Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Continuing Calamity

Last century and a half have been calamitous for Islam and Muslims. It saw colonization of Muslim lands by Europeans including Russia. The colonization was intellectual too, it is called orientalism. The current phase of the calamity is called economic colonization. A century and a half is a long period of time. At least for a faith that took just thirteen years to be completed spiritually and ten years for physical establishment. But then those were the people. There have been responses to the calamity from early days. Among the first ones to take on orientalism was Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. Then there was Jamaluddin Afghani, contemporary of Sir Syed. These were followed by their associates and disciples. Shibli Nomani, Muhammed Abduh and others. Edward Said appeared on the scene long after. The religious circles were not penetrated by this scrooge, all Praise to Lord Most High. But physical colonization swept nearly everything. There has been a gap between the religious and modern response to orientalism. Unfortunately the gap has still not completely disappeared.
This is an area to which some attention must be paid. Here is an article by Ali Miyan (RA) in which some of the relevant things find mention.