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Marxism and Islam

A New Perspective
Hamid Naseem Rafiabadi

In the history of mankind Karl Marx and Frederick Engels are the two giants who
have made the most scathing criticism against religion. The criticism was further
advanced by Lenin and other Marxists. It needs a considerable discussion to deal with
this criticism in order to assess its worth. It is important to deal with this criticism in
order to show how Islam remains unaffected from this clandestine criticism as this is
beside the point and it does not apply to Islam in any way.

To start with, Marxism-Leninism considers religion a historically transient
phenomenon of social consciousness and shows the man factors those determine its
existence at different stages of society’s development. According to Marx religion in
primitive society was conditioned by man’s importance Vis-a- Vis forces of Nature
because of the low level of the productive forces. Thus in Capital we find that,
consciousness is at first, of course, merely consciousness concerning the immediate
sensuous environment and consciousness of the limited connection with other persons
and things outside the individual who is growing self consciousness. At the same time
it is consciousness of nature, which first appears to men as completely alien, all-
powerful and unassailable force, which means relations are purely animal and by
which they are overawed like beasts, it is thus a purely animal consciousness of

According to Marxism: the existence of religion in antagonistic class societies may be
traced to oppression, unfair social relations, the poverty and rightless status of the
masses, which bred despair and a sense of helplessness thus turning people’s hopes to
supernatural forces. By giving people false bearings and other world, religion,
according to Marxism, strengthens and perpetuates man’s independence on external
forces and dooms him to passiveness and thus retarding the creative potential of the
society of antagonistic classes, it diverts working people from active participation in
the struggle for changing the world and impedes the formation of their class
consciousness. According to the communists, Marxism-Leninism provides convincing
proof that the social roots of religion are being undetermined by the economic and
social changes brought about in the course of socialist construction and will disappear
altogether in a developed communist society.2

Marxism maintains that: The ancient social organisms of production are, as compared
with bourgeois society extremely simple and transparent. But they are founded either
on the immature developments of man individually, who has not yet served the
umbilical cord that unites him with his fellow men in a primitive tribal community, or
upon direct relations of subjection. They can arise and exist only when the
development of the productive power of labor has not risen beyond a low stage; and
when therefore, the social relations with in the sphere of material life, between man
and men, and between man and nature, are correspondingly narrow. Marx further
writes; this narrowness is reflected in the ancient worship of nature, and in the other

elements of the popular religions. Then Marx claims that religion will vanish when
the relations will be established on practical basis rather than religious oriented basis.

He says; the religion is the reflex of the real world, in any case, it will only vanish
when the practical relations of everyday life offer to man none but perfectly
intelligible and reasonable relations with regard to his fellowmen and the nature.3/

The Marxists claim that Marxism alone was able completely to reveal the essence of
religion by proving that it is nothing but “the fantastic reflection in men’s minds of
those external forces which control the daily life, a reflection in which the terrestrial
forces assume the form of supernatural forces.”4/

In capital, Anti-Duhring, Ludwig Feuerbach and other works Marx and angels discuss
the roots of religion, showing that whereas in the earliest stages of human
development religious beliefs arose from primitive man’s helplessness in his struggle
with the forces of nature, under antagonistic class society the social oppression of the
working masses and their apparent helplessness against the struggle against their
exploiters gave birth to and foster religion in the belief of better life hereafter, the
alleged reward for suffering on earth. Marx in his introduction to Critique of the
Hegelian philosophy says as early as in 1884.5/

“Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is indeed man’s self-
consciousness and self- awareness as long as he has not found his feet in the universe.
But man is not an abstract being, squatting side the world. Man is the world of man,
the state, the society. This state, this society, produces religion which is an invested
world consciousness because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general, the
theory of this world, its encyclopedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its
spiritual point d’ honour its enthusiasm its moral sanction its solemn complaint, its
general basis of consolation, its justification. It is the fantastic realization of the
human being in as much as the human being possesses no true reality. The struggle
against religion is therefore indirectly a struggle against that world whose spiritual
aroma is religion”.

He continued: “Religious suffering is at the same time an expression of real suffering
and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the
sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of

He further says: “the abolition of religion, as the illusory happiness of man, is a
demand for their real happiness. The call to abandon their illusions about their
condition is a call to abandon a condition which requires an illusion.”

Then Marx suggests a solution to this problem as “……. The immediate task is to
unmask human alienation in its secular form now that it has been unmasked in its
sacred form. Thus the criticism of earth, the criticism of religion into the criticism of
law, and the criticism of politics”.

Marx had gone beyond an anthropological analysis of religion, and had adumbrated a
critique of society.”6/

thinking. Its first summons. the mental intercourse of men. Protestant by conversion had comprehended of it. with this disheartening black hole of enthusiasm”. morality. while Marxist humanism proceeds to a kind of production.down as in the camera obscure.”8/ Marx. appears at this stage as the direct efflux of their material behaviour. The same applies to mental production as expressed in the language of politics. that he might struggle in his earthly life and search for his own liberation”. Islamic humanism ascends to a kind of awareness. Shariati comments: “it appears that Marx’s knowledge of religion was confined to what his father of joist descent. such is a life for a man who in a world of unfeeling matter. protestant Christianity. It is that confounds humanity is what Marx calls a “ heartless world” and a dispirited” existence. very simply. of conceptions. which is at first interwoven with the material activity and the material intercourse of men”. ideas. up to its furtherest forms. by identifying religion with some base aspects commits a fallacy as we find that religion in its true sense does not possess these aspects: “we see that we perceive the workings of universe as: “unintelligible”. He says further: “Thus production of ideas. or even unscientific is to loose sight of this reflection and this community. etc. which shows the way to consciousness and freedom: “Islam. and the existence of men is their actual process. “Religion is a form of consciousness. Conceiving. metaphysics. Dr. If in all ideology man and their circumstances appear upside. like the mystical religions and ideologies. He had not even heard of one of the most basic doctrines of Judaism. active men as they are conditioned by a definite development of their productive forces and of the intercourse corresponding to these. We see that from the same beginning. is a philosophy of human liberation. Consciousness can never be anything else than conscious existence. and Marxism does so on the basis of production (taulid). Then does Islam lead to a mystical and ascetic idealism of foreign to actually? Has Islam. For the same reason showing the ignorance of Marx about the exact and original sources of religion. religion. “supra. and Islam alike: god’s assignation of free will to men. forgotten the principal of justice? Not at all! Islam addresses economic welfare and social justice as principle of its social order. Not only this it is Islam. laws. “say.rational”. is at first directly interwoven with the material activity and the material intercourse of men. this phenomenon arises just as much as from their historical life process as the inversion of objects of the retina does from their physical life process.7/ In this sense: “Men are the producers of their conceptions. of people.Marx explains his position and says.” propounds taulid as the necessary means to that end.10/ Contrary to Marxian criticism against religion. there is no god but god’ and prosper. real. as Islam interprets and evaluates man on the on the basis of tauhid. of consciousness. 9/ This whole process of arguments against religion leads us to believe that Marx’s approach towards religion was based on hypothetical propositions. Islam elevates man to a lofty status where he is not helpless creation. the language of real life. etc. . has become plaything of a blind and unending dialectical conflict and is drowning in a “ sea of tears”.

