Secularism and its Evolution in Muslim Society: A Research Study
Keywords:Secularism, Religion, State, Education, Authority, Revolution
The concept of Secularism came to the Muslim world after Renaissance. Historically, the initial thoughts on the subject are found in the teachings of Greek Philosophers like Epicurus and Zeno. It was at first a discussion regarding the separation of religion and the state, the scientific advancements and the regime system in Modern Europe. Religion was considered as an obstacle by the West in their progress on the basis of reason and inquiry. Adaptation of secular approach helped the western countries to flourish in material fields. In Islamic world, secularism was not seen as a threat for religion before the twentieth century. Under colonization of many Muslim countries and particularly after the demise of Ottoman Empire which paved way to abolish Caliphate, the Muslim states adopted various western secular laws. Moreover, the Muslim countries went under heavy debts taken from European countries. They relied on foreign advisors and western education system for progress. The concept regarding the authority of Caliph changed. During the twentieth century, Muslim countries suffered politically and their geographical frontiers were changed. It created a kind of revolution in Muslim states. Revival of religious authority in modern political Muslim states is visible in central eastern countries during the last fifty years.