The Rise and Fall of Muslim Society
Muslim society is such whose people’s hearts and souls are filled with the essence of Prophet Mohammad’s (pbuh) religion, Islam. It is such a society where honesty, loyalty, sincerity and culture can be seen in people’s words and deeds. Muslims follow Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) Sunna in every matter of their life whether it is a worldly matter or a religious one. If such an ideal society exists in any corner of this planet earth then sooner or later it will make itself recognise throughout the world. As a matter of fact, such society did exist and is admired even today. Their tales of triumphs and victories are recorded in books of history and it motivates generation of today and to come.
How did Islam begin?
Islam began in 612 CE and all Arabs became Muslims in only 10 years. And in 90 years only, Islam spread from Multan to the Black Sea and from shores of Samarkand to Atlas and centre of France. In middle ages, there was no such department of science and arts that Muslims had not created. In 10th century CE when Muslims were creating the grand tales of their triumphs, Europeans were the victim of tyranny and decline. This time period is known as Dark Ages. On the contrary, Muslims were the symbol of knowledge and Intellect and they were shining gloriously. They were like the bright sun of hope, peace and prosperity for the dark times which had engulfed civilization for long. Their brilliance and glory were recognized and admired. This time period of Muslims is remembered as the Golden Age.
Muslim scientists, thinkers and scholars are the ones who spread knowledge and literature in Europe. However, everything that was against Bible was considered infidelity in Europe. Extremist religious sects were playing the part of barriers on the road to success. Many scholars were tortured and killed. On the contrary, Islam teaches to ponder and cogitate. The noble prize winner of Pakistan, Doctor Abdus Salam said that one-eighth portion of Holy Quran (750 verses) is about reflecting and subjugating which means science and technology.
A famous historian of Leeban said:
“Europeans learned civility and mannerism from Arabs. Knowledge of Arabs reached Europe through Spain, Sicily and Italy. If Arabs are removed from history then renaissance of Europe will go hundreds years back.”
Golden Age of Muslims
Golden age of Muslims began with the arrival of Holy Prophet (pbuh). Before his arrival, not only Arabs but whole world was engulfed in injustice and oppression. It was common to worship idols rather than worshipping Almighty Allah. Women, children and old people were all the victims of tyranny and cruelty. Preaching and teachings of Prophets and Messengers were lost in the darkness of ignorance. Majority of people became slaves of innerself and had completely forgotten the message of Truth. Iran and Rome were superpowers at that time. Rather than being a good example, they were responsible for every kind of corruption and cruelty. Humanity was completely erased from history and the whole world was in complete turmoil.
Moreover, when tyranny reached its peak and there was no one to listen to the bewailing of poor and oppressors crossed every limit then Allah showered his blessings which removed all the filth from the world in the form of arrival of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). It was an immense benevolence that shunned all kinds of darkness. Idols decorated in palaces and mansions for years were finally broken. The message of truth prevailed everywhere.
One can never find such an example by which Islam swiftly separated people from ignorance. Holy Prophet (pbuh) filled hearts of his sacred Companions with spirit of faith. Call of Truth always echoed in their inward whether Bilal ibn Rabah (ra) was laid upon burning coal or flesh was lashed ruthlessly. He still chanted, “One (Allah) and only One (Allah)”. All the victories of Rashidun Caliphs were due to the spiritual training and blessing of the Holy Prophet (pbuh).
Conquests of Umar ibn al-Khattab (ra)
Era of Umar ibn Khattab (ra) is a great example of grand conquests and exceptional government system. An organized governed system began during his rule. He made political, economic, military and social rules and regulations from which the whole world is still taking guidance. Umar ibn Khattab conquered many kingdoms in just ten years of time.
The total area of countries under his rule was 2,251,030 square miles. Out of which 1,036 miles stretched from Makkah to north, 1,087 miles to its east and 483 miles south of Makkah. It included countries like Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kerman and also some part of Balochistan like Khorasan and Makran. There was an attack on a small part of Asia which the Arabs called Rome in the 20th Hijri but it was not eligible to be added in the list of conquered lands. These are all the conquests of Umar ibn Khattab (ra) which he gained in just a little more than ten years of time. (Al-Farooq)
What Holy Prophet Said About Education?
