URDU: The Prophet as our guide for revolutionary change

20m talk at Seerah/Meelad Ceremony organized at PIDE (Junior Commons Room) Fri 8th Dec 2017.

The message of Islam, embodied in the person of the Prophet Mohammad SAW, created a revolution, changing the course of history. The CRUCIAL question for us Muslims is: DOES THIS MESSAGE have the same power today? The WEST says no, the message is obsolete and outdated. Progress today requires that we become disciples of the West, and learn all the modern knowledge that they acquired in the past few centuries. Unfortunately most Muslims agree with this analysis. They think that the MESSAGE was complete and perfect for its time, but modern times require us to massively update it.

This is a dangerous illusion. The path to success today is the same as it was 1400 years ago, and this lies in following the Prophet Mohammad SAW. Core and Central Teachings of Islam have to do with how to create an inner transformation, a spiritual revolution, which will enable the growth and perfection of the capabilities for excellence planted as seeds within EVERY human being.  The entire corpus Western knowledge is blind to these possiblities — we cannot learn how to be human by studying calculus, biology, chemistry and physics.  Learning to become a human being is only possible by studying and practising the teachings of Islam.

Some of the key teachings we need to learn, in order to re-create the inner spiritual revolution created in the hearts of the companions, are the following:

  1. Excellence in Conduct. The best Muslim is the one who has the best conduct.
  2. Mercy to all Nations: We have the welfare of the entire humankind in our hearts. This is the responsibility entrusted to the Ummah of Muslims.
  3. All men and women are brothers and sisters, born of Adam and Hawwa. We are all equal, and we are responsible for each other.
  4. Power is given to us to HELP the oppressed, not to oppress.
  5. Wealth is given to us so that we can help the needy, not to flaunt it like Qaroon
  6. The leader of a nation is the servant of the people.
  7. All creation is the family of God. The way to get near to God is to be of service to the Creation

All of these characteristic were displayed by the Prophet Mohammad SAW and modeled for us, so that we can learn them and emulate them. This was how the Muslims reached the zenith of success. Today we have abandoned the Prophetic Model in favor of Hollywood models, which is why we have reached the depths of darkness. The formula for success remains the same as it always was: following the path shown by our Prophet. An 18 minute URDU talk on the Seerah expands on the points made above:

English Slides outlining this talk are available from SLIDESHARE:

Our Prophet Mohammad As A Guide for our Success in Both Worlds

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About Asad Zaman

BS Math MIT (1974), Ph.D. Econ Stanford (1978)] has taught at leading universities like Columbia, U. Penn., Johns Hopkins and Cal. Tech. Currently he is Vice Chancellor of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics. His textbook Statistical Foundations of Econometric Techniques (Academic Press, NY, 1996) is widely used in advanced graduate courses. His research on Islamic economics is widely cited, and has been highly influential in shaping the field. His publications in top ranked journals like Annals of Statistics, Journal of Econometrics, Econometric Theory, Journal of Labor Economics, etc. have more than a thousand citations as per Google Scholar.

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