COUNTERING THE SECULARIST/LEFTIST TSUNAMI
Among the challenges for Muslims in the West in refuting secular ideology is the need to frame the discussion properly. Many Muslims attempt to argue for the Deen within a secular framework—taking secular notions for granted and failing to examine the inconsistencies and absurdities that underlie secularism. Bi’idhnillah, our intention here is to address this challenge.
Our First Principle
We say that there is an Eternal, Incomparable, Transcendent (Free-of-Need) Creator. The proof for this is that the world exists. The world can’t be beginningless (for this would lead to the fallacy of the infinite regression). The world can’t be self-created. The non-existent could not produce something—for action requires existence. The non-existent can’t act; a thing must be to do. From this, reason necessitates the recognition of the Creator. The Creator must be One (there could not be a duality or a multitude of Creators). The Creator is not originated. The Creator has always existed. And since the Creator existed before anything else—including, light and darkness, time and place, distance and direction—the Creator is not dependent upon any of the creations. Also, the Creator is Incomparable—the Creator alone is beginningless and everything else is originated. Being Beginningless (while everything else is originated) is a proof that the Creator is distinct from the originated. Also, the One Who creates must be attributed with Perfect Knowledge, Power, and Will.
The Muslim worldview is based upon this First Principle. We are creations of God—and the entire universe is a creation of God. Upon this, every Muslim agrees.
First Principle of the Secularists
Briefly, secularism is the ideology that religion should be separated from public life and the government. Rather—according to the secularists—religion should be a private affair that is ideally restricted to only the home and places of worship.
The secularists have no First Principle to speak of—the core of secular ideology leads to the absurd doctrine of atheism. The absurdity of atheism lies in the fact that the particles that compose the universe could not have brought themselves into being from nonexistence (the non-existent can’t produce itself—and it can’t produce something else). After these particles (allegedly) brought themselves into existence, they also (allegedly) arranged themselves into phenomenally complex and self-sustaining systems… all by themselves. No honest and sincere person should entertain such a belief.
To be clear, this does not mean that every secularist is an atheist—but the driving forces behind secular ideology are ultimately atheistic in nature. Aside from many of the prominent hardline secularists beings atheists, if one were to just follow secular ideology through to its “logical” conclusion , it leads a person in the direction of atheism.
Our Second Principle
It naturally follows that if one recognizes the Existence and Perfection of the Creator, then what the human being is can truly be known—and the ultimate objective of human existence can be known known. We are the slaves of Allah. We did not make ourselves—but rather, we have a Creator, who existed before us (and all other creations) and does not need us.
Our ultimate purpose is to revere, praise, worship and obey the Creator. This entails humbling ourselves to the Creator, and showing gratitude to the Creator for the endowments bestowed upon us—without the Creator being obligated to grant us anything. The Creator is the One Who Owns everything—and the Creator does not owe us anything. We realize our ultimate purpose by adhering to the Sacred Laws that the Creator has commanded us to follow (this is known by Divine Revelation unto the Prophets).
Islam entails submission (to the Commands of God). And the person who fails to submit to the Commands of God has failed to attain the ultimate purpose of his being.
The Second Principle of the Secularists
This is actually the First Principle of secularism. According to the secularists, life has no higher purpose—for there is nothing beyond this material realm. We are merely a conglomeration of cellular material who are on Earth for a few years; we die; and then we decay and become soil. That’s it. For the secularists, the ultimate purpose, is the “freedom”–freedom to pursue pleasure. “Freedom”—according to their standards—however, is an unattainable myth.
(The Muslim should be clear that secularism itself is essentially a “mythology.” It is an ideology based upon human whims that grew out of a specific set of circumstances in European history. It is an ideology that HAS NO PROOFS for its claims.)
As for “freedom,” any given society–for it to function–has to have LAWS. Laws–by their very nature—restrict people’s “freedom.” Hence, it is absurd to claim that the people are “free” …but they are also restrained by laws. If “freedom” were the ultimate objective of human existence, then various secular regimes would encourage even greater “freedom” among its citizens—and if some of the citizens felt that they are not getting enough “freedom,” then, they would be encouraged by the government to secede and start their own–“freer”–nations. No government, however, encourages its citizens to rebel against itself.
Furthermore, if we follow the “’freedom’ principle” to its logical conclusion, it would lead to chaos and tyranny. Socially, powerful individuals—in exercising their “freedom”–would dominate and exploit the weak individuals. Powerful groups would unite to exploit the weak groups. A restriction upon the powerful would mean that they are not “free,” and the poor being crushed and exploited by the powerful would mean they are not free.
