Gambia: Islam And the Muslim World Part II
The Daily Observer (Banjul)
Muhammad Lamin Ceesay
10 June 2011
The second group is the traditional Muslims. They may understand the basic concepts of Islam, may have some degree of Islamic knowledge and may follow the Islamic teachings to some extent but they do not understand it as a complete and dynamic system for all aspects of man's life nor do they adhere to its requirements in all aspects of their lives consistently and as a matter of principle and obligation.
In their minds, Islam is often intermixed with many pseudo Islamic practices common to their societies, many of which are completely contrary to the Islamic teachings although they have acquired some sort of an "Islamic: sanction or flavor, and with many westernized ways of thought and behavior as well. They definitely believe in God and Islam, but in a theoretical sort of way which does not carry enough conviction to move them steadily and consistently toward a totally Islamic orientation and way of life; because they do not conceive to move them.
Today, in spite of all these difficult circumstances, a wave of Islamic consciousness and pride is being felt throughout the Muslim world for many years the people of this area had been told in so many explicit and implicit way that they were backward and inferior, and that the only way to rise out of this state was to discard their religion and traditions and adopt westernization, many believed this and are now following the path of crass materialism. Others, having taken a good look at western society, have become aware of its pitfalls and have grasped the fact that material progress and prosperity do not constitute the total fulfillment of man's nature nor provide him with the paradise on earth which they seemed to promise. After one attains all that, they ask them what? Inwardly empty as poverty.
Such people have come to the realization that human beings must, by the necessity of their human nature, concern themselves with something much more significant than merely the material sphere, with meaning and not simply with matter as a result of all this, they have come to a deep and unshakable conviction that whatever is most precious, whatever is most essential to man's existence, is to be found in their religion and its way of life rather than in any other system or ideology.
With this has also clear realization that the problems facing the Muslim world today are, very logically and directly, the result of Muslims falling away from Islam, present savage, opportunistic dog-eat-dog ethics of self-interest but with the highest and noblest values of human civilization, are to be found solution for its complex ailments of all the trends evident in the Muslim world today - materialism, nationalism, socialism, communism and Islam - only Islam holds the certain promise, if applied with sincerity and intelligence of bringing the peoples of this religion who have lived through so many serious upheavals both internal and external in recent years, into a state of stability and peace.
And without the slightest doubt, it is only Islam that can contain the spreading menace of communism in its dangerous accelerating attempts to claim portions of the Muslim world for its own, for unquestionably commitment to the Islamic beliefs and values constitutes the only sure defence of Muslim countries, in their present unstable condition against it.
In a broader context than of conditions in the Middle East today, we may remark that communism, materialism and all other ideologies which deny and give insignificant value to man's spiritual nature or concentrate on one aspect of his nature at the expense of the others must ultimately be viewed as the human being's futile attempts, by means of his very limited human perspective, to understand himself and find the right direction. Since early in man's career on this planet, various religion, philosophies and system of life and thought, including those which are dominant today, have crossed the stage of history and played their role.
A look at the legacy of this history and at current treads in the world makes it clear that none of these has succeeded in resolving the essential conflicts and dilemmas within the human personality, for all of them have, in one form or another, either ignored vital aspects of man's relationship with reality or given prominence to one aspect of life or of man's nature at the expense of others, creating frightening disharmonies and imbalances within human individuals and their societies which have, in the present era, come close to destroying humanity altogether.
In the midst of all this, Islam remains the one system the world has known which views man in a correct perspective within the context of total reality and with a correct understanding of this true nature, providing a just balance between his material and spiritual aspects, between the human beings worldly aspirations and need and his eternal enoal, it is the only system which submits man and his life in its entirely to the one who gives him that life and who alone can be worthy of his submission, liberating him from the darkness of enslavement to man - made values, systems and desires into the light of obedience to God, his true master alone.
The truth of this is being realized with compelling certainty by more and more people in the East - those who were born into "Muslim" families but who have now become conscious, steadfast Muslims by conviction and commitment - and by many in the west by lack of contact, prejudice or cultural differentness difficult to surmount of setting its fact upon the path of stability and balance, and bringing about such a total transformation in man, as no man - made system, no obedience to gods of man's own invention, can ever succeed in doing.
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