Al-Imaam an-Nasaai, one of the six major scribes and scholars of hadeeth, reported the statement of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood, one of the companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him, who was still living during the era of the Tabi’een. He quotes,
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ، قَالَ : ” إنَّكُمْ فِي زَمَانٍ كَثِيرٌ عُلَمَاؤُهُ , قَلِيلٌ خُطَبَاؤُهُ ، وَإنَّ بَعْدَكُمْ زَمَانًا كَثِيرٌ خُطَبَاؤُهُ , وَالْعُلَمَاءُ فِيهِ قَلِيلٌ
"Verily, you are in a time in which there are many scholars and few orators. And verily after you, there will come a time in which there will be many orators, while the scholars in it will be few." (Kitaab al-‘Ilm of Imam an-Nasa’ee 109; verified by al-Albaani).
I ask ALLAH to forgive me if ever my own speech or writing has inappropriately exceeded proof from scripture and or other revelation (respectively, Qur’an and Sunnah of Muhammad peace be upon him). Going forward, I will address an issue (perhaps only as far as I am concerned) of a social nature that unfortunately happens to involve Muslims and ALLAH knows best and has decreed all things by His Wisdom.
I have witnessed via social media and internet news publications, statements which seem to imply that there is a problem with the very existence or Islam (and other religions, but that is not my personal focus). There are people who believe that the existence of Islam is limiting human progression and threatening the entire world population’s wellbeing. Those who bring forth such notions usually defend them with the actions of the ISIS, and saying that religion made some contribution to the evil that ISIS has produced. The knowledgeable Muslims have already publicly affirmed that Islam fundamentally forbids crimes against humanity, namely those commuted by ISIS, albeit ISIS claims what they do is for the sake of ALLAH; the people of knowledge have informed the world that ALLAH established that He does not accept these crimes, so they cannot be for his sake. It is clear that Islam is not responsible for things which it does not allow.
When this is presented to people as fact, (some) non-religious people still think that religion has no right to dictate or influence human thought, and that religion creates problems. I assume they believe that human societies cannot practice religion responsibly, as though we are Muslims because we think it’s fun, or because we feel elevated in some way. Undoubtedly, we do value the favor of guidance from ALLAH, because being Muslim is exactly that; we are Muslims because the actual Creator of all that exists, made clear to us His Divinity, and He made clear that success is ONLY and exclusively attained adherence to the final revealed book (the Qur’an), and in the way of the final messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him. If people choose to deny that, we believe they are astray and their affair is with ALLAH. ALLAH has said,
لَّا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ
Which means “Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.”(60:8)
I disapprove of the pompous rhetoric of those non-religious people who look down on people to whom the religion of ALLAH the Most High has appealed to, by His mercy; those who think we made this choice by a lack of some greater intelligence which they seem to have. These same people who advocate free thinking, seem to think that there’s a wrong choice in it. So do we, but we also accept that Islam has no text saying that everyone will become Muslims, nor that everyone will be in the paradise, or that everyone will be in hell. So, we respect the disbeliever’s decision to remain as such, knowing that ALLAH has said,
وَقُلِ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ ۖ فَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ
Which means, And say, "The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills - let him believe; and whoever wills - let him disbelieve…"(18:29). ALLAH says in the rest of the verse, what He has prepared for those who do wrong and disbelieve, and this decision is His to make.