Islam is the Divine Guidance from our Creator and Sustainer for all times to come. The way it served the socio-economic-political needs and conditions of the time of Rasulullah (S), the same way it is available in all respects to serve the growing modern needs and situations of our time and for all times to come. Simply it needs comprehensive understanding of Islam as the system of life and a clear mastery over the issues and challenges that are facing the humanity today. It is our utmost responsibility to present Islam as the most perfect system of life, suitable to moderate the complicated life pattern of today. Islam is a limitless blessing of Allah that He has ordained for humanity till Qayamah.


Keeping the above in view, I have drafted the following topics, themes and questions for the Muslim Ummah, especially for the American Muslims, to think and come forward with practical suggestions/input to make Islam acceptable to the so-called modern man and the developed societies of the west without resorting to any change in the Islamic system itself. We can create some constructive dialogue and get together as and when possible. If the Ummah fails to attend these and many more questions/challenges that are lying ahead, its future does not augur well. If we are able to present the concept of Tawheed, Akhirah, Amanah and Prophethood in a very fascinating manner that catches the imagination of the people of the West and spell out the values that Islam promotes, for developing a balanced human society, it would then not be difficult to introduce and spread the Deen of Allah in the developed societies of the Western hemisphere within a decade or so, Insha Allah.     


It would be in the fitness of the matter to emphasize that the present tirades against Islam and Muslims are mostly due to the fact that we haven’t done our job of presenting Islam understandable to modern man who is confronted all around with problems that the liberal and materialistic values are unable to resolve, rather are multiplying them by leaps and bounds. Equally, Muslims living in the west could not present the fascinating trustworthy character that Islam promotes. We are, thus, paying the price of our inaction, indolence and neglecting the mission of Rasulullah (S) as Da’ee Ilallah.  Let us compensate the mistakes of the past and work enthusiastically with vision and concern as the benefactors of the suffering humanity. Let us response to the situation with courage and a will to make Islam acceptable to the needs and reasons of the “so-called enlightened era”.




* Why we need God or is God our need? Can we exist without the concept of God? If so, what will be the consequences?

*  Re-presentation of the total concept of Tawheed – in educational, moral, spiritual, Social, political, economic, international and spiritual dimensions, in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah, both to the intelligentsia and masses, is essential in the present context of the world, removing all doubts that modern civilization and liberal values have created in the minds and approach of the secular cum liberal West.

*  What is Iman in Allah? What the Kalimah Tayyeba [La Ilaha Ilallah] demands? Can the sovereignty of the people and the supremacy of Allah co-exist? Whose authority is supreme, inalienable and indivisible and why? 

*  The Concept of mother nature: The secular societies have camouflaged the Concept of God with “mother nature” and the concept of God exists only for academic discussion: what are its loses and gains?  How to convince the secular mind that success of both the worlds depends only in believing in Almighty Allah, the Supreme, the Omnipotent & the Omnipresent?

*   Sufferings of humanity are perpetuating only due to ignoring the authority of the Creator and Sustainer and neglecting or sidetracking the Divine Guidance as how to live, act and behave in this world?

*  Justice to humanity is the end of Divine Guidance: Can humans get justice anywhere without Divine Guidance?


2.   THE CONCEPT OF AKHIRAH – The life after death:

*  What is the concept of Akhirah? What it demands? What life pattern it produces? How much responsibility it creates in individuals who believe in it? What pattern of life it generates in the life of believers? How much he feels responsible in life and its undertakings with what results?  

*   Compare the life pattern of a believer with that of a disbeliever – one is a boon while the other is a liability for the human society. We have to prove it by giving vivid examples from every walk of American life and setting examples from the life of the people who live by this concept both from the past and the present.

*  The Concept of Amanah –Trust: What trust do we possess in our hands?   Are we the master of these resources or only their trustee? How they are to be used – the way an individual likes as per his or her whims, desires and caprices or the way the Creator ordains? *Are we not accountable for the use of these trusts?

* The Concept of accountability in Akhirah stems out of the concept of Amanah.



*  Does man need Divine Guidance & why? What is its source? What arrangement Creator made for the guidance of mankind?  How people treated the Guidance and with what consequences? 

*   How the Continuity of Prophethood and that of the Guidance were maintained?

*  Why no Prophet came after Muhammad (S)? Who will now demonstrate the Truth – [the Shahadah Al-Annas]?

* Position of Ahadith: Is it not the direct source of our Shariah after the Qur’an? Its interpretation and application on our day-to-day life is of paramount importance: does the format of existing compilations need any rearrangement from the point of authencity and contents [Rawayet and Dirayet]?

