Culture began with the "prologue in heaven." With its religion, art, ethics, and philosophy, it will always be dealing with man's relation to that heaven from whence he came. Everything within culture means a confirmation or a rejection, a doubt or a reminiscence of the heavenly origin of man. Culture is characterized by this enigma and goes on through all time with the steady striving to solve it.

On the other hand, civilization is a continuation of the zoological, one-dimensional life, the material exchange between man and nature. This aspect of life differs from other animals' lives, but only in its degree, level, and organization. Here, one does not find man embarrassed by evangelical, Hamletian, or Karamasovian problems. The anonymous member of society functions here only by adopting the goods of nature and changing the world by his work according to his needs.

Culture is the influence of religion on man or man's influence on himself, while civilization is the effect of intelligence on nature, on the external world. Culture means the "art of being man"; civilization means the art of functioning, ruling, and making things perfect. Culture is a "continual creating of self'; civilization is the continual changing of the world. This is the opposite man-thing, humanism against chosism.

Religions, creeds, drama, poetry, games, folklore, folk tales, mythology, moral and aesthetic codes; elements of the political and juridical life affirming a personality's value, freedom and tolerance; philosophy, theatre, galleries, museums, libraries - this is the unbroken line of human culture, the first act of which has been played in heaven between God and man.

Compiled From:
"Islam Between East and West" - Alija Ali Izetbegovic, pp. 44-45