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The pattern of Islamic civilization through history
On the 610 C.E. Islam, the last guidance of Allah the Lord of the universe
was revealed to mankind through Muhammad (pbuh), which was raised as His
last prophet. This religion was equipped with several distinctive features,
which was not possessed by any other religion before. Although previous
religions were also al-Islam in terms of substance, only this last revelation
was termed Islam, due to these distinctive features. Among the features
is the peculiar methodology of the Quran’s message-communication. The
Quran bases its message on arguments and evidences, which cover almost
fifth and sixth part of the Book, are useful for all times and everyone
of every level of intellect. Message-communication with arguments is irrefutable
evidence to the fact that the Quran’s address is directed towards human
reason and nature.
What was expected of such a message which addresses human reason was that
it would be welcomed by everyone and peoples’ minds and hearts would get
attracted to it. However, this expectation not fulfilled neither before
nor now due to the lack of the understanding and reasoning of the people.
When al-Islam appeared, the society was saturated with blind and deaf
people as stated clearly in the Quran;
“They have hearts with which they fail to grasp the truth, and eyes
with which they fail to see, and ears with which they fail to hear. They
are like cattle-hay, they are even less conscious of the right way: it
is they who are the heedless.” (Al-A’raf:179)
The causes of this ultimate ignorance were the loyalty to their ancestors
faiths and practices and their tribal pride. It was because of this national
heritage that the Israelites could not accept the Prophet Muhammad’s prophet
hood, because he was from the Ismaelite line. That the prophet hood shifted
from the Israelite family to the children of Ismael made them feel outraged.
This also happened within the Quraysh. The acceptance of the Prophet Muhammad’s
prophet hood would make Banu Qusayy, the Prophet’s family superior to
them. The Arab Quraysh then also practiced self-worship; wine drinking,
gambling, riba transaction, abomination, nudity, sexual anarchy, blood-letting
were all justified in the name of natural right, economic consideration,
fine arts, and sometimes by national prestige and religious sanctity.
Since Islam totally banned these practices, the Quraysh considered it
a heavy burden rather than mercy and grace. Certainly they have turned
themselves into a deity against whom nothing could have been listened
The story of the strangeness in the early days of Islam continued until
the initial stages of the Sahabah’s days. During that time the Prophet
trained them with the fundamental Islamic teachings: everyone are Allah’s
slaves of equal position, every physical act and movement in the universe
as an act of obedience to God, praiseworthy traits of mercy and love,
the wide concept of divine-worship that was at that time confined to only
meditation and personal reform and many more.
The Prophet succeeded in purifying the Sahabah only after intensive training
spread over 23 years. By 632 C.E., the ignorance had completely surrendered,
indicating the complete victory of Islam.
After the Prophet (pbuh) parted from the world, the Muslim world was ruled
by the Khulafa’ Al-Rashideen for 30 years. Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (632-634)
was the first caliph after the death of Muhammad (pbuh). His successful
fight against the Bedouins claimed the entire Arabian Peninsula for Islam,
and his declaration of hostility against the Byzantines and Sassanids,
who surrounded Arabia, set the stage for his successors to spread Islam
beyond the Arabian Peninsula. This political domination was neither monarchial
nor colonial in nature, its only objective was to loosen the ideological
grip of ignorance-based system on the people, providing them an environment
that enables them to seriously listen to and understand Islam’s message.
Even though success was evident at this time, the impact of the death
of the Prophet Muhammad could still be seen. There was at first the attack
against the Islamic fundamental beliefs, such as the belief in the Prophet
Hood, by false claimants to Prophet Hood by Musailamah and Aswad al-Ansa
which later brought to Shiism, more false prophets and the split of the
Muslims to sects. The attack on the Islamic concept of unity of God also
swept across the Arabian Peninsula but was crushed by the strong Caliphate.
Abu Bakr had named Umar as the second caliph before his death. During
his ten-year rule, Umar had furthered Abu Bakr's territorial gains in
Arabia by conquering a great expanse of land surrounding the peninsula:
Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and much of Persia and created the second largest
empire in the world at that time which was slightly smaller than the Chinese
‘Uthman was chosen as Umar's successor after the death of Umar by a council
of Muhammad's companions. His armies managed to stop the Byzantine attempt
to reconquer Alexandria in 645, and in 647 he conducted raids west of
Egypt, further into Byzantine North Africa. The conquest of Persia, begun
by Umar, was completed in 653 when Muslim forces occupied Khurasan, the
eastern-most Persian province, and the eastern boundary of the old Sassanid
Empire. However, the unity of the ummah became at stake by the murder
of Sayyedna ‘Uthman by a group that demanded his resignation but failed.
