I have always been thinking about when did the muslim world stopped thinking. That, to me, is one of the reason of the current situation prevailing in the muslim world. This article I found in Dawn gave a good insight about the problem.
Islam is concerned with the broad aim of life and the programme of action by which that aim can be attained. It is meant for a free, independent and intelligent person who has the courage to think, judge and act for himself. It encompasses rationality and experience and rejects blind faith. “Those who, when the revelations of their Rabb (nourisher) are presented to them, do not face threat deaf and blind” (25:73).
The search for rational foundations in Islam may be regarded to have begun with the Prophet himself. His constant prayer was; ‘God! Grant me knowledge of the ultimate nature of things’. According to Iqbal, “the main purpose of the Quran is to awaken in man the higher consciousness of his manifold manifestations with God and the universe. Islam is neither dogma, nor priesthood, nor ritual! It is the vivid sense of God’s directive force and unflinching working of laws. It relates to a hearty participation in this upward progressive trend and movement of life.”
The true concept and practice of Islam has been long forgotten, rather lulled to sleep by the clerics and religious obscurantists who consider the intellectual development and achievements of a particular period in history as the benchmark and have ruled out any further thinking, re-evaluation and the progress of the thought process. Following in the footsteps of one’s forefathers as the purpose of life and allowing no change is called conformity or blind following (Taqleed). The word ‘Taqleed’ is derived from ‘Qaladah’ meaning the collar which keeps animals under control to lead them as desired. Even criticism of this stagnation of knowledge and thinking is not allowed and may amount to heresy.
The worst thing that can happen is when ignorance enters the fold of social life and politics and takes the law into its hands. There is no need to despair. The Quran points out that such a phase is always temporary. With the passage of time they are bound to whither away and “Neither heaven nor earth will shed a tear over their demise” (44:29) Nations using their intelligence and knowledge keep gaining strength while the so called Muslim states have become weak to the point where they cannot even defend themselves.
Read full article here.