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Why Religion?

Discover Islam

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Question

Why then have Muslims not developed sciences and discovered such Quranic truths, and why are they under the dominion of the West?

Answer

To the extent that the time and the prevalent conditions conditions allowed them to, Muslims did discover the truths of the Qur’an and, obeying its injunctions, founded a magnificent civilization, which lasted for many centuries.

A typical example: while explaining the meaning of the verse, We send the wind fertilizing, and cause water to descend from the sky, and give it you to drink (15.22), Ibn Jarir al-Tabari writes about how the winds fertilize clouds so that rain may form. The verse clearly mentions the winds fertilizing clouds because it is about the formation of rain. As has recently been discovered, clouds are also charged with electricity and it is only when positive and negative poles in clouds form a circuit that rain forms.

Also, in his Tafsir named al-Bahr al-Muhit, Abu Hayyan al-Andalusi records from Abu Ja’far ibn al-Zubayr that from the initial verses of sura al-Rum, Alif Lam Mim. The Romans have been defeated in the nearer land, and they, after their defeat, will be victorious within nine years-God’s is command in the former case and in the latter-and in that day believers will rejoice in God’s help to victory. He helps to victory whom He wills. He is the Mighty, the Merciful, Abu’l Hakem ibn Barrajan deduced many years before the exact date-with its year, month and day-the recapture of Jerusalem by Muslims from the Crusaders in 1187.

Islam ruled two-thirds of the old civilized world for at least eleven centuries. During its whole history of fourteen centuries, it has had to confront continual onslaughts from both the East and West and it was able to retain its superiority until the eighteenth century. However, when moral and spiritual decay and laziness and negligence of what was going on around them were added to the endless attacks from the West and East, the magnificence and supremacy of the Islamic civilization began to decline until its collapse in the first quarter of the twentieth century. Military victories and a sense of superiority had induced the Muslims to become content with what they had achieved and to neglect further researches in sciences. They had abandoned themselves to living their own lives, reciting the Qur’an but without ever studying its deeper meanings. Meanwhile the Western world had been making great advances in sciences and technology, which they had carried forward from the Islamic civilization. As already mentioned, sciences are in reality the languages of the Divine book of creation and an aspect of religion. Therefore, whoever neglects to study this book and benefit from it is destined to lose in the worldly life, and this negligence was one of the main reasons why Muslims fell under the domination of the West.

It is impossible that the present Western civilization will endure long since it is materialistic and far from satisfying man’s perennial needs. Western sociologists such as Oswald Spengler and others have predicted the collapse of this civilization, which is against basic human nature and values. Either it will abandon itself to its inevitable decay or equip itself with the creeds and moral and spiritual values of Islam, as well as its social and economic principles. In other words, Muslims will re-discover that, in essence, science and religion are two aspects of the same reality and know that to be a Muslim means, first of all, to represent the beauties of Islam in practical life. The luminous world of the future will be founded upon the firm foundations of Islamic morality, spirituality and its socio-economic and political order.

 


Recommended Reading:
Why do we refer to science and scientific facts when explaining Islam?

Last Updated on October 26, 2000

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