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Muslims in the western world
|At the present time about ten million Muslims live in the western world, including America. These people, who have migrated from their homelands, are generally well off economically. However, when you meet them, you will find that all of them share a common concern, that is, how to save their next generation from the invasion of western
But this is not, in fact, a case of an enemy plot or of a cultural invasion. This is totally in accordance with a law of nature. The law of nature applicable to this world is - one who fails to become a Dayee (Giver) has no option but to become a Madu (Receiver). These Muslim settlers in western countries did not make an effort to communicate the message of Islam to their new compatriots, so these nations brought them under their own influence.
The same case of migration had taken place in the first phase of Islam. Muslims from Arabia spread to Asian and African Countries in large numbers. However, when these Muslims left their homelands for foreign lands, it was with a missionary spirit.
Therefore, they did not have to face the problem of cultural invasion like that of the Muslims of present times. Instead they absorbed all the people they met with in the culture of Islam. Wherever they went, they managed to change not only their religion and culture but also their language.
The Muslims of the present day must follow suit. Every Muslim should become an example of "One man - two missions." On the one hand, they must work to meet their worldly needs and, on the other, they should devote their time and energy to Dawah-oriented activities. They should become universal ambassadors and communicate the positive, peaceful message of Islam to all human beings.
This is the only way to success for these Muslims. If they fail to make other nations the subject of Islamic dawah, they cannot remain immune to the non-Islamic influences exerted by them.
They may even lose their Islamic identity as well. You have to work for the Islamization of the world; otherwise you yourself will be de-Islamized by the world around you. Nowadays the task of Islamic dawah has become so easy that any man or woman can perform it without it encroaching on his or her daily engagements. What is needed is that, just as 'money' is your concern, so also should Dawah become your concern.
Fortunately we are living in an age of modern communication. Today such resources are within our reach as have greatly facilitated the work of Dawah. Through telephone, printed material, electronic media, Internet etc. With great speed and in/less time, Dawah work can be effectively performed. There is a need only for a fuller consciousness of its importance and the necessity to perform it in an organized way. Dawah work will pay dividends not only in this world, but also in the world Hereafter. Making Dawah one's mission is to make one's life purposeful. In this way, one can regulate one's whole life in a positive manner. One is enabled to work in a planned way. Moreover Dawah work will open the door to heaven. The truth is that Dawah work provides a guarantee for twofold success: success in a world as well as in the next eternal life. The Qur'an has this to say on this struggle that Dawah work involves: For the like of this let all strive, who wish to strive (37:61)
Muslims and modern challenges
Muslims have been faced with problems on diverse fronts for more than a hundred years and have been struggling to meet the challenges since the second half of the 19" century. The Muslim leaders of those times were of the view that the actual cause of all their problems was the political domination of the western nations, and that only bringing to an end that political domination could solve their problems. This goal was fully achieved after the Second World War, when all Muslim countries became free from foreign rule. However, their problems, far from being solved have persisted till today with undiminished intensity.
What is the reason for this? The reason is traceable to the fact that western dominance was, in fact, the result of modern industrial civilization. Since the western nations continued to grow as industrial powers, even after losing their political power, their domination continued the only difference being that where their domination had earlier been a direct one, it now became indirect.
Given the negative results of their struggles, certain Muslim intellectuals have attributed their failure to solve their problems to the industrial backwardness. They hold that only by the acquisition of industrial power similar to that of the developed nations can their destiny be changed.
This, however, is not the solution to our problems. Time does not stand still. New developments are constantly taking place. This means that, even if, by a supreme effort, we managed to enter the industrial age, by the time we did so. The western nations, in the world of Elvin Toffler, would have entered the super industrial age'. In the way we would continue to lag behind, and our actual problems would continue to remain unsolved.
The kind of problems and challenges Muslims are faced with today, at political, economic and cultural levels, is in no way a new state of affairs never before encountered.
In their long history the Muslims have, repeatedly experienced such situations in various forms. History shows, moreover, that the Muslim Ummah has always emerged far more powerful and consolidated after passing through the dangers and challenges of the various phases of their history.
Now, what we must grasp is how Ummah formerly faced such problems and the challenges. The sole answer offered by history is that on each occasion of adversity success was achieved through the da'wah power of Islam.
The Mongols, barbarous and bloody in their methods of warfare, succeeded in inflecting extraordinary harm on Muslims in the middle of the thirteenth century. They appeared invincible. But then, miraculously, the da'wah power of Islam emerged and the Mongols were conquered. Referring to this event, an orientalist observes: 'The religion of the Muslims had conquered where their arms had failed.'q
of the writings of Maulana Wahiduddin Khan