Navigating Cultural Crossroads: Islam, Liberalism, and the Modern World

The Challenges of Modernity for Islam: How Can Muslims Stay True to Their Faith in a Changing World?

As social media has shrunk our globe, we can get in touch with anybody worldwide without much of a nuisance. And this is all because of the influence of social media. We have got hundreds of social media apps, and I stumbled on one just like that. Yeah, on YouTube, I came across an enlightening podcast.

Eon Holdings arranged a get together on 27th of July 2023, with Amman, Zarak, and Asad. Ahmed Khan was their special guest. By profession, Khan is a lawyer and teaches law at Beacon House International College. He has also been a frequent guest in the Youth Club's podcast. He's also collaborating with the Saudi Government as Dawah activist, helping non-Muslims to understand Islam and making it easy for them to behold Islam. The podcast discussed organizing our society and local culture through Islam. And how much Of Pakistan's local culture is juxtaposed with Islamic ways of life as Islam came to Pakistan through a long via.

There certainly is an influence of Islam on our local culture, but for the time being, liberalism has the most cultural impact, and there's a clash between the two. But If we talk about our parents and grandparents, there's no cultural attack of liberalism, and we only had Islam and our local culture. But now, if we look around, there's a war of narratives. Islam, too, is asserting itself; as in the last couple of decades, more people are now practicing as well, especially youngsters. The podcast claimed that Pakistan is known to have the majority of the conservative population and still has more influence of liberalism. And they clarified it by saying even though the liberals have a small percentage in terms of numbers, but they have enough buzz to make themselves prominent.

When it comes to living in a global village, it's not only about us or people living within a society representing that culture. It's about our exposure and through which culture we are inspired. And if we talk about the world's culture, then it is a Western liberal secular culture, and this culture automatically drives us. And it matters a lot because that also judges our success matrix. So, even though we have less population to represent that culture, they have much influence.
The ruling class always rules the ruled ones. It was further said that Pakistani (and even Indian subcontinent) culture is getting influenced by Arabs, particularly if we talk about practicing Muslims in the region. And there's a difference between being influenced by Islam and being Influenced by Arabs. And this deflection might be because of Petrodollar and The Saudi influence. It's a kind of mixture where we are also taking our ideas from the West. The consumption rate from the West is too high, which is why we are driven to it. And as was said before, we automatically measure our success from there. And Islam's political and economic aspects are backing out, while Islam as a religion is getting recognized.

There's always a conservative society and a liberal society existing side by side. And when that zeal of conservative society gets off through technological innovations, that is known as the Second Industrial Revolution. And also, we got faded by failed political attempts or by losing Iran and Afghan wars. In contrast, the other side got stronger culturally. They, as if, invaded our lives through the media. Electronic media, such as TV. It influenced our people. Back then, TV was considered Haram (forbidden by some islamic scholars), and there also were boundaries. But now it's not the same. We are stuck in a fast Fashion and brand circus and have no time for bigger goals and ideology.

Now it seems as if the limiter on the liberal agenda is getting weaker; on the other hand, the conservative plans have access to limited subjects. The tragedy is that we don't have any religious alternative to counter that. We can not even say Pakistan is a sovereign state that can make decisions freely. As in the podcast, they discussed the political aspects of different religious parties and critically analyzed their success. In today's era, fast fashion and consumption are so high that people always want to consume more.

Islam's primary agenda focuses on going against your desires, contraindicated from the consumption motives. Even though there's a way out, but our lack of knowledge shuts it down.

As the West focuses on liberal arts, that's also the reason they have a more keen understanding of social and economic growth. Another considerable issue we can't discuss is Blasphemy, which is a susceptible topic. Even our scholars avoid it; we can't even speak on how to deal with Blasphemy, and whoever talks about it must take the heat. There won't be many voices even When there's an unjust kill in Blasphemy. There should be a due process through which we can act.Although Islam is the fastest-growing religion in numbers, but in political and law-making, Islam is fading away from our consciousness.

We have limited Islam to spiritual aspects and limited it to ourselves. While politics, business, and law-making seem to rule the world as if we don't have to make a law according to the teachings of Islam. We have only limited Islam to our home and mosques. In the West, there's infiltration of social sciences, and Western Muslims acknowledge the classical practices of religion. They have a high understanding of how Islam should be practiced.

They have provoked conservative thought as they have a keen interest in Islamic studies, and many Western Muslims got their degrees and started teaching there as well; this scenario has a much greater impact. Another threat is that it is difficult to educate our children while still keeping them on the right track and connected with Islam. They have their average interaction in school, so it is not enough to combat this issue only at home. For this, we can only develop some guidelines and guard rails for their safety, and we cannot pamper them fully because, one way or another, they'll always be influenced by society. As a parent, you'll have to be aware of the pits.

Through Democratization, we can interact with our scholars and ask questions that seem to develop our personal interest in learning about religion and its values. But there is a drawback that we are not very connected with our scholars as we criticize them a lot without looking at their contributions. We should drive our audience to respect the scholars. We should not tear down the history of 1400 years. There is another secret to the success of the West that they've always adopted from past periods, such as the French Revolution, the Greeks, etc. They have made them their model to look up for success.

They have learned from their pros and cons. While we always wander around, ignoring our history and teachings. To sum up, it is challenging to save ourselves from the so-called systems that infiltrate liberalism in us and our youth, especially when there are multiple attacks at every level. But for our safety measures, and the only solution that seems to be helpful is to seek out people who are knowledgeable about tradition and understand how to apply this knowledge in the modern world.

Islam in a Globalized World: The Clash of Cultures
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