Editorial

  • Abdul Rashid Moten

Abstract

The Qur ’ an,, literally the words of Allah (SSWT)) , promises hayatan tayyibah (aa pure and prosperous life)) to those who adhere to values enshrined in the Qur ’ an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (SSAW)).. Muslims,, through the ages,, have been trying to understand and adhere to these values.. There are forces,, both internal and external,, that militate against their struggle to live a value - laden life.. Internally,, th ey succumb to customs and traditions not in tune with Islamic values and externally , they are forced to deal with foreign forces trying to impose their values on Muslims..

Muslims have also been guilty of neglecting the divine teachings brought to mankind by prophets.. These prophets and messengers came to remind people of the forgotten teachings and//oor to correct the adulterated divine teachings followed by their respective nations.. This was accomplished by Prophets M u s a , Ibr a h i m,, N u h , H u d,, Sa li h , L ut , Shu ’ ayb and Muhammad (SSAW)).. They all preached one and the same message,, each message,, however,, was tailored to suit the socio - historical need of their intended audience.. With the end of the Prophethood,, this responsibility dawned upon the ummah as a whole.. Th e idea is,, in the Qur ’ anic language ( al - Qur’an,, 57:: 16)),, not to let the heart becomes indurate,, mainly due to a long time - lapse of no messenger..

For centuries Muslim revivalists and reformers have been doing the preaching to keep Muslims on the straight p ath.. They were also fighting foreign forces bent upon imposing their values upon Muslims.. They worked hard to bring about i s l ah (rreform)),, i h y a ’ (rrevival)),, tajd i d (rrenewal)),, or s a h wah (aawakening)).. Al - Ghaz a l i (dd.. 1111)),, Ibn Taymiyyah (dd.. 1328)),, and Ibn Khal d u n (dd.. 1406)),, among others,, are the prominent early Muslim reformers.. They were succeeded in the eighteenth,, nineteenth,, and twentieth centuries by Shah Wal i Allah al - Dihlaw i (dd.. 1762)),, Muhammad ibn ‘ Abd al - Wahh a b (dd.. 1792)),, Ahmad ibn Idris (dd.. 1837)),, Sye d Abul A ’ la Mawdudi (dd.. 1979)) and others.. These individuals or movements they led differed in their approaches but their primary concern was with the socio - moral reform and reconstruction of religious thought on the basis of values enshrined in the Qur ’ an and Sunnah..

Some of the principles emphasized in the Qur ’ an are those of tawhid meaning the indivisible,, inalienable divinity of Allah (SSWT)).. This principle denies anyone the right to order others in his /hher own right to do or not to do certain things.. F or,, as the Qur ’ an declares,, “ The command rests with none but Allah ” ( a l - Qur ’ an,, 6:: 57)) Who is the “ Lord of the universe ” ( al - Qur’an,, 1:: 1)) and grants guidance ( a l - Qur ’ an,, 87:: 3)).. The next principle is risalah , the prophethood.. It 

refers to the ideal co nduc t of the last Prophet (SSAW)).. According to a well - known hadith (ssayings of the Prophet,, SAW)) , Allah (SSWT)) asked the Prophet (SSAW)):: “ to remain conscious of God,, whether in private or in public;; to speak justly,, whether angry or pleased;; to show moderation bo th when poor and when rich ; to reunite friendship with those who have broken off with me;; to give to him who refuses me;; that my silence should be occupied with thought;; that my looking should be an admonition;; and that I should command what is right.. ” The Prophet (SSAW)) is the role model for mankind and is the source of Islamic law,, values and traditions.. One important value emphasized in the Qur ’ an and in the hadith of the Prophet (SSAW)) is ‘ a dalah , justice.. It is incumbent upon believers to establish justi ce for all “ even as against yourselves,, or your parents or your kins,, whether it is against the rich or poor ” ( a l - Qur ’ an,, 4:: 55;; 4:: 135)).. The believers are commanded to be just for “ justice is next to piety ” ( a l - Qur ’ an,, 5:: 8)).. The Prophets came with “ th e Book and the Balance (oof Rights and Wrong)) that men may stand forth in justice ” ( a l - Qur ’ an,, 57:: 25)).. The Qur ’ an uses multiple words like Sunnat Allah (tthe way or tradition of Allah , SWT ),, mizan (sscale)),, qist (bbalance)) and ‘ adl (jjustice)) to impress the significance of justice.. The Qur ’ an demands of an individual a high moral standard so that he may stand as a witness even against himself.. ‘ Adalah postulates two fundamental principles of freedom and equality.. It is an essential condition and consequence of the establishment of justice that the people should be in possession of freedom to act in accordance with one ’ s own moral convictions and to take decisions affecting their lives on the basis of these convictions and choices..

