A study of western Scholarship on The Compatibility and Incompatibility of Islam and Modernization

Muhammad Mumtaz Ali,


Contemporary scholars seem to be in a fix: Publish or Perish. This phrase seems to be more relevant in the Western scholarship on the compatibility and incompatibility of Islam with modernization and development. Western scholars have manifested an overwhelming interest on this issue while specifically focusing the contemporary Islamic resurgence.

In this paper, an attempt has been made to present and analyze the views of a few Western scholars on Islam and modernization as well as development. Along with this, a few relevant observations and reflections of a few Muslim scholars on modernization and development are also presented wherever necessary. It is argued that contemporary Islamic resurgence is not anti-modernization and development but its concepts of modernization and development are diametrically opposite to the Western concepts. It is also asserted that secularization which forms an indispensable part of Western model of development and modernization has shattered the moral and spiritual dimensions of the societies wherever it has penetrated. Hence it is pointed out that 'religion' has emerged as a vital force in many societies across the world. It is therefore suggested that the West should not perceive the contemporary Islamic resurgence as a threat! It should rather appreciate and respect other cultures so that the West and the rest should live in peaceful co-existence through mutual respect and understanding.

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