Harms of Modernism
However, in its own sphere it remains a reality that whereas modernity has elevated man’s material status to great heights, given him newer inventions and provided him with better means of comfort and ease in life, it has, at the same time, caused man to suffer from many depravities and led him to many disastrous ends. It is due to the same modernity that human history is full of Pharaohs and Shiddads who were not contented with any limit of power and authority. Their lust for authority took them to the extent of claiming deification for themselves. The same modernity gave birth to Hitler and Mussolini whose ever increasing urge for expanding territorial boundaries demanded a new piece of land every day. It is the same modernity that has engulfed the whole world in the tornado of nudity and obscenity, and has provided an excuse for fornication, and more so it has led, under thunder claps to the passage of a bill in the British House of Commons to legalize homosexuality. It is in the shadow of the same modernity that Western women are openly displaying banners on the streets demanding legalization of abortion. And it is the same modernity which is providing argument for justifying marriage with true sisters, daughters and other blood relations.
It proves that “Modernity” is a double-edged sword which can be used for the benefit of mankind and to cut its Own throat. Hence any new thing is neither acceptable just for being new nor refutable just because it is new. That much is clear and obvious but the most important question is, “What is the criterion to decide which invention is useful and acceptable and which is harmful and not acceptable?”
One way to determine this standard is to follow the dictates of reason alone. Hence, in secular societies this decision rests with logic and reasoning. But the difficulty in it is that those people who robbed humanity of all the attributes of morality and character in the name of ‘Modernity’ and put it on the road to barbarism and brutality were all men of reason and philosophy, and there were none among them who had not made pure intellect as their guide. The reason is that once free of the Divine Guidance of Wahy ‘intellect’ becomes a beloved of every Tom, Dick and Harry, so that each of the different kinds of contradictory elements, consider it to be their exclusive property, while in fact it belongs to none of them. In such an “Intellect” one can find glamorous justifications for every evil concept and filthiest of action. For example, the names of Hiroshima and Nagasaki cause humanity to sweat with shame, but the scholarly and world-famous book “Encyclopedia Britannica” has mentioned the disasters caused by Atomic Bombs in these cities after the introductory sentence as follows:
“Former Prime Minister Winston Churchill estimated that by shortening the war the Atomic Bomb had saved the lives of 10,000,00 US soldiers and 250,000 British soldiers”. (Britannica vol.2. p. 647, 1950).
Several examples of similar rational interpretations can be presented. With due apologies to modesty, I would like to present another example in the light of which the correct position of pure intellect would become clear.
In the history of Islam there has passed a sect known as ‘Batiniyah’. A renowned leader of this sect Ubayd-ullah alQirwani has written:
“What can be more surprising that a person having claim to wisdom acts so stupidly that he has with him a beautiful sister or daughter. His wife is not so pretty, he marries his daughter or sister to a stranger. If these ignorant ones had any trace of wisdom they would have known that they themselves had a greater right on their sisters and daughters than a stranger. The main reason of this stupidity is that their Master has forbidden good things on them.”
No matter how you react to this disgusting and repulsive statement, it is an obvious example of what havoc is caused by human reason when it is not guided by Divine Guidance. What argument is there with reason to reject this hideous suggestion of marrying ones real daughter and sister? Hence we see that the dream of ‘Ubayd-ulla Qirwani is coming true centuries afterwards, and voices are being raised in some Western countries to legalise marriages with real sisters.
In short, carried away by the wave of Modernity, if the decision for good and bad is left on reason alone the result will be that no value of life will remain intact. Besides, man will be lost in the labyrinth of contradictory opinions and concepts from which no way out can be traced. The intellectual level of every person is different from the other. The reason is that, independence from the Divine Guidance of Wahy is regarded by man as freedom, but in fact he becomes the slave of his beastly passions and sensual desires. This, is the worst form of servility. In the Qur’anic phraseology it is termed as Haw-a()that is passion, and it is about this that the Qur’an declared:
“If Truth becomes subjected to their passions great tumult will occur between the earth and skies and the creations therein.”