Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, May 24th, 2020

The Three Problems

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The Three Problems

With the exception of the few, almost all the Muslim countries have a long history of being grappled with numerous problems. Poor economic condition of Muslim countries is evident for all. The overall economy of all the Muslim countries doesn't make the proportion of some of the giant economies like USA, Japan or China and so on.

Same hopeless situation prevails in the field of education where no university of any Islamic country has made its place among the top 100 universities of the world. The condition in the field of Research and Development is even worse.

Excluding the recent achievements by some of the news agencies, there is not present any impressive voice or representation of Islamic countries in the field of media. Similarly, Muslim countries have always been dependent on other countries to equip their army, run their airlines and factories and even in most of the cases to provide the latest books to the university students. This paltry position has made their voice absolutely less impressive and they are absolutely dependent on others to exist and prosper in the present era of scientific advancement and economic expansion.

The scenario inside the home is even worse than it appears. Illiteracy has left the people absolutely crippled both with superstitions and impoverishment. In almost every country, there is present a clear and evident divide in forms of religious thinkers and followers, the extremists, the seculars and those who fall between them.

The illiterate part of the society that never had access to the modern education became the victim of poverty and economic inequality and were hijacked by those who believed that modern education is the root cause of many evils and only way to be successful in this and the following life of hereafter is to finish the non-Muslims and to punish those who try to imitate them.

They never tried or got the chance to view the world from a clearer and rational perspective and their extremism totally alienated them from the rational part of their society and most definitely from the foreign world. Then, there existed and still exists a secular class that always got prospered financially and they were mostly supported by the foreign powers as well as a result of which they always felt themselves to be superior from the other classes of the country and in order to maintain their status-quo, they adopted every available method.

Then, there lived a small but voiceless class of mid-yorkers that believed that Islamic teachings and modern education could advance hand in hand and thus they tried to show a true and rather acceptable picture of modern Islam, but still they are in minority and not strong enough to make their voices heard.

Many leaders and scholars emerged in different Islamic countries who tried to give a formula that could solve the above problems and help Muslims to grow in the world economy and equally practice and follow their religious teachings. In fact, they tried to show the true picture of Islam that had got blurred due to the heedless and extremist preaching and practices of some of the so-called guardians of Islam who had not fully understood the soul of Islamic teachings.

In this connection, there may be many but as far as my humble knowledge is concerned, I am impressed from two of the prominent scholars of the Islamic world. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi was considered a Saint (Wali) of his time who tried to bring the true blessings of Quran into the lives of common people. Like many scholars, he was also of the view that Quran is a source of guidance for the whole of the humanity and especially, it gave a complete guideline for the Muslims to follow.

He was of the view that Muslims respected the Quran a lot by covering it in many-fold covers or by reciting it rigorously on daily basis but they had forgotten to recall the true teachings and now it had become something to be used for religious worship only and the wisdom it offered had been left untouched.

In order to bring the understanding of Quran among common people and help them broaden their mental horizons by its proper understanding, he wrote a series of books in which Quranic verses were explained in a very simple manner with daily life examples. His books are called 'Risala-e-Nur' collection and have helped Muslims a lot in understanding the true and unbiased teachings of Islam.

Second worth-mentioning contribution in this regard came from Muhammad Fethullah Gulen (Who is called as 'Hoca Efendi' by his students). He was basically a religious scholar or Imam in a mosque who had impressive command in religious teachings but who also learned about modern sciences and came up with a conclusion that Islamic teachings and modern sciences are compatible to each other and thus he presented a solution with the help of which a modern Muslim can not only easily follow his religion but also make remarkable achievements in the field of science, finance and other worldly matters.

Among his numerous theories, one most impressive is the theory called, 'Three Problems of Islamic World' that has got world-wide acceptance and has helped Islamic countries to view their conditions from an accurate angle. These three problems are poverty, illiteracy and absence or lack of integrity or unity among them.

Poverty or economic instability in Islamic countries is equally and clearly known to all. The ignorance of modern education and scientific research and failure to adopt with the industrial revolution that gave the European nations and America an upper hand, left the Muslim countries with meager economies and the same scenario has not much changed even after two to three centuries.

Poverty is a big evil that accompanies many other social and moral problems. Stealing or robbery, accepting bribe, dishonesty, and a long list of other evils that cripple a society and diminish the personal dignity are all due to the circumstances that get birth from the poor economic conditions. Lack of proper infrastructure and factories that result in lack of jobs and limited growth are due to the absence or lack of proper education. A well-established and up-to-date educational system especially in the field of technical education would supply us with skilled engineers and workers that could run the factories and make the industrial prosperity a reality.

Second problem of illiteracy or ignorance needs to be understood in a broader view. Ignorance of scientific or modern education left us weak in all the fields of life and it should be understood that we all must be unified to promote education and everyone in the society should be convinced about its importance.

As far as religious education is concerned, it also needs to be made parallel with the needs of the present time and great emphasis should be laid on personal characters of every individual Muslim so that every individual Muslim must appear as a broad-minded and sound-thinking Momin having a good knowledge of modern and scientific knowledge as well. It has also been observed that both scientific and modern education combine together to make a person ideal in all the traits.

As far as third problem of social or national segregation or disunity is concerned, there are two factors responsible. One is external in which enemies follow the rule of, "Divide and Rule" and never let different tribes or nations be united. But most important factor is internal in which our ignorance, lack of communication and other baseless reasons never let us combine together.

The solution to this problem lies in religious knowledge where we are asserted to be united keeping aside the discriminations of color, race, status and language and where others self respect is emphasized to be sustained and respected. Modern knowledge of psychology and social sciences can also teach us norms of social interaction and integrity.

In short, a well-balanced modern and deeply understood Islamic education would bring an end to the sufferings of the Muslims in all countries and then they would never be lodging complaints against their ill-fate or cruelty of other nations.

Mohammad Rasool Shah is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan and teaches English at Afghan-Turk School, Kabul. Email your suggestions and opinions at muhammadrasoolshah@gmail.com

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