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Fatwa - Has Western Civilization Brought Any Comfort?
Islam Online ^ | 5/12/02 | Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

Posted on 05/12/2002 4:36:06 PM PDT by swarthyguy

How Does Islam view the Western civilization? The reason for this question is that, as we know, the Westerners always brag about their civilization and scientific advancement, with which they view other people with scorn. But to me, the ruins and woes this civilization brought them outweigh its advantage. What do you think?

As regards your question, we’d like say that the materialistic civilization can be replaced by morally and spiritually based systems only when Muslims become aware that Allah has shown us the principles and strategy designed to liberate man from the clutches of the Satan. Truth and justice can become governing values in the world only when the Muslims revive their own heritage and apply the Qur’an and Sunnah to change themselves as a first step to change the world.

Shedding more light on this issue, the prominent scholar and renowned Da`iyah, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi states:

“In the very beginning, we are to stress the fact that a nation that once reached the peak of civilization can create a new one, making use of the bright side of the Western scientific advancement, placing it in a frame of human and spiritual values and making it conform with the Divine legislation. In this way, the defects of the contemporary civilization will be eradicated.

The whole world now has been immersed completely in a dream-like wonder of the Western technological advancement that has leveled the space and time for man. It has made life easy for him to the extent that most of his needs are now fulfilled once he presses a small button. What’s more, he may even dispense with buttons in many occasions; upon entering his house, a door opens itself. Such automatic faucets and escalators are few examples of assortment of luxury and comfort the Western civilization has offered man.

Man has also invaded the outer space, explored the moon and brought some of its stones and rocks for laboratory work. This mammoth scientific advancement could never be imagined before. Such achievements are all alluded to in the Qur’anic verse: “And He createth that which ye know not.”(An-Nahl: 8)

Man Reaps Wretchedness from this Civilization

Now comes the very important question: Has this scientific advancement that has enabled man to travel to the moon brought him happiness?

Our better reality denotes that the answer is in the negative. This pure materialistic Western concept of knowledge granted man just only physical comfort, not the spiritual one. Yes, man succeeded in achieving many state-of-the-art technologies but failed to have peace of mind. This has led to a sort of disparity between man's outer appearance and his inner self. His life, though decorated and colorful, is shallow from within.

It has become a common matter to hear cries of distress, fear, sorrow and despair from people of the so-called developed world. With all the means of comfort they have, they lack spiritual calmness.

No wonder then to see psychiatrists in those countries always having a busy schedule, with throng of clients bringing in their complaints of moral corruption, worry, family disintegration, lack of social stability and solidarity. All this culminated in the high rates of crime to the extent that led to spreading fear and horror among people.

The cause of all these ailments is the absolute freedom granted to man under the umbrella of the Western civilization. This has corrupted man’s inner nature and failed to satiate his unfulfilled needs. The more one fulfills his desire, the more he yearns for extra luxuries. The West fails to realize that there is no absolute freedom in the universe. All planets stars move in certain orbits. Ships and planes go in certain ways that if struck by a tiny change, it may lead to a fatal catastrophe.

Man is not the only victim of this so-called civilization; it has taken its toll on the environment as well. Pollution, nuclear and chemical wastes are in abundant endangering the living species on earth. What adds insult to injury is this genetic engineering, which, instead of addressing man’s woes, has brought about more dangers. Mad cow disease is just a beginning.

Arabic poet says:

Still in the days to come, More surprising is the outcome.

These are but the natural results of man's own work, when he gives himself loose rein and thinks of himself as being the sole controller of the universe and forgets that he is no more than a creature and that he has to surrender to the Laws of his Lord in order to prosper.

Why Do People Suffer?

People’s woes stem from the fact that they have forgotten their Lord and thus He causes them to forget themselves. Now, they lack the fuel that makes them lead life and look to their future through a dim perspective. They are like a living corpse walking on earth.

Many scholars, philosophers, instructors, men of letters and politicians have warned against the dangerous effect of this materialistic Western civilization on man.

Among those erudite scholars is Alex Carlyl and Reniet Dobou, a noble prize winner.

The well known American philosopher John Deyo says: "A civilization that allows science to destroy the existing values with no capacity to create new ones is a self-destructive civilization."

The contemporary British thinker and renowned historian Arnold Toynbee is quoted as saying that the solution to the problems of the Western society lies in giving the religion high priority for them to gain salvation.

The American intellectual, John Steinneck, sent to his friend Edlay Stevenson that reads: “The problem of America lies in its luxury and the many things it has. With all those things, it has no spiritual vocation to offer. We are in a dire need to something that will awaken us from our deep slumber. We have really overcome nature but still unable to overcome our own selves.”