On a personal level, “freedom” is frequently understood to mean the “’freedom’ to follow one’s whims and (base) desires.” However, the person who is a slave to his physical or egotistic passions also isn’t “free.” Gluttony does not produce “freedom.” Gluttony produces obesity and a host of physical illnesses. The consumption of alcohol and illicit drugs doesn’t produce “freedom”–rather it produces addiction to substances that destroy the body and the mind. Consumption of such substances is also a public health hazard (which inherently reduces the “freedoms” of others) because intoxicated workers, drivers, and people in general make poor decisions and engage in dangerous, irrational behavior because of their minds being clouded by intoxicants.
Vanity and the perpetual need for social validation isn’t “freedom.” Rather, it is a dependency upon others for one’s sense of well-being. Fornication and sexual perversion don’t lead to “freedom.” Rather, indulgence in such behavior leads to health problems, disease, feelings of betrayal and emptiness, unwanted pregnancies, children growing up ignorant of their fathers (and all the social fallout that often follows, such as, the next generation having unwanted pregnancies, engagement drug use, criminal behavior, and poverty).
The Hollywood elite serve as an example of those who “have it all” in the worldly, materialistic sense. They have fame and fortune. The Hollywood elite have access to vast supplies of alcohol and drugs. The Hollywood elite are “free” to indulge in serial fornication and unthinkable perversions—yet, many of them suffer from feelings of despair, depression, addiction, and other mental health issues. And, of course, suicide is not unheard of among them… and many of them, engage in the “slow-suicide” of self-destructive behaviors. From the aforementioned, it is clear that “freedom” (in the secular sense) is simply an unattainable myth. It is not desirable on a governmental level—and it is not desirable on a personal level.
Our Third Principle
Since we have established that the Creator exists and that the ultimate purpose of human existence is to worship and obey the Creator, then next step is to know how one is to worship and obey the Creator. This is known from Divine Revelation. The Creator has sent Prophets—that is, men who have received Divine Revelation. The Divine Revelation informs the people about the proper belief in the Creator and the Commands of the Creator (and other matters). The Prophets have qualities that distinguish them from the rest of humanity. The Prophets are all men of integrity, intelligence, fortitude, sincerity, and wisdom. The Prophets are clear of committing any abominable acts. The Prophets all had the same belief in the Creator. The Creator is One. The Creator is Perfect and does not change—and the proper belief in the Creator does not change.
Allah supported the Prophets with miracles. The miracle (mu`jizah) is an extraordinary occurrence that comes from a Prophet to prove that he is a genuine Prophet. The miracle cannot be matched or outdone by an opponent; the miracle happens the way he says it will occur. Allah is the Creator. As Allah has created the world with its norms, Allah is not restricted to the norms—and Allah has given the Prophets miracles, which breach the normal state of affairs. Although the miracles are extraordinary, they do not contradict the judgment of reason.
Third Principle of the Secularists
As was said, secularism is essentially an ideology based upon a mythology that sprang from the European-Christian experience. In the 1500’s Martin Luther became a renegade against the Catholic Church. His rebellion against Catholicism led to a multitude of other sects coming forth. Although some were religiously motivated, other sects were clearly driven by a desire for political and worldly power. This led to massive amounts of bloodshed between the various Protestant sects and the Catholics, which carried on for generations.
Given the fundamentally unsound nature of the Christian doctrine—namely, that an infant allegedly became the Creator of the universe, and then later had to become a homicide victim to gain the power to forgive people for their sins—it was impossible for any Christian sect to “prove” that they were right. Furthermore, people became weary of the bloodshed between the different Christian sects—and the corruption and hypocrisy of the Christian leaders. This led to many Europeans saying that they would just have to “agree to disagree” about religion (meaning, for them, Christianity). Religion became increasingly less central to their lives, so, the Europeans tried to turn to non-Christian (non-religious) sources for their worldly “guidance.” In this mix, of course, were those who didn’t care about religion or the betterment of society at all—they just wanted political power.
From this concoction of confusion and hypocrisy secular mythology was born. It was in this environment that the European secularists tried to figure out what are the rights of the people and how to rule them. Of course for the Muslim, when he examines this European mythology, it becomes immediately evident that the claims of the secularists have NO AUTHORITY. They are merely relying upon their OPINIONS—that they impose on the masses—by force… in the name of “freedom.” Also, it is important to note that these same European myth-makers who were talking about (what they deemed to be) the “Rights of Man” were also supporting genocidal policies, colonialism, and slavery against human beings who did not look like them.
Our Fourth Principle
The matter of morality, rights, laws, and our values is clear for the Muslims. Morality, rights, laws, and values are known from what the Prophets conveyed. We know that the Sacred Law is for the human’s benefit in this world—and for his (or her) benefit in the Hereafter. This should be clear–for Allah has created us; Allah knows our reality, and Allah knows what is best for us.
Hence, the Muslims’ values and sense of morality do not change, like, the wind. We know that Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu `alayhi wasallam) is the last of the Prophets. Allah supported him with hundreds of confirmed miracles—therefore, we accept all that he conveyed from Allah. And we know that the Sacred Laws revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu `alayhi wasallam) are in effect until the end of this world.
