Toward a Desired Future for Our Grandchildren

The collective Muslim mind often reflects with pride on our glorious past. When discussing today’s challenges, many Muslims look to the wisdom of Ibn Khaldun, Al Ghazali, or al-Shāfiʿi for guidance.

While it is essential to honor our intellectual heritage, it is equally important to engage with the present using contemporary knowledge to address current issues.

Understanding that our present struggles are distinct from our past glories is crucial in shaping a prosperous future. The future of the Muslim world cannot be crafted solely by religious scholars; we must broaden our horizons.

Setting goals, making plans and designing strategies to ensure objectives are all serving people best interest (Maslaha). Planning should be at the center of a Muslim’s life-sociopolitical moral and socioeconomic sectors. Unfortunately, this precious Sunnah is not apparent today in Muslims’ lives and actions. The absence of this Sunnah has contributed much to our failures and suffering.

Futures’ studies, or futures’ research, is the systematic study of possible, and preferable futures. The field has broadened into an exploration of alternative futures and deepened to investigate the worldviews and mythologies that underlie our collective prospects.

The Muslim world faces complex challenges, including socio-economic disparities, political instability, and technological shifts. Futures studies can help identify opportunities, anticipate risks, and guide strategic decisions. Hence the need for scholars from diverse fields—religious, social, cultural, environmental, and technological—to challenge misconceptions and envision various scenarios for potential futures. This represents the kind of Ijtihad —independent reasoning—necessary for progress.

By reemphasising the importance of applying the principle of Ijtihad, we can ensure that our practices remain faithful to the spirit of Islam while also being responsive to the changing circumstances and needs of the modern world. It’s a way to honor the past while boldly stepping into the future.

IQRA’ The International Qur’an Research Association, has taken a first step by assembling a multidisciplinary team of Qur’an scholars and scientists to reinterpret the Qur’an’s teachings for our time. Their goal, in collaboration with other research institutes and think tanks, is to chart a course for the Muslim world to lead in social and practical sciences. Similar groups should be established across the Muslim world to discuss the realities of multiple futures in an ever-changing world and to determine how we can become through inclusive and accountable visions, the architects of the future we desire.

Therefore, Muslim councils supported by research institutions and think tanks must be established to resolve difficulties and draw and design plans for various parts of the Muslim World. They have special duties because they create future visions on behalf of everyone. Similarly, to the extent that a leader in any context has an outsized capacity to shape things, they have a commensurate responsibility to practice and enable high quality future thinking.

In the quest for a prosperous future, the Muslim world stands at a crossroads between its rich intellectual heritage and the pressing demands of modernity. This article proposes a bold synthesis of traditional Islamic wisdom and contemporary knowledge to navigate the challenges of today and pave the way for a thriving tomorrow. By embracing the principle of Ijtihad, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, and reinvigorating our commitment to the Sunnah of strategic planning, we can chart a course toward a future that honors our past while seizing the opportunities of the present. The strategies outlined herein aim to galvanize the collective Muslim mind to become active architects of a desired future for our grandchildren, one that is rooted in the timeless values of Islam and responsive to the evolving landscape of the 21st century.

Methodological Principals for Achieving the Desired Future:

Rediscovering Islam and Muslim Identity: A thoughtful reconsideration and reflection on what the Muslim identity means in the modern world, and establishing a clear understanding of Islam and Muslim identity based on the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet , as they will effectively function, evolve, and influence today’s world.

The discussion around “Rediscovering Islam and Muslim Identity” is a significant one, especially in the context of contemporary challenges and the future of Muslim communities. The concept of Rediscovering Islam and Muslim identity often revolves around returning to the root meanings of the words, which are derived from the Arabic root “SLM,” signifying peace, safety, and submission to Allah.

Rediscovering Islam is not about altering the core principles of Islam but rather about returning to the purity of the early teachings of our beloved Prophet ﷺ, and emphasizing aspects of the faith such as peace, tolerance, and coexistence, as they are demonstrated in the Medina Charter, the first social contract in the world, developed by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. It’s about interpreting Islamic teachings in a way that resonates with today’s world while maintaining the essence of the religion.

