Is there any signs of awakening in the Muslim world?
In the last 30 years, there’s been an awakening. A spread of knowledge, correct knowledge, authentic knowledge of Islam has begun. So we find the wearing of hijab, something which 30 or 40 years ago you can hardly see anybody wearing it in different parts of the Muslim world itself. Now it has become common, this is an obvious symbol, but it is more than that.
The rise of Islamic banking, for example, where Muslims have submitted to the interest bank systems, and accepted as it was, and dealt with it in a way which was of course prohibited in Islam, alternatives were developed, the Islamic banking, which was stopped at in the beginning. When the Muslim economist were proposing Islamic banking, the western economies were laughing at them, ridiculous banking without interest that is something ludicrous, it is going to fail, no way, it will not succeed. However, today in Harvard University, there is a chair for Islamic banking and economics. Major Banks, Bank of London, City Bank etc. have opened Islamic windows where they are offering same Islamic economic banking products that the well-known current Islamic bank is offering. So this is all a part of awakening, so the future is bright.
But it requires our own efforts here to know Islam, to understand its correct way and to apply it in our lives correctly. When people become educated, to know what Islam is, then they will live lives in accordance to the teachings of Islam, it will be productive lives. They will play a positive role in the society, they will not be known for drugs and you know other evils, because this Islamic society holds at its highest goals, human moral values, establishment of morality in society. Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) has said,
"I was only sent to perfect for you the highest of moral character traits." 
and he (ﷺ) also said,
“Al birru husnul khulooq” 
"Righteousness is good character."
And we hear that echoed throughout the teachings of Islam, or in the Qur'an or Sunnah of Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ). Even the Salah itself, the prayer, 5 times daily prayers, Allah says,
“...innas salata tanhaa anil fahshaa’i wal munkar...” 
“...Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing,...”
It is supposed to change our behaviour but if it doesn’t, we have to ask ourselves, why doesn’t it? Why are we still speaking evil and doing evil? Because you are obviously not praying the prayers which were prescribed, we are praying our own version where in which we are unconscious of what we are saying and what we are doing. We just want to do the motions, the custom, the tradition and, of course, that type of prayer will not change anybody. Ritual will not make anything better, where rituals combined with understanding, understanding goals of the rituals then it can bring about change. So as I said, the future is now here, it is to raise the knowledge of Islam, it is to study more and more, then, people are becoming conscious, aware of it, trying to practice it. We find more young people in the mosque today, go back a few years and the mosques were empty, only old people were there, only the old people went to hajj, only old people practised, young people will live a happy life, enjoy, do all the things that are not allowed. When you get old, then you become pious and then you ask God, “Forgive me”, and you die in that state. Of course, we know that such a way of treating religion is an error, it is of no use. Religion in that way is not the real religion. We are playing a game with God and we can’t fool God.
So enclosing I would just like to remind you that we do have this duty which Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) enshrined in the statement,
“Talibul ilma fareedan ala kulli muslimin.” 
“Seeking knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim.”
Knowledge of both the religion as well as the knowledge of the world in which we live. The best of us, Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) said,
“khyrunnas anfa’ahum linnas” 
"The best of us are those who are most beneficial to the people."
So Muslims need to return to that role in the society, of becoming beneficial contributors to the overall growth, development and progress of the society.
I pray that Allah, God Most High, will give us that success.
 [Narrated by al-Bukhaari in al-Adab al-Mufrad (273) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani]
 [Sahih Muslim 2553]
 [Qur’an 29:45]
 [220. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah]
 [Saheeh al-Jaami' 3289]< Back to Questions