Saudi academic Dr. Marzouq Bin Tinbak said in a May 20, 2022 show on Al-Arabiya Network (Saudi Arabia) that the Islamic world does not contribute anything to civilization and progress today because it has recoiled from and rejected modernity and because it clings too closely to its heritage. He said that in contrast, some countries have managed to simultaneously conform to the novelty of Western civilization while preserving their heritage. In addition, Dr. Bin Tinbak said that traditional Islamic thought was appropriate for past eras, but that today's modern world requires new fatwas and new ijtihad (religious reasoning).
Dr. Marzouq Bin Tinbak: "People who issues fatwas on various matters in the past were evoking the circumstances of their time and age. So, their fatwas were suitable for their time. I am not saying this to discredit them or their contribution. However, things are different now. The circumstances have changed. The answers to questions of people living today cannot possibly be found in fatwas of people who lived 500 to 700 years ago.
"People who issues fatwas 100 years ago could not have imagined life today - today's transport, clothes, living... Everything around us. Everything is new and requires new fatwas and new ijtihad [interpretive reasoning].
"When we cling on to our great heritage, resorting to it our source of authority, and constantly quoting our fathers and forefathers, and this or that caliph, we idealize the past that cannot benefit us in the present. The right thing to do is to look at our history, with some respect and admiration, of course, but we must also see what we can do for ourselves now, for our future, and for our children.
"Are we offering them anything important, or just presenting them with the texts of the past, asking them to rely on those texts and be proud of them? That is the question. Right now we are not contributing anything to civilization."
Bin Tinbak: "That's right, we contribute nothing. We Muslims and Arabs are at the tail end of the world, in terms of production, of industry..."
Interviewer: "What is the reason for this backwardness?"
Bin Tinbak: "Well, I believe that this also stems from our heritage. We were dazzled by the West when we encountered it with all its industry, inventions, and progress, and so we reverted to our heritage thinking that we could dight the progress of the West with the heritage of our forefathers.
"The West is very advanced now. There are countries in Southeast Asia [whose cultures] have merged with the new [Western} civilization, while preserving their heritage. These countries have made great progress. But we have not done so."