then of bread. which stands as a decisive affirmation of man’s nobility and man’s responsibility for his own self. but the proletariat is revolutionary. What were the ulterior motives.indeed it stresses them. “Islam. on the other hand. This is paramount to the philosophy of human life in Islam. Not only had this have the proponents of Marxism show how religion depends on the development of social relations.Marxist intellectuals and even independent Christian thinkers should join in attacking him. however regretfully.which led Marx to criticize religion are as Dr.13/ By this criticism in these above lines does not apply to Islam in any sense. when the necessity arises . upon whom be peace. so that all non. having lost himself.. It holds that God has consigned this trust to humanity. and desire for independence.perfection and liberation “your disease is with you and you know not. “the social principles Christianity preach necessity for the existence of a ruling class and the ruled class.the social principles of Christianity relegate compensation for all atrocities to the next world. To be precise in Islam theses constitute essential prerequisites. The social principles of Christianity are hypocritical. searches for his own values and powers in God’s being and demands them from Him with “sighs” and “tears”. and men under took it” (2:30). he may freely unfold his inherent divine nature. the earth. “We offered the trust to the heavens. and your remedy is within you and you see not. regardless of the weakness of this line of his reasoning. while explaining their persistence in this world as punishment for original sin. self respect. It should be mentioned that the Marx based this attack on the grounds he found Christianity in practice devoid of all human consideration. It does more than that God has made a helpless creature who. and they refused to bear it.”17:70). pride. or as a burden god has imposed as a test of His servants. they can free man from poverty and discrimination so that. all base qualities. goes beyond granting humanity an honored place in nature (“we have honored the progeny of Adam. refusing to accept this debasement. and the mountains. 11/ Not only this. to support the suppression of the proletariat. abjectness.”12/ Why Marx was led to say such a thing is because in his view religion had a history that was infected with social discrimination and injustice towards mankind. on the class structured of society. They reveal the interest the exploiting classes (including clergy) have in furthering religion as a means of blinding and curbing the popular masses. The social principles of Christianity preach dishonor. humility – in short. through moral growth and particular evolution.Sharaiti has rightly pointed out that Marx “identifies the Messiah with the pope. He says: “the social principles of Christianity: rationalized ancient slavery. has much greater need of courage. fearing it. The proletariat. endorsed medieval serfdom and understands how. contemptibility. servility.14/ . Nothing could go further to confute Marx’s and Feuerbach’ reasoning in deducing man’s alienation from himself before God then the saying of Syyyidna Ali.

He says: “In the instance. While a young Hegelian. it is the Father who is born of the sun. Rama. personifies it in a meta-physical being.The real proofs should have the appropriate character. than materialists and Marxists? The 300. because of the legal restrictions on daily life for the Jews in Germany.000 in Barcelona alone who were massacred by the church were themselves all Christians”. 17/ This is what he means by the alienating effect of religion. had converted to Protestantism. is if not highly tendentious. the Tao. irrationality is the basis of God’s existence. to greater effect. Marx equated Greek superstitious beliefs with genuine religion belief and some times bases his arguments on the practice of clerks against religion.from Diderot and Voltaire to Feuerbach and Marx have committed is this: They have quoted the mythical world of ancient Greece. because nature looks a right order.Dr.16/ Before Marx Feuerback had also committed this fallacy as the well-known charges laid against religion that turns on “ the alienating affect of religion. he executed the famous inversion wrought upon the school of Hegel in connection with the relation between the son (Christ) and the Father (God). Shariati says further: “it is vulgar to criticize the weakness and corruption of the religious classes and to infer from it that religious studies are futile. in struggling against the church and the clergy (and against what Marx terms “the social principles of Christianity)” have made greater sacrifices. To identify the role in society played by the Christian clerical class in the middle ages with that of Jesus. . Which. “philosophy is allied with the faith of Prometheus. in the Palestine of two thousand years ago. God does not manifest Christ: Christ manifest God and the Christ who becomes God is himself the outward realization of the human spirit. Karl Marx actually not know that independent Christian thinkers. the spirit of mankind urgently seeking deliverance. one will arrive at oneself. in sun. whereas as these two sets of relations are in truth antithetical. 18/ Marx was the son of a Jew who. But according to Marx: All the proofs of Gods existence prove rather His non- existence. Not only this we find that history is replete with examples of revolutionary struggle against the corrupt Christian clergy. and situates what is within itself in an imagined heaven”. They have compared and even bracketed togetter humanity’s relation to Zeus and its relation to Ahuramazda. which remains with in the spiritual and sacred world of the great ancient religions. indication of utter ignorance. 15/ In a broader sense we find that “the greatest. most astounding sophistry that the modern humanities. If one can avoid this alienation. and Allah. is essentially Feuerbacks’. The Holy Spirit is none other than that human spirit. In his book The Essence of Christianity. God exists in other words. “proclaimed as a great Marxist discovery. the Messiah. Marx wrote in the preface to a treatise. experience of the self-awareness of Homom homicide (man who is his own God). I feel a loathing toward the Gods. the Messiah. falling to recognize God head with in itself.

