The Muslim Standpoint:
Such being the case, a Muslim should be filled with repugnance and disgust at the sight of paganism— whether modern or ancient. Have you ever seen a person released from prison who does not look back at the period of his imprisonment with anguish and displeasure, or a man who having been cured of a foul disease does not shudder at the thought of his illness? Or, has there ever been a man who has not thanked God at the dawn of the day after having experienced a terrible nightmare during the night? Why, then, should it be different with paganism which is many times worse than any term in prison, an illness or a nightmare? Why should a person having been freed from it by the grace of the Almightily not tremble at the thought of it and offer earnest thanksgivings to his Maker for delivering him from a curse which contains innumerable misfortunes both in this world and the Next? Says a tradition of the Prophet (peace be upon him) recorded by Bukhari: “There are three things and if they are present in any one he will taste (the joys of) Faith: firstly, that God and the Prophet be dearer to him than anything else, secondly, that his love for any one (or anything) is only for the sake of God, and, thirdly, that he dreads returning to the state of paganism like being thrown into the fire.” Says God in denunciation of paganism, its rites, its customs, its practices and its heroes:
And We made them patterns that invite unto the fire, and on the Day of Resurrection they will not be helped.
And We made a curse to follow them in this world, and on the Day of Resurrection they will be among the hateful.
Unto Pharaoh and his chiefs, but they did follow the command of Pharaoh, and the command and Pharaoh was no right guide. He will go before his people on the Day of Resurrection and will lead them to the Fire for watering- place. Ah, hapless is the watering-place (whither they are) led. A curse is made to follow them in the world and on the Day of Resurrection. Hapless is the gift (that will be) given (them).
As a result of being over-awed by Western philosophy and its peculiar mode of approach to life many Muslims in Islamic countries have begun to recall the pre-Islamic period of their national existence with pride and pleasure. They are being drawn, intellectually and emotionally, to the customs and practices of that period as a part of their national heritage. They want to resuscitate them and to give a place of honour and privilege to those kings, leaders and other noteworthy personalities of that period in their history as if it was a golden age which Islam snatched away from them. God bless our souls! What colossal ingratitude and lack of appreciation of the worth and value of Islam and the Prophet this is! It signifies that all dislike for paganism and idolatry and the contempt for their senseless practices has disappeared and this is hard to imagine with respect to a conscientious Muslim. It will be no wonder if, because of these follies, Muslims are totally deprived of their Faith; the blessing of Islam is withdrawn from them and some heavenly curse is sent down in place of felicity. The Qur’-an has warned:
And incline not toward those who do wrong lest the fire touch you, and ye have no protecting friends against Allah, and afterward ye would not be helped.
Besides nationalism, another calamity that is bringing ruin upon the Islamic World is the blind admiration for the material things of life enjoined by its upper classes. They are ready to sacrifice all other considerations and values in the pursuit of their worldly ambitions. There is at work among them a strong tendency to prefer this material world to the Hereafter, and to avail themselves whole-heatedly of its pleasures. The appeasement of sensual appetites has become the chief object of their existence with the result that moral perversion, drinking, debauchery and other vices have freely crept into them and they have obtained, more or less a complete freedom from the moral obligations imposed by Religion or that the Islamic Shariah has been repealed. With a few exceptions, the ruling sections of Muslim countries everywhere present a picture very much like this.
This, in brief, is the moral and spiritual state of present-day Muslims. A wave of paganism is sweeping across the Muslim world and carrying away with it the glorious heritage of Islam. Never has Islam experienced a danger so powerful and so all-pervading. And the tragedy is that there are few who are willing to take stock of this dismal situation and fewer still to place all that they have at stake in order to combat it. We remember that when agnostic tendencies raised their head in Islam under the influence of Greek philosophy there sprang up a number of outstanding men who put them down with all the unique resources of their minds and hearts and with their social prestige. Similarly, when the Batiniyah and Mulahada otheists seets made their appearance, the crusaders of Islam jumped into the arena to take issue against them with both pen and speech. Thus, Islam, on account of these timely services, continued to command such a strong position intellectually and logically that it could beat off any storm that arose.