was written nearly half a century ago -to be precise,in the autumn of 1933 -and was first published in Delhi in 1934,and subsequently in Lahore: a plea to the Muslims of mygeneration to avoid a blind imitation of Western social formsand values, and to try to preserve instead their Islamic heritagewhich once upon a time had been responsible for
comprised in the term"Muslim civilization".This first literary effort of mine on a purely Islamic subjectfound an immediate response among English-speaking Muslimsof what was then an undivided India, and was reprinted in manyeditions.
Arabic translation followed a few years later, andits impact on the educated public in the Middle East was, ifanything, even greater
of the original, Englishlanguage version.
positive reception accorded to it soongave rise to
Muslim writers, who took up
main theme of
Islam at the Crossroads
and elaborated it invarious forms and on various levels, each according to his own
of mind, sometimes coinciding with this or
of myviews, but more often than not arriving at conclusions andpostulates which
to me then -and
to me now contrary to what I had envisaged.
I had in mind when Iwrote this book was a re-awakening of
Muslims'consciousness of their being socially and culturally
all-powerful Western society, and thus a deepening of theirpride in, and their desire to preserve, such of their owntraditional forms and institutions as would help them to keep
essential "difference" alive and make them once againculturally creative after