Opinion: Is Islam out of touch with the modern world?


Amatul Hayyi Sossan Ahmad, UK

Let us, for a moment, put religion to one side and consider our modern world without it. Has modernism and secularism worked? Has it stopped the corruption, immoral and unethical behaviour of modern society? Has it prevented social injustices? Has it protected the poor? 

The single most important malady of the world today is the absence of peace. Humans may have reached a high standard of achievement in material progress due to science and technology. Nevertheless, they are not happy and content. Man is in search of peace. (Islam’s Response to Contemporary Issues, pp. 3-4)

The word “Islam” has a meaning which literally means “peace”. In this single word, all Islamic teachings and attitudes are reflected. Its teachings guarantee peace in every sphere of human interest and aspiration. (Ibid, p. 4)

It is only religion that claims to be perfectand universal and capable of uniting humans – whatever colour, race or geographic denomination, as all are creatures of the same Creator.

It is essential to realise that the Holy Quran is a book of principles, not of tales and parables. It teaches appropriateness and enjoins actions according to the needs of time and place, a balanced course of action, which conforms to human nature. It enjoins the universal law that one should do what is ma‘ruf  and avoid munkar. We are taught to consider what constitutes true piety on any given occasion. (Four Questions by Mr Sirajuddin, a Christian, and their Answers, p. 42).

Consider this teaching presented by the Holy Prophet of Islam, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, and Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the awaited Latter-Day reformer and Messiah for all religions who came to revive Islam’s teachings: 

“Utter no falsehood, invent no lies, and cause no hurt to anyone, whether by your tongue or your hands […] It should be your principle to have sympathy for all human beings.” (Essence of Islam, Vol. 1, Introduction, p. xxxiii)

This is Islam in a nutshell. Is this not applicable or useful?

Islam teaches that in all circumstances, no matter how challenging, you must remain firmly attached to the principles of justice and integrity and never be motivated by a desire for vengeance. (Islam and Europe – A Clash of Civilisations, an address delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa, at the Adlon Kempinski Hotel in Berlin on 22 October 2019)

This is the message of Islam. Does this teaching need to be abolished or updated?

Imagine a world where every individual was to fulfil the rights of each other. Could it be that Islam has given the pathway to world peace? Indeed, it has. Islam has brought the antidote to bitter divisions and injustices in the world. It was the Holy Prophetsa of Islam who formed a covenant of peace, a charter of human rights 1400 years ago for all communities, many rights the world only recently recognised. (Islamic Principles on Education and Serving Humanity, an address delivered by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, at UNESCO in Paris, on 8 October 2019) 

The state of this so-called modern world proves that the world is in need of something. If there was any other viable solution or perfect principle for world peace, then where is it? 

Indeed, Islam has created a “vaccine”, an antidote to bitter divisions and injustices in the world. It is still available, effective and safe. Millions have been healed. 

The allegation that Islamic teachings are not useful and applicable now is an allegation without any proof. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community invites all to investigate and judge.

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