بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Can it be Said that the Golden Era of Scientific Progress in the Muslim World is the Product of Foreign Philosophies?
The Muslims must emerge from decline. This is, at least, what both liberals and Islamic movements agree upon. However, the difference lies in the thoughts that give rise to this view. The driving force for the liberals’ stance is the remarkable scientific and materialistic developments of West, which form a standard for liberals.
Since Muslim countries are far behind in this race, in the opinion of this small but effective group of liberals, it is necessary for Muslims to progress in the fields of science and technology, following the West. It is asserted by them that there will be no harm in adopting the norms and ideology of the West, whilst abandoning Islamic values.
The mindset of Islamic movements, working to change the situation of Ummah, is distinct from the liberal view. They believe that the Islamic Ummah is the last that is following divine revelation, whilst the Noble Quran is the last Book from Allah (swt), which has to guide humanity towards truth until the Day of judgement. It is asserted by them that the Islamic Ummah is the only hope for the welfare and salvation of humanity. Hence, the Islamic Ummah must lead humanity, enlightening the world, by the Revelation of Allah (swt), eliminating the darkness of disbelief and oppression, and granting relief to humanity by the revealed laws of Shariah.
Verily, this guidance to humanity cannot be achieved whilst submitting to the capitalist system and adopting a weak stance against world powers. So the Islamic Ummah today has to attain all that which provides for strength and power. Science and technology plays a vital role in strength and power. Hence, it is the need of time for Muslims to pursue them.
The age of information technology and social media has provided an opportunity for the people of the world to explore more about Islam and Muslims, as opposed to the limited and distorted information, mentioned in the state curricula. Plenty of material is being circulating on social media, in recent years, about the remarkable advancement and inventions of Muslim scientists in past. It has also renewed, in the minds of Muslims, that Muslims remained the world’s leading state for more than a millennium, during the era of their Khilafah.
Thus, naturally, a thought arises in the minds of Muslims as to what were the reasons behind such substantial development and inventions. Was it due to Islam, or was it due to Greek philosophy, as later claimed by Orientalists who influenced some Muslims? Was this development by themselves, or dependent on others? Then, another query is that if religion alone is the basis of progress, then how did the West develop after having removed the shackles of religion? Why are the Muslims today more stagnant and ideologically low today, despite being more devoted to their religion than Western societies? Is it the commitment of Muslims to Islam with an insistence upon a significant role of Islam at all levels of society that caused the current backwardness? In this article, we will propose answers to the above questions.
The Islamic era from the 9th to the 13th Century CE is renowned as a period of technological progress, sciences and inventions of Muslims, though many scientists, researchers and technical experts arose after that. It is a matter of fact that the scientific revolution, which took place amongst Muslims, has a deep relation with Islam. It was Islam alone that gave Muslims intellectual elevation, making them creative thinkers. The civilization that emerged from Arabian deserts became a symbol of innovation and progress on the global scale.
The global center of science and arts arose in the Muslim world, whilst Europe was roaming in the darkness of ignorance and superstition. As for the factors in the Islamic ideology which led to this tremendous advancement, they are to be examined:
1. The Islamic Creed: At the time when Islam brought forward its universal message, the worship of several manifestations of the universe was common. Polytheists, Zoroastrians, star-worshippers and sun-worshipers worshiped different creations of the universe. Worship is manifested as reverence. Instinctive emotions of sanctity and reverence arise in the human as he worships. It can be that such emotions overcome reason, subjecting him to impulse, whims and desires regardless of truth.
Islam asserts that the whole of the universe is a creation. The manifestations of the universe are evidence of the existence of Allah (swt). They are not to be taken as objects for reverence. The entire universe is made for humanity. Its material objects are for the benefit of human beings. Allah (swt) said in the Noble Quran,
(وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمْ مَّا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ مَا فِی الْاَرْضِ جَمِیْعًا مِّنْه) “He ‘also’ subjected for you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth—all by His grace.” [TMQ 45:13]
Thus, contrary to other religions, finding out the nature of various material objects and phenomena and undertaking research upon them were exactly according to the teachings of Islam.