and frees the workers from their belief in the life after death by wielding them together to fight in the present for a better life on the earth. 21/ Religion has no concern with State and for a communist it has no validity in any sphere of life. by want and isolation. we can se how. “We demand that religion be held a private affair so far as the State is concerned. vulgarized. But those who live by labour of others are taught by religion to practice charity while on the earth. He says.20/ Lenin regards religion opposite to sciences and says: “the proletariat of today takes the side of socialism.”22/ According to Lenin religion breeds obscurities and ignorance. Those who toil and live in want all their lives are taught by religion to be submissive and patient while here on the earth.burdened by their perpetual work for others. Everything rests solidly on God’s Sunnah (wont) in the world: “you will find no change in God’s Sunnah” (35:43). Everything in nature. or a political blackmailer. Religion is the opium for the people.Ali Sharati concludes his discussion by these words: At this point. says Ali Sharati: “by contrast. in which the slaves of capital drown their human image. and by word of mouth. They look upon these things as objective attestation to the existence of an intelligence who rules over nature. The most important evidence for God’s existence offered in the Quran point to the existence of a rational order and intelligence in nature”. the scriptures. Dr. Further more. and history has a known quality and a term. “The Holy Quran harshly criticizes the materialists asking “do you imagine the order of this world to be futile? It proclaims in answer “we did not create heaven.23/ . “Religion is one of the forms of spiritual oppression which everywhere weighs down heavily upon the masses of the people. “Such an association cannot and must not be indifferent to lack of class consciousness. Importance of the exploited class in their struggle against the exploiters just as inevitably give rise to the belief in the better life after death as importance of the savage in his battles with the nature gives rise to belief in Gods. which enlists science in the battle against the foe of religion. man. God does not get the affairs of the world in motion without their proper causes.In case of Islam his criticism. over. We demand complete disestablishment of the church so as to be able to combat the religious fog with purely ideological weapons. ignorance. like a bigoted medieval school man. devils miracles and the like.19/ According to Lenin religion is a tool for the exploitation of masses and the belief in the life hereafter is a capitalist design to lull the toiling masses. Marx sets up the most deviant. and particularly the Quran. earth and all between them in vain”. causation the constant laws of life. have made a rational case for Taulid on the basis of nature. (38:43). or obscurantism in the shape of religious beliefs. by means of our press. and to take comfort in the hope of a heavenly reward. and least widely held views of a rival school of thought as straw men to attack and ridicule. Religion is a sort of spiritual booze. their demand for a life more or less worthy of men. and the ordered and intelligible quality of events in the universe. thus offering them a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well -being in heaven.

morality religion. as social consciousness has diverse forms. The origin of religion can be traced to ignorance of the true cause of natural and social phenomenon. art and religion 30/.28/ Religion is deeply hostile to science. Islam does not preach passivity. but a sign of the various forms of social consciousness. 27/ Marxists have tried to deal with the problem of society in their social identification with religion. genuinely human system. Religion on the other hand distorts the essence of the world. to patient waiting for everything to be done by god’s will. non-resistance to evil and violence and thereby paralyses the peoples revolutionary energy. It permits fight against . no need to create it in the heaven as it is only a fantasy. gives wrong interpretation to it. science gives man true knowledge of the world and the laws of its development. It helps him to master neutral and social forces to arrange production. Scientific world out-look will kill religious sentiments according to Lenin: “we shall always preach the scientific world out. is to him (laborer) so many bourgeois interests. rather prepares people to be conscious enough to get their genuine rights safeguarded. On the contrary it exhorts people to safeguard their genuine rights.”29/ According to Marxism. “Law. Revolutionary struggle of the oppressed class for the creation of paradise on the earth is more important to us than unity of proletarian opinion on paradise in heaven”. religion diverts the working people from the most burning issues of reality.Tracing out the economic basis of the religion. that it preaches subordination to the exploiters.”31/ Lenin wrote about some of the negative points of religion. dooms them to passivity. of a happy life in the next world. Lenin thinks that by its false promises of the kingdom of heaven. submission to fate. 25/ Says Lenin. Lenin was led to declare that religion is the product of economic yoke in the society to forget that yoke of religion that weighs upon the mankind is merely a product and reflection of the economic yoke within society. 26/ “If economic slavery is removed religion will perish itself----the proletariat will wage a broad and open struggle for the elimination of economic slavery.32/ All this criticism by Lenin of religion is not in any way applicable to Islam as Islam in no way preaches subordination to the exploiters. Thus writes Afenssaya: “Science and religion are incomparable. and is essential for us to combat the in- consistency of various Christians”. the two sources of the religion humbugging of mankind. Religion is a new phenomenon created by man with the development of society. “Religion arose only at a definite stage in society’s development. political and legal ideas.look. from the revolutionary struggle against exploitation and just. to the awe in strong power of nature’s spontaneous and pentanndes forces and social oppression.24/ “The paradise is to be created on the earth. religion is not the basis. stultifies the mind and will of man and progress.

a Mahdi. I this way. but they have their source in economic causes. Islam becomes a revolutionary programme for the toiling masses and the oppressed people of the world.e. The Bedouins. The towns-people grew rich. god is powerful for their aid”…33/ Not only this. has set a trend in society to mould rather every aspect of human life according to its tenants including economic conditions as well. contemplation with envy and covetousness these riches and pleasures. He wrote: “Islam is a religion adapted to Orientals.”34/ Here what is clear in both the cases. Engels committed a “category mistake”. but they are determined to repeat their hypothetical assertions.for such a society. The other point is that Marxists try to locate the emergence of Islam in Arabic context. however. whereby they reduce their individual private labour to the standard of homogenous human labour. Marx has expressed all most similar views about Christianity in Capital while he says: “the religious world is the out reflex of the real world. but Muslims have been ordered by Islam to fight on the side of the oppressed of the world.oppressors. but all movements of economic nature were clothed in religion. Protestantism. is the most fitting form of religion. nomadic Bedouin. where economic and social conditions are the sole determinants of not only religion. more especially in its bourgeois developments. luxurious and lax in the observation of the law”. About Islam Engels has mentioned some points in his letters to Marx. is that Marx and Engel’s are enable to see the essence of religion as envisaged by these respective religions and the luminaries belonging to them. It seems that on the basis of the hypothetical reasoning and by identifying Islam with other religions. permission is given to fight because they are wronged. He tries out to find economic reasons for the advent of Islam and for this purpose he suggests that the trade of the Arabs demanded a relief in a religion like Islam. poor and hence of strict morals. especially Arabs. encompassing all the aspects of human beings. art. There lives. Islam exhorts Muslims to become a safeguarding force not only for the preservation of their own community’s right.” . Quran says: “to those against whom war is made. Then they unite under a prophet. deism etc. morality etc. The survey of Engel’s views about Islam will show that he was totally ignorant of the Islam as a way of life. the embryo of a periodically recurring collision. And for a society based upon the production of commodities and values. This is against all the teachings of Islam as clearly we find in Quran that Islam has nothing to do with Arab traditions rather it changed the society and built the edifice of Arab world a new. contrary to these speculations. but also launch a struggle in the favour of oppressed of the earth. He writes: “All these movements are clothed in religion. where he sees the basis of Islam to be traced out in economic and at the most national feelings. but all other institutions like philosophy. and verily. i. as on one hand to townsmen engaged in trade and industry on the other. to borrow the phrase from Gilbert Ryle. In this form religion seems to be of vital importance and at the center of all activities.” According to Engel’s these movements were for economic purposes. religion. Christianity with its cults of abstract man.

