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Islamizing the taleem ….. – 55 (The effect of overawe of the West)

12 Dec

(My dialogue through email with a group on the Topic: Islamizing the Taleem and Tarbiyah of our children)

(From an Imam) Please refer to last post # 54 for the context.

I think if we are talking about perceptions here, then your question here below is also implying a “negative” perception about the west and western society.

the very words you have chosen, such as “overawed by western society” give to the active reader that the author of this statement supposedly is implying west is not good….again that is the perception beaming out of those words and may not be really what the author may have intended?

one thing i would like to clarify for all those Muslims who constantly have a negative perception of the west or western society is that not all or everything is bad…..we should always take the good and leave the bad. credit should be given where it is due, and of course pitfalls need to be highlighted too.

one perception the Qur’an gives us is that not everything in this world, created by Allah, is either totally bad nor is it totally good…which means every created thing has both good and bad inherently in it, so we should avail the good and steer away from the bad of it.

this concept or perception is given in Surah Shams’ verse.

therefore all those Muslims who say the west or western society is completely bad are wrong, and those who say west or western society is completely good are also wrong.

Islam always has a balanced and moderate approach in perspective of this world.

If we should dislike the west and western society, then we should NOT be using

  1. computers
  2. cell phones
  3. smart phones
  4. all electronic gadgets
  5. cars
  6. refrigerators
  7. any electronic appliances
  8. and the list goes on and on……

its ironic the very Muslims who condemn the west and western society are utilizing the luxuries invented by the west, why?

isn’t this a dichotomy?

So the answer to your question is: “We are so overawed by western society because of the overall general productivity of theirs in the last several centuries, whilst we Muslims were sleeping in obliviousness.

This question of yours would have been absurd if it was asked during the Muslims Rule in Spain. In fact Muslims back then would have said the opposite, “Why is the west so overawed with us Muslims in Cordoba, Granada, Andalus?”

Jazak-Allah Abid bhai for striking a chord which forced me to write on this issue and satisfy your request of many months 🙂

(My Response)
Assalamu Alaikum Imam Br,

I was awed to receive a response from you:) See the difference between awed and overawed? Overawed is when  one is excessively awed over something which will definitely put negative influence over the person. Here I will like to quote the first ayah of Surah fatiha. Infact it is only Allah that we should be overawed with. Alhamdulillah this is what i wanted to communicate in many of my emails.

Now the very basic and critical problem is that we are so awed by the western scientific and some organizational science development that we have tuned ourselves to accept many sub standard western thoughts as well. Specially that of materialism and secularism. Especially in the field of education where they have developed all their programs on the assumption of Secular social theories. Considering a human being to be a social animal at a higher plane of intelligence than other animals and this world as a result of a random accident. These are among the very building blocks of their worldview. Am I right or wrong? Is it in any, any way congruent to Islamic approach to life in this world. These concepts are totally opposite to Islamic concepts, not even at right angles.

This is an issue of critical importance when we talk of developing any education system. Do you agree with me or don’t  you? The roots govern the fruites. So when i say we should not be overawed by the west, the western society and its scientific development it means some people may be a little awed by its scientific development, but it should not make them take the west for guidance in other aspects of life. Way back in 60’s and 70’s the western society was taken to be a very honest society, but now we see it quite eroded in its dealings as well. I got a lot of chance dealing with their corporations relating to shipping and i was a little shocked at their moral standards depletion. But it was natural, as it is the awe of Allah subhana wa ta’ala that brings taqwa to nafs. Otherwise it is very easy for nafs to take control of a human being.

When I look at the western education system I am amazed by its base-lessness. It is focusing only to create productive human beings from the perspective of running their economies. Now after two centuries the west has realized that we require some philosophy to be taught to the children to bring them up to the standards of human beings. Where as we teach philosophy to the children right from the beginning, so that they can develop furqan.

Can I request you to be more participative in these so important discussions. Are they not:)?

Abid bhai