For the sincere person, it only makes sense to follows the Divine Laws of the Creator. Furthermore, adherence to the Sacred Laws instills in the person the best of human virtues: integrity, sincerity, courage, humility, patience, honor, self-restraint. People who embody such qualities make for good human beings–good parents, good children, good neighbors, good community members, good leaders, etc. Such values produce a stable and prosperous society .
Fourth Principle of the Secularists
The secularists frequently claim that morality is relative—there is, ultimately, no right or wrong—and no one can determine what is right or wrong. …Actually many of them will say that it is wrong to judge others—that is, it is wrong to declare something as being good or bad (apparently they don’t see the contradiction of such a claim). As long as one does not harm others, they say “do as thou will.” Some may appeal to popular opinion for morality, but we know that popular opinion is largely the construction of social engineering by the media and by edumucational indoctrination.
The notion of “not judging” is alien to the Islamic tradition. For one, Muslims are COMMANDED to JUDGE matters according to the Sacred Law. One of the names of the Qur’an is “Al-Furqan”–that is, “The Criterion” by which the Muslim is to judge. Furthermore, Al-amru bil-maʿruf wan-nahy ʿanil-munkar (the enjoining of the good and forbidding of evil) is an essential part of the Deen. If it were forbidden to judge, then it would not be possible to enjoin the good or forbid the evil.
As for harm, the secularists only take into consideration what they deem to be “harm” in this world—and even on this point they can’t come close to an agreement. The Muslim understands that some actions may not seem to be very “harmful” in this world—but may have severe consequences in the Afterlife. We can only know about what is beneficial and detrimental to us in the Afterlife by way of Divine Revelation.
The intellect—by itself—cannot confirm or negate the existence of the Afterlife. All the intellect can say is that Afterlife is something rationally possible—the existence of the Afterlife doesn’t contradict reason. Divine Revelation, however, confirms the existence of the Afterlife, and the Divine Revelation informs us about the deeds that are beneficial and the deeds that harmful to our condition after death. The secularists, however, deny the Afterlife and reject Divine Revelation because they prefer to follow their caprices and deluded opinions.
Regarding the “not harming others clause” this still holds no validity Islamically. The Muslim knows that he does not “own himself.” He (or she) is the property of the Creator, and he does not have the right to do with his body whatever he chooses—rather, he is only allowed to use his body in accordance with the Laws of the Creator.
The secularists have no basis for their mythology. This is clearly demonstrated with their notion of “human rights.” The secularists keep discovering (alleged) “rights” that they did not know the humans had before… and rights that they had before have ceased being “rights.” Who is to say (given the claims of the secularists) what new (alleged) “rights” these people will discover in the next decade, or the next year… or the next month?
Again, if the Muslim steps back for a moment, and evaluates the blather of the secularists from an Islamic perspective, he will immediately see that this secular ideology is ludicrous. The human being can’t give himself his “rights.” The Muslim knows that the Creator is the One Who gives humans their rights. The Creator is Just, and the Creator Orders us with whatever He wills. The Muslim’s worldview is based upon SUBMISSION to the Commands of the Creator. And the one who submits to Allah and obeys Allah, will be successful in this temporary life—and more significantly, will attain everlasting success and salvation in the Afterlife.
Being a Muslim entails believing in the Declaration of Faith (Shahadah). The Declaration of Faith has two parts: “Nothing is worthy of worship except Allah.” That is the first part. The second part is “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” Part of believing in the second Declaration is believing Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu `alayhi wasallam) is the last of the Prophets—and that entails believing in the authenticity and superiority of the Sacred Laws revealed unto Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu `alayhi wasallam). This means that the Sacred Laws revealed to Prophet Muhammad are inherently superior to whatever people may invent in their minds. Also, in believing in Prophet Muhammad is the belief in the Afterlife—and that the Sacred Laws he came with benefit the human in this life and in the Hereafter. The one who follows the Sacred Law attains certitude and dignity in this life—and attains salvation in the life after death. The proof in Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallahu `alayhi wasallam) claim to Prophethood—and the validity of his Sacred Law–is in the numerous confirmed miracles he performed.
As for the secularists, their “da`wah” (“call”) is an invitation to doubt, to confusion and contradictions, to hypocrisy. Secularism leads to feelings that life is pointlessness—secularism leads to despair and even depravity. Secularism brings no comfort to the human soul and offers nothing for the well-being of the human in death. It needs to be in the forefront of the Muslim’s mind that the claims of the secularists have no actual basis for their validity—whereas, the Muslim’s proofs for following the Sacred Law are irrefutable. It is only Islam that enables the human being to realize his ultimate purpose (which is, to worship and obey the Creator)—and by doing so, the person will attain safety, salvation, and everlasting bliss.