Books and Documents

Islamic Ideology (30 Jun 2012 NewAgeIslam.Com)

The Muslims’ Ignorance /Disregard of the Qur’anic Guidance and Its Colossal and Recurring Cost



-           “Will they not, then, ponder over this Qur’an? - or are their hearts sealed”? (Al-Qur’an 47: 24).

-           “The petal of a flower may pierce through the heart of a rock – but the Noble Word has no effect on the ignorant.” – Muhammad Iqbal, bale jibrail, preamble 


By Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam

Co-author (Jointly with Ashfaque Ullah Syed), Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA, 2009

This is not to suggest, let alone advocate any direct incorporation of the injunctions of the Qur’an in statecraft, or to politicise the Qur’an in any manner, as that will enable political bodies of diverse orientations to legitimize their respective ideologies and aspirations by interpreting the Qur’an expediently or by venerating their own ideologies on the strength of the Qur’an. The object of this exercise is to inspire the believers to study this eternal book of guidance as it should be studied (2:121), seeking the best meaning in it (39:18/55). This is a pressing need of the day in order to deliver the hearts and minds of the Muslim umma from the domination of historically evolved theological discourses – which though glorious for their era, stand out this day as restrictive, divisive, exclusive, intellectually foreclosing and atavistic.

On the Day of Reckoning, each individual person will be handed the record of his/her deeds (17:71, 84:7-11, 99:6/7), to be benchmarked against the divine guidance/imperatives as perfected in the Qur’an (5:3). Therefore, it is imperative for each person who believes in the divinity of the Qur’an to seek its guidance as he/she solicits in each cycle of the daily prayer by pleading to God – ‘ihdinas sirat al mustaqim.’        

As for those opinionated readers and self-acclaimed intellectuals – Muslims and non-Muslims alike, sceptical of the very notion of sourcing a fourteen centuries old book – divine or otherwise for guidance, the following quotation from Kenneth Cragg, a distinguished contemporary scholar of Islamic and Christian studies should suffice to evoke interest [1].

“What happens in the Qur’an is deeply related to the travail of our time, and we need the Qur’anic word in the face of it. This would be true, of course, if only for the reason that multitudes of mankind, to be guided or persuaded about modernity at all, will need to be guided and persuaded Qur’anically.....Even where secularism has gone far among them or irreligion presses, their judgments and their sanity, their priorities and their ideals, will always be in large measure within the mind of the Qur’an.”  

The aloofness of the educated Muslims from the Qur’an

It is no secret that the young students, fashionable and educated youth, housewives, academicians, professionals of all categories, and the intellectual elite among the Muslims have virtually no time, nor any curiosity to probe the fundamentals of their religion. As its Arab audience turned away from the Qur’an in dread - like frightened donkeys fleeing a lion (74:49-51), the Muslims, by and large, turn away from it in awe and reverence or apathy if not antipathy. Some of them do read, recite and even memorize the Qur’an – partly or even wholly, to please God, to experience the transcendent, and to seek peace and solace. However, they seldom make any effort to study it to comprehend its message. They do not read it as it should be read to their own loss (2:121). Consciously or subconsciously they go by the tradition that “one who discusses about the Book of God, (the Qur'an) makes a mistake, even if he is correct [2].

The Qur’an brought about the greatest social, political and intellectual revolution in human history.

The advent of the Qur’an – the divine speech descending upon humanity in the seventh century Arabia, created a sudden turbulence in human history, the ripple of which was soon to sweep the world. Within less than a hundred years of its inauguration, its dynamic spirit and liberating paradigms led to the establishment of the greatest civilization of the era that spanned almost the entire expanse of the political map of the era from East to West (Spain to China) and saw remarkable advancement in diverse fields of knowledge. Its veneration of hikmah (universal wisdom) inspired its scholars to preserve the works of Greco-Roman philosophers through a massive translation drive leading to the flowering of Islamic philosophical heritage (e.g works left by al-Ghazali, Ibn Rush, Ibn ‘Arabi, Rumi, Sa‘di, for example). Its emphasis on universal knowledge (‘ilm) led to a phenomenal advancement in practically all fields of universal sciences - mathematics, physics, chemistry, botany, astronomy, medicine, metallurgy, and manufacturing technology (paper, textile etc.). Its patronization of scholars attracted the intellectually gifted regardless of religion to its centre (Baghdad) and many to its fold from the farthest regions of the then world. Its respect and tolerance of non-Muslims, liberating social paradigms and exemption from restrictive taboos, theological speculations and scholasticism won innumerable coverts, constantly feeding the faith with fresh blood and intellect. Its exhortations to use reason (‘aql), to cogitate and think rationally (fiqh) and emphasis on justice led to phenomenal advancements in the field of jurisprudence. Its empowerment of women found them pursuing the highest levels of knowledge and rising to the position of jurists and scholars who taught mixed batches of students and bestowed academic credentials on them regardless of gender. These achievements in diverse fields found their way into Europe by way of translation of their works, first into Latin, and later into European languages, and served as the taproot of post Renaissance advancement in Europe.      

