ISLAM FACE TO FACE By Maryam Jameelah
1. INTRODUCING THE AUTHOR
2. ISLAM FACE TO FACE WITH THE CURRENT CRISIS
3. THE ISLAMIC MOVEMENT STANDS FOR
INTRODUCING THE AUTHOR
Maryam Jameelah was born in 1934 in New York at the height of the Great Depression a fourth-generation American of German Jewish origin. She was reared in Westchester, one of the most prosperous and populated suburbs of New York and received a thoroughly secular American education at the local public schools. Always an above-average student, she soon became a passionate intellectual and insatiable bibliophile, hardly ever without a book in hand, her readings extending far beyond the requirements of the school curriculum. As she entered adolescence, she became intensely serious-minded, scorning all frivolities, which is very rare for an otherwise attractive young girl. Her main interests were religion, philosophy, history, anthropology, sociology, psychology and biology. The school and local community public libraries and later, the New York Public Library, became “her second home.”
After her graduation from secondary school in the summer of 1952, she was admitted to New York University where she studied a general liberal arts programme. While at the university, she became severely ill in 1953, grew steadily worse and had to discontinue college two years later without earning any diploma. She was confined to private and public hospitals for two years (1957-1959) and only after her discharge did she discover her facility for writing. Allama Muhammad Asad’s two book: -his autobiographical The Road to Mecca and Islam at the Crossroads ignited her interest in Islam and after correspondence with some prominent Muslims in Muslim lands and making intimate friends with some Muslim converts in New York, she embraced Islam at the Islamic Mission in Brooklyn; New York at the hand of Shaikh Daoud Ahmad Faisal, who then changed her name from Margaret Marcus to Maryam Jameelah.
During extensive correspondence with Muslims throughout the world and reading and making literary contributions to whatever Muslim periodicals were available in English, Maryam Jameelah became acquainted with the writings of Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maudoodi and so, beginning in December 1960 they exchanged letters regularly In the spring of 1962, Maulana Maudoodi invited Maryam Jameelah to migrate to Pakistan and live as a member of his family in Lahore. Maryam Jameelah accepted the offer and a year later, married Mohammad Yusuf Khan, a whole-time worker for the Jama’at-e-Islami who later became the publisher of all her books. She subsequently became the mother of four children, living with her co-wife and her children in a large extended household of inlaws. Most unusual for a woman after marriage, she continued all her intellectual interests and literary activities; in fact, her most important writings were done during and in between pregnancies. She observes Purdah strictly.
Her hatred of atheism and materialism in all its varied manifestations-past and present-is intense and in her restless quest for absolute, transcendental ideals, she upholds Islam as the most emotionally arid intellectually satisfying explanation to the Ultimate Truth which alone gives life (and death) meaning, direction, purpose and value.
April 15, 1976 UMAR FAROOQ
ISLAM FACE TO FACE WITH THE CURRENT CRISIS
Two thousand five hundred years ago, the Greek philosophers announced to the world that mankind could achieve spiritual perfection and a haven on earth entirely through the unaided application of his rational faculties. They assured us that a man’s worth depended upon his deed – not his creed and that morality had no relevance to theology. In 14th 15th century Florence, the humanist philosophers were determined to prove what a delightful world this earth would be if only the full development of the individual and the expression of his creative potentialities, unhampered by the restraint of any external authority, was regarded as the ultimate purpose of life. A century later in his New Atlantis, Sir Francis Bacon assured us that science must inevitably supersede religion and that scientific knowledge, by bestowing upon man complete control over the forces of nature, would soon usher in an earthly paradise of comfort, prosperity and happiness. He promised us that science would abolish death, old age, disease, poverty, war, and then all human beings would live together in bliss forever after. In 18th century France arrived the apostles of the “Enlightenment”. Religion was to them an anathema. We need only to abolish religion, they assured us, and superstition, bigotry, fanaticism and tyranny would automatically vanish. Mankind, shorn of religious bigotry, would then abolish persecution and wars would become a thing of a barbaric past and all human beings on earth would then live together ‘in a beautiful fraternity. In the midst of the 19th century, Marx arrived on the European scene with his Das Capital and its concept of the Economic Man. Just liquidate the capitalist aristocracy; he assured us, and every trace of social injustice and exploitation would disappear and this earth would be transformed into a worker’s paradise. At the turn of the 20th century, Freud promised us that we need only abandon social restrictions on sexual behaviour together with feelings of shame and inhibitions and nervous troubles and mental diseases would automatically be cured and that was the panacea for universal happiness and peace of soul. Thus have the protagonists of materialism been promising us an earthly paradise for two and a half, millenia. At this stage, the question must arise, why after all these centuries have none of those promises been fulfilled? Surely two thousand five hundred years have provided more than enough time, especially when the West has so long provided every facility for the materialists to prove their claims. Yet it is universal common knowledge that despite all the “intellectual enlightenment”, despite all the spectacular progress in science, technology and medicine, there is more strife, more cruelty more tyranny, more exploitation, more fanaticism, more unhappiness, more disease, pain and hunger, more poverty and social injustice in the world now then ever before. If that is the end result of two thousand five hundred years’ practice of the ideology of materialism, something certainly must be very much wrong with it.
Leaders of contemporary thought inform us that Western civilization must be right because it is “advanced” “modern”, “progressive” and always looks to the future while Islamic civilization is hopelessly backward, medieval, and obsolete because it depends on the past for guidance. They never tire of reminding us that since the conditions and problems of modern life are so utterly different today
from what confronted the Prophet in 7th century Arabia, the specific doctrines, commandments and exortations of the Quran and Hadith were valid only for that particular time and place so, consequently, could not possibly be of any practical value for us now. Thus Western orientalists argue that the sooner we Muslims either adopt atheism and materialism outright or secularize Islam itself the sooner our people can be liberated from misery and backwardness and enjoy full participation in the modern utopia. The motto of contemporary Jewish and Christian theologians is : no doctrine, no creed, no way of life, however divine its claim, can persist intact in this world of constant change, development and innovation. Yet it is also a scientific fact that the body and the mind of the human being today is identical to that of his caved-welling ancestors fifty thousand years ago. Since his first appearance on earth, Homo Sapiens has not been subject to the slightest biological change. The innate intellectual capacities of cave man were exactly the same as space-age man. Human nature is no different in the Jet-Age than in the Old Stone Age. The psychological motives which inspire him to do good or tempt him to commit evil have never and will never change. His physical, emotional and spiritual needs which demand satisfaction remain the same throughout all ages. What truth therefore is in the glib assumption today repeated again and again that what was good for our ancestors must necessarily be bad for us now?
