Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Western Labels

I have a problem with labelling and when it comes adhering to the 'western system'. That is one of the things I cannot appreciate the Greeks for, that and democracy. Western civilisation has been heavily influence by Greek philosophy, science, politics, language, everything. Greek science was the first of science to use rigorous labelling techniques in creating systematic formuales to analyse things of science, including social and political. At a meeting today in discussing the Maqasid Al-Shariah (the Objective of Islamic Law) this debate of adopting the 'western system' created a lot of discussion. The argument was it was not a natural progression for Islam or Muslims to adhere to the western systems like, the Human Rights Charter, Rule of War and things of those nature which, dominates our social and political sphere in current times, but rather there should be an alternative system that is borne out of Islam.

However, living in western society can we be sure to have a completely authentic Muslim advancement in Al-Shariah? I think not. We have already been constructed to think and act the way our society intends us to. We may not recognise the "western values" we perpetrate but they are deep within us. Not necessarily all bad but you cannot argue against a 'western framework' in my opinion.

On the other hand, I do protest against in forcing something that is not the natural progression of our society and religion (ummah and Islam). There is no question that the ummah needs greater advancement in all spheres but we need time. Muhammad (pbuh) did not change Arabia over night, it was a long process of education and time to complete the message of Allah to the people of Arabia; it took 27 years and even then not everyone came to Islam. The expansion of Islam took time; people's understanding of the religion needed to mature. This process however, was obstructed by the advent of western empires, who unlike their predecessors did not assimilate into the societies that they were ruling. When these nations got independence they were left confused, their identities wiped and miscontrued, they were left with nothing but what their colonials had preached and that had been their mode of advancement. Secularism, democracry, rule of law, borders, nations etc. was suddenly seen as an integral part of running a society. And with that they ran and failed...

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