2. Islamic Rulings for Life and Science: Islam provided Muslims the right way of thinking about the world and the affairs of life. It was quite clear to Muslims that the purpose of Deen is to define the human’s relation with the Creator and to organize the affairs of life. Hence, ruling, politics, society, economic dealings, crime and punishment are the subjects for the Deen to determine. It is not the purpose of Shariah texts to establish scientific knowledge or theories regarding material objects. Mentioning the diverse creations of the universe in the Noble Quran is to perceive the majesty of the Creator, Who alone created, designed and is Supreme over all things. The inclination of Muslims towards science and arts differed from Christians. Christian scholars made scientific studies and theories as part of the Biblical studies.
However, science gives limited knowledge about the attributes and characteristics of objects, which may vary over the ages. So when old theories, which the Church had introduced into religion, started to be proved wrong with the passage of time, the Church stopped people pursuing modern scientific thoughts. It even issued severe punishments to the scientists for deducing conclusions contrary to the teachings of the Bible. A notable example is that of Galileo Galilei. In contrast, in the Islamic civilization, scientists were commended by the Islamic Khulafa’a for scientific discovery and innovation. They were honored and rewarded, with their books being weighed in gold, which was given to them as a prize.
3. The Impact of Fiqh and Shari’ Ijtihaad in Determining Scientific facts: The important matter which compelled the Muslims to delve into the material objects was Fiqh and the way of Ijtehad. Muslims extracted solutions to all of their matters from the Noble Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah. Islam has introduced for Muslims a specific method of deriving rules from Shari’ texts for all the affairs of life. This specific technique was neither based on Greek logic, nor on speculations and baseless assumptions.
This process of derivation was based on deep consideration of reality and the analysis on a range of its related aspects, which is termed as ‘Tehqeeq al-Manaat’ (determination of the reality) in Fiqh terminology. After attaining a deep perception about reality, a Mujtahid proceed to the Sharia’h texts to find out the direct rule about reality and to not adopt the logical way to deduce any rule.
Muslims learned that the process of Ijtihad weakens if the clear understanding of the reality is not perceived. Thus, deep observation of reality, and contemplation of its minutia, became the habit of Muslims. This habit also played a vital role in observing the diverse manifestation of the universe and deducing conclusions on it.
4. Clarity of Muslims on What can and what cannot be Taken from Foreign Nations: After the development of the West and the decline of Muslims, a question that confronts Muslims is over what we can take from West and what we cannot. When Western civilization emerged on the world map with its materialistic development, there were those among the Muslims who became fascinated by Western civilization. They debated in favor of the West in all matters of life. A few amongst the Ulema legitimized Western democracy, although democracy is on the basis of human sovereignty. They argued to adopt Western thoughts, system and culture. On the other hand, there were those who denied each and everything from West. They even issued fatwa against the printing of Quran. When man entered space, they declared it aggression and audacity against religion.
Muslim societies turned into a field of debate and strife between the two factions, with some Muslims becoming frozen, as they fell in quandary. On the contrary, it was clear to the Muslims of earlier ages as to what can be adopted from other nations and what cannot. Thus, they never took from the ideology and legal provisions of other nations. When Muslims conquered the territories of the kuffar, they did not translate the laws and systems of other civilizations into Arabic. Muslims, at that time, knew that the rulings and systems can only be taken from Revelation. So, Muslims critically reviewed, from the viewpoint of Islam, the administrative setup, knowledge of science and arts of other nations. They translated them into Arabic and availed advantages from them without any hesitation.