It is also about benefiting from the experience and best practices of previous nations as instructed in the Quran:

يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَكُمۡ وَيَهۡدِيَكُمۡ سُنَنَ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِكُمۡ وَيَتُوبَ عَلَيۡكُمۡۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٞ ﴾ [ النساء: 26]

God wishes to make His laws clear to you and to guide you towards the righteous ways of those who preceded you. He wishes to redeem you. He is all-knowing and all-wise. (4:26)

If we don’t learn from past historical mistakes and from the best practices of today’s world, we will be condemning ourselves, and our future generations to isolation and a sure failure.

Hence, my assumption that returning to the Islam of the Prophet ﷺ, Islam in its original simplicity will serve as a better and working formula for future generations through the following principles:

Emphasising the principle of tawhid: It teaches that everything in the universe constitutes a multiplicity that derives its coherence from the Oneness of the Creator inherent in the cosmos. The opposite is the pulverization of knowledge into unrelated parts, which is the principal cause of chaos and denies its opposite, which is the coherent unity of the cosmos in the tawhid that points to the Oneness of its Creator.  (Al Ikhlas 112:1-4) Tawhid will always be the foundation of our approach to everything in this life.

Highlighting Universal Values from the Qur’an: Emphasizing the universal values of peace, compassion, and justice that are inherent in Islam may help non-Muslims gain a better understanding and appreciation of Islam. The Qur’an provides a framework of values that are not only relevant to Muslims but also resonate with the broader human experience, especially when they’re revisited and reinterpreted with contemporary eyes by Muslim Scholars and Scientists to offer solutions for today’s problems.

By focusing on these shared values, it becomes possible to foster a dialogue that transcends religious boundaries and promotes mutual respect and understanding. It’s important to communicate these values in a way that is inclusive and relatable, allowing people of different faiths to see the common ground they share with Islamic teachings.

Encouraging Inclusivity: Our rediscovery of Islam will focus on peace and common humanity can help bridge gaps between different cultures and faiths.

In a Hadeeth recorded by both Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim, the Prophetﷺ said that “None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself”. This is emphasized in the Quran chapter 49, verse 13: “O mankind, we have created you from a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Indeed, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Aware”.

  – Promoting Intellectual Discourse: Encouraging open and respectful intellectual discourse about the interpretation of Islamic teachings can foster a more dynamic and adaptable understanding of the faith.

وَسَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ جَمِيعٗا مِّنۡهُۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَأٓيَٰتٖ لِّقَوۡمٖ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿الجاثيه١٣﴾

“And He has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and on the Earth; a blessing from Him.  There are signs in this for people who reflect.” (45:13) Urging people to reflect was mentioned 18 times.

﴿ أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ ۚ ﴾  [ سورة النساء: 82] “do they not contemplate the Qur’an?” (4:82)

Urging people to ponder the Qur’an was repeated four times.

وَمِنْ آَيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَاتٍ لِلْعَالِمِينَ (22)

And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your languages and your colors. These are signs for those who know. (30:22)

– Seeking unity not uniformity: It’s important to note that any redefinition of our identity as Muslims should be approached with sensitivity and respect for the diversity of interpretations within the Muslim community. Only a unity that recognizes the beauty and potential of our diverse Ummah will truly succeed. This unity can unlock so many opportunities for us to connect on our commonalities, empower our talented individuals to make the world better, and serve Allah and humanity with greater excellence, efficiency, and grace.

– Focussing on governance based on Maqasid Al Shari’ah: By focusing on Maqasid or the higher objectives of the Sharia, scholars can navigate contemporary issues with a clear understanding of the underlying principles and goals of Islamic law. However, we think it is high time to incorporate the traditional Maqasids into a modern state constitution. This approach can contribute to the development of a contemporary Islamic constitution that uphold interethnic unity, economic justice, political justice, gender equity, and freedom of thought, publication, and assembly.

