The pundits of all schools of thought cannot agree upon a precise definition of the term “humanism”. A definition of what is human will vary according to the religious belief, scientific perspective, or philosophical school. Despite all the ambiguity as to the proper meaning of human existence, the aggregate of the generally accepted assumptions may be labeled as “humanism”. In his book, “Marxism and other western fallacies – an Islamic Critique”, Dr. Ali Shariati writes, “By humanism, we refer to the school of thought that proclaim its essential goal to be the liberation and perfection of man, whom it considers a primary being, and principles of which are based on response to those basic needs that form the specificity of man.”  In today’s world there are four intellectual currents who, despite their mutually contradictory natures, claim to represent this humanism. These are: (1) western liberalism, (2) Marxism, (3) existentialism, and (4) religion.
Western humanism is deeply rooted in ancient Greek mythology where we find jealousy, competition and opposition between the forces of heaven and earth, between the worlds of gods and men. Humanity seeks to liberate itself from the yoke of oppression, tyranny and captivity as laid upon it by the gods in attaining self-awareness, freedom,...
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...eace at home, peace in society and finally peace in the world. Universal brotherhood is one of the cardinal principles of Islam, and this important matter is completely ignored by all other religions. Qur’an describes the Islamic Ummah to be a middle (wasat) nation and the best (khayr) Ummah ever raised on the ground that they believe in one God, enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. Islam urges its followers to rescue humanity from all man-made bondages and to fight against injustice to dignify man. War is waged only against injustice and despotism and to rescue humanity from oppression.
In closing let me say that Islam is a manifesto of human liberation. It frees man from worship of others; sovereignty belongs truly to the Creator. Its first summons, “Say, There is no god but Allah, and prosper”, propounds tauhid as the necessary means to that end.
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