5. Clear Understanding of the Purpose of Life and the Presence of Higher Aims: Muslims had learned from the Messenger of Allah (saw) their responsibility as an Ummah. Muslims were well aware of the reality that they are the best Ummah, which is raised for all of humanity to enlighten humanity with the light of Islam. When any nation has firm belief in the ideology, which establishes its aims, then that nation spares no effort to achieve its purpose, whilst improving its abilities to overcome any obstacle. Muslims knew that the practical way of invitation to Islam is by both Dawah and Jihad. Dawah prepares the atmospheres within other nations until the only obstacle is the ruling elite and its power. Power is removed by power, through Jihad, and Islam is implemented over the Kuffar. As a result, they practically observe the perfection of Islam in organizing the affairs of life. They recognize Islam as a Deen that matches the nature of man, compelling them to become Muslims.
So, Muslims developed all that which was deemed necessary to carry out Jihad in an effective manner. They excelled in the art of sword making to great heights. Under the Khilafah, the sword of Damascus steel was in demand all over the world. With a keen edge, it was strong but also flexible, so it did not break in battles. Muslims made innovations in bow making, such that bows could shoot arrows up to 1500 feet. Before the invention of gunpowder, it was the most lethal weapon on earth.
By the use of technology, Muslims invented a counterweight trebuchet that could fire a 500-pound boulder up to 1000 feet, whereas before that this range was not more than 150 feet. Similarly, Muslims invented maritime warships to overpower the Romans, discovered new techniques to make gunpowder, arranged a cannon to destroy the strong dual bulwarks of Constantinople and developed torpedoes. Tipu Sultan made advancements in missile technology and used them against English army in the Mysore wars. At that time, Britain had failed attempts to develop its own missiles. After the defeat of Tipu Sultan, the British took these missiles with them to Britain where William Congreve fashioned these missiles into Congreve missiles by reverse engineering.
The use of technology in wars was in accordance to the training by the Messenger of Allah (saw). When the Messenger of Allah (saw) besieged Taif, whilst the people of Taif fortified themselves, Muslims needed armor and catapults. This was a Roman technology which the Arabs were not aware of. However, Jihad encouraged them to learn its use. Muslims constructed catapults, while obeying the orders of the Messenger (saw) upon the suggestion of Salman Farsi (ra). Thus, the foundations of developing military technology were laid down by the Messenger of Allah (saw).
6. Condemnation of Adopting the Teachings of Forefathers without Research: Blindly following ancestors, or beliefs which are based on conjecture, becomes an obstacle to the way of advancement in knowledge and technological innovation. Since its inception, Islam challenged the false beliefs which Quraish had baselessly adopted through imitating their forefathers. So, Islam made it obligatory to establish belief upon decisive evidence. Muslims stopped accepting reports, without research, confirmation and authentication. Such training of Muslims helped them immensely in the fields of science and technology. Thus, Muslims were wary of the translations of Greek, Romans or Persian books, regarding the wisdom of the ancients within them.
7. Need of Islamic Rules Related to Arithmetic: There are definite rulings of inheritance in Islam, wherein the Noble Quran elaborated the shares of various heirs. The Messenger of Allah (saw) emphasized Muslims on learning of the laws of inheritance. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said,
«تَعَلَّمُوا الْفَرَائِضَ وَعَلِّمُوهُ النَّاسَ فَإِنِّي امْرُؤٌ مَقْبُوضٌ، وَإِنَّ الْعِلْمَ سَيُقْبَضُ حَتَّى يَخْتَلِفَ الِاثْنَانِ فِي الْفَرِيضَةِ فَلَا يَجِدَانِ أَحَدًا يَفْصِلُ بَيْنَهُمَا»
“Learn the [laws of] inheritance and teach it to people for I will pass away soon. Knowledge will soon be taken away so much so that two people will argue regarding inheritance but will be unable to find someone to pass a verdict for them.” (Al-Mustadrak) In order to properly distribute the shares of wealth according to the laws of inheritance, it necessitates that knowledge of arithmetic must be learnt. So, Muslims learned arithmetic and it was taught in schools. When Khwarzmi invented algebra, it was also used to calculate inheritance.