Modernists take for granted as axiomatic that simply because Western civilization now prevails over the globe, it must possess unqualified superiority over all others in every respect. To put it more bluntly, Might is synonomous with Right! But the brute physical force of the West’s technological, industrial and commercial weapons has no relevance whatsoever to the intrinsic worth of the ethical basis of that culture. According to the modernist view, Islam is wrong not because it is false but merely because it is incompatible with the Western style of life ! In this materialistic age, it is most unfashionable to concern one’s self with God’s judgment or one’s fate in the Hereafter. In order to attain the pleasure of God and eternal salvation in the world to come, Islam demands implicit, unquestioning obedience to a whole set of laws and principles embracing the entire gamut of private and public life. Since these laws have been divinely revealed through the prophets, they cannot be changed or repealed. “A criminal violation of individual freedom !” they cry out in alarm. In their eyes we Muslims are wrong because we care about ultimate Truth and could not care less about being fashionable. Indeed, they would even deny there exists any such thing as ultimate Truth; they are concerned with Pleasure only. But let us argue from another angle which they may better appreciate. Let us judge Western civilization by its results. If half of all hospital patients in America are mental patients; if New York State alone is compelled to spend more than a third of its annual budget just to maintain its public mental hospitals and subsistence custodial care for their thousands of inmates, and if suicide is a leading cause of death in every Western country, there must be a vast amount of suffering and unhappiness in this earthly Paradise.
For five centuries the European “Renaissance”, the proudest boast of the West has been its so-called “liberal” education. They inform us that because Islamic education depends so heavily upon the memorization of Holy Quran in Arabic, it stresses mere rote without understanding and utterly fails to develop the creative intellectual faculties of the individual. The result-dogmatism and narrow-mindedness. Then they assure us that an education based upon ever since the inception of agnostic evolutionary humanism promotes a humble search for truth, liberality, large- heartedness and broad-mindedness infinitely tolerant of all honest difference of opinion. That is the propaganda but what are the facts? The English “liberal arts” school has enjoyed undisputed sway over the Indo-Pak subcontinent far more than a century. As a result, the schools and colleges in India and Pakistan are nothing better than
vocational training factories and extremely inefficient factories at that! Few of the students that teem these places to worship the goddess of material progress are genuinely interested in their studies. They could not care less about learning. Their sole concern is passing examinations and obtaining certificates and diplomas as a magic passport to employment in some petty white-collar job. Most teachers care little for teaching; the welfare of their students is hardly of any concern to them ; they are interested only in their miserable salaries Apart from the numerous sordid devices used for cheating on examinations, if a student is in danger of failing one or more subjects, parents will bribe teachers to give their sons and daughters passing grades. The corruption of this system, the proud legacy of British imperialism which has been preserved unchanged throughout the two decades of our independence, recognizes no limits. At best it can mass-produce autocrats, technocrats or automans but never men! In the Western educational systems which prevail throughout Asia and Africa, among their hundreds of thousands of students, are scarcely a dozen scholars worthy of the name. Shoddy values and superficial thinking are the rule. The dominant mood is rebellion against everything “sacred” and “traditional”, mental confusion, and emotional turmoil resulting in a high rate of suicide and criminal acts. Question any of these students and one will find not a trace of that wonderful intellectual curiosity, that creative, original and independent mind, that humble search for truth which our leaders continuously boast as the unique virtues of a Western education.
In ancient Rome, flourished a materialist philosophy whose followers were known as the Cynics. They ran specialized schools of rhetoric where the students were taught how to Argue meticulously for one point of view in the morning and support the opposite opinion in the afternoon and after graduation, side with any idea most expedient at the moment. Thus did the Cynics manufacture generations of Roman intellectuals devoid of any values, principles or sincere convictions of their own. The plight of the student today differs little from his Roman counterpart two thousand years ago.
The materialist dogma which holds the contemporary world most firmly in its deadly grip is the Marxist concept of the Economic Man. According to
Karl Marx and his collaborators and successors, human history, cultural values, religions, philosophies and sciences were determined by the prevailing economic system and a mere change of the mode of economic subsistence must result in a corresponding transformation of ideals, values and principles. In other words, all aspects of non-material culture are totally dependent upon the type of economic system. Thus if the mode of production changes, the moral basis of the culture concerned must also change. It logically follows, then, that transcendental religions and absolute moral standards cannot survive. Human welfare and economic prosperity are synonymous. Likewise progress in material achievement implies moral and spiritual advancement as well. The prime purpose of modern government is not to secure law and order within its boundaries and defend its subjects against enemies from without. Those are only obsolete notions of the dark medieval past. The real purpose of Government nowadays is to make sure that all spiritual and moral considerations are sacrificed on the divine altar of “economic development” so that everybody may enjoy, regardless of his deserts, a rapidly rising “standard of living”. And this “standard of living” is measured by the possession of material goods. Today it is the practice for every country to compile elaborate statistics on birth rates, mortality rates, life expectancies, per-capita incomes, per-capita consumption of calories and animal proteins, and the number of radio and television sets, telephones and private automobiles per 100, per 1,000 or per 10,000. Countries which rank high according to these criteria are lauded as “advanced”. Countries which do not show up well are condemned as “backward”. Soon after World War II, the term “under-developed” replaced “backward”. Most recently, the concept of “under-developed” countries has been discarded in favour of the euphemism, “the developing world”.
Modern man has become obsessed with economic prosperity to the point of mania. In the deluge of statistical surveys and economic theories, the human individual is forgotten. The individual exists to promote economic development rather than it should serve him and not enslave him. In the process, all altruistic values are perverted until the very concepts of love, compassion, mercy, charity and generosity become meaningless. For example, modern policies do not regard education as desirable because of its role in developing the creative potentialities of the individual mind, strengthening character by providing the knowledge and wisdom to enable him to distinguish between good and evil, beauty and ugliness, truth and falsehood. No ! Education is essential because only with universal literacy (in its narrowest sense) and the mass-training of clever technicians can the “backward” peoples raise their standard of living and “economic development” proceed. The widely advertised campaigns for the eradication of malnutrition and various diseases are not motivated out of any sympathy for the afflicted or the desire to alleviate the suffering of our follow-beings in distress. No ! According to the economic “experts” the health of the population is essential to increase the Gross National Product of our farms and factories since sick people are not capable of the sustained effort required to expand prosperity and raise the percapita income to the heights of advanced countries like America. Even the highly commendable work done in the West in regard to the rehabilitation of persons suffering from mental or physical disabilities to enable them as far as possible to lead a normal life and become self-supporting in gainful employment, loses all its moral value because the motive is not so much to reduce human suffering as it is to relieve the community of the burden of their economic maintenance as helpless dependents. The birth control movement is being fanatically propagated on the same principle. Since the economic “experts” have declared that population growth is increasing faster – than the means of sustenance, the scape-goat now are the innocent, helpless defenceless babies who are regarded as State Enemy No I ! Since there are too many babies already in this over-crowded world, every child born is just one more unwelcome mouth to feed. If population rises, there is just that much less to go round and economic development is impossible and all are doomed to death by starvation! Thus every additional child means an additional dependent, an additional burden on the country’s resources and another obstacle for economic prosperity. Thus sex, along with all else, must also be regimented to suit the requirements of economic development.
