Complexities of the Modern World and Islamic Solutions- (2)

By: Imam Shamsi Ali, President of the Nusantara Foundation, New York

The modern world that was built on the notion of materialism gave birth to eternal dissatisfaction. Humans run and run looking for the world. But the goal of the quest was getting farther away from them. Indeed, when the world is addressed from its own (worldly) perspective, it will become a mirage.

As a result, humans are increasingly deceived by a world full of deception (ghurur). And strangely humans will never wake up until it’s time to leave that world. “They are made unconscious by the tendency to multiply (wealth) until they are forced to separate from the world (enter the grave)”.

This situation gave birth to endless aridity of life. The more you have, the less you feel and want more. The heart is languishing, screaming for peace. But the world on which calm rests makes people even more worried and full of worry (khauf).

This is where Islam is actually present to bring true peace. Islam in itself and all its arrangements as a way of life is built on the basis of peace, tranquility and serenity. This situation is described in a Muslim’s prayer at the end of each prayer: “allahumma Antas salaam, wa minkas salam, wa ilaika ya’udus salaam …”.

Islam itself comes from the word “salima” which consists of three letters: siim, laam, miim. From that word three main main words were born which are relevant to the religion of Islam. The three main words are: Islam (الاسلام), silmun (السلم) and salaam (السلام). These three words describe Islam in totality as a way of life.

First, from “salima” the word Islam was born. This word is formed with the addition of an alif in front of “aslama-yuslimu-islaam”. The literal meaning of this word is “surrender, surrender, submit, obey, and the like”.

The word Islam is mentioned several times in the Quran. One of them is “indeed the religion (accepted) in the sight of Allah is Islam”.

In this aspect, Islam is interpreted as the door of truth. The word Islam (الاسلام) is the main gate (main gate) to enter into the order of the religion of truth. So that those who enter the door are those who have faith. If you do not have faith, then someone cannot be categorized as converting to Islam.

So that religious orders to Muslims in gholibnya begin with the exclamation: “O you who believe”.

The problem then is that when someone has entered the main gate of Islam, that person does not necessarily have implemented all the guidance (curriculum) of life outlined by Islam. That is why Allah calls them to enter into religion by saying: SILM (see below) perfectly.

Second, the word “SILM” (السلم) is also born from salima. As mentioned in the Koran: “O you who believe, enter into SILM (religion of Islam) kaffah (perfectly)”.

Islam on the “SILM” side is a detailed guideline or life curriculum that is included in the Islamic religious order.
The guidance is divided into four interrelated sections: creed, worship, mu’amalat and morals.

Aqidah is a guide related to aspects of a Muslim’s faith. It’s just that this aspect is not visible and therefore need proof in the form of worship. But worship also needs to be proven in a social relationship called mu’amalat. But mu’amalat will only be of value when it is built on ethics which are called morals.

So when people who have entered the Islamic order (Al-Islaam) are called upon to enter Islam (As-SILM) perfectly it is meant for them to ensure that their faith is true, their worship is true, their mu’amalat is true, and their morals are glorious.

Three, said Salima finally gave birth to the word “as-salaam” (السلام). That when Islam (SILM) has been perfected (belief, worship, nu’amalat, morals) then that will give birth to peace and tranquility in human life. Therefore, true peace in the view of Islam is not just the absence of war. Peace and serenity of life is precisely present when Islam has been perfected in its four aspects

The solution to the beast of materialism

It was mentioned earlier that the concept of materialism also gave birth to various concepts of life to support its existence. The concept of capitalist economy, for example, was born to further strengthen the shackles of modern world materialism. Humans are increasingly greedy, selfish, even savage for the sake of enriching themselves without ethical and humanitarian considerations.

This is where Islam then comes with concepts of life built on a positive “mindset” to counterbalance the destructive tendencies of materialism.

One, Islam teaches that this life is totally under one control, Allah SWT. As described one of them in Surah Al-Mulk verse 1.

Two, that all the hustle and bustle that occurs in human life is the creation or creation of Allah (alladzi khalaqal mauta wal-hayata) and in view of faith all of God’s creations must be good/perfect and bring goodness.

Three, Islam teaches that the nature of worldly life is synonymous with trials (liyabluwakum). Because of this, human beings of faith prepare themselves to be tested.

Fourth, Islam teaches that the human task in life is to go through a process (wa quli’maluu) and the process itself is the purpose of life (worship). Therefore human beings have faith to enjoy all processes with all their colors.

Five, Islam also teaches that with faith everything must lead to success. Many times the faith and practice of faith in the Koran ends with “la’allakum tuflihuun” (so that you will be successful).

Sixth, Islam ultimately teaches that the highest level of the ideals of human life is “otherworldly happiness” that is certain and eternal. “So whoever is saved from the fire of hell and put into heaven he is really lucky” (Al-Imran).

Hopefully, at the beginning of this year, we will all become more aware that Islam is a teaching of salvation from the threat of bankruptcy in the modern world which is getting old. Of course the most important thing is for this ummah to strengthen their belief that Islam is “rahmatan lil-alamin” which brings goodness to the world and the hereafter. God willing!

Welcome to 2023. May this year bring greater goodness and blessings. Amen! (AK/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)