This was followed by the demand of ‘Qisas’ by the Umayyad family during
the leadership of the fourth Caliph, Sayyedna ‘Ali whom upon the death
of ‘Uthman, declared himself as the new caliph. This demand climaxed into
the battle of Siffin, killing ninety thousand precious lives. This war
ended after the death of Ali and with time, the situation of the ummah
became worse as it split into a number of sects, sub-sects and groups.
Within a few months after the death of Ali, Mu'awiya established the first
Islamic dynasty in the name of his family, the Umayyads. The Umayyad Dynasty
(661-750) was placed for 100 years, with Mu'awiya begun ruling for the
first 20 years. The Umayyads established the practice of hereditary succession
for the caliph, the leader of the Muslim world, not more based on nobility
and piety just as the Prophet had predicted some forty years back. This
method of crowning gained momentum in the Umayyad, ‘Abbasid and ‘Uthman
Caliphates. Umayyads were responsible for the Muslim conquest of North
Africa, Spain, and Central Asia. The Islamic empire thus grew considerably
during the Umayyad period, and can be considered the first real Islamic
state. Until the mid-7th century, North Africa west of Egypt was under
Byzantine control. Egypt was conquered during Umar between 640 and 645.
The Arabs even succeeded in temporarily bringing the Byzantines out of
Tripoli in 645. By 670, the Arabs had taken Tunisia, and by 675, they
had completed construction of Kairouan in North Africa. By 710, Arab armies
had taken Tangier under the command of a Berber, Tariq, who then led them
into Spain in 711. In 732 they were finally defeated by the Franks at
the Battle of Poitiers. After that, the Muslims remained on the southern
side of the Pyrenees during their 700 years in Europe. From Khurasan,
a region in eastern Persia, the Muslims crossed the Jaxartes River into
China and briefly occupied the town of Kashgar in 714. In 715, the Muslims
took the Central Asian cities of Bukhara and Samarkand. These conquests
mark the introduction of Islam to the Turks, who would later establish
one of Islam's greatest empires under the ‘Uthmans. The Umayyads were
overthrown in 750 by the Abbasids, led by descendants of Muhammad's uncle,
Abbas after several military conflicts between the two groups. The Abbasid
Dynasty (750-1258) did not simply take over power from the Umayyad Dynasty;
they also made significant changes to the Umayyad system of government
and its presentation of religious issues. The Abbasids remained in power
for 500 years and ended because of the Mongol invasion. This longevity
speaks well of the Abbasid system of government, particularly in terms
of its ability to accept the development of separate, regional dynasties
in order to preserve the Abbasid core in Baghdad. After the Abbasid Dynasty,
the Muslim world was run by the Mongol in the beginning of 13th century.
By the 16th century, the Islamic empire covered a large part of the world,
from West Africa through the Mediterranean, across Central Asia into India,
and even across the ocean into Southeast Asia.
What was left of the Caliphate system was completely erased by a so-called
freedom fighter, Mustafa Kamal Attartuk, after which the Islamic government’s
basic obligations and the comprehensiveness of Islamic concepts became
irrelevant and outdated. The Muslim land was split into Arab, Iranian,
Afghani, Turkish, Indian, Malaysian, Indonesian etc. different nations
and almost all of them replaced Islamic laws with the new Jahiliyyah,
hidden behind the name ‘modern civilization’.
All these rise and falls of the Islamic Civilization was already predicted
by the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w):
“And Islam will go back once again to its early stage of strangeness”.
According to the Prophet’s prediction, the situation began changing and
the Muslim society lost most of its brilliance.
Rise Factors of Islamic Civilization
Islamic civilization was once among the greatest civilization that rose
in this world. It existed for a quite long period, which was for about
800 years (year 800-1600 C.E) and spread in a wide areas forming continental
super-state that stretched from ocean to ocean and from northern climes
to tropics and deserts. Although this civilization already ended, it is
still amazed at for its significant distinctive features and contributions
to the other civilization. Its gifts are very much part of our heritage
nowadays. Indeed the people today are indebted to them. Dr. Tara Chand,
a distinguished scholar and historian of India ever found to say, “For
a thousand years this civilization was the central light whose rays illumined
the world. It was the mother of European culture, for men reared in this
civilization were the masters in the Middle Ages at whose feet the Spaniards,
the French, the English, the Italians, and the Germans sat to learn philosophy,
science, mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, physics, medicine, and industrial
techniques. Their names were household words.”