Islam urges to ponder, reflect and acquire knowledge. Importance of knowledge in Islam can be known with the word “knowledge” used 778 times in Holy Quran. (Musalmano Ka Hazaar Sala Urooj)
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) also emphasised upon seeking knowledge. Holy Prophet (pbuh) said:
- Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim man and women.
- Acquire knowledge from birth till death.
- Ink of the scholar is more precious than the blood of martyr.
Education in History of Muslims
Professor of Cambridge University Arthur John Arberry writes:
“People should appreciate and thank Islam. Muslims expanded boundaries of literature, politics and arts. A lot has been written on their contribution. This progress and development would never have happened if Muslims had no desire to seek knowledge, which has always been their distinction.”
In middle ages, Muslims had passion to learn and write. They constructed libraries as well as Mosques.
World renowned French intellectual Doctor Gostaldi Bayonne says:
“When books and libraries had no meaning in Europe and all the priests in churches had no more than 500 books, which were all religious, at that time Muslim countries had more than enough books. Library of Baghdad ‘House of wisdom’ had 40 lakh books, Library of Cairo had 10 lakh books and Library of Tripoli had 30 lac books. Only in Spain 70,000 or 80,000 books were collected.”
Western historian Sarton writes:
“All books which are immensely valuable, most original and highly intellectual are written in Arabic.”
Moreover, Muslims constructed the world’s first public library. In middle ages, learning and writing was requisite for all noble and common people. Muslim nation has a glorious history. They embarked on journey to success under the leadership of Holy Prophet (pbuh). Golden age of Rashidun Caliphate started after the death of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Muslims also defeated Iran and Rome the two powerful countries and established their power on the regions in the centre of the world. Umayyad Dynasty, Abbasid Dynasty and Ottoman Empire were established after Rashidun Caliphate. We have a history full of grandeur of great commanders like Tariq ibn Ziyad, Mohammad bin Qasim and Salah al-Din. Allama Iqbal (ra) has beautifully shed light on glory of our ancestors which ignites the fire of faith and confidence in our young generation that they belong to a great nation.
کبھی اے نوجواں مسلم! تدبر بھی کیا تو نے
وہ کیا گردوں تھا تو جس کا ہے اک ٹوٹا ہوا تارا
تجھے اس قوم نے پالا ہے آغوشِ محبت میں
کچل ڈالا تھا جس نے پاؤں میں تاج سر دارا
(بانگ ِ درا)
Explanation: Have you ever pondered that what was the sky of which you are a fallen star. That nation has nurtured you with love whose feet had trampled the crown of Dara’s head.
(The bejeweled crown of King Darious was known as the royal Crown of Dara. It was passed on to many kings as well as kingdoms. In the era of Umar ibn Khattab, the descendant of Khosrow the king was beheaded in a battle. As per rules of warfare of that age, the booty was given to respective soldier who beheaded. The soldier returned the crown to the overall booty of war saying the famous words that he does not need the royal crown for recognition. He fought for Allah only.)
Downfall of Muslims
Muslims ruled the world as the most powerful nation for almost twelve hundred years. During that time, Muslims had to face some difficulties like end of power in Al-Andalus, Christians seizing Palestine for a short period of time and Tartar defeating Muslims but overall Muslims were dominant. However, the downfall of Muslims started when Ottoman Caliphate who ruled Asia, Africa, and Europe became weak. On the other hand, Mughal Empire who ruled total area of forty lack square kilometer, started to decrease. British entered subcontinent with the purpose of trading and with deception and trickery they established their power gradually. At last in the war of independence of 1857 British conquered the subcontinent and they took the remaining power of Muslims. Similarly Ottoman Caliphate also collapsed after World War 1. Ever since Muslims are fighting to regain their power.
What Ended the Golden Age of Islam?
Holy Quran is the core of life of Muslims and it is a complete way of conduct. Holy Quran contains exoteric, esoteric, political, economic, individualistic and social secrets of success. Aim of life of Muslims is to look after and provide service to humanity and to form such nation that will promote peace and protection. Major reason of decline of Muslims is ignorance towards teachings of Islam. It is written in the Quran:
“And hold fast the rope of Allah, all of you together, and do not generate dissension and factions.”