The foregoing is no window dressing, nor mere tall talk. Some of the outstanding scholars of the Christian West acknowledge the extraordinary contributions of Islam to humanity by praising in superlatives the faith or its founder, Muhammad (Pbuh) – whom they however decline to acknowledge as God’s Messenger: 

Michael Harts ranked Prophet Muhammad as No. 1 among 100 great men of history. [3].

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), in one of his famous lectures on heroes among the Prophets declares: “A poor shepherd people, roaming unnoticed in its deserts since the creation of the world: a Hero-Prophet was sent down to them with a word they could believe ...  as if a spark had fallen, one spark, on a world of what seemed black unnoticeable sand; but lo, the sand proves explosive powder, blazes heaven-high from Delhi to Grenada! I said, the Great Man was always as lightning out of Heaven; the rest of men waited for him like fuel, and then they too would flame.” [4] 

Alphonse de LaMartaine (1790-1869) while recounting the remarkable rise of Arabs declares: “As regards all the standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask IS THE RE ANY MAN GREATER THAN HE (Mohammed)?” [5].

Robert Briffault (1867-1948) states:  “Science is the most momentous contribution of Arab [Muslim] civilization to the modern world; but its fruits were slow in ripening. Not until long after Moorish Islamic] culture had sunk back into darkness did the giant to which it had given birth, rise to its might” [6].

Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair  (the husband wife team, jointly appointed to the Norma Jean Calderwood University Professorship in Islamic and Asian Art), declare: “Islam, which is only half a dozen centuries younger than Christianity, created a long and brilliant civilization, which is responsible for much of the way we are today. … When a few medieval monks were desperately trying to preserve what little they knew of Greco-Roman civilization, academies and universities flourished in the splendid cities of the Muslim lands” [7].

Count Leon Ostrorog declares: “The Eastern thinkers of the ninth century laid down on the basis of their theology, the principle of the Rights of Man, ....of which the humane and chivalrous prescriptions would have put to blush certain belligerents in the Great War; expounded a doctrine of toleration of non-Muslim creeds so liberal that our West had to wait a thousand years before seeing equivalent principles adopted.” [8]     

The pre-eminence of the quoted scholars and the diversity of their backgrounds and regions sufficiently demonstrate the positively remarkable, rather, benevolently revolutionary role of Islam on world history. This raises the obvious question: what was it in Islam that fuelled its prodigal role. The answer is obvious. Islam drew its moral code and inspiration singularly from the Qur’an, whose sole mission was to guide humanity – “to bring it out of darkness (of jahiliyyah/ignorance) into light (of enlightenment)” (2:257, 14:1, 57:9) under the ambit of pure monotheism. Thus there can be no doubt that it is the revolutionary tenets of the Qur’an – its moral imperatives and liberating spirit, its universalism and pluralism, its call to human intellect that fed its uniquely and remarkably positive role in history.         

The grievous fallout of the detachment of the Muslims from the Qur’an

As the Islamic civilization was taking long strides of advancement, its orthodox theologians and ulema were striving unceasingly to freeze it at their era, in direct contradiction to the letter and spirit of the Qur’an. Thus, they set aside the guidance of the Qur’an and venerated theological discourses –notably the Hadith and the classical Islamic law as the necessary and sufficient vehicles for understanding and implementing the Qur’anic message. These were the ahl al Hadith - the orthodoxy. They advocated that all that had to be learnt had already been learnt during the Prophet’s time, and was contained in the Qur’an and the Prophet’s normative ways (Sunnah), and the posterity was expected to simply imitate them [9]. This resulted in stagnancy of knowledge, abhorrence against any scientific advancement, and division of universal knowledge into Islamic and European categories [10] – the former foreclosed for all time and the latter growing exponentially. Their retrogressive views were opposed by the rationalist theologians of the era – the ahl al kalam, who advocated pursuit of knowledge in all fields, and promoted material prosperity within the framework of the Qur'an. However, the orthodoxy prevailed and intellectual activity in Islam came to a virtual halt.  This happened around the end of the fourth century of Islam, marked the beginning of the decline of Islamic civilization, and set this faith and its followers on a path of decline.  

