Our methods: to believe and to struggle. The acceptance of this destiny is the supreme and final idea of Islam. Destiny -- does it exist and what form does it take? Let us look at our own lives and see what has remained of our most precious plans and the dreams of our youth?

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Shelves: favorites , best-of In the Islamic conception of the world, mankind is unique among creation for serving as the vice-regent of the divine within the material world. While all created things are by nature obedient to the divine will and thus Muslim, only humans have the ability to choose whether to rebel or submit themselves to the natural order. Through their possession both an inner and outer life, humans potentially serve as the vehicle through which the divine attributes are projected into the material world, In the Islamic conception of the world, mankind is unique among creation for serving as the vice-regent of the divine within the material world.

Through their possession both an inner and outer life, humans potentially serve as the vehicle through which the divine attributes are projected into the material world, providing what we could describe as a moral influence upon a creation that would otherwise be deterministic and even mechanical.

In Islam, humans are encouraged to engage with both the material and divine worlds in equal measure. This philosophy of the religion is embodied in the very act of Islamic prayer, which combines physical activity with meditative reflection.

Over the course of the book, Izetbegovic conducts a comparative analysis of modern materialist ideologies with religious thought. Of great interest to me was his sympathetic take on nihilistic literature, often wrongly condemned as anti-humanistic.

Religion was the origin of the idea that all human beings inherently have rights and are inherently equal in creation. Deprived of the warmth of the concept of inherent human value and the natural dignity and purpose afforded by belief in divine creation, the world seems a potentially bleak and terrifying place — a predicament that nihilistic writers like Camus suggested raised the possibility of suicide as a natural response.

According to Izetbegovic, this view of mankind as essentially a stranger in the world marks nihilism as an essentially religious yearning — the religion of those disappointed in not finding the divine.

Both nihilism and religion effectively recognize the existence of a soul and an essential human foreignness to the world. The difference is religion claims to have found a way out, while nihilism does not. The difference between such a view and that held by strict philosophical materialists is significant. But despite this, Islam does not denigrate the world.

In the modern world, the religious worldview has been degraded and confused. Indeed, some ardent materialists are in practice self-sacrificing metaphysicians, while some ostensibly religious people are obsessed with materialism. The family unit has been degraded in the name of society, but society itself has been degraded by corrupt elites, leaving ordinary people nowhere to turn for comfort or support.

This effort may achieve some success at simply controlling the masses, but it reduces humans to nothing more than cogs in a machine or animals subject to discipline, albeit animals possessing the tool of rationality. It seems that with developments in technology and capitalism we are fast headed towards such a degrading future for mankind, whether we are aware of where are going or not.

This was arguably predicted as far back as Ibn Arabi and is reflected upon here in light of recent technological and social developments by Izetbegovic. Whereas religion sees life as a grand drama, modern civilization sees it as the processing of a soulless machine, where human beings are nothing more than inputs and outputs.

Any surviving trace of the idea that all life has a supreme meaning and inherent value is a residue of religion, whereas ideologies like Marxism accord rights only on the basis of demands hence its silence on the suffering of animals.

With an eventful thirty years distance since this book was published its unclear how much of this balance remains in existence, but he argues convincingly that its roots helped stimulate the development of the Anglo world. This was a beautiful and nourishing book that I appreciated on both a spiritual and intellectual level. It is hard to live either in a world of pure religion or a world of pure materialism.

Human beings are not built for either extreme. The idea of Islam as a balanced path between the two, a philosophy embodied in its most basic acts of prayer, fasting and charity, is a comforting vision of a world in which the various components of human existence have been brought into harmony. Izetbegovic ends the book with an ode to the Islamic worldview and the idea of submission to the divine will as the solution to the existential dilemmas of modern man.


Islam Between East And West Alija Izetbegovic

This reaction in a Federal Republic with almost one half of its population consisting of declared adherents to Islam alarmed the Communist rulers as a manifestation of extreme religious nationalism. What the Communist authorities did not know, as they used repression, revulsion against both secularism and distortions of Islam has many antecedents in history as a much wider reaction within Muslim societies to impositions of the West since the Crusades 3. Western incursions into the House of Islam came in many ways, shapes and forms Still, the prevailing perception among the devout Muslims defined all of them as a continuous attempt to drive man from God and replace the submission to His will with sterile and self destructing individualism as well as materialism. Later, they tried to find avenues through which Muslim societies could come to incorporate the advances of Western Science without allowing to be dominated by materialism at the same time In the end, Al-Ghazzali abandoned his unusually interesting philosophical endeavours and became an active advocate for something radically different. He rejected reason as the path to God and decreed that the only way to communicate with Him is through personal experience of ecstasy A major subdivision ensued within Islam between those who subscribed to this conclusion and others who did not expurgate rationalism from devotion to God within Islam. In the same sense, the social order reflects the ideals of religion and ethics while both Christianity and materialism are clearly distinct from Islam because they lack both the principle of balance and the merger of body and soul. The problem of incorporation, however, remains unresolved, vexing but not equally acute in every corner of the Islamic world in respect to the relationship of Western science, materialism and their impact on Muslim societies.


Submission to God

From: Dialogue, Paris, , Of the local figures who emerged from the wreckage of the former Yugoslavia, the President of Bosnia Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, is by far the most respected in the world outside, and notably in the United States 1. While younger men like Haris Silajdzic and Mohamed Sacirbey defended his government to the world with consummate skill and in perfect English, Izetbegovic was a largely silent figure on television screens, the elder statesman whose serious mein expressed both worry and serenity, reflecting the martyrdom of his people. The respect accorded him has rarely taken the form of interest in the ideas on which he based his Party of Democratic Action SDA , the Muslim political movement in control of the Sarajevo government. In Europe and America, Izetbegovic is seen much more as a symbol than as a political leader with a particular program. The war in Bosnia Herzegovina aroused far more passion in the West than the earlier war in Croatia because it brought to the television screens the revelation of a European Islam that offered the ideal model for solving a current problem of vital importance in countries such as France: assimilation of Muslim immigrant populations. Sarajevo was discovered as a multicultural paradise, an oasis of civilization, populated mainly by gentle blue eyed Muslims, practicing musical instruments and expressing sentiments of tolerance for their neighbors of other religions.


Islam Between East and West


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