Muslim world and the contemporary challenges

The Muslim Ummahs is facing challenges both from within itself and from the outside. The challenges from within are mainly due to different theological interpretations of Quran and political stakes of different countries. Whereas the challenges from outside are mainly due to the rampant materialism and evolution. Though it is almost impossible to describe each and every challenge faced by the Muslim Ummah in detail yet here we give some of the major contemporary challenges faced by us, as a collective Muslim identity.

Lack of good leadership

After the death of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) the Muslim Ummah came under the command of Hazrat Abu Bakar (r.a), Umar (r.a), Usman (r.a) and Ali (r.a) respectively, who were brilliant leaders and administrators of all time. These leaders were followed by less-visionary leaders of Ummayyad and Abbassid dynasties but still, they were relatively better in leadership compared to the superpowers of the time so that’s why they overpowered those powers. Now if we take a look at the present time, we are facing a severe dearth of quality leaders. Majority of the Muslim countries and prominently the wealthy Gulf countries are being governed by the dynastic rulers whereas the rest of the countries are facing political turmoil in wake of military coughs and public protests with the exception of a few. In Monarchies no one can question the source of the money spent by the rulers or the luxurious palaces in which they live. Even in the democratic Muslim countries the democracy is still nascent and most of the leaders are corrupt and stooges of big powers.

Lack of quality education

The education is the key to the development of a country or a community but Muslim Ummah is severely lagging behind in this field. Apart from the golden period of Islamic history when we produced some great scholars and scientists of the time, we have failed to produce great minds who can carry the mission of their ancestors forward. According to well-known statistics, the number of universities currently providing education to the students in America is far far bigger than the total number of universities in the Muslim world, which is a huge dilemma. Similarly, the amount of budget allocated to the research work in the United States and European is extremely high compared to the budget allocated by the Muslim world. There is not even a single institute in the Muslim world which is of the standard of Harvard or Cambridge or even less than that. If the situation remains like this in the education sector in the Muslim Ummah then it is absurd to even dream of a bright future.

Rising extremism

The lack of proper education and religious indoctrination are the two primary reasons for rising extremism in the Muslim world. If we take a look at the religious intolerance in the Muslim World then the sector which can be considered the most responsible for this miserable situation is education.  The lack of proper facilities by the governments compel students belonging to the poor families to opt for the religious Madrassas. The Madrassas have their own curriculum outside the government control. The number of militant organizations, the bomb blasts, and infighting among the Muslim Ummah is the result of wrong religious interpretations from the extremist scholars.The alienation of the youth is, on one hand, is causing them to go towards religious fanatics and on the other hand, it is landing them into the moral degradation and western way of life.

Sectarianism and Political confrontation

These two are also the major challenges faced by the Muslim Ummah nowadays. The confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran in the middle east can be viewed from two angles; Sectarianism and Political confrontation. Saudi Arabia is the seat of the Islamic Holy Shrines and is the hub of orthodox Wahabbi teachings whereas Iran is the spiritual center of the Shiite Islam. The havoc in Muslim countries like Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and even Afghanistan to a certain extent can be attributed to this sectarian power struggle. Similarly, some people see the confrontation as only a power struggle with no real religious base. The example of this is the recent meeting of Iraqi Shia Leader Muqtada Al-Saddar with the Gulf leaders.

Economic disparity

One of the biggest problem faced by the Muslim Ummah in the current times is the economic disparity and poverty. The lack of development in the Muslim countries does not mean that they don’t have the potential or the resources to be the hub of the economy of the world but rather it is the lack of commitment of the leaders that causing them to remain economically backward.If we again compare the situation in the Muslim countries with that of Europe then it is for sure that the reason is not the lack of resources. Holland, a tiny country, is only exporting as many flowers that overpower the total exports of the whole Islamic world even though there are 57 Muslim countries in the world. The reasons for the economic disparity are lack of quality education, lack of research, corruption, Red-tapism along with other numerous reasons.

Western Domination and Atheism

Islam is a complete code of life and it guides us about each and everything whether it is on the personal level or on the level of the state. On the other hand, the western concept of Secularism teaches us that religion has no role to play in the formation or in the administration of the state. Similarly, the western way of life has also promoted materialism to the level that most of the people living there have adopted quest for money almost as their religion.Most of the people in the Western world have either accepted Atheism or have become non-practicing Christians. The economic and military domination of the West on the rest of the world has also affected the minds of some of the people in the Muslim world and they have adopted the same secular teachings resulting in severe moral degradation.


The Muslim Ummah has faced many challenges right from the origin but the challenges now are much more difficult. The Muslim Ummah needs some great minds to tackle the rising dangers and currently, there are intellectuals who are defending Islam on the international stage but we need to be more active in the face of the mentioned-above challenges to emerge as a vibrant force in the economy-driven world. Muslim World has to face contemporary challenges with great zeal and unity, only then a solution is possible.

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About Muhammad Asim

Muhammad Asim is a passionate blogger and the founder and editor of the
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  1. this is a very good explanation of the problems of the muslim ummah

  2. Thank you for sharing . really impressed to read about this article
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