As I went through the books of history encapsulating the legacy of Islamic rule, scientists and thinkers; I felt sorry for current Muslim picture which is painted with blood and mutilation and those pseudo intellectuals who being cynical drag public opinion away from the zenith of Islamic rule for the sake of inducing slavery of West’s ideology and its vision of life, culminating to disconnection of Muslim’s from the secret of their life and glory “the Islamic ideology and its implementation”.
Ranging from a simple cure of disease to surgery, from bacteriology to celestial motions, childbirth to dentistry or in the field of optics, mechanics, astronomy and chemistry, Muslim science backed by a state has made a history. A history of centuries stored in museums, ancient libraries & thousands of pages written in past decades such that Oliver Joseph Lodge writes in his book “Pioneers of Science” that, “The only effective link between the old and the new science is afforded by the Arabs (Muslims). The dark ages come as an utter gap in the scientific history of Europe, and for more than a thousand years there was not a scientific man of note except in Arabia”.
Various words used today in modern science are Arabic in origin like Chemistry from “Al-Kimiya”, Algebra from “Al-Jabr”, Admiral from “Amir-al-Bahr”, etc. In the sea of discoveries Al-Beruni added the numeral “zero” easing trade and commerce. Progress in geometry, quadratic and cubic equations, shapes and algebra lead to numerous architects including Taj Mahel, the Great Mosque of Cordoba and Al-Hamra mosque. Minarets a part of Muslim civilization has its roots in astronomy which was the then used by experts of astronomy in calculating star movements. Calculation of earth’s diameter, latitude and longitudes are mere examples of the vast use of astronomical sciences and algebra. Jabir Hayan for the first time introduced experimental method to science, discovering reagents and chemicals in his pioneer laboratory one of which is sulfuric acid, which is not only chemically important for industries but equally important to economic wealth of a country today. Many added in optics, human sight and laws of light particularly pin-hole camera by Ibn al Haitham which is the formula for digital cameras we see today. Ibn e Sina and others added in anatomy, curing of many diseases, they made many surgical instruments which are still in use. Ibn Nail described blood circulation three centuries before William Harvey. Whereas, “Al-Qanun fil Tib” – a book by Ibne Sina on medicine was introduced for the first time in French medical universities after 700 years. Parachute and magnetic compass added to invention of plane and navigation. The roots of industrialization and high mobility is hidden in “crank and shaft” and pulleys which are the inventions of Muslim scientists.
Unlike the orientalists view that Muslims only fought in history, without any technology, travelling on camels, unless the European Renaissance took the world out of darkness, I presume that its simply naive to say that the same society could produce scientist and thinkers who will change the order of the world as advancement in science and knowledge is proportional to political stability. And yes, just for securing dirty political incentives you cannot erase a history of centuries, and synchronize the dark ages in Europe only, with the enlightenment in Muslim lands.
Likewise, Paper was invented for the first time in order to store and propagate Islamic civilization, its advancement and translating the discoveries of ancient Greeks and Hindus. Only in Cordoba there were 20,000 bookshops, imagine what would have been the quantity of paper and peak of knowledge stored. Extent of knowledge of science is evident from a lines by a historian that, “If someone asked even a laborer behind the plough for some verses, he would improvise verses on any subject you might demand.” Another historian Levi-Provencal writes about a city of Muslim Spain that, “Cordoba, it is said that, was the same to Europe as the head to the body and what Europeans learned (in science) was mostly from Cordoba. Caliph Hakam raised the level of civilization in Spain to such a height that Cordova served as a beacon in the darkness which then prevailed in Europe. It was described as an ornament of the world by a tenth century German Poet, Hrotswitha.”
