I’m sorry to all, many of you do not agree with my title of this article, but you must read till the end and you will come to know why I choose this? Why Muslims are so outdated in their thoughts, in modern politics, in modern science and technology, research and other modern fields of life. Why are we not producing polymaths of this century? Where are our greater thinkers? philosophers? Where are our scientists? What are we lacking of? These are some questions which need to be address and we should rectify them but first we have to find out what the real problem is. Insha’Allah in this article I will try to find out what the real problems are and how we can solve them.
Once there was a period when Muslims ruled the world and our inventions shape this modern world. We do inventions which developed during the medieval Islamic world, cover a period from the early Caliphate to the later Ottoman and Mughal Empires. In particular, the majority of inventions were date back to the Islamic Golden Age, which is traditionally dated from the 8th to the 13th centuries (622 to 1258). Here I would like to quote a neutral source from west what they think about our golden era:
“Muslim inventions that shaped the modern world” an article written By Olivia Sterns for CNN on which was published on January 29, 2010 — it is among surprising Muslim inventions that have shaped the world we live in today.
The origins of these fundamental ideas and objects — the basis of everything from the bicycle to musical scales — are the focus of “1001 Inventions,” a book celebrating “the forgotten” history of 1,000 years of Muslim heritage. “There’s a hole in our knowledge, we leap frog from the Renaissance to the Greeks,” professor Salim al-Hassani, Chairman of the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilization, and editor of the book told CNN.
“1001 Inventions” is now an exhibition at London’s Science Museum. Hassani hopes the exhibition will highlight the contributions of non-Western cultures — like the Muslim empire that once covered Spain and Portugal, Southern Italy and stretched as far as parts of China — to present day civilization.
Surgery, Coffee, Flying Machine, University, Algebra, Optics, Toothbrush, The crank, Hospitals and much more …
This was a neutral source that I quote from, now I would like to name the great polymaths, scientists, physicians, medical doctors, educationists who change the world through their work but where are they now? This is the big question which needs to be answer.
Al-Farabi (Also known as Alpharabius. Arab scientist and philosopher, considered as one of the preeminent thinkers of medieval era. )
Al-Battani (858 – 929)
Arab mathematician, scientists and Astronomer who improved existing values for the length of the year and of the seasons.
Ibn Sina (980 – 1037)
Also known as Avicenna. Persian philosopher and scientist known for his contributions to Aristotelian philosophy and medicine.
Ibn Battuta (1304 – 1369
Also known as Shams ad–Din. Arab traveler and scholar who wrote one of the most famous travel books in history, the Rihlah.
Ibn Rushd (1126 – 1198)
Also known as Averroes. Arab philosopher and scholar who produced a series of summaries and commentaries on most of Aristotle’s works and on Plato’s Republic.
Omar Khayyam (1048 – 1131)
Persian mathematician, astronomer, and poet, known for his scientific achievements and Rubaiyat (“quatrains”). (this information was taken from the website of “Famous Scientists And the art of genius- Article 15 Famous Muslim (Arab & Persian) Scientists and their Inventions)
And many great peoples I just quote few of them due to short space, it was ended before the collapse of Ottoman Empire. What happen and up till now we all Muslims haven’t contributor neither for science and technology nor for any field. I am mentioning following reasons specifically for Pakistan and partly from other Muslim world because after Great Baba Quaid Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Dr. Allama Mohammad Iqbal we hardly produce anyone who is unique from rest of the world.
• Lack of education and its institutions: This is the number one problem that I think is mother of all crises. We have three types of educational systems. English Medium, Urdu Medium and Madarsa System. They failed to produce any intellectual, any physician, mathematician, chemist of top level. The other aspect of this crisis is that we have limited our madarsas for only religious education. Sorry to say they are not interpreting Islamic teachings up to the modern international standards and developments of the modern world. So the gap between the student who studied form madarsa and Oxford University is big. So the student is unfamiliar from the modern world, he or she perceives every research against Islam so the individual’s mind generate extremist thoughts or negative perception of the west and rest the scholars fulfill the remaining part who do not know the modern world and their values. Well many of them would disagree with me on this but I would like to quote example our mostly scholars are busy in having debates and making the other sects infidel, the level of patience is zero. I have lot of respect for our religious scholars and I am not against them but to be very honest truly many of them are not capable of leading the nation towards science and technology. So they disconnect our religion to the modern values, politics, science, economics and rest. Our other students who studied in Urdu and English Medium are also facing same problems due to big flawed in our educational system old courses and again disconnectivity from Golden Muslim era to the current era.
• Slave type mentality is the second big reason which creates many other problems. Following the west without knowing the background of Muslim World and the Modern world. This is not our fault somehow our slave leaders made this mentality.
• Leadership crises is the third big reason, we have lack of leaders and due to our flawed system we are unable to produce leaders to lead us in the field of modern politics who could give us right direction.
• Living in dreams of Khilafat e Rashida, the rightful caliphate of Islam. We always think about them in dreams and we are not ready to come out of it in present. They were great leaders no one can be like them but who are we? Nothing and we never try to think out of the box. The true Momin is one who is synchronized from the present. We can’t fit politics of that time to now, since 1920 the world is changed into modern states concept of visas and international boundaries of countries so we have to take the Islamic code of and synchronize it to the present scenario.
What can we do now?
• We have to take the Islamic code of life and synchronize it to the present scenario.
• We have to change our educational system and organize it to the current situation.
• Change the medium of educational systems to one which relate us to the modern world
• We have to open modern research institutes and integrate it to the current situation and broad our vision
• Instead of fighting west with bullets and guns we have to counter them through arguments and prove them our Islam is a peaceful religion
• The tag of extremism and terrorism must be washed through our characters and true teachings of Holy Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) should be followed and stressing on those quranic verses which leads us to knowledge and thinking instead.
• We have to prove that we are the true followers of Holy Prophet and do not stress on useless things like making other sects infidel.
• The education of sects must be erased from religious institutions and doors of science and technology must be open.
• Fatwa factory should be banned and focus should be on best education.
• Accept the new changes of the world and make new moderate policies for the survival of Muslim world especially for Pakistan.
• Islam is a complete code of life so apply the fundamentals of it.
• Awareness programs should be held across the Muslim world and especially in Pakistan in order give update to common people.
• In quran Allah says Islam is an easy religion to follow so doesn’t make it tough as we normally do.