Religion, Secularism and Socio-Economic Development

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Religion, Secularism and Socio-Economic Development

“The capitalist view of development is coupled with a transition from traditional society and culture to a ‘modernized’ one through which traditional beliefs and practices are required to be replaced by modern, secular values, and ‘techno-culture’. On the contrary, Islam rejects the secular concept of divide between ‘sacred’ and ‘profane’ and duality in ‘religious’ and ‘worldly’ affairs. It looks on life holistically, especially its socio-economic and political aspects.”

Duality in ‘religious’ and ‘worldly’ affairs not accepted in Islam: Dr Anis Ahmad

socio eco

“The capitalist view of development is coupled with a transition from traditional society and culture to a ‘modernized’ one through which traditional beliefs and practices are required to be replaced by modern, secular values, and ‘techno-culture’. On the contrary, Islam rejects the secular concept of divide between ‘sacred’ and ‘profane’ and duality in ‘religious’ and ‘worldly’ affairs. It looks on life holistically, especially its socio-economic and political aspects.”

These were the views of renowned scholar and professor of comparative religion and ethics, Dr. Anis Ahmad, in his extension lecture on the topic of ‘Religion, Secularism and Socio-Economic Development’ organized at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad, on August 26, 2015.

Dr Ahmad contested the prevalent global paradigm that socio-economic development can only be pursued by following the footsteps of the West. The assumption, he said, was that that socio-economic development can only take place when “religion” and “theological mindset” was replaced with a modernist, “enlightened” pragmatic, realistic and functional approach, whereas  Religion itself was believed and advocated as an individual matter that had nothing to do with the society and state.

“Islam calls for universal development of human personality, society, education, law, economy, and political order through unity in life according to divine guidance”, he elaborated, “whereas human reason and experiences were the final arbitrator in the secular approach”.

The professor maintained that Islam was a way of life that motivates its followers to contribute in an equitable and fair socio-economic development in order to attain success in this world and the hereafter.

 

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