Secularism, or the removal and/ or denial of religion in man, with the attendant focus on the present and material, is a product of Western civilization and the corruption of religious doctrine.
Even though there are Muslims who promote secularism as their preferred political ideology, it is not part of Islamic worldview.
In politics, it seeks the “desacralization of politics”, which is the removal of sacred legitimacy “of political power and authority” (16).
Even though Islam does not view politics as sacred, its application of governance is different from the secularists’ view.
Politics is not sacred since “Islam itself is based on Divine Authority and on the sacred authority of the Holy Prophet (may God bless and give him Peace!), which is no less than the reflection of God’s Authority, and on the authority of those who emulate his example.
Thus every Muslim individually, and collectively as society and nation and as a Community (ummah) all deny to anyone, to any government and state, sacral legitimacy unless the person or the government or the state conforms with the practice of the Holy Prophet (may God bless and give him Peace!) and follows the injunctions of the Sacred Law revealed by God.” (29)
Secularism is connected to Christianity and the corruption of Greek philosophy. It was however, not developed through the faith “but in the interpretation of biblical faith by Western man…” (18).
Greek philosophy’s expansion to Rome and the move of the Christian centre from Jerusalem to Rome brought both ideologies together. The influence and confrontation between the two ideologies led to the removal of nature from Christian doctrine for a proclaimed “Kingdom of God”, which exists only in the supernatural world.
“The outcome of this religio-philosophical confrontation was that Christian theology began to suppress the role of intelligence, and hence also the known of spiritual truth, and at the same time urged unquestioning faith through the exercise not of human intelligence and reason but sheer human will which made love the basis of faith” (31).
Islam does not suggest such dichotomies. Reason, intellect and spirituality exists within the deen, “hence the understanding of spiritual realities is also within the province of reason and is not necessarily divorced from rational understanding of them” (32).
The Shariah, or revealed law, is to be applied by man in this world, provided to him by his creator.
It is the divine applied in our daily life.
Secularism and its variations should not be part of our social, political or philosophical tradition. It is a corruption that seeks to corrupt.
Al-Attas, Muhammad Naguib. Islām and secularism. Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia, 1978.
Source: Almakhazin SG