Towards Developing an Excellent Ummah in 21st Century

 

                                                  Weekly Article

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WEEK 2

Topic: Challenges within Muslim societies today.

In our journey to strive to develop an excellent Ummah that can be exemplary to all people of the world , we need to look inward of the major challenges within Muslim societies today.

1. Violence, turmoil within Muslim societies and countries around the world

    We must acknowledge there are problems within the Ummah that needs to be resolved. We cannot be apologetic in facing this situation. There are real problems of violence within the Ummah. It range from suicide bombing through “terrorist attack” on innocent Muslims and non Muslims in many parts of the world.
We can blame this problem on the colonial power of the past that divide and rule, we can also blame America and its allies for creating unnecessary war. We can blame on the unjust world political system, we can blame the Zionist etc. However, the problems of violence within the Ummah must be resolved by Muslims. We must work together in a concerted effort to create a non-violent society in the context of 21st century global world. We will surely face tremendous challenges by oppressive western power .Over the long term, the Ummah shall prevail if we start doing the right things today .How we as a responsible Ummah face this challenge? Please email your ideas on resolving this issue.

2. Sectarian conflict within Muslim societies

    It is very unfortunate that the whole world is watching how Muslims killed other Muslims. The sectarian violence involving sunni-shiah conflict must be resolved. Muslim leaders throughout the world must begin to preach on the universal message of Islam. Secretarian differences should be accepted as differences that can be debated by scholars in a peaceful and gentle environment. It should never reach the level of violence and killing which we are seeing today. How can we as a responsible Muslims resolve the sectarian conflict without bloodshed?

3. Low educational level of Muslims worldwide today

    Muslims worldwide are facing the challenges of being an ignorant and uneducated Ummah. Worldwide; we see many Muslims societies that have very low educational achievement. Muslim parents are not sending their children to school due to poverty as well as lack of realization of the importance of education. If this trend continues, we will see the majority of Muslims will be on the lowest rung of the society. We will be a class of new slaves (Muslims) toiling for others in the most menial and degrading jobs because we have no knowledge and technical skill. We can see this trend happening in Muslims societies in Indian Subcontinent, Africa and middle East countries. How can we as a responsible Ummah overcome this challenge?

    There are many other challenges the Ummah have to face in the modern world. These concern the issues of social justice, human rights, democratic processes, women in Islam, secularism, atheism and many more. We will have to tackle these challenges one by one so that Islam can again shine as a beacon of peace and happiness for all of mankind
I appreciate your response on issues to be discussed this week.

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Greeting of peace to all.

Dr.Abdul Aziz Azimullah

Coordinator, Excellent Ummah Project

Email: excelummah@islamic-world.net

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WEEK 1

Topic: 21st Century Challenges for the Ummah- Agent for positive change in the world

Assalamualaikum Wbt, this week, in the Excellent Ummah column, we will begin to discuss on how Muslims can be the agent for positive change in the world.
Today, the world is facing tremendous challenges which can be summarized into four major areas.

a) DEGENERATION OF HOLISTIC HUMAN VALUES

    Throughout the world, good moral values are being degenerated due to the spread of secular materialistic culture. This situation resulted in social instability, HIV, AIDS and crimes. We have billions of unhappy human being throughout the world living under stress and being unhappy with their lives. A new model of human existence based on spiritual, sacred and moral values in Islam can be the basis for the development of human being in the 21st century. Muslims can be good examples of balanced human being. How can we all as Muslims do this. Your ideas and feedback will be useful for Muslims to help transform a positive world based on holistic human values and morality.


b) HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

    Today, human rights and social justice is just a gimmick of the so called “developed world” to oppressed and enslaved third world countries and its people. Under the guise of globalizing the world economy, rich countries and its multinational companies are raping the natural resources of the third world. The gap between the rich and the poor today is more than can be imagined throughout human history. Universal declaration of human rights are just words even though it was signed by the rich countries in 1948.The gap between the rich and the poor is so severe that hundreds of millions of people living under the oppression without basic human rights. They are too poor and too hungry to even think about social justice. These countries and its people are the modern slaves in an unjust and insane world. What will be the response of the Muslim Ummah?


c) FOOD CRISIS AND POVERTY

    The world is reaching its limit in being able to feed growing number of human population. Due to unequal distribution and unjust global food policies, we can see increase level of global poverty. For example, there are plenty of statistics and data about global poverty--these are just a few:
• Each year, more than 8 million people around the world die because they are too poor to stay alive.
• Over 1 billion people—1 in 6 people around the world—live in extreme poverty, defined as living on less than $1 a day.
• More than 800 million go hungry each day.
• Over 100 million primary school-age children cannot go to school.
Based on definitions established by the World Bank, nearly 3 billion people—half of the world's population—are considered poor. But poverty isn't simply a numbers game. It's about billions of men, women and children enduring unimaginable obstacles that keep them from fulfilling their most basic human rights and achieving their individual potentials. What will be our response as a responsible Ummah?

d) CLIMATE CHANGE

    Our modern lifestyle is affecting tremendous climate change that will affect all countries in the world. We see greater numbers of hurricane and typhoons that recently destroyed many areas of the world. For example, typhoon Nargis destroyed the irrawady delta of Myanmar. typhoon Katrina /Ike destroyed New Orleans and part of Texas in U.S. we are also see the raising of sea level that will inundated many low lines areas of the of the world. Hundreds of millions of the world population will soon become the climate refugees. We are facing severe degeneration of our environment. Our fresh water resources, soil and air are being severely polluted. This environmental disaster may make our world inhabitable within a hundred years. What will be our response as a responsible Ummah?


    We can discuss many more problems and issues besides these four major areas as outlined above. We can act negatively by involving ourselves in negative and destructive activities which can trigger a conflict of civilization. We can do nothing and be sideline as a passive Ummah that cannot face the challenges of the 21st century. Or as an Ummah, we can response to this rapidly changing world. We must act positively to make this world a better place for all humanity and all creatures of God.
We will discuss these challenges in our future articles on how to create an excellent Ummah that will be on the forefront of transforming humanity towards justice, equality, love, peace and happiness in this world. If you have any suggestion, ideas and articles please send to excelummah@islamic-world.net

Forum on this issue-Share your ideas. ClickHere
 

Greeting of peace to all.

Dr.Abdul Aziz Azimullah

Coordinator, Excellent Ummah Project

Email: excelummah@islamic-world.net

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Additional Articles/Views:

1. Hope for a peaceful and sacred human civilization, pg 92-94. Extract from “Khalifah book: Three contemporary reformers in Islam”

2. 21st Century Leadership (Source from other Islamic website).