December 1996: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

. Rajab/Sha’ban 1417

Volume 12 No 12

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Submitters Perspective

Monthly Bulletin of the International Community of Submitters Published by Masjid Tucson


A Re-evaluation (Part 2)

...Therefore, congratulate My servants who listen to all views, then follow the best.
These are the ones guided by God; these are the intelligent ones. (39:17-18)

[Editor’s note: This article is part of the introduction of the book “Hadith: A Re-evaluation” authored by Kassim Ahmad of Malaysia. This book is translated into English from the Malay original by Syed Akbar Ali. We are in the process of publishing this book. God willing, it will be available for distribution by the month of Ramadan.]

Age of “Great Disorder”

The time has now arrived for the Muslims to examine their situation more critically and boldly. Actually, this perilous situation is not confined to the Muslims alone; it covers the entire mankind. A number of twentieth century philosophers, historians and social critics have unanimously stated that this century is the most critical century in human history. The late Chinese leader, Mao Zedong, described the century as “Great Disorder under Heaven.” The American historical philosopher, P.A. Sorokin, has detailed the crisis of the twentieth century in his able book,

The Crisis of Our Age, published in 1941. It is in this century that two terrible world wars occurred, and a third more horrible one might still occur, in spite of the end of the Cold War, to destroy the present civilization.

It is in this century also that an array of philosophies, ideologies, theories, systems that includes liberalism, Marxism, pragmatism, logical positivism, existentialism, Nazism, Fascism, Stalinism, Ghandhism, Maoism and religious traditionalism collapsed. When dominant existing philosophies and systems cannot solve the problems of human security and welfare, it is a sure sign that a very serious crisis is upon us.

....This great disorder is evidenced by the great ideological cleavage, the continuous raging of the fires of war, the massive starvation and poverty in the Third World, the steep decline in public morality, world-wide financial and economic crisis and the inability of the United Nations to function effectively.

The Muslims had long lost their intellectual and political leadership of the world. The break-up of their empire in 1258 AD gave way to independent dynasties which continued until they were colonized by European powers beginning in the sixteenth right up to the early twentieth centuries. Then, with the rise of nationalism in Asia and Africa, nearly all of them regained their independence and set up sovereign nation-states.

However, the Muslims had ceased to be creative around the fourteenth century. Their period of intense creativity lasted three centuries from the ninth through to the eleventh. Their last great philosopher was the Arab Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406). Since that time Muslim intellect stagnated and even degenerated and Europe took over to develop dominant philosophies and disciplines along materialist and hedonistic lines.

After more than a century of modern reformism

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