According to the Western economic “experts” the countries of Asia are “backward” because for centuries they were content with cultural stagnation and wilfully refused to participate in the blessings of European science -and technology. They were guilty of the fatal error of depending upon the sages of the past for moral guidance and spiritual sustenance which discouraged change, innovation and thus, “progress”. These “experts” never question their premise that the modern West owes its scientific advancement and economic prosperity to the philosophy of Humanism which regards as supreme, the improvement of the material welfare of man based on the theory of mechanical evolu-tionary progress and consequently, the rejection of all transcendental divinely-revealed moral values. Only when man had rejected the authority and even the existence of any supernatural restraints on his activities, could he then obtain the requisite freedom to use all his ingenuity to control the natural forces and elements at will. Asia is backward, so they would have us believe, because she awoke from her slumber too late in the day when the “advanced” Western countries had left her centuries behind. All “backward” Asia has to do is concentrate all her efforts to “catching up” in the race for material progress. The experts all the while assure us that we should not feel too pessimistic because Western civilization is now ready through its educational channels, technical assistance programmes and foreign aid to bestow upon all the backward races the finished product of its progress most benevolently so that Asia and Africa can achieve effortlessly within a single generation
what required five hundred years of painful struggle in Europe. This propaganda furthermore assures us that European imperialism was an unmixed blessing to the backward races because through this channel all the peoples of the world could aspire to Western progress and material abundance. They point out the network of modern communications, schools, industries and health facilities the colonial administrations established in their dominions. Now the puppet rulers of these nominally independent, backward lands shout themselves hoarse that the reason for the failure of their ambitious “Five Year Plans” is the apathy, lethargy and stubborn “traditionalism” of the masses who refuse to shed their obsolete ideas.
In 1967, a distinguished panel of economists and intellectuals assembled at Columbia University in New York where they were each asked to reply to the following question:
“The United Nations Development Decade is rapidly drawing to a close without having made substantial progress towards its objectives. In the light of the increasing polarization of the rich and poor countries, what remedial steps are economically and politically feasible at this juncture? What are the tasks of the developed nations? What are the responsibilities of the developing world?”
Charles Malik, a Lebanese Christian and a staunch friend of America, formerly President of the United Nations General Assembly and professor of Philosophy at the American University of Beirut, gave a most revealing answer. He declared :
“We are here dealing with issues that are far deeper than anything economic. We are dealing with the total deposit of history whereby some peoples have entered effectively into the Western tradition of science, thought and out-look and others have not. There is no evading the simple fact that between them, Russia, Europe and North America, because they fully assimilated the spirit of Western thought and science, are historically responsible for civilizing the rest of the world. Thus, the only way to close the gap between the “poor” and “rich” peoples is to reconsider on a fairly radical basis the prevailing order of national sovereignty so as to have the “poor” taken permanently under the wings of the developed nations. This requires political and emotional readjustment on a vast scale.” (Quoted from the Columbia Journal of World Business, Colombia University, New York, 1967 and reprinted Panornma official monthly of United States Information Service, Karachi, February 1968 pp. 27-28. )
To put it bluntly, according to this gentleman and his friends, the “responsibility” of the “advanced” western world is baaskap which in Afrikaans means absolute white supremacy over the “backward” coloured races. Conversely, the “responsibility” of Asia and Africa is to submit with utmost enthusiasm to abject slavery. To facilitate this process with all deliberate speed, educational and communications media throughout the world are devoted to teaching the Western gospel that indigenous cultures are hopelessly obsolete and worthless today and consequently, Western civilization must be invincible, infallible and indestructable.)
What is the end result of the Western gospel of “progress” ? It must ever be borne in mind that for half a century, Zionist propaganda in Europe and America has justified the colonization of Palestine by Western Jewry on the pretext that they were bringing all the blessings of modern civilization to the backward Arabs and what folly these wretched, ungrateful creatures to dare resist! Palestinian Arabs are now indeed intimately acquainted with these “blessings” the modern “blessings” of Dair Yasin, Kibya and napalm! But since massacre, torture, wholesale robbery, fourth-class citizenship and exile were all committed in the name of “progress”, not a word of condemnation of the Zionists from the West. Zionist propaganda assures the West, after all, has not “Israel” attained such heights of scientific advancement
and economic prosperity unknown to the remainder of western Asia? Don’t forget, they remind their listeners, that when the Arabs held Palestine, what a poor and backward country!
In September 1962, President Gamal Abdul Nasser decided to conduct his own miniature civilizing mission in Yemen. The puppet Republican regime announced to all and sundry that Nasser was bringing the blessings of modern civilization which the feudalistic regime of the Imam had arbitrarily deprived them. Under the benevolent hand of Nasser, a glorious era of economic prosperity was dawning for Yemen. Yemenites were soon acquainted with Nasser’s modernistic blessings – the “blessings” of torture, devastation of villages and farms with bombing raids and massacre of innocent civilians with poison gas. The West was not in the least horrified by such atrocities for was not Yemen the most primitive and backward of all?
As all the world knows, America’s prize civilizing mission was Viet Nam. America was allegedly determined to bestow upon Viet Nam a truly free democratic society. But while buckets of crocodile tears were shed by officials in Washington over Viet Nam’s backwardness and miserable living standards, four million were slain, more American bombs, including napalm, dropped upon that hapless tiny land than all of Europe during World War II and if that were not enough, the fields in enemy territory were routinely sprayed with poisonous gasses known as “herbicides” which transformed flourishing farms into sterile deserts unfit for cultivation perhaps for centuries so that the entire population in these areas faced death by starvation-all of this on the pretext of saving the precious lives of American soldiers by depriving a few wretched Viet Congs of jungle cover. But after all, the Viet Congs were Communist barbarians and life is cheap and of little account in backward Asia.