8. Commands of Islam Related to the Need of Astronomy: In Islam, the rulings of Salah are linked with the movement of the sun, while Ramadan, Hajj and Eid are determined by the rotation of the moon. Similarly, knowledge of the exact direction of the Qibla is of utmost importance in order to offer Salah. For the whole of the year, accurate timings of Salah can only be known, when a precise understanding of the rotation of the sun is achieved. Similarly, the knowledge of different phases of the moon is central to the practical implementation of the Islamic calendar, as well as assisting the correct determination of important days of ibadah, such as Fasting and Hajj.
The progress in the knowledge of astronomy assisted Muslims in fulfilling their obligations. Muslims corrected many misconceptions about astronomy. They established new astronomical tables, determining the position of the celestial bodies in the sky, phases of the moon, solar eclipses, moon eclipses, timings of the seasons, longitude and latitude, timings of sunrise and sunset, daily and monthly location of the planets and estimations of the beginnings of the Islamic months.
9. Commands of Islam Related to Medical Inventions:
Though Islam has made it clear that like other tests, falling ill is also from Allah (swt), Islam warns Muslims against fatalism and compels them for ascertaining causation for cure and prevention. The Prophet (saw) has explicitly instructed Muslims to seek treatment for cure, whilst this action is an act of reward and recompense. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said,
«تَدَاوَوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَمْ يَضَعْ دَاءً إِلاَّ وَضَعَ لَهُ دَوَاءً غَيْرَ دَاءٍ وَاحِدٍ الْهَرَمُ»
“Do treat the disease as Allah (swt) has not created any such disease for which there is no cure except for one and that is old age.” (Abu Dawood). Similarly, he (saw) said,
«إِنَّ الله لم ينزل داء إلّا أنزل شِفَاءً، عَلِمَهُ مَنْ عَلِمَهُ وَجَهِلَهُ مَنْ جَهِلَهُ» “Allah (swt) did not create any disease for which the cure is not revealed. He who finds it, knows it, whilst he who is ignorant of it, is unaware of it.” (an-Nisai’, Ibn-Majah, Hakim and Ibn-Hibban). Thus, Muslims discovered hundreds of herbs and minerals for treatment during the time of Khilafah. Hospitals were built in Baghdad, Cairo, Qairawan and other cities, where patients were admitted and treatment was performed. Numerous books were written on medicine, among which is the famous book “Al-Tasreef” of Abu-AlQasim Khalaf ibn al-Abbas Zahrawi, which included a section on surgery, which was taught as a text book of surgery in European cities, for about five hundred years.
10. The Concept of Goodness: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said,
«إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَتَبَ الْإِحْسَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ فَإِذَا قَتَلْتُمْ فَأَحْسِنُوا الْقِتْلَةَ وَإِذَا ذَبَحْتُمْ فَأَحْسِنُوا الذَّبْحَ»
“Allah has written goodness in everything, so when you fight (jihad) with anyone, kill him in a better manner, and when you slaughter, then slaughter in best manner.” (Muslim). It is from the teachings of Islam that matters are managed in an efficient manner, whilst no effort is spared to achieve perfection in matters. We can observe this in various matters of science and technology during the era of the Khilafah. Whichever field Muslims engaged in, they did it with excellence, whether it was war studies, legislation, language, ruling, economic prosperity, agricultural production, architecture, literature, design and calligraphy, Muslims were far ahead of all other nations of the time. In medicine, astronomy, chemistry, engineering, physics and geography, they had no rivals, proceeding them by decades, if not centuries.
11. The Role of Islam in Engineering and Construction: Today, in the era of capitalism, their buildings and constructions are before us, as shopping malls, tourist attractions, luxury hotels, stadiums and theaters. They are the hallmark monuments of a materialistic civilization. Whereas, in the era of Islamic civilization, the prominent buildings were magnificent masajid, fortresses and buildings for public amenities. All these are linked with the implementation of Islamic orders. Masajid were the places of prayers for Muslims. Fortresses were the need of Jihad. Baths, markets, hospitals, schools, universities, libraries, rest houses, public amenities, feeding pastures and gardens are places that the ruler is responsible for providing. The remains of such constructions are seen in the Indian Subcontinent until today. These state of the art constructions reflect the familiarity of Muslims in various fields of architecture and engineering at that times. At that time, Muslim lands were the most prosperous lands of the world. So Muslims concentrated on the constructions of buildings, innovated it and developed it by using studies of mathematics and chemistry, and built glorious buildings.
