The modern world has become a global village as a result of technological advancement in mass communication, ease and affordability of movement and great opportunities in exchange of ideas.
In our contemporary society, no one can now afford to live in isolation anymore. What we say and how we act impacts on not only those around us but has the potential to affect anyone on the globe.
With empowerment given by social media to every individual, our audience now consists of diverse people on this globe from different faiths and no faith, different races, different cultures and with different ideas.
This calls for us as global citizens to be responsible in expressing ourselves in speech and action. In order to maintain peace and cordial relations with our fellow global citizens, we need to be very responsible in what we utter and how we utter it.
Freedom of speech does not translate into freedom from responsibility in our speech.
The example set by Donald Trump through his irresponsible tweets and comments, not only as a global citizen but as the President of the most powerful nation in the world is highly deplorable. This shows that he lives in his imaginary isolation having dismal regard as to how his speech impacts on people on the globe.
As followers of Islam and practicing Muslims, again we need to realise that this world is made of not only Muslims but people who are different from us in faith. We need to address them as well and cannot afford to ignore them.
Islam cannot be practiced in a vacuum. It needs to be practiced with context. We need to learn Islam from original sources, but with reference to context. Again, we need to apply Islam with context mindful of the times and the place we are applying it.
With an emotional approach, we raise the slogan that there is only one universal application of Islam irrespective of time and place. But this attitude is not realistic and creates difficulties in living Islam under different circumstances.
Ongoing interpretation of original sources of Islam under changing circumstances and times need to be made by contemporary competent scholars abreast with both knowledge of resources as well as the demands of the modern world for a daily peaceful living.
With an explosion of information and access to knowledge, all individuals have a responsibility to enter into such debates and competent scholars to join forums to exchange ideas and come up with practical solutions in the application of Islam in our modern daily living so that we can happily live Islam in peace with our environment.