Western civilisation and American way of life

Slave of machines
It is this distressing evolutionary process that has, today, made America a slave of the machines. The supremacy of the United States is accepted all over the world and its hand is seen in everything that happens anywhere. No country, Muslim or non-Muslim, is altogether free from its control and domination. In one form or another, its presence is felt at every place. Plans are made here and enforced in our countries and our own leaders implement them. Today, America has enslaved the world, but it has, itself, become the slave of the machines. It is a prisoner of its way of life, of material progress, of factories and laboratories, and of fancy goods and gadgets. The thing that I did not see here was man, the real man whose heart was alive and awake, and not the working part of a machine. Man, here, has got cast so completely in the technological mould of life that his ideas and emotions, too, have become mechanical. The properties of rock and iron have entered into his soul. He has become narrow and selfish, cold, unfeeling and impervious. There is no warmth in his heart-, no moisture in his eyes. This is the reality I have sadly observed during my stay in America.

Guard against the dissolution of your personality
Before I leave for home I would like to tell you one thing do not be overawed by this civilisation. You are the fruit of the tree of Apostleship. Live here, but keep away from the slavish imitation of the Western Civilisation. Derive as much benefit as you like from your stay, but do not be swayed by crude and vulgar materialism. Remember your message and be on your guard against the dissolution of your personality. Do not feel ashamed of your Faith, way of life and culture. Do not imagine that you are the beasts and they are men. No, you are men and they are the beasts. This land is glittering with electric lights; even the night here is bright as day; but it is devoid of true effulgence of blessedness and Divine guidance. As Iqbal has said :
Dark is the Frankish country with the smoke of its machines;
This valley of Blessedness and Hope' is not worthy of Divine Splendour.

Bondmen of idols carved by themselves
These people are the slaves of their habits and of the mechanical contraptions and devices made by themselves. Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham) had asked the idol-worshippers of his time : What are these images Onto which ye pay devotion ? (XXI : 52). What irony is it that you kneel down tomorrow before what you make today? The same is happening here. To-day a standard is laid down, a law is formulated and a machine is made, and tomorrow, the whole nation becomes a slave to them. Bondmen of the idols and images carved by their own hands!

Deputyship of Ibrahim
This country is an idol-hall in which the Azan of Ibrahim has to be given, and this you, alone, can do. You are the real descendants of Ibrahim, not the Jews who have strayed far away from his path. Not the Christians who are the followers of the Christianity of St. Paul, not of Jesus. They have been divested of true Christianity. It was a colossal conspiracy that bore fruit. No religious conspiracy has,- perhaps, been so successful. It brought about a complete metamorphosis of Christianity. Now, whether Catholics or Protestants, they are the adherents of St. Paul. They have lost the claim to be the successors of Hazrat Ibrahim. You are his successor.
In the words of Iqbal:
Architect of Haram, for rebuilding the world awake;
Out of heavy sleep, heavy sleep arise Out of slumber deep arise !
Only the architects of Haram can build the new world. Today, destruction is rampant. In appearance it is constructions, in truth, destruction. It was the mission of the Apostle- you follow to deliver mankind from every kind of servility to the servility of One God. You therefore, are in America not merely- as masses of flesh and blood, nor simply as Indians, Pakistanis, Egyptians and Slvrians.

Break idols of colour and blood; lose yourselves in the Millet.
Neither the Irani should remain nor Turani nor Afghani. You are not Egyptians and Syrians, but Muslims You are one community, one brotherhood. You are Ibrahimi and Mohammadi. Know yourself. You have not come here to lose your identity and get fitted into this monstrous machine -like a valueless part or to fill your bellies like the animals. No. Take the Message to the peoples of this land; wake them up; tell them how they have gone out of the right way.
If it ever occurs to the Western people how wrong and perverted is their outlook on life, they go to the other extreme. They turn towards Hippie-ism, Hindu asceticism and renunciation. A large bathing festival, called Kumbh, is held every year at Allahabad, in India. If you go to it, you will find educated Americans roaming about like stray cattle, or, rather fanatics. This civilisation has developed indigestion. They have imbibed the wine of culture so excessively that they have begun to vomit. They are seeking satisfaction by descending to the level of the beasts, by rejecting the favours and blessings of God, and by running away from the realities of life. Would to God that our Islamic countries were capable of showing the correct path to the Americans and speaking to them in a confident, self-assured manner. But alas, not one of them is in that position. The result is that when the Americans get disgusted with their own way of life, they go to the Himalayas and use narcotics to produce an unreal feeling of peace and serenity. We, the Muslims, could tend guidance to them if we possessed the capability.

