Islam And Secularism
The Need to Confront Secularism
It is clear that secularism must be confronted. When we talk about them, we do not want to exaggerate their power and importance. Our religion teaches us that we are stronger than they are. Islam is as firm and constant as the mountains. Many waves have crashed upon the rock of Islam only to be repelled. However, this was only achieved by our efforts. We must confront secularism and resist it with every means at our disposal. Two of the most important of these means are as follows:
1. We must expose and clarify what the secularists are doing. Allah exposed the machinations of the hypocrites and discusses them in many chapters of the Qur’ân. In the chapter of the Qur’ân entitled Sûrah al-Tawbah, Allah discusses many different types of hypocrite. For this reason, the chapter is also called “The Exposition”, since it leaves no hypocrite without exposing him.
We want our scholars, Islamic workers, and students of Islamic knowledge to apply the approach of that chapter of the Qur’ân in exposing the secularists. We need people today who can identify them and expose all of their different tricks and strategies. This is especially important since the secularists are often extremely eloquent in their speech. Allah describes the hypocrites of old in the same way: “When they speak, you listen to their words.” [Sûrah al-Munâfiqûn : 4]
Allah says: “When the hypocrites approach you (O Muhammad), they say: ‘We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allah.’ Allah knows that you are indeed His Messenger and Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are liars.” [Sûrah al-Munâfiqûn: 1]
The secularists must be exposed because they are deceiving much of the general public. They are dressing up their words and ideas with Islamic slogans and are selectively quoting from the Qur’ân and Sunnah and the scholarly works of old, and even citing principles of Islamic Law to spread their ideas. For this reason, many Muslims may follow them.
Exposing them must be accomplished without misconduct, agitation, and anger. It must be conducted in an objective, factual manner so that even your opponent has no choice but to concede to the truth of what you say.
2. We must work hard for our religion. Allah never lets the works of any man or woman go to waste, not in this world and not in the Hereafter. He does not withhold the reward of those who do right. Likewise, Allah does not make good the works of those who spread mischief and corruption. Their works are indeed wasted and their achievements are fleeting. As for the believers, they are assured that their works are preserved, both in this life and in the life to come. Allah says: “Relent not in pursuit of the enemy. If you are suffering, lo! they suffer even as you suffer, and you hope from Allah that for which they cannot hope.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 104]
What we mentioned about the history of Turkey has happened and continues to happen over and over again in many Muslim lands. Sometimes the strategies are the same and sometimes they are different, depending on the circumstances. In any case, the struggle between Islam and secularism goes on throughout the Muslim world and affects its people, just like it did in Turkey.
An Arabic verse reads: “Whoever holds history in his heart has added the lives of others to his own.” We should benefit from the experience of others and realize what the secularists are doing to take over and ruin our societies and make us no more than a small part of the West that reared them.