A bold and enterprising country of the East, namely, Japan has shown us the way, although in a limited, and, from the standpoint of Islam, most imperfect manner. Japan learnt the material sciences and technology from the West and acquired mastery over them and, at the same time, it held fast to its spiritual background and cultural heritage. But, unfortunately, its religious creed and civilization were such that they could not keep abreast of time or fulfill the need of a universal message. Japanese culture is only an amalgam of antiquated beliefs and out-worn traditions. It is a miracle of the will-power and loyalty to the past of its people that modern Japan is still clinging to it. With Islam, on the other hand, it is wholly different. It stands for a Faith, a Shariah and a law for which the term ‘ancient’ and ‘modern’ have no meaning, and a civilization whose roots are embedded in imperishable truths. Like an evergreen tree it is always young and ready to send forth new blossoms. Hence, in Muslim countries the integration between modern sciences and the fundamental teachings of Islam can be worked out without any serious difficulty, and its impact will also be much more revolutionary and extensive than what we have experienced in Japan. In a tradition-bound country an attempt like this is bound to be self-defeating.
So far as the West is concerned it can never be genuinely sincere or sympathetic towards Islamic countries. Its malevolence is, partly, the outcome of history with memories of the Crusades and the bloody and long-drawn outstrifes between the Ottoman Empire and European nations still fresh in politicians’ minds. It is also partly dictated by common sense for the Muslim World, alone, possesses the potential strength and capability to constitute a danger to the universal ascendancy of the West or to confront it with a new Power Block based on a different philosophy of life and a call that transcends limitations of race and geography. It is strengthened, further, by the realization of the worth and importance of the vast mineral wealth and other natural resources lying within Muslim lands all of which can be of decisive consequence for the West, both economically and strategically. Finally, there is the traditional weakness of human nature that when a person is afflicted with an incurable disease he, sometimes, begins to derive a sort of morbid satisfaction from his desire, that others may become like him so that there can be nothing to distinguish the healthy from the sick. Those who can remain immune from this failing or overcome it successfully are those endowed with a genuine fear of God and love for humanity, but these noble qualities can be developed only through the teachings of the Holy Prophets. This wealth was, sadly, lost by the West ages ago.
The world of Islam is passing through a crisis of confidence. However, unpalatable it may be the truth remains that the qualities of self-awareness and self-reliance are not the distinguishing features of Muslims in any part of the world today. Even those Muslim countries that are free (no matter whether they have been free for centuries or only recently attained freedom) are intellectually and educationally subservient to the West. The rulers of these countries often show commendable courage, even to the extent of incurring grave risks, in the political field but where the cultural, intellectual and educational spheres are concerned they betray an awful lack of self-confidence and freedom of judgment. It is an accepted fact that cultural and intellectual servility is much more harmful and degrading than political serfdom. Once a country has passed under the cultural and intellectual domination of another, it no longer becomes necessary for the latter to annex it politically. Further, since in the modern world the conquest and annexation of a country is no longer possible, superpowers are inclined to concentrate, more and more, on strengthening their cultural and intellectual hold over weaker nations instead of seeking their political subjugation.