It’s hard to wonder that we just arrived in an age where imagination has never been so necessary than before. Some of the notable future projects, such as inter-planetary ambitions, genetics engineering, transportation breakthroughs, and even human-computer integration, will significantly redefine our lives as well as the very notion of human being itself.
In this emerging juncture, collective trajectories for a more equal, fair, and hospitable life are impossible to be traced without profound imaginative spirit. Imagination ignites a sense of curiosity, sketches the worst and best scenarios, calculates myriad factors, and encourages a person or a group in an explorative manner far from naivete, commonly produced by an ideological-centric mindset.
Unfortunately, some Muslim majority are irritated when facing the fact that those kinds of life-advancement, identically, belong to the people outside Islam. Moreover, since the end of Western colonialism in the 20th century, we have witnessed some Islamic movements maintaining their romanticist perspective on the status quo and the future. Consequently, insular, apologetic, and even conservative attitudes took mainstream for Islamic discourse.
What I mean by those preservative attitudes are none but refers to the fear against the questions, which is maintained by Muslims, both institutionally and ideologically. So preservative attitudes are unlinked to the partisan dichotomy, which is common in the sociological or political commentaries. Although to some extends, these factors are also essential to count.
But the fact, even in the most authoritative Islamic institution like Pesantren, the type of question also had a certain kind of border. A friend of mine (he is a biologist, as well as originated from Pesantren’s elite) once asked, “If the Doomsday’s fanfare will extinguish the whole creature, would it also kill bacteria? Considering that some of these microbes remain undead even in an oxygen-free environment.” He murmurs that, “I am not sure, if I send my question to the religious authorities, I will not get ‘infidel’ stamp.”