The question is, how and what are the factors that cause this civilization
to achieve such a great success and could benefit all other human being,
even the non-Muslims? In this case, without considering the races, creeds,
beliefs, nations and colours of the people, Islamic civilization benefited
all of them. Fundamentally, the founder of this great civilization is
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was sent down as a mercy to mankind that the civilization
he built could only have mercy and justice for them, benefiting all human
beings without any exceptions. The factors that give rise to great Islamic
civilization are as follow:
Unity of God
Islamic civilization was indeed based on Islamic teaching in which its
basic teaching is to belief in Oneness of Allah Alone. Belief in Allah
was manifested by believing in His prophet’s teachings and revelation
revealed to him. In Al – Qur’an, Allah orders His believers to worship
Him Alone, regarding His pleasure as their ultimate goal of life in this
world and the hereafter. In addition, only in Him the believer should
sought refuge. This is clearly stated in Al- Qur’an:
You (Alone) we worship, and you (Alone) we ask for help (for each
and everything). (Al – Fatihah: 4)
In other verse, Allah says:
Say (O Muhammad): “O Allah! Possessor of the kingdom, you give the
kingdom to whom you will, and you take the kingdom from whom You will,
and You endue with honour whom You will, and humiliate whom You will.
In Your hand, is good. Verily, You are Able to do all things.” (Al
– ‘Imran: 26)
According to this verse, Allah said that He is the One who will honour
and grant also humiliates whom He wants. Believing in this, the Muslims
know, there is no other people and thing that could benefit them except
for their benevolence God, Allah the Almighty. Hence, they don’t fear
in any other power except for Allah and seek help only from Allah, giving
them incredibly great strength in fulfilling their mission which also
came from Allah, which is to spread the name of Allah in this world.
The teachings of Islam give tremendous impulse to Muslims to seek for
a better life. Since Allah created all things subservient to human beings,
they are urged to explore and benefited all creatures around them so that
they will live a better life. For instance, researching about plants will
give them new knowledge about those plants and provided them with new
medicine for the diseases encountered. Also, these creatures are created
with purposes, so Al – Qur’an asks Muslims to ponder on their creations,
searching for the reasons for their existence, and be grateful to Allah.
Discovering the truth, the Muslims are encouraged to spread them to all
mankind so that all of them could share the advantages of a single thing
that discovered, at the same time spread the words of Allah, the new pure
religion of Islam to save them from hell fire and liberate them. Moreover,
every single good deeds are considered as devotional acts to Allah, every
deed that benefit others are ‘sadaqah’ and of course all of these will
be rewarded by Allah in the hereafter. Consequently, the Muslims working
hand in hand, acting in the best of manner and putting marvelously great
attempt in every single work they did in order to search for something
new that could benefit others in order to seek for Allah’s pleasures alone.
Brotherhood, Humanitarian and Universality
The other flourishing factor of Islamic civilization is its value of
brotherhood, humanity and universality. Al – Qur’an declares the unity
of mankind in the following verse:
“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of male and female,
and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know each other.
Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (one who is) the
most God-fearing of you.” (Al- Hujurat: 13)
The facts that all people came from one same ancestor causes all human
being to be equal in everything and are actually brother to each other.
So, nobody is superior over the other since they are actually one. Hence,
because of this, Islam could bring everybody to work together, hand in
hand towards excellence. That is why every other civilization except Islamic
civilization can take pride in the geniuses of only one race and one nation.
But, Islam can take pride in all geniuses’ sons of all those nations and
tribes who had joined hands in building the edifice of Islamic civilization.
For instance, Islamic civilization has brought forward many renowned men
which are the product of sound human thought who are actually having different
origins. Those are, Abu Hanifah, Malik, Al Shafi’I, Ahmad Al Khalil, Al-Sibawayh,
al-Kindi and so on so forth.
