What Can Islam Contribute To Modern Western Society?
Today while searching for answering some questions in yahoo answers, I’vae got an awesome question and I personally think that I should publish the question with the amazingly given answers. Here we go:
“What can islam contribute to modern western society?
this is posted in the ramadan (ramadam or dan?) section because R & S will just end up with a lot of hate answers.
so from a liberal point of view as in equality between all races, genders, religions
what can islam offer? & is the media a lying dirty rat about islam?”
Hello John and all,
I will attempt to answer your question in some detail and I hope I don’t digress from your primary concerns. I will use some quotes from the holy Quran (Muslim Holy book) and teachings from the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as well as my analysis of some opinions. However, your questions concern a central theme of the Islamic faith and as such, there is a lot more that is open for discussion than I can possibly address in this response.
As a Muslim, I believe Islam has a universal message that would appeal at all times and to anyone who is at the very least willing to engage in meaningful dialogue concerning the Islamic faith, it’s adherents and our role in the global stage. As humans, we all continue to exhibit diverse attitudes and characters that are prone to praise, encouragement and of course criticism as well as outright objection. We, I believe by default have the potential to assume any such attitudes/characteristics depending on the environment around us. The purpose of religion and divine guidance, for those who believe in them, is to suppress our distasteful tendencies and bring out the best in all of us.
Equality in different spheres: race, gender, religion, social settings etc. is no doubt one of the finer characteristics of an honorable people and Islam I believe is a strong advocate for it’s preservation.
Race: read Quran online, from which we (Muslims) derive our primary source of guidance strongly advocates the abolishing of any racial discrimination and prejudice. Many verses in the Qur’an stress the equality of all races and the role of race as a unifying factor. A couple of these are:
Qur’an 30:22: And one of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colors; most surely there are signs in this for the learned.
Qur’an 49:13: O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also stressed this notion throughout his mission. One of the times he talked about this was during the last sermon he delivered:
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a White has no superiority over a Black nor a Black has any superiority over a White except by piety and good action.”
These few references clearly express Islams stand on racial equality.
Now over to gender equality – hope you are still reading, this might be pretty long
Gender equality is no doubt a complex issue that continues to be a challenge to all peoples of the world albeit to varying degrees. No one individual can satisfactorily layout what constitutes gender equality because our thinking is different – what one person might consider as liberation and empowerment another might perceive as subjugation and disenfranchisement. That being said, there is no doubt a set of indicators that can be used to differentiate between the two phenomena. In Islam, certain rights are given to men and women with consideration for their roles in family and social settings. First of all, Islam recognizes the complementary role of men and women in society.
In the holy Quran online, it is stated that:
“And one of His (God’s) signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He put between you love and compassion; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.” (Qur’an 30:21)
Islam came at a time and place where women were treated with a lot of contempt and played a pivotal role in alleviating their status since then. Many rights were re-affirmed including but not limited to inheritance, divorce, acquisition of personal property, preservation of dignity etc. Kindness and generosity to the female child, sisters, mothers, wives and women in general is highly emphasized. Again, there are some guidelines that may be perceived as discriminatory against women but some of these require a fairly deep analysis of other Islamic injunctions for a better understanding and fairer judgment. Among these are inheritance rights and clothing requirements – two prominent features of Islamic life that are used to portray Islam under a less than fair light. I will be more than willing to address these at a later time should anyone express interest in learning more about them.
As regards religions, Islam once again stresses the need to live with other religions on equal terms. Despite many compelling observations that would seem to suggest otherwise, Islam calls for tolerance and respect for other religions. The Qur’an stresses the need for religious freedom:
Quran online 2:256: Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects Taghut (evil) and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trust worthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. ”
There are some issues that people question regarding the permission to practice ones religion freely in an Islamic state. One such issue is a tax that used to be imposed on adherents of other faiths as a pre-requisite to be accorded state protection, economic and religious autonomy etc. Non-Muslims living in Muslim states were exempt from the taxes that were imposed on Muslims (the Zakat) but had to pay this other tax called the Jizyah, which applied only to them. Islam is a way of life for Muslims – it can’t be separated from the economy, politics and the running of the nation. Human civilizations have many ways of drawing boundaries – either by race, religion, nationality etc and we all tend to accord pre-ferential treatment to one group as opposed to another for reasons that may or may not be valid depending on how you look at it. For example, I am a foreign student studying in the USA – I am required to pay out-of-state fees and am not eligible for a work permit or federal loan – these are privileges that US nationals may have easier access to. Is this discrimination? Or is it a state serving the interests of it’s citizens first and delivering on it’s commitments and responsibilities to the people they serve? All depends on how you look at it, doesn’t it?
