Islam — The Religion of Humanity (Western People’s Condemnation of their own Civilisation)
by Mian Rahim Bakhsh, M.A., Karachi, Pakistan
The Light (Pakistan), 16th/24th April 1977 Issue (Vol. 57, Nos. 15–16, p. 9–11)
As a sequence to the opening para titled ‘The Lost World’ of my article “Islam, The Religion Of Peace”, which has appeared in “The Light” I reproduce below the article from “The Readers Digest” of November 1976 under the caption “Western civilization: ‘To Be or Not To Be?’” which would be read with great interest, as it expresses the view that the Western civilization is heading fast towards self-destruction and devastation in pursuing its objective of stark materialism devoid of all moral and spiritual values. To quote Mr. Malcolm Muggeridge, the author of the article:
“A book called Decline of the West, by Oswald Spengler, made a considerable stir in the 1920s. The question I pose is: Has this decline now become an irreversible stampede to destruction?
“In power, wealth and influence, the people of the West are still pre-eminent. No, what is at issue, as I see it, is not the means to survive, or even the will to survive, but the faith to survive.
“Our Western civilization was born of the great drama enacted in Palestine 2,000 years ago—the drama of the Incarnation, the Passion and the Resurrection—and all that flowed therefrom. This is what inspired and nourished the arts of literature, music, architecture and learning which are the glory of our civilization. If Western man has now rejected these origins, persuading himself that he can chart his own future then assuredly he and his way of life and all he stood for must perish.
“The real crisis thus about man’s relationship with his Creator rather than with his energy supplies, his currency and gross national product, his sexual fantasies, and other passing pre-occupations with which the media interminably concern themselves. These are essentially trivial matters.
“Never have I felt so much love as I do now in old age for my native English country-side, for the English people and their history, above all for the English language and literature. At the same time, it has to be admitted that our national affairs are in great disarray, if not worse; and that our institutions of government and of justice seem to be afflicted by dry rot. Yet if, in the Gadarene Stakes— England seems at the moment well ahead, all the other countries of the West are jostling and pushing in the same direction. When men turn away from God the French philosopher Blaise Pascal said, they must either imagine themselves gods or, aware of the absurdity of such a presumption, revert to being animal and seek their satisfaction in carnality. Megalomania or Erotomania, the two great sicknesses of our age.
“And now Pascal’s equation takes place to the accompaniment of the media, especially television. Future historians, if any, will surely marvel at the tolerance accorded to this immensely powerful instrument of persuasion and its pundit-salesmen. How I envy the Gibbon who, looking back across the centuries at our decline and fall, will remark on how, as we systematically destroyed the values and restraints of our inherited way of life, we remained convinced that each innovation, each new assault on our marital fidelity, on the home and parenthood, was bound to be conducive to our well-being and enlightenment.
“A nightmare afflicts me from time to time. I find myself in a broadcasting studio deep underground, while above the last vestiges of civilized life disappear in mushroom cloud. In our studio, the discussion proceeds and a shrill-voiced lady participant insists that if only the school age might be raised to 20 and the consent lowered to 10, if only birth pills could be distributed to Brownies, if only marriage counselling might begin with the cradle and Lady Chatterley’s Lover got into the comics, all would yet be well.
“The barbarians who overran Rome came from without. Ours are home products, trained and suitably brain-washed and conditioned at public expense.
“It is difficult to resist the conclusion that Western man, wearied of the struggle, has decided to abolish himself. Creating boredom out of his own affluence, impotence out of his own erotomania, vulnerability out of his own strength, he himself blows the trumpet that brings the walls of his own city tumbling down. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and drugged and polluted himself into stupefaction, he keels over, a weary, battered old brontosaurus, and becomes extinct.
“The whole stupendous social-engineering efforts, made at such a cost in blood and tears to condition man to a purely terrestrial existence, has thus been a gigantic failure, a fiasco, as such efforts must always be.”
The agonizing and precarious predicament in which the Western world is placed today as a result of its tremendous and astounding material achievements, as portrayed in the foregoing note, had been foretold fourteen hundred years ago by the Quran and how truly the picture of the Western Christendom has been depicted in Surah Al-Kahf (Chapter 18: The Cave), which deals with the history of Christianity in its different phases as it originated in a most helpless condition six hundred years before the advent of Islam and its later development during the Middle Ages of Europe and its final emergence in the form of a super-materialistic power in the latter times coinciding with the Modem Age. Verses 7 and 8 of the opening section of this Chapter significantly point to the portents inherent in the Western powers to cause devastation on such an extensive scale as to lay waste vast territories which had been embellished by them on an unprecedented scale. Says the Holy Quran:
“Surely We have made whatever is on the earth an embellishment for it, so that We may try which of them is best in works. And We shall surely make what is (of embellishment) on it (as) dust, without (leaving any trace) of herbage.”
The last section of this Chapter specifically speaks of the scientific and industrial achievements of the modern times, which would prove mere vain deeds in the end, by creating hellish conditions of life for them. Pointing to the dogmatic Christian belief in Christ and their Popes as gods the Quran goes on to say:
‘Do those who disbelieve think that they can take My servants as gods besides Me? Surely We have prepared hell as an entertainment for the disbelievers. Say: shall We inform you (as to) who are the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds? Those whose effort is wasted in (material achievements of) (his world’s life, but they think they are manufacturing the best (things). Those are they who disbelieve in the messages of their Lord and meeting with Him, so their works go in vain. Nor shall We adjudge any reward on the Day of Resurrection. Thus, their retribution is hell, because they disbelieved and held My messages and my messengers in derision.” (The Holy Quran, 18:102–106)
Mr. Malcolm’s review of the situation facing the Western civilization reveals in unmistakable terms the truth of the Quran’s Prophetic assertion to the effect that despite the remarkable material advancement of the West in harnessing the forces of nature to the service of man and thus providing him with unimaginable and unlimited scope of amenities and luxuries of life, the Western civilization is in a state of hellish turmoil, suffering torments of mental agony from loss of spiritual peace and harmony, which condition is leading it to its decline and fall. Christianity has evidently failed to deliver the goods for emancipation of man
The Quran, which fourteen centuries back, forecast the present woeful conditions of the Western civilization and its fateful end, also brought the glad tidings for man’s survival and salvation in its Divine message, namely Islam is the only Religion for man to show him the true goal of his existence. It made this claim and announced to the world in unequivocal terms:
“This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favour to you and chosen for you Islam as a religion.” (The Holy Quran, 5:3)
Elsewhere it says:
“Surely the (true) religion with Allah is Islam.” (The Holy Quran, 3:18)
and goes on to assert:
“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him, and in the end he will be one of the losers.” (The Holy Quran, 3:84).
Under the Divine dispensation, Islam is thus the religion of humanity for all times and for all climes and in fact it is now the only hope for man’s existence on this earth in peace and amity, and for his emancipation to a higher life.