimination


After elimination of
of Isiamic
Islamic leadership
leadership and
Islamic no problem
Islamic law, it is no problem to desfoy
destroy the solidarity of
solidarity of
Ummat. The
the Ummat. The concept of of a universal
universal Islamic
brotherhood transcending
brotherhood transcending race, language,
language, and geography
geography
incompatible with
is incompatible with the supremacy
supremacy of of national
national
sovereigrrty. Therefore, in
sovereignty. Therefore, in order
order to adopt
adopt the spirit
spirit of
of 20"
20"'
century, Muslims
century, Muslims are toldtold that the tlmmat
Ummat rnust
must be
replaced by nationalism.

94 Versus lslam
West Versus Islam
This has
This has resulted
resulted in in the
the isolation
isolation and
and alienation
alienation ofof
the dil'ferent
the different Muslim
Muslim people
people lrom from eacheach other.
other. Instead
Instead of
of
stressing aa common
stressing common Muslim
Muslim heritage,
heritage, their leaders glorifu
their leaders glorifY
a mythical
a mythical past
past as if
as if it
it were
were aa golden
golden age
age that Islam
that Islam
snatched
snatched away
away from
from them.
them. For
For instance,
instance, the
the Turkish
Turkish
nationalists regard
nationaliss regard the
the Ottoman
Ottoman period period as as aa time
time ofof
subjection to
subjection foreign culture
to lbreigr culture and and foreign
foreign languages.
languages.
Simultaneously, Reza Shah cha:rged
Simultaneously, changed the the name
name of of his
his
country from
country from Persia to to lrart
Iran because
because itit was
was thethe alleged
homeland of
homeland of the Aryan
Aryan race. The The government
government of of the
United
United Arab
Arab Republic
Republic erects giant statutes
statrrtes of
of Remises in
in
the public
the public squares of of Cairo
Cairo glorifying
glorifying him as a great Arab
him as Arab
king whilc
king while Umar
Umar is depicted
depicted by by the nationalists not not as
as a
pious Kha.lif
pious Khalif butbut instead the champion champion of of Arab
Arab
domination over
domination over foreigrr
foreign people
people..

On J'cw
On few subjects emphatic as
modernists so emphatic
subjecls are the modernists as
insisting
insisting that pan-Islamism is dead. As one Turk
is dead. Turk puts it:
'We want to construct
'We conslruct aa'l'url<rsh
Turkish Islam
Islarn which will be as
as
much ours as as Anglicanism
A:rglicartism ISis part of of England.
England.
A.nglicalism is
Anglicanism is not Italian
ltalia:r or German.
German' Yet, nobody
accuses
accuses it of not
of'not being Christian.
Christian. Why
Why should wewe Turks
Turks
be deprived of of an
al Islam of
of our own?"
omr?"

Nationalism
Natrorralism is is behind
belind the the constant
cottsfturt clamour for lbr
official
oflicial translations
Lranslat.ionsof
of the Qur'an
Qur'an without
rvit-hout the Arabic
Arabic text.
text'
The
The adoption
adopt-ron of of the
the Latin
Lat-rn alphabet
alphabet by TurkeyTurkey and a:rd
Indonesia
Indonesia together
togetlter with the
t.hc supremacy
supremacy of
of English
English and
and
the
the neglect
neglect of
of Arabic
Arabic in in the
the educational
educational system
system of the
of the
remaining
rernaining non-Arab
non-Arab cow1tries,
cotuttrtes, have irave made
made thethe language
language
of
of the
the Qur'an
Qur'an increasingly
increasinglyumntelligible.
unintelligible. Not Not only
only would
would
official translations of
oflicial translations of Ulethe Qur'an
Qur'atr without
without Arabic
Arabic
complete
complete the t-he destruction
de struct-ron of o1- the f llnmat but
the Limmat also
but also
inevitably
inevitably corrupt
corrupt u1e
tl're text
text itself.
itself. The
The overwhelming
overwhelmrng
ambition
ambition of of governments
governments in in thedre Muslim world isis to
Muslim world to
promote
Drornote economic
ecotromic development
developrnent and and raise
raise the
thc standard
standard

West
W e s tVersus
V e r s u sIslam
lslam 95
of
of living
living through
through industrialisation.
industrialisation. One
One may
rnay ask
ask if this is
is
not
not inin accord
accord with
with Islam's
Islam's demand
demand for for economic
economic justice
lustice
and
and thethe elimination
elimination of of the
the extreme
extreme poverty.
poverty. In
In the
t}le sense
sense
that the Qur'an
that the Qur'an denounces
denounces asceticism
asceticism and
and gives
gives us
us the
right
right to enjoy our
to enjoy our legitimately
legrtrmately earned wealth, and also also in
the
t}re sense
sense that
that Allah
Ailah intended
intended the riches of of the universe
be used
be used forfor the
the benefit
benefit of
of man, Islam cannot be hostile to
technological
technological progress
progress as such. But
as such. But it isis implacably
implacably
opposed
opposed to to the
the present-day
present-day ideologies,
ideologres, which regard no
sacrifice
sacrifice too great for material gain or physical power.