What is the real cause for the “backwardness” of the non-Western world? Today the Indo-Pak sub-continent is one of the poorest areas in the world. Less than four centuries ago, the wealth and prosperity of India under Mughal rule was the marvel of Europe. The obsession of all the prominent merchants of Europe was to establish diplomatic privileges and trade with India. In fact, Colombus only discovered America in his attempt to find a new route to India, not realizing that a whole vast continent obstructed his way. If European merchants were so eager to risk their lives just to get to India, this must have been a country that mattered. Several centuries ago, the general economic development, prosperity and living standards of the people were undoubtedly superior to anything known in Europe at that time. Commerce and industry were thriving and Mughal India was a prosperous country. What could the “civilizing mission” of British imperialism offer? That was left to the. East India Company which systematically destroyed every trace of industry and commerce which might compete with that of Great Britain. European imperialism-whether British, French, Italian or Dutch-insisted upon a mercantile type economy whereby the enslaved territories were to be reservoirs of raw materials for the highly industrialized mother-country which would then have to buy back the finished manufactured products at high prices. The mercantile economy was the policy followed by every European imperialism throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries and was faithfully perpetuated by “Israel’s” commercial ventures in Africa. The mercantile economy is naked exploitation and robbery. The mercantile type economy is the sure prescription for economic backwardness. British imperialism followed the same economic policy in the American colonies during the 18th century. It is significant that no industrialization or economic development took place in America during that period. This was no mere accident accident but deliberate policy on the part of Great Britain which was implemented with such intensity that to smuggle factory machinery into the American colonies was declared as a serious legal offence deserving of harshest punishment. This merciless economic exploitation, more than any other factor, provoked the American Revolution.
Now that Asia and Africa have achieved political sovereignty, one may wonder why conditions have failed to improve. In 1960 the delegates of the United Nations General Assembly solemnly hailed the coming era as the “Development Decade”. Rich, advanced nations had the responsibility of providing
economic aid and technical assistance to backward Asia, Africa and Latin America. The deve-lopment project was launched most enthusiastically with all publicity. But now that decade has drawn to a close, the economic “experts” sadly confess that the Development Decade has been a miserable failure; that despite all economic aid and technical assistance projects, the “population explosion” has overwhelmed the resources of the backward lands so that the gap between the rich and poor nations is greater now than ever. Thus the economic experts prescribe more vigorous birth control campaigns, more foreign aid and technical assistance plus a vigorous educational programme over all mass-media, enforced, if necessary, by the coercion of dictatorships, to rid the backward peoples of their obsolete ideas and indoctrinate them into “scientific” materialism. Although all the great powers of the West, with Russia, China and Japan joining the chorus, zealously dedicate their energies towards these ends, the rich countries continue to grow richer and the poor nations poorer. Why? Poverty is caused by exploitation and injustice and can be eliminated only when the source of the selfishness and greed innate in human nature, is severed at the roots. The cause of these evils is the rejection of God’s, judgment in the Hereafter and the excessive love of this world. Thus the pleasure -seeking atheist will not hesitate to exploit the weak whenever it serves his advantage. The man who has no fear of God’s judgment will without any hesitation do whatever is expedient to promote his worldly welfare at the expense of other who cannot defend their rights. This is as true of nations as individuals. Why is America’s living standard the highest in the world? American propaganda advertises its technical assistance programmes, its foreign aid and business investments as proof of its wondrous generosity and its compassion for the poor nations to promote their “economic development”. Yet according to Vance Packard in his book, The Waste-Makers, published in New York in 1961, the United States of America with less than 6 % of the world’s population consumes nearly half of the earth’s total output of national resources. (PP. 211).
The so-called “developed” world has secured adequate protection for its own political and econo-mic stability and prosperity by means of economic; abundance which it has achieved through a long history of colonial rate and exploitation of other peoples, and their resources on the one hand and its monopoly of scientific and technological advance on the other; up to the point when 20% of the world’s population have come to possess 90 % of its total income, 95 % of its technical knowledge and 80 % of its food. (According to the 25th Session of the Arab Economic and Social Council which concluded in Baghdad on September 11, 1978, The Muslim World, Karachi, October 7, 1978, p. 1.)
Poverty will continue to grow more and more acute despite all progress in scientific knowledge until the so-called “experts” accept as fact that the so-called “economic problem” is a moral problem. Equitable distribution of wealth can only be achieved through a moral revolution which alone can transform atheist pleasure-seekers into God-fearing men who will assume the responsibility for their actions. Only this approach can triumph over human greed and selfishness and restrain the strong from taking unfair advantage of the weak. Social justice is moral justice. Marxism can never achieve social justice even in the narrow sense of fair distribution of wealth because it rejects on principle the very existence of divinely-revealed transcendental morality. Based on hatred, lawlessness and the inevitability of violence, how can a Communist system hope to obtain the justice and social stability indispensable even for material progress ?
Western leaders have been telling the world for generations that Islam is responsible for the backwardness prevailing in the Muslim-majority nations today. At the same time, no responsible student of history can deny the fact that so long as the Muslims remained in the political and cultural ascendancy, the lands under their rule enjoyed material as well as spiritual well-being. From the 8th to the 17th centuries, Dar-ul-Islam was supreme in scientific knowledge, industry and commerce. Our economic deterioration followed our spiritual decline and fell into its abyss only when we were subjected to foreign domination. Despite our nominal political sovereignty, we are now more
than ever enslaved to the West economically. Pakistan is an outstanding case in point. Despite the three decades of our alleged freedom, Pakistan remains totally dependent upon Europe, America and now China for the importation at highest prices of vital consumer and military goods. None of our industry is indigenous. Almost all our factories are controlled either directly or indirectly by Western ownership. The trade-names on our manufactured products are English names. Foreign business investments make certain that our industrial development will serve their interests, not our interests. Not long ago Pakistan was producing a sizeable surplus of food for export. Now Pakistan is so totally dependent upon surplus American wheat that if importation of food stuffs ceased, the whole country would be plunged into famine. Another glaring is Egypt which under President Nasser was converted into a gigantic cotton plantation for the benefit of Russia. Egypt’s economy is based on the raising of cotton and Naseer sold the entire crop to Russia. Under these circumstances, is it any mystery why destitution was so rampant in Egypt ? Why has China been able to rise from a famine ridden land to a world power in only two decades while during that same period, the Indo-Pak subcontinent has been doomed to poverty? China is admired by Asians and Africans not because of her Communist dictatorship but only because she is the sole non-European power which has attained material progress entirely by her own efforts. Although China is ideologically enslaved by the western system of Marxism, she is the only non-European power which has attained some measure of political and economic independence. Some of our political leaders attribute China’s progress to her adoption of Communism and assure us that a Socialist regime is the only road to Pakistani greatness. These politicians overlook the fallacy that if Marxism is the sure panacea for “backwardness,” then how to account for the fact that until recently staunchly Communist regimes as Albania, Mongolia and The Peoples Republic of South Yemen were among the poorest and economically most underdeveloped of all countries ?
The only road to national strength is complete economic and military independence.