The German poet Broshert expressed the problem of these new generations being brought up under the umbrella of this new civilization and said: “Our generation is shallow from within. We really lack religion, comfort and tranquility. Our love is physical and the gloom of youth fades away in us. Our generation knows no limits, no borders and no protection.”

Among the politicians who showed concern in this regard is the well-known American Secretary of State, John Foster Dallas, who wrote a book entitled “War or Peace” that included a chapter “Our Spiritual Need”. In this chapter, he addressed many things that America lacks. He wrote: “The problem is not one of material things, for we have the state-of-the-art materials. What we really need is strong sound faith, for without it all our materials do not worth a tinker’s cuss. Such deficiency that arises out of lack of faith cannot be compensated for by politicians, diplomats, scholars or anyone else.”

He further wrote: “Before his demise President Wilson wrote: “All in all, our civilization cannot keep on this way unless W it regains spirituality.””

Science Cannot Bring Happiness to Man

People are now complaining of being wretched and miserable. They feel that life is purposeless. With all these technologies and unprecedented scientific discoveries, people are still unable to gain happiness. These forms of sciences fail to remove people’s wretchedness, misfortune and triviality. Great scientists have always reiterated that science cannot act as a savior for mankind.

Sayings of Great Scientists

Among those scientists is Alexis Carlyle, the noble prize winner in science and the author of “Man; That Unknown Being” in which he put Western civilization to criticism based on scientific criteria.

Alexis Carlyle wrote: “Modern civilization is on the horns of dilemma, for it does not really suit us. Such a civilization was established on the images of scientific discoveries, people’s lusts, fake ideas, theories and wishes. In spite of the fact that it is we who established it, it is not suitable for us.”

In another place, he wrote: “Man is to be librated from the chains of this universe. It was scientists and astronomers who placed man in such chains. Though being immense, the world of matter is still limited for man.”

Finally, Carlyle wrote: “It is now time for man to get out of these shackles; man needs to revive himself. This is not a matter of laying down a program, for a program is no more than a new chain that imprisons our future inside the bars of our mind.”

The well-known American psychologist Dr. Henry Link writes: “Science does not have remedies for complicated life problems. Science is not the source of happiness, for more scientific advancement means more complicated life. Unless these free sciences are unified and placed in the frame of clear facts of life, they will inevitably lead to decay in minds and total collapse. It is faith only that can play this important role.”

The West Is Far Remote From Religion

In addition to all the above, science, in the West, emerged while being separated from religion or even as an enemy to religion. The church adopted a hostile stance towards science and scientific discoveries. Scientists, in their turn, also perceived religion as a threat, so they kept it at their arm’s length; they would not even mention Allah’s name in their writings.

It was for that reason that all scientific studies looked to universal laws as emerging from nature and not as being Divine. None of those scientists even said to his students that such and such is a divine creation. Instead, they were of the say that all surrounding phenomena are created by nature.

In fact, the entire universe witnesses to the fact that it is Almighty Allah Who has created everything. Almighty Allah says: “Our Lord is He Who gave unto evening its nature, then guided it aright.” (Taha: 50)

The West uses the modern technologies for harmful as well as beneficial things, in good and evil. The World War I and World War II pose as evidence of the great destruction the Western civilization can inflict on the humanity. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are another living evidence.

How can we say, after all this, that the West is still able to grant happiness to the world. How to expect those who are shallow from within to be saviors? How to think that those who are wretched will give happiness to us? Indeed, those who have nothing can give nothing.”

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: civilisation; clashofcivilizatio; islam; western
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1 posted on 05/12/2002 4:36:07 PM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: swarthyguy
Our better reality denotes that the answer is in the negative.

Yes, that better reality is really working. Suicide bombers, starving kids, women in burqas -- a regular reality paradise, ain't it?

America's Fifth Column ... watch PBS documentary JIHAD! In America
Download 8 Mb zip file here (60 minute video)

2 posted on 05/12/2002 4:44:04 PM PDT by JCG
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To: swarthyguy
Fatwa - Has Western Civilization Brought Any Comfort?

Prior to September 11's clear demontration of you Muslims being unable to control the very worst of human nature within your ranks, Western Civilization brought us the comfort of knowing that we lived in a society where large, organized, well-financed groups of psychotic fanatics did not assault us with mass destruction on our own soil.

Since then, it has brought us the comfort of knowing that one way or another, we will wipe out the threat that your religion poses to the world. If push comes to shove and we are forced, we have the comfort of knowing that you will lose -- as you should. You barbarian.

