The exponential growth in technology and scientific advances over the last few decades have reshaped human society. Though these advances have provided comforts that were unimaginable just a few decades ago, they have also brought with them intellectual, spiritual and cultural challenges. As a result of this, most societies and communities are going through a phase of adaptation. Some are prepared for this adaptation and others lag behind. Muslim communities and societies have their own set of challenges that they face, and these may be graver than in other societies. Muslim communities, both in the West and in Muslim countries, are the least prepared to meet these challenges. Muslim youth growing up in the West have become either disillusioned or indifferent to their faith. And due to the fact that the world has become a global village, youth living elsewhere in the Muslim world are going through the same crisis. This is an issue of deep consequence.
Scientific advances and ideas have challenged faith in a way that never happened before. The answers that today’s young men and women seek are not obvious or readily available. Too many Muslim religious leaders have not been exposed to western style schools, and as such do not understand the state of mind of youth in the current generation. They simply cannot speak their language and thus cannot relate to them.
There is a dire need to reconcile scientific facts with religious thoughts and to provide rational answers to religious beliefs. These answers should be understandable to modern youth and give clarity to their beliefs. Muslim religious leaders can best take up this responsibility and help provide these answers. However, they need to be equipped with the right tools. And this is where Ruya Foundation is trying to help. Through training Muslim religious leaders in the sciences and other modern disciplines, Ruya Foundation is providing leaders an opportunity to be familiar with current thought processes, logical frameworks and the ability to reach the minds of modern Muslims. This will also help bridge the widening gap between western cultures and Muslim societies and help remove popular misconceptions.