Rationally speaking no civilization can ever exist without a state that implement laws, provide maneuvers for progress, punish transgressors and secure law and order. Also, this can’t happen without a system which is based on some ideology. Some may link the progress to secularism only. It’s a right time to question them that did Muslims in past separated religion from state, promoted freedom of actions and speech and implemented democracy where laws were made in parliament through majority is authority formula? Because according to them religion is a halt to progress and adopting Western secularism in the only key to tranquility. The answer is simple that secularism precipitated after continuing atrocities of theocratic rule in Europe “only” and struggle between church and free thinkers dating to 17th century. Whereas, these discoveries I have mentioned above are all prior to secularism and the Islamic State continued to rule in conquered lands under the commands of Islam which formed a benevolent society. Thus, the idea of secularism isn’t a universal one rather limited to an approach in medieval Europe; it came when Muslim lands were cradles of human civilization and ruled by Islamic fundamentals.
For prosperity or scientific advancement we don’t need to adopt ideological slavery. Where cost to benefit ratio is more important than illegal detention, tortures and massacre of innocent civilians. If democracy is pre-requisite for development than USSR would not have been a super power and China would not be challenging US economic agendas and Chile and Kenya would be flooding with peace and growth. If life and basic needs were in easy approach of a common man in India than Anna Hazare would not persist to bring a “Gandhi like revolution”. Also thousands would not gather to support him. According to the US Census Bureau, a surprising 47 million Americans out of a population of about 310 million live in poverty in the Unites States, a number equivalent to one out of every seven people. It would be useless for youth in London to get into streets and claiming that if bankers can loot why cannot they? Also Rupert Murdoch scandal exposes how in democracy a common man can be played by few capitalists and politicians. Simply if democratic giants want to impose their version of freedoms they do not bother to ask the populace if they want such and such. So, when you turn countries into admonitions, you treat human life as a commodity, as private security firms like black water have to do their “job” and satisfy its “clients”. Astonishing but true that suffrage is not the reason behind Europe’s progress. They may advocate “right to vote for all citizens equally” but West didn’t progress with this formula. In 1800 when Britain was at its peak of global dominance only 3% had the right to vote. In US black males were given voting rights in the “Voting Rights Act of 1965”. Similarly in France it was introduced in 1946. Explicitly democracy came in West after it achieved progress.
Democracy is a system unique to Greeks which was later adopted by West in an evolutionary form with its basis that human is free; he can rule and make laws himself. Whereas, State in Medina which continued to rule under Islamic jurisdictions had its laws divine and man only ruled the system called Caliphate, which was not a theocratic state. Also Quran condemns majority in Surah Al-Anam: 116 and restricts law making to Creator whilst laws are extracted and implemented by Muslims.
The reawakening of Muslims, their return to science and global leadership depends upon the vitality present in masses for Islamic laws. Some think tanks and intelligentsia may argue that Muslim masses don’t want Islam but they demand secular values and Islam cannot produce any system of life. Though we witness that West feels political Islam as a threat, they spend money covertly and effort for countering re-emergence of the Islamic system. Samuel.P.Huntington writes in his book “The Clash of Civilizations” that, “Islam is the only civilization that has put the survival of West in doubt.”
The US national intelligence council published a report following its ‘global 2020’ project, entitled ‘Mapping the Global Future.’ The National Intelligence Council (NIC) is the American intelligence community’s Centre for strategic thinking. The report entails likely scenario of the world by 2020. It alarms the renaissance of a global Caliphate to its earlier roots when it was at the forefront of global affairs; adding that this is the biggest threat to US hegemony. In another huge poll conducted by worldpublicopinion.org across the Muslim world over 70% of respondent’s wanted to live under the Shari’ah and the Caliphate.
After increased political awareness due to networking and media websites people are more acquainted with colonialist’s salivating objectives in Muslim lands and rotten rule. The waves of change are sending tremors to the castles of black sheep. It’s the rule of nature that the time changes. Thus, Mongols who massacred Muslims accepted Islam afterwards, Napolean was defeated at “Battle of Waterloo”, Europe which was sunk into barbarism is leading the world today and Muslims who once lead the world are today the food of greedy. We hope the time is changing again and this time millions are waiting for the clock to tick the Islamic way.
1. Lost History by Michael Hamilton Morgan.
2. A Political History of Muslim Spain by S.M. Imamuddin.
The author of this excellent research work is Bilal Imam who is a student of DOW University of health and sciences.