Monday, September 17, 2012

Clash of civilizations

I heard the term "Clash of civilizations" nearly three years ago. I read some literature in Urdu that always quoted the book “The Clash of Civilizations” by Samuel P. Huntington. I wanted to read its claims myself but couldn’t muster up the courage to delve into this difficult to digest knowledge spread in the book in words Greek to me. Recently, I went to my mamun’s (uncle) and found that book and borrowed it from him.
I was astonished to read just up to the third chapter. Somehow I felt that it exposed my ignorance about the matter it was cited for in various books. It just blew the castles that I had built in my mind about various claims that were written in reference from this book.
I just wanted to share some of the things here because I believe me, and many others are ignorant of.

Huntington deliberately makes his arguments about the foundations on which the term "Globalization" or "Universal Civilization" are promulgated worldwide. And the lowly individuals like me take it as a serious threat to the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and signs of Allah. But after reading the book and reading the thoughts on the broader spectrum of sentiment. I think we are not going down like this because Alhamdolillah (Praise be to Allah) the foundations of our civilization are still afresh in our society and they just need an injection of novelty and it will again be restored to its most evolved and prestigious form ever InshaAllah (Be what Allah wills)

He points in the third chapter of the book named "A Universal Civilization? Modernization and Westernization" that the concept of a Universal Civilization based on the fact that Western civilization would take on the world and integrate into ‘one world’ is baseless as
What Westerners herald as benign global integration, such as proliferation of worldwide media, non Westerners denounce as nefarious Western imperialism. To the extent that non Westerners see the world as one, they see it as a threat.
Then he analysis some important factors like religion, language, moral values, communication networks, corporatocracy etc. and concludes that Western civilization cannot be in anyway entitled the Universal Civilization.
Another important thing to be noted in this chapter was his honesty in accepting and delivering the true picture of the rise of West he says:

The cause of this unique and dramatic development included the social structure and class relations of the West, the rise of cities and commerce, the relative dispersion f power in Western societies between estates and monarchs and secular and religious authorities, the emerging sense of national consciousness among Western peoples, and the development of state bureaucracies. The immediate source of Western expansion, however, was technological: the invention of the means of ocean navigation for reaching distant peoples.” In large measure,” as Geoffery Parker has observed, “the rise of the West’ depended upon the exercise of force, upon the fact that the military balance between the Europeans and their adversaries overseas was steadily tilting in favor of the former; . . . the key to the Westerners’ success in creating the first truly global empires between 1500 and 1750 depended upon precisely those improvements in the ability to wage war which have been termed ‘the military revolution.’” The expansion of the West was also facilitated by the superiority in organization, discipline, and training of its troops and subsequently by the superior weapons, transport, logistics, and medical services resulting from its leadership in the Industrial Revolution. The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.

After reading this i would also like you to please read the whole of the address of Dr. Muhammad Allama Iqbal on Allahabad. There you will see Iqbal's point of view on the rise of West which resembles that of Huntington. (on the surface only but still. . . )

There are some things about Muslims which he had written bluntly without grasping the essence of Islam but again for this it’s we Muslims who are to blame for not “adopting” our own civilization, and foremost the commandments of Allah.
I will keep on posting striking things which I find in this book. In the hope that we remember the 2nd revelation on Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) which commanded him like this:

1. O thou wrapped up (in the mantle)!
2. Arise and deliver thy warning!
3. And thy Lord do thou magnify!
4. And thy garments keep free from stain!
5. And all abomination shun!
6. Nor expect, in giving, any increase (for thyself)!
7. But, for thy Lord's (Cause), be patient and constant!
Surah Al muddathir: 1-5

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Purpose of Life!

An extraordinary lecture by Dr. Zakir Naik outlining the purpose of life. The whole lecture can be seen here:
Here is the model of goal and purpose in life that he speaks of
Your goal should be:
I= your goal should be Islamic i.e. it should be based on the foundations of Quran and Sunah
S= It should be specific
L= It should be Lucrative. 1. In the hereafter 2. If possible then in this world.
A= It should be apt and appropriate.
M= It should be measurable. If its measurable then you know how much you are coming closer to your goal
I= Intention should be to please Allah
C= It should be Consistent. If it’s time bound. If it’s not time bound then it should be consistent for infinity