A true believer (مؤمن) with firm, rational and strong faith (إيمان) can not be distracted by any irrational thought, or opinion of secularists and atheists. Their point of view need be understood and accepted what is in line with Quran while rejecting what is contradictory to Quran or pushed in to Islam by ignorant scholars. Secularism— is, the separation of religion from civic affairs and the state—has been a controversial concept in Islamic political thought, owing in part to historical factors and in part to the ambiguity of the concept itself. It has to be kept in view that; Why Pakistan was created created?
- What is Islam? : https://salaamone.com/islam-2/islam/
- The Vision of Islam: https://salaamone.com/vision/
- Atheism and Humanism: https://salaamone.com/atheism-humanism/
Beliefs and Rational Critical Thinking
Islam is the most logical and perfected faith (Deen, religion) which addresses the intellect. The Quran repeatedly emphasizes and urges the people to use their intellect to understand its message. Blind faith without reason is the faith of ignorants. Islam is a religion without any mythology. Its teachings are simple and intelligible. It is free from superstitions and irrational beliefs. Allah says:
“ God will cast down filth (of doubt , disbelief) on those who do not use intellect and reason.” (Quran; 10:100)
If someone fears that their religious beliefs may be distorted or challenged by rational, secular arguments, it may be a sign that their beliefs are not based on strong foundations of evidence and critical thinking.
Beliefs that are based on myth and dogma often cannot stand up to scrutiny and critical examination, and may rely on emotional or cultural attachments rather than sound reasoning.
In contrast, beliefs that are based on evidence and rationality are more likely to withstand critical inquiry and can be continually refined as new evidence arises.
It is important to note that holding beliefs based on myth and dogma is not necessarily a negative thing, as people are entitled to their own beliefs and values.
However, if someone is unwilling to engage in critical examination of their beliefs or consider alternative viewpoints, they may be limiting their ability to grow and learn as an individual. It is important to have an open mind and be willing to consider evidence and arguments from a variety of sources, even if they may challenge one’s preexisting beliefs.
False perceptions can be problematic because they can cause us to misunderstand and misinterpret situations, which can lead to incorrect conclusions and actions. To avoid this tendency, here are some things you can do:
- Stay curious and open-minded: Be willing to question your assumptions and beliefs, and consider alternative perspectives. Don’t be quick to jump to conclusions.
- Gather information: Seek out reliable sources of information, and take the time to verify the accuracy of what you are hearing or seeing.
- Consider the source: Be aware of the biases and motivations of the people or organizations providing information or influencing your perceptions.
- Challenge your own thinking: Look for evidence that contradicts your assumptions or beliefs, and consider whether you may be interpreting information in a way that supports your preconceived notions.
- Practice mindfulness: Take the time to observe and reflect on your thoughts and feelings, and be aware of how they may be influencing your perceptions.
- Seek feedback: Ask for feedback from others, and be open to constructive criticism. This can help you gain a more accurate and nuanced understanding of a situation.
By practicing these strategies, you can reduce the tendency for false perceptions to override reality and truth, and develop a more accurate and nuanced understanding of the world around.
What is NOT demanded by Islam!
- Islam does not expect Muslims to be ignorant, lacking in knowledge of their faith and other branches of knowledge.
- Islam does not demand from a Muslim to give up the world altogether.
- Nor does it require one to make the mosque a permanent abode, never to leave it.
- Islam also does not insist that one should live in a cave and spend his whole life there —- Not at all. [Read more]
What Islam EXPECTS from the Muslims!
- They should be the most prosperous of all as far as the different branches of knowledge are concerned.
- To inherit their best civilization and matchless culture in a manner that they surpass all the civilised nations of the world.
- Invite humanity towards Islam, by conveying the message with wisdom, peacefully, in a logical and convincing way. They should argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.
- To fulfil all bilateral and international accords (like UN Charter) for peace and stability of humanity.
