The so-called ‘Enlightenment’ of the 21st century

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A significant change emerged in the West during the seventeenth century; the birth of modern-day science and discovery and philosophy began taking root. 

From John Lock’s liberalism advocating personal freedom and human rights to Galileo’s painstaking findings in astronomy despite facing persecution from the Church; the advancements of the “Age of Reason” were fruitful in that they freed much of the world from the oppressive and obstinate clergy. 

The age of discovery, science and freedom meant humanity saw astronomical material progress – from the revolution in transport systems bringing steam trains and combustion engines and reducing travel times to unthinkable metrics to the creation of new disciplines like archaeology unlocking the past. Humanity was progressing albeit materially. 

The Holy Quran had already foretold, for example in Surah al-Takwir, that precious camels (the primary mode of transport of Arabia) would be replaced, the world would become a global village, mountains would be carved, people would recognise women’s rights and even books would be accumulated under one roof (libraries).

Surah al-Takwir also speaks of a new spiritual dawn and the dwindling of spiritual darkness that the Muslim Messiah would manifest. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas fulfilled the Quranic prophecy and parallel to material advancements the world was undergoing, we saw a new community being planted by Allah’s hand through Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya. 

Unfortunately, where the world advanced materially, those who distanced themselves from the true Islamic teaching revived by Hazrat Ahmadas continued to fall into a spiritual and moral abyss.  

In 2022, where there are certainly huge advancements in science and innovation, the list of immoralities and social injustices continues to grow. Without a definite, objective moral compass (that Islam provides) we – as humanity – are growing spiritually and morally cold. In reality, the clock of human progress seems to be slowing down too. Gone are astronomical discoveries and inventions that “The Age of Genius” created. Yes, we are progressing in science, medicine and the spread of information, but it seems humanity – at least in the West – is more focused on issues that lead to no social or human progress. With the notion of unrestrained freedom taking root, people are spending their time and energy on advocacies that – to put it in simple terms – are a waste of their time and everybody else’s.

Each day that passes brings little news of improvement. Social unrest continues to climb higher at extraordinary rates and the focus of our society leans towards hollow pursuits. Material revolutions that started in the seventeenth century certainly brought about improvements for humanity, but ultimately have taken the world into a spiritual drought. The material progress could have been coupled with the spiritual revolution brought by the revival of Islam by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, but 114 years after his demise, it’s clear humanity desires a different, more painful path. 

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