Because of this creed they are willing to appoint anybody as their leader
without considering their colours, nations and other reasons which at
that time, there was no other people who are willing to do so. In one
When Muslims conquered Egypt and advanced to the Fort of Bablion,
Muqauqis the ruler of Egypt sent a delegation to speak to Muslim in
order to find out what they want. He also expressed a desire to receive
a delegation of Muslim. Therefore, ‘Amr ibn Al ‘As sent a delegation
which comprising of ten people. This delegation was led by ‘Ubada al
Samit, and he alone was authorized to talk to Muqauqis. ‘Ubada was tall
and very black, and when this delegation approached Muqauqis to speak
to him, he was struck by his appearance alone, and he said to the members
of delegation, “Keep this black person away from me, and bring forward
somebody else to speak to me.” The members of the delegation unanimously
said to him, “He is superior to us in intellect, knowledge, opinion,
insight and in every other way. He is our leader. We all turn to him
for his opinion and advice. Moreover our governor has given him some
particular instructions, and has ordered us not to go against him in
any matter whatsoever.”
This event become a clear prove that Islam indeed honours a person based
on his attributes and not because of any other reasons. Because of that,
everybody has an equal chance to be great in others’ and Allah’s eyes.
Furthermore, this value also brings all people dear to each other, cooperating
toward the goodness of mankind.
Priority of Moral Principle
Another important factor that established Islamic civilization in the
world is the priority of moral principle. Islam has placed moral principle
on top of every aspect of their lives. Thus, these moral values governed
the lives of the rulers, the ruled, governance, learning process, arts,
legislation, war, economy and familial affair. The virtues were their
ultimate consideration in every action. Resulting from this, Islamic civilization
managed to give birth to just, humble rulers, intellectuals who only eager
to find the truth without taken into consideration about the worldly rewards,
kind-hearted armies and soldiers who showed mercy to nature and mankind
even during the war and many other marvelous characters that any other
civilization fail to build.
There were once history witnessed the scene where the non-believer complained
to the head of Islamic state that the son of his governor had flogged
his son. Hearing this, the head of the state became infuriated and called
the governor’s son to account; he was then flogged by the one who was
originally wronged. Here, the status of the person didn’t became the reason
for the ruler to not to be just to them since who did wrong should deserve
a punishment even the wrong deed can actually be considered as a small
matter. But, for the ruler of Islamic state there was no room for injustice
Even during the war, the Islamic state soldiers uphold the good moral
values. In history, the first Caliph of the prophet has issued some instructions
to the army led by Usama. The instructions were; do not mutilate and disfigure
the enemies after they have killed them, do not kill the children, old
people or women, do not destroy the palm trees or burn them, do not cut
down a tree bearing fruits, slaughter only as many animal as they actually
need for their food, and leave the person who have devoted themselves
to churches and monasteries so that they can pursue the mission for which
they have renounce the world. Since the purpose of war was only to uphold
justice, and to get Allah’s pleasures, such war is restricted by these
principle of mercy until either of two take place: peace or victory. There
were many other brilliant evidences for this kind of manner, but of course
we were not capable of stating them all.
Additional features of Islamic civilization which cause this civilization
to be at the peak were its religious tolerance. In Islam, the revealed
religions are believed to spring from the same fountain and the Prophets
who brought them were brothers. Thus, all Muslims should believe in all
of them. The Qur’an says:
“We believe in Allah and in that which He has revealed to us and
to Ibrahim, Isma’il, Ishaq, Ya’qub, al-Asbat and that which was revealed
to Musa, ‘Isa, and that which was revealed to the prophets from their
Lord, We make no difference between one and another and we bow in submission
As a result, there was no one superiority over another, also there is
no compulsion in religion. Everybody has their own right to choose and
believe in which religion which they favour.
All places of worship of all divine religion are respectable, thus Muslims
are not allow to destroy any of them. In Al – Qur’an, Allah says:
“For had it not been for Allah’s checking some men by means of others,
monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah
is often mentioned, would have been destroyed.” (Al-Hajj: 40)
During the event when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) entered Makkah, he ordered
that whosoever entered the place of worshipped will be safe; here it was
clear that he honoured the place of worship of other religion.