- To treat all members of society with equality, fairness and justice. Non Muslims in the Islamic society enjoy complete protections and freedom to practice their faith. The places of worship of other religions are to be protected.
- Not to kill the innocent people of any faith (including own self, through suicide) except by law, they don’t have to create mischief on earth by creating anarchy or disturbing the peaceful coexistence. To use the right of retaliation to any injustice or oppression with equality, not exceeding the limits forgiveness and patience is however preferable. Warfare against injustice and oppression and self defence is permissible, to be declared by the Islamic State but the rules lay down for its conduct by Shari’a (Islamic Law) be strictly adhered to. Those who surrender or do not fight or remain neutral are not to be disturbed. The prisoners are to be protected and provided peace and security. Do not abuse or degrade the god/ gods of non Muslims. Do not use coercion against non Muslims for conversion to Islam.
- Do not call other Muslims as apostate or unbelievers because, if a Muslim fails to perform some of his obligations and is negligent in practice or commits some such actions as are forbidden, yet he believes in the liability of all obligations and the impropriety of all unlawful deeds, he will continue to be a Muslim but a sinner. [The concept of Takfeer i.e declaring a non-practicing Muslim, to be ‘apostate’, to justify murder; is rejected by majority scholars and is against Islamic Consensus].
Secularism and Islam
Secularism and Islam may have some common points, depending on how they are defined and interpreted. Secularism is very important for Muslims in the modern world, as it is the basis for equality, democracy, freedom, human rights and the autonomy of religion itself. These values have a strong resonance with teachings of Islam even though some conservative voices may disregard these as ‘western values.’ Here are some potential common factors and points:
- Justice and equality: Both secularism and Islam value justice and equality. Islam emphasizes the importance of social justice and equality, while secularism seeks to ensure equal rights and opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their religion or beliefs.
- Freedom of conscience: Both secularism and Islam recognize the importance of individual freedom of conscience. In Islam, the concept of “ijtihad” (independent reasoning) allows individuals to use their own judgment in interpreting Islamic teachings. Secularism, on the other hand, values individual autonomy and the right to believe or not believe in any particular religion.
- Separation of religion and state: While Islam does not have a concept of separation of religion and state in the same way that secularism does, there are some Islamic principles that support the idea of limiting the power of the state and preventing the abuse of power. For example, the concept of “shura” (consultation) in Islamic governance emphasizes the importance of consultation and participation in decision-making.
- Social welfare: Both secularism and Islam value social welfare and the well-being of society as a whole. Islam has a concept of “zakat” (charity) which emphasizes the importance of helping the poor and needy, while secularism may support policies and programs that seek to reduce poverty and promote social welfare.
It is worth noting, however, that there may also be significant differences between secularism and Islam, particularly when it comes to the role of religion in governance and decision-making, law (Shariah), moral, spiritual equality of women in Islam but limited on physical inequality (rational and logical) etc.
Integrate or keep engaged
In present global village, Muslims cannot live in isolation in ghettos, the realities have to be accepted. According to a 2012 survey conducted by WIN-Gallup International, approximately 13% of the world’s population identifies as “convinced atheists”, while another 23% identifies as “not religious”. (total:46 %, non religious). According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2020, the estimated global Muslim population is approximately 1.9 billion, making Islam the world’s second-largest religion after Christianity. Muslims make up about 24.9% of the world’s population. The estimated global Christian population, as of 2020, is approximately 2.4 billion, making Christianity the world’s largest religion. Christians make up about 31.2% of the world’s population.
All non Muslims and non practicing Muslims are potential recipients of Dawah, an obligation, hence instead of isolation, all be engaged. So instead of out rightly rejecting secularism, those aspects which are in line with Islamic principals can be accepted while rejecting others. However this requires research and hard work, Muslim scholars are not familiar with. Its very easy and simple to say that Islam has everything (its true), we reject all others, but they fail to or provided limited solutions to modern human life because it requires firstly;
- (1) Understanding of the modern socio, economic, legal and political systems
- (2) Full understanding of Islam and its socio, economic, legal and political systems
- (3) Rationally integrating the common factors
This requires thorough studies and research, which has been abandoned by Muslims scholars long time ago. Those modern scholars who make and effort are stigmatized and rejected by traditional scholars, as it poses a grave threat to their existence and survival.