A wholehearted universal adoption of Islam in its entirety is the only way to material as well as the spiritual welfare of all the peoples in the world. Although all the other great world religions and philosophies-oriental and occidental-stress the necessity for human beings to practice honesty, generosity and compassion for the weak anti refrain from greed and selfishness, none of them provide an explicit institutional means for the practical expression of these virtues. In the Holy Quran, God repeatedly tells us to pray and pay the poor due. In Holy Quran, Salat is always enjoined along with the exhortation to pay Zakat. Holy Quran teaches us that Salat without Zakat is useless. Islam considers the social justice engendered by Zakat so indispensable that Hazrat Abu Bakr undertook a Jihad to the death against those rebellious tribes in Arabia who refused to pay their Zakat. Although these tribes agreed to the practice of all other aspects of Islam, Hazrat Abu Bakr declared them as apostates until they paid their Zakat. Islam is unique among all religious systems in that it incorporates tangible aid to the needy into its basic doctrines. Western critics are most cynical of the value of Zakat for today ; they think of it as no better than almsgiving to beggars which could not have any use for modern society. As atheists whose vision is restricted to the purely materialistic aspects of life, they cannot understand that the value of Zakat is not limited merely to the amount paid by the wealthy to aid the needy ; it is not the 2 ½% but the spiritual and moral cleansing that benefits the donor much more than the recipient. Islam teaches that Allah is the owner of all the wealth in the universe and bestows it upon
man as a trust which he must part with at death. Therefore one must subordinate the love of this life to the Hereafter. A proof of a man’s love for Allah is his willingness to part with a portion of his painfully earned wealth for the sake of Divine pleasure. A really pious Muslim will give Sadaqah to the needy in addition to Zakat. Holy Quran repeatedly enjoins upon believers to spend all their superfluous wealth to aid the needy and other worthy philanthropic causes. The recipient of this aid does not feel humiliated for the pious donor expects his reward not in gratitude or kind from the one to whom he gives but only from Allah. Allah repeatedly promises those who spend in charitable works that He-not the recipient of his generosity-will pay him back many fold in rewards both in this life and the life to come. Zakat thus encourages large- heartedness, generosity, compassion and mercy for the weak and defenceless. When society is permeated with these virtues and everyone feels responsible for the welfare of his neighbour, extremes of poverty will vanish automatically, Islamic laws prohibiting usury or interest, alcoholic drinks or any intoxicating drugs, and its condemnation of luxurious and extravagant living plus the Quranic inheritance legislation which makes large concentrations of wealth in the hands of a few almost impossible, all help in the just distribution of available resources.
Critics of Islam condemn our faith as “retrograde” and love nothing better than to label us as “reactionaries”. In response to all those today who demand an Islamic state (that is, with the sacred Shariah as the supreme law of the land) they warn that this would isolate us from the modern world and “turn back the clock” to medieval darkness. According to the modern mind, anything that is old or “traditional” must necessarily be obsolete and worthless today in contrast to nearly all previous cultures which opposed all change and innovation as heresy and worshipped every old custom merely because it was sanctified by tradition. In regard to the question of permanence versus change, Islam is equally opposed both to unrestrained change and innovation merely for the sake of “newness” as worshipped by the modern age or blind conservatism. The Muslim always strives to tread the middle path and avoid extremes. The newest is not always the best and the converse is just as false. Islam is a staunch opponent of uncritical adoration of the past. Addressing the idolators, Hazrat Ibrahim in the Holy Quran repeatedly exhorted the people to accept the Truth and asked the pagans. “Why worship ye these images which have no power to harm or benefit you”? And they replied, “Because we found our fathers worshipping them”. Hazrat Ibrahim exclaims, “What? Even though you and your forefathers were both in manifest error?” Thus in Islam a thing is good because it is right and not merely because it is old or new and this Truth is judged according to the absolute transcendental moral values in the Quran and Hadith. But still the West cries out in horror and calls this “medieval obscurantism”. What we stand for are fixed, explicit, divinely-revealed moral values and the way of life which has resulted in our history from adhering to those values and we have the courage to live and die for our convictions. We have no fear of a natural, spontaneous and evolutionary development of our civilization. We will eagerly accept any new thing originating from any people in the world which we find useful in promoting our purposes. Anything detrimental to our values will be rejected. Twentieth century New York is no identical twin to the Athens of Pericles yet the ideological, cultural and historical continuity of the antique West with the modern West remains unbroken. In the same way, we will welcome the evolution of knowledge within the context of our own ethos. This is an entirely different thing from Westernization. We are determined to preserve our distinctiveness and uniqueness at all costs. It logically follows that if our ideals radically diverge from
the prevailing contemporary norms, our social and political organization, sciences, arts, dress, food, architecture and manners will also be drastically different as tangible expressions of these values.
Since the Holy Quran repeatedly exhorts believers to contemplate, investigate and understand the signs of nature as proof of the absolute power of Allah and furthermore assigns to mankind the position of vicegerents of God on earth and explicitly states that all the elements and other creatures of the universe were created to promote human welfare, how could the Quran be held responsible for the backwardness, stagnation and decadence of the present-day Muslims? Even our adversaries cannot deny the historical fact that for more than five hundred years (from the 8th to the 13th centuries) the Muslims led the world in the fields of science, medicine, mathematics, commerce and industry. Although the origin of the “zero” and the co-called “Arabic numerals” was in Hindu India and paper, printing and gun-powder were Chinese inventions, only the Muslims realized the potentialities for their uses. In the practice of medicine, the Muslims did utilize to the fullest extent the knowledge of the Greeks but it is a gross underestimation of their accomplishments to assume that they merely borrowed, preserved and transmitted to others the knowledge of the ancients and made no contributions of their own. It was the Muslims and none else who, through the rich medium of the Arabic language, laid the foundations of contemporary mathematics, chemistry, physics, pharmacy and medicine as we know them today. The Europeans merely built the superstructure upon those foundations. The Unani medicine was the parent of modern medicine. Until the 17th century, Ibn Sina’s Canon was the standard textbook in all the medical schools in Europe. Not until the advent of the civilization of the Muslims did, the world know of hospitals, dispensaries and schools as public institutions. Thus did the Muslims lay the foundation upon which all modern science was later built. Then why after such a magnificent beginning, did the Muslims abandon this pursuit of knowledge and sink into lethargy and complacency?