Engels writes in another letter to Marx: - “I think that the destruction of the South-Arabian trade before Muhammad. He says: “but the ancient Arabian inscriptions. For example Quran say’s: “we have not sent thee (O! Muhammad) (S. that according to Islam all prophets were from God and they possessed the same message with which they came to their nations and communities. traditions and the Koran. whose share in the trade with India etc. [SAW] which you very rightly regard as one of the chief factors in the Muhammadan revolution. was to be included here.” It means that Islam. was considerable. About the Muslims living in Russia.).”36/ Marx in his reply supports Engels and says.” Afterwards. But the communists confess that the Islam has always played an important role in those countries of the east where it spread. giving them glad tidings. Zoroastrianism. Engels tries to identify the Islamic revolution brought about by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) with the national feelings of Arabs. We could not expect anything more from Marx’s ignorance of Islam. cannot be unraveled prove that the main content was Arabic or rather Semitic in general. the Koran. Christianity. communists think that the drawing of Muslim working people into the process of socialist construction helps to develop their class- consciousness. He writes further that the content of Islam was Arabian rather Semitic in general. time the route from Europe to Asia had been significantly modified and the cities of Arabia.Engels wants to stress the point that the revolution created by Islam was actually a reaction to return to the “old simple customs’ and to the “old national –Arabian tradition of monotheism. and the case with which all genealogies etc. This is in any case etc impetus”37/. But as universal (messenger) to man. and warning them (against sin) but most men understand not. to Engels. But as we will show in the following pages. “in Muhammad’s (S. “with regard to the Hebrews and Arabs your letter was very interesting for me”. .W.38/ About Islam the Communists say that it arose in the 7th century in western Arabia in the period of Arab people’s transition from the primitive. Judaism.40/ From these details we can infer that the Marxism – Leninism tries to show that Islam was not a divinely revealed religion based on universal teachings but only the product of economic and national circumstances then existing in Arabia.39/ According to these Islam was an ideological reflection of these processes.communal system to a class society and their unification in the feudal theocratic state of the Arab caliphate. is not a divinely revealed religion.”35/ It is obvious that Engels could not realize the universal appeal of Islam that can be seen easily scattered through The Holy Quran. They also try to say that Islam was given shape by taking into it different elements and teachings from religions like Christianity. They hold that the creed of Islam is expounded in the holy book of the Muslims.W. This role has intensified in the present epoch of the rise of national liberation struggle in the process of which Muslim leaders seek to use Islam as the ideology of liberation movements. it is compounded in the elements of primitive religions and also of Judaism.). Marx also mentioned that it was perhaps due to the fact that. and Zoroastrianism” they say.A.A. were in a state of commercial decay. liberate them from religious survivals and to enable them to understand the true ways of society’s transformation.

if entrusted even with a single gold coin. hence their criticism it seems to be merely hypothetical in its nature rather than empirical. In a very interesting manner Quran has exposed the greedy and exploitative mentality of those people.” They are men whom God hath cursed. Now we will see how Islam is totally different from the distorted religions against whom Marxism levels his criticism. The other point is that the misuse of these religious forms is also not proved by Islam. In comparison to this criticism Marxism is very poor in front of Islam. “there is no call on us (to keep faith) with these ignorant (pagans). In this connection we should also note that Islam regards the distorted religions as the valid forms of religions. They were not aware of the sublime teachings of Islam which base their appeal on universal issues. will readily give it back. These are rather developed in their form after a long period of transition. because they say. who were trying to displace the revealed words from their books. On the contrary Quran levels a scathing criticism on the distorted forms of these religions. who had forgotten the spirit of their religion and they were exploiting the ignorant and poor people on the name of religion. Quran has depicted the picture of those Jews also. Quran says “of the Jews there are those who displace words from their (right) place. I will show that long before Marx Islam had launched some severe criticism against these religions. “Among people of book are some who. “Hast thou not turned thy vision to those who were given a portion of the book? They believe in sorcery and evil. if entrusted with a hoard of Gold. 41/ Not only this. Let us first see how Islam levels criticism against those who distort religions. as the whole history of Christianity was before the eyes of Marx. who. will not return it unless thou constantly stoodest demanding. on the basis of which people exploit people. and say to the unbelievers that they are better guided in the (right) way than the believers. both in its theoretical and practical aspects. their criticism against religion in general is in no way applicable to Islam. Marxian criticism of religion may be applicable to Christianity. where they could not retain their purity and authenticity. The whole correspondence between Marx and Engels shows clearly that both Marx and Engels were totally ignorant about Islam. My point is that both Marx and Engels had no real knowledge of Islam and therefore. I think the views expressed by Marx and Engels regarding the great Islamic revolution speaks volumes about their ignorance of the real spirit of Islam. A very significant point demands our attention the similarities among their teachings are in no case indication of the fact that the essence of religion is a bourgeoisie’s technique.”43/ . Quran refers to that in the following verse. Others. But they tell a lie against God well though they known it”. then they will find no one to help. and say we hear and disobey…” 42/ The belief of some of Jews of Medina was based on superstitions. but as the views expressed by Marx and Engels show they were completely ignorant about Islam.

