Islam And Modernism
By Shaykh Mufti Taqi Usmani
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For the last twenty seven years I have been writing on different aspects of the practical implementation of Islam and Islamic solution of ever new problems arising in the different spheres of life. Most of those articles were being published in the monthly Journal “ALBALAGH”. A collection of such articles had been published in Urdu about seventeen years ago under the caption “Asr-e-Hazir Mein Islam Kaiysay Nafiz Ho?” (How to Implement Islam in the present time?) comprising of about 750 pages.
Even after the publication of this book I had the opportunity of writing on other aspects of the same subject, and friends expressed a desire that these latter articles may also be included in the same book. But I found that an addition of these articles in that book would make it a voluminous book, making it difficult for the readers to get full benefit from it. Further, these articles pertained to different topics like politics, law, economy, education, social life and individual reforms, etc., and a book of that size would have a disadvantage for those who would be interested in a single topic for which they would have to buy the whole book, many of whose articles may not be of their interest. For this reason I thought that it would be more appropriate to compile articles on different subjects separately, rather than collecting them in one book. I, therefore, rearranged my articles under the following titles and published them in the form of booklets in Urdu.
1. Implementation of Islamic Law and its problems.
2. Islam and present day politics.
3. Islam and Modernism.
4. Our Education System.
5. Reforming the Conduct of an Individual.
6. The life and message of the Holy Prophet (Sallal la ho Alay hi wassallam).
7. Reforms in the Social Life.
8. Our Economic System.
9. Muslims and Qadiyanism.
Of these nine collections the one “Islam aur Jiddat Pasandi” was published about two years ago and its English version is now being presented under the name of “Islam and Modernism”.
May Almighty Allah make it beneficial for the Muslims and may it be a source of Allah’s reward in the Hereafter.
Muhammad Taqi Usmani.
ISLAM AND MODERNISM
Search for “Modernity” by itself is a commendable desire and a natural urge of humankind. If this urge was not there, man would not have reached from stone-age to atomic era, could not have gained access to aero-planes and spacecrafts from camels and bullock carts, nor would have progressed to electric bulbs and search lights from wax candles and earthen lamps. All these material advancements and scientific achievements, which have put nooses on the planets and conducted their buckets to the bottom of sea, are in fact an importunate effect of man’s inherent trait that he is a “modernist” and avaricious of “better to best” achievements.
Hence Islam, being a natural religion, is not opposed to modernism as far as it implies to be modern in the simple sense of the word. Very often it has been appreciated and given due encouragement. Particularly the use of latest and newer methods in industry and craft and war technologies is proved from prophetic traditions. On the occasion of battle of Ahz’ ab when the tribes of Arabia joined together and raided Madina, a renowned companion Salman F’arsi suggested a new technique for its defence which was never practiced in Arabia before. He suggested digging of a trench around the city. This was hailed by the Prophet (PBUH) and he himself took part in digging the trench (Al-bidayah wan-Nih’ayah 4:95)
On the advice of Salman F’ arsi the Prophet used two new weapons in the battle of Ta’if which, according to some narration, were constructed by Salman himself. One of them was a ‘catapult’ which served as a cannon of the time; the second was “Dababah” the Tank of the time (Albidayal wan-Nih’ayahy 4:95).