Islamic civilization began its long and tortuous decline the moment when our faith came to be conceived as a collection of ritual only-mere customs and traditions. With this misconception, Islamic civilization lost its vitality and became more and more introverted, complacent, stagnant, apathetic and moribund, all of which spells death! Consequently, the natural sciences fell into the hands of the enemies of Islam while the best minds in the Muslim world. were diverted to Sufism and theological hair-splitting. Historians point -out that during the Mongol invasion of 1258 A.D. which destroyed the Abbasid Khalifate and made the city of Baghdad a heap of ruins, the ulema were engaged in a most heated debate on the burning question of whether or not the flesh of the crow is permissible as food according to the Shariah! When the material supremacy of the West became obvious, the ulema committed the fatal error of deluding themselves that the best way to oppose western civilization was for the Muslims to isolate themselves, ignore it and pretend that it did not exist. Rather than face the challenge of Western civilization, the ulema, preferred to wrangle over the trivialities of the different schools and sects and quarrel over such matters as whether or not the Shi’ahs should be considered as Muslims or Kaffirs! Thus in the present century interested groups of ulema have issued decrees that Qaid-e-Azam, Allama Iqbal and Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maudoodi were Kaffirs! When the introduction of English education threatened to transform the entire rising generation of Muslims into atheists and materialists, the ulema preferred to wrangle over the desirable length of the beard or the length of the Shalwar, and if just a mere inch too short, Salat would be invalid ! At a time when the very existence and survival of the Shariah was at stake, the ulema would prefer to concern themselves with such things as how many buckets of water are required to purify a well if a corpse of an animal accidentally dropped down inside! Thus our
ulema (with some honourable exceptions) had become like the Pharisees against whom Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) devoted his entire mission. In their extremes of verbal hair-splitting, some of our ulema have out-done the Talmud and put the rabbis to shame! All of this progressively enfeebled our strength, of purpose and enabled European imperialism with its superior technological weapons to conquer, dominate and enslave us.
The strength essential to vanquish our adversaries can be restored as soon as Islam is presented to the Muslim peoples not as mere empty formalities or a collection of rituals or even private piety but as a universal revolutionary movement. We have no need for any “re-interpretation” of our doctrines to force them into compatibility with modern materialism at the cost of intellectual honesty. We need only practical implementation which can be achieved as soon as the majority of Muslims are determined to do it under effective and organized leadership. The Islamic movement can and will triumph over westernism if this leadership is capable, of incorruptible integrity and prepared for any self-sacrifice to attain the success of our mission. These superior moral qualities will attract followers like a magnet. Thoughtful and sensitive westerners will then realize how decadent their way of life has become and join us.
We stand steadfastly opposed to religious modernism in any form or shape. Western orientalists, in particular, H.A.R. Gibb in his book, Modern Trends in Islam, (Chicago, 1945) continually point out the weaknesses and fallacies in modernist apologetics and wonder why this must be so. We maintain that the weakness of the modernists is inherent in the very nature of the hopeless task of attempting to make incompatibles, compatible. Nobody can reconcile conflicting ideologies unless he is willing to accept intellectual dishonesty, spiritual blasphemy, moral cowardice and psychological confusion-a sure prescription for mediocrity Since no human being worthy of the name is attracted to the insipid and mediocre, modernism must fail. People are not attracted to a religion made easy merely to propriate the whims of the times. People want challenge; they are thirsty for ideals which inspire them to self-sacrifice for nobler ends. They want to live and die for something genuinely worthwhile; in short, they want to achieve something of enduring value. Only Islam as a divinely revealed faith, a complete way of life based upon absolute, transcendental moral values can command universal authority and obedience. Artificial, man-made, eclectic philosophical systems have never and will never be able to do this.
“To move with the times” may also imply that our actions generate certain forces over which we do not have any control and this impersonal power created by the modern applications of scientific technology upon contemporary social, economic and political organization compel us to conform most abjectly. To prosper in this world has come to mean that one must mould oneself to fit into a stereotyped pattern; to be as others want us to be. This is tantamount to a denial of the individual’s ability to create or even to influence his future. Thus the blind submission to the Marxist interpretation of history has resulted in man becoming a slave of the “times”, unable to do anything to remedy or even alleviate its evils. If we are supposed to borrow the image of man from the materialism of the West and fashion ourselves in conformity to it in order to keep “abreast of the times” then this means that we willingly want to involve in the moral ruin in which the Westerner finds himself today.
Between February 17 and March 5, 1969, the representatives of 32 nations on the Social Development Commission of the United Nations in its 80-page study of youth problems throughout the
world, concluded that “anti-social behaviour is an inevitable and irreversible consequence of mankind’s developing society as their countries affluence increased”. This not only implies that it is hopeless for anybody to try to end this unprecedented revolt against authority and readiness for violence, but that these trends are desirable as symbols of “modernity”. Sexual promiscuity and perversions and the vulgarity and obscenity in the mass-media are defended by the same criteria. It is almost as if these people wish to say that a society which enjoys moral stability and social tranquillity should be condemned as “stagnant” and “backward” for refusing to face the “realities” of modern life!
We see today the “times” running away with all that is sacred and good in life even as it has always been understood until recently in the West. If the moral basis for human behaviour must keep changing and the form of society repeatedly altered, what can be the result except anarchy and disintegration? The need of the hour is not to change with the times but to change the times; not to abjectly succumb to the destructive forces generated by impersonal factors but to check them. By what means have those in power acquired the right abitrarily to dictate our mode of’ life? A social, political or economic upheaval can and does throw up any kind of people to power who find themselves overnight in a position to control us even though they may be worthless. It is a human nature regard those in power as models to imitate irrespective of what quality of people they are. The need is not to be moulded by the powers that man has discovered through science and technology and irresponsibly applied to his social organization but to force them to conform to the image of man and the society envisioned by the Holy Quran. Such a society and such a man will not be static but will be free to grow and evolve to perfection according to the principles revealed by Allah. In order to be an effective remedy for individual social evils, Islam must be practised in its entirety. Quran and Hadith must literally be accepted as infallible truth. To deny the validity of even a single word of Holy Quran is to deny its truth as a whole. A diluted religion, no more than adulterated food, can never provide us with the proper nourishment.
Haidar Bammate in his book, Muslim Contributions to Civilization, published by the Islamic Centre in Geneva (May 1962), points with justified pride to all the valuable contributions to the European Renaissance made by Muslims in philosophy, science, medicine, art, agriculture and industry, as if these wordly accomplishments, commendable in themselves as they were, are all that matters. Not a single word in tribute to the spiritual contributions of Islam itself to humanity as if the author does not consider such things worth mentioning! What about the moral implications of Tawhid (the doctrine of the unity of Allah) the Taqbir, (which means that only Allah is truly great and that nothing deserves adoration except Him), Salat, Zakat, the fast of Ramadan or the spirit of international brotherhood by the Haj? What about the contribution of the Shariah to the progress of human law? Beside these spiritual gifts of Islam, the worldly achievements of the Muslims in the secular arts and sciences appear insignificant. The transmission of secular philosophy and science from the Muslim world to medieval Europe was an unmixed blessing for western material progress but historically from our viewpoint, it was catastrophe. Our enemies only used the knowledge we so magnanimously transmitted to them as weapons for our wholesale destruction. They certainly utilized all the scientific knowledge we gave to them with a vengeance––never with the slightest feeling of gratitude for its source. This policy has continued from the European “Renaissance” down to the present day. To attempt to justify Islamic civilization only to the extent to which it is allegedly claimed to be the forerunner of the modern West is to assert by implication that Islam has already accomplished its mission in history and henceforth has no future as an independent and self-sufficient way of life of its own. But Islam has infinitely more to offer humanity than what is listed in Haider Bammate’s book. We should not restrict our pride to our contributions of the distant past. What of Islam’s contributions to the present and to the future? Its comprehensive, all-embracing system of absolute transcendental morality and law can provide the modern world with its sorest needs––the salvation of the individual integration of society.
