Lately, there has been an increased use of the term “future-proofing” by the decision-makers of the world – from the European Union and Japan to Malaysia – as they seek to progress in a way that anticipates future social, economic and environmental challenges, such as unemployment or climate change.
From the viewpoint of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (sa) and his subsequent intellectual-spiritual inheritors have always acted in a manner that would “future-proof” humankind from erroneous thoughts and action (Batil), base desires (Nafs Al-Haywaniyah), and disorder on the earth (Fasad).
What has happened to the Ummah of today? The question haunts us in the Muslim world – from Iran to Syria, from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan. The past was a different world altogether – one not caught up in sectarian killings, religious extremism and seemingly endless wars.
Though there were wars also in the past, they were contained in time and space, and the future still held much promise. What has happened to us? The question may not occur to those too young to remember a different world, whose parents did not tell them of their youth spent reciting poetry in Peshawar, debating Marxism in the bars of Beirut, or riding bicycles on the banks of the Tigris in Baghdad. The question may surprise those in the West who assume that the extremism and bloodshed of today have always been the norm in the Muslim world.
In order to revive the lost glory, every individual must play an important role in building the Ummah for the next hundred years. Let us look at some ways how we can contribute:
Unity around a common Islamic identity
“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers.” (Al-Imran 3:103)
Islam is a religion that maintains peaceful co-existence within a society by putting disputes aside and emphasizing more on the concept of unity and brotherhood.