Sultan Shahin, Founder-Editor, New Age Islam
1 Jan 2009
Let us resolve to keep helping Muslims in the New Year mapping an agenda for Islam in the Twenty-first century – the task New Age Islam has set before itself.
Islam is of course, a universal Deen, for all people in every corner of the world and for all times to come; but in order to fulfil its destiny it has to keep reinventing itself in every new age; it has to be rethought and reinterpreted in the light of the orthodox Islamic principles of Ijtihad, the gates of which were opened for us by Allah and the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and no Muslim has the right to close them down.
The pace of change has accelerated so much in the last decades that our very way of life has become quite distinct even from the recent past. How does the Islamic way of life mesh into and cope with the demands of the New Age is the major challenge before us Muslims, that too at a time when we have not only vast numbers of Muslim societies in nearly all parts of the world varying from one another in our social norms and customs, but also a vast number of interpretations of Islam resulting in deep sectarian divisions. While for enemies of Islam in the extortionist and exploitative sections of human society Islam is one religion and Muslims are one religious community the world over, for Muslims themselves there are scores of Islams and scores of Muslim communities, nearly all baying for each others’ blood. We apparently need to reboot Islam in our systems.
Let us at least resolve that in the New Year 2009 we will at least find the lowest common denominator or the greatest common divisor for what should have been the simplest of questions and has become a very complicated one: who is a Muslim? Let us also resolve to work in the New Year towards closing down all the Kafir-and-Mushrik-manufacturing factories that are flourishing so much in our midst. There are so many things to be done; but let us start at the easiest first step.
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