Following continued decline for almost a millennium through to the present era, punctuated by occasional upsurge in broad historical timeframe, the Muslims have fallen into the lowest depths of a pit of failure. Any comparative assessment of the deprivations, sufferings and injustices faced by the diverse confessional communities at this juncture of history will single out the Muslims as the most deprived, devastated and uprooted community, and the biggest victims of human rights violations. From domestic violence against their own womenfolk to internecine conflicts, sectarian violence, terrorism, just and unjust wars, forced confinement in war zones and collective punishment in the name of sanctions, to the psychological trauma of Islamophobia and trivialization and marginalization in the pre-dominantly non-Muslim countries, the Muslims have the greatest share of sufferings and humiliation in the present day world. Likewise, any comparative analysis of achievements in the diverse lawful pursuits and arenas of life (professional fields, academy, bureaucracy, sports, art and culture for example) will find the Muslims as the poorest and obscurest performer.

Thus, in broad historical perspective it was the revolutionary social and intellectual paradigms of the Qur’an that took the Muslims to the zenith of their civilization in less than a hundred years of its advent and enabled them to lead the world for the next four to five hundred years, and it was their gradual detachment from the Qur’an that led to their stagnation, decay and downfall in the ensuing centuries. 

Thus, the cost of detachment from the Qur’an has been extremely high and the Muslims continue to bear it, as their detachment is only exacerbating with time. This essay is just a reminder and warning and a challenge to the Muslim intellect.    


1.       Kenneth Cragg, The Event of the Qur’an, Oneworld Publications, Rockport, USA 1974, p. 22/23.

2.       Sanan Abu Daud, Urdu translation by Wahiduz Zaman, Vol.3, Acc. 253, p. 118.

3.       Michael H. Hart, The 100. A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, Hart Publishing Company Inc New York, USA 1978, p. 33.

4.       http://www.scribd.com/doc/12685866/Hero-as-a-Prophet-by-Thomas-Carlyle  

5.       http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/693415.Alphonse_de_Lamartine

6.       Making of Humanity, p. 202, Extracted from Muhammad Iqbal’s Reconstruction of Islamic thoughts, 6th reprint, New Delhi 1998, p. 130.

7.       Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair, Islam, Empire of Faith, BBC Series, UK 2001, p. 11.

8.       Asaf A.A. Fyzee, Outlines of Mohammedan Law, 5th Edition, New Delhi 2005, p. 53/54.

9.       Abul Kalam Azad, Tarjuman al-Qur’an, 1931; reprint New Delhi 1989, Vol.1. p. 42,43.

10.     Jamal Afghani, extracted from John L.Esposito’s, Islam in Transition, New York 1982, p. 18.

Muhammad Yunus, a Chemical Engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, and a retired corporate executive has been engaged in an in-depth study of the Qur’an since early 90’s, focusing on its core message. He has co-authored the referred exegetic work, which received the approval of al-Azhar al-Sharif, Cairo in 2002, and following restructuring and refinement was endorsed and authenticated by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl of UCLA, and published by Amana Publications, Maryland, USA, 2009.

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/muhammad-yunus,-new-age-islam/the-muslims’-ignorance-/disregard-of-the-qur’anic-guidance-and-its-colossal-and-recurring-cost/d/7795



  • Dear Bram Fajan, you have put a run of the mill question on the Prophet of Islam pbuh. How could you conceive of such vulgarity about a messenger of peace who forgave the arch enemies of his life even when he conquered them in Mecca and got a chance to rule over them. On that day when some of his followers voiced shouting out "Today is the day of retaliation", the Prophet strongly opposed them saying:"No, today is the day of forgiveness".
    Dear Bram Fajan, how could you imagine Muhammad pbuh calling on people to his faith through mass murder, while He defines his faith and its true follower by his saying: "A Muslim is one whose hand and tongue do not harm any human being"  (Sahih Muslim)
    Please read about Muhammad pbuh from the original and authentic sources, lest u fall prey to Islamophobic allegations maligning the Prophet of peace and mercy!

