I refer to the letter Time for moderate Muslims to start learning . It's true that once upon a time, Islam was a great empire. When was that? When the dinosaurs went extinct? What happened to the greatness of the past Muslim scholars who created trigonometry and contributed to knowledge and mankind, at the same time not forgetting their responsibilities to God? What happened to these people? Did their ideology and thinking die with them?
What is happening today is that the Islamic world is very weak. No matter how much Abdul Rahman wants to glorify the past, look at us today, in a pathetic state of denial, fighting among ourselves and the most common excuse is to blame the Western mentality. Oh come on, what a sad state of mind. History should teach us to become better people, but not the Muslim world. We do not use history to improve ourselves. Abdul Rahman comes from Cairo, Egypt so he should look at the state of his neighbour before condemning anyone else.
In the past, Islam was practiced as a whole, contributing to knowledge as well as religion. So much so, that Islam gained the confidence of the people making it one of the biggest empires of all times. The 'quran' and the 'hadith' were practiced wholeheartedly. What is happening today? Only bits and pieces of the 'quran' and the 'hadith' are used.
The sad thing is that the 'quran' and the 'hadith' are not used to improve society but to create fear. The fanatics of religion choose to neglect the other elements in the Quran to create an unhealthy environment and always use the successes of the past as the milestone for the future. As an Islamic scholar, I have one question to ask - are we a religion of the past, or one working for a better present and future?
Today, there are two groups of Islamic scholars, one who are is still attached to the glory of the past while the other wants to strive for the present and future. Fortunately, I fall into the second group wanting to bring Islam to new heights. Dr Syed Alwi Ahamd , myself and many more out there have realised that something has happened to the Islamic civilisation to make it so weak. The leaders of the past have failed to see the implications of neglecting science and technology.
This created a loophole that has been monopolised by the so-called 'Western secular liberal paradigm'. In order to make up for lost time, we have to sit at the same table with these brilliant Western minds to learn from them. For most of us, Western civilisation is the one guiding us towards a more civilised society, as there are no role models for us in the Islamic world, particularly in terms of knowledge advancement in science and technology.
After many years working with my seniors from UK and Australia, I am beginning to realise why Islam feels so threatened by the West. But at one point, the West, too, was threatened by Islam. What did they do? What are we doing? Who is the one that has failed to think out of the box?
As a moderate Muslim, I will continue my contribution to knowledge, and will continue to strive to make this world a better place for my child, learning from the past to improve the future. Moderate Muslims must unite and fight these radicals who are making us weaker and may Allah swt bless us in our quest.