DR. MUZAFFAR SHAHEEN
Conscience is thus explained as the voice of God in the soul- (Peter Kreeft)
Islamic thought despite having been exported to the West centuries back with remarkably a high moral notion left on the minds of intellectual class from time to time, it received generally the treatment of an anti-Christ Arab doctrine, which was fiercely repelled by most of the Western communities, obviously under the abominable and odious influence of the Church in the medieval history. The industrial revolution followed by the colossal development process and the peak modernization of the Western Nations, itself proved to distance its people away from the Church, a behavioral attitude based purely on coherent reasoning, rationale and logical thinking. From Christianity to agnosticism and then to atheism in the Western socio-cultural evolution, its intellectual domain got over- dominated by looking into facts through sheer scientific perspectives and logical inference with the conclusion that the Christianity, ostensibly failed to withstand that test.
Skepticism replaced religion in the beginning of the modern times. But as agnosticism holds that you can neither prove nor disprove God’s existence it led to widespread skepticism and ultimately formation an atheist society across the West. In the modern times, the post-modernization thought penetrating through the inquisitive and speculative conscience of the Western civilization in the 21st century is inevitably the Islamic thought process. What makes Islam the fastest growing religion across the Europe and America, is baffling even their own Governments and is best explained by the people entering Islam in scores. Does the hyper-modernized Western society actually need a religion today? A question still hounding many sects is best answered by the former Christians, now the neo-Muslims that one could no longer resist once the final truth was revealed to him; the finality of truth being that which occupied the huge vacuum demanding reason by the human conscience. The churches remain deserted while the mosques overfilled in the present day west; the fact that is simply irrefutable.
Islam is comprehended in perfect consonance with the West’s intellectual acumen. This is explained to the best possible level by the late French scientist Maurice Bucaille in his masterpiece “The Bible, Quran and the Science”. The Moududian thought, that more the science advanced more it would foster comprehensibility of Quran, finds pertinence to the 21st century hyper-modernized west. Over the centuries, the indoctrinated concept of Trinity, the Father God and the Son God confused masses and then Darwin’s Monkey theory in the 19th century, promoted the cult of atheism and the Sigmund Freud’s psycho-analysis philosophy having ultimately struck the last nail in the Coffin of religion across the west.
These, amidst several other anti-religion and anti-God hypothesized concepts based on proclaimed scientifically bizarre and freakish logics received enough of time to withstand the test in the modern western communities, without transmitting of appealing moral absolutes on the quest of conscience and the human soul. The modernization concept that the perfection in the domain of ultimate human knowledge could be achieved only through matter and that the human spiritual perfection was subservient to the material perfection, could not withstand the test of time in the perfectly hyper-materialized west in the post modernization era. Perversely, it further cast away people from the article of faith and religion and thus the idea that all religions were the dogmas of human suppression went viral across the west.
The vast majority in the present west , apparently agnostics and atheists while others being grossly unpractising believers of the Church, with one or the other vacuum from within the human conscience, are continually in quest of “something closer to truth” to fill it up. True, that spiritual needs cannot be satiated by materialism for human conscience. This is perhaps what made the versatile Russian philosopher Leo Tolstoy unfold in one of his personal communications to a Christian Russian Lady who asked for his counsel on the conversion to Islam ,of her two sons. Tolstoy conveyed to her on 15th March 1909 from Yasnaya Polyan, “ I would fully sympathize with the conversion from Orthodoxy to Islam. To say that might be strange for me who values the Christian ideals and the teachings of Christ in the pure sense, I do not doubt that Islam in its outer form stands higher than the Orthodox Church. Therefore if a person is given only two choices; to adhere to Orthodox Church or Islam, any sensible person will not hesitate about his choice for Islam with the acceptance of one tenet, single God and His Prophet instead of complex and incomprehensible things in theology like Trinity, redemption, sacraments, the saints and their images and complicated services.”
The intellectual introspect on Islam as a religion started taking roots in the West immediately post-world war-II, spurred by Muslim immigrations from many parts of the post- colonization Muslim Nations though at a slow pace at a point in the history when the world’s most advanced people had started detracting religion in search of an alternative to satiate their intellectual hunger. The fact that the Quranic injunctions are latently poised with an inherent potential of a profound appeal to human conscience and building moral force, has time and again been substantiated by the transformation of scores of non-Muslim intelligentsia into practicing Muslims, that remains unparalleled when it comes to the comparative religious scriptures. The new-Muslims in the Western societies often express love for Jesus more as Muslims than they loved him as Christians
Astoundingly, the most of the reverts to Islam being women outnumbering men, according to one survey by a western organization, in a socio-cultural ambience where women are endowed with equality of gender rights with those of men and are most advanced in all walks of life. The antagonist groups to Islam explain this in terms of women folk being more sentimentally overwhelmed rather than being actual or real. But the fact that the most modern and liberal woman of the west today finds herself in a state of complete solitude with no force binding her to an established family domain, leaving a huge void deep in the core of her soul; that is the reflection of majority of revert women in the West. If at all the reports on population statistics in Europe are to be believed correct, then by 2050 Germany, Belgium, France and Netherlands would be predominantly Muslim and US would have second largest Muslim population, if white racist supremacist Islam antagonistic movements launched by the far right groups do not turn too violent to stop it.
The United States is supposed to have begun to experience a demographic shift that has been taking rest of the developed West by storm; the surge in Muslim populations through immigration, procreation and conversion. According to the institute for population statistics in Istanbul, by 2030 the Muslim population in US would reach 8% that would account for the second largest population. However the mushrooming growth of Islam in the West is not without having ignited the spark of Islamophobia that has recently spread the vicious cycle of xenophobia through the bellicose racist movements with Islam- antagonist intrigues having obscurantist backing from the mainstream political quarters. The Christchurch mosque carnage that took place quite recently is a strong reminder. The late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, known for his anti-west stance, seemed to have been firmly convinced in what he once said that Islam would soon spread through the West; we just need no wars, suicide bombings and terrorism.
—The author , a Professor, SKUAST-K , can be reached at: [email protected]