THE RISE AND FALL OF ISLAM
By: Kassim Ahmad
17th January, 2016
The Quran in Surah Ali-‘Imran (3) states that “The only religion approved by God is Islam.” The Arabic word ‘deen’ essentially mean ‘way of life’ rather that the restricted ritualistic meaning of ‘religion’.
This religion of strict monotheism is taught by all prophets from Adam to its completion and perfection by Muhammad, the last of all prophets. But, as it is wont with human beings, corruption and deterioration set in and complete their work in after about 300 years (10 generations) to change the original teachings. Thus, the monotheism of Prophet Moses became polytheism in Judaism, of Prophet Jesus polytheism in Christianity, and of Muhammad polytheism in Sunnism.
Fortunately for mankind, the last of God’s scripture, the Quran, is divinely protected so that all mankind can always refer to it as its guide. This divine protection lies internally in the scripture in a mathematically awesome and impossible to imitate structure called Code 19. This Code is stated in the Quran in Surah Al-Muddaththir (74), verses 30-31. The verses go, “Over it is nineteen. We appointed angels to be guardians of Hell, and we assign their number (19) (1) to disturb the disbelievers, (2) to convince the Christians and the Jews (that this is a divine scripture), (3) to strengthen the faith of the faithful, (4) to remove all traces of doubt from the hearts of Christians, Jews, as well as believers, and (5) to expose those who harbor doubt in their hearts. The disbelievers will say, ‘What does God mean by this allegory?’ God thus sends astray whomever He wills, and guides whomever He wills. None knows the soldiers of your Lord except He. This is a reminder for the people.”
The rise of Islam, beginning with the reign of Prophet Muhammad in the Arabian Peninsular in early Seventh Century, within a short time of only sixty years shot up to be the No. One power in the world, beating the two superpowers of the then world, the Byzantian Empire and the Persian Empire.
Historian Philip K. Hitti, in his book, History of the Arabs (1970), states, “If someone in the first third of the seventh Christian century had had the audacity to prophesy that within a decade some unheralded, unforeseen power from hitherto barbarous and little-known land of Arabia was to make its appearance, hurl itself against the only two world powers of the age, fall heir to the one -- the Sasanid – and strip the other – the Byzantine -- of its fairest provinces, he would have undoubtedly have been declared a lunatic. Yet that was exactly what happened. After the death of the Prophet sterile Arabia seems to have been converted as if by magic into a nursery of heroes the like of whom both in number and quality is hard to find anywhere. The military campaigns of Khalid ibn-al-Walid and ‘Amar ibn-al-‘As which ensued in al-Iraq, Persia, Syria and Egypt remain among the most brilliantly executed in the history of warfare and bear favourable comparison with those of Napoleon, Hannibal or Alexander.” (p. 142).
A Western philosophical historian, Robert Briffault, in his epoch-making book, The Making of Humanity (1919), after denouncing a conspiracy of silence by most Western historians on the contributions of Muslim science to modern Europe, surmarised the contribution of Muslim science to civilization, thus: “The debt of our science to that of the Arabs does not consist in startling discoveries or revolutionary theories. Science owes a great deal more to Arab culture , it owes its existence. The ancient world was, as we saw, pre-scientific. The astronomy and mathematics of the Greeks were a foreign importation never thoroughly acclamatised in Greek culture. The Greeks systematized, generalized and theorized, but he patient ways of investigation, the accumulation of positive knowledge, the minute methods of science, detailed and prolonged observation, experimental inquiry, were altogether alien to the Greek temperament. … What we called science arose in Europe as result of a new spirit of inquiry, of new methods of investigation, of the method of experiment, observation, measurement, of the development of mathematics in a form unknown to the Greeks. That spirit and those methods were introduced into the European world by the Arabs.” (p. 191)
Muslim civilization lasted eight centuries. In that time, Baghdad became the capital of the world and Europe became students at the feet of Baghdad. When the rot set in, Europe took over the banner of civilization and what is known as the European Renaissance began. Will Western leadership last for ever? Only time can tell. Already cracks are beginning to be seen.
The more important question for Muslim leaders to answer is why the Muslim way of life, guaranteed by God, has collapsed, and how they can rebuild it. To answer this all-important question, they must re-study the Quran with a scientific methodology. I can suggest a few signposts.
Firstly, at a certain point in time, Muslim science froze and deteriorated, due to wrong teaching of certain so-called masters. These were made into masters by a new priesthood class adopted in imitation of medieval Hinduism and Christianity. In Islam there is no priesthood class.
Secondly, at a certain point in time, a certain attitude of fatalism developed in Islam due a new theology preached in accordance to hadith teachings. Hadiths are essentially fabrications falsely ascribed to the great name of Prophet Muhammad.
KASSIM AHMAD is a freelance Malaysian author. His website is www.kassimahmad.blogspot.com