Moreover, it is not allowed for people to kill one another due to difference
in creeds and beliefs. Instead, they should cooperate with one another
to promote the cause of good and to eradicate the evil. The difference
between them, only Almighty Allah should judge who are the righteous among
them in the Day of Judgment. About this, Al- Qur’an as below:
“Help one another in benevolence and piety, and help not one another
in sin and transgressions.” (Al-Maidah: 2)
“The Jews said, the Christians were misguided, and the Christians
said it was the Jews who were misguided; although both are readers of
the Book (Torah and Gospel). Those who know nothing said the same. Allah
will judge between them on the Day of Judgment concerning that wherein
they differ.” (Al-Baqarah: 113)
That’s why, when once the Christians were under the Islamic ruler, they
were given full freedom to perform their religious rituals and also given
full authority to manage their churches until the churches institutions
were as if small state in a countries. The Christians themselves felt
the difference atmosphere when they were under Islamic ruler; indeed they
enjoyed full freedom to practice their religion.
The nobility and loftiness in understanding the unity of Allah had a
huge effect in elevating the position of man, freeing the common people
from tyranny kings, the noble people, and the mighty and of the people
of religion, rectifying the relationship between the ruler and the ruled
since they were all focusing on the vision of Allah alone.
Before the Islamic era, the right of people to account on their ruler
was not recognized. The rulers were totally having freedom on how he would
like to treat his people. But Islam came and declared that the ruler were
only the trustees and employees of his people in which his duty was to
honestly guard the interest of the people. As a result, the ruler for
the first time in history was publicly asked to account for his clothes
until he needed to explain his position until the complainer became satisfied
with him. Knowing that he was only the employee of his people, he realized
that it was his duty to sincerely serve the nation.
It was this spirit that induced the other nations to become dynamic, preparing
themselves for revolution and broke the chains and became free persons.
Before this, they were lack of knowledge that calling the ruler to account
or the support of the oppressed was their basic right. Thus, this is one
of the everlasting traces of Islamic civilization in the life of nations
and civilization. The nations whom Islamic civilization has infused the
spirit of liberation from slavery are indeed indebted to them.
Islamic civilization has faith in the true principles of knowledge and appreciates
the faculty of reasoning (intellect) simultaneously with heart (sentiments).
In Al – Qur’an many different terms are used to refer to faculty of reasoning
which are: tafakkara, aqila, faqiha, tadabbara and so on. These terms shows
and encourages the people to use their reasoning to search for truth. It
prevents the people from superstitions and blind imitation without sound
evidence. Instead, it enjoys people to think critically and creatively about
During the Islamic civilization, there used to be academics circles which
managed to attract men of various creeds to sit together, discussing and
learning together. Since they consist of different creeds, they were prohibited
to use evidences from their religious books in order to prevent sectarian
conflict. Ma’mun Al-Rashid used to say: “Keep your discourse and discussion
limited to learning and the arts, and do not bring forth evidence from your
religious books”. In a circle, there may be a Jew, atheist, polytheist,
Sunni, Shiite, Christian, Sabian, and Magian and so on. These people used
to sit together to discuss various problems, historical events and to recite
poems. It was such a friendly atmosphere that no one could expect that they
were actually come from various conflicting creeds.
The Spirit of Seeking Knowledge
Most of the rulers of Islamic civilization, specifically the rulers
of Banu Umayyah and the first two centuries of al-Abbasiyyin dynasties
were educated or scholars. They encouraged learning and scientific enquiry
and used to spend on it generously. This spirit of seeking knowledge has
given rise to the establishment of hundreds and thousands of schools and
universities such as al-Nizamiyyah in Baghdad, al-Azhar in Egypt, al-Qayrawan,
Madrasah Salahiyyah and so on. The students came from various part of
world, from far away even some Europeans went to these institutions to
These institutions were independent institutions. This was because there
was generous expenditure on education. Lots of endowments were given to
the people of education, whether they were the teachers or the students.
The poor students were given full support to study in which they were
given shelter and foods. These endowments also play a great role in developing
educational institutions in which some of these endowments were used to
build the place for studying, shelter for the students, staffs, principals
and also the teachers. From these traditions that there exists quarters
for teachers and hostel for students in educational field nowadays.
In reality, there were many other significant features of Islamic civilization
that support this civilization until it ever emerged as the greatest civilization
in history. And all of those feature are actually come from the teachings
of Islam in which there is no doubt that it is pure and the only accepted
religion by Allah, The God of the Universe.
