A study conducted by Prof. Hussain Askari of George Washington University entitled: “How Islamic are the Islamic Countries” showed that most of the countries that apply *Islamic Principles* in their daily lives are not ones that are traditionally Muslim. The study compared 208 countries against a set of clear indicators. Please refer to link below to read the full finding and indicators.
The top 10 Islamic countries on the list are:
5. United Kingdom
6. New Zealand
Traditional Muslim majority countries in ranking order appear at the bottom of the pile including:
- 42. Kuwait
- 55. Brunei
- 65. United Arab Emirates
- 71. Turkey
- 91. Saudi Arabia
- 104. Indonesia
- 129. Egypt
- 141. Bangladesh
- 145. Pakistan
- 199. Somalia
I have always stated that most European countries were more Islamic than most Muslim majority countries. Many people have criticized me for saying this. Many people have called me deriding names for my view. However, most people who took their time to reflect on what I said were happy to agree with my rationale. This research lays down an authoritative evidence to confirm my observation and that is very reassuring.
The study, published in the *Global Economy Journal* might be shocking to most of us but when we look around us and see the reality of the Muslim countries, their economic, political and social situations, we find that the results of the study are accurate and true.
In my opinion Muslims have become irrationally obsessed with ritualistaion and dogmatisation of their faith. They seem to care more about performing their religious obligations such as five daily prayers, fasting in the month of Ramadan and going to Hajj without understanding the purpose and rationale behind them, they are extremely busy with the external display of their faith through “religious” clothes for men and women including the colour, size and design of hijab, burka and niqab and wearing beard and it’s length. They read the Quran and hadith but hardly put context to the text. While these are important aspects of Islam they seem to have lost the spirit of practicing the bigger obligations of social justice, economic fairness, political freedom and equality between all humans based on equality, dignity and honour for all people.
Religious speeches, sermons and gatherings dominate the Muslim life yet Muslim majority countries are the most corrupt in the world – ruled by illegitimate rulers, its citizens are least educated, acutely poverty stricken and most repressed people on the face of this earth. It seems all these religious speeches and sermons are not having the most optimum impact. Take the example of how many Friday sermons would you have heard in your lifetime. In the last 25 years of your life – you would have heard 1300 hours of Friday sermons alone. If you have listened to Friday sermons for 50 years you would have listened to 2600 hours of Friday sermons. What has been the net impact of them all?
The Quran describes the Muslims as the best of people because they show care and concern for others, they have an outreach programme for promoting good and standing against evil yet Muslims today are at the bottom of the pile. Neither they collectively stand for good nor do they counter evil. A Chinese merchant once said: “Muslim merchants come to me and ask me to put fake international labels and brands on their goods. When I invite them to eat, they refuse because the food is not Halal. So it is Halal for them to sell fake goods?” How would the Muslims answer such a weighty and deprecating question? The Chinese merchant is totally right with his observation.
Once a restaurant owner told me that he had his busiest restaurant in a red-light district. Majority of his customers demanded halal food. He is a non-Muslim and was perplexed by this strange attitude. He asked me, “Why would anyone who is using prostitutes for illicit sexual activities demand to be served halal food?” I had no answer for him apart from laugh at the sheer hypocrisy of some Muslims.
When Muslims reduce their faith merely to a set of dogmas and ostentatious outward displays the internal decay commences. This internal rot has been going on for a long time. Islam is a complete way of life, while performing religious obligation is extremely important; it is still a personal duty and expression between a believer and God. That is why the blessed prophet said that religion is all about how you treat others. It is the collective failure of the Muslim society to uphold good ethics that has manifested in this great decline – Muslims have become least Islamic in the world today!
Islam requires Muslims to be upholders of good ethics in their personal and social life. They are required to keep a balance between duty to God and duty to their fellow men and women. The Muslims have relinquished their sense of duties towards the latter aspect. If you take a closer look at the Muslim societies or even personal Muslim psyche often the opposite is rampant including corruption, deceit, dishonesty, bribery, nepotism and sleaze. The natural consequence is disunity and disgrace.
The blessed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Do you know who is bankrupt?” They said, “The one without money or goods is bankrupt.” The Prophet said, “Verily, the bankrupt of my nation are those who come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers, fasting, and charity, but also with insults, slander, consuming wealth, shedding blood, and beating others.”
The overwhelming troubles of the Muslim majority countries are because Muslims are the worse followers of the best religion – Islam. Muslims are very busy killing one another in Iraq, Syrian, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt and Algeria. Disunity and despotism has become the second nature of the ummah of the blessed Prophet Muhammad. A great author and Islamic scholar Muhammad Asad once said “don’t judge Islam by the behavior of Muslims but judge Muslims by Islam.”
There is a profound difference between Islam and the Muslims today. Islam is all about total commitment to surrendering and submitting to a balanced, moderate and peaceful lifestyle ordained by God based on fairness, justice, excellence, compassion and charity.