It
It is
is not the scientific discoveries in themselves
which do
which do the harm, but rather the materialistic materialistic
philosophy which forces industrialisation
philosophy indusfria.lisation to serve
serve
destructive
destructive ends, bringing
bringing havoc to the community,
community,
wrecking
wrecking family
family ties
ties and religious life. Modem
Modern industry
urdusul*
will not allow workers
workers to take time off off f<)r
lbr prayers, and
the fast
fast ofof Ranladan
Ramadan is is discouraged
rliscouragcd as as hampering
hamperirg
'fhis
productivity. This same
productivity. szune poison
poison hashas also invaded
invacled the
schools as
schools purely, utilitarian
as purely utjlitarian subjects
subjecls increasingly
increasingly
'l-hus,
dominate the curriculum.
curriculurn. Thus, technical
technical and
commercial courses
courses are are most highly
higirly esteemed
esteerr-redwhile
Islamic studies
shrdiesare
are scorned.
scorned.

Modem
Modern industrialisation
industrialisation promotes tircthe philosophy
philosophy
t-hat man can banish poverty,
that poverty, disease
disease and Ignorance
alrd igrrorarrce
wrthout divine aid.
without a-rd. In other
odrer words, science
science has
has made
mar independent
man independcnt of Allah. This
of Nlah. This is why
why inin the batt_le
battle
po\.erty and social
against poverty
against injustice, no govenrmcnt
social injustice, government is
wrlling to enforce
'willing cnforce Zakat, tlrc prohibition
Zakal, the prohibition of
of interest, the
Qur'anic irrirerilalcc laws,
Qur'zuric inheritance or put
laws, or put the waql'Ibunclations
waqf foundations to
usc..
eI'fectiveuse
effective

Thcsc lcadcrs
These regard "Ernalcil;ation"
leaders rcga.rcl "Emancipation" of'
of Muslirn
Muslim
women a*s
women as indispcnsable
indispensable lbr for soci:rl
social progress.
progress. tfIf
"ernancipafion" is
"emancipation" is rncarrt
meant asas the right ol
of wonten
women to develop

96 W est V
West e r s u s lIslam
Versus slam
their
their minds
minds through
through education
education and
ard use
use their
their abilities to
earn their
their livelihood
livelihood when necessary,
necessary, then they are right.
But
But unfortunately,
unforhrnately, the champions
champions of
of feminism
feminism also insist
that Muslim
MusLm women
women be free to mix
mix socially with
with men
men and
wear immodest
immodest dress.
dress. Because
Because Muslim
Muslim women
women are
required
required to conceal their
their bodies in public,
public, there isis no
question
question that they could
could wear those dresses
dresses which
which are
designed for
for the opposite
opposite purpose
purpose and violate both
both the
Qur'an
Qur'an and the Sunnah.

Nearly
Nearly every government
government in the Muslim
Muslim world
world
officially
offrcially encourages the adoption
adoption of
of Western
Western dress.
dress.
Turkey
Turkey hashas gone to the ridiculous
ridiculous extreme ofof decreeing
Western
Western dress
dress compulsory
compulsory by law.
iaw. Western
Western clothing
clothing has
has
become
become symbolic
symbolic of
of advancement and progress while the
indigenous
indrgenous costumes,
coshrmes, now confined
confined largely to the very
poor
poor in the rural districts is
is regarded as
as synonymous
synonyrnous with
backwardness.

To
To strive
strivc for the elimination
elimination for
for all visible signs
signs of
of
Muslim
Muslim identity
identiry by adopting
adopting the dress
dress and living habits of of
a civilization
civilization as as implacably
implacably hostile
host-ile to Islam as
as that of
of the
West,
West, is is tantamount
tantamount to apostasy.
aposlasy. The
The Prophet
Prophet made this
clear when he said:
very clear said: "He who imitates
imitates a people is is one
of
of them."
them."

Thus
Thus we we have
have demonstrated
dernonstrated why it is is impossible
ili
to reconcile
reconcile Islam with wrth the spirit of
of the
the 20
20" century.
century. The
The
more Muslim
Muslim people tried to reform Islam and ald make it
compatible witllwrth modern
modem life, life, tlle
tire weaker they they will
become. Muslims
Musluns will*'ill gain
garn strength
strength and vigour not by
going along Witll
w"ith tlle
the trend of of our
our age,
age, but
but only by fighting
against
against it.
it. All
All means,
mezurs,including the mass mass media,
media, should
be employed
ernployed to arouse
zuouse among the people of
arnong the the Muslim
o1'the Muslim
world sufficient
sulljcient resistance arrti-Islzr.miclaws
resistan<'e to anti-Islamic law,s and
policies
policics so
so tllat
that tlley
they refuse
refuse to co-operate.
co-opcrate. At At tllC
tlic same
samc

West V e r s u sIslam
W e s t Versus lslam 97
97
time, increasing
[ime, increasing support must be
support must be given all qualified
given to all qualified
leaders willing and
leaders and able influence a goverrunent
able to influence government under
the Islamic
which the Islamic way
way of
of life will be
be offrcially
officially encouraged
encouraged
instead being discouraged.
instead of being discouraged.

98 W6st Versus
West Vorsus Islam
lslam
West
Wost Versus
Vorsus Islam
lslam 99
99