However, strongly, we are compelled to reject any modification of our ideals to suit the spirit of the “time”, there is an urgent need to adapt our methods of propagating these ideals to make them relevant, understood and appreciated by the modern mind. By this I do not mean to say that we should succumb to the cheap commercialism and theatrical acrobatics of the Protestant Christian “funda-mentalists”. To imitate the Christian “revivalists” in these respects would be the worst possible disservice to our cause. In medieval Europe when the burning question of the day was how many angels could dance on the point of a needle, arguments based on theology were most effective. The leading medieval theologian of the Jews was Moses Maimonides. His book, The Guide to the Preplexed, tried to harmonize the rational philosophy of the ancient Greeks with Judaism and prove why Judaism is allegedly superior to Christianity or Islam; the leading medieval theologian of the Christians was St. Thomas Aquinas and the Summa Theologica remains the most authentic source of Roman Catholic doctrine. Aquinas and Maimonides could thoroughly appreciate such a work as al Ghazzali’s Incoherence of the Philosophers (Tahafut al-Falasifah) and thus could all learned and intelligent medieval Jews, Christians and Muslims who shared a similar theological atmosphere. So long as interest among Jews, Christians and Muslims in theological questions remained so intense, such a work as Tahafut al Falasifah was ideal for propagating Islam among non-Muslims and combatting heresy from within. If Tahafut al Falasifah is no longer suitable for Tabligh today, this does not detract from the logic and truth of its arguments, nor does it belittle its intellectual and literary merits; it only means that because the modern mind has completely lost interest in theological matters, its arguments would appear utterly irrelevant, if not incomprehensible. Yet despite this fact, the curriculum in our traditional madrasahs has remained almost unchanged since al-Ghazzali’s day. Thus the traditionalist ulema are still preoccupied with the Mutazilite heresy, unmindful of the present generation of Muslims who must contend with Marxism, Darwinianism, Freudism and Existentialism. If we argue for Islam on the basis of theology, we can never expect the modern mind to understand us. The modern mind understands only Pragmatism and in our efforts for Tabligh we must take full account of that fact. The modern mind will much better appreciate our argument against materialist ideologies if we calmly remind them on the basis of irrefutable facts, what disastrous effects atheism has on the individual, his family, his friendships and human relationships in general. We can discuss the devastating toll of mental illness, alcohol and drug addiction, juvenile delinquency, crimes, promiscuity and perversions, venereal diseases, illigitimate children, vulgarity and obscenity in the arts and entertainments, the epidemic of violence and law lessness, unscrupulous national and international politics, and the unprecedented brutality and horror of modern warfare.
Yet the modernists, both foreign and indigenous, never fail to point out that one cannot enjoy the benefits of modern Western civilization without sacrificing what was held noble and sublime in the past. That is the price which every people, keen to modernize itself, has to pay. But is not the cost of the dehumanization of the individual, moral anarchy and social disintegration prohibitive?
If the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and Hadith do not place any obstacles in the road to scientific and technological progress but give every encouragement to the pursuit of Knowledge in all fields, what should be our attitude to science as it is understood and applied in the West? All useful practical knowledge is the common property of mankind and not the exclusive monopoly of North America and Europe. On the other hand, we must understand that all aspects of a particular culture are interelated and are affected both in theory and application by the philosophy or ideology underlying that culture. The various fields of science and technology as they have developed in America and Europe during the last three centuries are no exception. Since the very roots of modern science are based on agnosticism, the catastrophic results of these impersonal mechanical forces thus let loose upon society, the family, the individual and all human relationships in general are inevitable. These are merely the natural laws of cause and effect––So long as human beings have believed, they have doubted; atheism and materialism are as old as mankind. The evils of the present have been duplicated many times over in the past. But when the weapons of science and technology are put at the disposal of the forces of evil, the
horrors are then magnified beyond the wildest imaginations of our ancestors. All science can do is harness the natural elements to enhance the wellbeing, comfort and physical power of man. But science by its very nature is incapable of providing any moral guidance or spiritual sustenance. The discovery of the use of fire, for example, has proved simultaneously the most constructive and useful and also the most destructive and horrible power man has ever known. For more than three centuries, the philo-sophers in Europe and America have been telling the world that religious belief must inevitably be superseded by the age of scientific materialism. Sigmund Freud declared that “religion is only a childish illusion which derives its strength from the coincidence that it happens to satisfy our instinctual desires”. The question now arises, if the Creator made these instinctual desires demand satisfaction in the form of religious beliefs so universal in the human race without which the individual and the society in which he lives cannot retain their sanity, then religious truth must be an objective reality.
Christian theology, which has for nearly fifteen centuries -ruled the Western world, assumes that because human nature is innately evil, every baby is born in sin; thus religious law is useless for the virtuous life and societies based upon religious laws cannot hope to succeed. Virtue can not be com-pelled by any law, insists Christian theologians. Virtue can only come from within; therefore religion cannot deal with society as a whole but only aim at personal, private piety. Here is where Islam and Christianity diverge most sharply. Christian theologians continually harp in their writings and preachings that Islam has no answer to the problem of evil; rather that we Muslims who believe in the establishment of religious law are incurably ignorant of the essence of human nature.
In asserting the inherent evil in human nature, Christianity is not stating a proven fact, but a partial truth mistaken by them for the whole. Like Hinduism and Buddhism, Christianity’s outlook on society is profoundly pessimistic. If we were to accept what Christian theology preaches on the nature of evil and sinfulness, sensitive, virtuous souls who could not endure the corruption of society would have no choice but to flee to the forests, jungles and deserts, and become monks and nuns.
Islam takes a realistic attitude towards human nature as exemplified when the Qur’an says that surely Allah created mankind in the best of stature and then reduced him to the lowest of the low save those who believe and do good works and theirs is a reward unfailing. Islam does not ignore the evil in human beings, but in contrast to Christainity, the Qur’an asserts that human beings are also innately good. Therefore good and evil exist side by side and a human life is one long struggle to enable the good within himself to triumph over his evil impulses. Hence the real nobility of character and the wonder of being human. Islam regards life not as a pleasure trip but as an examination, the final results of which will be known and judged only in the Hereafter. If there were no evil in the world, there would be no good; therefore no examination. If there were no sorrow, there would be no joy and if we did not know ugliness, we could not experience beauty.