A Secular Activist
Prof. Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy is a Pakistani physicist, activist, and intellectual who is known for his advocacy of secularism, democracy, and human rights in Pakistan. His religious beliefs are not widely known, and he has not publicly identified as an atheist. However, he is known for his advocacy of secularism and separation of religion from politics, and he has been critical of religious extremism and intolerance in Pakistan. It is possible that he may hold agnostic or atheistic views, but without a clear statement from him, it would be speculative to make any definitive claims about his personal beliefs.
He was born in Karachi in 1950 and completed his education in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Stockholm University. Hoodbhoy has been an outspoken critic of Pakistan’s military establishment and its policies, particularly with respect to nuclear weapons, religious extremism, and human rights violations. He has written extensively on these issues in various publications, including newspapers, academic journals, and books. He has also been involved in activism and advocacy work in Pakistan, particularly in the areas of education and science. He has been a vocal advocate for the promotion of critical thinking, rationality, and scientific education in Pakistan, and has been associated with various educational and scientific institutions in the country. Hoodbhoy has received several awards and honours for his work, including the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for Popularizing Science in 2003 and the Joseph A. Burton Award of the American Physical Society in 2010. He continues to be an influential voice in Pakistan’s intellectual and political landscape, and his work has been widely recognized both within and outside the country.
A true believer with firm, rational and strong faith (Ayman) can not be distracted by any irrational thought, or opinion. A staunch believer should not be afraid of writings of any secularist or atheist. Prof. Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy writes regularly for Dawn, his articles are available <<here>>
آئینِ نو سے ڈرنا، طرزِ کُہن پہ اَڑنا
منزل یہی کٹھن ہے قوموں کی زندگی میں (اقبال)
Fearing the modern systems and keep on insisting to adhere to the primitives style, is the most difficult stage in the life of nations (Iqbal)
It is not uncommon for some orthodox ulema or religious scholars to initially reject new thoughts, inventions or technologies as un-Islamic, as they may view them as a threat to traditional religious practices or values. This phenomenon is not limited to Islam but can be observed in other religious traditions as well. For example, when the printing press was invented in the 15th century, some Christian leaders were skeptical of it, as they believed that books should be hand-copied by scribes and that printing could lead to errors and heresy. However, over time, many Christian scholars and institutions came to embrace the printing press as a way to spread the Bible and other religious texts more widely. Same happened among Muslims, even translations of the Holy Quran were not approved by Ulema for centuries.
When the radio, television, and the internet were invented, some Muslim scholars were critical of them, as they believed that these media could spread immorality, secularism, or anti-Islamic propaganda. However, as these technologies became more ubiquitous and Muslims began to use them for religious purposes, such as broadcasting Quranic recitations, sermons, or religious lectures, many scholars and institutions came to accept them as legitimate tools for Islamic education and outreach.
It’s worth noting that not all ulema or religious authorities have the same views on these issues, and there may be debates and disagreements within the religious community about the compatibility of new inventions or technologies with Islamic teachings. However, the overall trend has been towards greater acceptance and integration of these technologies into Islamic practices and discourse.
Hence, some educated Muslims fed up with the primitive outdated views (not fundamentals) of such ignorant scholars (ulema) who firstly fail to fully comprehend the dynamic eternal message of Quran thereby fail to find practical application of Quranic and Islamic principles in changing times. The holy text cannot be blamed, it is the failure of people.
Holy Text Translation
The opposition to the translation of the Bible and the Quran by scholars is rooted in a long history of debates over the interpretation and transmission of religious texts.