3 posted on 05/12/2002 4:46:37 PM PDT by Maceman
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To: swarthyguy
The West, or the universal civilization it leads, is emotionally rejected. It undermines; it threatens. But at the same time it is needed, for its machines, goods, medicines, warplanes, the remittances from the emigrants, the hospitals that might have a cure for calcium deficiency, the universities that will provide master's degrees in mass media. All the rejection of the West is contained within the assumption that there will always exist out there a living, creative civilization, oddly neutral, open to all to appeal to. Rejection, therefore, is not absolute rejection. It is also, for the community as a whole, a way of ceasing to strive intellectually. It is to be parasitic; parasitism is one of the unacknowledged fruits of fundamentalism. And the emigrants pour out from the land of the faith: thirty thousand Pakistanis shipped by the manpower-export experts to West Berlin alone, to claim the political asylum meant for the people of East Germany.

The patron saint of the Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan was Maulana Maudoodi. He opposed the idea of a separate Indian Muslim state because he felt that the Muslims were not pure enough for such a state. He felt that God should be the lawgiver; and, offering ecstasy of this sort rather than a practical programme, he became the focus of millenarian passion. He campaigned for Islamic laws without stating what those laws should be.

He died while I was in Pakistan. But he didn't die in Pakistan: the news of his death came from Boston. At the end of his long and cantankerous life the maulana had gone against all his high principles. He had gone to a Boston hospital to look for health: he had at the very end entrusted himself to the skill and science of the civilization he had tried to shield his followers from. He had sought, as someone said to me (not all Pakistanis are fundamentalists), to reap where he had not wanted his people to sow. Of the maulana it might be said that he had gone to his well-deserved place in heaven by way of Boston; and that he went at least part of the way by Boeing.

-- V.S. Naipaul, Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey.

4 posted on 05/12/2002 4:46:59 PM PDT by dighton
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: swarthyguy
....the Westerners always brag about their civilization and scientific advancement, with which they view other people with scorn. But to me, the ruins and woes this civilization brought them outweigh its advantage. What do you think?

I think you are absolutely right, Mr. Al-Qaradawi.

Please advise all your co-religionist who feel the same way about Western Civilization as you do to pack up and return the country of their birth so that they will no longer suffer the woes of having to live amongst us Westerners.

6 posted on 05/12/2002 4:53:03 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: dighton
I bet he didn't mind the help of Jewish or Hindu doctors at the end of his too long life.
9 posted on 05/12/2002 4:58:45 PM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: dighton
Translation: Jews win a lot of Nobel Prizes and 1,000,000,000 Muslims don't, so Western Civilization must suck.

And with what do these monkeys use to get oil out of the ground? Divining rods?

10 posted on 05/12/2002 5:00:32 PM PDT by Senator Pardek
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To: abwehr; swarthyguy;
As you say, Abwehr, this mullah is no great intellect. It is a vague article, which depends upon prejudice. But I do think that he is trying to contemplate some of the problems which beset both Western and Third World nations. The quote which he provides, to me, does have some meaning:

The well-known American psychologist Dr. Henry Link writes: Science does not have remedies for complicated life problems. Science is not the source of happiness, for more scientific advancement means more complicated life. Unless these free sciences are unified and placed in the frame of clear facts of life, they will inevitably lead to decay in minds and total collapse. It is faith only that can play this important role.

The lack of any faith and morality in our societies is a most destructive thing. What to do about it puzzles me - I am inclined to say that education must become more conservative, in the sense of requiring people to learn of the most elevated aspects of human culture.

11 posted on 05/12/2002 5:00:55 PM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: Senator Pardek
I can sum this "fatwa" up in two words:

Sour Grapes

12 posted on 05/12/2002 5:06:35 PM PDT by wimpycat
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To: swarthyguy
Millions of people flock from the Islamic theocracies to the Western Democracies in a never ending stream. The flow is one-way.

These misguided, benighted people need missionaries more than they need anything else.

