Supreme Leader's Stance on "Modern Islamic Civilization"
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The idea of "Modern Islamic Civilization" was first proposed by the Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. To the seasoned cleric, the most important task assigned today to the Muslim world, particularly genuine scholars and intellectuals, is to make “serious and brave efforts” to breathe the genuine essence of Islam and spirituality into a world replete with injustice, discrimination and brutality.
This present paper aims at delineating the Supreme Leader's stance on the formation of Islamic modern civilization.
Islamic civilization, in the past and with the attempts made by Muhammad Prophet (PBUH), became clearly the dominant civilization of the world. Although, this Islamic civilization subsequently has been turned a blind eye and neglected. It was pushed into the forgotten corner of people's minds and lives.
New western civilization, as result, came to the fore by absorbing some elements and strengths of the Islamic civilization. This civilization has been dominated for about four hundred years and has continued to exist to date.
Over the past 150 years, this Western civilization has pervaded much of the Islamic world imposing in the long run a new lifestyle, custom and values to people worldwide.
Thus far, different questions have been proposed over the nature of such civilization and for answering them, Islamic thinkers and elites stepped up and made a move to study the nature of both western and Islamic civilization.
One of those puzzles was that whether the divine religion of Islam in Islamic countries can be the architect of social transformation and change.
Some gave positive answer to the above question while some others have opposed this idea; the puzzle has not been solved up until the triumph of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. The reality of the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979 answered the proposed questions in this regard.
People in Iran and other countries across the world of Islam saw with their own eyes that Islam can be the architect of social transformation. The divine religion of Islam can meet the needs of humans in modern society by preserving Islamic principles and values.
Forming Islamic political system in the modern world was the second puzzle, and religious expert had to study whether Islam can create a "modern system" or not.
This question was answered by studying the design of the system adopted by the Islamic Republic of Iran which by nature was a semi-modern and semi-traditional. In actual fact, this political system had "the necessary sustainability" and could survive in the passage of time. Therefore, it is proven beyond a shadow of doubt that Islam can also form a stable political system, unlike the dominant river of Western secularism.
Answering the aforementioned questions eased the way for solving the third puzzle.
The third phase was solving the conundrum about "Islamic State". To form an Islamic state, righteous rulers should be educated; they should be able to save the system in plagued situations through their tact. In this system, all the governors, senior officials and authorities work in tandem and cooperate well to fulfill the set objectives.
To this end, working on humane values and cultivating humane features should be placed high on agenda. For want of a better sentence, working on moralities is among the fundamental and long-term goals in forming modern Islamic civilization.
The importance and necessity of cultivating humane features in politicians and elites should be given consummate attention. Because this stratum of the society have the resources of the country and can play a leading role in setting their nation's fate. In actual fact, training statesmen and promoting moral values in them provide the way for "socialization" and the realization of the "Islamic society".
In this regard, people's beliefs, morals, and behaviors should to be brought closer to Islamic standards. This has happened before (back to early days of Islam) so it can be repeated again.
The realization of "modern Islamic civilization" in the modern world is hard-earned goal but we can fulfill this ultimate objective one more time. Modern civilization is possible, although nobody has reached it in modern era. However, at least this has happened once and it is possible to repeat it in the modern world. The experience of ancient civilization is a valuable asset for having modern Islamic Civilization.
Modern Islamic civilization has some distinctive features in terms of "spirituality", "justice", "identity" and "negation of dualism". The main distinction of modern Islamic civilization is, of course, in its Islamic identity.
By maintaining Islamic identity, Muslims can absorb and internalize the elements of power and technology of the West. In order to maintain Islamic identity, Muslims should draw attention to Islamic teachings, Islamic ontology, Islamic epistemology, and Islamic strategies.
Another distinguishing feature of modern Islamic civilization is its justice. Making progress and headway in modern civilization should be along with securing social justice.
Spirituality mingled with rationality is another noting feature of modern Islamic civilization; for making a move and forming a modern Islamic civilization both areas of spirituality and rationality should be considered and taken into account.
Ayatollah Khamenei in this regard stressed that the most important task assigned today to the Muslim world, particularly genuine scholars and intellectuals, is to make “serious and brave efforts” to breathe the genuine essence of Islam and spirituality into a world replete with injustice, discrimination and brutality.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution noted, “Today, it is the Muslim world’s turn to move in the direction of developing a ‘modern Islamic civilization’ by applying science and global tools as well as reason, wisdom, prudence and insight.”
A modern Islamic civilization does not mean encroachment upon territories, trampling the rights of human beings and imposing one’s own ethics and culture upon nations, like what the Western civilization did; but it means granting divine virtue to humanity and laying the groundwork for humans to identify the right path.
The dominant western civilization holds back the emergence of the modern Islamic civilization. This obstacle is a common threat to all 57 Islamic countries worldwide.
This barrier is now one hundred and fifty years old and can be held as one of the major obstacles to the development of the World of Islam. But how can we get rid of such barrier?
To Supreme Leader, the enemies of Muslim nations exploit the existing division and disunity among Muslims in a bid to prevent the birth of modern Islamic civilization.
The sole way for solving the standing problem and setback is people's unity, convergence, rapprochement, solidarity and peaceful coexistence. Through such way, Muslim nations can counter their enemies and gain momentum in various areas.
To counter the cruelty of the West's civilization against Muslims and even non-Muslims in Latin America, Africa and Asia, we must get united, and work in tandem in scientific arenas.