In the case of the Bible, the earliest translations from Hebrew and Greek into other languages were made in the early centuries of Christianity, as the religion spread to different parts of the world. However, some Christian scholars were wary of translations, as they believed that the original Hebrew and Greek texts were divinely inspired and that the meaning of the text could be lost or distorted in translation. Some also feared that laypeople who could read the Bible in their own language might come to their own interpretations, which could challenge the authority of the clergy or the established church. This attitude began to change with the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, which emphasised the importance of individual interpretation of the Bible and led to the proliferation of vernacular translations in Europe.
In the case of the Quran, the original Arabic text has always been considered central to Islamic worship and practice, and translations into other languages were not encouraged in the early centuries of Islam. The reason for this is partly theological, as the Quran is the literal word of God, revealed in Arabic to the Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ). As such, the Arabic text has a unique spiritual power and cannot be fully translated into other languages. Additionally, some early Muslim scholars were wary of translations, as they believed that non-Arabic speakers could not fully understand the nuances of the Arabic text or the Islamic legal and theological concepts that it conveyed. Over time, however, as Islam spread to different parts of the world and as Muslim scholars interacted with non-Arabic speakers, translations of the Quran began to be produced, although Muslims still prefer to read the Arabic text for spiritual rewards (sawaab) while also reading the translations.
It’s worth noting that not all scholars or religious authorities in Christianity or Islam have opposed translations, and there have been many efforts over the centuries to make religious texts accessible to wider audiences. However, the debates over the translation of the Bible and the Quran reflect broader concerns about the role of language, interpretation, and authority in religious traditions.
Evolution of Secularism
The term “secularism” itself did not come into common usage until the 19th century, when it was used to describe the separation of church and state in France after the French Revolution. The French sociologist Émile Durkheim (1858-1917) further developed the concept of secularism in his study of religion and society, arguing that the emergence of secular institutions and values represented a new stage in human social evolution.
The evolution of secularism is a complex and multifaceted historical process that has its roots in the European Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries. The Enlightenment was a period of intellectual and cultural ferment that emphasised reason, science, and individual rights, and challenged the traditional authority of religion and monarchy.
One of the key figures in the development of secularism was the French philosopher and political theorist, Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755), who advocated for the separation of powers between different branches of government and the rule of law, rather than the arbitrary rule of kings or religious authorities.
Another important thinker was the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), who argued for the autonomy of reason and the need to distinguish between the realms of knowledge and faith. Kant’s work laid the foundation for the modern conception of secularism as a principle of religious neutrality in the public sphere.
In the 20th century, secularism became a more widespread and influential phenomenon, as the rise of nationalism, socialism, and democracy challenged the dominance of traditional religious and political authorities.
Today, secularism is a contested and often controversial concept, with different meanings and implications depending on the cultural, historical, and political context in which it is used.
Secularism generally refers to the separation of religion and government or state, and the principle that government institutions and policies should be neutral in matters of religion. However, there are different interpretations and variations of secularism, and different countries may implement it in different ways. Some definitions of secularism include:
The principle that religion should not interfere in government affairs, and vice versa.
The belief that individuals have the right to freedom of religion or belief, and that the state should not discriminate against any religion or favour one over others.
The idea that laws and policies should be based on rational, scientific, or democratic principles, rather than religious doctrine or authority.
The view that moral and ethical values can be based on non-religious sources, such as human rights, social norms, or philosophical reasoning.
Secularism & Atheism
It is not correct to equate secularism with atheism. Atheism is a belief system that asserts the non-existence of deities or gods, while secularism is a political and social philosophy that aims to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals regardless of their religious beliefs or non-beliefs. It is possible to be a secularist and believe in a God or to be an atheist but not a secularist.
Many educated Muslims fed up with the primitive outdated views (not fundamentals) of ignorant scholars (ulema) who firstly fail to fully comprehend the dynamic eternal message of Quran thereby fail to find practical application of Quranic and Islamic principles in changing times.
