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الجمعة, 25 كانون1/ديسمبر 2020 10:20

ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION: FACTORS BEHIND ITS GLORY AND DECLINE 5

كتبه  By Tijani Ahmad Ashimi Assistant Professor, Dr., Department of General Studies, Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).
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ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION: FACTORS BEHIND ITS GLORY AND DECLINE 5

Factors behind the Decline of Islamic Civilization

However, while the Islamic civilization had enjoyed this glory in its early centuries, out of blue, the sudden decline has emerged in the early 11 century! This gives rise to a number of questions. One of these concerns is what is the factors that have led the Muslim world and their civilization to this weak position? In order to answer this question correctly, we need to recall the factors that enable Muslims to perform extremely in various fields in the earlier centuries of Islam. Did Islam play a positive role in the development and glory of such civilization? If our answer is positive, why decline happens in the early twelve century? Can it be said that, while Islam contributed to their glory in the past has become ineffective or unable to contribute to their glory in modern era? The answer of these questions demand cursory glance on the some of the tangible factors behind the fall and decline of Islamic civilization. According to Umar Chapra(2008) and other prominent Muslim scholars agreed that Islam was not the cause of Muslim decline and malaise. But, the factors that led to fall argued Chapra(2008) are moral decadence,( Dishonesty, indifference, cheating, laziness, neglecting obligation, involvement in haram, interest in pleasure and enjoyment rather than more serious things…etc), deep rooted inequalities of income and wealth, conflict and disunity among the ummah. Whereas, Ibn Khaldun(1986) argued in his Muqaddimah that the central factor of rise and fall of any civilization is closely dependent on the well-being or misery of the people, this is in turn argued ibn Khaldun(1986) dependent not just on economic variables but also on the closely interrelation role of moral, institutional, psychological, political, social and demographic factors through a process of circular causation extending over a long period of history. Perhaps Arnold Toynbee(1935) may have read the Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun when he also argued that civilizations die from suicide, and not by murder. It means human being is the central factor of killing or promoting his civilization. So, while the early Muslim Ummah were enjoying good characters, moral values and the teaching of Qur’an, that contributed to the rise of Islamic civilization, those good manners and excellent attitudes were suddenly vanished, Hence, the civilization collapsed. In fact, the important of human factor in shaping the civilization has also stated in the holy Qur’an when Allah said “God does not change the condition of a people until they change their own inner selves” (13:11) in another chapter of the Qur’an, Allah said: “Corruption has appeared everywhere because of what people have done” (30:41). Lastly, concerning the factors behind the decline of Islamic civilization Iqbal (1999) argued that one of the factors behind the decline of Ummah is the closure of Ijtihad which also contributed to academic decline. As such, sciences reached the stage of stagnation (staying at the same level without any farther development); because Ijtihad was virtually stopped; In fact, the role of Ijtihad argued Iqbal(1999) which highly contributed to the development of early Muslim Ummah had come to end, fanaticism to juridical as well as theological schools of thought became widespread

Conclusion

In conclusion, there was a time in the history of Islamic civilization that is affectionately called the Islamic Golden Age by Muslims and historians of all persuasions alike. Scholars would argue about the exact dates that constitute the Islamic golden age, but the general consensus is that it started shortly after the rise of the Islamic empire – early 7th century – or after the birth of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and lasted until sometime between the 13th and the 15th century. Indeed, there is no doubt that, Islamic civilization had immensely contributed to the world civilization, it was homogenous civilization which open its door to all mankind regardless their ethnic and racial diversities, its characteristics are based on Unitarianism(Al-tawhid) and universality(Al-‘Alamiyyah). It is because of its solid foundation that such civilization enjoyed the glorious era in the early century of Islam. Based on our research, we found that the golden age of Islamic civilization can be attributed to various factors, such as high spirit to spread the word of Allah, transformation of the idealistic of the Qur’an into the daily conduct, intellectual freedom from superstitions to think critically and creatively and unity of the ummah in the golden era of Islamic civilization. However, one may ask the rational question that, what did lead the Muslim world to the weak position after having enjoyed a glorious past stretching over several centuries? The, research find out that Islamic civilization dies from suicide and not by murder. That means the weakness of such unique civilization which started to appear in the early 13th to 15 centuries was caused by Muslim themselves, that decline can be attributed to many factors such as, disunity among the Ummah, moral decadence, decline in intellectual and scientific activity, loss of dynamism in Islam after the rise of dogmatism and rigidity, tribalism, ethnocentrism and many more. With the collapse of this gigantic civilization in human history, the ummah is yet to recover from social and economic malaises.

