ISLAM AND ITS FUTURE
" When Allah's succour and the triumph cometh, and you see mankind entering the religion of God in troops, then hymn the praises of your Lord and seek forgiveness. Lo! He is ever ready to show mercy. <Qur'an Succour 110:1-2-3>
The movement of immigrants, refugees, migrant labor and exiles from all over the Muslim world to Western nations in the post-World War II era, coupled with the conversion of Europeans and Americans to Islam, has created a new dynamic, transforming the old relationship between "Islam" and "the West." Islam and Muslims are not exclusively "over there" or "the other." They have become part and parcel of the West. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, Islam is not only the second largest religion in the world, it has become the second- or third-largest religion in Europe and North America.
The Muslims in the West deserve the sympathetic support of the Muslim community (ummah) as a whole. And the ones who do feel concern for Muslims in the West must understand that they will only do harm if their motive is to force Western Muslims into any particular mold. We have the example of the village Imams imported from Pakistan and Bangladesh in the British communities, who do not help to integrate. The "Islam" which they offer to anyone who shows interest is not the Islamic Faith that Muslims in the West recognize or share. Another example is also those of our Saudi brothers who would like us all to adopt a Wahabi, or should I say Muwahid, understanding of Islam. No one should involve himself in this matter unless he is able to adopt a very broad and tolerant view of the Faith and unless he is prepared to make allowances for the difficulty in following the Shariah fully in such an alien environment. What we most need is unity between the different communities of Muslim immigrants and also their offspring. We do not need the creation of further divisions and further conflict.
The essential, so far as Muslims in the West are concerned, is an agreement
to differ. It is pointless to expect the majority of Muslims in Europe and America
to practice Islam exactly as they did or should have done in their country of
origin, and to insist that they do so is a sure way to drive the young out into
(source:The Muslims in the West by Charles Gai Eaton (Hassan Abdul Hakeem))
As for the future of Islam, many scholars and Muslims differ on its trend in the West. Many think that Islam will rise, anew, from the West and that the West will convert to Islam. Other scholars disagree. They think that the West lived and will still live as a secular world and that Islam cannot overcome the obstacles it has set forth.
Al-Faruqi, a Professor of Islamic studies in an American university, said: The best of Islamic victories will be conquering America through its conversion to Islam. But is this feasible? Will America, so engrossed in materialism, become a Muslim country? We can hope that many more Westerners will one day convert to Islam.
He thinks that America will certainly be Muslim one day. The failure of Christianity and Capitalism may lead to that end. According to him, the West will soon seek another alternative to its way of life. Also, it can be seeen that many Western scholars are converting to Islam and trying to introduce Islam to the West. Dr. Murad Hoffman, former Germanys ambassador to Morocco, wrote a book he called, Islam is the Alternate Solution. He wrote: I think that the movement to revive Islam will come from Europe in the 21st century. Also, when Roger Garaudy (a French philosopher) became a Muslim, Europe was shocked because a materialist and a communist thinker became a Muslim!
Dr. Kamal Abdul-Hamid Nimr, another professor with the Saudi Academy in Washington, disagrees. He said: Those who dream of the rise of the Islamic state from America are misguided. The religious freedom, that they experience in America and were prevented from in their own homelands, is misleading. The rise of Islam from America is but a sweet dream!. He thinks that it is impossible that Islam can be established in such a society so deeply egocentric and materialistic. He thinks that the west will stay as it is, an enemy of Islam, and is driven to this conclusion by what the West has become. He sees the collapse of morality, disbelief and rejection of faith that the West is experiencing. They think that the effect of Western Civilization and the huge number of misconceptions about Islam will prevent them from answering the call to Islam.
However the case, we shall be optimistic, given the number of people converting to Islam everyday in the Western countries, and we shall put our trust in God, who will not leave His people without help provided they make some humble effort to deserve this help. Insha Allah!