12. Patronage of Education by the State. The Islamic state was not like the state of Mongols which was against science and arts, laying waste to precious assets of knowledge, drowning numerous books and literature in rivers. The world’s largest empire of the time, in terms of single land mass, then disappeared from the face of the earth, without leaving any legacy in knowledge or art. The Khulafa’a of the Islamic state used to be jurists and scholars themselves. They gathered around them the experts of sciences and arts. The Khalifah al-Mamu’n was keen for knowledge to the extent that the treaty with the Romans stipulated the reading and translation of books within their libraries. The Khilafah established Bait ul-Hikmah, “House of Knowledge” in Baghdad, at an expense of 200,000 Dinars. It consisted of a library, observatory, lodging facilities for scientists, scientific equipment and a translation center. People from any religion, race or color were allowed to study and research in it. An academic session was organized each week in Bait ul-Hikmah. Several other instances of Muslim rulers can easily be found in historical books for their patronizing of knowledge.
13. Merging of diversified areas under a Single State: The borders of the Islamic state were extended from China to Morocco, which included India, Persia, Central Asia, Arab and Roman territories. All these were distinctly varied civilizations. The merger of the areas of these different civilizations, under a single state, allowed sciences and arts to transfer from one region to another rapidly. It further strengthened the academic environment in Muslim areas.
Muslims not only linked all these diversified territories into one. They also adopted a single, powerful language, Arabic. Whenever Muslims opened any region, they taught new Muslims the Arabic language, along with the commandments of the Noble Quran and Prophetic Sunnah. The official language of the state was also Arabic. Thus, Arabic, which was spoken in the Arabian Peninsula alone before Islam, is now spoken and understood today from Africa to the West Bank within 22 countries. In this vast region, which is located at the confluence of three continents, the adoption of a single language facilitated the transfer of knowledge from one region to another. It made links and communication among people of different regions easier and faster. Hence, people of other regions could gain knowledge from the books of any Muslim scholar or scientist, enhancing their progress.
14. Sharpening of Muslim thoughts by the challenge of earlier existing concepts and ideology: When Muslims conquered Roman territories, Greek philosophy was prevalent there. Instead of rational arguments, observations or experiments, Greek philosophy was based on assumptions and speculations only. In addition, a few Greek philosophers had a belief that water is the core element of the universe, whilst others believed that the universe is made of four elements; water, earth, wind and fire. This was against the Islamic way of thinking, which urged investigating the reality, establishing evidence for the conclusion.
Since Islam inculcated in Muslims that any claim must have evidence, Muslims adopted the creeds only on the basis of evidence, just as they established Shariah ruling upon evidence. Adopting imagination, with no relation with reality, was not acceptable for Muslims. In science and technology, too, Muslims adopted the evidence-based way of thinking. So scientists like Jabir bin Hayan and Zahrawi clarified many material manifestations, with observations and experiments. However, Muslims did not think that every knowledge must be obtained from observation. They did not consider that there is no need of any previous information. Instead, they classified knowledge on the basis that some knowledge is obtained from observations, whilst some knowledge necessitates guidance from divine revelation.
Through the belief of a final divine Deen, Muslims perceived their civilization as superior to all other civilizations. This cultural superiority developed a mindset amongst Muslims to critically evaluate other philosophies and scientific theories, examining them closely, before concluding anything from them. So the research of the Muslims revealed the fallacies of philosophies and way of thinking of other nations. Even the books of researchers, living in Islamic areas, became the source of knowledge for students of ancient philosophies.
