Problem of Relevance

Problem of Relevance

Relevance of Islam for the world we live in is under great scrutiny today. Unfortunately, whatever is being said and written on Islam today is only for the internal consumption of Muslims. Platforms raised fifty years ago for the purpose of presentation of Islam have lost their sheen and no longer attract the attention of young intellectual and even common people. Around eighty years ago when western civilization and socialism were in great demand, having almost vanished from the global scene today, Islamic movement has done little to realise and produce newer arguments. In India the situation is not different and Muslims have been reduced to an ethnic group rooted in Islam. Their response and reaction exhibit protective and defensive mentality. Their portrayal as a liability both at ethical and cultural level, is finding increasing takers in the Indian populace. Unfortunately, in this portrayal, conspiracy theory has little role. In fact, Muslims’ conduct during the last few decades is responsible for the current situation. Muslims have failed to articulate Quranic response to human beings relations with the material world they live in. This domain which shapes our response to manmade problems remain outside contemporary Islamic consciousness. Harping on personal individual conduct and social relation is the best pas time of the scholars, academicians and even the enthusiasts. Institutional building has been the greatest causality. However, the most important factor contributing to this situation is total failure of the Islamic Movement on political front. As a result, their basic narrative based on intrinsic relation of Islam and power, seems to be fast shattering and facing internal criticism. Despondency is natural but most unfortunate thing is that Muslims seem to be unaware of Islam’s potential and its intellectual power to address the fast changing nature of challenges. Absence of fresh air is causing suffocation for those who think, which is in total contradiction to the mindset the Quran created and prophet Muhammed very successfully demonstrated in his time. Interaction of people with the Quran was so intimate that it fundamentally and permanently changed people and the world they lived in. And interestingly this change survived with glory and pomp for more than one thousand years. The Quran is still the same but it needs individualistic creative studies and Prophet Muhammed is to be looked upon afresh. It is high time to take initiative and think on the following issues.

Islamic world view is required to be articulated keeping in view the increasing deterioration of man-universe relation as evident from the global weirding. Anthropocene, anxiety, new dark ages and surveillance capitalism.

The speed of change, its scope, scale and simultaneity are immensely changing people’s behaviours, relation and the shape of collective social activities e.g., education, commerce, etc. Islamic movement has to intervene with its critique and interact with the agents of change in order to realise the veracity of change and propose alternatives.

Newer forces of zulm embedded in scientific achievement e.g., health care and medical system are required to be realised and understood. Islam being against Zulm, the knowledge based zulm is to be taken up seriously and urgently by the Islamic movement.

Islam is to be presented in the context of the Quran and not in the context of its 1400- year history.

It is high time to present the Aqaid of Islam i.e., Tawheed, Risalat and Akhirat in the context of their contemporary widening and deepening relevance.

Highlight the position of women, Muslim feminist view on various issues related to society, knowledge and the Quranic wisdoms.

In the middle of deteriorating family system, exploitation through interest and significance of interest free loans, increasing use of chemicals in food and agriculture, etc. and resulting fasad fil ard. Islamic movement cannot be a mere spectator.

In principle the Quran address all human beings but it gives special reference to ahl-e- kitab. By this analogy our addressees should be all those who have book(s) as their reference point. Our approach should be reflective of this.