Islam in the Era of Globalization

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A primary question imposes itself. Do we muslims represent an umma in the contemporary world?

What is meant by the question is not the umma as known in the political geography asa nation recognized by international law, but the umma is meant here as a concept of universal communal based on self awareness of the concerned entity about its identity on side, and the acceptance of the distinctive identity of the muslims on the other side.

Muslims are supposed to be a doctrinal or ideological universal community, united through the entire world by their faith in thinking, feeling and action. They all believe in and they are all committed to Islam and its values of doing good and spreading it. However the concrete reality is that natural barriers such as geography and ethnicity in addition to political, economic and cultural barriers, under colonialism and post colonial era have obstructed the supposed unity of the umma.

Nevertheless, the challenges and dangers muslims have been facing in the contemporary world ought to revitalize the awareness of unity and integrity of the muslim communal body.

From another angle, the entire world is witnessing an era of globalism through its speedy communications, and transportations with all its negatives and its positives. This may be an opportunity for the muslims to surmount the barriers and gain some kind of unity at least in their thinking and feelings. The negatives of globalism may add to the challenges, which they must face together ,within the limited effective armament muslims may have in the contemporary world.

Feeling as one “Umma”

We have to feel genuinely as one umma in a rational mature well organized way so that our relationships work together in coordination and harmony within oneself. Muslims do not live in a vacume. They live in a world full of people with various backgrounds. An umma consciousness ought not to engulf or negate other muslim existential relations in the contemporary world. Islam being the message of “The Lord of the Universe”-allows and urges constructive natural relations between muslims and whomever they come across for whatever legitimate purpose. Through Islam we must make the best of our potential abilities. The identity of the muslim individual, group and umma can be perceived and universally recognized through truthfulness, honesty and helpfulness rather than throu...

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...ily, freedom of faith and religion; health , education, political and socio-economic rights. They should be unhesitant supporters of religious and ethnic minorities and all victims of oppression and exploitation.


It goes without saying that each country with a muslim majority should be a role model for defending and securing human rights.

We as an Umma have a long way to go through in order to assure itself within itself and the complex contemporary world. Whatever the long way it starts with a few steps in the right direction.

Let us set ourselves as an umma in the right direction with regards to feeling, thinking and acting, starting from individual groups and going through the whole umma.Deeds should represent our ideals ,since they are the obvious and concrete expression of our identity ,beliefs, and concepts.

Europe fostered in modern times an ideology of nationalism and the struggle for it has been able to provide during the recent decades the “Euro-community” as an enlightening , conceptual and practical model of persistent hard worked for unity.

Analysis of an article written by DR. Hameed Anwar in "Islam Today" published 1998
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