After being corrupted by Greek thoughts and logical arguments, a few Muslim philosophers reached conclusions that directly contradicted the definitive concepts of Islam. However, their erroneous stance was refuted by Ulema who based their thinking on the Islamic ‘aqeedah. Thus, the guidance of the Islamic creed clarified the falsehood of Greek thinking to the Muslims. Then Muslims analyzed the Greek way of thinking and established its error.
Overview of the Fourteen Aforementioned Points: Study establishes that the rise of the Muslim civilization and scientific progress of Muslims was because of Islam alone. There were varied facets of the Islamic ideology, which allowed the Bedouins of Arabia to rule the world, establishing them as world leaders in sciences and arts. If Islam did not exist, the world would have been deprived of the positive effects of this great civilization, which emerged from Middle East. The bright light of Islam illuminated the entire world for centuries, in law, politics, arts and sciences.
How twisted are those who deny the role of Islam in the explosion of progress within Muslims. They only adopt their twisted stance because of their hatred of Islam, making baseless claims to link Muslim progress with the philosophies of Greece and Rome. A few of them have descended to the level that they claim that there was no rise of the Islamic civilization in the first place. The thoughts of these modernists are devoid of crediting Islam, which was continuously implemented during the times of the Noble Sahaba (ra), Taabai’een, Taba’a Taabi’een and the Khilafah of later eras. They thus maintain their false stance that Muslims must abandon Islam and embrace the West in order to progress. Let us now turn to some related subjects.
If Islam was the Reason for the scientific development of Muslims, then what are the reasons for today’s development in the West? Universal advancement in science and technology cannot be obtained by just opening a few scientific institutes. It happens only when there is a motive and drive for it in the whole nation. Any nation may only be vigorously active in every field of life, when it adopts a comprehensive approach about the affairs of life. This adopted approach determines the perspectives of the nation. Hence the purpose of life becomes clear to that nation and the nation sets its own objectives, in view of those determined perspectives.
Along with this, the affairs of that nation are organized on the basis of that adopted comprehensive thinking. So the nation acts dynamically to achieve the predetermined objectives, derived from its ideology. Progress in each field of life including science and technology is an inevitable, natural outcome. In other words, these are perspectives of an ideology only. They revolutionize the entire society. The society then moves towards the path of revival, while leaving behind decline.
Thus, ideological and political change occurs first, followed by progressions in the field of science and technology, as fruits of that change. Western development in science is in the same manner. The liberal capitalist ideology of the West vitalized Western societies intellectually. The whole society became active, from the perspective of utilitarianism, emanating from this ideology. In the meantime, as a consequence of crusader wars, scientific knowledge of Islam had reached Europe via Spain. Thus, Europe took advantage of this abundant knowledge from Muslims. It accurately copied many things from Muslims. It claimed many inventions of Muslims in its own name. Then it began to come into its own, on its ideological basis.
With the intrinsic feature of greed in the capitalist ideology, a race began to invent and patent the objects. Many people used these inventions as a source to increase their personal wealth. Western states provided support, since these states believed in the capitalist philosophy that race and competition result in gaining wealth. They also believed in that the maximization of luxuries increases the collective wealth of nations, bringing economic prosperity to the nations. In addition, Western states focused on science and technology to strengthen themselves militarily. On the basis of their military power, they colonialized the rest of the world, plundering their wealth.
All of this gave rise to the scientific and technological revolution of Europe. It was indeed a consequence of adopting the capitalist ideology as a code of life. The evolution of the West was also not on the basis of Greek concepts or philosophy. These were prevalent in their countries for centuries, without causing any change. In fact, if the West had adopted the Greek thoughts and philosophy, it would not have developed.
Therefore, the main principle which needs to be understood is that whenever any nation adopts an ideology, as a code of life, then it makes progress in every field of life. Thus, Russia progressed, as a result of implementation of Communist ideology. Thus, the West progressed, as a result of implementation of Capitalist ideology. Thus, the Islamic State of Madinah progressed, as a result of the implementation of Islamic ideology. They progressed despite the fact that both Communism and Capitalism are flawed ideologies because of their defective understandings, emanating from the limited human mind, unable to solve the problems of human beings in a proper manner. The implementation of these ideologies, despite their flaws, brought materialistic benefit to nations.