Factors of fall of Islamic Civilization
The closing of the door of ijtihad
The Muslim scholars and jurists (important person in Islamic civilization)
declared that the Gate of Ijtihad (the individual struggle for understanding)
was closed. They believed all possible human’s problem had been answered
and henceforth only learning by taqlid (blind imitation of the past) would
be permissible. The start or the 13th century saw the beginning of the
relative decline of Islamic civilization. And by the fifteenth century,
the effect of the closing of the door to ijtihâd on scientific progress
in the Islamic world was unmistakable. Then, especially after the fourteenth
century, the theological and speculative education at the expanse of secular
and empirical knowledge is stressed by the ulama’. It denotes that the
codes of human conduct, including all aspects of life, should be examined
according to four mazhab (schools of morals and legal interpretation)
developed by Imam Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali. Consequently, the
Islamic state began to rot from within. A cultural shift began to occur.
While Islamic scholarship sluggished and turn far away from Qur’anic spirit.
Distinction and division between sciences
The appearance of distinction between religious science or Islamic science
(ulum shar’iyah) or traditional science (ulum ‘aqliyah) and the rational
or secular science (‘ulum ‘aqliyah or gyar shar’iyah) has occurred. The
question right now is what is actually religious science? It is not possible
that the great scientific achievements of the classical Islamic civilization
were simply “Muslim science” but it is science done by Muslims, with religion-cultural
characteristics to differentiate it in any meaningful way from science
that came before or after. Within this distinction, the secular science
was placed as the ‘step child’ of scholarly activities. Usually, people
might think they should fix priorities since the knowledge is very wide
while life is short. These will naturally be in favor in religious science,
thus success in hereafter. Moreover, we can divide knowledge into two
which are fard a’in and kifayah:
i) Fard a’in- obligation to every Muslim to perform it.
ii) Fard kifayah- can be carried by sufficient number of Muslims, the
remaining will redeemable from sins (referred as not sinful).
It can be concluded then, that in human affairs there is no perfection.
The Quran (book of shar’iyah and hidayah) is a guide towards spiritual
salvation and gives general guidance towards temporal laws. No religious
book is a tome on laws. Laws are derivative from the religious principles.
Furthermore, it is decided that the sacred science (shar’iyah) which is
may be revealed by empirical observation as well as from the Qur'an are
superior to the profane science (ghayr shar’iyah) which have been discovered
either by reason, experiment or hearing.
Did not have faith in Allah
The first characteristic is the fact that it is civilization based on Islamic
faith, imbued with its values and principles. It is a monotheistic civilization
based on the belief in the oneness of Allah Almighty, the Creator of men
and all creatures. However, some of the Muslims deviate from this faith.
They think that everything they achieve is due to their hardworking, not
from Allah. They forget to thank Allah and show their gratitude to Him.
Lastly Allah takes back what He had given to them as stated in Qur’an;
But if they turn away, say thou: “I have warned you of a stunning
Punishment (as of thunder and lightning) like that which (overtook)
the ‘Ad and the Thamud ! (4: 13)
They are not only denying the blessings from Allah and reject to do the
righteous deeds as a sign of gratitude, but also using these blessings
to disobey Allah. To be boastful about one’s knowledge and refusal to
deny it as a gift from Allah is considered bad and also will be punished
Lacking in resource and knowledge
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, more dangerous than ignorance
itself. One who possesses ‘a little knowledge’ will incapable of understanding
something correctly, and also refuse to acknowledge his capacity. Today,
Muslims are generally a deprived group, insufficient in resources and
capability. Their position is not that of a people (some previous nations)
who are strong in faith, progressive, united, and tolerant and knowledge.
They are not ready to change to new situations and are unable to cope
with the challenges posed by the current centers of established knowledge.
As a result, Muslims can easily being conquered by the non-Muslims and
are dependent on others for their well-being.
Verily, the vilest of all creatures in the sight of God are those deaf,
those dumb ones who do not use their reason. (8: 22)
Failure of continuing the strength in Islamic administration
Before, Islamic community failed to continue in its fullest strength.
This is because of the Institutional structure of Arabian society was
too flimsy to support the new principles of Islamic political and organization.
The quality of Islamic public administration, as well as education and
knowledge began to deteriorate. Meanwhile, the colonial administrators
of Muslim countries often viewed Islamic culture as inimical to development
and progress. In the analysis of Western thinkers Islam’s conduct to material
values, to work, thrift, productive investment, honesty in commercial
relations, experimentation and risk bearing, and to equality of chance
were all unhelpful to growth and development. The choice for Muslim leaders
was between "Deen" and "Duniya" or "mechanization".