Where are Muslims ?
Brothers and sisters, you are not here merely to earn and spend. This any community can do. You are here to earn according to your need, but you must, also, know your station and present before the Americans a new design of life. You should give the Azan which may stir their minds and offer Namaz so that they may see and ponder over it. Lead a clean life in order that a revulsion is created in them for their own degenerate ways of living, practice moderation so that a realisation may dawn on them of the foulness of sensuality and excessive self-indulgence, and freeing yourselves from the ruthless domination of the machines, live in a cool, calm and collected manner in order that they may know where peace is. Rediscover the world that lies within you and develop the spirituality which might be felt by those who came into contact with you. I wish that devout bondmen of the Lord, men with an illumined heart, came to live here and told these people who are disgusted with life that Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. (XIII : 28).
Today, only the Muslims can give this message, but where are they? Has any Muslim country or community the courage to tell the Americans that in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest? They no longer believe in it themselves. How can they convey the message of Divine Unity to others who have them- selves lost faith in the power and efficacy of Namaz, in the truth and veracity of the Kalima, in the control and authority of God over gain and loss, and in the pre-ordination of good and evil, and made the Americans the great provider of the daily bread? How can they tell them that there is no Giver of Sustenance save Allah?
First, try to produce Faith within yourselves, observe Namaz and spend some time everyday in meditation; produce the warmth that has been destroyed by the smoke of the factories, refresh your soul, set right the aim of your life, read the Quran daily, study the life of the Prophet and seek light from it, and, then, convey the message of the Religion of Nature to the Americans.

Only Islam is the Religion of Nature
Islam, alone, is the religion which does not frown upon human nature, but declares it to be essentially pure and flawless.
God had given a clean state to man, a guiltless nature and an inclination towards goodness; we have debased it. Man is, by nature, upright. Left to his natural instincts, he will follow the correct path. First, realise these truths, produce them within yourselves, in your hearts as well as in your minds, and, then, place them before the Americans. You are the people of preaching and instruction; you are the people of Apostleship, a community with a purpose, and the bearers of the Message. It dose not become you to live like two-legged animals, filling your stomachs and procreating.

Discover man
These are some of my impressions. I have spoken to you from the heart. I have seen everything in America, but man. If I have found one here, it is among you. It is not that I am unacquainted with America or the Americans. I have met them in literature, on the T.V., and over the radio. They are not strangers to me.
Find out the man who is the Vicegerent of God and for whom the world has been created and in whose breast beats the heart which is more precious than, the entire universe. All the treasures of the world and the achievements of science are nothing before an illumined heart. 'Produce that humanity in yourselves. You stay here is correct. It is not only justified, but also a worship and a great source of preaching and propagation of Faith. And if it is not that then I have great misgivings. As I have said on various occasions, if you do not take full care to safeguard your religious life and arrange for the religious education and upbringing of your children and make sure that your future generations remain true to Islam then your living in this country is a sin and you are in grave danger.
Lo ! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while they wrong themselves, (the angels) will ask: In what were ye engaged? They will say : We were helpless in the land. (The angles) will say : Was riot Allah's earth spacious that ye could have migrated therein ? (IV: 97).
For us it is legitimate to live only in a country where we can live with our distinctive qualities and observe our duties. If it is not possible in this environment or you feel you cannot carry out your religious obligations then it is not permissible for you to reside in this land. It is your duty to see that you lived here as Muslims, with all your characteristics You should build your own society, and, also, assure that your children will remain Muslims after you, as Hazrat Yaqoob (Jacob) had done in regard to his progeny. It is set forth in the Quran:
or were you present when death came to Yaqoob, when he said unto his sons: What will you worship after me? They said: We shall worship thy God, the God of thy fathers, Ibrahim and Ismail (Ishmael) .... (II: 133).
It was then that Hazrat Yaqoob was satisfied and he departed from the world with a contented heart. It is the duty of all of us to make certain that our children grow up to be Muslims, otherwise, friends, it will be necessary to have a second look at your stay and to decide whether you should continue to live in this country or not.

You must live as Muslims
I highly appreciate the services of MSA and other institutions and individuals who strive in the cause of Faith, form study circles, circulate the Islamic literature and organise meetings. Whether they are Arabs or non-Arabs, they are a blessed lot. God will accept their services and raise them in ranks. Of fore- most importance, however, is the stipulation that you made sure you would be able to live here as Muslims and not break up and lose your identity. Would you melt like wax before the heat of this civilisation? In that case, you would better go back to your native lands, no matter whether you earned only a fourth or a fiftieth part of what you do here. And if you are safe against it and there is no such danger then blessed is your stay in America. A new light may come to it through you, and the path may be opened for Islam.