However, we did the complete opposite and divided ourselves in caste, colour and race. We follow one religion which preaches to worship Only Allah and follow the Sunna of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). But we oppressed own selves and divided our nation in religious sects and groups.
Reason of Decline According to Allama Iqbal (ra)
According to Allama Iqbal (ra) the major reason of downfall of Muslims is the negligence from Faqr (sufism) and soul:
اگرچہ زر بھی جہاں میں ہے قاضی الحاجات
جو فقر سے ہے میسر ، تونگری سے نہیں
اگر جواں ہوں مری قوم کے جسور و غیور
قلندری مری کچھ کم سکندری سے نہیں
سبب کچھ اور ہے، تو جس کو خود سمجھتا ہے
زوال بندۂ مومن کا بے زری سے نہیں
اگر جہاں میں مرا جوہر آشکار ہوا
قلندری سے ہوا ہے، تونگری سے نہیں
In this poem Allama Iqbal (ra) says the reason of Muslims downfall is not that they are moneyless rather they do not follow the path of Faqr. Allama Iqbal (ra) also emphasised on Faqr just as he did on soul (خودی). Soul can only reach the level of perfection when one is accomplished in Faqr. Literal meaning of Faqr is poverty but here it means Truth (true Faqr) which means to become heedless of world and hereafter and to renounce every kind of loyalty except Allah Almighty. This is the grandeur of Qalandar. Teaching of Faqr is our true spiritual asset. In present era, the image they are presenting of spirituality is completely opposite from truth.
Negligence of Teachings of Faqr
Second major reason of Muslims’ downfall is to neglect teachings of Faqr and following western countries and their ideologies. We have abandoned teachings of Islam, Faqr, soul (خودی) and grandeur of our ancestors and limited our minds to western philosophy. It has paralysed our spiritual qualities.
Absence of Jihad
Third major reason of downfall is absence of Jihad and renewal of laws from our life. Jihad means to dedicate all our competencies for most important and dearest reason and that reason is to please Allah. Performing Jihad for the betterment of nation or country means to implement laws of Islam in the world according to Allah’s will. Therefore, we have to act as a shield against cruelty, and make oppressor pay for what they deserve and develop a high system of justice. But alas! Oppressor has crossed every limit and there is no one to stand against cruelty. Everyone wants to fulfil their needs or solace their ego therefore people are becoming callous. However, if we recall the time of Husayn ibn Ali (ra), he went with his family to set Kufa free from the tyranny of Yazid and embraced martyrdom.
قتل ِحسینؓ اصل میں مرگِ یزید ہے
اسلام زندہ ہوتا ہے ہر کربلا کے بعد
Explanation: The martyrdom of Husayn is in fact the murder of Yazid. Islam is enlivened after every battle of Karbala.
Renewal of Laws and Innovations
Once again we have to fill ourselves with the spirit of faith to regain the power and respect. Allama Iqbal (ra) said.
یا ربّ! دلِ مسلم کو وہ زندہ تمنا دے
جو قلب کو گرما دے، جو روح کو تڑپا دے
پھر وادیٔ فاراں کے ہر ذرے کو چمکا دے
پھر شوق تماشا دے، پھر ذوق تقاضا دے
Explanation: O Allah! Fill the Muslim’s heart with desire so fervent that it will set his heart aflame and stir his soul. Again light up every speck of dust in the valley of Faran. And again make us long for beautiful sights and fill us with passion.
Renewal of policies and laws means that the leader of a country should solve every new problem that emerges according to teachings of Islam whether the issue is related to an individual or a public matter. For this purpose it is important that the leader must have complete knowledge of Islamic law and knows the true soul of Islam. In history, Muslims reached the apex of their power due to it and innovations. However, we can see its absence in present time. Moreover, they prioritise apparent issues rather than understanding the true soul of Islam, which gives birth to materialism.
However, a nation falls when they refuse to accept innovations. Turks were defeated because they neglected the new technologies due to which other countries made new warships and weapons. Instead of moving forward with the world they limited themselves. Holy Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Do not curse the time as Allah is time.’ Yet Muslims chose completely opposite path and made themselves the victim of inferiority.
