Islam at Crossroads by Muhammad Asad

islam crossroads green

Excerpts from the conclusions of Islam at the Crossroads by Muhammad Asad.

“Islamic culture has had its splendid rise and its blossoming age; it had power to inspire men to deeds and sacrifices, it transformed nations and changed the face of the earth, and later it stood still and became stagnant, and then it became an empty word, and at present we witness its utter debasement and decay. But is this all?” . . . .

“What appears to be the decay of Islam is in reality nothing but the death and emptiness in our hearts, which are too idle and too insensitive to hear the eternal voice.No sign is visible that mankind, in its present stature, has outgrown Islam. It has not been able to produce a better system of ethics than that expressed in Islam; it has not been able to put the idea of human brotherhood on a practical footing, as Islam does in its supra-national concept of the ummah; it has not been able to create a social structure in which the conflicts and frictions between its members are as efficiently reduced to a minimum as in the social plan of Islam; it has not been able to enhance the dignity of man, his feeling of security, his spiritual hope – and last, but surely not least, his happiness.” . . . .

” By far the most important feature of our present-day condition is to be found in the intellectual and social spheres: in the disappearance of our belief and our creativeness and the disruption of our social organism.” . . . .

“Our first step must be the shedding of that spirit of “apology” for Islam, which is only another name for intellectual defeatism: only a masquerade for our own scepticism. And the next stage must be our conscious, deliberate following of the Sunnah of our Prophet. For Sunnah means no more and no less than the teachings of Islam translated into practice. By applying it as an ultimate test to the requirements of our daily life we will easily recognize which impulses from Western civilization might be accepted and which ought to be rejected. Instead of meekly submitting Islam to alien intellectual norms, we must learn – once again – to regard Islam as the norm by which the world is to be judged.”  . . . . .

“But only if we regain our lost self-confidence can we expect to go forward once again . Never will the goal be reached if we destroy our own social institutions and imitate a foreign civilization – foreign not only in an historical or a geographical sense but also in the spiritual one. And the way has been pointed out to us in the words of the Holy Our’an:

“Verily, in the Apostle of God you have a good example for everyone who looks forward to God and the Last Day” (surah 33:21)”


3 thoughts on “Islam at Crossroads by Muhammad Asad

  1. This post is enlightening for me as few in the West understand the basics of Islam. Islam can certainly hold a lamp of light but “to regard Islam as the norm by which the world is to be judged ” is something I don’t think will ever happen. God reveals Himself to different people in different ways but all may be paths to God. Certainly the world will be a better place if the purity of Islam is what shines.

    Divisions in Christianity too. The Roman Catholic Church claims to be the exclusive agent of God and those of us that are Protestants think that claim is elitist and vulgar and unscriptural as they twist scripture to legitimize there own particular theology.

    “Sunnah means no more and no less than the teachings of Islam translated into practice” This is also true of Christianity but unfortunately far too many are not true to this calling. We give testimony to our religion by the way we live in our daily lives and should be true to this in all matters.

    I have two degrees in religion but have put all my books away and think it must be kept simple: I will not be the source of anyone’s misfortune and will not pass up the opportunity to perform a charitable act. That’s all and am sure God will bless all of all religions for just that.

    I look forward to your posts as seems I can learn much from your ideas. I believe there are more commonalities with Islam and Christianity than differences.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comments!

      I totally agree with you on this. There are ‘more commonalities in Islam and Christianity than differences. In my opinion, we are facing a challenge to decide between temporal and the divine. While there is a need of reconciliation between the both. There is material side of humans and there is a soul as well. To disregard soul is to disregard the emotional and psychological (the more powerful) part of human beings.

      I shared this excerpt because of the inspiration this piece of writing has for us. It is written by a man (Muhammad Asad) who completely changed his identity. I would request you to please read his autobiography “A road to Mecca”.


    • Sir,

      And one thing more i forgot to add. I would never judge any religion based on its followers. I would have to look deep into how it works from its original resources. For buddhism it is Tripitaka or Mhayana Sutras, for christianity it is bible, and for Islam it is Quran.


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