Advancement of Muslim world in contemporary scenario | By Umar Riaz Abbasi 

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Advancement of Muslim world in contemporary scenario


THE immense challenges faced by the Islamic world are compounded by other challenges that are no lesser in gravity, such as the prevalence of sectarian conflicts, doctrinal fanaticism and religious strife tearing apart people who share the same Qibla (praying direction for Muslims).

Today, sectarian expansion, fuelled by clashes that are no longer discreet or undeclared among the sects, is on the increase, gravely jeopardizing the spiritual and cultural unity of the Muslim Ummah and constituting a hard core of tension and mistrust within Islamic societies.

This danger is besieging us all and we have time and again drawn attention to it and appealed to the wise of the Muslim Ummah to confront it with the seriousness, sincerity and sense of responsibility it calls for.

This is probably a good opportunity for me to shed some light on the efforts of Muslim prominent scholars in this regard.

Intellectuals prepared a Strategy for Bringing Islamic Madhahib (jurisprudence) closer together, along with the mechanisms of its implementation.

As one of these mechanisms, for the rapprochement of Islamic Jurisprudence and brought together a select group of scholars from different Islamic schools of thought.

But out of scientific integrity and in recognition of the painful truth, we can but admit that the provisions and orientations of this strategy are not implemented and a hidden hand within the community of Muslims is persistently kindling sectarian strife and endeavoring at all costs to advocate a sectarian philosophy that promotes such division, the result being the grave crises and hotbeds of instability that have erupted in many parts of the Islamic world.

There is no denying that the wars and conflicts tearing to shreds the unity of the Islamic world and undermining its entity are mostly the fruit of a sectarian expansionism that aspires to lay claim to the Islamic world from East to West, a design that is certainly doomed to failure.

It is interesting that the instability, wars, conflicts and chaos prevailing in parts of the Islamic world are giving license to foreign powers to interfere in the internal affairs of some Islamic countries, and provide a gateway for their penetration of Islamic societies, controlling national policies and breaking the ranks of national unity in unstable countries in pursuit of their own interests.

This has placed the Islamic world in the position of a target in many plots that wreak havoc with its stability and jeopardize security and general economic and social conditions of Muslim populations, ultimately propelling the Islamic world back into regression or stalling its march towards the future.

These are the broad lines and distinct features of the Islamic world as they were in the past and as they happen to be today.

What about tomorrow? What have we prepared for the future? The first step in building the future of the Islamic world is we aspire to eradicate illiteracy in all its forms, functional illiteracy, digital illiteracy and information illiteracy.

It also entails developing and improving the quality of education by adopting modern and world class educational systems, starting with the training of teachers who believe in the vision of change, capable of leading the drive for change, mastering information technologies, resourceful, seasoned professionals who are capable of interacting with colleagues and students, knowledgeable about modern sciences and the culture of their societies. The financial standing of these teachers needs to be imperatively improved.

Secondly, by modernizing curricula and renovating the schooling system, and by reforming and modernizing university education in terms of the knowledge base, organizational structure, technological structure and global context.

This is referred to as the quadrilogy of educational development and aims to develop the university and promote its mission and role in supporting global sustainable development, support and develop scientific research, and encourage innovation and creativity in science and technology.

Thirdly, by fighting corruption in general, political corruption, administrative corruption and judiciary corruption, and by reinforcing economic complementarities among countries of the Islamic world, expanding intra-Islamic trade, the exchange of professional technical, financial and administrative expertise, and spreading the culture of work, productive, scientific and critical thinking in all spheres, and competitiveness in productivity and creativity.

Fourth: the Islamic world cannot achieve stability and sally forth on the path of progress without first fighting the sectarian thought, doctrinal and ethnic radicalism and conflicts raging on between Muslims.

In fact, when sectarian thought and doctrinal and ethnic fanaticism spread their tentacles and prevail, they carry within them the seeds of self-destruction and result in a general weakening of the Islamic entity, paralyze the movement of the Islamic world and prevent it from rising, advancing or progressing.

To a large extent, all of this hinges upon the implementation of the OIC Charter on Conflict Resolution and on Reinforcing Islamic Solidarity in the face of foreign covetousness and designs.

—The writer is well-known author, columnist and PhD scholar at National University of Modern Languages Islamabad.

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