If faith cannot be compelled but it is rather a gift only Allah can bestow, the Christian theologian in the West will ask us, what is the purpose of our religious laws? What is the purpose of the Islamic state? The Christian theologians are correct to the extent that because of the evil innate in human nature, this world can never and will never become a utopia. We too agree that perfection is only for Paradise. But if this world cannot attain absolute social perfection, a society based upon the Divine law can vastly improve it. If the enforcement of religious can laws cannot eliminate evil entirely,
they can reduce it to insignificance. Even in the best Islamic state, crime will be found but these evils will be limited to isolated individuals regarded with contempt by all. In the West, criminal behaviour is a raging epidemic because contemporary culture enthrones Evil as the source of its social values. Criminals instead of being thrown into dungeons, are raised to the chiefs of state. As a general rule, people are what their cultural values make them. Simply transform the social ideals and the morals of the people will automatically change. There are few exceptions to this rule.
THE ISLAMIC MOVEMENT STANDS FOR
1. Implicit acceptance of the concept of Allah as not only Creator and Sustainer but Ruler and Infallible Guide as He revealed his commandments to mankind through the Prophets and which have now been all enshrined in their pristine purity and final form in the teaching of the last of the Prophets, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in the Holy Quran, Sunnah and the sacred Law as interpreted by the master jurists of the Shariah. The mass acceptance of these absolute moral standards as the basis for human behaviour will give society the strength of stability and tranquillity. Man-made laws must inevitably suffer from partiality to particular races, nationalities, cultures or classes and be prejudiced against the weak who will eventually rebel against this injustice, thus causing constant internal strife. Since the Shariah is divine and infallible, nobody is outside the scope of the law; impartial justice is dealt to all which bestows upon Islamic law unprecedented authority and universal respect. In Islam, the concept of separation of church and state is meaningless. In Islam, religion, law and government are fused. Fulfilment of duties to Allah and to one’s fellow beings takes up all his waking hours, leaving no time for frivolous amusements, diversions or “hobbies”. For the genuine Muslim, Islam is his whole life and he has no life outside of that. The thought of Allah and of his ultimate fate in the Hereafter is constantly on his mind. As a selfsufficient system, Islam cannot tolerate eclectism or religious or moral innovations. In order to attain the piety of the individual and the community, the teachings of Islam regard as indispensable: 1. Salat or the five ritual daily prayers some of which must be performed in congregation in order to keep the remembrance of Allah and the necessity for singleminded devotion in His service continually in mind ; 2. Zakat or the compulsory giving of a fixed portion of one’s surplus wealth to aid the poor and the needy and thus purify one’s soul from selfishness and greed by a willingness to part with some of one’s hard earned money for the pleasure of Allah; 3. Saum or fasting continuously during the daylight hours of the entire month of Ramadan as a training in discipline, patience and self-restraint so that the material demands of the body may be subordinated to the uplift of the soul ; 4. Haj or the annual pilgrimage to Mecca to foster the universal solidarity and brotherly feeling of the entire world-wide Muslim community transcending race, class, and nationality as the basis for the worship of Allah ; 5. Jihad or holy war which demands that every Muslim fully dedicate his life in the service of Allah, establish righteousness and vanquish evil from without and from within and be ready to make any sacrifice towards that end. To Islam and to the Ummah or Muslim community he owes his complete and undivided loyalty which transcends all racial, class, geographical and linguistic barriers. As Allama Iqbal so rightly wrote; “The Muslim has no country but Islam!”
2. The elimination of backwardness by an critical, creative adoption of all constructive knowledge while at the same time repudiating the agnostic philosophical bases of the modern sciences. Thus the Muslim scientist of the future will be as he was in the past, morally responsible for the applications of his discoveries and inventions which will minimize any possible abuse. We Muslim are therefore determined to make full use of all useful knowledge but only for our own purposes which will be in
conformity to our cultural values and ideals for the welfare of mankind. When we achieve this, we will no longer be merely imitating the West: Although we respect material progress, we are determined to put an end to the idolatry of science. We are determined to be the master over the machine and not its slave. Above all, we are determined to have no part of the dehumanized and luxurious living characteristic of the contemporary city. We insist on neighborliness and strong kinship ties and an integrated society. Anybody who wants to see the end-product of scientific materialism need only request an invitation to visit the school for emotionally disturbed children in Brooklyn, New York. There you will find schizophrenic children of four or five years of age who spend all their waking hours sitting in the same corner of the room imitating the noises and motions of the machine. If you ask one of these children his name, he will insist that he has no name for he is not a human being; he is a machine! Such psychotic youngsters are only the reflection of their unnatural environment.
3. We want peaceful change through orderly and lawful means. We are above all, law-abiding citizens whether we are in the majority or only a minority. We obey even those laws we oppose and seek to change. The Islamic movement does not adopt or approave of underground, subversive or terrorist tactics. We are not bigots nor fanatics. We are always prepared to argue out our case on the basis of calm, logical reason, listen to the other side and provide the opportunities for all opinions to receive a fair hearing. We will resort to force only to resist ruthless persecution which makes the peaceful propagation of our faith impossible. Jihad is never used to compel anybody to embrace Islam against his will; its purpose is only to re-establish our freedom of operation. Since the aim of the Islamic movement is to secure the basic human right to peacefully obey the will of the Creator, establish righteousness and combat vice, we will be deeply immersed in constant political activity.
We stand to uphold the teachings of all the chosen Prophets of Allah. We want to practice what Abraham taught us, what Moses taught, what Jesus Christ taught and what Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) preached. We want no moral or cultural guidance from Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli. Voltaire, Darwin, Marx, Freud, Sartre or Nietzsche. We fervently believe that the ideals of the materialistic philosphers were all wrong and everything they stood for, evil! We furthermore declare that the adoption of those man-made philosophies as the source of our cultural ideals, if present trends are not checked, will result in the destruction of mankind. We regards as hopeless and futile any attempts to reconcile man-made philosophical systems with Divine revelation for the acceptance of the former means the rejection of the latter. The surest method for the establishment of virtue is to replace the emphasis on the demanding of rights to the performance of duties. Under the domination of materialism, everybody wants to take but nobody wants to give. When the ideal becomes one of service and society bestows its rewards upon those who serve others best, irresponsible pleasureseeking will come to an end. All the destructive trends of materialism can and will be reversed as soon as the prevailing cultural values, backed by strong public opinion, are transformed through the Islamic order. History is no mere impersonal and mechanical force over which we have no control as the adherents of Marxism would delude us. History is sufficient proof that the individual does matter! In the end, people can achieve whatever they want, for good or evil, provided only sufficient numbers want it badly enough.