Failure in Application of Islamic Principles in Modern Era
Riba and Fiat Currency: The glaring example is the blind application of the concept of Riba in the present Fiat Currency (paper) era, ignoring dynamic external commands of the Quran (verse 2:279). Hence instead of obeying, they are disobeying the Quran and putting innocent people in a state of perpetual sin and loss and injustice. The holy text cannot be blamed, it is the failure of Ulema and Islamic scholars.
Failure to Recompile Hadiths Literature according to Quran and Sunnah: The Hadith books were compiled during 2rd and 4th century Hijrah, from available oral traditions due to book writing prohibition by Prophet, 4 Caliphs and Sahabah except Quran. Thus mix of authentic and unauthentic traditions, become a source of differences and conflict, while undermining Quran, the confirmed, certified book of Allah. Prophet (pbuh) had laid down criteria for Hadiths, which has been ignored.
Many people think that a Muslim can be a secularist and a good Muslim at the same time. Being a secularist does not necessarily mean rejecting or disrespecting religion, but rather advocating for the separation of religious and political authority. Many Muslim scholars and activists have promoted the idea of Islamic secularism, which seeks to reconcile Islamic values with democratic principles and human rights. They argue that a secular state can provide a fair and equal environment for all citizens, including Muslims, without imposing a particular religious ideology on everyone.
Charter of Medina & Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah
While the Charter of Medina is often cited as an example of religious tolerance and pluralism, it is not a secular constitution in the modern sense of the term. (it may be called Islamic Secularism?) The charter was based on the principles of Islamic law (Sharia) and recognized the authority of the Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ) as the leader of the Muslim community (umma). The charter also established a system of justice and governance based on the principles of consultation and consensus (shura) among the different tribes and religious groups in Medina.
At the same time, the Charter of Medina also granted certain rights and protections to non-Muslims, including Jews and Christians, who were recognized as separate religious communities with their own laws and customs. This included the right to worship freely and to have their own judges to adjudicate disputes within their communities. The charter also established a system of mutual defence and cooperation among the different groups in Medina, based on the principle of shared interests and common goals.
While the Charter of Medina does not conform to the modern concept of secularism, it does provide an early example of how different religious and ethnic communities can live together in a spirit of tolerance and cooperation, based on shared values and principles.
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, referred to the Charter of Medina in his speeches and writings as a model for a just and pluralistic society.
In his famous speech on August 11, 1947, just a few days before Pakistan’s independence, Jinnah emphasised the importance of religious tolerance and equal citizenship for all Pakistanis, regardless of their religion or ethnicity. He cited the example of the Charter of Medina as a model for the kind of society he envisioned, stating:
“The Prophet ﷺ of Islam was a great teacher. He taught equality, justice, and fair play to everybody, irrespective of caste, colour, or creed. […] You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”
Jinnah’s reference to the Charter of Medina in this speech and in other writings is often seen as an indication of his commitment to a pluralistic and inclusive society, where all citizens, regardless of their religion or ethnicity, would enjoy equal rights and freedoms. While the Charter of Medina was based on Islamic principles and cannot be seen as a secular document in the modern sense, Jinnah’s use of it as a model underscores his commitment to a society based on principles of justice, equality, and mutual respect.
This speech and vision of the founder need to be implemented in true spirit in Islamic Republic of Pakistan, rather than trying to prove him to be a secular or orthodox molana.
