Islamic civilization and modernization
With the growth of history, the modes of civilizations have been changing. The nomadic man depended barely on his ideas and theories for the development process of civilization. These theories formed part of manís materialistic life as well. With the coming of industrialisation and technology, materialistic mentality through socialisation became the final destination of human being.
By the turn of the last century or at the beginning of this century, the model of human became more unethical and void of all senses of human prestige and superiority to other creatures. We have entered the most advanced and modernised era, but humanity is still in search of a global society where civilization process should be comprised of the realisations of equality, justice, peace, truth, and a serious approach to human beingsí social and economical problems.
Before going towards Islamic civilizationís effects on human history, we analyse modern civilization's effects on existed world. T S Eliot, a perceptive English poet, had looked at modern civilization and said, 'What are the roots that clutch? What branches grow out of this stony rubbish?'
Since then, the world has tried all the fashionable ideologies and doctrines. Only a heap of broken images remains. The champions of socialism, capitalism, and democracy have caused much pain by finally affirming that their manufactured theories for human welfare are no more successful. Now, these theories are threatening the people of the world with new disasters. Countless millions all over the globe are asking: can this
world of agony, pain, suffering, frustration, hate, and misery ever be changed? Eliot had no answer.
Reaction against religion paved the way for modern civilization. The renaissance had a head-on clash with Christianity of the medieval ages soon after it started, and this clash ended on reprehensible note which proved disastrous not only for Europe but for the whole world. The first consequence of this conflict was the tinge of rivalry and adamancy against religion and its followers that coaloured the new scientific awakening. Then, as this conflict widened from the sphere of learning to the fields of politics, economics and the social system, and, after the decisive defeat of the church, the edifice of a new way of life rose under the supervision of the upholders of the new modern civilization, it produced two more results, which left a deep impress on the future of humanity.
One, which is from every department of the new system of life, 'religion' was practically thrown out and its circle of influence was confined to the personal beliefs and actions of individuals. The idea that religion has no right to interfere in politics, economics, public morality, law, learning and knowledge, or any other section of social life, became an essential part of the fundamental principles of the modern civilization. Second, that the modern civilization was a secular non-religious that was rooted in its innermost being. However, much the arts and sciences progressed, that stubbornness that had been aroused against religion remained rooted in them.
In fact, the Creator settles every creatureís system of life. How can a human walk without his Creatorís given guideline? Therefore, how Islamic civilization differs from others is its eternal and universal values that have been sent to and practised by Creatorís prophets.
Whenever we analyse any civilization, we never mean to evaluate its followers but civilization itself as ideology, that how it affected the history. Therefore, Islamic civilization cannot be ignored due to its followersí failures. Despite Muslims neglecting from their responsibilities regarding expansion of Islamic teachings and values, Islam still has the most attractive colours in its civilization sketch. Michael Hart admitted (in 'The 100'): 'Of humble origins, Muhammad founded a promulgated one of the worldís great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. Today, thirteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive.'
The concept of civilization provides a standard to judge societies, and during the era of Islamic world expansion, Muslims devoted much intellectual, systematic and political energy to elaborating the criteria by which non-Islamic societies might be judged sufficiently ëcivilizedí to be accepted as members of the Islamic-dominated international system -- one that enabled other civilizations to enter a new era of development
of human and women rights.
Worldwide equity among all humanity provides an international concept of the civilized world. The expansion of Islamic world had promoted both the civilization and humanism of non-Islamic societies. The people of those societies had responded to the Islamic impact heartily because they felt it was better. The Islamic civilization impressed every conquered nation and they were welcomed almost everywhere. They were considered as saviours. They ruled well and spread Islamic teachings peacefully.
There was no violation or state terrorism. Obviously, comparison between Islamic and modern civilizations makes it clear that former still has its effects acceptable.
Islamís largest number of adherents around the world currently shows its eternal civilization approach. In this perspective, the phobia that is overwhelming almost the entire modern society has made them frightened from the expansion of other civilizations. It seems that all modern powers have engrossed themselves to dominate the poor world, and to impose their beliefs of secularism by force. Unfortunately, they think that Islamic civilization is a threat to them.
All civilizations go through similar processes of emergence, rise, and decline. Islam differs from other civilizations not in the way that it was developed but in the distinctive character of its cultural, family, social, and humanitarian values. These most notably include its morality, humanity, equality, and rule of divine, which will make it possible
for Islam to invent modernity, expand throughout the world, become the envoy of other societies and saviour for victimized societies where people are being slaughtered because of their colour, race and beliefs.
The world needs to be civilized by the civilized people who think that all humans are equal and have equal rights. Therefore, Lester Pearsonís warning is a way of salvation of the world, that different civilizations will have to learn to live side by side in peaceful interchange, learning from each other, studying each otherís history, ideals, art and
culture, and mutually enriching each other's lives.
In fact, peace depends upon understanding and co-operation among world's major civilizations. This process will definitely guide people to choose the true way of living. In the emerging era, clashes of civilizations are the greatest threat to world peace. Crusade and Jihad can be against barbarism, poverty, deprivation; classification among nations, state terrorism and illiteracy, and this step will logically bring a new era of peace and equality.
The kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs to Allah. He indeed is able to do all things. -Quran, Al-Imran, Surah 3:189