(By “Orient,” here, the author means all the lands east of “the West,” but in particular, the lands of the Muslims.)
“We think of the East as the home of magic and wonder, the misty birthplace of wisdom, the haunted shrine of an antique civilization, crowded with mazy immensities of human experience before the gates of Tadmor were swung, or the crown of Palmyra had been so much as dreamed of. It rises in our thoughts with its dim-swarming peoples, now sunk fibreless in soft seas of sense, now frenetic with superhuman inspiration, as a kingdom whose hills are ribbed with silver shafts, its streams bedded with golden sand, its trenched ravines lined with pebbling diamonds, the edge of its strands covered with coral, the floor of its bays strewed with pearls, the breath of its meadows odorous with myrrh, its flowering trees of perennial green and bloom ever sagging with delicious fruit, cool fountains spouting in every court, and entranced bulbuls warbling on every spray. Its geographical features and its intellectual conceptions, alike, are on a scale of prodigious grandeur whose vastitude crushes the power of sense, but provokes Imagination to the fullest expansion of her cloudy wings.”
(Folks simply don’t write like this any more.)
Culture is inextricably entwined with language. It is essential that Muslims in the West attain mastery of the languages of our lands and transform them, and make those languages articulate our ideals, and our vision, and our aspirations. We must get in touch with our rich and profound literary heritage–a heritage that many of us our ignorant of, and as a result in many ways intellectually and culturally handicapped by that ignorance.
We must develop noble sentiments, as per the orders of the Sacred teachings of the Prophet, embody and live by those sentiments, give voice to those sentiments, and share those sentiments by the best means of expression. This needs to be done. Bi’idhnillah, it can be done.