Evil indeed are the things that they do. those who worshipped Evil. For among rocks there are some from which rivers gush forth. They become like a rock and even worse in hardness.And God is not unmindful of what ye do. Quran says: “Thenceforth were your hearts hardened. nor conceals the truth when ye know (what it is). (as judged) by the treatment. was not the covenant of the taken from them. who had made their religion a source of income. (Every thing) will be forgiven us. (even of similar vanities came their way would again seize them. In the following verse an important point is highlighted that i. but also usurped the property of people and exploited then. “Shall I point out to you something much worse than this. and for more astray from the even path”44/. Not only had they transgressed the limit ordered by God. were not going to depart from their ways until there should come to them clear evidence. 47/ “Those who reject (truth). it received from God? Those who incurred the curse of the God and His wrath. Quran says: “Many of them dost thou see. that they would not ascribe to God anything but the truth.”45/ On the other hand the religious scholars and the clergy people did not forbid them from doing these all unlawful acts. where in are Laws (orders) right and straight.e. if the study of religious books does not create sense of responsibility and accountability in man. then it should be understood that distortion of the true religion has taken place. Quran says while condemning their designs that: - . but they choose (for themselves) the vanities of the world. Quran says: “Why do not the rabbis and the doctors of the law forbid them from their (habit of) uttering sinful words and devouring things forbidden? Evil indeed are their works? 46/ Here we see that the religious leaders are condemned because they don’t try to prevent their people from wrong deeds and exploitation of others by usurping their properties. among the people of the book and among the polytheists.”48/ But the deceitful behaviour of those people Quran mentioned “and covers not the truth with falsehood. and they study what is in the but best for the right is the Home in the hereafter. and their devouring things apostle from God. rehearsing scriptures pure and holy. others there are which sink for fear of God .”49/ About the worst spiritual condition of the Jews after betraying from the path of Allah.Say. these are (many times) worse in rank.. “After there succeed an (evil) generation they inherit the book. racing each other in sin and rancor. those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine.”50/ About the wretchedness of the people of book. saying (for excuse). will ye not understand”.

B. their penalty shall not be lightened. On such shall be no fear. but the real religion that was preached by Abraham. and then say. The claim of superiority of Jews over Christianity and vice versa only shows their shallowness. was due to their materialistic mentality. Abraham was not a Jew or yet a Christian. nor shall they be helped.55/ The criticism leveled by Marxism on religion is not only invalid in case of Islam. and not joined Gods with God. but for a few days. even more than the idolaters.T). Say: produce your proof if ye are truthful.” Those are their (vain) desires. nor shall they grieve”. but he was a true in faith and bowed his will to Gods. “Or is it that ye say of God what ye do not know”. when the forgot the real message of religion. Quran has never used the word “madhab”. which these people were displaying. to traffic with it for a miserable price. But the grant of such life will not save him from (due) punishment. these are the followers of the Islam. Moses and Jesus Christ (P. not due to religious one. He was rather a Muslim. For God sees all that they do. have ye taken promise from God.U.”54/ The point of the Quran here is that these people are not following the true religion. woe to them for what their hands do write and for the gain they make thereby”51/ Sometimes theses people claim to be superior to others on the basis of their ancestral background: “And they say: the fire shall not touch us. for he never breaks his promise. and if their ids any follower of Abraham in real sense of the word.who ever submits his whole self to God and is a doer of Good. are also this apostle and those who believe and God is the protector of those who have faith”. Judaism and Christianity are two forms of distortion of the true religion. 56/ The criticism that was leveled against religion by Marxism is in no way applied to Islam. In the case of Jews we find that Quran mentions that they have become headless to everything. “These are the people who buy the life of this world at the price of the hereafter. 52/ The character. It is not a religion as dubbed by its opponents in the literal sense. not religion if followed in its real form. which has been always “Islam” (submission before the will of God). are those who follow him.“ Then woe to those who write the book with their own hands.he will get his reward with his lord. ‘Thou will indeed find them. On the other hand Islam emerges as a complete code of conduct encompassing the multidimensional aspects of human existence. Without doubt among men the nearest to kin to Abraham. Nay. in its real form can never become the target of the same.”53/ It is the materialism that makes man selfish and exploiter. “ this is from God”. to denote . Quran says categorically that Abraham was never a Jew or Christian. say. of all the people most greedy of life. (which is islam0. Each one of them wishes he could be given a life of thousand years. “And say: None shall enter paradise unless he is a Jew or a Christian.

which claims to adhere to Islamic faith. and that given to Moses and Jesus. when Adam was sent to this world mankind was also connected with heavenly guidance. According to Islam all nations received divine guidance in one or other form. was renewed by the last prophet Muhammad (P. Isaac. But during the long intervals. the family of Abraham.”57/ And “for we assuredly sent amongst every people an apostle (with the command0. hence the need of renewal of the old message with some modifications and new commands to continue the chain of divine revelation.”61/ At the end the neglected and distorted massage of god.H) “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men.e. when there were no classes. and eschew Evil’. Further it is said that religion was formulated by the exploiters in order to lull the masses and exploit them by giving them the hope of happiness in the life in the next world. show that Islam is not a private affair. and to Abraham Ismail. in one or other ways. We make no difference between one and another of them. and the family of Imran above all people”58/ All prophets according to Islam were the members of the same creed i. but (he is) apostle of god. and we bow to God (in Islam). there was non-religion as there was Non State. and given to (all) prophets from their lord. This class character of religion was claimed to be proclaimed for the first time in history by Marx. “Serve God. or a safer recourse to the maladies of spiritual life.Islam. submission before the will of God (or in other words to Islam). Jacob and the tribes. a subjective response.U. Instead of this is mentioned in the Quran that it controls the while privacy as well as externality of an individual and also lays down the strict and regular practices to be followed by a society. Adam was also prophet of God. Quran says: “To every people (was sent) an apostle. The Arabic term “din” is always used and copious references are scattered in the Quran which. 59/ It is for the same reason that each and every prophet testified to and acknowledged predecessors prophets and proclaimed “and believe in what I reveal.B. So they live . From the very day. and the seal of the prophets and God has full knowledge of all things”62/ But according to Marxism religion was created by people themselves at a particular stage of society’s development and in the primitive society. which existed in the history of mankind the real guidance was again and again neglected by the people and also revealed message was distorted and manipulated. Religion according to Marx has worked as opium for the masses and people adhere to religion because they do not get their needs fulfilled in this world because of the exploitation and amalgamation of means of production by a feudal or capitalist class. According to Quran: “God did chose Adam and Noah. confirming the revelation which is already with you” 60/ Quran says: “ we believe in God and the revelation given to us.