    By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi - 4/13/2013 8:53:35 AM

  • Did not Mohammed promulgate an Islam that includes a turning to the sword? Great men do not develop a faith that calls for chopping off the heads of people who do not subscribe to their faith. Calling on people to build a faith through some of the world's most extensive mass murder is damnable, not great. Is not the sword a part of Islams history?
    By Bram Fajan - 4/13/2013 7:08:01 AM

  • ·         Dear mohd yunus sb. Here is the series.
    ·         Respected Manzoorul Haque Sahib. Taqiya suits to you. Keep ranting whatever like you. I will keep haunting you.
    ·         Takiya does suit me. I don’t know much about taqiya. About me - I concede that I love Islam, especially because of its social philosophy. However, with what you are likely to disagree violently is,  that I love Hindus, especially the innocent kinds. I actually love their innocence. And when some of them, perhaps like your good-self, perceive that I am in love with their innocence, then they get  angry with me,  which gives me the feeling of a lover whose beloved has gone bitter – albeit temporarily. I know she will come , she is bound to come. We are made for each other.  Thus, life would be barren if you do not haunt me, sir.
    ·         To please your Allah, To save images of ...., you can go to any instant.
    ·         I wish I could go to any extent. Truth is that I am a very low grade Muslim.
    ·         Is it not your mother land? No need to wonder if majority of Muslims revere Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. I don't revere living, non-living, seen, and UN-seen things.
    ·         Did I say so? In fact, unlike you, I revere my country India. I attach no divinity to land-mass, but you know, I believe in sanctity of the idea of a motherland. Pakistan is an anomaly and about Saudi Arabia I have recently posted my views under Allah hafiz- Khuda hafiz controversy. I wanted to draw you attention to the ghoos-culture and lack of responsive administration in my beloved country, because I wished if you could see how the social philosophy of Islam is relevant. I know you will ask, how has Islam’s social philosophy helped the Muslim-majority countries. Well, they are endeavoring. Are we?
    ·          You can justify anything imaginable if it is done by Muslims.
    ·         I think you are not reading my comments. I stand for reform within Islam, and right dissemination of precepts of Islam, but I apply my mind and am not emotionally reckless. Believe me; you are unhappy with me because of this. You are needlessly afraid of Islam. Please take it, there would be no compulsion form reformed Islamists in the matter of religion.
    ·         Do you know I will mount to a pyre or I will be buried in grave?
    ·         Here you are right on bull’s eye. If I seriously say this, I am clearly wrong. If a person of the highest degree of anti-Islamism, just before breathing his last, accepts Islam from the deepest core of his heart, then he is entitled for the highest heaven for obvious reasons. His past sins are washed out,  and he has no opportunity for any sin. Brother, I was not serious, still I apologize.
    ·         You can deny logic, history, Ahadith in love of Islam.
    ·         Now surely,  this is not the extent you were referring to. How can I deny Islam for the love of Islam?
    ·         You people can twist anything verses of Quran, Ahadith, translations, only thing it should suit to your purpose.
    ·         You should see whether our effort will present Islam in better light or not. If it is better, does it not suit your purpose?
    ·         If Mullahs are dishonest in interpretation of Quran, How you can not be.
    ·         Thank you for grading the Mullahs rightly. That is what we also say to them.
    ·         Are Mullahs dishonest.? I don't think so. They are representing truth, you people are hiding.
    ·         Please decide if mullahs are dishonest or not. Please do not recant yourself so quickly.
    ·         To understand the easy guide book you are doing mental gymnastic. So many Mullahs, so many scholars of whole world are busy to explain easy guide book revealed by All knowing Allah.
    ·         Brother you are second time using incorrect language, a language that does not convey correct sense. “A guide book” is nowhere near “A Book of Guidance”. A man with even  a poorer sense of language might think of the  holy Quran as no other than the book on which movie “Guide”  was made. Now no book can ever be easy and Quran is a book of books. Its every sentence can lead to a book. The holy Quran is not  an easy book to understand, except in an allegorical sense, that getting to the fold of Islam through the book is the easiest. In other words, to become a Muslim and earn a reward from Allah is the easiest thing to do. You have to just hold the holy Quran in your hand and believe that here is the Book that contains Truth and nothing but the Truth. Then devote your whole life to the pursuit of Truth. However, never tell me that you have found the Truth. I will straightway know, you are a fraud. And you know that the reward by Allah is in proportion to the hardship in the pursuit of Truth and that will take into account  lack of your mental abilities too,  because with less education and less mental caliber you will find  it harder to know the Truth, but your reward is guaranteed because of the difficulties you face. In the matter of pursuit of Truth an illiterate is advantaged. My job was only to inform you of the possibilities. It is up to your free-will to decide.
    ·          Are Mullahs wrong in reducing the age of girls to minimum for marriage? Certainly they are not. They are following Sunnah.
    ·         Boring question –replied many times. The minimum age that we are going to fix is from 16 to 18 years. Let the mullahs (your kind, if any) tie up their ‘langots’  little more tight,  for some more years.
    By Manzoorul Haque - 7/25/2012 11:06:13 AM

  • Respected  Naseer Ahmed Sahib. What will you do then?

