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Knowledge, Humanity, Religion, Culture, Tolerance, Peace

Islamic World

lslamic World 
 
Racism and violence is discouraged in Islam, for the Qur’an speaks of human equality, the criteria of superiority is piety (Qur’an;49:13). God has entrusted the Muslims to be the best and moderate community among mankind; they are required to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. As custodian of legacy of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) and bearers of the Divine trust, Muslims are expected to play leading role, in extending the message of guidance for the betterment of humanity. History is witness that Islam inspired emergence of dynamic civilization. Islam practically demonstrated achievement of  ideals through the first Muslim society, established in the form of a state, by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), which continued to be maintained by the four rightly guided caliphs (632-661 C.E).
The Islamic civilization became the most dominant power for more than thousand years and immensely influenced the humanity as a whole including the Renaissance of Europe.
As long as the Muslims adhered to the tenets of Islam and kept their supremacy in knowledge; they lead the world. However Muslims lost the power and glory due to their negligence, mismanagement, corruption, illiteracy, internal dissidence and non adherence to the doctrines of Islam; resultantly most of the Muslim countries were colonized and their resources exploited by the colonial powers during last five centuries. Though at present most of the Muslim countries are free from colonial oppression but the legacy continues.

Today Muslims are mostly part of underdeveloped third world threatened by neocolonialism. The Muslim world, in addition to socioeconomic problems like poverty, illiteracy and economic deprivation have been deliberately embroiled in the major politico-military conflicts at Palestine, Kashmir Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Philippines, Thailand and elsewhere. Besides their numerical strength of around 1.5 billion, the Muslims are also holding major sources of energy and other mineral resources. They are located at strategically important geographical areas, centers of population- civilizations and international routes of trade and commerce. The Muslim world does not possess adequate political, military, industrial, technological and economic strength compatible with their ideology, culture, history, and stature, at international level, which is an impediment in peaceful resolution of their problems.

The Islamic doctrine of Jihad, was revived and nourished by USA in the eighties by recruiting Mujahideen (Muslim guerrilla warriors) from all over the Muslim world. They were trained, armed and launched in to Afghanistan with close cooperation of Pakistan and support of USA her Western allies and Saudi Arabia to defeat USSR. This ultimately became the main cause of collapse of USSR and Communism; the rival ideology to the Western Capitalism. The Jihadis (Muslim warriors) were mostly illiterate, having very little knowledge of Islam, social sciences, international affairs, power- geopolitics and economic affairs. Once they were abandoned by their patrons (USA), they chalked out their own agenda: Firstly, to protect their Muslims brethren against foreign occupation, injustice, oppression, tyranny and exploitation. Secondly; to advance their strict version of Islam (commonly known as Talibanization) against Muslim brothers through violence, strictly prohibited in Islam. After 9/11, the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq by USA and collation partners under the pretext of war against terror resulted in the overthrow of their government leaving these armed warriors groups to go underground and conduct gorilla warfare. These stateless armed groups are operating independently, justification apart, their conduct of warfare in violation to the laid down Islamic principles remains a hot topic of intense debate. No one seems to be making serious efforts to redress the root causes, like; oppression of Muslims, injustice, illiteracy, insecurity, economic disparity, non representative and corrupt Muslim rulers, un-Islamic mode of governance, foreign occupation of Muslim lands, lack of human rights and exploitation of their natural resources. Instead, the military solution is being sought at immense financial and human cost further adding to the miseries of the poor Muslims, thus providing fresh recruits for the warfare. This cycle needs to be reversed by winning the hearts, so that the human energies and resources are diverted towards peace and development to enable the Muslims to conduct the Bigger Jihad (Jihad Kabira), through Qur’an, by practicing and preaching the message of Qur’an.
The keen interest shown by non Muslims in Islam and the revival of strong desire among the believers to practice Islamic doctrine has resulted in renaissance of Islam, which is considered a threat, through the theory of clash of civilization, being projected by some crazy thinkers. What clash! the clash is between belligerents with same level of strength or some what closer in military strength. The Muslim world is no match to the Western economic, industrial, technological and military power, they pose no threat to them militarily. Islam also means ‘Peace’, it does not believe in thrusting itself upon others by force. It is due to the inherent strength of its divine origin, purity, rationale philosophy and doctrines that the truth of Islam stands out. Allah says: “And say: "Truth has (now) arrived, and falsehood perished: for falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish.”(Qur’an;17:81). In this era of materialism, a large number of people (mostly women) are getting attracted towards Islam for spiritual satisfaction and to lead a successful, life here and hereafter. Despite all the hostility and propaganda, Islam remains the fastest growing religion in Europe and North America.
Views of some Western scholars accentuate the importance of Islam, Will Durant writes: “For five centuries, from 700 to 1200 (C.E), Islam led the world in power, order and extent of government, in refinement of manners, scholarship and philosophy”. Professor Gibb states: “No other society has such a record of success in uniting in equality of status, opportunity and enduring so many and so various races of humanity”. According to Duncan Greenless: “The nobility and broad minded tolerance of this creed (Islam) which accepted as God inspire all the real religions of the world will always be glorious heritage of mankind”. Muslims as the true inheritors of the legacy of Abraham, preached and practiced by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) available in the form of his Sunnah and Qur’an, which is Allah’s last book of guidance for the humanity. The Prophet (peace be upon him) in his last sermon said: “O’ People, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. … All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly”. The Muslims should become conscious of the universal perspective of Islam to effectively dischargetheir obligations and pray: “Our Lord! Do not punish us if we forget or make a mistake. Our Lord! Do not place on us a burden as You placed on those before us. Our Lord! Lay not on us the kind of burden that we have no strength to bear. Pardon us, Forgive us, Have mercy on us. You are our Protector, help us against the unbelievers.”(Qur’an;2:286). Hence they should not only read, understand, believe, obey and preserve but also propagate the true message of Qur’an for the peace and benefit of humanity, so that the humanity also view Islam in its broader universal perspective and let it play its role for the peace and development of mankind. 
  
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