View of Scholars on Modernism

Beliefs & Practices, Chapter 03, Islam & Modernism / Sunday, August 17th, 2008

We are, however, presenting below the excerpts from the writings of some of those religious scholars who are being blamed of opposing science and technology.
In Pakistan the most renowned of the religious scholars was Moulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani. His selfless sacrifices for the freedom of Pakistan can not be forgotten. In a conference at Dacca, in 1949, while explaining the policy of Pakistani scholars he declared in quite unequivocal terms:

“No matter what treatment we meet from those in authority, we shall leave no stone unturned to make this new country safe and strong for the pleasure of Allah and supremacy of Islam and believers of Islam” (Presidential address Jamiat Ulem’a-e-Islam Conference, Dacca 10 February, 1949)

Further in the same speech he said,

“We should not lag behind and show any laziness in the procurement of these material means and equipments to the last bit of our ability and competency, so that we may lower the morale of our enemy and show our supremacy on them, because this is in accordance with the Qur’anic injunction.”

Continuing, he further said:

“In my opinion the secret of all our success and prosperity lies in the four words namely, Patience and Perseverance, Fear of Allah and Purity, Unity of nation, and Numerical strength to the possible limits. In short, we must keep our relations with Allah in the right direction in our individual and collective life, so that we deserve His favor and assistance. And I pray that the entire Muslim nation should unite together and bring forth the Power that would subdue all evil forces”.

The Grand Mufti of Pakistan, Mufti Muhammad Shafi, President, Darul Ulum, Karachi, has written in his treatise ‘Jihad’ as under,

“Indeed, the Patience, the fear of Allah and total belief in and submission to Allah is the real and unconquerable strength of Muslims. Along with it, however, it is also essential that equipment of war and ammunition proper to the time and place should be acquired and stored. The Prophet (SA) always arranged for war exercises, and issued instructions to collect and acquire all those weapons that were in vogue anywhere in those days. It has been reported by Ibn-e-Kathir in his book “Al- Hidayah wan Nihayah” under the caption of Battle of Hunayn that two of the Prophets’ companions could not take part in Jihad because they were in Damascus learning the techniques of manufacturing war weapons called ‘Dababa’ and ‘Dhabur’ (The carriages that were used as Tanks in those days). Similarly, catapults were also manufactured there.

“This incidence also proves that it is obligatory for the Muslims to make their countries self sufficient in war weapons and technology and should not depend on others. Otherwise the Prophet could have purchased those carriages and catapults rather than sending his men to learn the techniques to manufacture them by themselves. We are bound to think it seriously how much our country is in need of all the equipment and weapons of war used in modern warfare so that we may not be lagging behind. We must put all our energy and resources to fulfill the aim that we become self sufficient in the nearest possible future.” (‘Jihad’ pp.53 to 56)

In another of his books “Modern Weapons” the Grand Mufti has said:

“In short the industrial products and inventions, be they new or old, if related to mankind’s economic prosperity, are all benefactions of Allah that have been bestowed on human beings. Man should be wise enough to take full benefits from them and be grateful to Almighty Allah.” (‘Ala’te-Jadidah p.15).

And Moulana Zafar Ahmad Usmani, Sheikh-ul-Hadith, Darul-Ulum-al-Islamiya, Tando Allah Yar, writes in one of his recent articles:

“War weapons and technology against the enemy should be raised to the extent that the enemy is overawed with them. Our earlier Caliphs and Sultans religiously followed this rule. The companion Hadhrat Mu’awiyah (RA) had prepared a fleet of 500 warships during the time of Hadhrat Usman (RA), the third Caliph. He used to supervise personally the collection of all defense equipments and never depended on others as we do today. The Muslim nations should join together to build up factories for ammunition and other weapons, and a continued process of research and inventions must be carried out. All these efforts are in conformity with Qur’anic injunctions.” (Monthly Al-Balagh, p44 J.A 1387 (AH).

Moulana Muhammad Yusuf Binorri, Sheikh-ul-Hadith, Madrasah Arabiyah, New Town (Binnori Town), Karachi, writes:

“There is no scarcity in the Islamic world, rather there is an abundance of natural resources, material reserves and wealth, but how great a tragedy it is that a major portion of their wealth is utilized by the enemies through deposits in foreign banks, or spent in extravagance, debauchery, undue luxuries, and immoralities. But defense stability, military training and ordinance factories are practically negligible, while the enemies of Islam are constructing airports, naval fleets, military cantonments and large ordinance factories. But the Islamic world is not only indulged in profane pursuits but has shown criminal negligence towards material progress.” (Monthly B aiyyenat, Karachi, R.S. 1387 (AH), p.4)

Moulana Abdul Haq, Sheikh-ul-Hadith of Darul-ulum Haqqania, Akora Khattak, has elaborated the same view in one of his speeches:

“You have acquired only immorality and evil – doings from Europe. They manufacture one plane and innumerable rockets in a minute and collect billions of dollars to save the Jews, and we remain asleep in our luxuries. If we ignore our collective problems the result can not be other than destruction.” (Monthly Al-Haq, July 1967, p.17)

Moulana Shamsul Haq Afghani has written in one of his recent articles “Taraqqi aur Islam” (Islam and Progress):

“Our deprivation from progress and our present decline is the result of our neglect towards Islam, otherwise Islam and Progress are inseparable…. According to this verse it is obligatory on all Muslims that in all the modern equipments and instruments they should progress to the extent that they should be at least at par with Christian nations if not exceed them. The Islamic world must use all its resources for this purpose.” (Monthly ‘Al-Haq’, Sept 1967 p.22)

Above are the utterances of some high ranking and renowned religious scholars. These have come to our view just abruptly without any special efforts to find them. Those who had been reading the views of these scholars know it fully well that not only the religious scholars never opposed Science and Technology but they had always been inducing the Muslims to attain them. Despite this reality before their eyes there is a group of people who are beating their drums high and loud that the religious scholars are opposed to progress and advancement, they are allergic to Science and Technology, they give no importance to the demands of time, and discard every new thing.

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