Solutions, suggestions and lessons:

Firstly, the Muslim Ummah need to refer to the right and correct teaching of the holy Qur’an and Sunnah al- Nabawiyyah alSharifah, Which are the two legacies that left by Rasullullah. According to authentic Hadith stated by the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) “I left for you two legacies, when you hold them firmly you will never go astray, book of Allah and my Sunnah” . Based on above Hadith of the prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h), Muslims Ummah ought to return to the guidance of Qur’an and the Sunnah, with particular reference to the view of Qur’an about the factors behind the rise and fall of any civilization. As a matter

of fact, Qur’an has already stressed on the role of human being himself as a root cause of his own downfall, and that fact is clear in chapter 13:11 of holy Qur’an when Allah said “God (Allah) does not change the condition of a people until their change their own inner selves”, similarly in another chapter of the Qur’an, Allah stated that: “corruption has appeared everywhere because of what people have done” (Quran, 30:41) the above Ayyah simply indicates that people are the main architect of their fate and destiny, moreover, they are not only the end but the means of their actions. Human being as means to destroy his end has also stated by the Holy Qur’an when Allah said: “And that man can have nothing but what he does (good or bad) , And that his deeds will be seen. Then he will be recompensed with a full and the best recompense” (Qur’an, 53: 39-41). Thus, Qur’an and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) are the main solution and primary remedy of malady of the Ummah

Secondly, the Muslim Ummah need to remember the importance of knowledge and the purpose of seeking knowledge in Islamic worldview. They should seek knowledge in all dimensions, because knowledge is power, and, it is via knowledge we can be raised to the highest status by Allah. According to the holy Quran: “Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do”. (Quran, 58:11). And again, through knowledge, we can discover many truths on Sunnatullah (God’s customary way of acting).

Thirdly, there is a need for ijtihad among the Muslim Ummah, what i mean by ijtihad is creativity, critical thinking and innovation. So, the Muslims Ummah should refer to Qur’an as a source of their research in all dimensions of knowledge, they should contemplate and ponder about the meaning of verses of the Quran for the sake of creativity and innovation.

Fourthly, mutual beneficial reciprocal relationship between the rulers and the scholars is urgent. I mean the friendly relation between the people in power and scholars is essentially needed. As such, the rulers should sponsor the research of academic scholars and intellectuals. Likewise, the intellectuals should academically contribute to the betterment of the nation, and they should propose the establishment of join research venture among the Muslim Ummah.

Lastly, it is time for Muslim Ummah to learn from the past, so as to reshape the present and pave the way for an excellent future. The lesson we can learn from the glory and decline of Islamic civilization is that, any civilization on earth can logically be understood by evaluating and analyzing their vision and motivation, and any civilization should not forget the importance of justice, i mean we need to bear in mind that, the Almighty God (Allah) is always just, and His omnipotence love justice. Therefore, any civilization that is not based on justice will surely collapse.

 

References

Abdullah Yusuf Ali, (1938), The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary, by Sh. Muhammad Ashraf Publishers, Lahore Abdur, Rauf. (1965). Renainsance of Islamic Culture and Civilization in Pakistan. Lahore: Ashraf Publication: Al- Gazali, A.(1993) Islam and Justice, Institute of Islamic Understanding, K.L Childe, V. Gordon (1936) Man Makes Himself. Watts and Co., London. Encyclopedia Britannica CD 99 Standard Edition © 1994-1999 Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc Fernand, B. (1995) A History of Civilizations, Harmondsworth: Penguin Ibn Khaldun, A.R. (1986). Al Muqaddimah (vol.1). (F. Rosental, Trans.) London, Routledge& Kegan Paul Ismail Raji Al- Faruqi (1992). Al Tawhid; Its Implications for Thought and Life, (Virginia, USA: International Institute of Islamic Thought. Ismail, Raji al- Faruqi(1998) Islam and other Faiths, The International Institute of Islamic Thought, Herndon, U.S.A Kamal Hasan(2011) Voice of Islamic Moderation from the Malay World, Emerging Markets Innovative Research(M) Sdn Bhd. Muhammad Iqbal (2010) The Reconstruction Of Religious Thought In Islam (Paperback) Haiat al Masriyyah al- Ammah lilkitab. Nasr, Sayyed Hussein. (1984) Science and Civilization in Islam. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Pustaka Fajar. Qutb, Sayyid. (2000) The Islamic Concept and its Characteristics, translated by Muhammed Moinuddin Siddiqi. Plainfield: American Trus Publications. Samuel, H. (1996). The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York: Simon&Schuster. Sayed, Naqib, Al- Attas. (1980) The Concept of Education in Islam (Kuala Lumpur: Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM); reprint, Kuala Lumpur: International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization. Umar M. Chapra, (2008) Muslim Civilization: The Causes of Decline and the Need for Reform. Leicestershire, UK: The Islamic Foundation. Yusuf al- Qardahwi, (1985) General Characteristics of Islam, Published by Islamic Inc. Publishing & Distribution, Cairo, Egypt

 

قراءة 439 مرات آخر تعديل على الأربعاء, 30 كانون1/ديسمبر 2020 07:46

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