In a nut-shell, Islam offers a lot to modern western society if you look closely at things that ail the western world. I particularly feel human rights, economic and social justice models can be developed with great in-put from Islam. There is no doubt it would be a hard sell, what with the constant media bashing and of course bad PR on the part of some Muslims. Which brings me to your final question.
The media . . . the media always have something to say just about everything. They push agendas for a living and more often than not, they relay to the public what suits their agenda. What they present to the public sometimes insults the intelligence of their viewers. The best I could say concerning them is a word of advice – choose wisely which fountain you drink from! However, there is a failure on the part of some Muslim faithfuls in addressing legitimate concerns that humans have. There are many practices which Islam doesn’t advocate but are blindly adopted in the Muslim world. No doubt we need to have an honest discourse amongst ourselves (Muslims) and chart a new way forward. As a timeless message, Islam must and indeed is flexible enough to accommodate the ever-changing global landscape but it is up to Muslims rise up to the challenge and make known to the world what we have to offer.
I urge you to seek more knowledge about Islam, hopefully in all the right places and make a personal analysis of it’s candidacy as a way of life for anyone to adopt.
Below is a set of verses from the Qur’an that I like to recite so before I address anyone meaningfully. for quran reciter visiter here
“O my Lord! Open for me my chest.And ease my task for me. And loosen the knot from my tongue. That they understand my speech.”
To answer your second question first –
‘is the media a lying dirty rat about islam?’
Islam as a religion about equality. Many black people in the prophet Muhammad’s time were slaves. They were discriminated against because of their skin colour. The black man was always the slave. When the revelation from God was revealed, Islam prescribed that all men are equal.
[49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient.
There is many like this verse, which shows the equality of men and women, and different races and tribes. Allah (swt) says in this verse that no man, woman or tribe can be superior to the other as they are judged by their deeds not by the colour of their skin, their language or their nationality.
That is why Bilal was the first black man to accept Islam and he was freed from his master as Islam did not allow the slavery of black men. And even in more recent times, such as Malcolm X and his followers of the Nation of Islam who accepted Islam. They done this because of the notion of freedom and equality in Islam.
‘When one of them gets a baby girl, his face becomes darkened with overwhelming grief. Ashamed, he hides from the people, because of the bad news given to him. He even ponders: should he keep the baby grudgingly, or bury her in the dust. Miserable indeed is their judgment.(16:58-59)’
In those times, when a baby girl was born, it was seen as an embarassment amongst the people. Something to hide, and alot of the time the baby girls were killed. Islam condemned this act, saying that the people who do this will have a miserable judgement from Allah (swt)
Therefore, Islam can offer many things. I know what you hear about Islam on the media isn’t the best of things. But would you rather blindly follow what others tell you about something, or will you use your head to form your own opinion? If you read into Islam, you will see what a tolerable and peaceful religion it truly is.
Islam also says that there is no compulsion in religion.
“Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 256]
Islam encourages every man and woman to serve their parents in their old age in appreciation of all the trouble they had gone through to raise their sons and daughters. Islam highly discourages dumping parents in old age in Nursing homes, Hospice Home to die, and remember them only few times a year. Islam teaches to talk to parents with respect and never say any thing to them harshly even if they are wrong.
Westerners are most ungrateful and pathetic people for not willing to spand a dime for their old parents. They think parents as big burden to them and forget how much burden they carried to raise their sons and daughters.
Because of their ungrateful behaviour towards their period, their sons and daughters also leave them and majority of them treat their parents same way as their parents treated their parents. In fact with time passing, life of old people is getting worse by passing years. They live lonely life and hunger for grand children but they for years they do not get to see them.
Though my son was raised in USA from age 2-1/2, he has come back to us and living with us with his wife and two children as our health is deteriating with ge. We are enjoying being with our grand son age 4 and grand daughter age 10 month. We spend every day being with our grand children. They are extremely close to us as my son returns home after 14 hours and my daughter-in-law also goes to work three days a weak. We take care of the children all day long. We do not feel burden of taking care of them. I have started my grand son teaching and memorizing short Surahs of holy Quran and how to perform salat.
From quran reciter blog
To all Muslim we should listen to Quran and try to learn Quran online as if we could and it is must for us to read Quran online, and availing the knowledge of quran online more articles can be found under Quran Blog a recource full collection of hadith bukhari shrif and a Quran reciter can be availed to listen the holy Quran recitation
End from holy quran reciter blog