Just as during the time of the Prophet (pbuh), when there were those calling themselves muslims who were in fact munafiq, we find the same true today. These are those who are so enraptured by the ways of the West and its ideals and way of life that they have abandoned or wish to abandon the deen of Islam. They prefer the ideals of the West and the unrestrained freedom that goes with it. They wish to pursue the delights and glitter of this world as they please .
They are so enamoured of the ways of the West that they lead their lives no differently from the ordinary Westerner and find it incomprehensible why Muslims should place limitations on their own freedom and why God should have a say in everything. They see Islam and its prescribed way of life as the biggest threat to their misguided values of unlimited and unrestrained freedom.
Just as the pagan Arabs of yesteryear attempted to compromise Islam and Muslims, so too today we find there are those attempting the same thing. Hence we see numerous calls to reform Islam, to make Islam progressive and to bring Islam in line with modern times. We should not be surprised at this as Allah swt. had warned us that never will they be satisfied with us until we follow their deen, or in other words their way of life.
These so-called self-termed champions and proponents of human rights and freedom envisage a system where men shall live according to the dictates of their minds and confine God to the domain of their private lives, and that too only when they choose to permit Him to do so. In this they advocate a society where secularism holds sway, where they, and they alone, decide the role and prominence that God is to play in their lives, if any.
The clash is now taking place and it is growing as these deniers of truth will never be satisfied until they can get us to follow their deen.
The West today has largely given up on religion. Their churches are empty and their people today worship materialism, unbounded freedom and unbridled sensationalism. Homosexuality, once so abhorred by them, has become acceptable. Children born out of wedlock are now openly acknowledged and displayed to the world by the 'proud' parents. Those who have involved themselves in scandals now reap millions of dollars by writing bestsellers and going on lecture tours telling the whole world of their notoriety. In short, they have lost all sense of shame.
They have literally adopted the biblical passage "Give unto God what is God's and give unto Caesar what is Caesar's" as though Caesar himself did not owe his very existence to God and as though there are facets of life that belong exclusively to Caesar and are outside the domain of God.
To the Westerner God has no role in the public domain. How one conducts oneself is a matter solely between one and God and no one else has a say in the matter. To them individual interests has supplanted and overcome communal interests in their private lives. This has resulted in the moral decadence of the West. Their ways are therefore different from that prescribed by Islam where there is no separation of God from one's private life and where the community's interest overrides that of the individual even in matters of how one is to conduct oneself privately.
The munafiq in adopting and worshipping the ways of the West in fact worship their own minds in that to them everything including the word of God must meet and measure up to the dictates of their minds and sense of reason. In so doing they fall prey to the most subtle form of shirk which is the worship of one's own mind and sense of logic despite the warning clearly given in the Holy Qur'an against doing so.
We see calls from amongst the deniers of truth that there should be inter-faith dialogue and a search for common ground from the teachings of the various religions to arrive at a code of conduct by which all men may live. In doing so what they are actually asking for is that we compromise Islam and our deen and that wherever and whenever Islam does not accord with that code, then Islam has to adjust to fit that code.
They quote sections from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Federal Constitution and other similar writings (as though something coined by Man can be as sacrosanct as God's word) in their arguments to change the teachings and practices of Islam. They speak of liberty and freedom (including the unspoken liberty and freedom to disobey and ignore God). They speak of human rights as the highest ideal ( as though God has no rights and as though Man's rights are not to be subject to God's rights).
Whilst we are encouraged, nay, commanded to use our logic and reason, they fail to comprehend that our logic and reason, just like our whole selves, are to submit to the will of God. It is in our total and not partial submission to His will that we become Muslims and that differentiate us from the munafiq and the kafir.
To Muslims everywhere the call therefore should be to appreciate that we are meant to be different, that we should be proud to be different, that we do not have to apologise for being different and that we are indeed to ensure we are different. Our difference should be manifested in our readiness to submit to God in totality including the submission of our minds to the commands of God and our rejection of the ungodly life lived by the West and the munafiq. We are to manifest our difference in as many ways as we can even if some are merely symbolic for they will add to our pride and strength at being Muslims.
And when we are confronted with allegations that we are not free or are backward or whatever allegations that they wish to hurl at us our answer should be:
"To you be your way and to me mine."
With us is Allah swt and we have the Truth, not them.
The hypocrites should also be reminded of:
"Give tidings to the hypocrites that there is for them a painful punishment. Those who take disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do they seek with them honor [through power]? But indeed, honor belongs to Allah entirely *." [Surah al-Nisaa' 4:138-139]