“All … forms of humanism have at least two things in common: (1) A concern for human good, both individually and collectively, and (2) A belief that man must resolve his problems alone and that there is no reality, above or below or outside of man, that can provide a resource or energizing power that will assist him in facing the exigencies of human life and society. Man and nature are all there is.” — John Wesley Robb
“Another type of secularism that is most prevalent among intellectuals is what might be called a spiritual secularism, which places its emphasis upon the life of the creative mind. Some have called it the new religion of culture. It stresses the arts, in all of their forms, and places the creative expressions of men and women throughout history as prime examples of the transcendent power of the human mind and spirit to overcome the vicissitudes of daily life. It provides moments of self-transcendence for its adherents through the theatre, the visual arts, a wide variety of literary forms and through music. It glorifies the outreach of the human spirit toward higher and more expressive forms of creativity. It is a source for the nourishment of the human spirit and is often a replacement for the self-transcending experience that traditional forms of religion attempt to provide.” — John Wesley Robb
In this episode of the Middle Ground Podcast, we share some more insights into our Saturday class, The Sherman Jackson Reader, this time discussing such topics as belief, non-belief, and the hegemony of western constructs such as rationalism, and what are its consequences for Muslims and what our potential reactions might be. Full length clip at the bottom.
“If you don’t serve Him, then you’re serving nothing more than names that you and your ancestors made up, and God gave no one permission to do that. The right to command is for none save God, and He has commanded that you serve nothing besides Him. That’s the straight way of life, but most people don’t understand.” — Qur’an, 12: 40
“Time is our most precious commodity.” No. our beliefs and principles are.
The dangers of liberalism and secularism is the ism: that which prioritizes the now over the later.
It’s the reverse of so many things:
This life is uncertain (but Allah says The Next Life is what is uncertain).
وَما أَدري ما يُفعَلُ بي وَلا بِكُم
Liberalism makes the individual the primary occupation of this life: one no longer has to struggle or improve oneself. It’s all about you and getting your slice of the pie. It’s as if the Here-After is guaranteed and it’s this life that we strive for.
The individual is no longer called upon to question itself, its validity, its contents and its character. Instead, the individual only seeks its rights from that which is more powerful than it: either the State, or others more powerful than it within the State.
Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change themselves.
لَهُ مُعَقِّباتٌ مِن بَينِ يَدَيهِ وَمِن خَلفِهِ يَحفَظونَهُ مِن أَمرِ اللَّهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لا يُغَيِّرُ ما بِقَومٍ حَتّىٰ يُغَيِّروا ما بِأَنفُسِهِم ۗ
“Everyone has a succession of angels in front of him and behind him, guarding him by Allah’s command. Allah never changes a people’s state until they change what is in themselves. When Allah desires evil for a people, there is no averting it. They have no protector apart from Him.” Qur’an 13: 11