    By mohd yunus - 7/25/2012 1:09:20 AM

  • Respected Manzoorul Haque Sahib. Taqiya suits to you. Keep ranting whatever like you. I will keep haunting you.
    To please your Allah, To save images of ...., you can go to any instant.
    Is it not your mother land? No need to wonder if majority of Muslims revere Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.  I don't revere living, non-living, seen, and UN-seen things. You can justify any thing imaginable if it is done by Muslims. Do you know I will mount to a pyre or I will be buried in grave?
    You can deny logic, history, Ahadith in love of Islam.
    You people can twist anything verses of Quran, Ahadith, translations, only thing it should suit to your purpose.
    If Mullah are dishonest in interpretation of Quran, How you can not be.
    Are Mullahs dishonest.? I don't think so. They are representing truth, you people are hiding.
    To understand the easy guide book you are doing mental gymnastic.
    So many Mullahs, so many scholars of whole world are busy to explain easy guide book revealed by All knowing Allah.
    Are Mullahs wrong in reducing the age of girls to minimum for marriage? Certainly they are not. They are following Sunnah.

    By mohd yunus - 7/24/2012 8:34:54 PM

  • My dear Mohd Yunus Sb,, My heart goes out to you. You are one most confused and tortured soul. Here you plead for your "feeble mind". In another place you claim to be the most educated and intelligent and challenge all Syeds to prove otherwise.
    You understand very well Mr Yunus. You asked the question because your line of argument was that if everything is pre ordained and recorded in Loh-e-Mahfooz then nobody is blameworthy except God.
    My explanation makes clear what is pre ordained and what is free will. You cannot now go around saying that it is all God's Leela alone and you are blameless.
    You sought an answer and you got an answer. But you refuse to accept the answer and you continue to blame God that God has sealed your heart etc. You have a choice but will not exercise that choice. Exercising choice requires some effort. You need to shake off the yoke that is constraing you. You need to become a free man.
    Your other question was of a similar nature. You wanted to mock at the Quran by saying that it is guidance only for the muttaqi and since you are not one, Quran is not for you and your kind. You asked this question with great fan fare anticipting that other dullards would be rendered speechless little realizing that your argument was a pure example of a very common logical fallacy.You failed again.
    Stop mocking Mr Yunus and get serious before it is too late.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 7/24/2012 7:53:36 PM

  • Your closure report accepted. I pray to Allah that these ideas do not haunt you till you mount your pyre (a word which I seem to know for you), and you continue to enjoy the best of ‘ghoos’ in this mother’s land (this last portion added because today was my day of ‘ghoos giving’ in the land registry office to buy a piece of this venerated motherland.

    By Manzoorul Haque - 7/24/2012 2:19:01 PM

  • Respected Naseer Ahmed Sahib: For your closure report.
    Copy to Janab Manzoorul Haque sahib.
    1. Here I admit I am unable to understand what you explained. It is very difficult for me to understand the difficult secrets of easy book.
    Oh God ? My feeble mind.
    I am not alone, there are more people who don't understand than who understand and don't believe in the way Islam demands. .
    2. Please don't waste your energy to determine whether I am a true seeker or just an enemy.
    3. May be I don't want to understand. May be my sole purpose is to defame Islam.
    God has sealed my heart due to my own fault. He is just merciful.
    I regret I took your time. Let us move on our paths.

    Congratulations. May Allah bless you for your sincere efforts.

    Ah! God has sent around 1,24,000 messengers to every nation. Stupid man (majority) keep refusing, take satan as a friend. Be aware! hell is prepared

    O stupid people. Man has to pay for his free will.

    O satan, cursed one. You didn't bow to Adam(Though bowing to non Allah is unpardonable sin. Allah knew Satan will not bow) . Enemy of mankind. You will be dragged into hell with me.
    Poor score.

    By mohd yunus - 7/24/2012 6:15:33 AM

  • Trying to write short, let me say I liked the write-up. I actually liked it in general with some comments that I have to make. I liked the comments of other commentators, especially that of Mr. Naseer Ahmed. In Mr. Ahmed's writing I found the reference of no miracle power of Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him) somewhat insufficiently discussed and would have liked to know more about the beliefs of many Muslims about 'the division of Moon' miracle, flight to Jerusalem etc.

    I liked the point “expect nasty things to happen you in life for your mistakes or even as a random or chance phenomenon. Do not then ask "why did this happen to me? What wrong did I do". It had happened according to the laws of God which are designed for the benefit of mankind and you just got into the wrong way with these laws and hurt yourself. Patience under trying conditions is the litmus test of your faith in God and God appreciates and rewards both patience and gratitude".

