Is Islam opposed to modernity?
  • There is nothing about modernity in general that Islamic teachings are opposed to. In fact, many aspects of modernity, such as the use of science, reasoning, and invention as a means for improving our lives are in line with the Islamic philosophy that led to the flowering of science and learning at the height of Islamic civilization. In turn, this blossoming of science and learning contributed to the European Renaissance. Muslims also have a tradition of ijtihad (independent thinking) which facilitates reform and reinterpretation. When nurtured by enlightened scholars, ijtihad revitalizes Islamic societies and moves them forward. Islam is a universal religion compatible with different times and places, with the ability to adopt whatever is positive and good and to modify or avoid what is detrimental. However, Muslims, like members of other religious groups, question some of the specific aspects of modernity that Islam, like other religions, is not compatible with. These include the rejection of the belief in God, or other moral values that have been challenged or rejected in the modern era. Additionally, diverse and multiple groups, including some Muslims in a post-modern era, are increasing pointing out the devastating effects that modernity and its accompanying technological advances, when influenced only by factors relating to economic profit and short-term gain, have had upon our environment and the world.