*  Denial of the authority of Ahadith: It is becoming a menace even in America. How to counteract this growing menace and establish the sanctity of Ahadith, especially in the minds of our youth?



*    The importance that Islam gives to these values and Rasulullah (S) emphasized;

*    Obedience to parents after God is of paramount importance in Islam;

*   Family is the first building block of human society: if it is intact, the entire edifice will hold good; *    “Heaven lies under the foot of the mother” – the most cohesive factor of Muslim family system;

*  Family breeds: love, sacrifice, care, concern for others, and respect for elders & love for youngsters;

*   Developing model Muslim homes is one of the best means of Dawah to others.



* Is it not a choice between - dignity, honor and respectability given by Islam with certain natural restrictions and the “free-for-all” position being promoted by the liberal societies?

*  The scopes and limitations of their activities inside and outside the family;

*  Hejab: its shape, format and importance, advocating why it is to be observed?

* Socio-economic-political rights of women in Islam: Are they unfettered & at par with men or are qualified? Can they participate in the process of production of goods and services? If not, why not?

* Rights and responsibilities of women as mothers, wives and daughters in a Muslim society, comparing and contrasting with the liberal values of Western societies: Where can they enjoy a better, most secured and honorable position?



 * The fundamental rights of non-Muslims - social, religious, economic and political, in an Islamic society: What are their scopes and limitations?

*  What services can they render and what position can they hold in an Islamic State? 

*  Position of Jazyah: Can its concept, format and the mood of payment be changed or re-defined?




*   Can democracy and democratic process be separated - one from the other?   

*   The concept of democracy is colliding with the concept of Tawheed but not that of the process: Can we accept the one and reject the other, as without democratic process, people’s opinion cannot be ascertained? How far it is permissible and through what mechanism? 

*  Can Muslims live in the West without becoming a part of its political process? Can he or she be a candidate, especially in a permissive pluralistic society and with what consequences?

*  Right to vote is an Amanah: how can it be used in pluralistic democratic cum secular societies and under what conditions?



* What is Fiqh? Fiqh is the application of Usul [principles/directives] laid down in the Qur’an and Sunnah over the problems/issues that Ummah faces in day-to-day life. Rasulullah (S), and Sahabah applied those Usul and augmented the Fiqh of that time. Later on, the four Imams developed it further into a science. Twelve hundred years have passed since then. Both the time and conditions have changed. Now:

*  Can those applications and the fiqh developed for the middle ages serve the purpose of our time and meet the needs of a modern developed society? This is a big question before us. Does it not demand reorientation of the Fiqh in the context of the modern age?

*  The principles, the directives, and the “Nasus of the Qur’an and Sunnah” are available with us intact in all respect: Can we not apply them to day-to-day affairs of our time and prepare the Fiqh of the twenty first century? Does the Qur’an or any Hadith of Rasulullah (S) prohibit us to do so? If not, can the Muslim scholars of today, keeping everything intact from the Qur’an & Sunnah, create a consciousness on this issue and resolve to meet the great challenges of the time, thereby getting the Deen of Allah acceptable to the present world and making the Shariah, the code of conduct, workable in the changed circumstances?

*   Had the Prophet of Allah been at this time, would he (S) have not applied those Usul and developed the Fiqh for this time? The Fiqh is neither the Qur’an nor the Hadith of Rasulullah (S): if the case is so, why can we not prepare the Fiqh of our time and meet odd challenges that we are facing today in various fields - production, factories, finances, management, marketing, labor, education and different professions, occupations and services that were not known in the first, second and third century of Hijrah, the time when most of the present day Fiqh was developed? 

*  Can the conditions of Ijtihad not fulfill today, rather more efficiently and comprehensively? Why then we keep the doors of Ijtihad closed and get ourselves tied down with “Salf” and the life pattern that does not exist today?

*   Compilation of civil and criminal codes, dress codes and etiquettes of life are the integral part of this process of modernization within the bounds and limits of Shariah as laid down in the Qur’an and Sunnah - this process has rather become overdue: Who will now undertake this onerous task in order to live by the time?


*   Words of caution: However, the Strategy of proposed Fiqh for our time should in no way be based on the “inferiority complex” due to western domination and the liberal values that are prevailing in the secular capitalistic system of life. The Fiqh of our time will meet the genuine problems of time and make Islamic System of life understandable and workable both to intelligentsia and the masses in their day to day life, keeping the present day needs and urgencies in mind and maintaining the equilibrium in between the needs and what Islam advocates, promotes and professes.




Shamim A Siddiqi                                                                                                           

Dated June 17, 2002