    While in the original write-up, I appreciate that all those writers’ comments have been put up and I think, this should be done on more regular basis, something like remembering and then reminding the world on daily basis and not shying away from getting repetitious. However as a concluding remarks of it "and it was their gradual detachment from the Qur’an that led to their stagnation, decay and downfall in the ensuing centuries", I sense a feeling of loss and sadness, which shouldn’t have been there.

    While the author sees the glass as half empty, I still see the glass half full. Islam has been the way of life of millions and millions of people for well over thousand years and most likely it is going to be this way for another thousand years or till the world falls apart (by nuclear or biological or climatic reason). I have time and again maintained that we need to identify what exactly are those parameters which determine whether Muslims are on Islam or not? Muslims do not need political power to be on Islam. 52 countries and area coverage from this end to that end and followers strength of second most populous religious group is not what I am talking about. It is also not about scientific discoveries and noble prizes or patents they can claim of that defines the glow of Islam’s success. It is about how much comfortable life could be with Islam. People die and you know that his/her day was fixed for that and he/she has gone where he/she was supposed to go one or the other day. You feel it normal and you do not kill yourself for that.

    Muslims are not supposed to get desperate for things not happening to them as they expected. Not being able to give birth, or not getting married or failing in exams or being unsuccessful in business is not what should sadden a Muslim. It is all predestined. Of course with wisdom and effort things could have been different but wisdom and effort too comes predestined to the chosen ones. The chosen one not always chose the destiny; sometimes destiny too chooses the chosen one. It is both ways. Predestination is an important concept with Muslims but used only to give heart to those who have suffered some losses in the worldly sense of things.

    The rate of failure of marriages, the rate of suicide, the rate of criminality, the measure of uncleanliness is what should be the parameter to determine how well or worse Muslims are doing or by not properly being on Islam. Domestic violence, cheating and corruption, litigations, the rates of their occurrence could be determinants to say about the usability of Islam. And to be fair, Muslims aren’t doing that bad. Some will say, they aren’t doing that bad, because they have found oil, some will say they are indeed doing bad showcasing Jahil Talibans or other Jahils or may point out one in millions who chooses to take to terrorism even after having an option otherwise and coming from well off background and academics.

    Yes they do not have democracy, as said by Mr. Ghulam Mohiyuddin Sir, “separation of church and state, freedom of speech, tolerance and respect for the religions of others, socialism, conflict resolution strategies, the evolution theory, abolition of cruel and unusual punishments etc”, none of that is on the basis of Islam and Quran but on traditions they either had or the traditions they never had.

    Let me single out ‘tolerance and respect for the religions of others’, because Quran has explicitly said otherwise of what is being practiced by some community within Muslims but by and large Muslims have been able to live amicably in India and US and in other countries with communities other than Muslims, and this is an example that they are living peacefully with others. It is only amongst them that they fight as displayed by countries like Pakistan. But Pakistan has too much of non-Muslim psyche, to be called temperamentally Muslim. If you interact with ordinary people from Middle East, they are rather simple and very non-violent. Same non-Muslim psyche is displayed in Indian Muslims as well where they do not fight among themselves as they would have had, had India been Muslim majority country. In India their controlled infighting might be attributed to the presence of Non-Muslims seen as looking for every opportunity to let Muslims fight among themselves, but the real reason is that in India there still is very less penetration of radical Wahabism compared to Pakistan and people can still get away with grave worshipping along with their Non-Muslim co-citizens. In Pakistan, the same grave-worshipping kinds are now face to face with radicals Wahabists.

    Some grave worshippers are of opinion that ever since Saud family took over, some 200 years back, the problem of institutionalized ritualism and aggression surfaced. Same thing happened somewhat in the times of Aurangzeb but since his legacy could not continue as it did in Saudi Arabia for Sauds, things did not take that explosive shape. The problem compounded when Saud got hold of riches underneath their sand. And perhaps the problem will compound a third degree if all that riches is used to radicalize the population of South Asians. Pakistan is already half way done, and India has already opened up to the idea of violent Islam. What could not happen even by Aurangzeb sitting within India, Sauds would be able to export from outside with the help of developed aviations, trade and commerce and expatriates working for them.

    In fact it is yet to be seen how the inception of internet going to challenge or help Islam in spreading the Jihadi literature or curbing it by increasing more awareness about essence of Islam.

    The world waits to see the outcome of this miracle. Will it increase nudity and shamelessness or will it increase the knowledge of Islam in the world is that something which time would tell. But most likely it will increase both and future generations will be exposed to both these and will make their choice depending on their predestined state of mind and their own choice of their destiny.

