Secularism, in Islam, is to carry out the activities in this world whether in the fields of economy, politics, education, administration, culture, communications and so on in complete separation from religion or without any connection whatsoever with the Hereafter; in other words, secularism is a concept that touches purely on worldly matters. It does not have any connection with the Hereafter.
Secularism means life on earth will end on earth. If there is profit made, it will only be for this world. If there is loss suffered, it will also be only for this world. If a person is poor, it will only be for this world and if a person is rich, it will also only be for this world. It will not be questioned in the Hereafter. Rewards for good and bad deeds are irrelevant as life exists only in this world and it does not go beyond that.
In secularism, the shariah (rule of Allah) is not taken into account. In fact, the shariah has no place in life. In secularism, God does not involve Himself in the lives of man. As such, man can do anything he likes. What is important is profit. What is required is development and progress. The important thing is to gain victory and success no matter how, even if the prohibited (haram) have to be made permissible (halal). Time should not be wasted on deciding between the permissible and the prohibited. The dos and don`ts too are not considered.
In secularism, the world is not a bridge to the Hereafter or a farm for the Hereafter. Whatever happens in this world will end in this world. In secularism, there is no reward for good or bad deeds. There is no life in the Hereafter or there is no concern for life in the Hereafter. If there is at all any belief in the Hereafter, it is not taken seriously as though it is not there or it needs to be forgotten. In fact, some secularists dislike the Hereafter. When we mention the “Hereafter”, they make a wry face to show disgust. Whoever mentions the Hereafter is considered old-fashioned, backward and non-progressive.
After analyzing and debating the meaning of secularism, we now know that those who are secular belong to many groups. They can be divided into many categories. Among them are as follows:
1. The Pure Secularists
The group who do not believe in the existence of God or the Hereafter and who believe that religion is man-made and is opiate to the masses. They believe the universe came to exist naturally and on its own accord. Those who are of this belief are communists, atheists or “free thinkers”. These are the pure secularists.
2. The Secularists Who Have Been Led Astray
This group comprises of infidels who believe in God, the Hereafter and religion but who do not know God. Their belief of the Hereafter is not accurate. They have been led astray in religion. God is not involved in their worldly lives and their lives are totally separated from religion. These are secularists who have been led astray.
3. Muslim Secularists who Believe in the Existence of God.
These are Muslims who believe in the existence and unity of God and their knowledge of God is accurate. They also accurately believe in the Hereafter. Only, their religion is restricted merely to acts of devotions. Due to ignorance, all matters of life like economy, politics, education, the struggle and so on are separated from Islam. The Islamic shariah has no place in their lives except only in acts of devotions. Other than in devotions, they can accept any ideology or ism or whatever is formulated by the human mind. These are secularists because they are unbecoming (fasik).
4. Secularists Due to Being Tyranous (Zalim)
These are Muslims who believe as above but are also committed to the fact that Islam is a complete way of life. They believe that Islam is a religion for all aspects of life. Islam is a religion of devotion, a religion of politics, a religion of administration, a religion of economy, and a religion of education. But perhaps out of fear of a certain group of people or because they are not prepared to face any serious consequences or due to some personal interests or out of fear or shame that they will be branded as old-fashioned, they forgo the shariah except in acts of devotion. In other aspects of life, the shariah does not become the rule and discipline. These people become secularists because they are tyrants (zalim) for not placing the truth in its proper place or for misplacing the truth.
5. Secularists Who Inadvertently Change Their Intention
Muslims who carry out acts of devotion, the struggle, economy, politics, communications and so on according to the shariah, but not because of Allah Taala as it formally was. Instead, they do it now out of pride and self-conceit and to gain fame, glamour, rank, or money, whether they realize it or not. Because of this, the reward for their good deeds do not reach the Hereafter. These people become secularists because they inadvertently change their intentions.
6. Secularists Due to Secular Elements or Who Attach Too Much Importance to the World
This group is more refined than the groups above. These people do everything according to the shariah. But because they attach too much importance to life in the world compared to life in the Hereafter to the extent that they are not prepared to pay the tithes and they become miserly. They do not like to do good and they do not like to help other people. They do not like to give alms. They prefer only to accumulate their wealth and they become greedy. These people become secularists because they do things that contain secular elements or things that are secular in nature or they attach too much importance to the world.
That, briefly, is the meaning of secularism from the Islamic viewpoint that I understand. So, secularism gives importance to the worldly. Although some secularists believe in the Hereafter, they do not take it seriously or they purposely forget it and they do not take any heed. This is because their hearts cling and are tied to life in this world. It is even worse if they do not believe in the Hereafter at all. Their lives will only be solely for the world. It is also even worse if they are absolutely worldly oriented or they are truly pure secularists.
So we see at this end of time, the majority of the world population are secular, whether they believe that this life will end here on earth and there is no Hereafter or whether they still believe in the Hereafter but at heart and by attitude, they put more importance to life on earth.
It is here that a lot of Muslims have fallen into secularism. Even if they do not believe in pure secularism, at least the spray of secularism has attacked Muslims and this is the secret why Muslims cannot unite. The hearts of Muslims have been destroyed by this spray of secularism.
This is my view and opinion. If there is any truth in it, surely it is from Allah Taala , the All Knowing. If there are mistakes and errors, they are due solely to my own weakness and shortcomings, being one who did not have high education.