References for Study
- رسول اللہ ﷺ کا میعار حدیث: https://bit.ly/TrueHadiths
- علم الحديث کے سنہری اصول : https://bit.ly/Hadith-Basics
- https://charterforcompassion.org/deepening-our-historical-perspective/secularism-and-islam /
اکثر باطل تصورات حقیقت اور سچائی پر غالب آجاتے ہیں اس رجحان سے کیسے بچا جائے؟
لوگ دین اور سیاست کے معاملہ میں اپنے عقائید و نظریات کے خلاف عقلی دلائل کیوں نہیں سنتے؟
لوگ نے اپنے پسندیدہ لیڈروں کے بارے میں کچھ تاثرات بنا لیے ہیں، وہ اپنے پسندیدہ لیڈروں کے خلاف کوئی دلیل یا حقائق سننے کو تیار نہیں ہیں، جس سے محبت نفرت انتہائی صورتحال پیدا ہو رہی ہے۔
اسی طرح سے مزہبی فرقہ وارانہ عقائید پر قرآن وسنت کے واصح احکامات کے باوجود بضد رہتے ہیں، کیوں؟
غلط تاثرات پریشانی کا باعث ہوسکتے ہیں کیونکہ وہ ہمیں غلط فہمی اور حالات کی غلط تشریح کرنے کا سبب بن سکتے ہیں، جو غلط نتائج اور اعمال کی طرف لے جا سکتے ہیں۔
اللہ کافرمان ہے:
بے شک اللہ کے نزدیک سب سے بدتر وہ گونگے بہرے لوگ ہیں جو عقل سے کام نہیں لیتے (قرآن 8:22)
اس رجحان سے بچنے کے لیے، یہاں کچھ چیزیں ہیں جو آپ کر سکتے ہیں:
1۔متجسس اور کھلے ذہن کے ساتھ رہیں
اپنے مفروضوں اور عقائد پر سوال کرنے کے لیے تیار رہیں، اور متبادل نقطہ نظر پر غور کریں۔ کسی نتیجے پر پہنچنے میں جلدی نہ کریں۔
2۔معلومات جمع کریں:
معلومات کے قابل اعتماد ذرائع تلاش کریں، اور جو کچھ آپ سن رہے ہیں یا دیکھ رہے ہیں اس کی درستگی کی تصدیق کے لیے وقت نکالیں۔
3۔ماخذ پر غور کریں:
معلومات فراہم کرنے یا آپ کے تاثرات کو متاثر کرنے والے لوگوں یا تنظیموں کے تعصبات اور محرکات سے آگاہ رہیں۔
4۔اپنی سوچ کو چیلنج کریں:
ایسے شواہد تلاش کریں جو آپ کے مفروضوں یا عقائد سے متصادم ہوں، اور غور کریں کہ کیا آپ معلومات کی ترجمانی اس انداز میں کر رہے ہیں جو آپ کے پہلے سے تصور شدہ تصورات کی تائید کرتا ہو۔
5۔ذہن سازی کی مشق کریں:
اپنے خیالات اور احساسات کا مشاہدہ کرنے اور ان پر غور کرنے کے لیے وقت نکالیں، اور اس بات سے آگاہ رہیں کہ وہ آپ کے تاثرات کو کیسے متاثر کر رہے ہیں۔
6۔رائے طلب کریں:
دوسروں سے رائے طلب کریں، اور تعمیری تنقید کے لیے کھلے رہیں۔ اس سے آپ کو کسی صورت حال کی زیادہ درست اور باریک بینی سے سمجھ حاصل کرنے میں مدد مل سکتی ہے۔
7۔ اپنی مدلل رائے قائیم کرنے کے باوجود مخالف رائے کا احترام کریں
ممکن ہے کہ آپ غلط ہوں اور مخالف درست ہوں؟
ہمیشہ حق کئ تلاش جاری رکھیں اور جب حق ملے تو قبول کرنے میں ہچکچاہٹ نہ کریں۔
ان حکمت عملیوں پر عمل کرنے سے، آپ حقیقت اور سچائی کو اوور رائیڈ کرنے کے لیے جھوٹے تصورات کے رجحان کو کم کر سکتے ہیں، اور اپنے اردگرد کی دنیا کے بارے میں زیادہ درست اور باریک بینی سے فہم پیدا کر سکتے ہیں۔
(عوامی فلاحی پیغام )