    As for Mr. Muhammad Yunus Sir’s assertion : “the orthodoxy prevailed and intellectual activity in Islam came to a virtual halt. This happened around the end of the fourth century of Islam, marked (marking) the beginning of the decline of Islamic civilization, and set this faith and its followers on a path of decline”, the moot point is what exactly Muslims intellectuals are doing now to revive and reconstruct the progressive Islamic thoughts. More importantly what do they feel about how they are positioned? Are they confident of being able to do their job or have they already lost the battle?

    I personally have a reason to believe that situation will improve even when suicide bombings too will increase. The reason is that Muslims who got stuck up those many centuries ago received success from their earlier generation and they were complacent and lethargic. Intellectual lethargy is what I am coming to. They knew the magic formula of success and they just did not want to play with that anymore. And it is quite normal thing to do. When you get good grades, when you keep winning, why would you like to change time-table or winning combination? But what they didn’t know was that this magic works well for first timers. It works well for those who are ready to experiment. It works well till it doesn’t work anymore for them. Finally, they were predestined to slip into complacency because they felt they knew too much of their time. While they chose to freeze their knowledge and tune up their arrogance, they didn’t realize that destiny too was choosing them and their oncoming generations for a severe test- the test of reaction on being mocked.

    Now further from where Muslims are, if Muslims are destined to see more and more of them getting drawn into terrorism and conspiracy theories, no one can stop them from getting more into bad shape. But if a Muslim choses his/her destiny to not get embroiled in mudslinging/ war-mongering, then nobody, not even destiny can force them to nurse pessimism. Remember, Khudi ko kar buland itna…?

    Assuming that Khudi doesn’t get buland after repeated efforts as Taqdeer prevails over it, even then why should one cry over it. What is the response that Islam teaches for such a situation? At worse, be stoic and keep patience, at best, be happy that the drama of this world is at its closure and we are soon to crawl (or fly) to our meet our Lord. Islam has at least survived enough to teach what reaction should be in such a case.

    However before things ends, Muslims must give a try to change the world. They should be the change that they wanted to see in the world. Throw away both the manhoos baby and the bath water, throw away everything but not before making radical changes in your personal life style where one feels to be meeting the criteria of Islam. In due course one would find others too who are doing similar thing and are on same path. One andha and one kodhi, and they will then make up a nice Jodi. But the underlying idea is to never fear of getting isolated as long as one fears God and pays the people who work for them before their sweats dries. Jiska koi nahin uska to Kuda hai yaaron. Open up your own Fatwa factory but for yourself only if you are knowledgeable enough, and if you are not, then deny of even any knowledge of any Fatwa from anyone.

    By sadaf - 7/21/2012 7:49:53 AM

  • @Sadaf. Please read my just posted comment to Asif Merchant. You seem to be barking at the wrong tree as I have been barking for a long time. May I suggest that you read my following article, which may allay your frustration at the militant religiosity of fellow Muslims who are least bothered about what the Qur’an says. They, like the pre-Islamic Arabs, turn away from it like frightened donkeys fleeing a lion (74:49-51) and have turned Naikis and Ladinis....

    The Muslims’ ignorance /disregard of the Qur’anic guidance and its Colossal and Recurring Cost.


