Secularism, Liberalism & Islam

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[Following are a few highlights derived by Ms. Fouzia Arif from the super-amazing Lecture given by Shaykh Kamaluddin at IBA, on 18th December 2010]
  • Secularism refers to taking religion out of the state, society and humanity. It simply means you can be a good person without having taqwa (the act of staying away from sins for the sake of Allah), without adopting Sunnah, without Allah basically.
  • Liberalism is based on the ‘harm principal’. It means, you can justify what you’re doing to be right by saying it doesn’t harm anyone. You say if I drink beer, I don’t do anybody’s nuqsan hence I can drink. It’s like you get into IBA, don’t set foot on the campus for four years, and then turn up on the graduation day and say I deserve a degree because I didn’t harm any student or any professor for that matter. I haven’t done anyone harm. Why should I not get the degree? You can’t get the degree because you didn’t do what you were required to do even though you avoided harming people.
  • There is a group of people called Muslim secularists. They critically analyse everything except the existence of God. They say everything has to be shown and proven even if its in Quran. It has to appeal to the aqal. They do not accept the superiority of wahy over aqal. There are things in Islam that are transrational. Why do you offer 2 raka’ats in Fajr but 4 in Zuhr? There’s no explanation for it.
  • You have to come to Allah on his terms and not on your terms. You have to submit to Allah, to His Commands and to His Will. This is what Islam is all about.
  • People don’t want to do what’s in Quran and still please Ar-Rahman! Now that’s a new type of Islam.
  • Reform comes from the word reformulate. You reformulate something that is wrong. Its a universally accepted fact that deen-nabawi is perfect. Then what exactly are they trying to change?
  • We look for a version of diet Islam. It’s like having a double cheese burger with a diet coke and saying to yourself it’ll help me lose weight. Reformists keep on reducing the necessary things of the deen to make it more easy to follow and they kill the essence in the process.
  • How to go about this mess then? One. Choose ilm over aqal. Two. Choose taqwa over nafs.
  • Its not that we don’t wont to be wali of Allah, its just that we have poor taqwa management.  When we say choose taqwa over nafs, we mean fight your nafs and don’t fulfill its desires. Take sin to be sin. Reformists today change the definition of sin. When people don’t consider their act to be a sin, they don’t feel the guilt and hence they don’t do tauba. Bab-e-Taqwa of Jannah was already closed for us because we couldn’t stay away from sins, by not considering our sins a sin and hence not doing tauba for them, we also close Bab-e-Tauba for ourselves! How will we enter Jannah then?!
  • Acquiring of ilm is emphasized over using one’s aqal because there are two approaches. The knowledge based approach and the ideology based approach.
  • In the knowledge based approach, there is application of ilm with aqal. In the ideology based approach, there is application of aqal without ilm. This is what the young generation is doing nowadays. It’s like I attend an economics conference discussing the ideal model to be applied in the world. Three great economists put forward three models and their pro’s and cons and then decide that the first one is best. I then standup and object that no the third one is the best. They reject my claim because though I’m sitting in this conference of theirs, I don’t have ilm of this specific field of study i.e economics. I remain adamant that no I listened to your presentation for the past one hour and I am a really aqalmand insaan and so now you should accept what I say. They will not listen to me because one has to be able to master a particular field of study before they can express an opinion. You need to be aqalmand but your aqal can be applied only to the area of your ilm. It’s only when you spend years studying something and have acquired its ilm that you can pass a judgment. You need to study Marx to disagree with him. You need to have the ilm of Islam and then apply your aqal to it. Islamic scholarship is as solid a subject as economics – more than it in fact.
  • Next, in the knowledge based approach, you read first and decide later. In the ideology based approach, you form opinions first, and then read.
  • In the knowledge based approach, you keep the philosophy of ‘don’t disagree till you understand’. In the ideology based approach, your philosophy is ‘don’t agree till you understand.’
  • In a nutshell, acquire ilm of the deen.
  • The way to a university student’s heart is through his mind. The Shaykh said ‘Aapki aqal mera mukhatib hai magar aap ka dil mera shikaar hai. Rationality can take you only to a certain level. Its submission to revelation and love for Allah in one’s heart that does the main job.

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  1. Mariam R says:

    Jazak Allah! Firstly, thanks so mega much for transcribing the lectures and making it 1. possible for those who were unable to attend, to know what happened 2. save all the good words to be shared, re-shared and re-read

    I especially love the analogy of ‘Diet Islam’. May Allah give hidaya to us all and guide onto a path that He loves.

  2. Amna Nasir says:


  3. Shahrukh Rao says:


  4. Bela says:

    When I read the first few lines, I thought I’ll keep them as my status today. Then when I read this statement “You have to come to Allah on his terms and not on your terms”, I thought, this would be my status. Then I read the next one, and next one and next I m really perplexed..Every other like is so super cool that I have absolutely no idea which one is the best.

    The idea of noting down the lecture and representing it for those who were not there is amazing. Ma’sha’Allah. May Allah reward u for that and make it a sadqa-e-jariya..I also noted his lecture when he came to our university and now I think I need to shape it as well. May Allah help me with my procrastination.

    “Aapki aqal mera mukhatib hai magar aap ka dil mera shikaar hai” brought smile to my face. I can imagine (almost hear him saying that) his cute accent when he’d have said that. :)

    May Allah bless the writer for sharing such an amazing reminder with us.
    BarakAllahu feeka

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