Way Ahead for Muslims: Globalization
Islam calls Muslims to a mission, an approach and an effort rooted in a moral socio-political framework and geared to the ideals outlined above. If Muslims are prepared to put their shoulders to this harness, the present is struggle, and future is Islam. But this calls for clear commitment and serious efforts in the right direction. A strategy to face this challenge would consist of, at least, the following elements:
Firstly: A clear vision of the objectives, the moral and civilizational identity, and the mission as ummah.
Secondly: Serious efforts towards reforming and reconstructing individual lives and societies in accordance with the values and principles of Islam. This must be done with complete loyalty to Allah (SWT) and His Prophet (peace by upon him), sincere adherence to the Divine revelation as contained in the Qur'an and the Sunnah, ensuring freedom and opportunity to all members of the society, as Islam wants Muslims to run their affairs through mutual consultation (shura), supremacy of law, pursuit of justice, and respect for the rights of Allah (SWT) and of the people (Huququllah and Huququl Ibad).
Thirdly: Muslims must realize that systematic preparation to face the challenge is as much a part of an Islamic strategy as unwavering confidence in our mission and responsibility. Knowledge, character, moral sublimity, economic strength, political power, military capability, technological prowess, and social cohesion are key elements of this preparation. Without setting own house in order and mobilizing all the resources at hand to prepare to play the rightful role in the world, nothing can be achieved.
Fourthly: The Muslim ummah have no option but to move towards greater cooperation, unity and collective self-reliance. Regional groupings, trade and financial arrangements, educational and technological alliances, and political co-ordinations are stepping stones to a global order that is more balanced and just, and that represents a fair state of equilibrium between different nations, sociopolitical systems and civilizations. Muslim unity could be an effective guarantee against decimation of Muslim countries and the eclipse of their civilizational identity in the face of the onslaught of unmanaged globalization.
Muslims should not be merely at the receiving end; they must plan and prepare themselves to play a positive role both to protect their identity and interests, and to make the world a better place for all.
Finally: Muslims must realize that emotional outbursts and thoughtless confrontation are no answers to the multidimensional challenges the ummah faces today. In fact, as an ummah with a mission, the right course of action for the Muslims is dialogue, contact, participation, and cooperation at the global level. This must be an essential component of their strategy. Their response to the global challenges must be proactive and positive; that is the only way, not only to survive, but also to make their own mark on history.
Source: Essays on Muslims and the Challenges of Globalisation, Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad. Republished with permission.
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