These values have graduall y been forgotten but,, most importantly,, they are being attacked by forces emanating from outside.. These attacks are made by imputing differing meanings to Islamic concepts,, by rewriting history to dupe the masses,, and by reinterpreting the values supposedl y to be in conformity with the advances in life.. This issue of the International Journal of Islamic Thoughts address es the conceptual and practical issues Muslims face in the intellectual and political arena.. Jamil Farooqui argues,, contrary to the contenti on of Western scholars,, that knowledge need not be indigenous and relative.. It is possible to attain authentic and beneficial knowledge of the social world.. It requires the identification of the Absolutely Reality,, the linkage between truth and goodness an d the balance between human aspiration and societal needs.. Islamization of Knowledge identifies these three factors and provides a framework for authentic and altruistic knowledge.. It is based on revealed knowledge which enables humans to identify the goal s of life and the ways to achieve it.. Abdullahil Ahsan discusses the importance of history and elucidates the role of history in human civilization.. He explains the distinctions between history and pseudo - history and the purpose for which history is often written.. History,, he admits,, is the storehouse of information and knowledge about everything that has happened in the past..

 

emerged in the Middle East with the Arab Spring.. Salafi “quietist” approach to politics and their negative attitude toward democracy has been used by the regimes in the Middle East to crush their opponents.. In Malaysia,, political salafis, despite adhering to the Salafi doctrine of quietism,, joined the ruling party UMNO (UUnited Malays National Organization)) and supported their policies.. They gave self- serving interpretation to the salafi doctrine,, supported the ruling party,, and benefitted themselves politically and otherwise.. Salafis gained power while UMNO succeeded in winning the support of Muslims who other wise might have supported the opposition party, PAS.. Salafi political activism perhaps acted as an antidote to extremism and terrorism in the country..

 

This issue of the journal contains one research note and a review article.. T he note by Aliyu Olugbenga Yusuf and Basri Hassan show the problems faced by the librarians in handling Islamic collections in Malaysian academic libraries.. They show the shortcomings of the librarians in skills,, knowledge and abilities and emphasize the n eed for training of the librarians so that they could perform their task of managing Islamic collections effectively.. Elfat i h AbdelSalam reviews

six books dealing with tradition and modernity and found the two trends in operation in Muslim societies.. Some contemporary Islamic movements abhor Western ideas and fear that Muslims may lose their identity because of aggressive modernization.. To these elements , the survival of modes of tradition in contemporary Muslim society proves the vitality of Islam.. However , there are those who challenge traditionalism and advocate democracy and pluralism.. They conceive of democracy not as an ideology but a tool for effective governance.. The tussle between tradition and modernity is likely to continue.. What emerges from these articles and reviews is that Muslims,, to remain relevant in contemporary times,, must find suitable and effective means to express Islamic values and its religious tradition without being antagonistic,, coercive or submissive.. Muslims need to understand and practise Islam and make use of scientific and technological means to promote peace and development in Muslim societies.. They must learn from proper history,, understand and practice the ethical and moral principles of Islam,, empower women along Islamic li nes and develop an educational system that will help revive the glorious past of the universal Islamic civilization..

 

Abdul Rashid Moten

Published
2018-03-18
How to Cite
Moten, A. R. (2018). Editorial. International Journal of Islamic Thoughts (IJITs), 5(1). Retrieved from http://ijits.net/oj/index.php/ijits/article/view/78
Section
Editorial