Mechanization is the act of implementing the control of equipment with
advanced technology; usually involving electronic hardware; "automation
replaces human workers by machines. It appears the Muslims concentrated
on "Deen" at the expense of "Duniya". Furthermore,
there is widespread of injustice, tyranny, corruption and other forms
of bad attitude in the government’s administration. Nepotism (reestablishing
the hereditary kinship in governing the Islamic empire), with weak leadership
will result to the break off of the process of political democratization
and rejected of the masses from political participation.
The Mongol invasions
The golden age of Islam, particularly the scientific pursuits that required
greater stability in the Arab heartland, declined by the 12th century
and came to end in 1258 after the brutal Mongol’s invasion. The Mongols
devastated the eastern lands of Islam and ruled from the Sinai Desert
to India for a century. It is proven that the last Abbasid caliph in Baghdad,
Al-Musta’sim, was a weak leader. When Mongol attacked Baghdad, he proved
no match. So, Mongol was successfully entered Baghdad in February 1258
while al-Musta’sim and 300 of his officials were murdered. Though the
Mongol conquered adopted Islam within fifty years, their ruling was tribal.
There is a spread of the Black Death-the host of Chenghiz Khan through
Hulegu’s Mongol forces, in their terrific inroad, destroyed the most important
universities, massacred the learned men and burned and plundered the city.
With the vast destruction of manuscripts and libraries, gradually a majority
of Ulama (religious jurists and scholars) came to the view that the Islamic
civilization had reached its apogee and all the interpretations (Ijtihad)
needed have been accomplished. However, they soon converted to Islam and
became known as the Il-Khanids. They were in turn succeeded by Timur and
his descendants who made Samarqand their capital and ruled from 1369 to
The emergence of western power
Civilizations take generations to rise and recede. It was stated that
the French Revolution was a censorious development in 18th century Western
history. This event stimulates the worldwide dissemination of the idea
of civil liberty, liberal democracy that leads to a new way of life depending
on secular ethics. Simultaneously, while the Age of Enlightenment led
Europe to scientific and geographic discoveries, and while European countries
developed new trade and, succeeded in their liberation from religious
domination of the Catholic Church, Islamic civilization had decline. On
the top of that, Western science developed independently from the church.
Because of the church’s authority regulate the word ‘shrank’, the secularization
took place. Meanwhile, reason and science become the gods of the thinkers.
The freedom of thought gradually gained ground in the 18th century, and
has come to be known as the ‘Age of Reason’. With this came the unleashing
of sciences, leading to better technology and the start of colonial expansion.
By the mid 19th century the ‘Industrial Revolution’ had taken hold, particularly
the war technology and exploration leading to world dominance and colonialism.
The colonialism and the ascendance of the West were in part caused by
the weakness in Islamic societies. As a result, it can be sum up that
the penetration of lands of Islam by western knowledge occurred by three
factors: superior technology, more efficient in public administration
and economic competition. And the impacts of the emergence of Western
They are separating religious and worldly life. So, whatever activities
that they do, they never care either it is following the law of Allah
or not. Secularists also believe all things happen by chance.
2) Extinction of Authentic Cultures
Westernization leads to a uniform mode of thought and style of life all
over the world. This idea destroys all multiplicities of authentic culture.
Culture is required to prolong the dignity of certain society and tide
the society together.
3) The flawed knowledge of the divinity:
Western perception underlying Western civilization does not have a neat,
clear-cut vision of God living up to His true dimension is rather a hazy
and blurred vision.
It is a civilization pervaded by conflict, a civilization which does not
believe in peace, quietude or love. It is marked by conflict between man
and himself, between man and his fellows and finally between man and his
Unity is very important to show the silent strength of a society. Every
Muslim is supposed to belong to a Muslim community where there are some
common cause, common feelings, and mutual solidarity. Believers are brethren.
"And hold fast all of you together to the Rope of Allah, and
be not divided among yourselves: and remember Allah's favor on you, for
you were enemies and He joined your hearts together, so that by His Grace
you became brethren..." [3: 103]
No unification in this context includes disobeying the command of the
leader. So, it is easier for their enemy to attack them and may delay
the development process. For example, during the war of Uhud where the
Muslims people did not obey the prophet’s command that is not to leave
their place (Mount Uhud) no matter what happen. However they did not follow
prophet’s instruction. At the end, they lose the battle even though they
win at the beginning. This denotes the important of unification in order
to success and wins the battle.
