Friday, December 29, 2006

The Coming

This is from Alamgir Hussain, in the American Thinker:

Understanding the basic precepts of the Islamic faith is a precondition to grasp the devout Muslim congressman's stand on taking oath by the Quran. Islam only cares for the truth. Allah, the creator of the universe, undertook the final mission of prophetic succession to deliver the divine message in the perfect form through the last Prophet Muhammad (seal of Prophethood) as the Quran says:

"Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of God and the Seal of the prophets..." [Quran 33:40]

In the Islamic belief, the Quran which contains Allah's final messages in unaltered form, is thus, the divine book of complete truth and knowledge of the universe and Islam is the perfect religious guidance chosen by Allah for all mankind:

This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. [Quran 5:3]

When the creator of the universe has chosen Islam as the only perfect religion for the mankind, all other religions, existing before or to appear later, are either false or incomplete and God disapproves them all. Islam has the perfect prescription for every dealing in human life, such as how humans will sit while eating, take bath, do sex, dress up, deal in trades and collect taxes; what they will eat or drink as well as what he must not do. The state will enforce the dos and don'ts of the absolute commander of the universe to run the society in conformity to His wishes.

The Quran is not only the book of guidance, it is also the book of complete knowledge of the universe. So, the reformist Muslims and their non-Islamic agents have discovered all the formula of modern science, democracy, secularism, human rights and technology in the Quran in recent years. However, the human innovations of the non-Islamic world are naturally fault-prone and are not perfect. Islam only can have these innovations in the perfect form as they come down directly from the knower of all truth. Thus, we have Islamic science, Islamic economy, Islamic banking, Islamic democracy, Islamic human rights, Islamic sex and Islamic technology (Islamic cell phone, TV and fighter jets etc.) in the Islamic world.

Hence Prophet Muhammad, the earthly editor of the Quran, is increasingly being seen as the greatest ever scientist and intellectual in the Islamic world, apart from his being the greatest-ever propeht and man. This upsurge in 'everything Islamic' has much to do with assertions of the Quran like in verses 33:40 and 5:3 cited above. It also goes back to the very inception of Islam. Since Islam is the complete treasure-trove of truth and knowledge, early Muslim conquerors undertook the principle of destroying non-Islamic books or documents they came across.

Ali, Islam's fourth caliph and Prophet Muhammad's dearest companion, cousin and son-in-law, had said that extra-Islamic documents or books that contain information absent in the Quran are false and misleading, while others that contained knowledge already in the Quran are unneccesary and hence, they must be destroyed. On this ground, the 3 rd Caliph Othman order the destruction of the massive library of Alexandria (built by Alexander, ~332 BC) after the Muslims' conquest of Egypt in 641.

Islam also recognizes the period before Islam as the age of Jihiliya (age of ignorance) and a principle of destroying the knowledge, wisdom and customs of period, because of their false or ignoramous nature, were followed during the rule of the first four pious caliphs (till 661), who were the Prophet's companions and trusted friends. After the initial assaults, however, much of pre-Islamic knowledge and intelletaul properties survived during the 90-year rule of the fiercely anti-Muhamamd, anti-Quran godless Omayyads and later the Abbassids.

Interestingly, the Abbasids were more Persian than Arab and yet somewhat pious, who preferred the nominally Islamic Mutazili theology over the orthodox Quranic or Muhammedan Islam. They were in great pursuit of learning and were astonished by vast treasures of knowledge and philosophy that existed before the coming of Muhammad.

To conform to a core Islamic principle of discarding anything from the Jahiliya age, they collected many of original Greek manuscripts from around the kingdom and overseas, translated them into Arabic and destroyed the original transcripts to create an impression that those materials came from the days of Islam. Hence, many of the original Greek manuscripts do not exists and survived only in the Arabic from which Europeans later translated. The translations were mostly done by the Christian, Zoroastrain (Persian) and Jewish sages employed by the Muslim rulers.

Here lies the mysteries of how the Islamic world flourished during the Islamic golden age (8-13 th century) despite Islam being such an anti-intellectual, obscurantist and iconoclastic religion. In the 12th century, however, the Quran-based orthodox Islam, revived by great Islamic theologians like Imam Ghazzali (d. 1111 AD), pushed the exercise of philosophy, science and free thought into the back-burner, resulting in the decline of scientific and intellectual progress in the Islamic kingdoms. For example, the proverbial Islamic ruler Saladin of the crusade, a zealous orthodox Sunni, disposed of the famous library of Cairo, consisting of nearly one million books, scrolls and manuscripts after he defeated the Fatimids in 1171 AD. Some were sold, others burned or the rest were left for rotting. [Walker, 284-288].

Go read the whole thing.