    By muhammad yunus (1) - 7/20/2012 9:00:39 PM

  • I compliment Muhammad Yunus Saab for an excellent article and whole heatedly endorse his views.
    The Quran is an amazing book full of wisdom. There is no dimming of its light even after 1400 years and continues to be as relevant today as it was then. No matter how many times it is read, it continues to delight and deepen our understanding. It is straight forward in its message. You will not find any deviosness in it It is self explanatory and not allegorical or indirect requiring interpretations of the learned. There are very few allegorical stories which are not to be taken literally and the allegorical language used makes the intention very clear.The Quran should however be understood  as a whole and not in parts - especially not by single ayats. You cannot then go wrong even with the literal meaning and even without knowing the context. There are some verses which are cryptic in their message and require deeper thinking. For example, the verses on creation where the angels are aghast that God has created man who will cause much bloodshed and tyranny and God responds saying that the Angels do not know what God knows.  God then proceeds to teach man the "names of all things" and then asks the Angels the names of things and the angels reply that they  only know what God has taught them. The superiority of man is established and the angels are asked to prostrate to Adam.
    So what did God teach man? Name also means attributes or the nature of things or the knowledge about material things or even the laws that govern them. This knowledge has been given by God to man. It has been there with man always in some germane form and all his discoveries are nothing but retrieving from within the knowledge that is given to him. Most scientific discoveries are of that nature - seeing the truth in a flash of sudden understanding. The logic and confirmation of that truth through logical argument and experiments follows later. Did not Einstein scriible as an after thought his famous equation E=mc^2? Once it is stated, the truth of this equation is obvious even to a bright high school student of physics who is familiar with dimensional analysis. Yet, it is an amazing insight. The same holds good for all the equations and theorems and much of the work in theoretic physics.
    Then there is that Ayat which says that God taught man by the pen. Taught him what he knew not. The pen is what enables man to record his learning for posterity and for sharing with other human beings. The gains are therefore cumulative. Not everyone need to invent the wheel. Without these cumulative gains man would have made little progress.
    There area ayats which says that God does not change his ways or that no one can cahnge his words. I understand by this that the laws are unchanging and laws are nothing but God's word which no one can cahnge. This  is a great boon enabling man to learn by experience. If laws kept on changing, his experience means nothing since it does not teach him what to expect in the future.
    The laws for achieving success in this life and the hereafter are also described. There is that amzing ayat which says that God does not change the condition of man until he changes himself. What this means to me is that if you are not succeeding, it is because your actions are not the right ones for achieving success  and unless you start doing the right things, nothing will change for you. So better start figuring out what is going wrong with you and why and start learning how to do the right things  to achieve success. Prayers alone will not help you.
    God has therefore set in motion his laws and provided guidance through the Quran to navigate one's life and achieve success in this World and the hereafter. In most matters therefore, the World is on auto pilot and God does not intervene in every matter. Things happen in accordance with his laws.
    God's active intervention is only in special circumstance when you are in distress and call out from the depths of your heart. God then gives you a fresh start and it is back to auto pilot. So expect nasty things to happen you in life for your mistakes or even as a random or chance phenomena. Do not then ask "why did this happen to me? What wrong did I do". It had happened according to the laws of God which are designed for the benefit of mankind and you just got into the wrong way with these laws and hurst yourself. Patience under trying conditions is the litmus test of your faith in God and God appreciates and rewards both patience and gratitude.
    While Prophet Isa (PBUH) and Musa (PBUH) could perform "miracles", Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was not given any such power. The people also taunted him on this account. Clearly, the message was, 'the age of reason' has dawned and you do not need miracles to believe. Your own heart and mind  will recognize and respond to the truth provided you do not cover it with arrogance. Also, isn't the World wondrous as it is? Why does anybody need miracles? What is it that he cannot achieve the straight way following the laws of nature?
    There is a reference to "The Book". What is that Book which contains everything? Taking the analogy of an Application, the Book is the source code of the master Application containing all the laws of nature. Everything therefore happens according to the book and is there in the Book. Are all revealed scriptures including the Quran the Book or part of the Book? My understanding is that the scriptures are a version of the book in the sense that they are for human consumption and understanding with reference to the specific context of the times when these are revealed but also containing an eternal meaning.
    We also read that the Quran was revealed in a single night on the "night of Power" in the month of Ranadhan. We also know that the revelation was spread over 23 years. What do these apparently conflicting versions mean? My understanding is that the revealation in a single night was akin to the form in which God taught man "the names of all things". The teaching was complete for the Prophet to understand the deen in its totality but not in the form of  experiential learning with reference to the context which the Quran is. Yet there is a close connection between the Quran, the revelation over a single night and "The Book" which contains everything.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 7/16/2012 3:00:37 AM

  • Excellent article by Mohammad Yunus Sb. He has rightly concluded, "This essay is just a reminder and warning and a challenge to the Muslim intellect".

     He is absolutely logical and sounds practical in his assessment and analysis of the topic, but most of the time I am in abysmal dismay when I see people blaming ULEMA for every action, deviation, stagnation, etc.

    Why don't we respect individualism and inculcate a habit of developing religious understanding and provide motivation among our near and dear ones? We must take over this challenging task.

    By Raihan Nezami - 7/1/2012 10:09:58 PM

  • Yunus saheb says that as Islamic civilization was moving ahead, the rigid ulema were trying hard to freeze it "at their era". This has unfortunately had the result that our civilization did not keep pace with seminal advances in human thought that occurred over the past 300 years, including momentous concepts such as "government of the people, by the people, for the people", separation of church and state, freedom of speech, tolerance and respect for the religions of others, socialism, conflict resolution strategies, the evolution theory, abolition of cruel and unusal punishments etc. Now we find ourselves in a situation where we have a lot of catching up to do but we still have the same rigid ulema resisting progress.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 6/30/2012 2:47:56 PM

Compose Your Comments here:
Email (Not to be published)
Fill the text
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the articles and comments are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect that of NewAgeIslam.com.