The perfidy of certain Muslims
Some Muslims are bad than their enemies. They are hypocrite. They betrayed
their own brethren and sided with their enemies. They tried to carry favour
with them and hankered after honours and titles from them. They never
regret for what they have done. These kinds of acts are done when these
foreigners (enemies of Islam) have committed the whole affair to Muslim.
This leads to the destruction of the Ummah. These Muslims fear others
(non-Muslim) more than God. That is what Allah says in the Quran:
Be ye not afraid of them, but fear me, if ye have Faith. (3:175)
‘You are the best of people ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin
Al-Ma’ruf and forbid Al-Munkar, and you believe in Allah…’ (3:110)
The heavenly revelation of Muslims, the Qur’an, has already pointed
out to them that they are the best nation among the other nations of the
world. The outstanding acknowledgement by Allah is not because of the
races, wealth or gender, instead this is due to two reasons stated in
the above verse, enjoin goodness and forbid the evil. This morality creed
is what is lacking in the dominant civilization today, which caused them
to fall into dire stage and need to be rescued immediately. Since Muslims
are the bearers of those creeds, they are the one that will save the humanity
and bring into the existence of a civilization.
Islamic civilization is believed to have collapse years ago, but the truth
is it is not. There is an Egyptian thinker, Fouad Mohamed Chebel, who
says, “Collapse does not mean exactly the end of growth”. In history,
there is no indication as to what are the limits of life expectancy of
a society. Even though the condition of Islamic ummah nowadays is in disarray,
the basis and foundation of the Islam is still preserved and held by the
Muslims. The Islamic civilization is the civilization of the future which
has been promised by Allah s.w.t. and it is the Muslims’ responsibility
to revive it back.
When we revised the Western civilization today, the major thing that it
is lacking is believe in God i.e. the religion. Religion brings about
the pure and perfect unity of God. It’s teaching dignified human morality
which keeps man away from injustice and deficiency in equality. It also
keeps balance between love, duty and its laws. It emphasizes on easiness
rather than difficulty and hardship, so that man will not feel burden
in following its teaching. Thus Muslims must renew their faith and believe
as well as the practicing of all the comprehensive teachings of Islam
sincerely in order to get Allah’s pleasure and blessing. Islam creates
the path of excellence for the individual due to the balance it provide
to the man; intellect development as well as material and the spiritual
needs. Islam does provide peace and security to mankind.
The second most important aspect to be looked thoroughly and deeply in
reviving the civilization is the need to have vision. Islamic teaching
emphasizes on intellect and gives huge space for the intellect to grow.
Thus using the intellect, Muslims must make effort in producing a systematic
plan of action as well as daring to come with a new idea to achieve the
vision. The plan must comprise the exploration of science; nature and
human science, to produce more advanced technology which undoubtedly benefits
the mankind. It is not like the technology the Western provides today.
Even though it looks good, the truth beyond it is it is still hazardous
to human health as well as to the environment. The plan also must consist
of the development in economic and business field. The economic will strengthen
the Muslims position hence will help them in upgrading their life.
To make the vision established, Muslims must have power i.e. political
power to make legislation towards achieving the vision. A great poet and
philosopher, Muhammad Iqbal said, “Vision without power does bring moral
elevation but cannot give a lasting culture. Power without vision tends
to become destructive and inhuman. Both must combine for the expansion
of humanity.” To attain the power, the Muslims must exploit their own
natural resources and did their best to be independent of the West manufacturing.
Here, the role of leadership is very important to lead the others driven
the coming back of Islamic civilization. The leader must be chose using
the system of meritocracy, so that the leader chosen is really capable,
religious and sincere in holding the responsibilities.
Last but not least, Muslims must practice the virtue of brotherhood. The
unity of brotherhood plays an important role in supporting the effort
to revive the Islamic civilization. The Muslims support each other without
concerning the races, skin colour, status or gender. The Muslims must
unite to get free of the evil elements of the West and immunize themselves
against it. The social unification of Muslims will ensure the revival
of Islamic civilization to the top of the world.
The Muslim students must also play their role in seeking knowledge and
read about their ancestor work on driving such a great civilization before.
By reading their achievement, students will be motivated to form a constructive
work, vision and plan to contribute in reviving their civilization to
a new era, even better and more superior than the present one. Allah Knows
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