” It is the fanciful image of better life under the heart breaking deprivation by the exploitation of the haves which compels and makes the have –notes to be satisfied with their lot. It is the super structure of an economic basis. If the maladies of the life. On the other hand church had captured 1/3 of the land and the priests and clergymen were equal shares of power. man can get salvation: but when he came to know the corruption. which show that Islam is also a product of economic conditions prevailing those days in Arab continent. It is for that reason that “religion is the spirit of the spiritless and the heart of the heartless. Otherwise in his early has been used as tool by them.on the hope of life in the next world. lacking all the shortcomings of this mundane life. Then the allegation of Marxism on religion that it makes people dull and keeps . Adam was not only the first human being. Marx has only accepted some views of Engels about Islam. Marx was great supporter of the “myth of trinity” and in one of his articles had declared that only through myth of trinity. deprivation and other miseries will be removed by the socialization of the means of production. But if we see the conditions in which Marx opened his eyes we learn that Marx saw an extreme exploitation unlashed by the rulers who had joined hands with the priests and clergymen. In fact the criticism by Islam of the distorted and maligned form of religion is more severe and forthright than that of Marx. people will not adhere to religion in one or the other form. But the only difference is that by attaching religion Marx wants to show absurdity of religion. The whole history of persecution of scientists and enlightened people by church was also before Marx. Religion according to Marxism had been always on the side of the haves exploitors. but according to Islam the first prophet also. But it is sheer ignorance of Islam. we will show further how the criticism of Marx does not apply to the distorted forms of Christianity or Judaism (in their distorted form as Marx had seen them)contrary to this Islam has itself criticized these religions as the Rabbis clergymen adhering exploiting people in the name of religion. history shows that Islam had been there from very beginning. there will be non need of religious optimism or some hope of fuller life hereafter on the earth. by eradicating the exploitation by the capitalists of the masses. which create social consciousness it is not dominant or having upper hand. But as long as we are not able create the world. But Marx did not know Islam as the above references show. which will be fuller and pleasant one. so that people may be relieved from the fanciful hope of happier life in the other world. as they had control over the means of production and economic resources. according to Marxism religion is one of the institutions among the various institutions. Although Marx’s father had converted to Christianity Marx found that they are not getting their due respect in the society because of their previous Jewish origin. by creating a classless society. he declared religion as opium of masses. In the same way. Being originally from a Jewish descent Marx was fully aware with the brutal atrocities which were incurred upon the Jews on the name of religion by Christian rulers and crusaders. like poverty diseases. These factors together led his disillusionment from the very essence of religion. while as Islam shows the purity of religious teachings by presenting the true religion to mankind contrary to Marxist’s view point. Rather. which had become a tool of oppression for the common masses. exploitation and immorality of the religious people.

in order that thou mightiest lead mankind out of the depths of darkness into light by leave of their lord. On the other hand. for those who believe. It defies all forms of ignorance and obscurantism. Islam is not only promises the better life in life hereafter but also in this mundane life. and defend us from the torment of the fire.B. that is from the very beginning all the the way of (him) the exalted in power. So give the glad tidings to the believers. Muslims have been taught to pray for the betterment of this life as well as the life hereafter: Quran says: “And the man who says: our lord! Give us goods in this world and good in the hereafter. worthy of all praises. Thus do we explain the signs in the detail for those understand?”66/ Then there is a very significant point which Islam highlights.”65/ In the same way Islam clarifies for the people that the pleasures of this life are meant for believers also.T. were given divine guidance to lead humanity on the right path.) he will get best of the both worlds. but now the real form of religion or the compendium of all religions in Islam which is historically authentic and reliable. clean and pure which he hath provided for sustenance? Say! They are. It does not work as opium.W. Then the criticism of Marxism on religion that it makes a person to be suffering passively and resigned manner in order to get the reward in the next world. i. Islam has proved to be a great source of inspiration and revolution among the people. They should avail all the facilities and live a fuller life in this world as well. The Quran says: “ALR-a book which we have revealed unto thee. They should not deprive themselves from the fine and nice things of the world Quran says: Say: who hath forbidden the beautiful gifts of god. and surely for them on the day of judgement.”64/ At another place Quran says: “And another (favour will be bestow) which ye do love-help from god and a speedy victory. Islam has never accepted this concept. Although all the prophets (P.e. too is not valid against Islam. in the life of this world. and the things. barbaric and ignorant nation of the world.them in dormant conditions is not correct. become the most enlightened.”63/ History proves that the Arab nation which was the most backward. The distorted religions in no way are accepted by Allah as genuine religions. which he hath produced for his servants. Quran has categorically said that if a person follows Islam and abides by the dictates of Allah and his apostle (S. civilized and learned and lead the course of history to the direction of scientific and technological developments.U.) were sent by the god with the same message. but as a great catalyst to awaken people from their dogmatic slumbers. Quran says: .

”70/ There are many teachings and many examples of such behaviour. and make no divisions thereof therein. which we sent by inspiration to thee and that we enjoined on Abraham. You will be kind to your kin. who cry is: “our lord rescue us . he was called as our leader” by Hazrat Omar (R. but also gives warning to the oppressors of their defeat at the hands of oppressed.A. Hazrat Bilal (R.AW. Quran mentions their saying as follows: “They said shall we believe in thee when it is the meanest that follow thee. The first revelation wads received by the prophet in the cave of Hira. but he kept alive their females. entertain the guest and help the truth to prevail. And we wished to be gracious to those who were being depressed in the land.“The same religion has he established for you as that which he enjoined on Noah.) was a he brow salve originally. Jesus: namely. you will rescue the weary. to mark those leaders (in faith) and make them heirs.A. and when he came hurriedly to his house and told the whole story to his life Hazrat Khadijah (R. and they own their duty to him and him alone.).” joy to my cousin. depressing a small group among them.). to all believers to fight for the oppressed and depressed people to save them from the yoke of slavery. By god.A. Quran says: “And why should ye not fight in the cause of god and of those who. we say that Islam never gives any clue to that direction: Islam is not only says that god will give a support by Islam to be oppressed. being weak. he will not yet let you down. but in the company of the holy prophet (S.”68/ Quran says: That the people who were on the side of prophet Noah were poor people. Moses. for indeed he was a maker of mischief. they serve the one true god. Not only has this but Islam enjoins. your speech all is true. their sons he slew.W. she said to him. Regarding this allegation against this religion that it is always on the side of oppressors. she consoled him and said: “Respectfully. Quran says: “Truly pharaoh elevated himself in the land and broke up its people into sections.”69/ Prophet Muhammad (S. on the contrary.) himself always liked to be with poor and with down trodden people. and the rich powerful people were reluctant to attend his message because they did not like that the “mean people should accompany Noah. indeed reverently. which show that all [prophets were always supporting and helping the poor and down\n trodden people. Here Marxism’s criticism dos not cut any ground at all. are ill-treated (and oppressed) men women and children.”67/ Quran reiterates again and again that all prophets are form on brotherhood: their message is one and their religion and teachings are one. who loves and cherishes them.). In this prophets company the poor and weak were given high status than the rich. be firm by him who dominates Khadijah’s should I pray and hope that you will be the prophet of his nation. that ye should remain steadfast in religion.A.