The integration of Maqasid al-Shari’ah, as constitutional principles, into a modern constitution is not only timely but also essential for the evolution of Islamic governance. It allows for a dynamic interpretation of Islamic law that is responsive to current societal needs while remaining faithful to its core values. This integration can serve as a foundation for building a modern Islamic state that is just, consultative, and prosperous, reflecting the true spirit of the Qur’an and Sunnah in today’s context.

  – Empowering Youth: We need to present Islam to our youth in a way that resonates with them. This will requires understanding their perspectives and creating an environment that fosters genuine engagement with the faith.

Islam has to be presented, to the youth, in a way that is authentic, relevant, and inspiring, helping them to understand and appreciate the depth and breadth of Islamic teachings. This we hope, will help them better align with their environment and to get involved with their community as productive members and future leaders.

Providing a framework that aligns with the values of Tawhid, peace and coexistence can empower young Muslims to engage positively with the world around them.

After all they are the future, and all this work aims at providing them with a better future than the one we have today.

Encouraging women to be involved in futuristic projects, is crucial for achieving a balanced and inclusive future.

وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ اللَّهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ ) التوبة: 71(

The believers, both men, and women support each other; they order what is obviously right and forbid what is obviously wrong, and they perform prayers, pay the prescribed purifying alms, and obey God and His Messenger. God will have mercy on them. He is Revered, Wise. (9:71)

Identifying Visionary Leaders: Identifying and recruiting visionary leaders, involves a strategic approach that combines Islamic principles with practical methodologies.

Establish clear criteria for what constitutes a visionary leader within the context of Islamic values. This includes traits such as moral courage, sincerity, forbearance, effective communication, and a commitment to social justice.

Ensuring Social Stability: Recognize that civilizations rely on systems and laws for organization and security. Social stability in the Muslim world, as in any society, relies on a combination of factors that contribute to the well-being and harmonious functioning of communities. Here are some necessary elements for social stability, particularly in the context of Muslim-majority regions:

1. Good Governance: Effective governance that includes transparency, rule of law, and accountability is essential. It helps in reducing corruption and ensuring that the needs of the populace are met.

2. Economic Stability: A stable and diversified economy that provides opportunities for employment and growth is crucial. This includes fair economic policies that reduce inequality and poverty.

3. Education and Knowledge: Access to quality education that promotes critical thinking and provides skills relevant to the modern economy is vital for the development of society.

4. Social Justice: Ensuring equal rights and opportunities for all citizens, regardless of their background, helps in creating a just society where everyone can contribute positively.
5. Social Solidarity: Reinforcement of Islamic principles, planning to eliminate poverty, and the wise collection and distribution of Zakat, will eliminate poverty and reenforce stability.


As we stand at the crossroads of history, we are tasked with the noble endeavor of crafting a future that honors our rich past while embracing the possibilities of tomorrow. The journey toward a desired future for our grandchildren is paved with the collective efforts of our communities, the wisdom of our scholars, and the boundless potential of our youth.

In Rediscovering the Islam of the Prophet pbuh, and reinforcing our Muslim identity, we must illuminate the path with the guiding light of the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah, ensuring that our actions today resonate with the universal values of peace, justice, and compassion. Our identity should be a beacon of hope, inclusivity, and intellectual growth, fostering a world where every individual, regardless of gender or background, can contribute to the tapestry of human civilization, under the umbrella of Islam.

Empowering our youth and encouraging the involvement of women in all spheres of life are not just ideals; they are imperatives for a balanced and progressive society. As we educate the next generation and identify visionary leaders, we must remember that our strength lies in unity, not uniformity. Our leaders must embody the principles of Islamic values while being adept in navigating the complexities of the modern world.

Ensuring social stability through good governance, economic resilience, accessible education, and unwavering commitment to social justice will lay the foundation for a society that thrives in harmony and prosperity.

Let us, therefore, embark on this journey with determination and hope, knowing that the future we envision today will become the reality of tomorrow. Our grandchildren deserve a world that is not only sustainable and just, but also reflective of the best of our values and aspirations. Together, we can become the architects of such a world, leaving a legacy that future generations will look back on with pride and gratitude.

We can and we should pray to Allah S.W.T. for in the end it is He who will determine whether we succeed or fail. We need His blessings and His help in our endeavours.

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