The term Modern “modernus” was introduced first time in 5th century to distinguish the Christian era from the pagan era, but it took a shape in 17th century by the end of Renaissance and in the middle of enlightenment movement during a debate about “which culture is better the modern one or ancient Greek and Roman culture? Since so many inventions has took a place to facilitate the welfare for the societies during that time”. Taking into consideration that modernity has different definitions based on the context that has been used in, here I will discuss the social perception of modernity and secularism as a product of this phenomena and how that perception orchestrated our life.
You can define modern as new or contemporary or present based on what you want to convey when you are using this word, but now a days when you are talking about modernity, you are still talking about the base synonyms such as contemporary or present but not in itself instead you’re referring to the phenomena of the contemporary or the new or the present, and how does it co-exist in a framework such as psychological, social, political, religious and so on so forth, So you are not referring to object as you used to do when you use Modern as a word instead you are referring to a the phenomenon of the subject on objects and what I mean by objects is us the human beings.
In order to know how modernity now a days took its form and shape we need to trace it back to the social, political, religious and most importantly philosophical movements happened during the enlightenment era.
Enlightenment age: is the age where reasoning and individualism has been emphasized instead of traditions specially the traditions that evolved due to the influence of religion. This era accompanied evolution in earthly sciences due to the fact that everything has been questioned, and those discoveries and theories has been made and put to challenge the scholars of faith and their church.
Enlightenment age came to challenge the very foundation of Judeo-Christian faith, mostly by philosophers and disbelievers scientists from Judeo-Christian point of view, such as Spinoza, David Hum, de Sade, Descartes, Galileo…etc., and their products settled the foundation of modernity as we see now a days by introducing the essence of logical thinking, skepticism, rationalism, structuralism…etc., those mentioned approaches was settled and used to challenge the Judeo- Christian concepts ideas, traditions, morals, perception of God and divine in a metaphysical and physical form, Those ideas came to exist at the same time during Judeo-Christian declination while the leaders of these movement still trying to cease control over political social and religious practices, we could say that the declination of the church was not the only reason which I totally agree with but it is the main reason.
The church before enlightenment age was trying to spread their influence in secular matters other than the religious matters while monarchs was acting as leaders and servants for their demands. Since the end of the first Avignon papacy, and return to Rome where the Papal Schism took a shape which led to second Avignon papacy until the last pope of Avignon lost his support from the French government which led pope benedict XIII to fled away.
On the other hand consequences of centralization and reorganizing the administration of the Catholic Church, then came the adaptation of benefices and the corruption of the Catholic church administration and suppress any movement against their financial and political corruption and call them heretics who should be executed for their sins, then the selling of absolution, then losing the political power of the papacy after the death of Boniface, and the weakening of the Papal power after the Kings of France interests starting dominating the Papacy in the med of 13th century.
I can keep going talking about the decline of Christian dome for days but the subject was about the modernity and since we familiarized ourselves with the declination of the Christian dome from historical and political point of view we could continue and talk about why all this scientific and philosophical movements was an adversary to the Judeo-Christian faith, and the answer is pretty simple since people is being overwhelmed by the traditions and treaties that tied them to the Church while knowing how corrupt the church was, people start losing faith and interest in the church as the pope was the a successor to Saint Peter as a religious figure and a symbol which provides a spiritual guidance, and the accumulated wrath because of church practices as it has been mentioned before was the main reason for rejecting the faith and church teachings and invent or discover different ways to justify the phenomena of the surrounding objects and subjects.
While the church tried to do something to be in control for financial and political reasons they kept doing mistakes, which lead by the end to total refusal of the church as power and they marginalized it’s role to religious aspects only by providing a spiritual guidance to whomever he wants, and the secularism started to take a shape in modern societies.
Now after the refusal of the church teachings in the enlightenment era, political, economical, social, psychological sciences had flourished and a lot of theories has been discovered or invented to provide a solution or an answer for social, psychological or political and economical patterns while no body looked back to the religion. So People started substituting Devine laws for civil laws such as in judicial system, economical treaties and the framework of social treaties, which to tell the truth served the need for some time, but it doesn’t solve our issues now days which; we will come to that at a later stage.
The funny thing about the modernity when you try to apply it to Islamic countries during the rise of nationalism and the need for Islamic reformation as I mentioned here during 18th and 19th century and the rise of the calling for the modernity of the state taking into consideration the Islamic countries acceptance willingly or unwillingly for the terms that has been stated in Sykes-picot treaty. We took foreign modernity as is and try to apply it in an Islamic framework, taking into consideration that Islam constitutionalize that any shape of current modernity is more or less forbidden, and if you are not being misled by geo-religious and geo-political framework and know the basic concepts of Islam we will see it also this way.
Question come to my mind why do we need modernity in Islamic state, we didn’t need it before taking into consideration that during Islamic empire there were a lot of scientist who where Muslims in faith and scientists at the same time, and they contributed a lot to sciences which is being studied until now from political to social to optical and last but not least philosophical. What happened to the world that nowadays we as Muslims we can’t live anywhere other than in modern state controlled by civil laws instead of divine laws, have we ever been oppressed to say what we think in anything specially religion. The only thing that we can’t question is our believe to a degree which leads to infidelity in a religious context. I can start answer this question by saying the reason will be the rise of psychological and sociological dilemmas and the openness and exposure that happened after we have been invaded and conquered and then got liberated knowing some countries stayed under occupation for more than 150 years. The first thing to do as a conqueror to the conquered is to slaughtering their identity along with their social behaviour and traditions, then force them to adapt their habits and traditions, then spread the calling for their religion like what happened in japan during world war 2. To cut it short they try to make them on their own image.
To be continued…