not only by the orthodox theologians but by the so-called rationalists. to reflect. Their criticism of religion. I would like to quote the renowned. They have never studied Islam as their writings show in its real essence.72/ And again he says: “Verily in the creation of heavens and of the earth. ex-communication (takfeer).B. the Quran and science. but hypothetical and partial. whose people are oppressors. with examples drawn from cosmology.71/ At the last to counter the criticism of Lenin against religion that it opposes science. no way is applicable to Islam. Not only Marxists. and the mountains how they are rooted. despite their repeated claims of scientific temper and objectivity. to my knowledge for scientific beliefs. Add to this the second premise eloquently reinforced by Maurice Bucaille in his essay on the bible. and in the alteration of the night and day. Abdul Salam continues and says: “This is the first premise on scientific knowledge with which any fundamentalist thinking in Islam must begin. Thus “can they not look up to the clouds. and raise for us from thee one who will help. and to the heaven how it is upraised. but also has shown clearly the distorted forms of religions. DR Abdus Salam in this regard. and raise for us from thee one who will protect. And paradoxically. There is not a single verse in the Quran where natural phenomenon is described and which contradicts what we know for certain from our discoveries in sciences. which compelled Marx and his followers to oppose not only these distorted forms. Which speaks of their inherent bias against religion? Their studies regarding religion are not empirical. biology and medicine. even today there may be over doctrine difference. as signs for all men. and to the earth how it is put spread. but never.U. there are indeed signs for men of understanding. They are dogmatic in their approach to Islam.”73/ “Add to this the third premise in the whole of Islamic history there has never been an incident like that of Galileo’s persecution. to make the best use of the reason In their search for the ultimate and to make the acquiring of knowledge and scientific comprehension part of the community’s life. how they are created. physics. Nobel laureate.H) emphasized that the quest for knowledge of science are compulsory for each Muslim men and women. Islam has preserved not only the essence of religion. the mutazhala themselves who prided themselves on the use of reason. The holy prophet of Islam (P. The saintly Ahmed Ibn Hanbal was one of those subjected to the lash of their fury.from this town. but also the understanding of western philosophers and social scientists . He says: “As a scientist the Quran speaks to me in that it emphasizes reflection on the laws of nature. but the very essence of religion itself. the first inquisition (mihna) in Islam came to be instituted. (3:190)” Seven hundred and fifty verses of Quran (almost one eighth of the book) exhort believers to study nature.74 To conclude I would like to say that the understanding of Marx and his followers of Islam is doubtful.

This only a reaction and not a renaissance as claimed by the people. they have turned against everything in the name of religion. Otherwise their old historical and materialistic dialectical philosophy has proved to be a failure in treating religion as opium of the masses. that in china now people are not persecuted on the name of religion and now there is equality between believers. but it got more strong hold. i. It is perhaps for the same reason that despite their concerted efforts the spirit of religion could not be killed. while as compromising intellectuals insist that there is a great affinity between Marxism and Islam. and 4000 buildings of worship have been built. it is perhaps for the same reason that all these schools of thought have maintained a negative attitude towards the greatest source of inspiration. which proves once again the wrong and reactionary interpretation of the founders of Marxism and Leninism about religion.. Even in the communist Soviet Union religious feelings among people are increasing and despite the enormous economic development. religion was not eradicated at all. Din Muhammad Kaif was removed from the party leadership and Mr. He said further that two million Bibles have been published in china since 1981.76/ These reports show that in the every citadels of communism. There is a need to change the attitude towards the religion for the communists also. Islam is now able to show that the material welfare that was only hope from Marxism could not prove to be the real source of solace for the masses.e. But I think the second view seems to be totally fallacious.seems to have developed after the rise of materialist and atheist philosophy. The author has further written that the Russian scholars were considering Islam as a social problem and that too of the past and believed that Islam has gone into oblivion. who are the members of communist party of youth wing “Comsomol”. I their reaction to the dogmatic and barbaric attitude and behaviour of the priests. spirituality of morality. the leader of communist party Mr. Gandhi we Koublan was made the leader of the Kazakistan and interestingly the participants In the agitations were young Muslims.H. which has banished everything concerning spirituality or religion from its spheres. Now there are two versions about the approach of people towards Marxism. As Marxism according to its own claims is a culmination of the materialist philosophy. In Kazakistan. In this booklet. Asia congress held in Delhi in. but these natural feelings are getting more and more strength. The agitation that was led by Muslims in protest to the Soviet leader Michael Gorbouch’s speech I that he had said that religious sentiments are feelings should be eradicated at any rate. It is very strange that in Muslim counties there are a good number of people. The demonstrations in central Russia show that Islam has become a political threat to Soviet Union. ever found in the history. the religious sentiments were not killed. Tass news agency has reported a central Russian Muslims Syed scholar Bayuf has written a pamphlet about Russian Muslims. is religion. who believe in communism and some people are so credulous that they claim that Islam and the socialism are very similar to each other. It shows that these baffled scholars and intellectuals are ignorant both bout the essence of Islam as well Marxism. which opposes the very . Ting (president china Christian council) said at the international religion liberty association. and which advocates the atheistic philosophy based on dialectical and historical materialism. March 1987.75/ Bishop K. But now this belief has been proved fallacious. Some people regard Marxism a challenge to the essence of Islam. the author has shown that the religious feelings among Muslims are on its increase.

