Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Islamic World in the Third Millenium

Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri
(Executive Director of Islam Today)

Twenty-two years ago, The Islamic World entered the XVth century of the Hegira (emigration) of our Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The event triggered a great deal pg high hopes for improving the Ummah’s present condotions, to bring corrective measures to its prevailing status and to achieve as many of its aspirations as might be possible. This year, in parallel with the above occurrence which os still generating hopes, looming is the advent of the third millenium since the birth of the Jesus Christ. Son of Mary (may be peace of Allah be upon him). Commemorating this event, mankind is pinning high hopes to see an era of peace and prosperity worlwide as well as concord within all human seocieties throughout the globe.In truth, moving from one century to another is nothing but a human measurement according to a calculation intended to identify a given era of human existence on earth. Yet, while going through these phases marking his life milestones, man is inclined to contemplate the past and look forward to the future. Indeed, the engages in this scrutiny thanks to his innate dispositon with wich Almighty God has endowed him. True enough, this god-gifted inclination strengthens the soul’s quest to bring about improvements of the self as a starting point for enhancement. It also consolidates man’s inner awarness of the pressing need for renovation and betterment. In effect , such renovation and betterment stem stem from man’s cherished desire to bring about change in his soul , as in the World of Almighty Allah in the Holy Quran: “Lo! Allah changeth not the conditions of a folk until they (first) change that which is in their hearts.” (Surat Al-Ra’d, Verse No 11).

On the basis this Qur’anic rule which has governed all human societies, ever since the apperance of man on earth, the vision of the future is not but genereted by the present. Indeed, the specific features of this vision are drawn by the efforts exerted by human in any given society in an attemp to bring about evlutionary enhancements, corrective measures and judicious reforms. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to rationalize man’s stride forward on the path of life. Therefore, it is crystal clear that the future is in no way devoid of links to the present in which the human will is interacting with life adversities, geographic factor and historic effects. All told, the future is the very product of what man accomplishes here and now thanks to the capacities, abilities and talents with which Almight God has endowed him in order for him to judiciously harness the vaarious resources on earth made available for him by the Most High.

It is not the rule of God the future could come one leap, that changes for the better and the loftier may spring from the void and that the future could have no link with what actually takes place and envolves in present real life. Indeed, the rule of God governing His Human creatures is that the effects are contingent upon the causes and that tommorow is reliant on today. Thus, man’s future on earth is not but the result of his deeds in life. The crux of the matter is not man’s future is the out come of his efforts, perseverance and good use of all the gifts bestowed upon him by Almighty God. Including capabilities, abilities, talents, good physical health, upright soul, powerful intellect, sharpened sentiments and the capacity to do, improve any given work.

On the basis of above specifications, the image of the Islamic World in third millenium will be result of the natural, rationalized interaction, imposed both by the necessities of life and Muslims’ interest, between the realities expereinced by the Islamic Ummah and the changes and mutation which mankind is witness at this stage. True enaugh, God willing, mankind will witness other changes and mutations in other future stages in various fields of knowledge, in different realms of life at large, and in all man’s activities, efforts and creativity.

In the light of this vision, we can assert that, to a great extent, the future of Islamic World is inherently contingent upon its presents. It is a fact that the weakness that we are suffering from today will not be changes into a striking force as long as we do not apply the Qur’anic rule governing human life. It is to be noted in this regard that the change, which we are longing for and which stands as a prerequisite for our striding towards the future to which we are eagerly looking forward, is thoroughly in line with the said Qur’anic teaching since it binds any changes to genuine moves, good intensions and pursuit of noble objectives and goals.

Seeking a change in this sense is to re-shape the self and renovate the soul. In other words, this quest attempts to reform the existing reality, rectify the paces toward the right direction an continuously aspire to whatever is deemed more rewarding and loftier in all matters of life. This approach combines all the elements needed to generate man’s will to actively engage in civilization construction. In truth, he is capable of performing this task as long as he has faith in God and trust in the missing entrusted to him, God willing, to construct civilization and shape his future.

Among the conditions that need to be fulfilled in order to achieve the revival, which we wish for the Islamic Word, are the mastery of the knowledge and sciences in all realms, as well as honesty and integrity in public life. Such a behaviour must go hand in hand with the concept of forthrightness which is to be used in its full understanding with all is aspects and facets, such as rationalization in all matters and at all levels.

It is a fact that nations reach maturity when they heave themselves up the scale of civilizational innovation and creativity. At this juncture, the Islamic World has a compelling rendez-vous with a new civilizational cycle, that the Islamic World has is to strive to take up with is radiant, multi-faceted past and thus link its present to its future and renew its presence on the international stage. It is self-evident that by asserting its presence anew, the Islamic World is likely to make valuable contribution to further enrich and enhance human civilization thanks to its civilizational specificities, cultural characteristics and creative capabilities.

The Islamic World is entrusted with the task of fulfilling a civilizational mission in tomorrow’s world. If it brings this mission to a successful conclusion in the way required in term of moral obligation, compelling necessity and realistic condition, its presence on the international stage would assuredly be distinct, very effective and highly impacting. Through such an accomplishment, it will best serve the Ummah’s interests. Fulfil its aspirations and safeguard its rights.