13 posted on 05/12/2002 5:07:13 PM PDT by Savage Beast
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To: abwehr
I felt this argument by the islamics of the 'ills' of western civ. had been put to rest. It's surprising to see it surface again. They'll start appealing to people who agree with a lot of these criticisms and to show islam's 'superior' more all-enveloping, comprehensive solution; one of whose salient features will be the lack of choice and freedom in virtually any of life's endeavours, strivings, pitfalls and joys. It's a powerful argument that one hopes does not have any significant appeal in the nonislamic world.
14 posted on 05/12/2002 5:13:26 PM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: swarthyguy
I'll believe this B.S. when the Muslims give up their cell phones and Mercedes Benzes.
15 posted on 05/12/2002 5:15:38 PM PDT by etcetera
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To: swarthyguy
I doubt most westerners feel they are in need of a more spritual lifestyle. I also feel modern material gains, can co-exsist with a spritual lifestyle. It seems foolish to claim cultural and spritual superiority, while at the same time xenophobically murdering everyone different. I think the Islamic peoples cling to their religion, and claim it makes them more virtueous than the west, because the truth is so overwhelmingly bad. The Islamic culture as a whole has an inferiority complex, and so must hide their problem from themselves, with the one thing which makes them unique(Islam).
16 posted on 05/12/2002 5:28:33 PM PDT by Eagle74
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To: etcetera
Not to mention spreading fatwas by the net.
17 posted on 05/12/2002 5:30:38 PM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: Polybius
The problem with this fatwa is that he confuses the materialistic liberalism which has (hopefully) temporarily engulfed most western nations with "western civilization" itself. Western civilization of say, Victorian England, is a better measure of western culture across the scope of its existence than is the current, admittedly sad social state of many western nations.
18 posted on 05/12/2002 5:38:31 PM PDT by quebecois
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To: dighton

The sequel to this book (pub. ~1997) is also good though it has some dead chapters ... VS is getting on in years. But then.......check this out....




Naipaul lets rip at 'banality' of Indian women writers

Nobel prize winner's short fuse explodes during debate on colonialism and gender oppression

Fiachra Gibbons, arts correspondent
Friday February 22, 2002
The Guardian

Two of India's leading women writers were yesterday taught a very tough lesson. You must never, ever bore VS Naipaul with trifling matters such as colonialism or the enslavement of your sex.

Sir Vidia, in the land of his ancestors to celebrate his Nobel prize for literature, cut loose after listening to Shashi Deshpande and Nayantara Sehgal - a niece of Nehru, India's first prime minister - debate how gender oppression had affected their work.

As the pair moved on to talk about the harmful influence of English on Indian literature, Naipaul's famously short fuse exploded: "Banality irritates me. My life is short. I can't listen to banality. This thing about colonialism, this thing about gender oppression, the very word oppression wearies me," the 69-year-old Trinidad-born author told a literary festival held to honour him south of New Delhi.

"If writers talk about oppression, they don't do much writing. Fifty years have gone by. What colonialism are you talking about?"

Amid uproar and with Naipaul apparently shaking with fury, the writer and film-maker Ruchir Joshi shouted, "You're being obnoxious!"

The situation was pacified by the poet and novelist Vikram Seth, who allowed Deshpande to reply to his tirade. "What does not affect anybody would be banal to them," she said. "When I was listening to this talk about the anguish of the exile, I was really cool about it," she added in a pointed reference to Naipaul's life in England.

This was not the first - or is it likely to be the last - time that Naipaul's temper or his sharp tongue have got the better of him. His love-hate relationship with India, the land of his fathers, has been trying for both parties.

Many Indians have never forgiven him for the fierce candour of his books about the subcontinent, An Area Of Darkness, and India: A Wounded Civilisation. It did not help that days after becoming a Nobel laureate in October he said no one in India had been intellectual enough to understand the books when they were first published.

He followed that up by railing against the "calamitous effect of Islam on its subject peoples - it was much worse than colonialism", and further outraged liberal Indians by seeming to throw in his lot with the Hindu nationalists of the BJP.

"Islam destroyed India," he said. "There is this ill-informed idea that it was the British, in the short time that they were there, that ruined and defaced all those temples you see. The bitter fact is that the people of India were ill-equipped to face the organised military power of Islam and were destroyed by it.

"The intellectual life of India, the Sanskrit culture, stops at 1000AD. Islam was the greatest calamity that befell it. Now people think only the Muslims built anything but what they brought was a slave culture that lasted in some parts of India until almost the other day.

"To be a Muslim you have to destroy your history, to stamp on your ancestral culture. The sands of Arabia is all that matters. This abolition of the self is worse than the colonial abolition, much worse."

Naipaul said he was not troubled by the way the BJP had appropriated his writing, particularly Among the Believers and Beyond Belief, which were damning about Islam. "I am very glad, I think it is the beginning of self-awareness [in India] which is the beginning of an intellectual life."


19 posted on 05/12/2002 5:39:01 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: swarthyguy
There are probably a lot of us here who would like to discuss the spiritual shortcomings of Western society.

Someone whose society is devoted to buggery and slaughter, repression and ignorance, the maiming of their daughters and the dynamiting of their sons is probably not going to bring much to the discussion.

20 posted on 05/12/2002 5:41:13 PM PDT by marron
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