Political Revolution or Scientific Revolution: A continuous debate remains among Muslim intellectuals regarding change, as to whether it is bottom-up or top-down. So some say material progress is achieved by education, science and technology to strengthen ourselves and then to build a state politically, whilst others say that there must first be a revolutionary political change, at the state level on the basis of Islam to allow progress in all fields, including science and technology. Any person, who knows of relationships between ideologies, systems and change, whilst knowing of the strength of Islam, knows that without a radical change on the basis of Islam alone, Muslims cannot revive and progress in way that pleases their Lord (swt).
From a practical point of view, scientific and technological advance is not possible without a lot of investment. It requires a strong and stable economy which is not dependent on any foreign institution or government. This necessitates a system of government which provides both internal and external stability.
Hence, such development is not possible without political independence. The reality is that the colonialist powers are keeping Muslims backwards through the rulers of the Muslim World. They are depriving them of any real progress in the field of science and technology. A continuous brain drain to the West is being observed, due to the lack of stability in Pakistan, but these visionless rulers do not sense the gravity of the loss, focusing only on the dollars being sent back as remittances.
Is Scientific Progress a Criteria of Excellence of a Nation? Though scientific inventions are significant, they are not the criteria for a nation’s superiority. Considering scientific progress as a measure of superiority is in fact the consequence of being influenced by the West. Some even think that the scientific method is the only standard for thoughts, whilst scientific progression is the manifestation of the rise of humanity. However, a superior civilization is that which is superior in organizing the affairs of human beings effectively managing human relations. Human relations are not organized by scientific inventions. They are organized by the rules which systematize human relations.
Despite having made leaps in scientific innovation, the West suffers from a growing gap between the rich and the poor, dominance of the capitalist elite over ruling, the destruction of family values, excesses in sexual indecency and absence of mental satisfaction. It all reveals that progression in science and technology alone not the guarantor of tranquility and happiness. This is despite the fact that scientific inventions facilitate worldly affairs, make work easier and also support the states in providing public facilities to citizens. By promoting scientific inventions, the West hides its failure in properly organizing of the human affairs. It tries to create an impression that since it made advancements in science and technology, the world must accept it as a superior civilization.
With the implementation of Islamic rulings, after the establishment of Khilafah, a correct viewpoint will be fostered in society towards science and technology. For too long, the West has held sway over a Western-influenced class of intellectuals and educated individuals of the Ummah. Any continuously evolving standard cannot be the criteria for a superior lifestyle.
Science and technology are being continuously changed. Humans of every period have enjoyed scientific advances of their era. However, Western empiricism asserts that the men of the past were backward because they did not have the comforts and facilities of today. Moreover, there is no need to be intimidated by Western science and technology. It is not a matter which Muslims have not achieved before. Indeed, there is a major contribution of Muslims to Western advancement in science and technology. The West used to take benefits from the knowledge and inventions of Muslims. These were freely available for study without any copyrights. Thus the West advanced in its journey for scientific progress. In reality, the system of Kufr, which has filled the whole world with oppression, hunger and chaos, enslaving the Islamic world through its colonialist policies and agent rulers, does not deserve any praise or recognition.
Thus any Muslim who is eager for the revival of the Islamic Ummah must energetically engage in the effort to resume the Islamic way of life in Muslim societies. This is only possible with the reestablishment of Khilafah. Nothing less than the implementation of the comprehensive and universal ideology of Islam, as a state, will revive Muslim lands, nourish the creative capabilities of Muslims and brighten the hearts and minds of the Ummah. Nothing less will make this Ummah the leader of all the nations again. Allah (swt) said in the Noble Quran,
(كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ)
“You are the best nation [ever] brought forth for mankind: you command what is right and forbid what is wrong, and have faith in Allah.” [TMQ Surah Aali Imran 3: 110].
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Usman Adil – Wilayah Pakistan