ethics. and in contrast to materialism.L. laws. which imagines idea as springing from the material world. society and production. which give rise in turn to two opposed conceptions of morals. proclaims faith in the unseen to be the prerequisite for guidance and the very source of piety. and which constitutes higher order of reality and the control focus of all the movements. By contrast. thus negating both materialism and idealism. the cosmology of Islam rests upon faith in the unseen being definable as the unknown actuality that exists beyond senses and to an intellectual scientific.” Where man lacks a real destiny.” “A. and phenomena of this world.1946. at the beginning of the surah. anthropology. In almost all aspects of life. (Tr. and philosophy of life from materialism. economics.Gearge and Unwin Ltd. The Marxist O’Connor i.80/ REFERENCES 1-Karl Marx. and empirical perceptions. culture. who believe in the unseen.). Islam and communism. It likewise grants the existence of the natural world separate from our idea of it and also mentions that a man. There are people who believe that Islam and Marxism completely contradict each other in their anthologies and cosmologies. a heartless and dispirited world.e. education-of man’s eschatological and historical destiny.e.concept of life after death. life. how is it possible to rely upon the minor details and claims a thing which has greater and far reaching implications. Before concluding this article I want to quote Dr.”77/ The opposition between Islam and Marxism is based on the belief system. there is glaring opposition “also from the radical difference deriving from two opposed conceptions of humanity. Ali Shariati who has given a real picture of the position of both the ideologies i.M. and spend out what we have provided for them” (2:1. A Critical Analysis of Capatalisat Production. This unseen is in the truth that the absolute spirit and will of existence. a guide to the pious. p-42 . are stead fast in prayer.from 3rd German Edited by Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling) Edited by Ferederick Engels. which looks upon the phenomenon of the material world as arising from the idea.79/ Why people are misled in dealing with Islam and Marxism is because…similarities of ideal are typically compared with ideological similarities. the materialist cosmos is as Marx puts it. al-Baqarah. Opposing ideologies may hold shared deals. is in no way near to islam and when the basic concepts are not similar. which considers morality and ethics as relic of “bourgeois’s mentality”.2. Contrary to idealism. as being in which the idea subsists. Capital. has independence and nobility relative to material nature. Briefly Marxism is based on materialism and derives its sociology. “The Quran.”78/ Materialism and idealism both are in this way a fragmentary process to see an organic whole of human existence as is conceived by Islam in its total. this is the book in which is no doubt. of society and the universe as a whole. Islam regards matter and ideas as different manifestations ayah of the unseen absolute being.

Marxism and Other Western Fallacies.ibid.Ibid 19. p-46 24. Dictionary of Philosophy. Moscow.p-58 13-The Communism of the Rhein Ischar Boe Bacchter. opt. 1978.Ibid. (quoted in) Selected Writings in Sociology and Social Philosophy. Moscow.cit. Karl. p-45 23. p-37 8-IBid.Ibidp-55 20-Lenin.Ibid 16.Campbell. Watts and Co. p-46 25.p-358 4-Capital. 1956. 7. German Ideology. Engels.B Boltomore. Tr.1847. Marxism and Other Western Fallacies. 1987. T. p-53 18. On Religion. Progress Publishers.Ibid-p-18 17. Progress Publishers. Progress publishers.Shariati Dr. 1984 p-357 3-ibid. London. p-42 21. p-43 22. India. op.Ibid.Marx.Socialist Ideology and Culture.Ibid . Progress publishers. and Maximullien Rubel. 1964.Ibid.Ibid. p-2 6-Marx.Ibid.p-73 12.p-57 10-Ibid.p-52 9.p-58 11-ibid.Ali.cit p-60 14-Ibid. Islamic Foundation Press.p-60 15.pp-26-27..p-52 5-Marx. V. Kerala. dated September 5.2-Frolow. Karl.quoted R.

p-276 36-Ibid.I bid.Marxist Philosophy.The Holy Quran (XXXIV: 2) 38-Selected Works op. Marxist Philosophy. p-47 27-V.Ibid 40-Frolow.cit. (1v: 75) 35.The Holy Quran (11:42) . p-348 28.Ibid.The Holy Quran (1v: 46) 44.Ibid.111:75) 43. p-384 29.26. Selected Works. op.Socialist Ideology and Culture. op.The Holy Quran (v: 63) 46.The Holy Quran (1v: 51-52) 45. p-356 30.p-203 41. 42. op. Moscow. (Letter of Engels to Marx) May 26.p-109 39. Engels.The Holy Quran (XCV111:1-2) 50.A.Ibid. p-42 37. Progress publishers.p-42 32.Marx. 1853. 1978. p-385 33-The Holy Quran (xx11: 39) 34-Ibid. p-382 31.cit.The Holy Quran (v: 65) 47.cit.The Holy Quran (V11: 169) 49. Afanasyev.cit.The Holy Quran (v: 63) 48. Introduction to Dialectics of Nature. Progress publishers 1978.Ibid.

The Holy Quran (11:86) 55. p-33 73-Ibid.The Holy Quran (XL11: 13) 69.51.The Holy Quran (111:67-68) 58. July.The Holy Quran (XV-36) 60. 75-Ibid.The Holy Quran (11:41) 62. .The Holy Quran (11:80) 54.The Holy Quran (LXI: 13) 67.The Holy Quran (11:136) 63.Abdul Salam.The Holy Quran (XXVIII: 4-5) 70.The Holy Quran (11:201) 66.The Holy Quran (XXX111: 40) 64.The Holy Quran (V11: 32) 68. Review of Religions.The Holy Quran (X: 47) 59.The Holy Quran (1V: 75) 72-Dr.p-34 74-Ibid.The Holy Quran (XIV: 1) 65. Newyork. 1986.The Holy Quran (11:111-112) 57.The Holy Quran (11:74) 52.The Holy Quran (111-53) 61.The Holy Quran (11:79) 53.The Holy Quran (XXV1: 111) 71.The Holy Quran (11:96) 56.

March 2-6. April4. 1987 78.76-The Dawat. New Delhi. p-3 77-IRLA. op. New Delhi.cit.Marxism and Other Western Fallacies. 1987. p-60 79-Ibid.p-63 80-Ibid . Ashoka Hotel. Asian Congress.