Conspiracy of Europe
Muslims set on a path from rise to fall. The decline of Muslims is a result of their own negligence but the conspiracies of Europeans also played a huge part. Their major conspiracy was to make Muslim youth oblivious of their ancestors. Second was to make them follow western philosophy and forget their own beliefs, philosophy and ideologies. Europeans made Muslims think that their ideologies are advanced and pre-eminent but Muslim ideologies are outdated. Only modern ideologies are appreciable even if they are opposite of Islamic teachings. They have printed this image in the minds of Muslims that all the development and progress that happened in the world is all because of western people and Muslims were never a part of it. Lord Macaulay said in British parliament:
“I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage. Therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all the foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.” (Lord Macaulay’s Address to the British Parliament on 2nd Feb 1835)
Famous Muslim Scientists
Following are the names of few Muslim scientists which Europeans changed to make Muslims oblivious of their ancestors.
Hasan ibn al-Haytham is called ‘Alhazen’ in Europe. He was a Muslim scientist who stated the laws of light. He invented pinhole camera and explained the nature and vision of an eye. The ‘Book of Optics’ is his masterpiece. For many years people of west benefited from his book.
Jabir ibn Hayyan is known as Geber in Europe. Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi is founder of algebra, Europeans named him ‘Algorizm’. Abu Musa Ali ibn al-Tabari was a teacher of Al-Razi the greatest doctor of medicine and Europeans named him ‘Altaber’. The greatest Doctor of 9th century, Abu Bakr Muhammad Zakariyya Razi wrote the encyclopedia on medicine known as ‘Al-Hawi’ and he was called ‘Rhazes’ in Europe. Abu al-Qasim khalaf ibn al-Abbas al-Zahrawi al-Ansari is regarded as the world first famous surgeon, he stressed upon postmortem to study human organs. His book ‘Al-Tasrif’ is still taught in medical colleges in Europe, he is called ‘Abul Casis’. Ibn-Sina is the creator of thermometer and author of book ‘al-Qanun fit-Tibb’, Europeans call him ‘Avicenna’.
Muslims are influenced by western knowledge and languages instead of their own ancestral heroes. Purpose of this content is to make young generation see the western ideologies by which they are being influenced. As they are neglecting teachings of Islam and are becoming slaves of Europe. As a result, they have become mentally useless and are far from success. Allama Iqbal (ra) says:
یورپ کی غلامی پہ رضا مند ہوا تُو
مجھ کو تو گلہ تجھ سے ہے، یورپ سے نہیں ہے
Explanation: I feel lament for you and do not blame Europe if you are satisfied on being their slaves.
Top most names on the list of these ideologies are Darwin, McDougall, Freud, Adler, Macaulay and Kierkegaard. Darwin presented the theory that human beings evolved from animals. According to McDougall humans live on instincts and this is the sole purpose of their life. According to Freud, purpose of life is fulfilment of sexual desires and people should have complete freedom to fulfil their desires or they will develop psychological disorders. Marcus said that economics is foundation of human life therefore purpose of life is maximisation of profit.
Macaulay presented his idea that people should be slaves of their society and country life. Society and country life is their purpose of life. A nation should do whatever it takes to rise whether it destroys their moral credibility. Weak nations do not deserve to live, ethics and religion in politics of a society is childish. Companions of Kierkegaard, the founder of existential philosophy wished that everyone should have complete freedom to do whatever they like. They can decide for themselves that what deed is good or bad for them.
Truth about western development
The pillars of success on which west is standing is actually the base of these ideologies and philosophies. In reality these ideologies are a reflection of the worst image of humanity. Alas! The success of west from which today’s Muslims are being influenced is just deception and illusion. However, It is better for Muslims to return to their culture and principles that Holy Quran and Sunna taught us. Not only following west will take them far away from success but also it will destroy them morally, socially, politically, individually and collectively.
Muslims should never become oblivion of their glorious history and should awake from deep sleep of negligence and move forward and strive for prosperous and successful future. This attitude befits this great nation with magnificent history. May Allah Bless and protect us. (Ameen)